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post #1 of 12 Old 06-13-2006, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
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Road America

So I just got back from my first track day. I went to Road America during a Star track school event. It was awesome. I got there plenty early and as soon as they pulled in I followed right up to the paddocks and unloaded my bike. We sat in the "classroom" for a bit of chit chat basicly and then the instructors lead groups of about 5 around the track.
We did this at a pretty slow pace and as we finished a lap the first "student" pulled off a bit and pulled back in at the end of the line. We made like 10 laps like this to get used to it. This being my very first track day I was trying to take in everything however I had to try and keep up as I really had no track riding skill at all. All the pavement was excellent I can see why the AMA guys are breaking records.
Well Jason Pridmore is the main instructor there and he really did a great job teaching the basics and all the instructors cruzing around the track did a great job it is definately worth it.
So I've gone around the track and worked out the major problems and now it's just a matter of timing my downshifts, breaking, entery, apex, body position.... LOL anyways Don't laugh at me too much guys this was my first trip to the track.
I've already done a lap maybe two, we'll just say the tires have plenty of heat in them. I come out of turn 14 andhead down the front straight, and holy [email protected]#\ I really never WOT my 10 before, Well Up thru the gears and I'm in 5th gear as I creast the hill. There was a little bump right there all the way across the track and 140 or so and cresting the hill all at the same time make you a bit light so I'm hanging on with my legs and hitting 6th gear. I never really found the right braking point for turn one because I kept on going faster. Anyways turn one's brake markers are flying towards me and I downshift to 2nd and a whole handfull of front brake to keep from going into the run off.
I always seemed to get her slowed too much for this turn but I don't know how. Anyways I'm going 60ish around most of the hard turns and this one is no execption except I hod to roll on the throtle a bit. I move my body a bit to the right and leaning way over the nice new tar of turn one is gone and I'm back on the throtle for about 5 secs getting into 3rd as I go thru turn 2 ( a very minor right curve) going down a hill with turn three screaming towards me I downshift and brake a bit as I come up to another nice new tar there... awesome tracktion and I trown the bike to the right again and roll back on the throttle.
After gtting out of turn WOT again thru turn 3A and 4. I'm still just a rookee so I get around 130 and start thinking about turn 5 coming up. This was generally my worst turn. The first few laps I couldn't keep it off the curbing. I'd be lieing if I said I was even close to 50 on this turn. I was lucky to be doing it at 40. With another new patch of tar coming up fast I grab a hold of that front brack as I downshift to 1st. This is the first left hand turn and there is just enough time to get into sencond as you come out of turn 5 up a hill and under a bridge before you are leaning hard left again into turn 6. Once a again my qualifiers get to hug onto a fresh patch of tar.
Upright again and twisting the wick again turn seven, also with new tar, comes up its a easy right hander just a constant throttle thru it and hit third as I come out. Turn eight coming at me, the last of the left handed turns, I donwshift to second and lean hard as I come off the new tar of turn 8 i hit it hard and get back to third gear for the carousel.
Turn 9-10 is a 190-200 degree constant radius right hand turn that I just love. I know I could do it faster but 80 was as much courage as I had. After coming out of that turn you go under another bridge and have a few seconds to let 3rd really wind out before having to come to a hard little kink section. A really right left and a 100 degree right immediately after. (I could never come out of this section fast )
coming out of that kink your looking down that last "straight" section of track. There are a couple of curves here but very minor. So WOT agian I get to 5th before my guts start climbing into my mouth because I'm looking down a hill at the new tar of turn 12. So a few downshifts and a whole lot of braking I manage to get around that one and crack it back open for a few seconds before turn 13 starts curving left under the last bridge. This is one of the easier turns but its blind because of the bridge it is still hard for me to judge for speed.
I open It up again, up to third and back to second to get ready for turn 14 that seemed to be at a crest of a hill. As soon as you can get around that, your looking a mile or so of straight track again.

I hope this wasnt too boring of a read. Its a real great track for anyone that hasn't been there go. For anyone that hasn't been on a track find one. I don't know if I'm hooked but It was a great time.

I actually road on the back of a bike there too. Jason Pridmore was giving some 2 up rides and OMFG!!!!! With me on the back of his gixxer 1000 we went so fast and SOO smooth that I still can't quite figure it out.

Thanks for letting me babble on and on and on. Take care and ride safe!
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post #2 of 12 Old 06-13-2006, 11:55 AM
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Sounds like you had a great time. Good for you....... I am going to try to make it to a track day soon. What changes do you have to do to the bike for a track day? Also you need full leathers correct?

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post #3 of 12 Old 06-13-2006, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
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I think that it varies from track to track. but I had to tape or remove mirrors, tape, disable or remove taillight, new tires or at least less than 10% wear. Full leathers not chaps, and a DOT helmet.

It was definately worth the money. It's hard... a lot of differant things to concentrate on. This track was so huge that remembering braking points for each turn and everything was hard for me. I really want to get better and go faster but its gonna take a lot of practice. I'll never watch a race the same.
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post #4 of 12 Old 06-13-2006, 12:28 PM
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I got to ride Road America at the last event. Reading your tale brought it back. Granted not at those speeds but we got up around 100 in the straights, to many crusiers doing the parade too. Thanks for the flash back!
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post #5 of 12 Old 06-13-2006, 12:29 PM
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Good write up Matt. I love Road America and the new pavement in those corners have made a huge difference for sure. Looks like you may be hooked
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post #6 of 12 Old 06-13-2006, 12:39 PM
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+1^

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post #7 of 12 Old 06-13-2006, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bonz
I got to ride Road America at the last event. Reading your tale brought it back. Granted not at those speeds but we got up around 100 in the straights, to many crusiers doing the parade too. Thanks for the flash back!
Cool. Yeah the front straight you can hit top speed and the couple back straights I would say about 175 and 165
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post #8 of 12 Old 06-13-2006, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zx10ragentblack
Cool. Yeah the front straight you can hit top speed and the couple back straights I would say about 175 and 165
When I was on pridmore's bike we were going 170 down the front straight and the others had to be close to that. What I was really amazed with was the corner speed tho. and with a passenger.
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post #9 of 12 Old 06-13-2006, 02:03 PM
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good for ya homo glad ya had fun. Jason's dad Reg offers the same 2 up rides on a VFR 800 and manages to pass 75% of the A group riders with relative ease.

BD



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post #10 of 12 Old 06-13-2006, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Daddy
good for ya homo glad ya had fun. Jason's dad Reg offers the same 2 up rides on a VFR 800 and manages to pass 75% of the A group riders with relative ease.

BD
Crazy for sure. Now if I could only figure out how to go that fast with myself alone on my bike....or maybe that is the problem...
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