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Discussion Starter #1
I did my first ever track day at Gateway on May 26-27th and had a blast!! If you haven't already, I encourage any spirited Versys riders out there to take your bike to the track!






 

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Go man! I still remember my first track day. It was at Portland International Raceway, OR. I was on a 1992 VFR at CLASS. Awesome times. Thousands of miles and $$$$$ since, nothing is like track time. When you try talking to somebody who's never done it, its frustrating, as they have no idea. Your fastest, baddest, most wicked day of thrashing some mountain or "taming a dragon" is still nothing compared to even a mediocre day at a track. I love riding twisty streets, but . . .

Your bike looks good. Your lean angle in the last shot was great. Keep at it. Start moving your butt and body down, forward, into the inside of the bike and with that lean angle you'll be dragging knee sliders easy.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
:clap:Nice lean angle on the last picture.

You must be a pro at track.

:cheers:
I read A Twist of the Wrist II by Keith Code and that book really taught me some good fundamentals. Still learning though!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Go man! I still remember my first track day. It was at Portland International Raceway, OR. I was on a 1992 VFR at CLASS. Awesome times. Thousands of miles and $$$$$ since, nothing is like track time. When you try talking to somebody who's never done it, its frustrating, as they have no idea. Your fastest, baddest, most wicked day of thrashing some mountain or "taming a dragon" is still nothing compared to even a mediocre day at a track. I love riding twisty streets, but . . .

Your bike looks good. Your lean angle in the last shot was great. Keep at it. Start moving your butt and body down, forward, into the inside of the bike and with that lean angle you'll be dragging knee sliders easy.
Awesome pics with the mountains in the background!

So one thing that scares me a little bit about the Versys is the limited peg clearance compared to the traditional sport bikes. If I turn my inside leg out more I feel like I am going to start scraping the toe of my boots really good before my knee touches down. So I have been pushing the inside of my boot as close to the bike as possible due to this fear, which isn't condusive to getting a knee down. Thoughts on this?? Is this fear unfounded?

Also Im thinking about taking the peg feelers off for more peg clearance, but I'm not sure what is going to start scraping next?
:feedback:
 

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Congrats. I couldn't stop grinning for a week after my first track day. I plan on taking the Versys to a track day later this summer.
 

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Tgoods, that looks like a ton of fun! Congrats on getting out there and learning the ropes. how much do photos cost at the track? Gotta have a memento right? Your pics are great, but...

Man that photo of Retro with the mountain behind him is phenomenal!!!!! Classic shot.
 

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Keith Code is good reading when it comes to "reading" corners. Total Control by Lee Parks will teach you more about body position and detailed break down of the sequence of the corner. After you understand Total Control, pick up Sport Riding Techniques by Nick Ienatsch.

The mountains are courtesy of Miller Motorsports Park. I think it was an early spring race. The track is 4500 feet so snow stays in the pics till June. The World Superbike guys can't get enough of it.

As soon as the riding gets sporty, whether you are on the street or track, you should be on the balls of your feet. No more relaxing on the arch or hanging your boot on the peg at your heal. This will keep you from dragging your toes early. I say early because dragging toe sliders is inevitable with increased lean angle. However, if done properly, dragging your knee will happen before your toes drag. Me just saying, "move your feet back on the pegs so they don't drag" sounds totally obvious, but you'd be surprised how many students I coach who think they have their feet on the balls when they really don't.

Part of setting up for the turn and the lean is pointing your inside foot at the inside of the turn. Pivot your foot on the peg so your heal is against the bike. This will allow your leg and knee to come out naturally and be in alignment with your pointed foot. Your head should be turned with your nose and chin facing your chosen apex or even as far as the turn exit if you can see it. Scoot your butt to the inside of the turn/bike with 1/2 to all of one cheek off the seat. Shift the rest of your body to the inside of the bike/turn as well. Get your torso and shoulders facing the apex. Keep your torso and head weight low as if you are trying to look under your mirror or just above your handlebar. Your body weight will be anchored to the bike with your outside leg against the gas tank. You'll notice your outside toes will also be pointed outboard. Your stomach muscles will hold up your torso weight.

Don't worry about the peg feelers until you actually start to scratch them. That's why they are there. Feeler gauges for lean angle. If they start to get in the way, then take them off. It takes a lot of weight transfer to lever a wheel off from peg scratching. Gradually working up to a lean angle won't cause a problem. There's plenty of lean angle to get a knee down once you have the technique.

Place a cut of 2x4 under your side stand and practice "hanging off" to the left in your garage. You should be able to assume the position and comfortably take both hands off the handlebars. At no time during any of your riding should you be holding your body weight at your hands. Hands are for steering. Keep them and the bars as light as possible.

I could go on and on regarding riding technique, but that would consume a lot of space and I don't know your current skill level. If you have some specific questions I'll do my best to answer.:thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the feedback. I am going to check out those books. :goodidea:
 

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All good advice from Retro. Read it again. And yeah, don't worry about the peg feelers.
 
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