How to get back on the horse? - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-16-2008, 11:15 PM Thread Starter
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How to get back on the horse?

Can y'all give me some advice on how to get back on the horse.

I started going to NESBA trackdays in July of 2006 and have been hooked since. I got bumped to 'I' in September 2007 at Putnam. My confidence was high that weekend...a bit too high...I lowsided in turn 7 on the first lap of the last session of the weekend. I wasn't really phased by the lowside and decided to go out one more weekend to Gingerman last September.

That weekend I lowsided once each day...once in turn 2 (too much lean angle, not enough heat in the tires), then once riding the track backwards (too much throttle at lean into the front straight). After the first crash my confidence was low, my lines were way off, the tar strips at Gingerman played bad games with my head, and I was just plain nervous and tentative while riding. I just started feeling comfortable again when I crashed on the second day.

I used to get a rush when watching trackday videos...but I'm getting a little anxiety watching them now. With the track season just around the corner, I find myself feeling apprehensive about pushing myself on the track. What tips do you have on getting my head back into it? Do I ask to get pushed back to 'B' and work on the fundamentals, or should I start the season in 'I' and work on my fundamentals at a faster pace? It sucks working so hard to get the bump to 'I', then losing my confidence soon after getting the bump. Any tips are much appreciated.

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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-16-2008, 11:23 PM
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I think we met. I was selling the Daytona 955i and you took it for a spin. If this is you, you have to post up pic of your S4. That thing is sick. Sorry for the thread jack. Here is the thread to the pic Trident took. https://www.chicagolandsportbikes.com...ad.php?t=60052

I had a street lowside and never got the confidence I had before back. I will be very interested to see the suggestions.

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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-16-2008, 11:38 PM
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Umm crash more often. It gets easier with practice. (funny, but some truth in it) More realistically if your confidence is really shot, then it is time to back up and work on basics. There are some riding related books out there that cover focus and the mental issues and many more sports psychology books to choose from. Good ole Keith Code may be a loon and some of the riding techniques have become dated, but he does a pretty good job on thought processes. I really, really like his soft science book. So, study and practice. Understand how and why your confidence is out to lunch and take proactive steps to gain it back.
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-17-2008, 06:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5AXIS View Post
Umm crash more often. It gets easier with practice. (funny, but some truth in it) More realistically if your confidence is really shot, then it is time to back up and work on basics. There are some riding related books out there that cover focus and the mental issues and many more sports psychology books to choose from. Good ole Keith Code may be a loon and some of the riding techniques have become dated, but he does a pretty good job on thought processes. I really, really like his soft science book. So, study and practice. Understand how and why your confidence is out to lunch and take proactive steps to gain it back.


5AXIS is totally correct on crashing more often. The first few times I fell, it knocked my confidence quite a bit. After a few, it almost becomes no big deal.

Think about your crashes and understand why they happened. Once you figure out what is causing you to fall, you can take steps to keep it from happening again. With that fear out of mind, your confidence will return.

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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-17-2008, 07:36 AM
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I can't offer too much advice. 5axis sounds right about stepping it back to the basics, remember to go slow on the bike, finesse the controls.

A good book about stress and high risk situations, Deep
Survival
.

Look forward to riding with you this season.
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-17-2008, 07:58 AM
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Start slow, get back on the bike, focus on the BASICS!

Get a few pulls from a CR. Tell them ahead of time what you are looking for, and I am sure that you will get exactly what you need. If these things don't work for you, ask for the bump down. I can't tell you how many people have said THANK YOU after they rode a session in a lower group again. It removes the stress and the performance anxiety of getting back up to speed quickly. As soon as you are comfortable again, and back up to pace, take a run for your "I" bump again.

Just remember, if you do bump down, you have to earn the bump back up. BTW - If you are far off the pace in "I", you'll probably get bumped down anyway.

The biggest thing is to get back on the bike SOON. "I" pace at the beginning ot the year is fairly slow, and it picks up faster every day, all year. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to get back up to speed.

Good luck out there and heed what 5Axis said. I have ridden many laps with you and you are a good, clean rider. You just need to think about what caused the crashes, and avoid repeating that mistake (or at least minimizing it).

See you out there!

===========
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Last edited by Wink; 03-17-2008 at 08:00 AM.
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-17-2008, 07:58 AM
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I have found that the best thing to do is to get back out there as soon as you can.

Think about the events that led up to your crash. Then, think about what you will do differently the next time. Sure, you'll have a bit of a "reset"... but that will pass in time.

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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-17-2008, 08:35 AM
i need a new bike, this one is trashed
 
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5Axis is right on the money.....i fell of my little 135-2 stroke so many times while screwing around as a teenager back in India that once I started riding track the couple lowsides I had didn't phase me one bit.
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-17-2008, 09:04 AM
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Depending on what track day org you decide to ride with you may have to bump back down to Novice/Beginner to do this but I want you to try it.

Single Gear no brakes drill. Pick a gear, any gear. The gear you pick will control your speed, this isn't a go as fast as you can drill. The purpose of this is work on your throttle control and get a good feeling how your motor engine brakes and most importantly to be smooth and use the correct lines around a given race track.

3rd gear will probably work perfect on your speed 4. If you lug the motor in a low RPM in some corners or wind out at a high RPM on some straights it doesn't matter. Do your best NOT to touch the brakes. If you have good throttle control you should be able to go around the track using engine braking and throttle control and never touch your brakes. It will help you BIG time with being smooth. Try it.

Look through your corners and don't do anything your bike does not like. Stay on the gas through the corners to keep the suspension happy.

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Last edited by Grasshopper; 03-17-2008 at 09:07 AM.
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-17-2008, 09:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grasshopper View Post
Depending on what track day org you decide to ride with you may have to bump back down to Novice/Beginner to do this but I want you to try it.

Single Gear no brakes drill. Pick a gear, any gear. The gear you pick will control your speed, this isn't a go as fast as you can drill. The purpose of this is work on your throttle control and get a good feeling how your motor engine brakes and most importantly to be smooth and use the correct lines around a given race track.

3rd gear will probably work perfect on your speed 4. If you lug the motor in a low RPM in some corners or wind out at a high RPM on some straights it doesn't matter. Do your best NOT to touch the brakes. If you have good throttle control you should be able to go around the track using engine braking and throttle control and never touch your brakes. It will help you BIG time with being smooth. Try it.

Look through your corners and don't do anything your bike does not like. Stay on the gas through the corners to keep the suspension happy.
STT does this with their beginners. Hope we can talk about other organizations now... ehem.
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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-17-2008, 09:14 AM
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Quote:
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STT does this with their beginners. Hope we can talk about other organizations now... ehem.
It's a good drill and you can really see it working for people. When I'm leading a group in Beginner coaching I'll actually take my Right hand (throttle hand) off the bar to show them I'm not using any brakes. The point is to slow down a bit and not race and to be smooth. Unfortunately some people just can't do it. They figure "Track Day" and "Race" is the same thing. They came out to go as fast as they possibly can. But people quickly realize going fast is all technique and not just about opening the throttle all the way.

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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-17-2008, 09:33 AM
i need a new bike, this one is trashed
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grasshopper View Post
Depending on what track day org you decide to ride with you may have to bump back down to Novice/Beginner to do this but I want you to try it.

Single Gear no brakes drill. Pick a gear, any gear. The gear you pick will control your speed, this isn't a go as fast as you can drill. The purpose of this is work on your throttle control and get a good feeling how your motor engine brakes and most importantly to be smooth and use the correct lines around a given race track.

3rd gear will probably work perfect on your speed 4. If you lug the motor in a low RPM in some corners or wind out at a high RPM on some straights it doesn't matter. Do your best NOT to touch the brakes. If you have good throttle control you should be able to go around the track using engine braking and throttle control and never touch your brakes. It will help you BIG time with being smooth. Try it.

Look through your corners and don't do anything your bike does not like. Stay on the gas through the corners to keep the suspension happy.
Yes this helped me a lot on my 2nd ever track day....by the end of that day I was cornering 3 times faster than what I was on my first track day
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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-17-2008, 11:29 AM
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Hi Roy,

You are a good rider so you should probably know (or have a feel for) that there is not such thing as "confidence". You progress is a function of skills which are gained by targeted repetetion of proper technic. Did I say repetion ? track time ? If you bring an extra variable into the equation your 'll mess yourself up or worse - tune your brain to repeat the same mistakes as if convinced it's overcoming "confidence" barrier . That confidence barrier ,in reality, may be lack of specific skill level that stops you from the next jump.

Also , you do know that you have underpowered bike... Unfortunately not that to be on par with 250s or SVs but clearly loosing to jap 600s. I'm sure it distracts you from riding if your goal is to keep up. No meter what people say, it's a competitive sport and on your bike you'll have to risk a little more to feel good. Esp. if you compare how "fast" you are wrt others.

So , prep your bike now, buy a handful of track days , drop your riding expectations and relax until it's time to roll the wheel.

Cheers,
Andrew

why B ? back of the I is good enough. That's where I'm gonna line up too. So see you there .

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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-17-2008, 12:08 PM
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Crashing sucks! One thing I found that really helped my head was to just get back out there and work on basics.

A new set of tires also does wonders for both handling and creating confidence. It's like a new set of tennis shoes when you were little.

Good luck, start from the back, get new tires and ride for the pleasure of it for a while and do not worry about speed, only good form.
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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-17-2008, 12:18 PM
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my suggestion is easy.

do whats right for you, WHEN you know its time to do anything, YOU WILL know.



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post #16 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-17-2008, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tips fellas. I may not be out on the track until June. But by then, I may be on a dedicated track bike, rather than my streetbike...which should help my mental situation.

I've thought about why I crashed, and I think it boils down to a lack of fundamentals. I think I made a lot of mistakes earlier, but I wasn't going fast enough to get bitten by them. Throw in a little more speed and a little more lean angle...trying to get on the throttle too soon, bad body position, abrupt inputs...all these things errors get magnified, and I think I got bit by them. Also, I think Putnam was fresh in my mind, it being a fast flowing track. Gingerman being a little more technical confused me.

I'll start the season at the back of 'I' and see how I progress. Can't wait to see you all then.

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post #17 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-17-2008, 06:33 PM
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See you in June, feel free to grab me if I can be of any service to you.

===========
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post #18 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-17-2008, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wink View Post
See you in June, feel free to grab me if I can be of any service to you.
Thanks Wink. I'm sure I'll be full of questions. See you in June (so far away)....hopefully sooner.

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post #19 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-17-2008, 07:24 PM
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I also had confidence issues after a tumble at Blackhawk. I'm not one to give up easily, and I do really thoroughly enjoy riding at the track. I do gradually progress, as my comfort level increases.

Get back out there, take it easy, work on the basics, and the things that caused your crash(es). Enjoy it at whatever level you feel confident.
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post #20 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-17-2008, 08:36 PM
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I always feel the same things after a high-speed getoff. It puts this irrational fear of crashing at the same exact corner in my brain, for example, I'm slow as dirt through Turn 6 at Blackhawk and Turn 4 at Putnam since I've tossed my bikes there before. Even after 2 or 3 more days at the same track, I still go noticeably slower in those corners than I know I could...

A new race track always helps me. You get to start from the beginning and learn all new lines and it forces you to work those fundamental skills to figure out the best way around the track. You can also work on avoiding bad habits you picked up in the past.

I really noticed this last year when I moved down to St. Louis and started doing the GP region tracks like MAM and Heartland Park. I felt great and ran decent lines and had good body positioning on all these new tracks I've never been on before, but when I went back to Putnam Park, I started making the same sloppy mistakes I did when I was a Beginner group rider, and even my body position suffered if I didn't consciously focus my efforts on it.

What works for me may not for you though. Maybe going back to the same place that you are familiar with will help you more with fundamental skills than going to a new environment. Anyways, like everyone else said whenever you go out just make sure you focus on lines and form, not on speed.

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post #21 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-18-2008, 09:31 AM
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Some good advice so far, some advice not so good.

Whether to trust your bike or not is a choice you need to make BEFORE taking to the track. It is a faith issue, pure and simple.

Personally go over the bike with a fine tooth comb and make sure the bike is in the best possible condition. Go out with brand new tires.

If you asked me to work with you and explained your situation, I would talk to you about the purposes of that front brake and then I would ask you to follow me and match my speed EXACTLY. If my bike sticks going into the corners, yours will too. Relax and trust the bike. Rinse and repeat, now you have your mojo back.

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post #22 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-18-2008, 10:17 AM
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Gotta have the Mojo yo.

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post #23 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-19-2008, 05:28 PM
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In my opinion it’s two things: you have to trust your bike again and replace fear of crashing with focus on technique.

Even though it doesn’t look like you had a mechanical problem, go over the bike and make sure it is 100%. Spring for the new tires. Think about how many times you rode the same bike around the track without a crash. You can do it again if your bike is right and your head is right.

Distractions have made me crash. Sometimes I lose focus and I find myself in a bad spot. While you are on the track, there isn’t enough room in your head to both worry about crashing AND focusing on technique. You will have to replace the fear with focus.

After my first couple of crashes I felt like I was riding on bologna slices. I had two problems: I stopped trusting my bike and I was scared. I went over my bike and was dropped to B group. It made it easier for me to focus on technique because I didn’t have to worry about keeping up with the faster I group. Without all of the gang passing I could relax a little bit and pull it all back together.

Eventually, I got completely fed up riding slower than my normal pace. I just said “f this” and started passing people…and it all came back. Then I would grid up for the bump and I was back to I group. The fear got pushed out of my head because I focused on riding again, which in turn gave me confidence.
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post #24 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-19-2008, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baldscott View Post
In my opinion it’s two things: you have to trust your bike again and replace fear of crashing with focus on technique.

Even though it doesn’t look like you had a mechanical problem, go over the bike and make sure it is 100%. Spring for the new tires. Think about how many times you rode the same bike around the track without a crash. You can do it again if your bike is right and your head is right.

Distractions have made me crash. Sometimes I lose focus and I find myself in a bad spot. While you are on the track, there isn’t enough room in your head to both worry about crashing AND focusing on technique. You will have to replace the fear with focus.

After my first couple of crashes I felt like I was riding on bologna slices. I had two problems: I stopped trusting my bike and I was scared. I went over my bike and was dropped to B group. It made it easier for me to focus on technique because I didn’t have to worry about keeping up with the faster I group. Without all of the gang passing I could relax a little bit and pull it all back together.

Eventually, I got completely fed up riding slower than my normal pace. I just said “f this” and started passing people…and it all came back. Then I would grid up for the bump and I was back to I group. The fear got pushed out of my head because I focused on riding again, which in turn gave me confidence.
Nice first post. You been trolling since Sep 2006?

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post #25 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-19-2008, 07:33 PM
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post #26 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-19-2008, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baldscott View Post
In my opinion it’s two things: you have to trust your bike again and replace fear of crashing with focus on technique.

Even though it doesn’t look like you had a mechanical problem, go over the bike and make sure it is 100%. Spring for the new tires. Think about how many times you rode the same bike around the track without a crash. You can do it again if your bike is right and your head is right.

Distractions have made me crash. Sometimes I lose focus and I find myself in a bad spot. While you are on the track, there isn’t enough room in your head to both worry about crashing AND focusing on technique. You will have to replace the fear with focus.

After my first couple of crashes I felt like I was riding on bologna slices. I had two problems: I stopped trusting my bike and I was scared. I went over my bike and was dropped to B group. It made it easier for me to focus on technique because I didn’t have to worry about keeping up with the faster I group. Without all of the gang passing I could relax a little bit and pull it all back together.

Eventually, I got completely fed up riding slower than my normal pace. I just said “f this” and started passing people…and it all came back. Then I would grid up for the bump and I was back to I group. The fear got pushed out of my head because I focused on riding again, which in turn gave me confidence.

As Ron said, great first post! Welcome, good to get you involved, and get your input.

Rep sent!!!!

===========
Great Quote - One would think that the Secret Service was smart enough to get serviced secretly.

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post #27 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-19-2008, 08:14 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Chicago, IL
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Location: Chicago, IL
Sportbike: 2006 GSXR750
Years Riding: spring 07
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronhix View Post
Nice first post. You been trolling since Sep 2006?
I have! Once a year and a half ago and once today.

Thanks for the props!
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post #28 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-19-2008, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jun 2006
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Location: Chicago, IL
Sportbike: 2005 Triumph Speed Four
Years Riding: not long enough
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLARNEY View Post
Come see me Roy..... I got yer fix right here.





Tom
Thanks Tom! I'll definitely be hitting up the CRs for pointers. You helped me immensely in getting my bump to 'I' at Putnam. Reading these replies has really got me psyched for the season again.

And Scott's got rep!

2005 Triumph Speed Four
2003 CBR600rr
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post #29 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-06-2008, 09:56 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Chicago, IL
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Location: Chicago, IL
Sportbike: 2005 Triumph Speed Four
Years Riding: not long enough
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I did it. Got myself a dedicated track bike... a track-prepped 2000 SV650 that is pretty much turnkey. I just need to tend to a few little things and set up the suspension.

I had some reservations going with an SV rather than a 600 supersport. I weighed out the pros/cons. I'm 35, relatively new to the track, don't plan on racing, and really want to enjoy working on technique in the corners rather than straight line speed. I'm now very much looking forward to regaining my track mojo!

2005 Triumph Speed Four
2003 CBR600rr
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