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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My 2013 ZX10 has undergone a bit of a transformation recently. I took it to one track day at Thunderbolt about a month ago, only because my brother was going to ride my GSXR600 track bike that day. I was feeling a lot faster and more confident that day on the ZX10 than the gixxer. I was fighting some suspension and geometry issues on the Ninja, but I could tell that I was running faster laps on it than I ever had done before. My brother did pretty well on the Suzuki and had a ton of fun. He was bugging me to sell the 600 to him on the way home, and I finally agreed. I spent all the money he gave me for the 600 on Ohlins 30mm fork cartridges and a TTX shock and linkage. I also got Armorbodies race bodywork and a set of Metzler Racetec RR tires (K2 compound)

It was like an entirely different bike. I wasn't fighting the bike at all anymore. I could get it pointed where I wanted easily and it stopped running wide on corner exits. Just felt planted, smooth and predictable. Anyway, picture time...


First session, learning the track


Second session, following a friend of mine who is a coach with Absolute Cycle.


A few laps later, coach is behind me now


Got bumped to the advanced group
 

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Discussion Starter #2

Not loving turn 1, it's off-camber and slippery.


Liking this turn

DAY TWO

It rained all morning. I rode the 600 for a few laps in the rain and it didn't go too well. I low sided at a pretty low speed. Minimal damage to the bike, just a bent shifter and the frame slider got worn down a little bit. The bike and my leathers got all muddy, but I wasn't too worried about it. I bought a new shifter from a trackside vendor and I have a spare slider for that bike somewhere. No big deal. I rode the ZX10 for the rest of the day.


First session after lunch


I had just passed this CBR1000. It seemed like this rider would pit out before me every session, I'd eventually get behind him in most sessions. I'd follow him for a few laps and make a pass eventually. I don't think I ever passed him in the same spot twice.
 

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Discussion Starter #3

Feeling pretty good


Check out the dirt all over my leg and boot from that mornings little slip n slide


My favorite picture of the day. The guy on the red bike, I think it was an R6, is waving to the camera at the exact moment I'm trucking past him on the outside line through the bowl turn. When I saw that picture I had to laugh, he had no idea I was there and coming around him. That guy was pretty fast, I followed him for at least three laps before I had a plan on how I was going to get around him. I could hear his bike still behind me for another lap (loud exhaust with a quickshifter) then I lost him until the end of the session.

Just a great weekend at the track. Could have been a little warmer Saturday, a bit more dry on Sunday, but whatever. I still had a great time hanging with all of the ACE guys and all of the other trackday enthusiasts. It was the last event of the year for us in the north east and I'm looking forward to next season.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
A couple pictures of my brother on the GSXR600




Last session of the day. Got himself bumped to the intermediate group after this one, he's starting to understand body positioning and why it's important. He's a dirtbiker by nature, and it's hard to unlearn those techniques. I still struggle with them myself sometimes


Here you can see some of my handiwork on the frame slider and stator cover from Sunday mornings off road excursion.
 

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Thats AWESOME!

I road with Absolute too. They do a fantastic track day. Was my first track day ever. My big accomplishment was I got to take my red vest off and I was able to pass a few people who had no red vest and I was able to touch 165 on the straight. First turn is a mother.

Also love going up the blind hill for the hard right. It's an awesome track. The R6 does real well there. When they did a mock 7 lap race guy on the R6 beat everyone. Field of great riders on liter bikes.

If you're in ADVANCED you can ride your @$$ off. Those guys fly around the track.

I'm debating weather to make my ZX10 a track bike or sell it and get the 2016 and be a parking lot pimp.

I wish I had video/film of me passing this 2011 GSXR1000 coming out of the last turn on to the straight. What an awesome feeling.

You brought back some memories of my track day!

Awesome pics man and congrats on the Advance rank!
 

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Awesome.. congrats on the bump. I don't like lighting track too much because of that blind, uphill turn. My buddy tried to take it at full lean and went flying into the dirt then the grass.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Awesome.. congrats on the bump. I don't like lighting track too much because of that blind, uphill turn. My buddy tried to take it at full lean and went flying into the dirt then the grass.
Thanks man! Did your buddy go off in turn one or that last one before the straight? They both are kind of uphill and kind of blind...

I don't like turn one because its kind of blind and off camber, and I don't like how the pit exit is almost on the race line. If they'd make it a bit longer, maybe halfway down the hill I think it would be a non issue. I think this is why TPM rides the track backwards, but that's just speculation.

I didn't like turn 5 until I was shown the correct line through that section, after that I didn't mind it at all.

I like thunderbolt more than lightning, but that bowl turn is fuckin' fun! The outside line through the bowl was the easiest place for me to pass people. Everybody seems to sort of drag race from that left under the bridge to the inside line into the bowl and grab a big ol' mitt full of brake and slowly accelerate through the turn on the bottom. I was doing it a little differently.

I short shift into third once I've got the bike stood up after the bridge and grab another gear once I'm over that little crest before the bowl. I keep the throttle open and let the engine lug through the whole turn in 4th and hang way off the bike to steer it. I actually use the "hook turn" technique toward the end of the bowl to get back toward the inside of the track.

I watched one of the expert guys do it sort of like that so I figured "fuck it, why not" and it worked pretty well for me. The inside line was faster if there was nobody on it, but once I committed to the inside line I felt sort of stuck there. Whatever, plenty of ways to skin a cat...
 

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man.. I don't have the turns memorized at Lightning like I do at Thunderbolt.. definitely not turn 1, but it is the uphill turn to right, then mini straight right before the bridge followed by the sharp left if I remember correctly.

I had no idea TPM ran it backwards, that must be interesting.

I also like Thunderbolt better, I seem to be really slow at Lightning. Not that I am a speed demon at Lightning by any means. lol
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thats AWESOME!

I road with Absolute too. They do a fantastic track day. Was my first track day ever. My big accomplishment was I got to take my red vest off and I was able to pass a few people who had no red vest and I was able to touch 165 on the straight. First turn is a mother.

Also love going up the blind hill for the hard right. It's an awesome track. The R6 does real well there. When they did a mock 7 lap race guy on the R6 beat everyone. Field of great riders on liter bikes.

If you're in ADVANCED you can ride your @$$ off. Those guys fly around the track.

I'm debating weather to make my ZX10 a track bike or sell it and get the 2016 and be a parking lot pimp.

I wish I had video/film of me passing this 2011 GSXR1000 coming out of the last turn on to the straight. What an awesome feeling.

You brought back some memories of my track day!

Awesome pics man and congrats on the Advance rank!
Thanks! I was pretty stoked when I heard "You want to ride in advanced? I think youre ready"

I found that if I ripped it down the straight and tried to brake late into turn one I'd smoke my basically stock brakes after a few laps. I crest that hill (where you pit out) toward the top of fourth gear which is around 155ish and just hold it there, then grab one downshift while braking for turn one. I know I could shave a lot of time off my laps if I could hold it pinned down the straight and trailbrake into turn one every lap. I can do that for maybe three laps before the brake lever is mush. I can't wait to try it again next season with some good brake pads and a fresh fluid flush.

I really do like my ZX10 on the track. The traction control helps tame the somewhat ridiculous amount of horsepower. The power is almost a burden at my level of skill, though.

I've only been in the A group for a day and a half, Im not that great. I feel like its easier to learn on a 600. My buddy on the #27 bike in the first post is 6'5 and 240lbs. He rides a 636 when he's not on that TL1000 and he's fucking fast on the Ninja. I mean, I have to push pretty hard (on my 1000) to stay with him once he steps it up. If we come up on a traffic jam and he gets through, I can't catch back up to him. I want to be able to run with him on a 600. He's got 60lbs on me, and being that tall can't be too good for aerodynamics.

I'm going to look for another 600 trackbike with a slipper clutch. The lack of a slipper is the only thing I disliked about my 05 GSXR. It'll probably be an 06+ GSXR, whatever I can find cheaper in decent shape. Seems like Suzuki parts are cheapest and they're easy to work on.

My advice, as someone who has ridden both a 600 and a 1000 on the same track within the past week; learning how to ride faster is easier on a 600 for most people, myself included. The 1000 is still a lot of fun on the track, but it beats you up physically and that eyeball flattening acceleration can get you in trouble at the end of the straights if you're not careful. Just my thoughts on the subject.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
man.. I don't have the turns memorized at Lightning like I do at Thunderbolt.. definitely not turn 1, but it is the uphill turn to right, then mini straight right before the bridge followed by the sharp left if I remember correctly.

I had no idea TPM ran it backwards, that must be interesting.

I also like Thunderbolt better, I seem to be really slow at Lightning. Not that I am a speed demon at Lightning by any means. lol
That's turn five then. It's complicated to explain how you wind up there, but basically you want to go wide, toward the left side of the track and then turn it in to basically square off the turn. It does take while to get comfortable with this line, but it does work pretty well. Also, you have to hang off pretty far to keep the bike more upright going over that spot or you might drag hard parts. I watched a guy do that right in front of me and almost crash. He kept it upright but he was way out in the dirt.

Once I figured out how to run that section between turns 2 and 7 I was making up a lot of time there. It actually flows pretty nice once I got comfortable with the track. Saturday was the first time I'd ever ridden on Lightning.

Thunderbolt is my favorite at the moment, too.
 

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Yep, that was me...

That's pretty much how I spent my time in the red group. It was all good when I had open track in front of me, I could ride as fast as I wanted to. Once I started coming up on traffic is where it got a little hectic. Lots of people in that group cant hold a line and basically swerve all over the track for no good reason. Its nice to have 180rwhp on tap when you need to slip past them, because the window of opportunity is small sometimes.

The blue group is definitely a better fit for me. I get passed once in a while and it doesn't feel sketchy at all. Guys seem to know what they're doing and where they're supposed to be on the track. Its a faster paced group but I truly believe that it's safer than the being out in Novice/Intermediate. There are some fairly fast riders in the red group, and some pretty slow ones as well. The disparity of speed along with unpredictable lines through any given section is where the danger seems to lie.

There are guys in the A group on SV650s, but they're not a hazard at all. They all seemed like they were very good riders, pretty fast through the corners and they stayed on the race line through the faster sections which made passing them a breeze.

My first session in the blue group was a little unnerving but once I started getting more comfortable riding faster, letting a couple different people tow me around the track, I started to pick up the pace on my own. I went from getting passed a few times per session to making a few passes per session. There were a couple of times when there were expert racers out on the track with us A riders, you want to talk about humbling... Them guys were getting it done!
 
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