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My first trackday--Summit Main with Roger Lyle ** PICTURES ADDED** (long write-up!)
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My first trackday--Summit Main with Roger Lyle ** PICTURES ADDED** (long write-up!) - September 7, 2007, 02:28 PM

It all started with my need for a new leather suit. After many trips to different stores, several of you suggested that I try MotoNeko (www.motoneko.com) in NW Baltimore. There, I met Mike and Sree, who are the owners of the store, and who are big motorcycle enthusiasts. After trying on a bunch of different suits, I found one that was like custom made for me, and my g/f said she wanted to buy it for my b-day. Mike and Sree then mentioned that they were going to a trackday at Summit Main with Roger Lyle (www.motorcyclexitement.com) and gave me his info. They also said they could bring my bike to the track on their trailer.


The trackday was scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 6. I normally cannot take a day off in the middle of the week, but I had already taken Friday Sept. 7 off (plus all of next week) to go to Sweden to see my family and friends. So, I decided to take Thursday off as well. After about 25 years of street riding, I was all set for my first trackday, I thought!


I planned on riding my ZX-10, but it crapped out on me over a week before the trackday, but the service peeps said they could not get the parts in time for me to get the bike ready in time for Sept. 6. So, I called Sree and said I could not make it. He then said that I could borrow his back-up bike--an '03 R6! That was even better, as I had been a little worried about taking an '06 ZX-10 to my first trackday.


On Sept. 6, I got up about 5:00am to get me plenty of time to get to the track, find Sree and be ready for the introductory class. I brought lots of water, gatorade, bananas and candy bars. I also brought ice and a cooler, two helmets, back-up visors, gloves, and a bunch of miscellaneous things. When I arrived, I walked around and saw some pretty amazing setups! RV's larger than my house; covered trailers with A/Cs; fully spec'd and track-readied first and secondary bikes; canopies with a bunch of chairs and all kinds of food and other goodies; secondary wheels and leather suits hanging off the canopies; people ripping fairings off the bikes and putting them back on; etc., etc. It was a great atmosphere, and I felt a little out of place.


Once Sree arrived, and we had off loaded his two bikes, and a couple of other friends of his had off loaded their bikes and put up a canopy, I started to feel more comfortable. The reason for the canopies, by the way, became VERY clear to me around 11:00 and on--the sun protection was a necessity!! On the PA system, the Lyle group announced that the instructional class was about to start. Roger and a few of the control riders went through the courtesy rules and the flags, and gave us some tips for riding safely. Then Roger gave us his two rules: (1) Have fun; (2) Stay safe. Very good rules! After this, we all paid and signed up for the groups where we felt we would be comfortable.


Since I had a bike I had never ridden, and I had never been on a track before, I signed up for the beginners/intermediate class. There were four classes in total, and we would be riding 15 minutes and have 45 minutes off. The three more advanced classes rode first, so us beginners had plenty of time to get ready. By the time we were ready to hit the track, we were all very eager to get out! We had about three or four riders for each control rider. During the first session, I took it really easy to get to know the bike and track. Noone was allowed to pass, except for on the straighaway after turn 10 (the last turn), which made for a really comfortable pace and no "I need to be first" mentality. It was a great intro session, which was great for everyone (I even saw some people who had VERY litte experience riding, and they were comfy). One thing that was really uncomfortable in the beginning was not having my rear view mirrors. I kept on moving my head to see if anyone was behind me, and if I could cut across the lanes to keep a straight line. It took me two sessions to get comfy that it is the rider behind me who is responsible for not running into me! Once I was ok with that, it was much easier to concentrate on my own riding and focus on the lines.


During the second session, the CRs started to pick up the pace a little. I stayed behind Sree, who led a little faster group that passed a couple of others on the straightaway. He then picked up the pace a little more, and one other guy joined Sree and I. Now we were cruising at a good pace. Too soon, we got the checkered flag, and we had to go back. I am now starting to feel really comfortable on the bike and also on the track. Sree said that he would take me out with the advanced group next time. I said I was a little apprehensive about that because I had not seen how good those guys were, and they are allowed to pass at will. My concern was that I did not want to cut off any better riders with my less than perfect lines. Again, I had to remind me that they were responsible for not hitting me from behind, and, besides, they would be good enough to not push me off the track.


Off we go. We are now hitting turn one at around 65-70mph (indicated), and are leaning nicely. It feels great, and the tires feel completely planted. However, I start dragging my right foot and realize I am not following along with my butt enough while leaning. Ok. Lesson learned. At least I think I learned that lesson. Same thing happens again in the Carousel (turns 5-9). Damn it! Once we pass turn 9, we speed up to about 120 over a hill. On the downside of the hill, we shave off some speed, but hit the last turn (turn 10) at about 85 mph. Here I feel like I am finally making a good turn. Once we exit the turn, it is WOT up to about 150mp, before going into turn 1 again. There were a few guys on big bikes who passed us on the straighaway, but after the session, I realize that we had held up pretty well in the turns. Great feeling.


We next had lunch, and I did not feel tired at all. To the contrary, I wanted as much tracktime as I could get. So, I started riding both the beginner's sessions and the advanced sportsbike sessions, so I am now on for 30 minutes and off for 30 minutes. This was the only real mistake I made. I thought I had paid so much money to do this, and I was eager to get as much track time as I could get. In the end, I skipped the last session because I was sooo exhausted. Next time, I will pace myself better, and take advantage of the off times. Lesson learned!


I did not crash, and I did not even have a scare out there, despite running quite fast and really trying to learn how to take turns smoothly and find the proper lines. There were two crashes, but noone was hurt, and the crashes did not really hold us up. Sree had a couple of incidents, but managed to handle them beautifully. I was one bike behind him when his right footpeg hit the ground in the middle of a turn. He almost pivoted around the peg, and both wheels started sliding back and forth. I thought he would hi-side, but he got it under control. Phew! No other real incidents, so it was a great day!


After all the sessions were done, I was spent!! I talked to Roger several times. He is really passionate about what he does, and he is a really nice guy with some fun stories (don't know if they are all true, but they are nevertheless fun ).


I highly recommend doing at least one trackday. I learned a lot from this one day, and I will for sure go to more.


I don't know how much experience someone would need before doing a trackday. In my view, even though the first morning session for the beginners was a really good intro, and was not very fast, I would not recommend this trackday to people who don't have at least some experience riding their bikes. I think pretty much anyone who have passed either an MSF or other riding course could have handled the pace of that first session. However, all the other sessions for beginner sportbike riders would be a little much for someone without at least some riding experience. That's just my take, and I would be happy for more experienced track riders to chime in on this topic. But, if you have some experience, DO IT!!!!! You will have a memory for a lifetime, and perhaps a new passion for a lifetime. I will go back as often as I can.


Ok, off my soap box!


ps., I will be getting some pictures from the trackday and will post them as soon as I can, but it will be after I get back from Sweden.


Celebrate freedom, honesty and excellence!

Last edited by Musikkant; September 19, 2007 at 11:07 AM..
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September 7, 2007, 04:39 PM

Excellent! Glad you had a blast Kenneth! Awesome of Sree to loan you a bike too! Now sign up for Cornerspeed later this month and I'll see you there!
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September 7, 2007, 04:51 PM

Awesome report! Glad you had a fun and safe day!


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September 7, 2007, 05:07 PM

hell yea dude!!! good work!!


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September 7, 2007, 05:07 PM

oh and MOTONEKO is the SHIT!!!!!!!


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Quote:
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dressing up like a fruity gangster and going to Sterling, that is like wearing a tuxedo just to go to the bathroom.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossi
Buying a sportbike to go the speed limit (which you do not do in your car) is like buying a condom to look at it.

Do you buy a condom to look at it? No you buy it to fuck.
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September 7, 2007, 05:09 PM

MY EYES!!! j/k
AWESOME mister, glad you had a good time, great report!


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September 7, 2007, 08:48 PM

Kenneth,

You da man!

Congrats on your first track day!

Can't wait till mine....but, I'll wait until I have atleast 1 year under my belt.

PM me when you get back so we can hit some roads!

T675


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September 7, 2007, 09:20 PM

Kenneth,
Great write-up - feels like I was there! Oh, wait a minute, I WAS!!!

It was indeed a great track day - hats off to Roger Lyle and his CR's for a well organized day. Additionally, it was a great group of people to pit with otherwise Kenneth and I would have really toasted in the sun.

Thanks to Sree, Suraj, Paul, John, and Kenneth for their hospitality at the track and for on-track guidance. Now only if I can remember to hang my butt off the seat more...

BTW, Kenneth looked really good out there and fast!! He didnt tell you this but he did get both his pucks on the ground!!

-Arif


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Pictures from my first track day!
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Pictures from my first track day! - September 19, 2007, 10:46 AM

Ok, be kind because these pictures were taken during the first few laps. I actually improved towards the end of the day!

Seriously, like Arif, I need to learn to hang my butt off the seat a little more. I also need to learn to scoot back in the seat a little. That said, I felt that I made some major improvements over the day. More track days to come!

Oh, by the way, I am looking for a less expensive 600cc track bike (I am sure my ZX-10 will be too much for me to handle on the track when pushing a little harder).
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg DSC09315.JPG (404.2 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg DSC09255.JPG (336.4 KB, 9 views)


Celebrate freedom, honesty and excellence!

Last edited by Musikkant; September 19, 2007 at 10:56 AM..
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September 19, 2007, 10:48 AM

One more...
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Celebrate freedom, honesty and excellence!

Last edited by Musikkant; September 19, 2007 at 11:24 AM..
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September 19, 2007, 10:55 AM

Here's the last picture...
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Celebrate freedom, honesty and excellence!

Last edited by Musikkant; September 19, 2007 at 11:24 AM..
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September 19, 2007, 10:56 AM

Awesome write up!


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September 19, 2007, 11:21 AM

right


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September 19, 2007, 11:22 AM

Great write up Kenneth. It looks like you had a blast!


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September 19, 2007, 12:00 PM

a piece of advice others have offered me...get off the bike more (upper body too)...if you think you are already well off...go more, you are no where near as far as you think you might be


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