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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I finally got to enjoy my first track days last weekend, Covid at least kept numbers down so there was less traffic. 2.3km, 19 corners, 5 straights, plenty of elevation change and blind corners. Loaded up the trailer with the 790 and my wife's 2015 CBR600, towed it up with the hopped-up TDI Jetta I built her. I did a lot of changes over the winter that felt good on the street twisties, and it performed awesome on the track. Andreani cartridges, Nitron shock, different bars, raised front and rear heights, EBC HH to EPFA pads, couple other small things.

I started last year with a shitty lowside in traffic on my DR, and got the 790 a couple months later. I used to be fine rolling off the edges of my knobs in corners, but I've had to fight to get some tire confidence back. @YoungLion has been helping me a lot to figure out actual riding, and came up to the track on the 3rd for some fun of his own (and more pointers for me, win).

After the last session of the 2nd day, our friend Mike pulled up hot to our pits and yelled "that was the most fun of the entire weekend!" He's a track guy on a tidy little RC390R who was helping train a racer friend all weekend. He can make that thing scoot very well, but was holding back for training so I had passed them multiple times that day. I didn't know it, but he decided to break training and have a chase. He had to fight hard to catch up in the corners, so he was pumped to have a challenge. He got me on video, so despite me being tired and not moving as well as earlier that day, it's still good for me to watch and see where to improve.

Having gone from zero confidence Chicken Little to half-decent street Chicken in a little over a year, it's been a huge change. I had no idea that I could move a bike like I did that weekend though, lots of room for improvement of course, but wow. Getting such positive feedback from actual good rider friends was very uplifting. :) Supermoto racers with Husky FS450's on slicks/warmers and race gas were doing as low as 1:21's, and I broke into the 1:38's by the afternoon of the 2nd day.

I go back on Aug 31st.

 

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That track looks awesome!

I'm off to Anglesey (Welsh Philip Island 馃槀) next week for two days on track with the standard 790 (well, R11s and SBS RS pads don't count as upgrades do they???) and my track gsxr600. First time on track with the 790, hoping it will be more fun than the 600, but not expecting it to be faster.
 

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@Rick - dude your progress since last Spring has been phenomenal - and you're doing it all the right way IMO - investing in the right gear, the right mods, and the right rider training.

For your next trip to VIMC I predict a 3-4 second/lap drop in your lap times with ZERO added risk factor, just by capturing the free speed we talked about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
@YoungLion thanks as always! My goal is to hit 1:35's, I think I can do it. GPS 10Hz receiver is on its way, my old phone is charged and waiting to record stuff. Have the 3D printer to make mounts, Mike's got drawings to work with as he uses the same old phone for track stuff.

I need to be more diligent about hitting those cones and using more of the track. I need to cut in earlier for 1, figure out what 2 actually is, stay out farther for entry to 3, etc. I have many suspension knobs to turn but I'm not sure that they'll make as much of a difference as just riding a better line. Throwing myself into a corner from the front straight at 140-150 without touching the brakes took some getting used to, more panic than planning. I started going to 5th on the front straight as I was running out of 4th coming through 1-2-3 but I'm not convinced it helped me.

I'll need a street tune-up if you're willing. I haven't had a chance to ride since the track day, beyond putting pegs on at the shop. :)
 

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'20 Street Triple 765
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@YoungLion thanks as always! My goal is to hit 1:35's, I think I can do it. GPS 10Hz receiver is on its way, my old phone is charged and waiting to record stuff. Have the 3D printer to make mounts, Mike's got drawings to work with as he uses the same old phone for track stuff.

I need to be more diligent about hitting those cones and using more of the track. I need to cut in earlier for 1, figure out what 2 actually is, stay out farther for entry to 3, etc. I have many suspension knobs to turn but I'm not sure that they'll make as much of a difference as just riding a better line. Throwing myself into a corner from the front straight at 140-150 without touching the brakes took some getting used to, more panic than planning. I started going to 5th on the front straight as I was running out of 4th coming through 1-2-3 but I'm not convinced it helped me.

I'll need a street tune-up if you're willing. I haven't had a chance to ride since the track day, beyond putting pegs on at the shop. :)
There are lots of little things that you can easily modify which will have a big impact on your lap times, of those, the last thing I'd put my energy towards is the bike - you have great tires, great suspension, and great brakes - leave it so you have a known baseline to work from for now. One less variable.

You and Mike are both engineering minds - I'm amazed ANYTHING would get done with you two as 90% of your time would be spent running theoreticals, optimizing baselines, and reciting Pi to the 3,978,357th number! LOL... Specifically, I'd 100% stay away from on track communicators - IMO that is a really bad idea. A street rider blasting tunes in his/her lid while commuting - not my cuppa tea but understandable - on track and having someone constantly chirping in your ear is a recipe for frustration and stunted development, I'm a believer that you should focus entirely on the task at hand and then recap during your 40 minutes off track each hour and then ideally afterwards with video reinforcement. No offence to Mike, again just my 2 cents...

Yes, you need to tweak all the things you mention - use more track, clean up the lines, and slow things down in your mind - all things easier said than done. The reality though is once you capture those easy seconds or free speed as I refer to it as, then you'll have to increase your risk level and actually push yourself to see more gains. The largest gains for most riders are almost always after an "oh F....ck" moment - missing a brake marker, dragging toes/knee's/bodywork in a corner you normally wouldn't, etc... and most good track day Org's know this and actually mention it in the riders meeting. Usually it's something like "Hey, if you get in hot or get pushed off your chosen line unexpectedly, don't panic, commit to the corner and ride it out - 9 out of 10 times you'll be fine and who knows, maybe you just found yourself a new entry speed into Turn #1..." Next year re-watching your video from 2 weeks ago will have you cringing as you won't understand why you were soooo slow back then - it's just a matter of calibrating your brain to process information faster, basically getting all the steps needed to go through a corner seamlessly in say 3 seconds vs 4 seconds.

Being more active and nimble on the bike, lowering your center of gravity further to the inside especially (knee's down aren't just for street cred, it's a tool to gauge your lean angle and entry speeds which then translate into how fast you can pick the bike up and get back on the gas), and all the while staying smooth with inputs which gets exponentially harder the faster you go - feathering the front brake gently to load the front before applying max brake pressure is easy at 6/10's pace, but at 9/10's that process needs to happen much faster and with much greater consequences if you get it wrong so remaining smooth with trail braking, throttle application, etc... is what typically takes seat time, more seat time, and usually a lot of broken plastics and wallets. :ROFLMAO:

I'm hoping to be back on the road by Monday and you know my schedule - wide open currently - I'd love to join ya for as much riding as you're able to do so we can talk it through and reinforce your plan of attack.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I got a Qstarz GPS receiver and revived my old phone for lap timing duty. 3D printed up some pieces to make it attach.

Today's follow-up, too many people in my group today. All morning was fighting traffic, it was distracting and hard to feel connected. First session I made mistakes everywhere and had trouble getting back to where I was a month ago (haven't ridden the bike since), still somehow knocked down 1:37 (prev best 1:38.7). Somehow got my day's goal in the 2nd session, 1:35.5, still mistakes everywhere. I hovered in the 1:35's for a couple more sessions, trying to connect to the bike and track again. 5th session I did a few 1:34.0's so I at least beat my goal. Being first in line in the group line was key, there were too many people in the group.

I had a good afternoon at least. Rubber side stayed down.
 

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awesome vid and really great to see your progress!

7:13 is a great example of why you always want to leave an out for yourself. I never ride directly behind someone at a track day for this very reason.

I would brake down your game plan into sections of track. Set yourself up for the proper entry will help you get set up for hitting a proper apex, which will set you up for a proper exit which will set you up for a proper entry into the next corner. and so on and so forth. focus on small sections at a time in each session, then put it all together at the end of the day!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
5323


5324


awesome vid and really great to see your progress!

7:13 is a great example of why you always want to leave an out for yourself. I never ride directly behind someone at a track day for this very reason.

I would brake down your game plan into sections of track. Set yourself up for the proper entry will help you get set up for hitting a proper apex, which will set you up for a proper exit which will set you up for a proper entry into the next corner. and so on and so forth. focus on small sections at a time in each session, then put it all together at the end of the day!
Turn 7 (7:13 in video) always makes me pucker (and sometimes I'm too hot and have to brake) because it kicks you up just enough to unload the bike as you're trying to get over. I had a rear slip moment on the paint there when I tried cutting it on one lap. Someone else went off track out of 7, it's horribly pebbly near the line.

@YoungLion and I were discussing the last track day yesterday at our usual twisty road destination. Our bikes are both -1 tooth in the front, but he's seeing 185kph on the track while I'm doing 140kph on the front straight and 150kph on the rear straight, and his 890 isn't that much more powerful. When he was following me he wasn't sure why I was so slow to get going out of 19 and along the straight. I'm using 3rd & 4th gears for the whole track, while he's using 2nd though 5th. My 790 is jerky in 2nd so I ignore it to be smooth and not upset traction, manage wheelies, etc. If I use 2nd then I can get out of 19 with a lot more jam and shave another couple seconds perhaps just right there as I'm not waiting for 3rd to spool up. It also gives me more reason to deal with the ECU and smooth out the jerky.
 
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