first track of year at ACC - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-29-2007, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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first track of year at ACC

So I got on the track for the first time on the new track bike. I wanted to do something close to home in case I had a problem with the new bike so I signed up for a day with the "other" track day org. The riders meeting ended and they announced "track goes green in 4 minutes". I hurried into leathers and raced for the track. They told us there was wet spots everywhere and mud in turn 6. I crashed in turn 6. ON MY FIRST LAP. I've pulled into my garage at higher speeds. As I learned the track I realized it was more of a late apex that would have put me outside the swamp they referred to as "turn 6". Track conditions were horrible. The track never dried. The whole day was a crashfest. They had so many bikes down they didn't even stop the sessions. Just left the bikes and chased the riders away from the track.

It took me and 2 others to pull my bike out of the mud. The slop was so deep I had mud IN my race boots. I had to make the "parade of shame" sitting on my bike in the back of the crash truck. I got all the medical releases filled out (I was fine, I wish all crashes were that smooth. Only ass and gloves touched pavement and I actually watched my bike sliding before me) and loaded my bike on the trailer and headed for home. I called my wife and told her not to come out to spectate since I was done. She asked me "well, can't you fix it in time to get back out there". That's my girl. She's a keeper.

So now the real race was on. I pulled up in front of my house and started hosing the mud off. I had a broken fairing stay, broken frame slider, broken brake lever, and bent up rearset, and about 30 pounds of mud. I welded up the fairing stay after pulling it off, took a windshield, frame slider, front brake lever, right side rearset off my streetbike and fixed it up. The biggest problem was the fairing bolts had the tops ground down and an allen key no longer worked. The quickest solution was a grinder. So the bike was washed and back together and I got back to the track for the last 4 sessions of the day.

I felt bad about causing a red flag until I went through turn 6 again. The outside of that corner had about a dozen lines of mud tracked on it. The announcer said that anyone trying to pass in turn 6 would be EJECTED. Every session I did had bikes down. They were just littering the track. No matter how many times you say safety first or wave yellow flags (which can actually be distracting) bikes should never be circulating at race pace with 450 pounds of plastic and aluminum 1 foot off the track surface. OK end rant

My last 4 sessions went OK. I had 1 pucker moment when I was off line following a pass. Anything other than the race line had water seeping through the track. I've heard of riders saving it with their knee but had never experienced it. I was kneedown when I hit a wet spot and lost the front. My knee sort of jammed into the track and stood the bike back up. I never lifted off the throttle and even though I didn't do it on purpose I now know how it works.

Well, to make a short story long, I had no further problems. I managed to sort out what I need to do to the bike, get the cobwebs blown off, and had fun. On the downside I need to order a couple hundred dollars worth of replacement parts and not eat for a couple months. Not only will that save money for parts but I'll be able to zip my leathers without sucking in my gut.

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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-29-2007, 12:59 PM
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doesn't sound like fun at all

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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-29-2007, 01:54 PM
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I was out there yesterday with some of the track coaches. Many riders ignored the warnings about turn 6, so much so that announcements had to be made warning of ejections (as mentioned above) to those that passed in 6. With the nearly 3" of rain last week, the low spots were wet as I understand it. Other than 6, I heard nothing but good things yesterday...absolutely perfect weather, but a little windy.

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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-29-2007, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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I was out there yesterday with some of the track coaches. the low spots were wet
Are you a track coach? I'm not ripping on the TD org. I mean if they stopped the session every time a rider went down we all might as well go home. I don't know if the prob was track prep, runoff from the rain, rider error or what but I have never seen that many riders down at a track day. I passed at least 8 bikes laying in the grass that I can remember (including mine) and I didn't get there until after lunch. I'll agree that "low spots" were wet, I mean on average that would be half the track.

And as far as being fun, it was. My most memorable motorcycle experiences always seem to involve some type of adverse conditions.

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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-29-2007, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by bluebusa60544 View Post
Are you a track coach? I'm not ripping on the TD org. I mean if they stopped the session every time a rider went down we all might as well go home. I don't know if the prob was track prep, runoff from the rain, rider error or what but I have never seen that many riders down at a track day. I passed at least 8 bikes laying in the grass that I can remember (including mine) and I didn't get there until after lunch. I'll agree that "low spots" were wet, I mean on average that would be half the track.

And as far as being fun, it was. My most memorable motorcycle experiences always seem to involve some type of adverse conditions.
No I'm not a coach...You're right though, lot of crashes yesterday. I guess a combination of an early calender track day and bad rains prior in the week left some on their bottom...glad to hear you came out just fine

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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-29-2007, 08:42 PM
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my god thats TOTALLY fucked up, your poor bike, and the track management for allowing the track to be that way, and how they handled it.

truly a bad day for you



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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-29-2007, 08:54 PM
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the stressed caution in turn six big time during the riders meeting today. they said that there were 11 crashes in that turn yesterday, all in INT.

the track was a little damp this morning, but dried up before lunch. 6 was definitely dirty, but as long as you late apexed, you could stay out of the mess on the outside of the corner.
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-30-2007, 07:50 AM
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Regaudless of what org was there, Autobahn first and foremost should be in charge of making sure their track that they are renting out is subtable for riding. I understand moisture is a fact of nature, but there should not be dirt on the track. Theres equipment they should own to clean this up.




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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-30-2007, 09:03 AM
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Well said, Tony. After the previous 3 days of consistent rain, the Autobahn North track definitely had some drainage issues and wasn't in an ideal condition, and we all know how poorly Autobahn drains in general. Turn 3, 5, & 6 had a damp patch and most of times an accompanying patch of mud throughout the whole weekend despite the great weather we had, so it made for some readjustment in typical lines around those corners.

The exit of 6 was messy, because the way the track drains causes a river to flow across that area leaving a heap of dirt residue after the water dries up... not much an TD org. can do about that except warn the riders sternly that it's a mess out there and to be cautious. I guess Autobahn doesn't have the appropriate equipment to clean the track of those conditions, but it would make sense for them to invest in something like that.

Despite those aforementioned flaws, the weekend was perfect and my new R6 was amazing! This was the first day I even put a leg over the bike (yes yes, I like to break my bikes in at the track. nothing like revving a new bike to 16.5k RPM's to break in the motor!), and I have never been on a bike that handled so well. Of course I was concerned about the prospect of losing 40+ HP's coming from a 2004 R1, but with this R6 I can get on the throttle earlier coming out of corners and by the time I would normally be opening up the throttle on my R1 I'm already at the meat of the powerband on my R6 (which is pretty high at 12k) that I have no problems keeping up with liter bikes let alone passing them by the middle of the straightaway. Granted this was on a relatively small technical track with short straights, but the bike's power impressed me so much that I don't miss the R1 at all after this weekend. Of course I'm sure I will miss all the those extra horses at Road America later this year. In almost every way the R6 is a better bike for me-- easier to carry more corner speed and the ability to be more aggressive on the throttle without immediate fears of an impending highside. The only thing I miss is the "bling" factor of rolling a R1 as a track bike, but that was quickly dispelled when I late braked most of the liter bikes on the track this weekend. It's good to be back on a 600!
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-30-2007, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
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Theres equipment they should own to clean this up.
Like the truckload of guys with brooms and blowers I saw in use on the "members" south track. ACC cleaned the track early in the morning and then disappeared for the rest of the day. I don't know if they could have fixed it. It was like riding in the rain, you can handle it once you know what to expect but I was surprised my first time out.

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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-30-2007, 01:12 PM
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Like the truckload of guys with brooms and blowers I saw in use on the "members" south track. ACC cleaned the track early in the morning and then disappeared for the rest of the day. I don't know if they could have fixed it. It was like riding in the rain, you can handle it once you know what to expect but I was surprised my first time out.
The first 2 laps if not 3 on a new bike, on a new track that you have never been around should be strictly sighting laps. The first 2 laps should be striclty for warming up your tires and assessing the race track in your own head. Sorry for your misfortune this weekend but I don't feel sorry for you. Yes the track was a bit damp and a bit dirty but all provisions and warnings were covered and made during the riders meeting that involved track and rider safety.

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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-30-2007, 01:19 PM
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Perhaps some cones around the muddy areas would have helped to keep the riders from riding there. I dunno... just a thought.

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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-30-2007, 01:20 PM
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my god thats TOTALLY fucked up, your poor bike, and the track management for allowing the track to be that way, and how they handled it.

truly a bad day for you
Ken, you weren't there. There were a lot of "BIG BALLS" people out there who IGNORED the rider meeting warnings. The track was mostly dry except for some spots and you know as well as I do that there are scores of people who have too high of a risk tolerance when they get on their motorcycles. All the crashes were in Intermediate -- the "I need to prove something" class. None in Beginner. None in Advanced.

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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-30-2007, 01:23 PM
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Perhaps some cones around the muddy areas would have helped to keep the riders from riding there. I dunno... just a thought.
Perhaps...

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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-30-2007, 01:27 PM
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Perhaps some cones around the muddy areas would have helped to keep the riders from riding there. I dunno... just a thought.
There WERE cones out there (I guess Grasshopper didn't notice them ). Some people have no fear I guess.

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post #16 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-30-2007, 01:27 PM
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post #17 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-30-2007, 01:33 PM
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There WERE cones out there (I guess Grasshopper didn't notice them ). Some people have no fear I guess.
Why in the hell would I be looking on the outside of the corner? I'm already looking down the back straight by the time I'm apexing the corner. What mudd? What moisture? What out side of the corner?

I was actually getting my back tire in a little of that mudd and getting a little slide going a couple laps.

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post #18 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-30-2007, 01:36 PM
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Perhaps some cones around the muddy areas would have helped to keep the riders from riding there. I dunno... just a thought.
To clarify, there were cones out there in the grass to represent the apexes but NOT to steer riders clear of the mud.

Also, the mud in the corners never caused anyone to crash unless you count all the dried mud/dirt in the exit of turn 6. If we applied the suggestion above, we would have had to put cones across the whole track which would have added a new dimension to the track experience. It could have made things interesting, but dodging cones may not make for the best lap times.
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post #19 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-30-2007, 01:39 PM
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We should have blocked off that turn 6 part of the track and ran through the grass supermoto style. You know, have a dirt/mud section, then come out on the pavement with wet muddy tires and be able to get a full on steering lock slide going. Flattrack, supermoto style baby. Oh yea.

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post #20 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-30-2007, 01:41 PM
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We should have blocked off that turn 6 part of the track and ran through the grass supermoto style. You know, have a dirt/mud section, then come out on the pavement with wet muddy tires and be able to get a full on steering lock slide going. Flattrack, supermoto style baby. Oh yea.
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post #21 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-30-2007, 01:45 PM
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An example would be when we were at Grattan a couple of weks ago, they actually put a cone ON the track over a chunk missing from the pavement. Although it was right in the "Normal" line, it helped people avoid a nasty accident there. I'll see if I can find a shot of it.

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post #22 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-30-2007, 01:59 PM
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I rode on Sunday and was actually in Grasshopper's group for the first couple sessions. They discussed the track issues during the rider meeting and it was easy to avoid. One guy in my group did go off in turn 6 but he saved it.
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post #23 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-30-2007, 02:35 PM
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Wink- That's a good suggestion for any treacherous condition on track. Those sections probably never dried up though b/c hardly anyone was brave enough to ride through them (unfortunately I did try in turn 3 and learned that the mud has a very low coefficient of friction).
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post #24 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-30-2007, 02:38 PM
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mud has a very low coefficient of friction).
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post #25 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-30-2007, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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The first 2 laps if not 3 on a new bike, on a new track that you have never been around should be strictly sighting laps. The first 2 laps should be striclty for warming up your tires and assessing the race track in your own head. Sorry for your misfortune this weekend but I don't feel sorry for you. Yes the track was a bit damp and a bit dirty but all provisions and warnings were covered and made during the riders meeting that involved track and rider safety.
I agree. I WAS on a sighting lap. Like I said I pull into the garage faster than that. I had never turned a corner on that bike or the brand new tires. I was amazed that I fell. I had no problem the rest of the day, just was in the worst possible place at the worst time. I didn't intend this to turn into any fingerpointing unless it was pointing at me. Nobody pushed me out there and forced me to ride. I heard all the warnings in the rider's meeting but didn't realize how slick the inside of turn 6 could be. I'm not upset that I fell, I did something stupid and didn't get away with it. I already broke out the Krylon and duct tape and got ready for my next track day.

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post #26 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-30-2007, 07:33 PM
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Ken, you weren't there. There were a lot of "BIG BALLS" people out there who IGNORED the rider meeting warnings. The track was mostly dry except for some spots and you know as well as I do that there are scores of people who have too high of a risk tolerance when they get on their motorcycles. All the crashes were in Intermediate -- the "I need to prove something" class. None in Beginner. None in Advanced.

I sat out on Saturday for that reason.
ah the ol'big nuts syndrome, i know it well.



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post #27 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-30-2007, 07:35 PM
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I agree. I WAS on a sighting lap. Like I said I pull into the garage faster than that. I had never turned a corner on that bike or the brand new tires. I was amazed that I fell. I had no problem the rest of the day, just was in the worst possible place at the worst time. I didn't intend this to turn into any fingerpointing unless it was pointing at me. Nobody pushed me out there and forced me to ride. I heard all the warnings in the rider's meeting but didn't realize how slick the inside of turn 6 could be. I'm not upset that I fell, I did something stupid and didn't get away with it. I already broke out the Krylon and duct tape and got ready for my next track day.
on brand new tires, with wet track,with mud puddles in a corner they warned you about?


ok you need to start sitting out a few sessions when those things are brought up.

like nick said and you did. you kinda got what you expected could happen to you when you went out there on the track.

thankfully its just broken parts not bones.



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post #28 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-01-2007, 12:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Grasshopper View Post
The first 2 laps if not 3 on a new bike, on a new track that you have never been around should be strictly sighting laps. The first 2 laps should be striclty for warming up your tires and assessing the race track in your own head. Sorry for your misfortune this weekend but I don't feel sorry for you. Yes the track was a bit damp and a bit dirty but all provisions and warnings were covered and made during the riders meeting that involved track and rider safety.
+1

They warned us about those conditions before anyone got on the track. This was the first time for me on my R6 and I felt a little out of it on the first session. The first two sessions gave me the opportunity to feel out the bike and also gave me the chance to check out some of the spots they warned us about. I'm no expert but even if someone doesn't tell me, I still know that it is my responsibility to make the necessary changes that I need to for the track conditions. If people would've made little changes to their "lines" or riding style for the track conditions, things might've come out a little different. The mud/dirt coming out of turn 6 was not even a problem. I never went over it or saw anybody go over it. For someone to go into that mud/dirt, they must've been coming into turn 6 a little too early and that is the way it would shoot you straight out into that area. Cones can help but they weren't necessary for that area. There were little areas with mud/dirt in some of the corners but you could easily go around those spots without it affecting you. In the second to last session, I went into turn 2 with too much speed and the rider in front of me slowed down more than I expected and I shot off into the grass and over the rumble strips but saved it without a need for a yellow flag to be waved. The track conditions didn't make me do that, just a big mistake on my part. The autobahn and the TD org. did a great job and I learned a lot.

Bluebusa, glad you came out ok man. $hit happens sometimes bro.

-Jaime

RIP Ashwin 788
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post #29 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-01-2007, 08:19 AM
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the TD org? What does TD mean?

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-Malcolm Smith, champion motorcycle racer

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Midwest Division
www.sportbiketracktime.com
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post #30 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-01-2007, 08:28 AM
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the TD org? What does TD mean?
TouchDown, duh!

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