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FLORIDA - January 4, 2007, 09:47 PM

The lowdown:
Got my 2.4L 4 cylinder Toyota a trailer hitch installed so I can haul the gixxer 600 and the zx12 down to FL. Unfortunately due to numerous set-backs I kept having to delay the departure date. Track day was 12/30 and my ass still hadn't left 12/29. Virutally no sleep for weeks, I was getting loopy...seeing grey and black mice crawling from the corner of my eyes....trippy stuff from sleep dep.

Soldiered it, left 6:30am on Sat. Called Jennings and asked if I could switch to 1/1 since I could't make 12/30 and 12/31 was my street race. They said no problem....cool.
Problem was the 16 hour drive to S. FL took 20 hours even though I was on the gangsta pace of only stopping to refuel and piss/snack/coffee and 2 minute stretch. Get there so cracked out that I swore black bats were coming to get me on 95 (Anyone ever seen Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas?)

Only get 4 hours of sleep....beyond cracked out for the Sunday morning street race. Zx12 is far from prepped. Instead of racing I'm wrenching. Get to the spot at 8:30 instead of 7am so back to back runs are harder now as traffic is picking up every so slightly. 1st run is against the fastest guy there. Roll from 4k rpms in 1st...up the 12 comes only this time it did something I never have felt before. Not only was the front wheel somewhat cocked to the side, so was the entire axis of the bike! Keep on running....The guy put 6 bikes on me w/his zx10 and we "locked up" thru the gears....5th gear around 170s-180s the 12 is weaving badly. GPS was a measly 177.
2nd run I yank the strap and go down to line up against the main guy I wanted to run, the fastest nat asp 1000cc bike in the country. It goes 205 n/a in the mile, I go 202.9 on spray so I know its fast. The owner is riding it though, so add 75 lbs...should be a good run....right before launch buddy stops the race saying my tire is flat!!! WTF?!?!?? I put put to the gas station, thoughts of me ruining my carbon fiber wheels race thru my head.

Fortunately the tire holds air. Get back to the spot, line up.
1st run w/him is n/a vs n/a...should be close. He wants to launch around 6k cuz zx10s have a looooong 1st gear. We roll....he pulls 2 bikes by end of 2nd. 3rd we lock, 4th I'm reeling him in, passing him near the end of 4th when I hear BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!! Popped out of GEAR!!! Fack! We switch positions, I never catch back up, bike is weaving wildly! Some of the people saw it but he thinks I'm full of SHI+

Next run I spray, we launch and he's pulling harder because I'm shifting early w/the clutch no less....spray 500 rpms of 3rd....ok no prob.....4th.....gear holds so I'm ready. 5th gear....I'm reeling him in soooo good. Bike is weaving ... 6th and spray.....passing him like a 750 does a 600. Visions of me highsiding at 190+ go thru my heads....my brain will not let me back off and let him win again. I stay in it just enough to avoid a highside but not lose....a difficult judgement call w/no sleep. Come back in, I beat him by 5 bikes, GPS shows 194 (I geared for 197). No one wants me to run anymore because its just too dangerous. Not sure if its the new wheel's offset or the front tire being a 120/70 again causing lift. I didn't yank the front strap enough since I was rushing, didn't even hook up the camera.

Leave 6pm, get to Jennings after midnight, 3cpete is already asleep since ran 12/31. Pouring rain the last hour. New years clicks over and I smoke my last cig while driving in N. FL Early am he heads out, I go to Jennings feeling loopy and unfocused with rings around my eyes looking like I stepped in the ring w/Tyson. Add to that I STILL didn't mount the damn ohlins damper and the gixxer headshakes for me till 6th and I'm not too enthused. Get to Jennings, pull the gixxer off the truck, doesn't start. Rain is getting worst, fuel pump is not cycling on even though it did a week ago. Decide that its a sign and suck up $125 down the drain, leave for the hotel. 1 mile out of Jennings track I run out of gas on the truck. Fortunately I had some pump gas in the tank I thought I'd be using for the track day w/the gixxer so I had the good fortune of pouring gas in the rain. Get to the hotel and edit a previous street race (the one with me, bob and a zx10) and sleep. 1/2 made a 12 hour drive back home from hotel/jennings in 11 hours flat.

LESSON LEARNED: BE PREPARED!!! I used to prep a little better for track days, now I run on the ragged edge of sanity, sleep, hunger, etc. I don't scare easily when it comes to top end stuff but this was uncalled for, I put my life on the line over and over just to "win" and prove to everyone tank slapping past them at 194 that I wasn't BSing....sooner or later I'm gonna run outta luck doing dumb stuff like that. Focused too much on being everywhere all the time, missed out on the quality of it all. I did consider running the 12 @ Jennings w/supercorsas and BST carbon wheels but pouring rain, sleep dep with probably the least user friendly and unsmoothest powerband I have ever ridden was just asking for a lowside or highside. I will admit the idea of wheelying on nitrous in the rain on the straights did make me smile but that was probably the sleep dep....I'd have been parking it in the corners given the way its set-up right now.

Numbers:

Top speed on GPS in the rolling 9/10 mile run: 194 gps
MPG while towing 1 bike and hauling another: 22 mpg
Miles from Jennings to crib: 800 miles
Miles from crib to S. FL: 1045 miles
Miles per tank: Close to 300
Top speed of Toyota: 105 on the limiter
Number of hours slept per night: 3.5
Number of meals eaten per day: 1
Total miles: 2300
Number of times during the trip where I thought I couldn't go on: 4 or 5
A.


Gemini Motorcycles (Sterling, VA)
www.GeminiMotorcycles.com

ZX14: 222 mph
ZX12: 229.6 mph
ZX10: 202.8 mph

ZX9: 177.6 mph
ZX6R: 180.8 mph
EX650: 130.7 mph

EX300: 114.7 mph
EX250: 122.4 mph
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January 5, 2007, 06:29 AM

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January 5, 2007, 12:01 PM

damn man... glad nothing bad happened to you

while your experience sounds MUCH more intense than mine, it kinda reminds me of my trip to Barber and VIR last in october of 05... Spent 2 days at Barber on 10/29 and 10/30, packed up on the evening of the 30th and hauled ass to Danville for the track day on the 31st... got to VIR at 3 in the am and got 3 hours sleep in the truck (here it should be noted that highsider got *no* sleep in the truck because (evidently) i snore waaaah waaaah waaaah



I missed the first session having to replace my tires from the prior 2 days. After putting my wheels back on my bike, i neglected to tighten down the right front caliper mounting bolts properly (which i attribute to lack of sleep). 2nd lap of the second session (my first of the day) I'm rollling into turn 7, grab the front brake and... nothing! lever goes all the way to the clip on tried it once more , and again NOTHING... ended up standing on the rear brake, with the ass end sliding all over the place, turn the bike into 7, rear brake going uphill until i'm slow enough to drive off the track safely, turn the bike around, and head back to the corner station and wait for the crash truck (shaking like a virgin on prom night)... get back to the pit, bum a couple of caliper mounting bolts, go back through tech and then say to myself: "self, i really don't want that to happen again" so i go back to my pit and REALLY crank down on the bolts to mkae sure they're good and tight and BAM broke one of the bolts off in the hanger at that point, Ben's help was required... bum ANOTHER caliper mounting bolt from the same guy pitted across from me, have Ben tighten it down, and then get back out on the track with no more issues for the rest of the day, although at that point, i was riding a lot slower, just remembering the feeling of not having any brakes...

altogether, i missed about 2 and a half sessions that day, and was draggin ass at the end of it all...

lessons learned:
-I need more than 3 hours sleep before a track day
-While 3 days in a row on the track SOUNDS like a dream vacation (especially when it's Barber Motorsports Park and VIR) the 10 hour drive between the 2 tracks actually makes it extremely dificult
-there is a such thing as too much torque on a brake caliper mounting bolt when using a T handle

again, im gald you're ok, ali


2001 GSXR 1000 (The bike that lit the afterburner on the liter class world)
2012 Monster 1100 Evo
2003 Yamaha YZFR6 (track only)

mmm... carbon fiber


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