Another track day in the books - 2018 KTM 790 Duke Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-17-2019, 01:24 AM Thread Starter
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Another track day in the books

I spent the day at my old stomping grounds at a Willow Springs’ Big Track. The 10+ years since I was last there have not been kind to it. Although fairly recently sealed, the surface has gotten quite bumpy. Still, it was good to relive some old memories and create new ones, like following Casey Stoner and Ben Spies around for a lap. I wish I could say it was because I’m super fast, but it was because they were on virgin slicks and were being very cautious on their out lap. Still, it was quite cool.

I’m still learning about the WP fork and shock, but I continue to be impressed with how they improve the 790. The wallowing that the stock suspension occasionally did at track speeds has been eliminated, but at times, I felt my settings were too stiff for Willow’s bumpiness. Clearly I need more time to dial them in. I think the WP upgrades are pretty dang good if you plan on spending more than a little time on the track, though.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-17-2019, 01:39 AM

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I heard that Ben and Casey were on a couple R1's doing a TD today but didn't know it was at Willow - very cool experience indeed! Did ya get a chance to chat with them? Were there Yamaha staff around or literally 2 guys and a Van just messing about? Enquiring minds want to know! LOLOL...

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-17-2019, 01:57 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by YoungLion View Post
I heard that Ben and Casey were on a couple R1's doing a TD today but didn't know it was at Willow - very cool experience indeed! Did ya get a chance to chat with them? Were there Yamaha staff around or literally 2 guys and a Van just messing about? Enquiring minds want to know! LOLOL...
It was an Alpinestars sponsored track day. So, several OEMs were there. Yamaha, Honda, Aprilia, Ducati, and even Indian had Bikes there. Lots of people who were new to track riding also took advantage of Yamaha Champions Riding School giving free training.

Spies and Stoner were out off and on all day on R1 Ms. Spies ripped past me on several occasions, making me look even slower than I am. Several current and retired US racers were also there. Chris Filmore had his Pikes Peak 790 there, but I never encountered him while we were on the track, except one session where he came past me on an Aprilia.

With Willow being such a fast track, the 790 is not an ideal mount because of the lack of wind protection. Still, I had tons of fun even if I was feeling a little beat up at the end of the front straight at then end of every session.

Oh, and I did get to chat with Ben and Casey briefly, and they laughed when I told them of my hero moment of following them on their out lap. Hey were very nice.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-17-2019, 03:26 AM
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Oh, and I did get to chat with Ben and Casey briefly, and they laughed when I told them of my hero moment of following them on their out lap. Hey were very nice.
Haha..! Sounds like you had a super day!

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-17-2019, 03:19 PM
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Wahou, it's very cool to ride behind first class superbike annd GP pilot
Your rear tire is dead in one day There is a problem. it looks like the tire was too hot

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-17-2019, 03:27 PM
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Your rear tire is dead in one day There is a problem. it looks like the tire was too hot
Was it only one day, though?

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-17-2019, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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Wahou, it's very cool to ride behind first class superbike annd GP pilot
Your rear tire is dead in one day There is a problem. it looks like the tire was too hot
That was the second track day on that tire, but Big Willow eats tires with its high-speed right handers.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
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Proof that Chris Fillmore has nothing on me! Just compare those tucks...

...or maybe not.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-22-2019, 12:37 PM
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Haa! That’s pretty neat.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-05-2020, 04:36 PM
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Recent trackday with 2 mates on 1299 Duc's i had a ball, S22 were great on a low grip track. Got some nice comments on how great the 790 looked and sounded. Great day, but had the F,ing flu since.
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