Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R Forum banner

21 - 40 of 52 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,417 Posts
Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Yep.

:hail

Excellent post. Much respect.
While I appreciate that thought, I was really looking to carry on an intelligent discussion while the show is a foot deep outside my window :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,609 Posts
While I appreciate that thought, I was really looking to carry on an intelligent discussion while the show is a foot deep outside my window :p
We've corresponded about this a while back, and I finally managed to have fun without worrying about any of the things that kept me from doing so. Learning is crucial at track days, but it is also very easy to get lost in that frame of mind and forget that the basic idea of a track is to have fun on two wheels.

To nudge this conversation a little ahead, I'm at some interesting crossroads in my life now. I'm back in school and will not have even the limited resources I used to have to do tons of track days and chase my original plan of getting into racing. But I feel this is a good thing... I actually want to enjoy the bike outside of the track as well. Being on two wheels on the street is incredible fun as well... just a different kind, that is all. I'm far from learned, but a season at the track has made me skilled enough to be confident in most riding situations that the streets can throw at me (I'm not being too cocky, I hope... I just feel I know what needs to be done in most situations to not panic and take control). I have experience of what the bike feels under hard (for me) acceleration and braking, cornering, and I feel confident in replicating them again should the need arise.

I got too caught up in my goal of racing last year that I'd almost charted up a completely unsustainable path for myself. Now that I've kind of seen the light with my last track day and realized how paramount seat time is to improvement, I can rest easy and sit back. Who cares if a thirteen-year kid on a 250 can pass me at the track? I'll learn at my own pace. I'm finally at peace with this fact (and self-realization).

Thank you once again for helping me come to terms with this. Time to savor the curvy bits in the streets some this year!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
152 Posts
I had 23 years of ingrained habits that I just found out in one day were completely wrong. The way I sat on the bike, the way I gripped the bars, the way I moved on the seat, the way I used my brakes, the way I used my throttle...all of this and more needed tons of work....
Great read (as always). This post made me think about, well, ME. Minus of all of the racing glory, time, patience, learning, training, practice, injury, money etc that you have invested.

I started in 1989 and was self taught through trial and mostly error. My "rebirth" occurred August 3, 2015, with CSS at NJMP. EVERYTHING I thought I knew about riding was wrong. And like you, I was happy to find out how wrong I was, so I could start learning to do things more correctly. I'll be back out there for track days and schools next season to learn even more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,417 Posts
Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Great read (as always). This post made me think about, well, ME. Minus of all of the racing glory, time, patience, learning, training, practice, injury, money etc that you have invested.

I started in 1989 and was self taught through trial and mostly error. My "rebirth" occurred August 3, 2015, with CSS at NJMP. EVERYTHING I thought I knew about riding was wrong. And like you, I was happy to find out how wrong I was, so I could start learning to do things more correctly. I'll be back out there for track days and schools next season to learn even more.
This.Is.Awesome.

I admit, I had to chuckle at 'racing glory' :p. Maybe not quite that, but I sure find it fun.

You would likely be surprised to hear that you (we?) are far from alone as there are many, MANY people who have taken a similar journey. The one common factor was that track riding was the catalyst towards them coming to the realization that they did not know what they thought they knew, and then comes the crossroads where we commit to improvement or try to continue on in ignorance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,652 Posts
Great read, as always.

Just got back from my last TD of the season, and I have begun to notice a pattern.

It seems that there are some new riders out there that think that by buying an awesome bike that makes them an awesome rider. They find out the hard way that that is incorrect. I've been seeing a number of new R1s and S1000RRs go down. The last was probably typical. Just got bumped to red group with a new R1M, and (according to the people who brought his bike back) he had disabled the the slide control, minimized the traction control, and his rear tire was 38psi cold (ambient temp in the mid-fifties).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gKf0Q1Kvr8


Yep, he paid the price with a highside, broken collarbone, and demolished $20,000 bike, but it could have been worse.


He probably was a nice guy and maybe got some bad advice, or maybe had no advice and decide to do it his way, i don't know.


My advice to newer riders to avoid needless crashes is Get Proper Training! Modern electronics are great and very useful, but will not save you from yourself.:coocoo







I hope this is not too far off topic, sorry.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
152 Posts
Just got back from my last TD of the season.....
I hope this is not too far off topic, sorry.
I don't think it's off topic at all. It is the topic. Having the bike/gear/desire is no substitute for proper instruction/education. You may not know what you don't know, but that ignorance will not save you.

Some how over 25+ years of riding by nothing more than shear luck I survived MYSELF and other road hazards. I'm still a long way from enlightenment (and lucky to have that understanding), but at least now I have an idea of what I don't know, and a plan to work learning more.

By the way Off Camber, that video is great and more amazing than the crash footage is you remaining calm and navigating through that disaster. Impressive stuff. I nearly messed myself just watching it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,652 Posts
That was not my video, it was the guy pitted next to me, and he just got the bump to blue group after this session. There were a greater number of off track excursions that weekend, probably due to the colder temps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,920 Posts
I find your story amazing and very similar to mine.
Bought my first bike in 1978, road it from Denver to Miami and survived S. Fla traffic for several years.
I would say I had 25 years of experience before my Total Control course then a track day.
After the track day, I would say I had 1 year of experience, 25 times.

Only did one track day the first year, 2 the next. 3 the following and about 7 this year.
Just wish my progress was equal to yours. For that congratulations.

I find track days some of the most fun I have ever had. By the end of the day I'm beat.
Had never consider going to the gym, after this year joined the Y so I can work on the legs and cardio.
After reading this thread, it makes me think I really need to back off and work on the basic's again. The last set of track day pictures show the body position I though I had isn't.

Thanks for taking your time sharing and passing some of your experience and love of riding along.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,417 Posts
Discussion Starter · #33 · (Edited)
You may not know what you don't know, but that ignorance will not save you.
That part of your response reminded me of one of my favorite motorcycling quotes



I find your story amazing and very similar to mine.
Bought my first bike in 1978, road it from Denver to Miami and survived S. Fla traffic for several years.
I would say I had 25 years of experience before my Total Control course then a track day.
After the track day, I would say I had 1 year of experience, 25 times.

Only did one track day the first year, 2 the next. 3 the following and about 7 this year.
Just wish my progress was equal to yours. For that congratulations.

I find track days some of the most fun I have ever had. By the end of the day I'm beat.
Had never consider going to the gym, after this year joined the Y so I can work on the legs and cardio.
After reading this thread, it makes me think I really need to back off and work on the basic's again. The last set of track day pictures show the body position I though I had isn't.

Thanks for taking your time sharing and passing some of your experience and love of riding along.
Thank you for your response! Again, another who has followed the same path. There are MANY like us.

As for the progress, well, we all progress at our own speed. You did 3 track days, I think I did 10 my first year. It is all relative but I would bet that I have a LOT more track time than you do.

And yes, funny how our desire to ride well affects other aspects of our lives. I can tell you for sure that I would not be watching what I eat or exercising at all if I did not know that it had a direct impact upon my lap times.

Finally, we ALL can benefit from going back to the basics. I try to spend my entire first day at the track just making sure that things are as I expect them to be. Practicing good body position, braking habits, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
258 Posts
Good read, Thank you!

I had a incident a few years back while racing dirt bikes.

I went down in a race and into a tree, a branch impaled my neck, went in about 8", weaved in between my veins at a down word angle ended up very close to my voice box. I had about the size of a silver dollar hole in my neck.

I was very lucky to be alive laying there in the hospital. Lots of things like taking a break from racing and riding was going through my head, or to quit all together.

They stiched me up from the inside out. I spent the next week thinking about motorcycles all together. I had lost a friend 2 years prior on the street bike, we watched him pass away on the side of the road. I thought, now this happened to me. My thoughts were to sell everything and give it up.

I had many conversations about riding over the next two weeks with friends. Anyways, I ended up two weeks to the day, I woke up that morning and I made my self load up my bike into the truck. Then headed our spot, I still had stiches in the neck and hurt a bit. I put my gear on, started the bike and sat there for a while. Just thinking.

I did ride that day and still ride. But I believe if I have not got back on that bike 14 days later I would have quit all together. The meaning to the saying, "if you fall off the horse you gotta get right back on". Makes a whole lot more sense to me now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
408 Posts
This is a really great read. I stepped away from motorcycles because my ego would not let me tell everyone why I REALLY laid my CBR(RIP) down. I didnt LAY it down...I highsided like the guy on the R1 in the vid. Doing stuff I didnt have the skill for. My rebirth was September 26, 2015. I have only done 400 miles since then, but so what. I told myself, if I am going to do this motorcycle thing again, I am starting over from scratch. Thats why I am choosing to take every possible class avaible from MSF before heading to the track. Once I have developed enough balls for a track day...I will be able to put my left hand down too...lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,417 Posts
Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Good read, Thank you!

I had a incident a few years back while racing dirt bikes.

I went down in a race and into a tree, a branch impaled my neck, went in about 8", weaved in between my veins at a down word angle ended up very close to my voice box. I had about the size of a silver dollar hole in my neck.

I was very lucky to be alive laying there in the hospital. Lots of things like taking a break from racing and riding was going through my head, or to quit all together.

They stiched me up from the inside out. I spent the next week thinking about motorcycles all together. I had lost a friend 2 years prior on the street bike, we watched him pass away on the side of the road. I thought, now this happened to me. My thoughts were to sell everything and give it up.

I had many conversations about riding over the next two weeks with friends. Anyways, I ended up two weeks to the day, I woke up that morning and I made my self load up my bike into the truck. Then headed our spot, I still had stiches in the neck and hurt a bit. I put my gear on, started the bike and sat there for a while. Just thinking.

I did ride that day and still ride. But I believe if I have not got back on that bike 14 days later I would have quit all together. The meaning to the saying, "if you fall off the horse you gotta get right back on". Makes a whole lot more sense to me now.
Damn, that is some scary stuff there. Everyone has their own level of risk that they are willing to accept to be able to ride. For some people, that first crash is all it takes to get them to reassess their priorities. Others go much further. For me, I think I could stop myself from breathing before I could stop myself from riding. This sport may be the death of me, and I would die a happy and fulfilled man. There is no right or wrong choice here...it is entirely up to the individual. I have had many broken bones, torn ligaments, bleeding, internal damage, and multiple concussions...and I am still racing :p

A little bit of a sidetrack here about a racer mentality. Most riders when they have a near-crash slow down. They worry, have doubt, or are simply fearful and that causes them to slow. For me, I do the opposite. Dumb, I know but it is true. This last year I had a 'moment' coming out of a turn where I actually highsided the bike but somehow landed back on the seat and was able to keep going. I mean my feet were over my shoulders. I never rolled off the gas and my subsequent lap was actually faster.

When something like that happens I get this feeling in my head that tells me 'Whoa, that was close. There was no way that you should still be on two wheels...BUT YOU ARE! SHIT YEAH! I AM MOTHER F#&$ING INVINCIBLE!' and I grip that throttle harder. Probably not the smartest thing ever, but that's what happens for me.

Kudos to you for getting back on that horse and continuing to do what you love. Some day, you may decide that you do not love to ride any more and that is the day that you must walk away. I am truly hoping that this day never comes for me, but if it does I will walk (limp, crawl) away without a single moment of regret.

This is a really great read. I stepped away from motorcycles because my ego would not let me tell everyone why I REALLY laid my CBR(RIP) down. I didnt LAY it down...I highsided like the guy on the R1 in the vid. Doing stuff I didnt have the skill for. My rebirth was September 26, 2015. I have only done 400 miles since then, but so what. I told myself, if I am going to do this motorcycle thing again, I am starting over from scratch. Thats why I am choosing to take every possible class avaible from MSF before heading to the track. Once I have developed enough balls for a track day...I will be able to put my left hand down too...lol
Welcome back to the sport. My advice would be to take everything at a pace that is natural to you. Check yourself. If you find yourself riding at 100% of your ability then you are destined to crash...dial it back and use your riding time to learn...it will pay bigger returns down the road.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
171 Posts
So glad this was bumped. My first year of riding I made a real effort to learn to ride. I can look at the progress of that year in the track photography.

Unfortunately, life happens and I am basically a novice/beginner again. When I get out and ride I have an idea of almost everything I am doing wrong and by the end of a day riding I have started to smooth out a lot of the mistakes. Then several weeks go by and the cycle continues.

I really need a string of several track days and the practice, learning, and patience that comes with a track day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,417 Posts
Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Mind if I link this to my local thread, gtamotorcycle.com?
It's a great read
Go right ahead.

So glad this was bumped. My first year of riding I made a real effort to learn to ride. I can look at the progress of that year in the track photography.

Unfortunately, life happens and I am basically a novice/beginner again. When I get out and ride I have an idea of almost everything I am doing wrong and by the end of a day riding I have started to smooth out a lot of the mistakes. Then several weeks go by and the cycle continues.

I really need a string of several track days and the practice, learning, and patience that comes with a track day.
It gets easier with repetition for sure and it is absolutely a perishable skill. The difference between my riding in the fall and the next spring is night and day. I have to re-learn lots of things.
 
21 - 40 of 52 Posts
Top