New riders and the track - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-12-2007, 10:20 AM Thread Starter
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New riders and the track

I have seen a lot of posts in the last year of riders who are new to riding in general that are being urged to go on the track. I just want to say, especially to the fellow females, to ONLY do what YOU want. Don't listen to others if you don't think you are comfortable with the idea. The skills you learn on the track are not all applicable on the street, and it doesn't necessarily make you ready for street situations.

If you are interested in the track, great. Just realize that even if you are in the "B" group that there are jackasses out there that ride over their heads and can put you in jeopardy.

I love you girls (and guys), and I applaud all that take it to the track. In the defense of CLSB and NESBA, you will find all the help you would need, as there are wonderful people, but be careful!

I'm done...

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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-12-2007, 11:11 AM
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Thanks... I've been talking with some control riders and they've been kinda telling what to prepare for, and what to expect. I'm excited and nervous but I think more excited. Hopefully a good experience. I wanted to do this, although I was planning more later on, but figure now is better then never.

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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-12-2007, 11:41 AM
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i'm pretty excited about going to the track. i have always been into drag racing but the last few years that just got borring so i turned to bikes now. personaly i cant wait to get to the track this year. i'm going to want a lead bike in front of me to help keep me from getn in over my head. hopfully after a few track days i will start getn enough confidence to get allitle agressive with the throttle.
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-12-2007, 11:46 AM
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Erin, perhaps it would help if you described your first time at the track? I know when I was getting ready to do my first day, I scoured the intarwebs for as much info as possible. As a kneedragging gal, perhaps those looking to try it this year would enjoy reading about your experience?

Just a thought. (and I have no idea what your first track day was like, so if you actually got into a huge highside / fiery crash and spent weeks in the hospital afterward... then perhaps you should keep that story to yourself! )

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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-12-2007, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BusaGirl View Post
....The skills you learn on the track are not all applicable on the street, and it doesn't necessarily make you ready for street situations.

...
how so?

I think the track is a great place to supplement rider knowlege. You can find answers to how fast your bike can go, how well your brakes work, how far you can lean your bike over for a turn, etc., etc.

It's definitely a better environment to discover these types of tidbits on a closed course under tutelage rather than on a public street.
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-12-2007, 12:08 PM
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Would agree the track is a great place to learn.


I also agree that track riding is not for everyone. You have to be able to
ride within your limits until you learn some things. If you go out and charge
really reall yhard right off the bat and focus on speed alone rather than
smoothness anf riding technique you will scare yourself. Scare yourself bad
enough and it will force a mistake and you may crash.


OTOH, if you enjoy riding fast and pushing limits there is no safer place
to do it than the racetrack. Most hard objects are removed from the
impact zones, you wear maximum protective gear and have medical
assistance on site just in case.


If you push on the street and have a life threatening crash out in the midlle
of bumblefuck where the good twisty roads are.... you might not even have
cellie coverage to call for the help that is :45 minutes away.


Busa's right, it depends what you are after.


If it's speed..... take it to the track.


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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-12-2007, 12:11 PM Thread Starter
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I would love to hear the stories of Meech and KimF4i, they progressed at great rates, and I LOVED following them at Autobahn.

My first track day was the day of Ytrap's accident. Put things in perspective for me, and I'll still say that his wife speaking to me at his funeral is why I still do track days. I can't praise her enough for her strength and devotion to what her husband loved to do even if it took his life. I guess it's why I worry about other riders. We all have 'lives' and aren't paid by sponsors or anything, so having fun is the name of the game.

Yes, I've ridden bikes since my first 50cc when I was 7, had my first streetbike at 17, and so on... I did my first track day in 2005 at BHF, and I was nervous (and slow as hell due to it!). CLSB-ers are great at the track and they will help you and ensure you are doing the right thing. I would have to say that in my track days after, that it was generally the non-CLSB/NESBA regulars that you see being asshats and putting other riders in danger.

I'll never forget this guy on a black Busa at Autobahn that kept passing me in the straights (duh... BUSA), but then I was up his ass every freakin' turn because he was parking it. Believe it or not girls, but when guys see that ponytail out the back of the helmet, some of them will try to school you even if they just got their bikes a few months ago.

Although I personally wouldn't go from taking the MSF course to a track-day, there are girls on this board that can prove otherwise is fine. Hunny, this was in no way towards you, but your post did get me thinking about what I've seen. I know for a fact that all of us would beat the crap out a guy if he made a mistake on the track that costs you getting hurt. Have fun and be careful.

I suppose my thread was also to just state that just because the track is right for one rider, it may not be for all and we should let our fellow riders find their own part of the sport that they like the most. Be it street riding, being a coffee-snob, sport-touring, trackdays, or racing.

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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-12-2007, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernie View Post
how so?
I think the track is a great place to supplement rider knowledge.
I agree exactly to what Blarney wrote in regards to it depends on what you are after.

It's more the reactionary skills that I am speaking of not being ready for when a rider is new. If you are new to riding, you are just learning your bike, all the mechanics of riding, etc. You may not be prepared for braking before a turn and having a CR towing 2 bikes pass you (not in the turn, just before due to their speed and a new riders lack of). If you have at least ridden on the street you are comfortable with people passing you in cars and otherwise, you may have a greater perception of other threats. Additionally, the risk of having another rider going down in front of you and having to quickly assess and avoid an incident is less likely on the street then it is on the track.

I'm not saying the street is safe, and I do believe that with time in the seat that the track can be a safe playground for those who are interested in speed. Let's just not assume that all are interested in that.

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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-12-2007, 12:24 PM
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Do any of the trackdays groups have "Track Touring"?

For example an Autocross group I've done some work with had a day (Autobahn North) which was set up with informational/classroom in the morning and then took people out 1 pace car, 5 students. No passing allowed and very limited speed.

edit: How long would you think someone should ride before going to a traditional trackday? I've heard the recommendation of at least 10k miles before attempting stunting just to learn the feel of the bike.

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Last edited by PaulieRedCoat; 05-12-2007 at 12:27 PM.
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-12-2007, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RwS Films View Post
edit: How long would you think someone should ride before going to a traditional trackday?
As many as it takes to make you comfortable on the bike for most situtations. Although the track is a controled space, things go wrong with bikes, other riders, etc.

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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-12-2007, 12:42 PM
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I can't wait until I have the Dr's ok (right wrist... probably not this season) to get back on two wheels. I had about 7500mi before the Buell got stolen... I'll be taking some time to get used to riding again but I hope to be doing track days next year.

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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-12-2007, 02:16 PM
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Good post Erin. I don't think the track is for everyone either, and things like track riding shouldn't always be pushed on everyone, and the track can get a little expensive, not everyone has a ton of money to throw to it. I think the track talk is pushed on people a little too much sometimes.

This year I have more cash flow, and I worked on getting all my debt paid off this past winter. I got my suit, and I signed up for a couple of days (1 autobahn, and 1 bhf) through femmoto, which is an awesome org for female track riders..

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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-12-2007, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernie View Post
how so?

I think the track is a great place to supplement rider knowlege. You can find answers to how fast your bike can go, how well your brakes work, how far you can lean your bike over for a turn, etc., etc.

It's definitely a better environment to discover these types of tidbits on a closed course under tutelage rather than on a public street.
1. i think she means you`re not gonna be dragging a knee through oil dry on the street.
2. or off roading at 80mph due to a blown curve, without hitting a firehydrant.

ok so i`m mostly kidding bout the second one but not neccessarily untrue

Operating a motorcycle. So easy, even a caveman can do it. Knowing how to ride? Priceless.

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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-12-2007, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gixx View Post
I got my suit, and I signed up for a couple of days (1 autobahn, and 1 bhf) through femmoto, which is an awesome org for female track riders..
Gixx... GREAT POINT! I forgot to mention femmoto for the girls!!!

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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-12-2007, 03:58 PM
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I personally think a track day is good for a newbie, as long as they already know how to shift and brake. A track day should be grounded in what we all say, ride your own ride. A new rider in B doesn't need to look for speed, but for smoothness, and looking through a turn, then work on threshold braking, and so on. But what you learn at a track day in relation to counter steering, holding a line, lean angles, looking through a turn come much faster at a track than street riding. TO me the 2 most important things to learn is looking to where you want to go (look thru a turn), and that there is almost always more lean angle available.

I have seen too many riders on the street ride their front wheel to the point a turn scares then, and then they stand the bike up and run out of road.
I think these 2 areas of knowledge and improvement are paramount in keeping a rider safe.

Just my opinion and observation from almost 40 years of riding.

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post #16 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-12-2007, 04:22 PM
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if your not comfortable on the bike ( nervous or a little jittery ) you`re not ready for the track.

Operating a motorcycle. So easy, even a caveman can do it. Knowing how to ride? Priceless.

Ray
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post #17 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-12-2007, 11:22 PM
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I've been debating about whether or not I'm ready to do a beginners track day yet and after my ride today, I realized that I am extremely comfortable with my bike and riding in general, so I'm going to start looking for the gear so I can get signed up... mainly I need to find a tracksuit that can fit my fat ass... eek! lol. I'm so stoked!

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post #18 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-12-2007, 11:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lunardogracing View Post
if your not comfortable on the bike ( nervous or a little jittery ) you`re not ready for the track.
If you're not comfortable on the bike ( nervous or a little jittery ) you`re not ready for the street. What if that old lady in the big Lincoln pulls out in front of you? What if jackass in the 18 wheeler is trying to run you over?

Track days are not for people who are brand new to riding motorcycles. It should be second nature to use all of your controls without even thinking about it. This is why I always push the "Go get a dirtbike" thing with people. There are way less variables in a field or on a trail than riding the street (especially) and at the track.

Track days kick ass, street riding and touring rules, dirt bikes are always way too much fun, and racing is awesome. What ever floats your boat. Do what you are comfortable with. Motorcycles kick ass.

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post #19 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-12-2007, 11:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLARNEY View Post
Would agree the track is a great place to learn.
Not if you're TOO new to riding.

You will get nothing from a track day if you're new to riding. I did my first track day after riding a Harley for a few months and not really knowing what I was doing, and I gained little to nothing from the experience because I didn't know how to ride a motorcycle worth shit.

I did, however, end up thinking I was ready to hit twisties faster than I could and ended up almost killing myself at triple digits and nearly totaling my brand new bike.

When you're too new, track days may give you a false sense of security on the street.

Fact time: If you're dragging your knee on the street, you are a fucking idiot (I don't care who you are) and you are going to be shitting in a bag and eating from a tube sooner or later. It's true.

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post #20 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-13-2007, 03:02 AM
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WOW, GREAT THREAD!!!!

I have seen some misconceptions, not complete info, some good info, some bad info, and a little what ifs. Once again everyoneís point of view, but it lacks history and guidance as a time of when is it time for this or that. from new rider, to track days, the need if any to do a track day, street riding and urban hazards, the mentality and control thatís needed to ride a bike period, to be street wise, to track days, to racing etc.

I could WRITE A BOOK!

I got some time to write a little about this but I will try to make pretty understandable and how things should be done in my personal OPINION!
These are my personal thoughts and suggestions

My credentials:

Been on motorized bikes since the age of 7, and I am 36 now. Off and on riding for years, a solid 10 years of riding now. "I lost track of miles at least over 150k in my small life time so far, around 4 years of doing track days anywhere from 2-6 track days in each of the seasoned months and sometimes more. I have tried stunting, I have drove recklessly, I have railed on the streets trying to drag a knee, I have drug my knees on the streets, I have crashed a few time "thank god I never seriously hurt myself or got killed" I have drank to many beers and road, I have seen many people crash, I have seen people get parallelized, I have seen people get servers body injury's and brain injury's, with and with out gear, I have road with and without proper gear myself. thought my time I HAVE DONE A LOT of good and bad and seen lessons 1st hand and I have learned lessons from others 1st hand, I have grown up allot in my maturity, and I still am not perfect in all my choices. But the older I get the more I see the more I TRY to help others AVOID THE PIT FALLS!

I have help maybe around 200 people be BETTER RIDERS and BETTER THINKERS; I hope I can help many more before I leave this earth.

Letís begin

THE 1ST TIME:

I don't care how old you are, what sex or color of your skin is, or religion you are, maturity is a factor!! Being respectful and fearful will keep you alive; listen to your gut feelings!! If you can ride a bicycle you can LEARN how to OPERATE and CONTROL a motorcycle.

Learning to ride a motorcycle must come from within! There must be a want or passion to ride being forced will not be a good outcome, you must FEEL THE NEED!

There are tips and advice coming from everywhere now a day the simple and most affective way to learn how to RIDE and CONTROL a motorcycle is to get a small displacement motorcycle that is also light in weight.

Youíre learning to rewire your brain and also over come fear to control it more then anything. Learning to ride can be a scary experience at 1st and like all things once we master it becomes 2nd nature.

We must have the PROPER influence/guidance/information/facts that you need to get you started off right! I suggest you find a person with the most miles and maturity that you can latch yourself onto and ask TONS of questions and tips and suggestions from them. If you have a problem finding someone like that, then I suggest take the STATE MSF course to get you started off in the right direction in learning the BASICS!!!!! Then they have an ADVANCED course. NOW that you have some GREAT fundamental learningís and have mastered all the essential skills to ride on the street on IN NORMAL CAPACITY with brain thinking power, and skills to control your bike in normal driving and emergency maneuvers, hazards of the roads, traffic issues, night time driving, adverse climate weather driving, learning when to be a defensive driver and sometimes a offensive driver to escape situations, YOU ARE ON YOUR WAY to a long life of enjoying motorcycles in a NORMAL CAPACITY riding lifestyle!!

"what do I mean by normal capacity?" same as I mean as if is you were driving a car, your not racing, drag racing,drifting,stunting,etc, etc, etc. basically your operating within the laws of your state and your not driving RECKLESSLY!!!! your trying to be safe for yourself and those around you to minimize and injury to yourself or those around you.



if what you have learned so far isn't enough for you and you have a drive to learn more, become more proficient and expand your skills and control of a motorcycle then I suggest TRACK DAYS which is the next step in bringing out the capability's of your motorcycle and more capabilities of you as the rider. It will require more stamina, a greater attention to over coming fear again, and it will encompass pushing your bike and YOURSELF harder then you ever have before. all the above will test YOU AS A RIDER AND A PERSON to show YOURSELF just how much more YOU and your MOTORCYCLE can go. Which almost all times is nothing more but the limits that you can handle with your brain, and the limits of traction and at times controlling beyond no traction. "Drifting a motorcycle".



2 THE NEXT BIG STEP

Just like the 1st time when learning how to ride a bike, the fear in your gut the funny feeling in your head when youíre scared and your telling yourself to slow down, LISTEN TO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There is many track day providers out there now a day, I feel one of the best personaly is www.nesba.com great bunch of members and a great bunch of teachers as control rider/coaches.

although I can tell my story's as I myself went from a Mr. show off on the streets when I wanted to, to driving like an idiot! With and without my friends, and times when I just get on my bike alone and just CRUISE the speed limit and enjoy the fresh air and the ability to go anywhere I want.

getting on the race track with a track day organization starting off as a intro person, to a beginner, to intermediate skill level to an advanced rider for few years till currently taking a break to give my hand a try with dirt bikes to learn how to control not having traction and still being in control of a 2 wheel motorcycle. "Ill let you know how it goes next year"

listen to YOURSELF, and learn and ask and be thought as much as you can from these control riders, some are racers, some have spent years like myself with my background. Some have spent thousands of miles on the track, and spent thousands of dollars from race schools to better there abilities to pass on to YOU. But YOU must WANT it; YOU must feel the need for IT. Only YOU will know when the time is right and how far you want to push yourself to be BETTER!


3. BUT WHEN IS THAT TIME????

I PERSONALLY feel that time is when you can control your bike in a normal subconsciousís manner in which you can operate your motorcycle in a normal commute type atmosphere. You know how to smoothly slow yourself down with engine and front and rear breaking and knowing the limits of breaking threshold ENOUGH to not lock up the tires under normal breaking usage. How to use your clutch smoothly along with throttle control under slow speeds and fast speeds. How to properly use body weight and counter steering to maneuver your bike around to where you want it to go. to when you know to look far as you can with your eyes to allow your brain to scan the road before you, the entry to a turn to make sure its clear of debris that might inhibit traction and to keep looking through the turn. We all know by now WE GO WERE WE LOOK! WE MUST LOOK AS FAR AHEAD AS WE CAN TO GIVE OUR SELFS TIME AND DISTANCE TO OVER COME FEAR BY ALLOWING OUR BRAINS MORE TIME TO THINK AND MAKE CHOICES AND THIS TRANSLATES IN HELPING US BE A SMOOTHER RIDER AS WE MOVE OUR BODY AROUND, SLOWING DOWN TO A ENTRY SPEED WE CAN HANDLE, TO USE BODY WEIGHT AND COUNTERSTEERING TO TURN IN AND ALL THE WHILE LOOKING WITH OUR EYES INTO AND THROUGH AND BEYOND THE TURN, WHILE USING YOUR LANE OR "LINE" TO GET THROUGH THE TURN WITH MINIMAL LEAN ANGLE ON THE BIKE, AND WHEN TO ROLL ON THE GAS AS WE HIT THE APEX CAUSE WE MUST HAVE THAT PULL TO KEEP US MOVING OR WE WILL SLOW DOWN AND ALTER OUR "LINE" AND OR FALL OVER?.

Allot of stuff huh? WELL NOT TO YOU, not anymore RIGHT???

Well guess what if you can or CANíT do all of the above as JUST THE BASICS then you need to spend more time getting educated and learning from others.
should if you desire to go do a track day and experience it,IT BRINGS all the above a little closer all together at FASTER rate of time. but you must be able to be smooth with all your controls and know where they are at instinctively.
you can not try to go from walking your bike at 10mpr around a turn on the streets and think your going to do it also on the race track even in a beginner type settings. BEGINNER on a track day on a race track, you SHOULD have the experience and the knowledge and the skill to tackle them smoothly at normal urban speed limits type of speeds. from there you will learn how to do everything else on a faster more proficient learning with your abilities and your bike as they come. you'll will not go from city street speed limited to full on AMA race skills and speed. you must WORK at them and they will come in time WHEN YOU ARE READY.

If YOU put out the effort and have the desire, you will become a BETTER rider with MORE skills then you need for the average normal type of STREET riding you will do. BUT with enough track time and coaching you will have more experience at a higher progressive rate of speed maneuvers/lean angle/breaking/throttle control/BRAIN CONTROL that all these skills will allow you to RELAX and react more confidently in an emergency situation then you ever had before on the STREETS and also on the track!


So you have quickly heard my thoughts mildly on the topic of starting off as a newbie, and how it you can get better along the way.

and if after all this you get hooked on "the need for speed on the track" well thatís for another question that someone might ask that if I have the time, ill love to answer my personal thoughts on the matter.

Be safe, ride within your limits and the limits that surround you ON the STREETS or on the TRACK!

Be safe and have fun


p.s. if my grammar or spelling is off, kiss my ass!



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post #21 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-13-2007, 06:29 AM
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p.s. if my grammar or spelling is off, kiss my ass!

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post #22 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-13-2007, 07:21 AM
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great thread Erin

Lots of good information given by everyone.

Sometimes goodbye is your second chance.
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post #23 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-13-2007, 09:33 AM
 
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Draggin knee is for the track, going fast is for the street!

Testing the boundaries of traction and lean angle should be reserved for a stretch of curvy pavement that has no debris or other obstructions. The confidence needed is enhanced by knowing what is ahead. Short of riding the same stretch of road over and over, the track is a great place for this, but even though I can drag a knee, does not mean I will ever drag a knee on the street regardless of how weel I know a stretch of road. Nor will I test my full braking power on the streets due to the uncertainty of the patch of road that will be under my tires at the time. etc.

As far as going fast on my bike? I would much rather find out the top speed on my bike on a smooth, desolate road in the middle of the desert that is straight for a few miles, than try to go fast on a "straight" only to have to slam on the brakes for a turn!

For me, track riding and street riding are two totally different things, and I would encourage anyone to ride wherever they enjoy riding, whether its on the street or on the track! and no matter what, to have fun!
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post #24 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-13-2007, 10:45 AM
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Good points Busa and Brian...

Hey Erin, we were at Starbucks in South Beach on Thursday, where the fu#$ were you?




"I am Jack's smirking revenge.."
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post #25 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-13-2007, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian View Post
Draggin knee is for the track, going fast is for the street!

Testing the boundaries of traction and lean angle should be reserved for a stretch of curvy pavement that has no debris or other obstructions. The confidence needed is enhanced by knowing what is ahead. Short of riding the same stretch of road over and over, the track is a great place for this, but even though I can drag a knee, does not mean I will ever drag a knee on the street regardless of how weel I know a stretch of road. Nor will I test my full braking power on the streets due to the uncertainty of the patch of road that will be under my tires at the time. etc.

As far as going fast on my bike? I would much rather find out the top speed on my bike on a smooth, desolate road in the middle of the desert that is straight for a few miles, than try to go fast on a "straight" only to have to slam on the brakes for a turn!

For me, track riding and street riding are two totally different things, and I would encourage anyone to ride wherever they enjoy riding, whether its on the street or on the track! and no matter what, to have fun!
this is the type of personal advise is bad advise when it comes to the majority of newbies, is my personal feeling.

going FAST does not belong on the streets, unless its the posted speed limits FAST, anything higher go to the desert or the track. "for our location the track is a lot closer" and has emergency medics on scene unlike the desert



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post #26 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-13-2007, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Grasshopper View Post
If you're not comfortable on the bike ( nervous or a little jittery ) you`re not ready for the street. What if that old lady in the big Lincoln pulls out in front of you? What if jackass in the 18 wheeler is trying to run you over?

Track days are not for people who are brand new to riding motorcycles. It should be second nature to use all of your controls without even thinking about it. This is why I always push the "Go get a dirtbike" thing with people. There are way less variables in a field or on a trail than riding the street (especially) and at the track.

Track days kick ass, street riding and touring rules, dirt bikes are always way too much fun, and racing is awesome. What ever floats your boat. Do what you are comfortable with. Motorcycles kick ass.
i couldn`t agree with you more. and i used to say the same thing all the time.

Operating a motorcycle. So easy, even a caveman can do it. Knowing how to ride? Priceless.

Ray
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post #27 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-13-2007, 04:58 PM
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Personal motivation and desire is a requirement for track days. As is a healthy dose of self confidence combined with the ability to keep oneself in check. Because if you can't do that, you have no business putting yourself and others at risk on the street OR at the track.

Since Erin asked so nicely, I'm happy to share my personal experience and initial motivation for getting out and riding on the track. Mind you, I currently ride track AND street and find great enjoyment in both. I do believe that track riding has made me a better street rider and increased my awareness of what the bike and I are capable of. I also love ripping around the neighborhood popping garbage wheelies on my fiddy . But I digress...

I had been riding on the street for about 2 1/2 years and was feeling reasonably confident in my basic abilities. Mind you, I learned to drive a manual transmission and ride a motorcycle about 6 months apart, at the age of 25. I was terrible at both to start, with no intuition about riding or driving. Thank goodness I have a husband with a lot of patience who doesn't tolerate any shenanigans that might get me killed. That meant I got yelled at a lot, but I gutted it out and kept going. I really had to put aside the "I just want to look cool, and isn't it cool when girls ride motorcycles" thing and concentrate on learning the right way.

That learning experience helped me immensely at the track. I got really good at swallowing my pride and being a good listener. I also learned to trust the experience of others, especially those who were taking the time to teach me. I learned that I had to get over some of my nerves in advance, otherwise they had the power to take over my ability to think clearly. And since riding intuition isn't one of my talents, I had to be able to think...

So I started by attending a couple of track days with my husband Nolan, only as pit support, cheerleader, and careful observer. I paid attention to how the day was run so I wouldn't have so many unknowns to think about when I was actually riding.

Then I signed up for my first track day, learned how to track prep my bike (with LOTS of assistance), and then waited for that day to come. When it finally did I was nauseous, jittery, and terrified. Because of this, my first session was horrible and I just couldn't understand how anyone in their right mind thought it could possibly be fun. It took everything I had to get back out the second session, which was only marginally better than the first.

Then I met Peter Drott, my first NESBA CR. He spent the better part of the day showing me the lines of the track, giving me very specific things to work on, and helping me be more at ease. After lunch, I was actually having some fun. I think I was the slowest bike out there, but everyone was incredibly patient with me. As long as I concentrated on building my own very limited skill set and tried to forget about how I looked to others, I did just fine. It also helped to go home and talk things over with Nolan, reflect on the day, and prepare for the next one.

Jump forward two years and many of the themes are the same. When I lose sight of building my own skills and start focusing on how I look to others, I take steps backwards. I've been fortunate to have people around me that tell me what they think and want me to be safe. Sometimes I have to check my own ego, other times it gets checked for me. I've also had experience with crashing at the track (sucks, does bad things to bike and confidence), being bumped up AND down, taught and learned from others, and been embraced by an awesome community of people.

Final thought: Ride/live within your own limits, be courteous to others, push your own comfort zone, and HAVE FUN!!

CCS #912
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post #28 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-13-2007, 07:55 PM
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Kim you are one of the smootest riders I've seen I'm glad your back in my group I always told new riders to do what you do ,don't let the silly crash demon get you down there is only two kinds of riders those who have and those who will.See you guy's at the track.

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post #29 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-13-2007, 09:02 PM
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glad you spoke up kim, what you said and happened to you are text book issues with any level of a rider. the desire and track brought out the desire to become better and safer.

and thats why i promote it and work to get people to go there when they have that desire.



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post #30 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-05-2008, 02:34 PM
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Just ride in the middle of the track and stay to the inside in the corners and you'll have a geat time!
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