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Novice Tank Roller
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15,810 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The good news: The track day was good. The weather was nice. Not too hot, but not cold either. Good for riding. I bumped up to Intermediate in the afternoon.

The bad news: Just after having my suspension customized for me, I proceeded to go out on the track and laid the bike down!!!! The Honda. It was a slow left hander and I didn’t feel like I was pushing too much, but the back end slipped out and down I went. A few bent things on the bike, but overall, it survived just fine. I was able to ride it off the track, but the shift lever was scrubbed off, so it wasn’t ridable. I survived just fine. No bumps or bruises at all. The leathers were terrific. They got scraped a bit, but no holes or tears.

The wreck was in the next to last session in the afternoon, so I just rode the TT for the last session. It really was a good “lessons learned” weekend though, even with the wreck.

First, I learned that I’m now riding beyond the standard street tires…either that or after a few track days, the tires that I was running were not good enough. They still had plenty of tread on them, so I don’t THINK that was the case. I was running a Michelin Power Pilot 2CT on the front of the Triumph and a Shinko 005 on the back. I could feel how much the rear wheel was slipping on me the entire day. The 005 is a mid level sport-tour tire, so I need something better than that on the track. The Honda has Michelin Power Pilots front and rear. The back gave out on me. I don’t THINK that I wound up the motor and spun the tire to cause it coming out of the turn, but that’s a possibility. I’m thinking that it just cut loose. Two different instructors warned me that when the PPs go, they go fast. Funny thing was I didn't feel one slip or slide on the Honda all day prior to the get-off.

The one thing I really took away is how much I’ve improved on my cornering at track speeds….or at least how much more confident and comfortable I am with it. I think I’ve reached a point of riding on the track beyond the average street tire and I need to be more particular about what I run on them. The other positive from the weekend was that I moved up to Intermediate. I was really worried about the pace and being “run over” by the other riders, but I found that I was quite comfortable with the pace. There were a few guys that were passing me, but there were a couple that I passed too, so I was probably running a 3 or 4 out of 10 compared to others. I do need better tires though.

It was really interesting to go down. Early in the day…first session in fact…there was a guy 2 bikes in front of me that went down. I watched as he flailed around almost like he was trying to get up or something. After I went down, I understood better what he was going through. Your mind is telling you to try to “fix” things in the middle of the wreck, and I had to intentionally tell myself to just relax and ride out the slide before reacting. I started to struggle a bit, but then realized it and just laid back and slid. It worked terrific, the leathers held up perfectly, and I didn’t have a mark or a bruise on me anyplace.
 

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frequently disturbs class
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2,220 Posts
It seems unlikely, but could the slide have been related to a cold tire?

The superchicken will like a steady diet of soft sticky rubber- big bike, lots of torque, etc..

I'm glad you were not hurt.
 

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Novice Tank Roller
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15,810 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
No, pretty sure tire were warm. i'd been riding it the majority of the sessions prior. In that session, we had run 3 or 4 laps, then came in because of a red flag. We waited about 5 minutes on pit lane then they turned us loose again. This was the second lap after that. it was really strange because the tires hadn't given me any indication of a problem prior to the spill.

Next step is to figure out what soft sticky rubber to put on them. I have been running Michelin Power Pilots. Someone suggested Michelin Power Races.
 

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Novice Tank Roller
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15,810 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Good read Dave, thanks for sharing.

Glad to hear you made it through OK...even better it was slow enough to not destroy your new toy!

I see some tire reviews coming at us in the near future ;)
I'm all ears for the input too. I've never been to a point that average street tires weren't great, even when I started track riding. At a Novice level, you can go have fun with most anything. Once you get some experience, I now know that you need to pay some attention to that!

Maybe with the suspension set up "right" I was going faster/smoother and just didn't realize it. :eek:
 

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I'm your Huckleberry
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3,317 Posts
I'm all ears for the input too. I've never been to a point that average street tires weren't great, even when I started track riding. At a Novice level, you can go have fun with most anything. Once you get some experience, I now know that you need to pay some attention to that!

Maybe with the suspension set up "right" I was going faster/smoother and just didn't realize it. :eek:
Hehe...well I'm certainly not going to be any help! My PR2's hold up great...in a straight line, on the highway, rarely cracking the throttle open :redface:

:lol:
 

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Serial Sport Rider
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638 Posts
Congrats Dave! Moving up to the next group is a good progression. It's def time for you to put some higher end rubber on your baby now though. It'd be great to find out what made the rear step out like that, but unless you got the whole thing on video from behind, it's probably gonna be pretty hard. Following what you said about suspension - if yours is set up properly for you you could absolutely be running faster than you think because the bike is going to feel smoother, since the suspension is doing exactly what it is supposed to for you. Keep us posted on your progress!
 

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frequently disturbs class
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2,220 Posts
...and the guys on the Superhawk forum are doing a great job of coming up with spare parts for me too. I've got everything lined up except the shift lever and passenger footpeg bracket. :)
What tires do other hawk riders run on track days?

These guys seem to have a huge selection of rubber at OK prices. Takes some poking around to find stuff.
 

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Novice Tank Roller
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15,810 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Suggestions from the track forum have been:
Michelin Power Ones
Bridgestone BT003rs
Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa's (pricy!)

The superhawk forum guys don't run track all that much, but I have my feelers out on different tires. From what I'm reading and seeing, the Power Ones appear to be a good tire and reasonable prices. I did see some Stones on ebay for less than $250 a set. They don't seem to be quite as highly regarded as the Power Ones though.
 

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Novice Tank Roller
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15,810 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Congrats Dave! Moving up to the next group is a good progression. It's def time for you to put some higher end rubber on your baby now though. It'd be great to find out what made the rear step out like that, but unless you got the whole thing on video from behind, it's probably gonna be pretty hard. Following what you said about suspension - if yours is set up properly for you you could absolutely be running faster than you think because the bike is going to feel smoother, since the suspension is doing exactly what it is supposed to for you. Keep us posted on your progress!
Geez...not only did I get to move up, but another guy on the track forum posted that he was running at the front of Intermediate doing 1:51, and he said that would be good enough for slow Advanced guys too. I do know one of the advanced guys was running low 1:40s though. I ran a 1:58, so I'm not feeling nearly so worried about my speeds.

Looks like corner speed will be my next focus point. Well...that and GOOD tires! LOL

No more track days until next year. I have plenty of time to get the bike fixed up! Might even be able to spend the bucks on the front suspension upgrades to be able to dial it in! :)
 

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Novice Tank Roller
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15,810 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
the suspension on the super hawks is pretty poor to begin with. He was able to get the front to about 52 mm of sag with me on it and the rear at 30. He wanted to get 30 on both, but the front spring is weak. it wasn't "good", but it was better. his words.

I was probably 2/3 of the way through the corner. The professional photographer has loaded up pics from the weekend and there was one of me on that same turn earlier in the day. My form wasn't "correct". I was over the tank, but not far enough off the bike. The lean angle was pretty significant, especially for street tires. I think that combination points to the cause of the spill.

As for the suspension, I don't really have enough track experience that I could tell you it was a night and day difference. It felt good, and I felt smooth in the turns.

He said it would be about 800 bucks to set up the front the way it should be. That would be complete replacement of the internals. Many guys on SHs just get CBR900RR front ends and put them on. it's cheaper, and they also get better brakes up front too.
 

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Propensity for velocity
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2,222 Posts
Which track did this happen at?

I'd be very very cautious about switching to race rubber. Based on the pace difference between you and the advanced guys I'd say 2CTs or Corsa 3s will work fine. Switching to race rubber will require that you maintain a pace suffecient to keep the tires at operating temp (sounds like you need to do 1:45s consistentantly), are you ready to do that? Failure to do that will result in a Casey Stoner.

Think about what exactly was going on during that turn. You said it was a slow turn. What were you doing? What was the bike doing? There was something specific you did that caused this. A 'better' tire is not going to fix that.

Trusting your tires is critical and the experience you just had shatters that. My suggestion is this:
1) Buy a 2nd set of wheels just for your track tires and put a set of new 2CTs or Corsas on them. Only use these wheels on the track.
2) After 8 track days buy a fresh set and use the old tires on the street. They'll have plenty of meat left but the rubber will be grainy. You might be able to get 2 more track days, but 1 fall down can cost more than a set of tires.
3) Get on E-Bay and buy 2 sets of stock clipons with levers and 2 sets of foot controls so you can just bolt them on after a fall down. This will keep you from ruining your day b/c of a minor whoopsie.
4) don't listen to advice given for free on the internet or at the track (;)). Go find an experienced and reliable coach or school and follow their directions.
 

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Novice Tank Roller
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15,810 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'm not going to race specific tires because I don't want the heaters and stuff. I'm thinking Michelin Power One's. Someone suggested Bridgestone BT003rs as well.

I was at Carolina Motorsports Park. The track record there is 1:28. Advanced was running in the 1:40s and Intermediate in the 1:50s. I was mostly around 2:00 to 2:05, but mostly that was due to being in the novice group and slow people. They don't want passing in the turns at that level, so you have to wait until straights.

At Barber last month, I ran a 1:53. My other times were upper 1:50s.
 

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Novice Tank Roller
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15,810 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
1) Buy a 2nd set of wheels just for your track tires and put a set of new 2CTs or Corsas on them. Only use these wheels on the track..
After the first of the year, I'm going to try to find some. I actually don't ride the sport bikes too many miles on the street because i use my Concours for commuting. it's just the occasional weekend ride to the mountains.

2) After 8 track days buy a fresh set and use the old tires on the street. They'll have plenty of meat left but the rubber will be grainy. You might be able to get 2 more track days, but 1 fall down can cost more than a set of tires..
8??? Man...I didn't get that out of my current tires. Two seems to be more the limit for what I've been feeling. I have wondered how long street tires will last on the track though. CMP in particular is a very coarse track too. Road Atlanta and Barber were much easier on tires than CMP was.


3) Get on E-Bay and buy 2 sets of stock clipons with levers and 2 sets of foot controls so you can just bolt them on after a fall down. This will keep you from ruining your day b/c of a minor whoopsie..
I'm learning that, especially to have them available at the track. I should add windshield to the list too. The good part is I've replaced the parts for about 65 bucks so far. I only really need to shift lever to be good to go. I'll be working on spares though. :)

4) don't listen to advice given for free on the internet or at the track (;)). Go find an experienced and reliable coach or school and follow their directions.

I'm mostly following the advice of the instructors at the track. They've been helpful with pressure setup, and two separate times, they warned me to be careful with the tires because the PPs go away with little warning. However, I don't think that was my total problem. :-D
 

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Novice Tank Roller
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15,810 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
It's a definite maybe. :D

Riding the Triumph with the Shinko 005 on back has been much more interesting. I get some sort of slide every turn, either from the lean, or from accelerating. I can feel it slip and then grab again though, so it's managable.
 
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