Adventures of a Racer Girl - Kawasaki
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post #1 of 281 Old 05-30-2014, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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Adventures of a Racer Girl


My name is Krystyna Kubran, and I race primarily with WERA West out here in California.

You can read more about me in the epic welcome thread, lol

I would love to share my racing adventures with you guys if you're interested!

A good friend of mine created a website that was initially designed to bring lady riders together; but now that women have considerably added to the moto world; the website has evolved into a place where girls can share their adventures. She has a blog column for a stunt rider, a regular gal, myself, and a few other adventurous ladies.

I am proud to share my stories with everyone who loves to ride - I learned to ride later in life; and if I can get to where I am now - anyone can! With a little luck, and a lot of hard work.

I started riding in 2001; and I am now living beyond my wildest dreams! Racing a liter bike, and kicking ass at it.

For 2014 I was blessed to get support from one of the top club racers in the US - Jeremy Toye. While I've only had 2 races on my new bike; as we get the ergonomics sorted out; and I get more seat time on it; I am confident I'll be running for a WIN soon!!!
I hope to one day very soon make an attempt to qualify for the AMA Superbike grid.

Stay tuned for a wild ride!


aka Psycho Kitty :-*

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post #2 of 281 Old 05-30-2014, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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First race on the ZX10...

New Ride; New Girl; Same Track; Fresh Start 2014
WERA West at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
March 2014

Fresh New Bike

First race on my new bike!
The 2013 Kawasaki ZX10 built by Jeremy Toye, of Lee’s Cycle in San Diego, is a friggin power house!!!!

I purchased the bike in October 2013; promptly took it to Chuckwalla Valley Raceway to break in the engine before delivering it to Jeremy at Lee’s Cycles.
The initial ride was pretty crazy because the rear end was so sloppy it just wanted to pivot around the front end!
Power delivery was smooth; but the initial throttle pick up was jerky and abrupt.

Jeremy Toye worked some serious magic on the chassis set up and providing a good baseline set up using the GP Suspension from Barry Wressel, of KFG Racing, out of Washington; and the JRi Shock.
Graves Motorsports will be showcasing their performance parts for the ZX10 with a full exhaust system, clip ons, frame sliders, rear sets, and fully aerodynamically designed brake lever guard!
The service manager at Lee’s Cycle commented it was the best exhaust system he’d seen for the ZX10 – and that was after Jeremy tested a multitude of systems while going through the development of his ZX10 that he’s been racing for the last several years.

December 2013 I was able to take my new, partially built, race bike to Chuckwalla for Femmewalla and Jason Pridmore’s STAR School for two consecutive weekends of testing.
When I say partially built; I mean the suspension and the chassis geometry were set – the most important part – but while the exhaust was installed, mapping and critical power delivery were not yet finished.
This was perfectly fine for the purpose of simply adjusting to this new machine. Another critical factor – which did not seem critical at the time – was that my bodywork was not yet finished with paint from Chad of MC ProDesigns; so I was running Jeremy’s old bodywork – which had really great seat foam set up on the superbike tail…. More on that detail later…

WERA West March 2014 – First Race

Fast forward to Las Vegas; and I get to ride my new bike; fully race ready (save for rear sets). My gorgeous MC ProDesigns designed blue/white/black body work looks stellar against my custom Cortech blue/white/black/pink suit; and to my horror I discovered the additional horsepower; combined with the superbike tail; and my short legs resulted in me being able to barely hang on to the bike under acceleration!!!!!

At first; I was sliding off on corner exits. As I slide to the back of the bike, my knee would slide around the tank to the point it felt like I was literally going to fall right off the inside of the bike!
We added some strips of stomp grip from Dale Keiffer of CT Racing/Racer’s Edge to the tank; and Tige Dane came to the rescue with heavy grit adhesive sandpaper strips that we stuck to the butt of my leathers!!! Ha ha ha!!
Combined with roughing up the seat foam, these measures helped considerably; and provided greater confidence in getting aggressive on the throttle for corner exits.
As I got more aggressive; I started sliding even more! Thankfully now it was predominately once I was more upright. As I opened the throttle, and slide backwards a good 6 inches, the weight transfer would make the front end come up!
With the stock rear sets still on the bike (Graves is developing them from scratch); my feet were too low and too far back, and the stock pegs are not grippy enough to be able to hang on with my feet! That left only my hands to hang on to the bike! My inner thighs were brutally sore from trying to hang on to the tank – a la horseback style – I haven’t ridden horses in years so those muscles aren’t strong any more.

As a result of this I couldn’t accelerate any more due to the bike getting out of control, my inability to reach the handlebars to keep control of it and flat out just not being able to hang on to it!!

For you non-fun-sized riders – imagine sitting on the passenger seat of your bike, with your feet near the swing arm pivot and trying to ride fast…. It just does not work!!! Ha ha ha ha!!

We did not have enough foam to fill up the 6+ inches needed to go between my rear and the tiny end of the superbike tail; so we built a foam bumper on the seat. It worked phenomenally! Until my constant pushing against it on acceleration caused the foam to shear right off the adhesive.

I had a similar issue on my R1 when I first started racing it. Graves bequeathed me an old tail section that had a bumper plate installed for another fun-sized professional racer; and by the time I got up to the pace I am now; I had that issue covered.
At the time I was sliding a bit on the R1, I was still a novice; about 7 seconds slower than I am now; and about 40+ horsepower less than I have now.
It doesn’t take an engineer to understand the physics going on here…

Combine all this with having our Friday practice canceled and I’m left with a few rounds on Saturday and Sunday morning to get myself in order.
I had 4x 10 min practice rounds each morning – and we spent the first 3 trying to figure out how stop me from falling off the bike.
The rest of the weekend was refining the sliding; but it still is a very real and significant problem.

Open (A) Superbike
My first ever race on the new bike; which was quite good, actually
The rest of the race…. Not so much
I rode incredibly sloppy; twitchy on the throttle, abrupt & sharp with the brakes… just overall extraordinarily sloppy.
In addition to all that the quick shifter only worked a handful of times out of all the shifts I attempted to make!

I was relieved that Superstock was next; and another opportunity to relax and just ride. I was beaten in Superbike by riders I normally crush. This did not feel good… not one bit...

Open (A) Superstock
My start was considerably better – except that moment I went to shift and the quick shifter did not work. Which left me dead on the drive; and in pretty much last place
Nowhere to go but up, right?

I took a deep breath and just made sure to hit my marks, while having a heightened awareness to my throttle and brake application.

This race went profoundly smoother; I came away feeling satisfied that I made significant improvement to relax. I was still beat by some guys I used to spank; but this time I was tail grabbing their butts around the track; and holding myself considerably closer to the pack; rather than being ditched like in the first race.
Jeremy and crew came to the rescue and got the quick shifter working perfectly for the remainder of the weekend.

Women’s Superstock
I signed up for W SS at the last minute to get some seat time on an open track. The class; and the classes sharing the grid; are usually pretty light, resulting in a pretty empty track. This time was an unusual exception in that there were only 3 of us total. Two guys in Heavyweight Twins Superbike and myself in the Women’s class.

My start was ok; and I drag raced a guy on a Buell to turn one. I had the inside so I stayed on the throttle until I saw him back off. There was no way I was chasing anyone!
I had the track completely to myself. I focused solely on hitting my marks and riding smooth… and breathing.
As each turn passed by; I picked small areas of each corner to improve on. Going deeper into turn one; and off the back straight. Driving harder into turn three; picking up the throttle at the apex and keeping the chassis tight mid corner.
This is my first bike to have a slipper clutch; and it is a phenomenal tool!!

I came away from that “race” feeling profoundly satisfied with my riding; and feeling like I made considerable progress throughout the day.

Jeremy said my only job this weekend was to get my head on straight – and to ride the bike to get comfortable on it. Lap times and finishing positions did not matter.

..... tbc ....

Last edited by KK352; 05-30-2014 at 02:04 PM.
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post #3 of 281 Old 05-30-2014, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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First race .... continued

Sunday Races
I woke up Sunday hurting pretty bad. My lack of fitness due to all my recent injuries; was significantly telling. Instead of racing the WERA opener in February; I was having my left collarbone re-plated because the bone re-fractured 4 weeks after the plate was removed.
My right knee is still weak and prone to severe pain and inflammation as I build the muscle back up in my leg to support the knee.

Body issues aside; mentally I was feeling tired but excited to be making significant progress on getting comfortable on my new bike.

Weather conditions Sunday morning were pretty bad compared to Saturday; and the wind was a steady 30-40 mph. The track was still cold; and very dusty so I skipped first practice – we were the first ones out – and since my focus was building confidence; I wasn’t about to go out and destroy what little I had built on Saturday.

Open (A) Superbike
Despite the earlier dust storm and rain storm that blew in hard and made things miserable for the earlier races; by the time Sbk came around; the conditions were marginally improved. Winds were steady 20 mph; and the sun was shining.
I had a pretty decent start; but a huge wheelie set me back a bit.

I was able to get around a guy who had beat me on Saturday in turn one; and I was able to hang on to the leaders a bit longer this time.
A novice on a Honda, who had beaten me the day before, jumped in front during the start, and I chased him the better part of the race. I had his ticket; and made a move into turn one half way through the race.
Unfortunately, as soon as I was in front of him I just seemed to make mistake after mistake. I slowed a bit; and he got me on the last lap.
That was frustrating; but I rode better and faster than I did the day before.
Taking home 5th of 7 riders.
Several of my races had lap times with a 0.2 second spread. This was one of them.

Open (A) Superstock
My start was profoundly better this time; but the mistakes continued. I could tell my body was just tired; and I just couldn’t ride smooth like I wanted.
I was beat by the same guys as Saturday; although I ran my fastest lap of the weekend in this race. Although it’s still 4 seconds slower than my usual pace; I feel I made progress on learning my new bike – soon I will be reporting that I am 2-3 seconds faster than my usual pace
My lap times and finishing positions are nothing to be excited about. What I am excited about – and driven for – is the fact that this new bike is phenomenal and WILL take me to the next level. As soon as I can stay in the damn seat I will be unstoppable.

Thank YOU
To Oliver Kho for being the best racer sitter… and Cousin Matt Buanno for helping myself and my friend Kris Aldeman all weekend!
Thank you to Kris for helping and being a supportive pit mate.
Thank you to Jeremy Toye and his crew for helping me get the bike set up; and giving me clear direction on expectations so I did not spin my little blonde head out of control thinking I was expected to conquer the world my first time out with no practice

Thank you Joe Salas, of 4theRiders, for coming out to Vegas to take photos; and do portraits for me to give fabulous glamour shots to my wonderful sponsors
Thank you Dale Keiffer of Racer’s Edge/CT Racing – Pirelli for being your usual amazing self… and providing the best grip in the paddock!!

HUGE thank you to Tige Dane, of CM Motorsports, for providing the adhesive butt tape; er, sandpaper tape; so I would stop falling off! And giving us all of your left over foam that we promptly lost on the race track. I promise to replace it!

The following sponsors are who make this weekend – and all my race weekends – possible…
Graves Motorsports (
Lee’s Cycle (
Bike911 (
Pirelli Tires (CT Racing –
Cortech (
Impact Safe-T Armor (
Scorpion Helmets (
KFG Racing/GP Suspension (
JRi Shocks (
HELLA HIGH California (
Moonstone Cellars (
STAR School (
MC ProDesign (
Chicken Hawk Racing (
Vortex Racing (
Joe Salas of 4theRiders (

Photos by 4theRiders

With my Great Dane Duke... Love him!!!

Fantastic armor by Impact Safe-T Armor

My amazing crew!!! (l-r: Oliver Kho, myself, Cousin Matt Buanno & Duke!)

Beautiful shot of the bike

In action!

Getting butt taped!! We were laughing our asses off!!!

Last edited by KK352; 05-30-2014 at 02:01 PM.
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post #4 of 281 Old 05-30-2014, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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Race #2 - WERA West AutoClub - April 2014

It’s All in the Ergonomics
WERA West at AutoClub Speedway (Fontana, CA)
April 2014

A Seat is a seat is a... critical part of being able to RIDE
After a struggle in Las Vegas with sliding all over the place; and struggling to stay on the bike; cousin Matt Buanno (as you may recall; he’s my all around crew chief / racer sitter); used his stellar surfboard shaping skills to create a phenomenal seat to keep me on the bike.
After the first ride it was clear I was going to be able to RIDE my new bike like a bat outta hell!

AutoClub Speedway Just Got A LOT Faster
The big Kawasaki proved to be profoundly faster than my R1 when I had the opportunity to open it up on the long NASCAR front straight; and the fairly long back straight.
With the change in ergonomics thanks to the seat; I felt like I had significantly greater control over the bike; and was able to ride it more aggressively than any previous time.

Jeremy Toye and his amazing crew chief/top mechanic Jody were able to help me make a few minor set up changes; most notably, a fork spring change; and by Saturday afternoon I was running lap times near my previous personal best – that occurred during a race!

The Friday track day had a closed off T10/T11 chicane; then on Saturday they opened it up considerably for the Superbike Shootout. As result we were running over some significant bumps. Which caused my first significant tank slapper. A tank slapper so profound; I literally fed it throttle and prayed like hell I was going to make it out of it. I was nearly launched off the bike! Feet almost came off the pegs; bars and chassis shaking so violently it was all I could to hang on.
Thank GOD I knew what I had to do the moment it started to go unstable; or there is no way I would have saved it.
Getting head shake through there; despite the stock steering damper; I thought this particular incident was caused by an error on my part in the way I progressed through the chicane.

The stock steering damper on the 2013 XZ10 is an electronically adjusted damper; but for whatever reason the damper was not plugged into the kit harness; so the damper was not adjustable.
During my first race; Superstock; I had another violent tank slapper. I knew if I didn’t do something about this, I was likely to crash next time. Jeremy let me borrow his Ohlins aftermarket damper; and it made a profound difference!

Open (A) Superstock
With an incredible start, I found myself in third place as we exited the first turn!!! While I was passed by a few other racers as the laps wore on; I was riding strong; smooth and aggressively. The only area I truly struggled was getting on the throttle through the bumpy chicane due to my tank slapper scare the previous day; and the way the bike would get upset each time through it.
As the race wore on; I opted to stop being a big baby and just pin it over the bumps. Sure enough; another wicked tank slapper that took longer to get under control. As I struggled to regain control of the bike I was heading straight for the bridge abutment. I truly thought this was it; that I was going to smash up myself and my new bike.
A fellow racer capitalized on the situation to make a clean pass – although he came to me later and commented that my tank slapper even rattled him!

After getting it back under control, I lit after the racer in front of me; determined not to let him capitalize on my misfortune.
Chasing him down the front straight I found that I had the significantly faster motorcycle! I’m so accustomed to my R1 being grossly underpowered compared to all the other bikes on the grid; this wicked fast machine is quite a treat!
I opted to play it smart and stay on his tail until we run onto the front straight to run for the checkers and make a run on him through the last turn.
It paid off as I set him up for the drive off the last turn and in the time it took me to think I hope I have the drive to get past him before the finish line I was passed him! Good Lord this bike is FAST!

While I crossed the line in 6th place; the final results placed me in 5th of 11 riders!
Matching my personal best lap time of 1:34

Open (A) Superbike
After the ridiculously close call with that tank slapper; a quick swap of the damper; splash of fuel, a snack; and it was back out on the grid for Superbike!
I was feeling optimistic in my ability to perform even better with the bike under better control. Sure enough; on the warm up lap; the steering head stability was profoundly better!!!!

As I charged the first turn aggressively; a racer on an older bike sort of bombed himself into the turn with seemingly no regard. I then watched him nearly highside himself as we exited turn four.
Chasing this guy around, I was furious with myself for not staying in front of him. While he didn’t have a considerable pace; his erratic riding made him difficult to set up a pass. Watching him nearly crash into, and out of, corners made me a bit apprehensive to attempt a corner pass.

I knew being stuck behind this guy for too long would cause me to fall behind the lead group, and leave me in a bad position to get passed by other riders. Sure enough, another racer got by me and that’s when the aggression kicked in big time. Charging down the back straight, I was contemplating setting up both of these racers for a front straight pass, since I had the power. As we were braking into T12 off the back straight; a novice, in an attempt to pass several of us in the expert class; blew T12; and nearly cleaned us all out in the process. As I apexed T13; I saw this novice coming straight at me. I fed it throttle and hoped like hell that novice wasn’t going to t-bone me… thinking to myself if you hit me I’m going to beat your ass
This novice was so far in front of his class he had no legitimate reason to make risky passes on the class in front of him.

Making a run down the front straight I was finally able to break free of those other two racers and quickly put a gap on them. Taking home a solid 5th place finish and a new personal best lap time of 1:33.3!! Bettered my best by a second!
The damper played a key role in my ability to run stronger. It cleaned up severe head shake in the bumpy chicane as well as several other key areas.


Last edited by KK352; 05-30-2014 at 02:00 PM.
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post #5 of 281 Old 05-30-2014, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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Second Race... Continued...

Women’s Superstock
Again, I was the only entry. I debated with myself for quite a bit about whether or not to actually go out on the track because I was exhausted and hurting. I decided to run the race for reasons that were not justifiable to the end result. Lesson learned – listen to your body; listen to your intuition.

Due to delays throughout the day, the officials shortened the race from six laps to four. I was thrilled to hear that while waiting on pre-grid as I was exhausted; and my injuries were hurting.
I was gridded in the number one spot; a couple of rows back were the few riders in the heavyweight twins class that would be sharing the track with me.

As the race went on I tried to focus on hitting my marks, but I was so tired I was struggling to focus. It was a mental battle to try to focus and ride well when you’re all alone. That was one of the points of going out there – to run well all alone.
As I took the white flag, I remember thinking Thank God… Coming down the back straight I was only a few corners from the end and I recall thinking finish strong! I flipped it into the right hand turn 12, and I was momentarily distracted; and I turned in a moment too early for T13; the front wheel hit the curb and down I went....
It was the first time I made a completely bonehead mistake and lost focus. I did not take that race seriously enough; especially that last lap. All I thought about was having the race over and resting.

The hardest part of that lesson wasn’t crashing my new bike – it was breaking my left collarbone again. Incredibly disappointed in myself… especially after saving it from so many other close calls earlier...

Thank YOU
Cousin Matt Buanno, Rachael Maltbie, and Thomas Mahlstedt for their immense support and help over the weekend – everything from changing wheels and tires, to keeping me hydrated.
Especially big thank you to my little brother Jon Kubran for coming out to support me!

I wish to extend a gesture of gratitude to my crew for selflessly picking up the pieces, loading the trailer, and taking amazing care of me after my crash. Especially cousin Matty; who loaded his bike in my trailer so he could drive me home.

Thank you to Jeremy Toye and his crew for helping me get the bike set up; letting me borrow the steering damper; and taking my broken bike back with them for repairs. Thank you Jody for being on the wall and helping me set things up during practice. Having support from such talented, amazing people is already showing in my improvements.

Thank you Dale Keiffer of Racer’s Edge/CT Racing – Pirelli for being your usual amazing self… and providing the best grip in the paddock!!

Thank you to my friends and family for coming out to support me. One of the greatest moments of the weekend was when two little girls came over to my garage with their dad because they wanted to meet me. They race minis and thought it was so cool that I race a big bike and kicked butt doing it.

The following sponsors are who make this weekend – and all my race weekends – possible…
Graves Motorsports (
Lee’s Cycle (
Bike911 (
Pirelli Tires (CT Racing –
Cortech (
Impact Safe-T Armor (
Scorpion Helmets (
KFG Racing/GP Suspension (
JRi Shocks (
HELLA HIGH California (
Moonstone Cellars (
STAR School (
MC ProDesign (
Chicken Hawk Racing (
Vortex Racing (
Joe Salas of 4theRiders (

In action at AutoClub (photos by Cycle Sports TV)

Waiting at Pre-Grid
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post #6 of 281 Old 05-30-2014, 03:11 PM
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Hate to hear about the collar bone KK, hope it heals fast. Is it going to require surgery?

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post #7 of 281 Old 05-30-2014, 05:09 PM
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My essasy in college were shorter than this. Pretty awesome story though! The foam seat cushion gave me a good laugh. My gf is too small for my 10R too, but she has no riding experience aside from 2 up.

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post #8 of 281 Old 05-30-2014, 05:40 PM
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Great wrightups, hope you heal fast so you can ride again soon.
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post #9 of 281 Old 05-30-2014, 06:34 PM
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Nice read! Interested Aussie

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post #10 of 281 Old 05-31-2014, 12:01 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks you guys!!

Yeah... I segment it into headings because I do tend to have a lot of detailed back stories.
I'm making an effort to reduce the detail...

Thankfully the c'bone does not require surgery :)
It broke at the last screw hole and the tip of the plate is helping to hold it in place.
5 weeks now and I'm finally able to start doing some push ups & other upper body work.

Thanks for the feedback :)
I enjoy sharing my adventures because I've been inspired and helped by so many people; I hope to pay it forward.

I am not anything special... Just a girl who works hard at the things she enjoys :)
If I can get this far... I believe anyone can with a little luck and a lot of hard work
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