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Old 10-13-2012, 07:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default I'm having a hard time fellas...please offer some advice.

I'm really wanting to get on the track in a controlled environment but I'm super hesitant about tossing my new S1K down the tarmac. I don't think GEICO covers track day events.

What is the worst I could do to my bike on the track at a novices pace? I suppose the potential for a complete total is not out of the question? I've thought about just buying a dedicated track bike but that's going to be at least in the $4k range and I would prefer to ride my S1K.
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Old 10-13-2012, 07:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I did my first track day about 1 month ago. I had some of the same concerns as you, but after the first session, I realized that I could control the risk by just riding at my own pace, being aware of those around me and not getting overly excited about the fun I was having!

I started in the beginners group and found the others in that group to be very cautious. Also, marshalls were riding with us and constantly on the watch for people riding way off lines, being to eratic, or doing anything that might endanger themselves or others.

I think my skill set is more inline with the intermediate group but it was good to start slow.

My first four sessions went great (I felt) and then sessions 5 and 6, I felt to "stiff" and not relaxed. It was time to call it a day at that point.

There is always a chance that someone could take you out from behind or in a corner but I felt so much more safe on the track with others than on the street. I was supprised how much safer I felt.

The lack of insurance sucks, but the speeds aren't that great, (I did hit 169mph on the straights), and when in a corner, you're leaned over and not that far off the ground. You should be limited to lowsides and not much damage. There is always that chance of a tumble and a total though.

Take it easy, ride your own pace and be aware of how a faster rider would navigate the track and if you feel slow in certain corners or straights, leave room for the faster riders to choose their ideal lines.

It is definetly a great experience!
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Old 10-13-2012, 07:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for taking the time to respond teddybear. I have raced MX in the intermediate class (B class) for many years but I'm a rank beginner on a paved track. I think I can pick it up quickly enough I'm just worried about wadding up a new, expensive motorcycle. I know you say to take it easy and I think I can do that.
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Old 10-13-2012, 09:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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No offense, but I find it strange that lots of newer riders are buying S1Ks? This is supposed to be one of the most powerful bikes, and you are nervous about the track! What do you do with it on the street? The track is safer than the street! If you can't manage the track, how on earth do you ride on the street?? Just wondering?
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Old 10-14-2012, 02:07 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't think anybody said this was their first bike or even a new rider. I have been riding on the street for 30 years now. I have owned everything from a Honda CB400F to Intercepters, Suzuki 750's, Harleys (not Sportsters), CBR 900RR, CBR 929, and an RC51. But I've never been on the track. I raced motocross for several years and have owned everything from 125's to 500's.

Even with all of the experience of all of those bikes, I was still "new" to being on a track and I had the same concerns as the OP. Crashing a $17,00 bike with no track coverage is hard to get past. I personally feel very comfortable on a 1000cc bike. I know that I can't ride it at 100% of it's ability all of the time, but I think I can touch that mark occasionally. I hope to touch that mark more often with enough track days under my belt!

I was not offended by your post, just wanted to clarify. I have seen guys buy their first sport bike and start right out on a GSXR 1000 or such. That is worrisome, I must say!
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Old 10-14-2012, 02:21 AM   #6 (permalink)
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You obviously have lots of experience! Don't see what you are worried about. A track is just a safe road. You don't have to go nuts. Slowly build. And some insurance covers you if it is rider training and not a timed event. Racing and you are on your own. When I was racing/track days, I had 2 954's. one dedicated track only. And one street only. What I learnt on the track I could apply to my street bike. I will be taking my HP4 to the track, for sure!!
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Old 10-14-2012, 02:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I think the best thing I did when doing my track day was installing a Hero 2 camera on my fuel tank. I mounted it so the speed, tach, and gear indicator were clearly visable. I have watched those video's over and over. I was amazed how on one lap I would go into a corner in 1st gear, and on the next lap in that same corner, I would be in 3rd. Speed would be near the same, just the RPM's would be way different! I need to work on being consistant! I was hitting my corner marks well, my lines were ok, but I was really off on managing my engine RPM's.

I think I will monitor my lap times on my next ride. The track has transponders in place. I just need a receiver on my bike. I think between the onboard video, and a lap timer, improvements in lines and utilizing the power curve of the motor will go a long way towards improving my riding.

I would certainly encourage everyone to get out on the track. The experience is amazing!
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Old 10-14-2012, 04:04 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trident View Post
I'm really wanting to get on the track in a controlled environment but I'm super hesitant about tossing my new S1K down the tarmac. I don't think GEICO covers track day events.

What is the worst I could do to my bike on the track at a novices pace? I suppose the potential for a complete total is not out of the question? I've thought about just buying a dedicated track bike but that's going to be at least in the $4k range and I would prefer to ride my S1K.
It's a racetrack the potential for a total is always there. Fluids down on a surface and you're probably going for a slide. Some hooligan gets it wrong and can take you out.

Chances are you will be ok but yeah I share your concerns every time I track my s1k.
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Old 10-14-2012, 04:19 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I understand the concern, but it seems like there are far more dangers on the street. Track seems like the safest place to ride. I'm taking my '12 s1k to the track soon as I get a chance!
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Old 10-14-2012, 04:26 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Trident, if you haven't tracked before I'd suggest going to the CSS. They run very well controlled sessions and will teach you how to go about things track wise, in a safe manner.

General "anybody welcome" track days vary quite a bit. I've been to some very civilised ones and others where every session has been red flagged and I've been riding around bodies on the track.

It's basically people. Those who "know everything" just go to the track and fall off. Typically they go in the slow or medium groups. By the time they get to the fast group they've managed to learn something so there seems to be less crashes. People who are a bit more switched on and realise they don't know everything are the sort that go to places like the CSS. So you tend to find that crashes are very rare - more sensible people generally - and a track school that runs and tight ship and knows what they're doing.

The CSS run a very structured school, it's good fun as well, and when you then go to an open track day you'll feel much more comfortable.

I've no desire to bin my S1K either!
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