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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I finally got the 636 out to the track, Summit Main. It was AWESOME, I need more lol. The first couple laps out I was kind of a mess, lol turn 5 was pretty scary the first couple times, but I started to get a bit more comfy with it, and develop a strategy for it.

One of the biggest things I noticed and learned (which has been mentioned on here multiple times) is that my line improved when I went a little slower through the turns. So for these first couple track days I may be a bit slow but you need to be slow to be fast.

Here is a GoPro video of one of the later sessions. Feel free to critique, I know my lines are less than optimal :) Can't wait to go to Shenandoah Circuit in September, lol then I can really work on my cornering and line, and hopefully get my knee down.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I should be have been. The slower turns I was in 2nd gear, the faster turns I was in 3rd.
 

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AWESOME that you were able to get out there! Glad you had a good time. Get ready to sell everything else you have regarding other hobbies to support the track/crack habit.

Couple of tidbits that I've picked up to make the transition smoother/less stressed:
-BUG THE CRAP out of the CRs. They are there to help you become better, safer, and more confident. Believe it or not, most of them AREN'T there just for a free trackday. When that green/orange vest/shirt is on, you best believe they get more satisfaction from seeing a rider progress in skillset thruout the day than they do "laying down blazing hot laps". Even if its asking one to follow you for a couple of laps and hot pit for feedback, or tailing them to get a better idea on line selection. :)

-DEFINITELY agree with the "Slow is smooth, smooth is fast" mantra. You'll be able to tell when you get out of control because an "oops" in one corner quickly turns into oopsies in the following corners. Dialing the speed down a bit to learn the "groove" of the track flow WILL pay off as the speeds increase. Being smooth with your inputs will open huge doors in your riding as you progress. Braking, downshifts, roll-ons, bp transitions on the bike, etc. The less "jerky" you can make everything, the better the bike will behave, you'll have less stress, and the easier the speed will come.

-Christian
 

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Skid Mark
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Feel free to critique, I know my lines are less than optimal
first; great job getting yourself out on the track! you've completed the first step in learning how to properly ride your bike.

like said above, bug the shit out of the CRs for help with EVERYTHING. you won't believe how much they can help you improve over the course of a day.

also, because of your current pace, you NEED a CR with you as much as possible. towards the end of the vid, it sounded like you completely rolled-off the throttle on the long straight. this was confirmed when several bikes passed you at speed. this disparity in closing speed can be a problem if someone is closing fast and you deviate from your line a little. twist the throttle and go when you get to the long straight part of the track and you will minimize this problem.

something that surprised me a bit was the fact that at least 2 CRs who passed you slowed down to check over their shoulder and then continued on without you. shame on them. it is true that everyone starts out at their own pace and that's fine, but sometimes a slower pace needs to be monitored closely. don't worry; there's NOTHING wrong with this. by all means, go at your own speed and don't let anyone put you in an uncomfortable position. BUT, you have to make sure you're pushing your boundaries a little, systematically, every time you get out on the track. every time you should be making improvements over your previous sessions. a good CR can help you with this.

DO NOT get obsessed with getting your knee down. in time and with practice, it will happen. don't rush it. for now, concentrate on being loose on the bike. i know the camera wasn't pointing at you, but i got the feeling that most of your session was done at a very high level of anxiety, which only translates to being stiff and tense on the bike. relax your arms, hold yourself up with your lower body and don't allow your upper body to make unintentional inputs on the controls while you're shifting your body position. one of the best things to learn is that, when shit happens, tensing up on the controls only makes it worse. relax and let the bike move under you. after the session, when you're off the bike, you can freak out and pee your pants a little. :D

once again; congrats on getting out to the track and welcome to the "club". stay safe and learn as much as possible...


s3aturnr
 
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After Me Lucky Charms
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first; great job getting yourself out on the track! you've completed the first step in learning how to properly ride your bike.

like said above, bug the shit out of the CRs for help with EVERYTHING. you won't believe how much they can help you improve over the course of a day.

also, because of your current pace, you NEED a CR with you as much as possible. towards the end of the vid, it sounded like you completely rolled-off the throttle on the long straight. this was confirmed when several bikes passed you at speed. this disparity in closing speed can be a problem if someone is closing fast and you deviate from your line a little. twist the throttle and go when you get to the long straight part of the track and you will minimize this problem.

something that surprised me a bit was the fact that at least 2 CRs who passed you slowed down to check over their shoulder and then continued on without you. shame on them. it is true that everyone starts out at their own pace and that's fine, but sometimes a slower pace needs to be monitored closely. don't worry; there's NOTHING wrong with this. by all means, go at your own speed and don't let anyone put you in an uncomfortable position. BUT, you have to make sure you're pushing your boundaries a little, systematically, every time you get out on the track. every time you should be making improvements over your previous sessions. a good CR can help you with this.

DO NOT get obsessed with getting your knee down. in time and with practice, it will happen. don't rush it. for now, concentrate on being loose on the bike. i know the camera wasn't pointing at you, but i got the feeling that most of your session was done at a very high level of anxiety, which only translates to being stiff and tense on the bike. relax your arms, hold yourself up with your lower body and don't allow your upper body to make unintentional inputs on the controls while you're shifting your body position. one of the best things to learn is that, when shit happens, tensing up on the controls only makes it worse. relax and let the bike move under you. after the session, when you're off the bike, you can freak out and pee your pants a little. :D

once again; congrats on getting out to the track and welcome to the "club". stay safe and learn as much as possible...


s3aturnr
^^ best advice you can get without being there!

And Yes, shame on the CRs for not helping you. In STT, if you are slow, they look back, point at you, and black flag you to the pits, then explain things to you, then go back out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
first; great job getting yourself out on the track! you've completed the first step in learning how to properly ride your bike.

like said above, bug the shit out of the CRs for help with EVERYTHING. you won't believe how much they can help you improve over the course of a day.

also, because of your current pace, you NEED a CR with you as much as possible. towards the end of the vid, it sounded like you completely rolled-off the throttle on the long straight. this was confirmed when several bikes passed you at speed. this disparity in closing speed can be a problem if someone is closing fast and you deviate from your line a little. twist the throttle and go when you get to the long straight part of the track and you will minimize this problem.

something that surprised me a bit was the fact that at least 2 CRs who passed you slowed down to check over their shoulder and then continued on without you. shame on them. it is true that everyone starts out at their own pace and that's fine, but sometimes a slower pace needs to be monitored closely. don't worry; there's NOTHING wrong with this. by all means, go at your own speed and don't let anyone put you in an uncomfortable position. BUT, you have to make sure you're pushing your boundaries a little, systematically, every time you get out on the track. every time you should be making improvements over your previous sessions. a good CR can help you with this.

DO NOT get obsessed with getting your knee down. in time and with practice, it will happen. don't rush it. for now, concentrate on being loose on the bike. i know the camera wasn't pointing at you, but i got the feeling that most of your session was done at a very high level of anxiety, which only translates to being stiff and tense on the bike. relax your arms, hold yourself up with your lower body and don't allow your upper body to make unintentional inputs on the controls while you're shifting your body position. one of the best things to learn is that, when shit happens, tensing up on the controls only makes it worse. relax and let the bike move under you. after the session, when you're off the bike, you can freak out and pee your pants a little. :D

once again; congrats on getting out to the track and welcome to the "club". stay safe and learn as much as possible...


s3aturnr
Thanks a lot for the feedback, thinking back to that lap when I got to the straight I got a little confused when I didn't see a flag from the pit area, and there wasn't anyone in front of me for a while before the straight. lol I got concerned that I missed the checkered flag.

I am going to make sure to work with a CR when I do Shenandoah in a couple weeks. That course will be nice and technical, giving me plenty chances to work on my line through corners. Can't wait to get back out there and get better, so much fun.
 

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Shift, you have a great attitude.

Best of luck to you!
 
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Looking good welcome to the addiction!

Yeah I've missed the checker flag 2 laps in a row at Thunder hill when I was way too focused on what I was trying to accomplish which was very embarrassing
 

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I'd love to run at that track, looks fun as hell. really good for your first day. In the C/lvl 3 group you should just work on all the fundamentals. It's a good idea to pick out one thing each session, like your lines or body position, and work on just that. The guys who go down in the beginner group are the ones who are too amped up and/or going all out on the first lap with cold tires and obsessed with dragging knee. When you do all the basics correctly and learn to trust your tires the speed will come naturally. If a 17 year old chick on a Ninja 250 passes you just let it go and ride your own ride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Looking good welcome to the addiction!

Yeah I've missed the checker flag 2 laps in a row at Thunder hill when I was way too focused on what I was trying to accomplish which was very embarrassing
lol, glad to hear I wouldn't be the only one that could happen to.
 

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I'd work on smoother downshifting. Other than that, for the first time it looks pretty good to me. :meangreen
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'd work on smoother downshifting. Other than that, for the first time it looks pretty good to me. :meangreen
Gotcha, smoother downshifts (better rev matching at higher rpms, lol) and I also get the feeling you think I should do more wheelies :p
 

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Thanks a lot for the feedback, thinking back to that lap when I got to the straight I got a little confused when I didn't see a flag from the pit area, and there wasn't anyone in front of me for a while before the straight. lol I got concerned that I missed the checkered flag.

I am going to make sure to work with a CR when I do Shenandoah in a couple weeks. That course will be nice and technical, giving me plenty chances to work on my line through corners. Can't wait to get back out there and get better, so much fun.
If you missed a flag, I'm sure you would get talked to about it... But just do another lap. It's not a big deal. It's worse to do something out of the norm like slowing down.
 

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Nice video. I liked the part I think around 1:50 where a rider passed you with his hand on his hip, casual like. LOL. I only wish there was a track near me so I could get hooked too :sad
 

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Welcome to a whole new world in your motorcycling career.
Best advice I ever got was this year and it had to do with vision. Without good vision everything is so much harder. When you look further ahead it helps make things easier because it slows things down giving you more time to think about what your doing, It really helps to keep you calm and focused. Remember if you can't see it you can't go there. So much more to talk about riding on the track but sounds like your doing it right by slowing down and not letting your ego get the better of you, keep it up you will be railing around in no time.
Have fun be safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Welcome to a whole new world in your motorcycling career.
Best advice I ever got was this year and it had to do with vision. Without good vision everything is so much harder. When you look further ahead it helps make things easier because it slows things down giving you more time to think about what your doing, It really helps to keep you calm and focused. Remember if you can't see it you can't go there. So much more to talk about riding on the track but sounds like your doing it right by slowing down and not letting your ego get the better of you, keep it up you will be railing around in no time.
Have fun be safe.
Thanks, I know what you mean when looking out further makes things seem slower. I experienced this in turn 6. I was able to see all the way to turn 7 and a bit of turn 8. However, turn 5 had a wall or hill so I could barely see through it until I hit the apex. Probably contributed to it stressing me out, besides it being very tight, low-speed turn, but when I was able to hit it right like once or twice that day, it was an amazing feeling.

I also agree that going to the track has changed my view of what I want to do with my 636. I'm not ready to make it a track-only bike yet, but I am more okay with that possibility now than I was before.
 

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I also agree that going to the track has changed my view of what I want to do with my 636. I'm not ready to make it a track-only bike yet, but I am more okay with that possibility now than I was before.
It's MUCH cheaper just to buy a track bike with all the goodies already on it.
 
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