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Thoughts from my first track day

  #1  
Old 10-26-2010, 02:54 PM
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Default Thoughts from my first track day

I participated in my first track day in Novice group this last weekend. There are few things you should know if you plan to take your F4i to the track...

If you've never been on a track before, you aren't likely to out-ride the F4i's capabilities - it will do everything you ask of it. It will lean, brake and accelerate just as well as anything else in your group.

However you will start grinding peg feelers, if you still have them, before the guys on the race ready bikes (Yamaha R6/1, CBR RR, GSX-R, etc). Peg feelers are expendable and a good reminder that you're getting close to grinding other, more important parts. Once you've ground enough off the feelers, things like exhaust midpipe become exposed and will scrape. So in order to make it around the same corner at the same speed as the guy on the CBR RR behind you (hehe) you will NEED to hang off the bike more than him and keep the bike more upright. The bike, with modern tires, will still get around that corner blazing fast, but the onus is on you to make the riding style adjustment. When you scrape feelers, the bike will simply not lean any further and you cannot turn any sharper, so I hope you've left yourself room to ease up on your lean angle without blowing the turn. I had to get off the track twice because I was on the feelers and wouldn't make the turn. Luckily I was able to use the pit entrance on my way off the track and nothing bad happened. Raising the pegs with aftermarket rearsets will get your feet and pegs higher and allow greater lean angles, however you've still got to deal with scraping the exhaust on right-handers if you have an OEM style pipe.

Suspension is too soft, on a track, for anybody above flyweight. When I did my fork rebuild I even used just a little more fork oil than recommended and it made no difference. Under heavy braking, the front compresses way too far, and creates a springback effect as it unloads when you setup for the turn causing an uneasy moment. Feel and feedback is fine otherwise, but could be enhanced with a fork job.

Michelin Pilot Powers seemed happy at 32F/30R PSI cold. They will take a while to heat up to optimal temp, depending on the track and ambient temps. They should tell you this at the rider meeting/novice instruction - weaving around like an F1 driver doesn't bring motorcycle street tires up to temp AT ALL, only hard accel/decel flexes the tire enough to warm it up properly.

Engine, transmission, steering, bike weight, factory clip ons and all that seem fine for a novice. As you become more advanced I'm sure some of that changes, but I can't yet speak from experience.

You can attend a track day for FUN and not feel pressure to race, keep pace with others, etc. Take time and get comfortable with your bike and ignore the other riders. As a first time track day rider, you'll have a long way to go before things get competitive. The F4i is a great way to get started.
 
  #2  
Old 10-26-2010, 03:01 PM
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feelers drug? buy my race sets lol glad to hear u had a good time though +1
 
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Old 10-26-2010, 03:08 PM
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hah - Always the salesman Z.

I've been wanting to do a track day pretty bad. How much did it run you ballpark? I know there are a few places not to terribly far from me, next year I have to get out and try a few.

Have any photos? Glad you had fun.
 
  #4  
Old 10-26-2010, 04:17 PM
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Sure here are some pictures. The track day was $180 plus i had to rent leathers and race boots which was extra.



 
  #5  
Old 10-26-2010, 04:24 PM
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Hah VERY cool man. Looks like so much fun.

Do they go over instruction before hand, or just safety technique and send you on your way.
 
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Old 10-26-2010, 04:33 PM
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Welcome to the addiction Dave!
Glad to hear U had a good time & nice write-up too!
I dont remember if had the stock pegs still on when I did my 1st track day (dont think so) because I never scraped'em and was draggin' knees all over Gingerman raceway by the end of the day.
THe bike just has competition werks red anodized pegs with stock sets....works for me for a time in Intermediate.
Plan on getting forks & rear shock rebuilt this winter...should help somewhat with the cornering clearance 'cause I really have to tuck my foot in when I start picking up the pace. I have to put the very outer edge of my boot on the edge of the foot peg to make some corners
Once again,thanx for the great write-up!
 
  #7  
Old 10-26-2010, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by NateDieselF4i View Post
Hah VERY cool man. Looks like so much fun.

Do they go over instruction before hand, or just safety technique and send you on your way.
They assume a lot and basically start off with safety (flags, pit-in and pit-out, passing rules, etc.) and then ride lead-follow to introduce you to the 'racing line', which is the fastest and smoothest way around the track. After a couple sessions you're out on your own with restrictions on passing. This may differ some from event host to event host, but then the instructors were available to ask for help 1-on-1 if you want. I never felt pushed to increase my pace and at times I rode the entire track in 3rd gear at 4000rpm just working on turn in and transitions. After I think 4 or 5 20 minute sessions I was exhausted! They went on to have 8 sessions per group if you didn't sit out any...more than I needed.
 
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Old 10-26-2010, 05:18 PM
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  #9  
Old 10-26-2010, 07:03 PM
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1-You can lean farther after the scrapers hit. Most people without rearsets just remove the feelers completely. I have plates that move the rearsets up 1" and back 1" and I was still hitting so I removed mine also.

2-Springs are much too soft in front yes. Try upping your rebound and try to start your turn in time with letting off the brakes so the suspension stays compressed.

3-I run my pures at the same temps and have had exellent results from them. Tire warmers are a must have IMO.
 

Last edited by boredandstroked; 10-26-2010 at 07:08 PM.
  #10  
Old 10-26-2010, 07:12 PM
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I have a set of rearset brackets that do that relocation if anyone needs them!
 

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