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Discussion Starter #1
Just got back from my first track day yesterday, what a blast! I went down with the owner of the local Yamaha dealership to Spokane Raceway in Washington. The track is pretty ghetto but it was still a ton of fun. I was riding my 2001 r6 with Michelin Pilot Sports. The tires were okay but I started pushing the limits of them pretty quickly and had them slide around on me a bit. After that I slowed down because I was wearing borrowed leathers and really didn't want to wad up my bike. I had 2 pretty close calls. One was were my front slide on me big time but I let off the throttle just a bit and reduced the lean angle and didn't go down. The 2nd was when my pegs started dragging in a corner. Right after that my tires started to give a bit so I stood the bike up and braked hard. I went off the track a bit but didn't go down.

I didn't get my knee down which I was kind of disappointed about until the guy I went with, who was by far the faster guy there, said he never touched his knee down once all day. This guy was like 3-4 seconds a lap faster than anyone else there and wasn't dragging his knee at all. Told me it was pretty pointless in most corners and that most pro racers don't even drag their knees all that often.

Learned quite a few things though. First thing was proper tires are important! The 2nd thing was that picking the correct line is a lot harder than it looks and contributes to lower lap times more than anything else.

I REALLY wish I could get a track bike now!
 

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Hell yea, now you're addicted. Don't worry about draggin your knee, keep at it, it will just happen. Hang off the bike more, if you're draggin pegs there is a good chance you're not hanging off the bike enough, hang off, stick that knee out and it'll touch.
 

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michelins are pretty good tires, maybe you need to rethink the lines and throttle brake applications....or the track could just been slimy.
 

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^^ michelins are good tires...but pilot sports arent the best tire for the track.

and yeah, dont worry about gettin your knee down. only thing that knee is for is to gauge how far your leaning over thus allowing you to know when your near the very edge of traction.

for me, i know how far my bike can lean over before it tucks. and i know how much further down i can go after my knee touches. so when im learning a new track i take it easy, learn the lines and then start to push it harder and harder each lap. and once my knee starts touching i know im going fast and from there its a matter of being smoooooth...

i hope that helps you. i bet you had a blast! just remember be smooth and the speed will come.
 

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oh ya, cole....check your PM's please
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Racer X,

Look in the 2nd last paragraph of my post, I said that I needed to really improve my line choice.

At this point I'm not worried about dragging my knee at all. After seeing that guy I went with lap WAY faster than anyone there without touching his knee once, I know there isn't any point. It's just a gauge. I always laugh when I see pictures of people who are hardly leaned over but have their knee stuck way out just so it drags. Those are also the people who think knee dragging is super important and if you're not doing it then you're no good. The guy I went with told me that I shouldn't hang off anymore than just having half your ass off the seat. If my knee starts to drag when I'm like that (which is did once briefly) then I'll know that I'm pretty far over.
 

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cole said:
Racer X,

Look in the 2nd last paragraph of my post, I said that I needed to really improve my line choice.
point is i think rider input, has more to do w/ the "bad tires" then the tires themselves.....
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yeah, you're right. Rider input is way more important. I know that even by the end of the day I was turning faster laps yet I was not pushing my bike nearly as hard just because I was following someone who took very good lines.

All I know is that I can hardly wait to get out there again. I just wish I could afford a track bike so I wouldn't be so worried about wrecking mine.
 
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