The purpose of this post is to add to the shared knowledge of how the Versys performs at track days. I was really flogging it at the track, and ended up low-siding at about 65 mph. I came a way with very minor injuries. The Versys is a little beat up, but well on its way to being repaired and back at the track!
WHO SAYS YOU CAN'T PUT A KNEE DOWN ON A VERSYS?
UNFORTUNATELY I ENDED UP PUTTING MORE THAN A KNEE DOWN! (my poor handlebar)
Last weekend I took my Versys to Gateway Motorsports Park for my second weekend of track day bliss. The Versys is an absolute blast to flog around the track. This weekend I focused on getting my butt off the seat and getting a knee down so that I could carry more speed through the turns. Eventually I was able to consistently get a knee down which was pretty cool! (I'm tall at 6'3" so that helps!) I took off the peg feelers (they were halfway gone anyways) in able to get more peg clearance. Once the peg feelers were gone I found that on my best turns I was able to get a knee down without scrapping the peg/boot. Scrapping the peg felt disruptive to the flow of the turn, while touching down a knee was much smoother contact to the ground.
WELLLLL I found the limits of the Bridgestone Sport-touring 023s I was riding on. On the second to last session of the weekend I was feeling very confident and carrying a lot of speed through turns 1 and 2. Coming out of turn 2 I had her waaaay leaned over. While giving her some healthy throttle on the exit of the turn the back tire slipped out with no warning and down I was.
A couple of observations:
- Sport touring tires are probably okay for the novice class pace, but I was silly to push them as hard as I did in the intermediate group. Next track day I am going to have some Bridgestone Hypersports on the bike.
- Prior to the crash I had the Versys suspension tuned by an expert at the track. There wasn't a lot he could do. As far as sag goes we maxed out the preload on the front and rear and that was about right for my weight (195ish with gear). HOWEVER he noted that I really need a stiffer rear spring so that I can be in the mid range on the preload, instead of having it maxed out.
- We also maxed out the rebound dampening, however it was noted that it still wasn't enough for optimal performance. I am going to look into the R1 shock upgrade and potentially have work done on the front suspension as well.
- T-REX FRAME SLIDERS DID A GREAT JOB!! (SEE PIC BELOW) The only serious damage to the left side of my bike was a result of the bike flipping over when it slid into the rumble strip. On the actual low-side itself the left frame slider took all the damage.
So for a closing comment I would just recommend you upgrade your sport touring tire to track day specific tire if you are really going to be flogging your Versys at the track. I am by no means an expert on this subject, so if any of my conclusions/observations seem wrong please speak up.
T-REX FRAME SLIDERS -- JOB WELL DONE!