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Discussion Starter #1
A little long...

Hello all. So I'm new here and still new to both bikes and track days. I started started riding in Jan of this year. 2 track days so far with a K1 gsxr 750. I had to stop riding at the start of Sep for a planned shoulder surgery then had to go back under the knife so my schedule was pushed back. Long story short I should be riding again by March/April which means my time off will pretty much equal my total time of riding experience. So basically I'm back at square one when I get back on 2s.

Outside of bike choice (looking for ninja 300, gsxr 600, sv650 dedicated track bike) I want to have a skill development plan when I get back on the track. My closest track is H2R and is where I'll get the most seat time, with traveling to other track days as I can. So here is the order of what I plan on working on. Let me know what you think and suggestions are appreciated.

1. get the raceline down and comfortable so it doesn't preoccupy all of my focus

2. body position. Try to continue building on previous work and rebuild the comfort of getting off the bike

3. control corner entry speed which I break down to 3 parts.
A. braking markers
B. rev matching with downshift (had not mastered but was constantly practicing)
C. smooth braking (learned not to panic grab at slow speeds with a big bite), gradual increase in pressure, and was getting comfortable with trailbraking as well

4. looking through the curve and transitioning reference points. This has been the most difficult for me but when I did it right it made me more comfortable coming out of the corners

5. getting a good drive out of the corner. Stand up bike and smooth roll on asap

So this is what order I plan to work on spread out over multiple track days, and not all at once. I want to move on to the next skill only after I feel comfortable on the previous one. And I plan on stacking them as I go, i.e. work on only 1. Then when comfortable work on 1 & 2. Then 1, 2, & 3, etc...

What do you guys think? Good plan? What would you add, delete, rearrange? I figured this would help me re-develop what I'd worked on before the long layoff. I'd only been riding like 30 days at my first track day and didn't have a set plan to work on. I have a goal to reach by years end and need some help getting there. Obviously this isn't everything but I figured it's a good start. Lmk

Attached is a pic of my body position at my first track day. I'd been riding about 30 days and felt like I was waaaay off the bike and way down low, lol. It's gotten better since then
 

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WB, good advise.

Learn the track, know whats coming up next.
Body position.
Be smooth, speed will come.
Use your legs to hold you on the bike and loosen grip on bars.

If you're over shooting corners or going to wide, slow down until proper lines are achieved.

Depending on tires, 30 lbs front and rear is a good place to start.
Have fun! :grin

The vid page is always fun also. Some fast guys around here.
http://www.gsxr.com/26-club-level-trackdays/92022-official-thread-track-day-vids-17.html
 

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Get a well sorted 300 or 650... and most of what you mentioned can be learned more easily. Look at WERA classifieds, CCS/ASRA forums/FB, or your local race organization if closer. Lots of great sorted bikes at way lower prices than trying to build/sort one yourself.

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Looking where you want to go is the best advise for a newbie. No pun intended! I am still reminding myself of this fact and I’ve been riding for over thirty years.
If you get a dedicated track bike get a 300 or the SV650 as you mentioned-this way you master technique rather than trying to tame a bike that far exceeds you capabilities. Today’s bikes are all very capable and usually too much bike for most of us so stay humble. I speak from experience!
My final advise-stay as smooth as possible!! It is not hard to upset the chassis on a powerful bike if you are abrupt in your inputs. Again, comes from experience and a couple of kisses with the tarmac!!
Welcome. Be safe and have fun.


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Focus on being smooth and consistent. Once you can do both at a given track, that's when you start peeling the onion. Start moving your brake markers a little deeper. But keep focus on being consistent and smooth. Fast will just happen.
 

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You might consider doing a track school in the near future. It definitely gets you pointed in the right direction.

I'll recommend the California Superbike school but the closest to you would be Barber in Montgomery, AL. Doable, but a long drive.

I learned so much doing the first level as basic as it was and after a few years of riding track. The one that stands out for me is when to pick up the throttle in the turn. Before, I just did it and never considered the question. Occasionally I'd run wide or miss my point even though I thought I had a consistent entry. The class answered it for me.

And as others mentioned, practice eyes up and using your peripheral vision. It's funny how I fell into a bad habit last couple of track days of this year. I was just not that sharp. Looking at the photos from my last one, I can see I'm not getting my head up and looking all the way through the turn as far as I can. I'll chalk this up to all the back road riding I do with limited corner visibility, slower speeds and plenty of pavement and debris issues.

But now I've got something to work on this year! And that is why I keep going back. :smile
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the advise guys. It's in line with what was suggested on the other forum too, starting on something smaller like a 250/300. I'd been looking at 600 bikes too. I also just started considering the SV650 instead of the 600's since I learned they aren't as powerful as the 600's. I assumed that they were stronger because they were bigger.

I just wanna have a plan in place for what to work on, and in what order as I hit the the track. I dont want to be snailing around the track forever, lol. But i will do it for however long I need to to build my skills.

Im doing pretty well now at my current speed of looking ahead. But as my speed increases I find my eyes drifting closer and staying on the apex too long.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Focus on being smooth and consistent. Once you can do both at a given track, that's when you start peeling the onion. Start moving your brake markers a little deeper. But keep focus on being consistent and smooth. Fast will just happen.
I will work on getting smoother overall, especially into and out of the corners. At the end of my first track day one of the other riders gave me some info that I wish I'd gotten earlier in the day. I was holding other riders on smaller bikes back because they'd close on me in the curves where I was slower than most, but I was blasting the 750 down the straights which prevented them from passing me. So he suggested focusing on the cornering and being smooth out of the curve at a moderate pace that allowed them to pass me, and for me to be smooth into the next turn. If I had gotten that info after the 3rd or 4th session then i think i would have gotten even more out of my first track day. I think I would have been much more relaxed.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So I did a trackday at MSRH on Mar 18th. Here is my experience from the day...

I took it really easy the first 3 sessions just practicing the line. When I felt good with that I noticed that I had naturally moved on to looking through the curve without thinking about it. That made traveling along the track really comfortable compared to my first track day. Easy to transition and setup to hit the next turn and stay on my line. Up until this point I was doing 2nd or 3rd gear drills, so I would pick a gear and stay in it the whole session.

Here's where I ended up getting away from my plan, but I think it worked out ok. I planned on going into corner entry as my 3rd focus point but instead I ended up doing body position, then corner speed. Now that I was comfortable on the bike, staying on my line, and keeping my eyes up as I transitioned reference points I started getting my butt over, dropping my upper body down, inside knee out and outside knee locking me in, keeping weight off my arms and continuing everything else I was doing before. Still taking it easy but starting to open it up more. And still doing single gear sessions. I'll post a couple of pics soon. Still not Rossi positioning, but better than it was before, and pretty good when looking at all the level 1 riders.

Lots of folks are passing me but I'm trying to stick to my plans and work on my pre-set goals, and many are just plain faster than me. I notice that I'm catching a rider or two in the curves so I back off and let them pull away so I can keep working on my skills. I also let them pass me on the straights since I'm not full throttle and and still doing single gear sessions.

At this point in feeling really good so I start shifting gears, 2-4th as I work around the track and start working on setting my entry speed and rev-matching while setting up for tip-in. All is going well and I'm feeling good.

All day up to this point point there has big one big problem I've noticed, I'm often slowing down way too much before tip-in and realizing that I'm moving to slow while cornering. So I ended up speeding up while cornering a lot of times after thinking "why am I going so slow?". So I start to follow some folks through the corners and notice that I'm more confident carrying more speed when someone else is in front of me. And I still felt comfortable on the bike. Why is that? I'm assuming it's because I figure if they can tip in at "x" speed then I can too at "x" speed. Keep in mind these are other novice riders too. This was level 1 with RideSmart.

A buddy of mine is level 2 but bumped down to level 1 to get comfortable on a new bike and I went quickest while following him through a couple of turns before he pulled away from me.

So my very last session I decide to really open it up to see how well I'd progressed over the day. Another buddy who is level 1 was riding with me and let me lead the warmup lap. We took off for lap 2 and 3 and he said he couldn't catch me. That was the hardest I pushed all day and I still felt comfortable and within my limits. I did blow one turn that I had been doing very well in all day but I think it was a combination of pushing harder, braking later and fatigue. So after that I just cruised it in and called it a day.

A long, good, productive day. Wish I could have done a trackday the next day to keep building which is what led me to look at the 2day event in May.
 

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So I did a trackday at MSRH on Mar 18th. Here is my experience from the day...

I took it really easy the first 3 sessions just practicing the line. When I felt good with that I noticed that I had naturally moved on to looking through the curve without thinking about it. That made traveling along the track really comfortable compared to my first track day. Easy to transition and setup to hit the next turn and stay on my line. Up until this point I was doing 2nd or 3rd gear drills, so I would pick a gear and stay in it the whole session.

Here's where I ended up getting away from my plan, but I think it worked out ok. I planned on going into corner entry as my 3rd focus point but instead I ended up doing body position, then corner speed. Now that I was comfortable on the bike, staying on my line, and keeping my eyes up as I transitioned reference points I started getting my butt over, dropping my upper body down, inside knee out and outside knee locking me in, keeping weight off my arms and continuing everything else I was doing before. Still taking it easy but starting to open it up more. And still doing single gear sessions. I'll post a couple of pics soon. Still not Rossi positioning, but better than it was before, and pretty good when looking at all the level 1 riders.

Lots of folks are passing me but I'm trying to stick to my plans and work on my pre-set goals, and many are just plain faster than me. I notice that I'm catching a rider or two in the curves so I back off and let them pull away so I can keep working on my skills. I also let them pass me on the straights since I'm not full throttle and and still doing single gear sessions.

At this point in feeling really good so I start shifting gears, 2-4th as I work around the track and start working on setting my entry speed and rev-matching while setting up for tip-in. All is going well and I'm feeling good.

All day up to this point point there has big one big problem I've noticed, I'm often slowing down way too much before tip-in and realizing that I'm moving to slow while cornering. So I ended up speeding up while cornering a lot of times after thinking "why am I going so slow?". So I start to follow some folks through the corners and notice that I'm more confident carrying more speed when someone else is in front of me. And I still felt comfortable on the bike. Why is that? I'm assuming it's because I figure if they can tip in at "x" speed then I can too at "x" speed. Keep in mind these are other novice riders too. This was level 1 with RideSmart.

A buddy of mine is level 2 but bumped down to level 1 to get comfortable on a new bike and I went quickest while following him through a couple of turns before he pulled away from me.

So my very last session I decide to really open it up to see how well I'd progressed over the day. Another buddy who is level 1 was riding with me and let me lead the warmup lap. We took off for lap 2 and 3 and he said he couldn't catch me. That was the hardest I pushed all day and I still felt comfortable and within my limits. I did blow one turn that I had been doing very well in all day but I think it was a combination of pushing harder, braking later and fatigue. So after that I just cruised it in and called it a day.

A long, good, productive day. Wish I could have done a trackday the next day to keep building which is what led me to look at the 2day event in May.
I was at MSRH on the 18th also. Im about a second off level 3 there. Of course there were a couple guys running level 2 that should move up. Often they like to stay in level 2 so they can feel like the fast guys, because they know level 3 will bring them back to earth :Laughing:

Dont at all worry about guys passing you. Do your own thing. Often in level 1 they are simply pushing harder than they should.

That track needs some work, but it's ok, like concrete and asphalt in a right hand apex, ridiculous. I just stay tight on the asphalt.
The lines are everything on that track, it's pretty tricky.
It also takes a while to get tires warm there.

Im pushing my stock suspension to the limit of ride-ability.
As we speak my bike is apart in the garage getting Ohlins compression and rebound valves and new racetech springs. Stock was too stiff for me, couldnt get enough sag when measuring.

My Penske rear shock should be here tomorrow.
I guarantee this work will take my riding to the next level. You can only go so fast when your bike is trying to buck you off. :Laughing:

Cresson is the only track in April. May 12th MSRH and May 26-27 COTA. Im definitely going to COTA on the 26th.
I barely got into MSRH on the 18th, they were sold out and I kept checking back, 4 days later a spot opened up and I jumped in.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I was at MSRH on the 18th also. Im about a second off level 3 there. Of course there were a couple guys running level 2 that should move up. Often they like to stay in level 2 so they can feel like the fast guys, because they know level 3 will bring them back to earth


Dont at all worry about guys passing you. Do your own thing. Often in level 1 they are simply pushing harder than they should.

That track needs some work, but it's ok, like concrete and asphalt in a right hand apex, ridiculous. I just stay tight on the asphalt.
The lines are everything on that track, it's pretty tricky.
It also takes a while to get tires warm there.

Im pushing my stock suspension to the limit of ride-ability.
As we speak my bike is apart in the garage getting Ohlins compression and rebound valves and new racetech springs. Stock was too stiff for me, couldnt get enough sag when measuring.

My Penske rear shock should be here tomorrow.
I guarantee this work will take my riding to the next level. You can only go so fast when your bike is trying to buck you off.


Cresson is the only track in April. May 12th MSRH and May 26-27 COTA. Im definitely going to COTA on the 26th.
I barely got into MSRH on the 18th, they were sold out and I kept checking back, 4 days later a spot opened up and I jumped in.
Its funny because I actually like MSRH a lot. But I dont have anything else to compare it to either. The only other track I've been on is Harris Hill. Haha, I try to keep tight on the keyhole too. But that's the curve that I slow up too much and have to speed up after asking myself "why am I going so slow?" My favorite turns there are the launch, keyhole and diamonds edge.

I'm a long way off from pushing my suspension limits. I have set a personal goal of level 2 by years end so we'll see how that works out. When I talk to folks about getting a suspension tuned to my weight the consensus seems to be plan on $3k for new ohlins in the forks with cap extenders to match a taller aftermarket rear shock... surely there's got to be a way to upgrade without forking out that kind of $$$ right? That's hard when I only paid $1900 for my salvage title track bike.This was my first track day on the Q3+ and I like them even more than I liked the Q3. I'm really excited about the back to back dates in May.

Forgot to add my trackbike is an 07 gsxr 600. I was looking at some ninja 300 and R3 bikes for the track but didn't find anything that worked for me. And people around me were aski g stupid money. So I sold my k1 750 and bought two gsxr 600's, an 07 and an 08.
 

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BP slowly getting better.
Looking good man.
If you're not a hands on mech, call racetech, they can revalve your stock suspension and rear shock as well. They'll just need your rider weight with gear on(approx) year bike etc...
You'll save a butt load, and have comparable suspension to high priced equipment.
You can look at their servicing page to get an idea. http://www.racetech.com
 

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I planned on sending mine to Racetech too, but waited too long and the season started. I've done suspension work pretty regular when I wrenched. I figured for the price of springs and valves, I'd give it a shot. Just got it back together and it looks very promising so far. I need to set sag numbers and do some track tuning, since its track only bike.
 

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BP slowly getting better.
Best thing about your bp is that you are low on the tank. That will take you a long way.

If $$$ is an issue, remember there are plenty of FAST people with bone stock suspension. Or a suspension set up for your weight.

If you can get sag set correctly and the basic geometry set up, a nicely serviced suspension will take you to advanced easily.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
BP slowly getting better.
Best thing about your bp is that you are low on the tank. That will take you a long way.

If $$$ is an issue, remember there are plenty of FAST people with bone stock suspension. Or a suspension set up for your weight.

If you can get sag set correctly and the basic geometry set up, a nicely serviced suspension will take you to advanced easily.
That is music to my ears. I just couldn't wrap my head around that kind of coin for a trackday bike. I'm never gonna be looking to race. If I could spend $1500 or less to make my suspension work better for my weight and take me to level 3 that is all I'd ever need
 

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The main thing is too get your spring rate correct for starters.

Was wondering if you stayed at the Best Western there in Angleton.
If you did, I saw you that morning in the breakfast lobby.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The main thing is too get your spring rate correct for starters.

Was wondering if you stayed at the Best Western there in Angleton.
If you did, I saw you that morning in the breakfast lobby.
Yes that was me with a couple of buddies
 
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