I'm finally going to do it - Trackday - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-28-2009, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
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I'm finally going to do it - Trackday

The main purpose for this post is to help assist those that were seriously thinking about taking their bike to the track and to learn as I learn so possibly the process of getting there might be a little easier for those interested.

First I have to admit before "seriously" looking into getting to the track I thought "show up, pay your money, and ride". Although it's not to say that it can't happen that way chances are you won't be able to set one wheel on the track and if you lucked out and did, by being unprepared your experience might not be as desirable as you had hoped.


Here are some links to track organizers to get you started. I will probably be using Nesba, since they seem pretty well organized and have the most tracks in my area. So first things first, find a track thatís the closest to you.

http://www.sportbiketracktime.com/
http://www.teampromotion.com/tpm.php
http://www.nesba.com/
http://www.motorcyclexcitement.com/S...ays.php?page=1
http://www.shopabsolutecp.com/

This handbook by Nesba is probably the best that I've come across to get ready for the track.

http://www.nesba.com/Info/Downloads/manual.pdf

Most of what is required here in the US is pretty consistent with all the organizations, rather than repeat everything that's in the book I'll just summarize a few the main topics.

For the bike you won't have to do much in the "b" group, tape all your lights and disconnect them by pulling the fuse or the wire so they don't melt the tape to your plastic covers. Tape your number on your bike.

A leather riding suit. You can use a textile one piece or two piece riding suit but it's not recommended. Your regular textile riding jacket and pants won't do it, they have zip together ALL the way around. You can rent a suit from some of the organizations.

The willingness to learn.


Other things you will need not mentioned on the websites.

Money - Depending on what organization or track you use it can add up. The one I'm looking at will cost $170 for one day at the track plus $75 for a one year membership. The cost of your riding suit, rental, buy used or new, a new riding suit will cost you around $400 for one that's on closeout. If you live too far away from the track you will need to camp or get a hotel. Hotels near the track are generally expensive.

A way to transport your bike to the track, trailer, truck, etc - Riding your bike to the track can be done, but it seems most don't. Having the bike all prepped, being able to bring tools, extra gas, lunch, drink, extra gear etc can make the day go a lot smoother. Tiring yourself out riding the bike before you get to the track and having to ride the bike home for hours after a BIG day at the track I don't know about you but I'd rather sit back in my air conditioned car after such a day. They say it can be extremely exhausting. And lastly if you wreck your bike you will need some way to get you and your bike home.

That's all I know so far, most of what you need to know is in that handbook by Nesba.

I'm looking at possibly at the earliest Aug 15 at the Beaver Run race track here in PA.

Any questions just ask, I'll try to answer what I can.

Oh and BTW Nesba has an intro ride that won't cost you anything but maybe the cost of renting a suit. You get to ride the first two sessions, after that if want to continue you just pay the fee, if it's not your thing you'll just be out your time and effort.

I'll try and keep you guys updated.

Hope this helps

fitz
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-28-2009, 10:15 AM
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Nice info. I'm gonna do one soon, I just have to save because it is indeed expensive.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-28-2009, 11:21 AM
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do you guys have the same problem as we no have in the UK...



after this http://www.youtube.com/results?searc...rch_type=&aq=f apparently if you ride a Versys on a track day you have to promise not to embarrass any blokes on race replicas or crotch rockets. apparently the track day organisers don't like seeing grown men cry as they get whupped by a Versys
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-28-2009, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by healdem View Post
do you guys have the same problem as we no have in the UK...



after this http://www.youtube.com/results?searc...rch_type=&aq=f apparently if you ride a Versys on a track day you have to promise not to embarrass any blokes on race replicas or crotch rockets. apparently the track day organisers don't like seeing grown men cry as they get whupped by a Versys
LOL, ya that's definatly the "a" group.

I did a little searching, asked a few questions, and as far as I can tell when I roll the V on to the track I'll be one of the first, if not THE first for that particular track. Should be interesting.

One thing is for sure, I need to get some practice on the V before I get there, I really don't ride it much being that it's the uhhhhh wifes bike

fitz
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-28-2009, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
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Oh and BTW, here is a random youtube of Beaver Run to get you guys excited for me.

Ignore the part in the middle where the fela crashes

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fi9g5HKhnsc

fitz
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-28-2009, 04:31 PM
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I don't think I'm gonna embarrass anyone, I've never been to a track day before. I remember that video from Caldwell Park, it is amazing. Also, the last time I was in PBIR there was a guy in a Multistrada that was absolutely destroying all the sportbikes, he sure can ride!
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-28-2009, 04:36 PM
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BTW if anyone is looking for a 1 piece leather suit google Rhino Leathers, from what I've heard the quality is good and depending on the color you can get a suit for under $400. If anyone knows of any good deal on a 1 piece leather suit let me know.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-28-2009, 06:43 PM
 
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I have done a few track days with Sportbike tracktime. Well run, and a great time. I have ridden to and from the track every time, and it is possible at most tracks to camp there. You can check with the individual tracks to see if it is possible.
You will get tired. You will also be able to wring out your bike without fear of cars, cops or animals.
The cost is worth it, way less than a 30 over ticket and what it does to your insurance. It is a great way to see just what your bike and you are capable of.
I will probably take the Versys to one next year.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-31-2009, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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Finally got around to posting a few pics.

Made an on bike video that didn't turn out that great due to the vibrations causing data lose while taping, but I'll upload a short piece ASAP.

The day went very well, I lucked out and had a small B group. So basically it felt like I had the whole track to myself.

I had no idea what to expect from a track day, at least one from Nesba. Wasn't sure if I would be held back from the CRs (Control riders) and be putting around the track OR would it be on the other end, everyone going super extremely fast. Well as it turns out I was wrong on both counts, everyone was completely out of their minds X10 LOL.

Imagine accelerating up a hill out of a hairpin turn, hitting your top speed of 115mph that the short straight will allow, only to downshift and brake hard for the next hairpin that transitions from hard left to right to left to HARD right over a blind hill accel hard down through the sweeps, brake HARD, flick the bike drag a peg, repeat. There were no easy early turn-ins on this track, all the turns were late turn-ins if you didn't you got punished for the next turn, which made things really bad for the next turn till you ran out of track and crashed Which I'm sad to say happened 3 times to other riders. The riders were OK, the bikes were not.

The V performed very well, everything was stock. The tires stuck to the track very well, the bike tracked well, absorbed the bumps, and was very stable (which was a worry of mine). My only real complaint is the ergonomics made it very hard to get off the bike in the turns plus the wind hitting you full in the chest and head at 100mph + speed.

Can't really compare what the difference is on the track compared to the street, it's literally night and day. But I would have to say that that I learned more in HOW to ride a bike in that one day in all of my 25+ years of riding on the street. Think of it like owning dirt bike and never taking it on the dirt

All in all I had a GREAT time, so much in fact I've already done another one but this time on my new YZR-R6 (see pic).

fitz
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"One day last week I was riding my bike, I can't remember exactly what day it was, maybe Tuesday, around 3:00pm or was it 4:00pm, not sure but I think it was 3:00pm when I noticed the fuel gauge started blinking, you know the last bar on the bike telling you need to get gas, so I looked for the next gas station, right down the road was two gas stations an Exxon and a BP, both had exactly the same price, so I couldn't decide, so I just picked one, after filling up I continued on my way." --fitz
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-31-2009, 04:00 PM
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Sounds like a BLAST!! I figure you were probably the only Versys out there. I'd love to do it, but just can't bring myself to spend that kind of money for an afternoon of fun.



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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-31-2009, 04:14 PM
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very cool. sounds like you had a great time!
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-31-2009, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bear on a bicycle View Post
Sounds like a BLAST!! I figure you were probably the only Versys out there. I'd love to do it, but just can't bring myself to spend that kind of money for an afternoon of fun.
Actually I was the VERY first Versys that they saw on the track in this neck of the woods. The CRs were helping the other guys on their supersport bikes a lot and kind of left me alone. They weren't trying to be rude or anything, I think they just didn't know what to do with me. Like one of them said "It's hard to advise you on a bike I know nothing about".

The first they say to you before you get on the track "Welcome to the addiction, no money, and high debt."

fitz

"One day last week I was riding my bike, I can't remember exactly what day it was, maybe Tuesday, around 3:00pm or was it 4:00pm, not sure but I think it was 3:00pm when I noticed the fuel gauge started blinking, you know the last bar on the bike telling you need to get gas, so I looked for the next gas station, right down the road was two gas stations an Exxon and a BP, both had exactly the same price, so I couldn't decide, so I just picked one, after filling up I continued on my way." --fitz
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-31-2009, 10:08 PM
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I'm so jealous, sounds like it was really fun. The Versys looks sexy on the track.
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