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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Took a beginners trackday session this past Sunday. I was the only classic bike....one HD cruiser and the rest (35?) sport bikes plus two tiny Honda GROM's!

Intent here was to learn how to find decent corner lines and work ut how to better lean the bike! Not to become a racer ;-)

There are 14 absolute beginners in my group. Course was on a flat runway pavement laid out with cones. Was pretty challenging.

I don't think I ever mastered the course, never felt I was comfortable with the leaning methods they were trying to get us to do. The HD seemed to be scraping metal at nearly every corner :laugh2: but had really good lines.
I never seemed to close up on anyone and was passed by just about all in my group each session. Just couldn't get the bike to go fast around corners. Oh well, is it not supposed to be a race after all...I just settled in and tried to concentrate on my corner setups and entries...A total of 90 min track time in one day.
Should I got for another day, I will likely be in t he same beginner level group.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have Avon Road Riders. Ran standard pressures...33F, 38R.
 

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Your second time out will be faster, as mentioned , practice makes perfect. Unless you're afraid you might fall in which case you won't get faster. Where ever you roll out of the throttle for turn in, each lap go a bit further before entering until it scares you. Then you'll have one limit figured out.
:surprise:

Green tape is faster.
 

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Here's a link to the pro photog's shots of my bike from the track day:

http://thumphoto.zenfolio.com/mdBpeDC6TxjkAAJrGM03fFg==.fav

Tell me what I was doing wrong, Eh!
Depends what you want to get out of your bike , from your stance you appear relaxed and comfortable . Try moving forward on your seat with your shoulders further forward ( my dad always said keep my back straight as well ) . Of course if you find this uncomfortable or unnatural ignore what I have said .
 

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As Hedgepig says, it all depends upon what you want to get out of the bike.

In your original post you stated that you wanted to learn how to pick your lines and better lean the bike. As long as you can remember those goals I think you will be fine.

I have heard many times this statement, "If you had a good time, learned something, and put the bike back on the trailer the same way it came off, it was a good day at the track".

After a couple of more track days you will finally decide if this is something that you want to pursue. If not, you will always be able to say you did it. If you do decide to pursue this then you will find that it is a pretty expensive way to have fun. Yea, there are track fees but there will be lots of other things that will raise the cost including time and effort just to make the trip and ride for the day. You won't notice them at first but they will add up. But, by that time, if you are still committed, you won't even notice them.

For me, I find that there are always faster riders. Some just seem to be naturals at this, I am not. As you get more familiar with the track and the bike you will also find that some riders will be slower than you. Just remember, you were one of them once and be patient, it will be safer for both of you. Try to be consistent. A rider that is trying to pass you will, if he is a responsible rider, try to learn what you are going to do and pass with out interfering with your line. But, if you are inconsistent, he will not be able to that.

I don't believe in the idea that you have to scare yourself in order to learn. Yes, you will need to begin to push your self to improve but I think a better way to look at it is to practice at increasingly greater percentages of you maximum ability. In other words, run perhaps 75-85% of your maximum ability while paying attention to what is happening. Then, when you feel really on, push to 95-100% for a corner, a lap, what ever you are confident of. Then slow down and try to consolidate anything that you have learned. Then, when things seem to be clicking again, push again.

For right now though, just concentrate on learning the track and the bike. Work on trying to learn to turn the bike with out using the bars to counter steer every turn. The more you can learn to corner using your weight instead of counter steering and leaning the bike, the faster you will be able to turn with out dragging parts. In other words, lighten up on your grip of the bars, something that is a lot easier said than done and I still continue to try to learn. That will mean, as Hedgepig says, learning to steer with your shoulders.

As far as your tires and pressures go I think your street tires will be fine for some time. Higher pressures will make the bike feel more nimble as well.

The engines on these bikes are very well suited for learning on the track. They make lots of flat line torque so, less shifting, less braking. Use as few gears as seems reasonable. Try to work on just feathering the brakes, using them more as a security blanket than actual brakes. This will simplify your life and allow you to concentrate on just turning.

You will get passed by sport bikes in the straights on a regular basis. That is simply a function of lots of power and a lot less weight. Learn to ignore that and focus on your ride. You are there, not to go fast in the straight, but to learn to corner.

Good luck, hope you find this enjoyable enough to keep it up, but if not, don't let it bother you. You will always be able to say that you tried it which is something that only a small percentage of riders will ever be able to say.

Art.
 

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Not everyone gets to really feel their bike talking to them, a track day does that, you learn it's design envelope and how you take advantage of it. Don't override your skill set, just add to it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks all. My goal at the track day was to learn to be better on the street. I have no interest in becoming a racer on the track. The group I was in (absolute beginners) seemed to be aligned with the same goal of improving street control during turns. The track trainers emphasized getting way over with your face basically at your inside hand grip and inside knee out. I never really got there...trying it while stationary and on side stand just felt so weird and I couldn't make it happen while on the track. Maybe not something I should be doing on a Bonne anyway?

At end of day, one of the on-course safety riders came up and talked to me...I lamented not gaining on anyone or passing anyone the whole day...but she told me he had a tough time to close & pass me on most of the straights...the Bonne just had so much power out of the turns! She was on a 500cc Yamaha sport bike. I wasn't even going full throttle anywhere ;-)

By end of day, I had significantly smaller chicken strips, so must of been doing something right!
 

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That blue painters tape the best tape to use, since it won't stick on there too bad. I use duct tape one time and OMG it was really bad getting that stuff off the bike. It melted with the heat onto the parts. What a mess.
 
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