Post track day questions - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-08-2005, 08:46 PM Thread Starter
 
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Post track day questions

Ok, I've done a number of track days. All prior to this one were on the TL. I never really took it to the point where I was trying to improve much. I was comfy where I was at. My brief history is over the past 4 years I've been doing about 2 track days per year. More and more I'm leaning towards picking up a track bike and riding at least 5-6 weekends per season. So to go over some things I did today at Autobahn (south). First off I didn't get my suit in time so I was riding in the Novice section. Other than the leather jacket flapping too much it was ok. Now it seemed no matter where I place my foot on the peg that I kept scraping the side of my shoe. It just doesn't seem to fit in all the way. I had the my toes right on the peg so it was as far back as I could go. In the beginning I was riding as though I had pucks on and skipped my knee across the ground for a split second...while that put me back in my place, I noticed that when I come in with my knee out, I can place my foot in a better position...more of a toe down position. That seem right? Really all day I think my feet are what slowed me down the most...I felt very comfy leaning more than I did, however kept thinking of my shoes sliding and that slowed me a bit I'm sure. Another thing I know I need to work on is sliding off the bike. I'm not bad to the right, but to the left I'm more ancy...just need more practice and balls on that I guess.

Also, in order to become a better rider, should I worry about shifting? There's several parts where I of course shift up to 3rd, like after 10 and on the front straight, but find that while I could upshift after some of the curves I just take it to redline instead because I'd upshift and then downshift a second or two later. Should I focus on those tiny shifts later on? 2nd felt pretty good all the way around except the 2 straights where I'd go up.

Other than that it was pretty nice. First track where I timed myself. Bummer that I only dug up a stopwatch on teh 7th round when I was more tired. My best lap then was 2:01, but I'm pretty sure I was at maybe 1:58 or 1:59 earlier in the day because I know I was slower due to fatigue. Any other tips or tricks?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-08-2005, 09:07 PM
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Think no suit was prolly hurting you more than you think. When you got your knee down its easier to keep your feet from hitting the ground.

I have noticed if i just tried to lean it over without putting my knee out, my toes would hit. and i would have to come back up a little. if your legs are in a good position, so are your feet are.

as for the shifts, if you could stay in the gear do it.. no use wasting time to up shift to throw it right back down a gear. but if you need to shift do it.. don't ride on the redline for a long period.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-09-2005, 08:40 AM
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I was having that problem on my 750 as well early on. Main reason was shitty body positioning. If I wasn't moving my ass off the seat enough, I was tipping the bike over farther. Felt like a superhero doing it...but didn't go very fast. Once I started to improve my positioning...my feet were never an issue again (even with stocker rearsets).

Other contributing factors: Suspension setup might be hurting you. Squatting too much in the turns can put hard parts down faster.

Solution? Work on your positioning. Have your suspension checked out...and most importantly - wrap yourself up in a cow!

As for shifting, I personally don't sweat it. As long as I'm hovering around the powerband, my 750 can lug me through to where I want to go. I shift twice at BHF, and thrice at Putnam. Until I'm a fast guy, I just don't see the need to overcomplicate my life. I'll concentrate on form and lines long before I worry about gearing.

Haven't run A-bahn yet, but 2nd sounds a little short for any track. I'm guessing you'd have more luck in 3rd most of the time.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-09-2005, 09:13 AM
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Do yo have any pics you can post of your riding position? Have you ever seen yourself in a pic or video? You'd be surprised how in what you think you are doing vs what you are actually dooing. Im guessing you have poor body position. Like others said above...if your butt and legs are in the right position, boots should very rarely scrape before a peg.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-09-2005, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
 
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Well the only good pics I've got are from last year and years past, but there I never cared much and was on a different bike. There was a photographer there so I'm hoping there will be some pics posted up somewhere. I had mikdivad follow me for a couple laps and told me that I was making an ok effort and moving a bit, just that I needed to move even more. The hard part was then keeping the knee in when I kept wanting to stick it out. But body position would make sense.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-09-2005, 10:46 AM
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+1 on body position. Every time I think I got it right, I pick up on a small detail that just makes just a world of difference. This is a first year I am doinf track days, so I got a chance to pick up on quite a few details:

1) Relaxing the outside elbow, just letting it lay on the gastank
2) Putting the heal of the outside foot on the peg (instead of the tow) and letting it kind of point up made an incredible different in letting that whole part of the body relax.
3) Aiming the chin for the top of your wrist makes the whole upper body just snap into place..

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-09-2005, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
3) Aiming the chin for the top of your wrist makes the whole upper body just snap into place..
I never heard that one!

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-09-2005, 11:13 AM
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Body position first then worry about shifting.

The shifting thing. If you have the option to shift or hit redline I'd shift. You'll defenatly go faster.

Case in point. At BH on the back straight. I can either leave it in 3rd and bounce of redline for half a second, and have an easy time braking for T6 or I can shift to 4th and have a crap my pants breaking experiance into T6.

It's ultimatly your choice. I'd work on the body postion first and get comfortable with that before picking up speed.

I'm not short. I'm aerodynamically efficient.

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