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Discussion Starter #1
There are a whole bunch of Ducatistas and sportbike riders that have a new found respect for little a red bike, strangely tall, that seems to be out of place on a racetrack, yet seems to go a lot faster than you'd think around a fast course like PIR... ;)





The group I rode in consisted of loads and loads of Ducati sportbikes (99X, 848, 1098), the usual Japanese (GSXR's, R1's, CBR-RR), a couple of Milles and a Daytona. The lowest HP bike (after the little red one) was a Monster 1000 probably followed by a CBR600F4i. The Monster is rated at 94HP, the F4i at 110HP, the Versys, as you guys well know, makes about 64HP and tops out at 115 at the end of the main straight (OK, I screwed up, I forgot to change the CS sprocket back to the stock 15T and left the large touring screen on, neither of those really helped). One of my pit-mates has a GSXR1K. He'd hit 170 before I even got to my top speed. I was getting passed down PIR's main straight as if I was looking for a place to park in front of MotoCorsa's shop...

The bike is shod with Dunlop RoadSmart sport-touring tires that did pretty well. I tend to not go in too hard on the front and accelerate through the turn (more as you would riding on the street than racing, since I am not racing, rather working on my street riding skills) and they didn't complain at any point throughout the day. Even going out on the first lap of a session, they felt good. When they were warm, they felt sticky to the touch.

I was really surprised at the number of people that came wandering down the pits to take a closer look at what that red thing was. Apparently, it made an impression. :D

My friend Ted came by around lunch time and took some pics. It's always interesting to see pictures of yourself riding. I always find that the impression on board the bike is always that the bike is leaning more than it really is. It's always a good lesson to remember when you are riding on the street and get into a tight situation. There usually is more room to go if you are keeping a good body position.

Here are some of his pics:
























I may just have to go out again sooner rather than later...



Gustavo
 

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Nice ridin :D One thing I did notice, and it could be camera angle, is that your lean angle is better or on par with the Duc...Sweet ridin...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
stupid question: why do you have to cover all the lights stuff with that blue tape?
Taping all glass and plastic lenses is a question risk management. It seems the preferred solution in the US (or at least in the NW) to reduce downtime due to a bike crashing. If someone crashes on the track, there is likely to be lots of broken glass/plastic from the lenses. It takes longer to clean up and steals valuable track time from everybody else. Seems reasonable to me, as it doesn't take much to mask the turn signals and I really appreciate the short downtime this provides if someone wipes out on the track.

Gustavo
 

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Brilliant riding, but we expect nothing less!

If only they would let you keep the top box on and still beat all the Ducati weenies!

Machog
 

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G'day Mr G :D
Wicked shots, especially the last one ...
Curious, how long to you get @ the track ? And do they break it up into smaller sessions and groups ?
BTW, had my other trackday last Sat, twas good, though now I need another as confidence finally back after the off.
i might have to invest in a nice suit like urs...and are you super tall ??

erm, not sure if you noticed, but you forgot your topbox:yeahsmile:
 

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Very nice pics...are the leathers yours or did you rent?

And how did the brakes do at the end of the strait?

alvis
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Brilliant riding, but we expect nothing less!

If only they would let you keep the top box on and still beat all the Ducati weenies!
Thanks. I try to live up to the expectations... :D

Yeah, I should have gone for at least one session with the box. It would have made those long front and back straights even more miserable, but would have been worth it for the laughs. :yeahsmile:

Gustavo
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Boogs - thanks for the comments on the shots. I'll pass that to Ted.

Most organizers here run three groups:

- Novice and slower riders that are not comfortable riding at a fast pace or being passed closely.
- Intermediate which is fast street or slow race bikes with courteous passing only (no inside passes mid corner).
- Expert which is very fast street riders and racers, passing is not restricted.

In this setup, you ride for 20 minutes of every hour, so 2:20 hours of riding in a day (running 9-5).

No, not super tall, 179 cm (but only 66 kg, so finding a suit that fits well is not easy). Most (all?) trackday organizers here require a one piece suit in the intermediate and expert groups. Some will allow two piece suits that have a 360° zipper.

I'd really like a track that has shorter straights and more tight sections. It would give me a better opportunity to harass the big bikes... :devil:


Gustavo
 

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Discussion Starter #13
are the leathers yours or did you rent?
The leathers are mine. It's a Teknic Xcelerator suit that I bought this winter on e-bay for $200 (shipped to my house - I was the first and only one bid on that suit... :yeahsmile:).



I knew the sizing because I my previous race suit was a Teknic too. This one is nicer, although I was surprised that there is no pocket in the lining (many racing clubs require you carry medical info on you, in case you have a serious accident and the paramedics need that info urgently). Other than that small oversight, it's a very nice suit.


And how did the brakes do at the end of the strait?
I have no idea. You don't brake much before T-1 if your top speed is only 115 MPH... :D The only times I had to use them hard was if I was catching up to some of the faster bikes. When you come in at 150-170, that turns is daunting - there is a small rise, about 500 ft before the turn, it unsettles the suspension a little - so many would over-brake, allowing me to make up a lot of distance I gave up down the straight. That's where you could tell the difference between the really good riders and the ones that merely have fast bikes, estimating the right corner speed when you are traveling that fast is not easy.

Gustavo
 

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estimating the right corner speed when you are traveling that fast is not easy
That's still the hardest thing for me to get right at slow speeds...

Great deal on the suit...thinking about one for 2010, I don't think I would want to try the novice class in the textiles...probably wouldn't let me anyway :forgetit:

alvis
 

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Only if I would have read this before, I would have never thought that a Ducati was that bad and under a Versys, thank God Haga didn't see this or he would be riding a Versys instead.

Gee, why aren't there any Versys running in any races? Oh, why aren't you racing or riding a "race" bike?

Those poor blokes, looks like it's their first bike and just got their license. Or maybe the cost of repairing the fairings just disuades them :confused:

Inquiring minds would like to know :teetertooter:
 

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The leathers are mine. It's a Teknic Xcelerator suit that I bought this winter on e-bay for $200 (shipped to my house - I was the first and only one bid on that suit... :yeahsmile:).


I have no idea. You don't brake much before T-1 if your top speed is only 115 MPH... :D The only times I had to use them hard was if I was catching up to some of the faster bikes. When you come in at 150-170, that turns is daunting - there is a small rise, about 500 ft before the turn, it unsettles the suspension a little - so many would over-brake, allowing me to make up a lot of distance I gave up down the straight. That's where you could tell the difference between the really good riders and the ones that merely have fast bikes, estimating the right corner speed when you are traveling that fast is not easy.

Gustavo

Also, please explain how you go into "T-1", is that terminator 1? at 150-170 when you state that the top speed is only a mere 115 mph? And you beat 180 mph Ducatis with that on a track :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Only if I would have read this before...
Smells like fishy bait, but just in case someone stumbles upon this thread, I want to avoid any confusion arrising from these comments.

Gee, why aren't there any Versys running in any races? Oh, why aren't you racing or riding a "race" bike?
There actually were a couple of teams that fielded a Versys at some AMA events. The ones I remember ran at a Daytona endurance event. I remember it because one of those Versys spit Mr. Daytona himself in spectacular highside (which is very atypical for him). I used to race, but I don't have the time to run a full time effort any more. After a couple of years of riding the bike at occasional events I made a good deal to a young guy that wanted to start racing because it annoyed me to see the bike parked in the garage without much use. Now the Versys is the bike I take to the track. It's not ideal, but it works and it's still a lot of fun.


Gustavo
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Also, please explain how you go into "T-1", is that terminator 1? at 150-170 when you state that the top speed is only a mere 115 mph? And you beat 180 mph Ducatis with that on a track :confused:
T-1 is not related to Sarah or John Connor. It's a common racing abbreviation - T1 = Turn 1, T-2 = Turn 2, etc. etc..

The top speed of the Versys was about 115 MPH. The faster bikes that approached T-1 at 150-170 MPH were the ones that over-braked to speeds that allowed a bike that was still going 115 to close some of the distance they opened down the straight (sometimes all of it, depending at which point they went by). Riders with better riding skills (that also had fast bikes and were going just as fast down the straight) could do a better job estimating the required braking and they just kept pulling away, never to be seen again until the session ended.

It's not a race, it's a trackday, so you don't really "beat" anybody (other than your old riding skills), but there is a lot of good spirited competitiveness. You try to run as fast as you can without doing anything stupid that would endanger you or those you share the track with. You ride with people who are faster and people who are slower. Unlike racing classes where equipment is fairly evenly matched, as I mentioned, you get all kinds of bikes (but there is an obvious bias for sportbikes) While going fast down the straight is closely related to the bikes ability, lapping fast consistently is usually more related to rider ability to keep the speed up all the way around the track and finding places to pass slower riders safely.

Had Haga been riding a scooter at PIR that day, most of us would have not been able to keep up, regardless of his speed down the main straight... :D


Gustavo
 
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