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MITICO
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437 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello one and all- Finally got a 3rd track day in for the year and am feeling that I'm starting to get past the initial shock and awe of the track day experience (the glory of knee dragging, the running off track incidents, and past group 1!). I found myself a few times during yesterdays sessions riding mostly alone on the track (had found a few people ahead of me at times however made my way past them with most of them). My overall goal would be to become a solid group 3 (groups based on what groups absolute was running yesterday, I'm assuming would be a solid intermediate level). Aside from apparel issues to resolve to increase my comfort how do you feel about transponders? I think an ability to gauge how fast I am during sessions will at least help give me a ball park as too if I'm doing better and / or worse. I've ridden with a few coaches who've given me good advice & observations but maybe I should consider a sportsbike school as well? Thanks everyone.

Here's a shot of me at the track yesterday. I know I could do better getting off the bike, however compared to my first two outings I feel I'm making decent progression.
 

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B4B
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12,776 Posts
U look like ur getting off the bike just fine. If anything i would suggest maybe getting ur head off the side of the bike more, towards ur hand if u will. Dont worry bout running lap timers IMO. The most important thing is to just get out there and get tons of seat time. That itself will get you where you wanna be. If you have any questions or concerns get with your control riders. They will be able to help you the most since they are on the track with you. As far as the school, i say wait until you are the faster of the I group and then take the school.
 

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AFM #327
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15,209 Posts
U look like ur getting off the bike just fine. If anything i would suggest maybe getting ur head off the side of the bike more, towards ur hand if u will. Dont worry bout running lap timers IMO. The most important thing is to just get out there and get tons of seat time. That itself will get you where you wanna be. If you have any questions or concerns get with your control riders. They will be able to help you the most since they are on the track with you. As far as the school, i say wait until you are the faster of the I group and then take the school.
+1

I totally agree with juan. get ur head out more like kissing the mirrors and drop the elbows to help ur shoulder. This by itself will tremendously improve your feel on the bike. I know it did for me.
I never ran a lap timer yet thats coz I'm still in the middle level of the intermediate group. Once I get fast enough to pass mostly everyone in the intermediate group then I plan on getting a lap timer. At this time, focus should be on line-building, body positioning, corner techniques and braking. Times will go down rapidly first and then tail off.
When I get to the advanced group, then I'll go to the race school of some sort.

Good luck and try to get as much time on the track as possible. Control riders are the best resource out there and use them as much as you can.
 

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Sho'Nuff
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142 Posts
Man im shocked that there isn't a ton of guys commenting on this thread......
+1. I half expected it to be at least a few pages by now.

As far as technique goes, when I had my first trackday, the control rider said to try to get half a cheek (not your face) off the seat. You use the arm opposite the lean to gauge how far you're going to get off the bike. They recommended laying your outside arm against the tank, then bending the inside arm at the elbow until you're up against the tank. Head should be down near the mirror location, looking through the turn. Have your outside knee braced against the tank and inside knee out towards the turn.

One tip the control rider also mentioned, if you're doing it right, you should be able to look down and see the track. If you still see the bike, you're not over far enough.

Just look through the turns. Generally, there's gonna be cones, so look to each cone as you're going. When you get to a turn, look to the cone at the apex, then when you're about to hit the apex, look to the cone of the exit. It's a fast paced game of connect-the-dots lol.
 

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www.1seven1.com
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2,064 Posts
Transponders rock, but I've never been to a track day where they fire up the equipment. It's mostly used for races, as far as I've seen.

I've got an XT lap timer but I don't often use it ... once in a while when I'm doing set-up or something, I'll pull my transponder and run the lap timer (saves the public embarrassment of slow lap times).

My riding position sucks, but I know what I *should* be doing. One of the best tips I picked up was from a top-level racer was watching how economical his body movements were ... no wasted movement. Smooth and didn't upset the bike. He got off the bike as little as he needed to to reduce lean angle (and risk)

More head and shoulders off the bike, less ass and body. I've got red tape on the corners of my windscreen as a reminder.

-D
 

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Custom User Title
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1,827 Posts
brake later
carry more corner speed
get harder on the gas sooner. don't wait to be almost vertical before snapping that throttle open. spread the butter while picking up the bike
 

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crashing aint so bad
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2,271 Posts
If you are in the middle group, or group two as they call it where you are at. I would worry more on getting comfortable in that group and passing people. When you are passing the same guy in the group 2 times in a session and you are not nervous about working around other riders, then you may be ready for the fastest group.

The A group, group 3, or group 1 guys depending on what organization you go through all have one thing in common. They are really F-N fast and will pass you in spots where you least expect it and where you thought that there was no room to get by. You will think you are fast, until some dude ( or chick ), blows by you like you are sitting still in the middle of a corner, between you and the rumble strip where you left a one and a half foot hole that they could fit through. I'M NOT KIDDING........ I'm one of those guys which is why I warn you. If you at all skiddish about being passed by someone going twice as fast as you in what you thought was the least likely spot then you are not ready to move forward.

About the lap timer and why I made a segway about groups. You will not need a lap timer until you are ready to think about racing. You will be ready for racing when you are the guy that is passing people in the A group like I mentioned above. Having a lap timer now will only give you an idea of where you stand in terms of race time. Perhaps you will be 20 seconds off the race pace. Loosing a few seconds won't matter much and seeing it won't help you loose them any faster. When you start getting to around 10 seconds off of race pace it gets more difficult to loose time. That is when a lap timer is helpful. It will help you grasp where you are slow. Time gets harder to loose as you get closer and closer to race pace. The lap timer will help, but only because you will be able to see the difference in time from changes done to the bike. At this point in time there is no real gain from seeing if changes work or not and how they reflect on time. You need to get comfortable, and confident in your riding first. Once you get to the fastest group and can work your way through most of them easily, then a lap timer will be of more use.
 

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slow guy
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4,400 Posts
good stuff^^^^ I've also found that signing up and actually racing is the best way to learn and go faster. The race pace is always faster then when you are out practicing at a track day.
 

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MITICO
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437 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Spoken to a few trackers @ the track and post, they said that it's a matter of anxiousness on my end to want to up the pace but it can only come with increased track time. I'm going to spend my winter track-ifying my bike (taking off street plastics, rear sets, etc) so that that aprehension is gone and I'll be in the mind of set of full track dedication. I figure it'll take 3 or more track days to be a steady pace within the group i find myself so that I can take the next step. Thanks for the help everyone!
 
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