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@PainfullySlo, so how long ago did you start doing track days and how long after that did you start racing? I'm guessing since you said you had 23 years of riding experience before, you didn't start riding on the track early on in life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
@PainfullySlo, so how long ago did you start doing track days and how long after that did you start racing? I'm guessing since you said you had 23 years of riding experience before, you didn't start riding on the track early on in life.
My first track day was 2009 and I started racing midway through the 2010 season.
 

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My first track day was 2009 and I started racing midway through the 2010 season.
Oh wow, so not as long as I had the impression. You wasted no time getting into racing, whereas I waited about 3-4 years. Did my first track day at the end of 2010, and only really started racing in 2015 off an on when I get the chance.

Seeing that you progressed so much in that relatively short time period gives me hope! :)...I know I'll never get to MotoAmerica level, I set realistic expectations, but my goal is to constantly improve even if it's a little bit at a time. So long as I keep improving, it means I'm having fun and gaining experience.
 

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I had a somewhat different experience. *Somewhat*

I started riding in 1993 at 11 years old on a little Honda XR80. I terrorized the neighborhood. All I had available to me was about 1/4 mile of dirt road and a 3/4 acre flat field to play in. But I rode the tires off that thing 1/4 mile at a time. Then it was cruisers from 14 years old on to last year. Same way, self taught, just came to me like I was born on a bike. I also went through the period of riding in rain, sleet, cold, snow, and so on.

I believe this was the last picture of me on a cruiser.


I got my ZX6R on my birthday, July 2015. In less than 3 weeks I was in Cresson Texas at a Ride Smart track day. I had the suspension set up and started off in novice. I was scared, very scared. I was not very fast but I was able to use my experience from the last 22 or so years to translate into this type of riding pretty well. My throttle control seemed to be where it needed to be. I knew to be light on the bars, and my instructor told me he has not seen anyone in novice drive out of the corners like I did in a very long time. I had always used my front brake for 90% of my braking, I think mostly because my 78 sportster that I had ridden most of my miles on had a terrible back brake so the fronts and engine braking was all that would stop it.

This was my very first track picture on my first track day.


I got into it because I had a couple friends that rode super sports and had tried to get me on one for several years. I'm glad I didn't get one until I did. My best friend had been going to track days for 2 years and I was able to learn from him about gear and safety. He also had me watch Twist of the Wrist II before I got mine after I had ridden his a time or two. If I hadn't started out on the track I might have ended up wrapped around a tree pretty quickly...

In the year and 4 months I have had mine I've been to 5 track days and I have gotten decent at line selection and consistency. At Barber I'm going to try to move up to A group net time I go. I seem to be in the top 10-25% speed and am more consistent in the corners and lines than most in I group.
 

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I am glad i joined this forum.....gaining information from ``The Best`` :)
Coming August my first track.....kind of the dream come through.....
Thank you for post and sharing experience....
 

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Very good read. As a rider that is just getting back into riding, it was very inspiring and also eye opening.

Hoping to do my first track day this summer at buttonwillow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
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.
Bumping for the 2019 season.

I actually came here looking for this post as I needed to reference it on another forum and upon re-reading it I thought that I should comment on this specific quote.

So, now I am bent and broken, and I will likely never ride a motorcycle again. It has been two years since my crash (street riding, not track FYI) and I can honestly say that the desire for two wheels is as strong as ever. I will amend my original statement by stating that I do have only one regret, and that is that I am unable to continue riding, racing, and learning about life on two wheels. I do not begrudge a single moment on my ZX, even the crashes and bad moments because I was able to learn from them.

I miss my ZX6R family and hope that you are all well, staying safe, and having tons of fun on two wheels. Be safe, ride well!
 

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How goes the corvette project?
 
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