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Discussion Starter #1
Heard rumors of T-Vik and Retro going.....
 
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Cold cold cold, and windy, there was ice on the road next to the tower in the morning. People were running 28 28 psi and still alot of accidents.....a couple of bad ones...one rear wheel lock up on the straight....very bad looking...a couple of ambulance runs....just too many crashes.....on the other hand I thought Ryan did really really well. My bike is still not road worthy and Ryan offered up his R6, but I decided to decline the offer, considering the day I think it was a good decision.
I have some pic's I will post later.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Cold and windy...and it sounds like it was the Big Track..Yikes. :eek:

Glad you both are OK. Sorry to hear of the others hitting the deck.

Any lap times on Ryan?
 

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From the get-go, I simply wasn't very confident re: my suspension or my tires. There's also something about a mint bike that simply makes you not want to crash. Crash it once, and you instantly knock off a second or two because you don't care if you crash it again. But as long as it's scratch-free, you're just riding like a p*ssy.

Anyway, I had wrapped my knees with Ace bandages as somebody over on the R6 board had recommended. The fast group was the first out, but I had to pull in after the warm-up lap - the bandages were too tight and were cutting off circulation to my lower legs and feet. When I went back on, there were only two or three laps left. I was still getting used to the track and was holding back a little because I knew the track (and my tires) were COLD.

On the back "straight" through 6, 7 and 8 I noticed a rather harsh wind that forced me to hold on to my handlebars more than I normally like to do. The wind caused me to run wide and almost into the dirt through six at least twice, an interesting experience especially considering how 6 is a crested right-hander and causes considerable headshake on the R6 even without the wind trying to blow you off.

Another thing that I noticed in this session was my jacket cutting into my throat when tucked in. I have a fairly upright riding position on the street so I don't notice it there, but trying to hide from the headwind going 130mph on a track is a different story. I eventually gave up struggling for air while tucked in on the straights and simply held my breath until the corners, where the more upright position during braking and hanging off allowed me to breathe more comfortably.

Speaking of which: I knew I was too upright and over the bike while I was hanging off, but didn't realize how bad my body position really was until Kevin took a picture and showed it to me. I'll post a picture later after I re-size it. I think my body position improved a great deal throughout the day, but I'm still not completely comfortable leaning further than the bike. I feel less in control if I'm not on top of it.

So. I think it was during the first session that I experienced a pretty big slide at the exit of two. I stayed on the gas, and only got a minor wobble when the tire caught again but it was disconcerting and completely destroyed what little confidence I had in my bike and tires. After a short deliberation with other riders and the tire guy I dropped the pressure in the M1s from 32/32 to 30 front and 28 rear on account of the cold conditions.

I went out for my second session, the only session I would run without interruptions. Somebody had put up a beacon in the meanwhile, so I could finally test the Micron unit I had bought off eBay almost a year ago. I ran a best of 1:41 during that session. Overall, the session felt slow and I new I could go much, much faster through most of the turns, but found out that I wasn't too far off the 1:30 to 1:33 race pace depending on which class you're looking at.

When I pulled in again, Kevin pointed out that my rear seemed too soft. So we stiffened preload up a click to get 20mm of sag. We couldn't get a reliable reading in the front so we simply cranked preload all the way up to where it almost matched the movement of the rear. Something is terribly off with either one or both of the forks.

The next sesson out was interrupted by a big crash in the warm-up lap (see Kevin's pic above). I could feel a big improvement in the handling, the bike was turning much faster allowing me to carry more speed into 1, 3 and 5. After the track was cleared I went out only to have my fuel light come on - at 71 miles. WTF! So I had to pull in again, fill up, and only had two laps left when I got to go out again.

There were no more sessions after that, only one 40-min open session after 4pm. I went out but there were too many slow riders to have any fun out there. I couldn't see the apex in 9 because the setting sun was blinding me and I didn't yet know the track well enough to fly blind, I was still relying on my eyes too much. Two guys crashed right in front of me and the session was interrupted for ten minuts. Waiting in the hot pit something just didn't feel right to me so even though I really wanted to go out again I decided to call it a day.

All in all, it was great fun even though I only got one good session in. Next time on that track I should be able to break into the high 30s no problem. I might try a more dedicated track tire next time, and I'm going to have to do something about my suspension.

It was great to have Kevin there, for moral support, technical advise, and excellent conversation on the ride there. And of course it's just really cool to have your personal photographer on site 8) Hopefully, next time, he'll be out there riding himself.

-R.

PS: Kevin's not kidding when he calls Tiger Lady fast - she passed me going into 3 at least 10mph faster than me :eek:

PPS: Ibuprofen is a great fever reducer. :D
 
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Already you fast guys make me feel like a squid. Now, I see a pic of a hot chick...well, her body looks hot and she's flexible, and she's tearing up the track. It makes me wanna go put a baseball card in my spokes and a little propeller on top of my helmet. By the way, was she Asian? please say yes. . .please say yes. . .
You will be happy to know she was....and I know her name too ::)
 

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I see a pic of a hot chick...well, her body looks hot and she's flexible, and she's tearing up the track. It makes me wanna go put a baseball card in my spokes and a little propeller on top of my helmet. By the way, was she Asian? please say yes. . .please say yes. . .
She was pitted next to us at the Femmoto track day and she was the ring leader of a whole asian girl gang on bikes.

Unfortunately, they were all on Hondas...

--Fillmore
 

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I came up with such a good riddle and this guy talks about flavor... :'(

You know I'm kidding, I hope? :) Spunky, yeah... I wanna go out again and ride Sunset. Or just PCH and freeze my butt off.

-R.

PS: Is your bike fixed yet? Feel like a late-night romp to H'wood and back?
 

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Alright. A pic, as promised. It's of ho-hum quality, I'm hoping that Kevin is only holding out...

Now I don't know if this was taken during one of my warm-up laps or whether my body position is plain and simply p!ss poor. Either way, enjoy.

-R.

 
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well i will try a hint then.....rising sun..hmmmmmm......what else would we call that time of day.......?
Sorry Ryan I am not really holding out.....being kept behind the walls sucked, even getting to the corner stand on turn one was too far away...I have one though but it is so blown up...
 

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OK a little update for those that are still interested (I know you are, Kevin). I met a new mechanic, Scott Waters in Signal Hill. Anybody heard of/ used him? Specializes in Ducs and seems to know what he's talking about (was a mechanic for the factory team??!?).

Anyway, here's his evaluation of Big Willow: On an R6, 1:41 is too fast for a newbie to be going. He's right, I didn't really learn anything. I need to slow down next time I'm out there. He strongly suggested WALKING the track which made sense also.

According to him, low 1:30s are times smaller bikes like the 250s would be running. On a 600, 1:26s will get you into the top 10. 1:23s into the top 3.

That's only 18 seconds... I can do that :D

-R.
 
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I also found driving at night illuminates the road and let's you really see the bumps and contours, that daylight won't reveal. maybe they would let us on sometme to walk and night drive. :)
 

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I just started taking my bikes to Scott.

Scott is the guy. Vance & Hines.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Did a little research...

600 Super Stock Lap Record is 1:21.939, set in 2000 by some guy named Eric Bostrom ;D

Being about 19 seconds off of the lap record on your first time on the track is not bad at all. However, it requires a 19% reduction in lap time to get to the record. That's a lot :-/

However, Eddie Lawson only did a 1:25.34 on a 500GP bike, but that was in 1991. IIRC, Willow has been improved a bit since then.

Fastest bike lap record is Steve Rapp on an AMA Superbike, 1:19.029 set in 2000. All that extra horsepower only gets you 3 seconds.

Fastest car lap record is Michael Andretti in an IndyCar, 1:06.050 set in 1987. Lots of rubber and lots of downforce really helps a lot :)
 

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Not out to set track records, just interested to see where I fit into the big picture. Helps me find out where I'm slow and where I'm doing well.

To be honest, this was my 2nd time to that track. My first track day was at Willow in November '02 on the Monster.

I've improved at least 500% since I started riding two years ago. With a bit of practice, a 19% improvement in my track riding is certainly within the realm of possibility, no? :)

-R.
 
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