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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Has come to an end for Peggy and I. It has been a fun year with lots of time spent on the tracks of the Southeast....mostly. This year was a pretty typical year for both Peg and I, as far as the number of track days we went to. I ended up doing 17 days and Peg ended up with 15, as she didn't go to Fla. in March for a weekend at Jennings. This past Monday, we had the opportunity to go to the brand new track up in Bowling Green, KY at the National Corvette Motorpark. This track just opened this past Aug/Sept and is not completed, as far as the entire facility, but enough to hold events at. Sportbike Track Time's owner, Richard Harris, rented the track and invited the full staff (Northern and Southern Region) to come ride for a day to give everyone a chance to ride without working and to meet some of the staff that is in the opposite region. The track itself is going to be Awesome. Management is very receptive to making some vital changes to the track property to make it compatible/safe for motorcycle track days and motorcycle racing......all over the winter months while the track is shut down for the off season. I'm hearing rumblings that we will be there at least three times next year, but nothing is set in stone at the present time. So, it's time to get ready for the long off season and make it through another winter without track days.

Here are a couple of shots from the T.D. at the National Corvette Motorsport Park. First one is Peggy, doing her usual maximum lean angle that scares me most of the time....Notice that she has got the bike leaned over far enough to see the "Honda" sticker on the bottom of the belly pan.....on the other side of the bike....


And one of me, going through the same corner..T7, a hard right-hander....
 

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I just put coolant back in the track bike yesterday :(

Got out 7 times this year, which I'm happy with between all the other activities that keeps us occupied. Oddly enough, I have no pictures from this season, other than sitting in the pits.

Land vehicle Vehicle Motorcycle Car Motor vehicle Land vehicle Vehicle Motorcycle Car Automotive tire
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey Buck....You've got the same number on your bike as she does. She went with #55 because that's how old she was when she did her very first track day.
 

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What a coincidence!

I was 55 (-26) years old when I did my first track day. :p

I miss the track already.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yep, it's going to be a long winter.
 

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You seem to be more relaxed on T7... however Peggy has a truckload of convenience -grin
And why should it be a long winter... out west the tracks are open.
 

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This was my first year at the track, thanks to some generous folks on my local forum! I took the bait, hook, line and sinker and now I'm hooked for sure! Hoping to get one more day in, but have four track days so far this year. Hoping to up it to at least ten next year and a dedicated track bike. The fz09 has been blast on the track, but I'm hoping to pick up an r6 or some other flavor 600cc machine by spring time. Woot!
 

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Hopefully I can squeeze one more day before the end of this year, do any of you guys have any on board footage of you at the track or pics?
 

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I posted some video in the photo section of the track day forum, and more in the west coast regional forum on the track day thread there.

http://www.fz09.org/forum/43-track-day-reports-photos/4494-thunderhill-8-24-14-c-group.html
http://www.fz09.org/forum/26-west-west-coast-fz-09-owners/3328-track-day-roll-call-west-coast.html

Mine are pretty boring and my mic is toast so no sound, but at least you can see what the different tracks are like if you've never seen them before. Still hoping to hit Thunderhill one more time this season on 11/30!
 

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I posted some video in the photo section of the track day forum, and more in the west coast regional forum on the track day thread there.

http://www.fz09.org/forum/43-track-day-reports-photos/4494-thunderhill-8-24-14-c-group.html
http://www.fz09.org/forum/26-west-west-coast-fz-09-owners/3328-track-day-roll-call-west-coast.html

Mine are pretty boring and my mic is toast so no sound, but at least you can see what the different tracks are like if you've never seen them before. Still hoping to hit Thunderhill one more time this season on 11/30!
I have not been to either of those tracks yet, but next year I'll travel more outside of texas. but I watched the thunderhill footage, looks like a fun track. Some good elevation changes which can help challenge braking skills. awesome videos man, nice pass on the outside as well
 

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Thanks! In C group they don't want you passing on the inside once the other rider has initiated their turn in. I haven't watched the video in a while but iirc it was a very cautious ninja 250 rider on her first track day. I was definitely one of the faster c group people that day, which is always a confidence builder. I love Thunderhill!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
No inside passing in the Novice/C/Beginner groups is pretty standard in most track day organizations and in my opinion is a very good rule. With STT, the group I work for, we will give someone a first warning (this is after it is REALLY emphasized in every classroom session that day), if they are caught inside passing again, they may very well be done for the rest of the day.....we take it that seriously.
 

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I agree its a good rule, and I've been really impressed with how much they want everyone to have a safe, fun day. They also emphasize a 6foot bubble around every rider too. It makes a lot of sense especially after seeing so many people who seem unable to maintain a good line, or are just really nervous out there.

I assume I will move up to B group next season and from what I've seen its going to be quite different. Seems like alot of the "wannabe" really fast guys are there, and that group almost always seems to have the most crashes, and unfriendly passing. Seems like there is a wide mix of skill levels and speeds. Any advice for first time B group rider? I'm predictable at this point and my lap times are certainly acceptable from what I've seen.
 

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Hey Buck....You've got the same number on your bike as she does. She went with #55 because that's how old she was when she did her very first track day.
Oh - you shouldn't have said that. You'll be getting the icy stare for that. Don't you know women don't like their age splashed across the internet? Anyway, from the picture she looks 20 to me:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Oh - you shouldn't have said that. You'll be getting the icy stare for that. Don't you know women don't like their age splashed across the internet? Anyway, from the picture she looks 20 to me:)
Yea, she's not typical of most women.......she turned 62 today.......Happy Birthday Honey!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
I agree its a good rule, and I've been really impressed with how much they want everyone to have a safe, fun day. They also emphasize a 6foot bubble around every rider too. It makes a lot of sense especially after seeing so many people who seem unable to maintain a good line, or are just really nervous out there.

I assume I will move up to B group next season and from what I've seen its going to be quite different. Seems like alot of the "wannabe" really fast guys are there, and that group almost always seems to have the most crashes, and unfriendly passing. Seems like there is a wide mix of skill levels and speeds. Any advice for first time B group rider? I'm predictable at this point and my lap times are certainly acceptable from what I've seen.
We also have a 6' passing rule in Novice and Intermediate. Advanced group only says that it must be a clean pass and not make contact.

It sounds like you have nailed it pretty good as far as what to expect in the next level group. Our Intermediate would also be the one that sees the most crashes and sometimes sketchy riding. There is a huge discrepency in skill level there.....folks that just moved out of Novice all the way to riders that are Advanced group capable and ready to bump up. With STT, no one bumps up automatically. They ask a coach/Instructor to go out with them and be evaluated for the bump. Speed is NOT the most important factor in our evals......being smooth, running a consistent line (even if it's off a bit) and being predictable (no sudden movements across the track). I also like to watch for that rider being courteous when it comes to passing. Our motto is: If you think you can make the pass, YOU CAN'T! If you KNOW you can make the pass, you will probably be just fine and not violate the 6' passing rule or disturb someone's line in the process. It is ENTIRELY the passing rider's responsibility to make a clean and safe pass, not the rider being passed. He or she should NEVER have to change or alter their line because someone passed them. I think there are several factors that go into the fact that Intermediate is the most crash prone group out there, but the bottom line is that some folks still aren't looking at it as a "track day" ..........they are thinking "race day" and they have to go faster than everyone out there no matter what it takes. I can pretty much guarantee them that they aren't going to set a new lap record for the track they are on, so if you get into a situation that requires that you pull up a bit, or wait until the next straight to do your pass, then that's what you should do. Unfortunately, there is usually a very high level of testosterone involved in track days and some riders just don't have the will power to show the courtesy that they need to show when the situation calls for it. We usually find them pretty quickly and pull them off track to have a chat about their riding. Depending on their attitude and how well they accept the "chat" will usually determine whether or not I pull a sticker off their bike or make them sit out a session. Most (not all) are already aware of why you pulled them in and some are apologizing before I can get my visor opened up. I obviously like to see that kind of attitude that they are genuinely sorry that they screwed up.....it shows me that they are receptive to listening and following the rules.......which are in place for everyone's safety.
 
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Thanks! In C group they don't want you passing on the inside once the other rider has initiated their turn in. I haven't watched the video in a while but iirc it was a very cautious ninja 250 rider on her first track day. I was definitely one of the faster c group people that day, which is always a confidence builder. I love Thunderhill!
No inside passing in the Novice/C/Beginner groups is pretty standard in most track day organizations and in my opinion is a very good rule. With STT, the group I work for, we will give someone a first warning (this is after it is REALLY emphasized in every classroom session that day), if they are caught inside passing again, they may very well be done for the rest of the day.....we take it that seriously.

Here is a quick video to show you why track orgs dont allow inside passing in the novice or intermediate class. me personally id recommend passing before 2/3's of the straight. anything after that you may start to cut it kind of close for level 1 or 2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
First.......we do allow inside passing in the Intermediate group.....just not in the Novice groups. In your video, the guy on the white bike was obviously not looking far enough ahead and if someone is following the bike in front (the red bike), that closely, you need to be offset by enough width to avoid the red bike if he does something like he did there. That kind of riding is obviously not acceptable, but is almost to be "expected" in an Intermediate group setting, because of the inexperience of some of the riders there. That is one of the reasons that I personally will spend an entire session (20 minutes) following someone that I'm evaluating for a bump to the next level. Following that person for 5-10 minutes is just not enough and sometimes by the end of the session, their "true" self comes out for all the world to see.
 

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I'm obviously still a noob at track riding, but I really prefer passing right out of corners. If I have someone I'm intending to pass I kind of lay in wait entering the corner, giving myself some distance from the other rider, watching their line choice closely, and once its clear which path they are choosing I'll drive hard after the apex to get around them. It seems that as I do this more it's becoming more intuitive where the other rider will be based on the line they are choosing and getting by them cleanly is coming more naturally. Sometimes though they slow down more than expected entering the corner or choose a sloppy line. In the video below at 2:18 is an example of what I'm trying to do, and the following corner is me getting caught slightly off guard by the guy I'm trying to get around braking more than expected. I'd love any advice/critique. Thanks.

 

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First.......we do allow inside passing in the Intermediate group.....just not in the Novice groups. In your video, the guy on the white bike was obviously not looking far enough ahead and if someone is following the bike in front (the red bike), that closely, you need to be offset by enough width to avoid the red bike if he does something like he did there. That kind of riding is obviously not acceptable, but is almost to be "expected" in an Intermediate group setting, because of the inexperience of some of the riders there. That is one of the reasons that I personally will spend an entire session (20 minutes) following someone that I'm evaluating for a bump to the next level. Following that person for 5-10 minutes is just not enough and sometimes by the end of the session, their "true" self comes out for all the world to see.
yeah there was a lot of stuff going wrong in that video no doubt.

I'm obviously still a noob at track riding, but I really prefer passing right out of corners. If I have someone I'm intending to pass I kind of lay in wait entering the corner, giving myself some distance from the other rider, watching their line choice closely, and once its clear which path they are choosing I'll drive hard after the apex to get around them. It seems that as I do this more it's becoming more intuitive where the other rider will be based on the line they are choosing and getting by them cleanly is coming more naturally. Sometimes though they slow down more than expected entering the corner or choose a sloppy line. In the video below at 2:18 is an example of what I'm trying to do, and the following corner is me getting caught slightly off guard by the guy I'm trying to get around braking more than expected. I'd love any advice/critique. Thanks.

yeah another reason the outside passing is a bit safer is because when you have a newer rider like a novice or intermediate level rider on the track, they are riding at their level. in their mind they are going as fast as they can, but if a faster rider swoops in to beat them to the apex, it could really spook them. its just a track day so, waiting a extra turn or two to get around someone wont hurt. but if a certain track org allows passing in the inside then at least it will help you get used to it for the advance level.

also in your video you look like a reallly good rider, your lines are pretty good. getting your knee over the curbing (or trying to get your body work over the curbing at a later pace) will help a lot, especially with a track like that. Getting to WOT sooner, braking later and harder, carrying more corner speed will come with more seat time.
 
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