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Basically I did my first track day yesterday at Cadwell Park. Its a hughly rated track over here in the UK and a favourite amongst the British Superbike racers and fans.

So I booked my first trackday a few weeks back hoping the sun would be out. And I couldnt have asked for a better day, whilst it was a cold start when i set off at 5:45 the sun was soon out, and stayed out all day with only a few white clouds around.

After signing on I went to the scrutineering bay to have my M4 (no baffle) noise checked. The limit was 105db at 7K revs. Knowing my bike was loud, I held a steady 4k revs and it was 104.5db. I got my sticker and filled up the bike. Back for 08:30 for a quick briefing.

The day was split up into 20 min sessions of, Intermediate, Expert and Novice. so 3 groups per hour with a hour for lunch. Resulting in 7 sessions for the day.

I put myself in the Novice group because it was my first trackday. I had a sneaky feeling I would be at the fast end of the group because I see myself as a fast road rider. However I know track riding is quite different. I was surprised at how many track bikes there were. The Expert class had 1 or 2 road bikes, the Inter class had about 5-6, and my class had about a 50/50 track/road bike split.

After the first session I was the happiest man alive. I had so much fun it was unbelievable. I was just getting to know the track mostly and following the turn in and apex points. However I was never overtaken, and wasn't overtaken all day (bar a twice down the straight by an R1 later in the day, to which he soon found me screaming past him on the inside of the next turn).

The bike was bloody outstanding. It didn't miss a beat once. Bar the odd shuffle when landing the front wheel down after coming over the mountain. The 2 day old Pilot Road 4's were unbelievable. So much grip and feedback. I took the tyres right to the edge.

Anyway, I hadn't been able to quite land my right knee down (strange since its a clock-wise circuit), I'm just not as comfortable on that side. So I said to the mate I had met at the start of the day (ZX6R 2008 road bike) I would follow him as it might give me the edge see'ing him getting it down.

I had said this the sessions before but soon found myself screaming past him since he pace was a little slower. But I said to myself I can't go back without landing a right knee down so i have got to follow him. After screaming down the start/finish straight I was thinking of passing him but decided not too. After the left up hill came two long sweeping right handers. He was infront by a fair distance, I could see him cranking it right over and I was doing the same.

When suddenly he lowsided, this took me by surprise (even though i wasn't even that close to him), and I put on the brakes and target fixated on the other ninja, stood the bike up and went onto the grass. Too much front brake and the bike went down from under me. Luckily, my crash bungs took the majority of the impact and the bike is in good condition to say it was about a 60mph crash. Luckily I was fine (saw shoulder/neck), but the other ride broke his collar bone.

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From what i can tell the only work it needs having is a new front fairing, and the main side fairing. Also a new crash bung and the tank is slightly dented.

Anyway, so I missed the final session of the day which was a bummer. I had to ride 2 hours home and the bike felt fine.

Despite the bad ending, its been the best day I've ever had on a bike. The 636 was brilliant, smashing litre bikes all over the place. Including litre bikes in the Intermediate class which I had timed. I have definitely caught the bug! I plan on buying the 599 ZX6 (09-12) and making it into a track bike next year. Hopefully by the year after I can compete in club racing.

Now I need to get the 636 fixed and back on the road!
 
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Man sounds like an amazing experience!! Im glad you enjoyed yourself so much even after the unfortunate accident!
 

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First track day at Cadwell Park? Lucky bastard... Did you do 'the jump'?

That said, you were probably setting too many targets for yourself at your first track day. I remember being a nervous wreck at my first, and would have killed to just get the lines right. Knee-dragging should happen by its own accord... shouldn't be something you go out of your way to do.

Not sure who your mate is, but you're best off following the lines of an instructor... I wouldn't trust anyone else for lines and advice.

Glad you had a blast, and that you've caught the bug. I'm in the same boat as you are... it is called HMS Can't-wait-to-get-back-again.
 

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Sounds like an awesome first day besides that wreck at the end. Target fixation is a pretty tricky thing that takes some mental work to get over for the next time.

Jealous you got to the Cadwell and hit The Mountain, but those narrow British tracks freak me out
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Nice write up and glad you are okay. The org you are in allows beginners to pass on the inside of curves? That's scary!
Yeh, at the beging of the day they say that just pass how you would liked to be passed. As long as your safe and aren't forcing the other rider to change line/alter in any way its fine.

First track day at Cadwell Park? Lucky bastard... Did you do 'the jump'?

That said, you were probably setting too many targets for yourself at your first track day. I remember being a nervous wreck at my first, and would have killed to just get the lines right. Knee-dragging should happen by its own accord... shouldn't be something you go out of your way to do.

Not sure who your mate is, but you're best off following the lines of an instructor... I wouldn't trust anyone else for lines and advice.

Glad you had a blast, and that you've caught the bug. I'm in the same boat as you are... it is called HMS Can't-wait-to-get-back-again.
Yeh, the mountain section was part of the full track we did. I enjoyed it, took me a while to get my confidence up to go over at 3/4 throttle, the front lifted a few times. I often get lower and go faster when i don't concentrate on getting my knee down, but It does feel epic so was trying to get my right down (left is easy for me). There was no instructor (apart from when he was at the front for the sighting laps). I was following the 'tip in' and 'apex' cones most of the time.


Sounds like an awesome first day besides that wreck at the end. Target fixation is a pretty tricky thing that takes some mental work to get over for the next time.

Jealous you got to the Cadwell and hit The Mountain, but those narrow British tracks freak me out
Yeh, I'm looking at the positives of the crash. the main one being It should hopefully enable me to get past target fixation in the future. I loved the track, it seemed perfect for bikes. Not much run off room in parts (apart from grass, which i recommend you don't go on :p).
 

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Make sure you replace the divots! lol, good read man, sounds like you had a great time, even if you did set her down at 60 mph...in the grass which is fortunate.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Make sure you replace the divots! lol, good read man, sounds like you had a great time, even if you did set her down at 60 mph...in the grass which is fortunate.
What do you mean divots?

Also I took her in today and its going to cost £670 for all the parts. I'll fit them myself. However it was another £600 for a new tank and tank pads, so I'm going to try and see if i can get it filled. Since the tank is double lined it can't be beaten out or blown out. So I'll keep it as it is and when I come to sell I'll buy a new tank. Thats if i can't get it filled in.

Overall I'm happy with the costs as I thought it could be more. And luckily the rest of the bike is ok.
 

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What do you mean divots?

Also I took her in today and its going to cost £670 for all the parts. I'll fit them myself. However it was another £600 for a new tank and tank pads, so I'm going to try and see if i can get it filled. Since the tank is double lined it can't be beaten out or blown out. So I'll keep it as it is and when I come to sell I'll buy a new tank. Thats if i can't get it filled in.

Overall I'm happy with the costs as I thought it could be more. And luckily the rest of the bike is ok.
Divots, like on a golf course.
 

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who was the trackday with? no limits instructors will always go out for a session with you, all you have to do is ask them. cadwells an awesome track, rode it for the first time last month and cant wait to go back again.
dont think about gett your knee down just go with it and eventually itll happen, amount of times ive seen people saying that their going to do it an end up coming back to the pits in the back of a van.
good luck getting the bike repaired and atleast you have no injuries too
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Divots, like on a golf course.
Ah! Thanks for clearing that up for me ^^

who was the trackday with? no limits instructors will always go out for a session with you, all you have to do is ask them. cadwells an awesome track, rode it for the first time last month and cant wait to go back again.
dont think about gett your knee down just go with it and eventually itll happen, amount of times ive seen people saying that their going to do it an end up coming back to the pits in the back of a van.
good luck getting the bike repaired and atleast you have no injuries too
Yeh they showed went out for the sighting laps and told us about the apex and turning in cones. i was pretty much using them on every corner.
 

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Bah! You make me want to track my bike so bad!! Though I'm afraid my bike will also end up damaged :(

Good to hear to had a great experience despite the fall. I'm really looking forward to my first track day. Just need to save up for those leathers :)
 

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Bah! You make me want to track my bike so bad!! Though I'm afraid my bike will also end up damaged :(

Good to hear to had a great experience despite the fall. I'm really looking forward to my first track day. Just need to save up for those leathers :)
Most tracks rent leathers. ;)
 

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Also I took her in today and its going to cost £670 for all the parts. I'll fit them myself. However it was another £600 for a new tank and tank pads, so I'm going to try and see if i can get it filled. Since the tank is double lined it can't be beaten out or blown out. So I'll keep it as it is and when I come to sell I'll buy a new tank. Thats if i can't get it filled in.

Overall I'm happy with the costs as I thought it could be more. And luckily the rest of the bike is ok.
Sorry to hear that man. That's actually why I bought a fuel tank off ebay for about $100 that was already dented lol. I filled it with body filler and covered it with tank sliders I made. Now if I crash, I have my undamaged fuel tank sitting in my garage.
 

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The org you are in allows beginners to pass on the inside of curves? That's scary!
That's what I was thinking, sounds like it's asking for a hairy situation :crazy

Also, depending how quick you get on that track, (taking your "fast road rider" claim into account) you're going to want to say goodbye to those PR4's pretty soon, they aren't really made for the track...especially if you're putting up decent times

That sounds like an awesome experience though! I've always loved the pictures I've seen of that place and have wanted to ride it, not sure I'd ever be able to though :no:

Great write up!
 

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I've went down in the grass as well, darn front brake took me down. Oh well, Glad you're ok and the bike doesn't look half back. Get her fixed up and back to the track!
 
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