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Got in late Thurs. night, about 2:30am and thought I'd have a rough day due to lack of sleep....turns out this wasn't the case at all.

Teched my bike and for once I wasn't fiddling with anything major last minute except for putting on a new clutch lever...no sweat. I had installed Cyclecat rearsets, 97mm dogbones (stock is 105) for more ride height, woodcraft clipons, and a stiffer spring on the rebuilt/revalved GSXR shock from SVraceshop.com the day b4 due to cruddy body position and dragging the shifter (not the pegs, the fixed shifter. doh) the trackday b4. And only took some preload out as the day went on except for my little mishap. First session was going ok and I purposely was taking it easy. First session of the day, tires cold, dunno if bike is sorted properly, too much adrenaline pumping through my veins. Well I wasn't completely issue free, I ~thought~ my shifter was getting lower each time I reached for it, but perhaps that was all in my head? I kept my thoughts on that as I took it easy and b4 I knew it 'Julie,' an instructor pulled me into pit-out and said that my lines were all wrong and "have you been here before? Follow me." I didn't have a chance to tell her I was thinking of mechanical issues and that is why my lines were crap. Oh well, two slow laps later and I reach down for a shift and I am reaching for air...damn I better pit out.

I pit out and my shift rod is gone...somewhere out on the track. Great...entire day gone to sh_t now. Turns out in between session they put out the APB to all corner workers and instructors for my shiny shift rod. I'd like to think they did it for me, but they did it more so for the safety of everyone. (They also went looking for a oil filler cap later in the day) They found it and after an extra nut (which did not originally come with the rearsets...I didn't know I needed two. *shrugs*) and some loctite I was golden. Thanks to Dagan, the guy in the pit crew (who I'd later find out is an AMA racer. :p) who helped me out as well as Billy from DESMO on his SV offering up a spare shift rod. Thanks guys.

2nd session Julie found me again since I pitted out on her last session(Poor instructor, she looked back while leading me and I was gone, she thought I crashed on her haha.) and I was in for some more laps to show me the line. At the end of the session she waved me by and off I went for a couple of laps. I checked in with her after most sessions and this time she said I looked good except that I could lean off more. This usually surprises most riders, and it surprised me as well. We think we are leaning off like a mofo, but it isn't the case. Regarding my body position, I found "If it hurts, then it's probably right." and that was my moto the rest of the day with my pretzel body position haha. I took her advice to heart.

3rd session I was really feeling good. I found Rick on his new to him GSXR-750. We played cat and mouse trying to get by the ART Basic school riders and sometimes he would find a hole and get through and other times I would find a hole (especially entering the back straight) and get through. When I got
through on the back straight leading Rick once, we worked our way around and found my favorite turn, turn #10, just b4 pit-out. As I exited the turn and stood the bike up I pumped my fist like a mad-man...Rick knew it and probably so did anyone else who saw me. First time knee down baby! Man what a relief and high that brought. Worked the rest of the session just being smooth and hitting my turns properly and began dragging my left knee in #10 some more as well as #6, the first part of the double apex sweeping wide left-hander b4 the bus-stop. Awesome session, big high.

After Lunch the ART Basic students were let loose to rip it up on their own and the traffic problems subsided for the most part. I tried to get my head off dragging a knee for the first time (even though I kept blabbering about it in pits, sorry guys) and just go with the flow, continue to carry more corner speed, get the bike upright after apexing to apply throttle, and drift as wide as possible on prudent corners to allow me to stay on the gas as much as possible with my little 65hp bike. It worked. I began dragging my knee in turns 1 and 2 as well now.

5th session...I think this is where the 10 minutes of rain came, but my memory with this stuff is horrible. We had 10 minutes of ran which turned out to be awesome since all the scaredicats left and we had most of the track to ourselves. I was in the groove when the rain came, dragging me knee in all turns now
except for the right handers-> turn 3 and the bus-stop hairpin, turn 8. I was feeling incredible and repositioned my knee puck to try and get wear in the middle instead of the bottom.

6th-end more and more throttle entering and exiting the corners. More knee down, last session of the day got knee down in all turns, including the bus-stop, except for turn #3 the last part of the 'S,' I'll live I suppose. :p More running up on b***** bikes with more HP. It's incredible what sort of corner speed that little SV can carry into turns like #5 eating up the distance that was opening up by the b***** HP bikes on the back straight. Also on corner exit I can pin the throttle a lot of times and not worry about the rear end spinning or anything like that...gave me lots of confidence to carry a lot of exit speed and pass other bikes.

During one of the last sessions I passed Julie while she was ahead of a slower rider, trying to help her, (actually I stuffed her going into turn two to be honest, I had a moment of indecision and that got me in trouble, I apologized profusely later.) she stuck with me and came up to me later in the pits and said "you were flying." She could of just been giving me some xtra confidence but she said my improvement from the 1st session was amazing...well I replied "I told you my lines weren't that bad, I was messing with the shifter, It really wasn't as drastic a change as you think, haha." She stated I could go into the Red group (intermediate) when I wanted if I had another control rider check me out. I elected not to as they encourage you to move up at that point and I have a lot more fun ridding with my SBONYC buddies at this point. Maybe next time I'll move into the Red group and I'll be an extremely small fish in a b***** pond haha. But I bet next time Jimmy and I will be moving up together now that he has rearsets on order (woohoo!) and won't be dragging things. (Rick won't be there in August, else he'd move up as well if he wanted as well. I think he's already been certified he's just having too much fun in White with us as well haha.)

Some thoughts...

-The instructors rocked. Just have the balls to ask one of them to critique you and they give you full attention. If u don't ask, u are cheating yourself. Julie was great in spending a lot of time with me on/off the track and I even was able to give some info. back by telling her about how her bike is setup with suspension, cartridge emulators and whatnot. (Perhaps she was playing dumb, I'm not sure. But it felt good to give some back.) I'll keep peppering the instructors on future trackdays, watch out hehe. :)

Pilot Power PSI? I went off Jimmy's bike and put in 31.5 and 33.5 rear. Seemed the work great, but at my pace, what do I know? I asked two of the instructors during the morning meeting if they knew, but they pretty much only knew Pirelli PSI settings. Bummer. I'll have to ask around. But the PP's did wear much, much better this trackday that the last with lower PSI. I think I'll stick with this for now.

-Big thanks to my GF, Carol for sticking it out through the day and then going camping with me the rest of the wknd. I didn't appreciate the 5 mile hike Saturday morning she led me on (my legs are sore as hell!) but otherwise she rocked haha. Not sure I could sit an entire day in the pits with a bunch of grown men jumping up and down like kids in a candy store all day. :p

-So now that I can get a knee down, my next goal is my upper body position and continue to keep the bike as upright as possible. But about ground clearance and contact patch/traction...how do you know enough lean is enough? Is it just when u start to lose traction and then u lowside and u are screwed? It used to be the pegs/shifter that let me know "ok that's enough" but my knee isn't stationary. I can fold it up while dragging through a corner even harder when trying to make a corner I got into a little hot. So what is my warning sign?

-It was wonderful to have a parade of SBONYC members there. We had 7 of us and at the end of the day it seemed like we owned the place after everyone ran of scared from the rain haha. Was a great site to see us all lined up. I really enjoy riding with you guys. Great atmosphere and great helping hands.

-The SV650 is incredible. I am Soooooo glad I bought it. It isn't a good track bike out of the box as it's a bargain type bike, but with my mods and suggestions from SVRACESHOP it really is a big-bike eater. That shock feels great. At my level I'd never tell the difference between it and a Penske. So stable and yet flickable. It's low HP has allowed me to learn much more quickly, I love it. I can't recommend it enough. I can't imagine what sort of corner speeds one could do on an Aprilia RS250 or Honda 125. :eek: U jokers with high HP bikes don't know what u are missing...and I love to pass you! :p

-Pics of the my entire day: http://tinyurl.com/7f7vg

-Favorite pic of the day, dicing it up with Rick:


Thanks for reading my book if ya made it this far haha. Any critques welcome...I know I gotta get my upper body down lower and head more over the inside bar for starters. thx.

Bryce
 
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