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Discussion Starter #1
i will be attending a "track experience" event on 8/19 with :penguin: racing school:f4:, i never been to a track before, so for those experienced fellas please give me a few pointers. on what to look for, perhaps a youtube video or what should i do to the bike to get her ready, im doing it cause im not that great at taking turns (actually kind of afraid) to many pot holes, off ramps from highways have a lot of sand in addition to deep bumps and/or crazy drivers. in city/back roads seem to be in better condtion. so i do a lil leaning there. anyhow, any information would help. by the way im also having the suspension adjusted, height(im short), dampening and whatever it may need at a NEAR BY ducati dealer. mv dealer too busy, been trying to get in there for 3 weeks and still too busy. i appreciate all the help.
 

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If not a "free track day" but an event where you will get some sort of class, just pay attention to the race line around the track and body position will help you take those corners alot better.

As far as the bike goes, I would not worry too much about suspention for a first timer track day, but do look for wear on your tires and make sure they are at the right preassure each time you go out (right preassure for that tire and the weather condition you are riding in, so ask the people there about the right psi for you)

Enjoy
 

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If it's a school then they should give you all the advice you will need. listen to them well and you will be ok
 

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The best thing you can do for everyday riding is take a MSF course. Best $250 you will ever spend and it will save your life. I took it years ago and it has paid for itself on several occassions.
 

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Kreativ,

As best you can, try not to be nervous - Its really not that scary. If they are a good group, they will have a "first timers" group that will be lead around and no passing rules will apply - at least for the first two sessions. I am copying the outline I used to use when I was instructing for track days. There isn't a lot of detail as I would speak to the details at the track. Check it out and please ask questions if you have any. If you do get to the point where you are allowed to free ride and pass, try not to worry about the other riders, concentrate on yourself and what you are doing. If a faster rider is behind you, it is up to them to get around you safely. In that respect, if you are being passed, simply ride around in the middle of the track (do not weave around) and then faster riders have the choice of passing you on the inside or outside, whichever is better for them (and you) at that moment. Lastly, DO NOT sweep to the very outside of the track as you approach a turn - Like at the end of a straight to "set up" on the far outside of the track (as you see the MotoGP guys doing). Keep on your middle line down the straight and into and through the corners. The very outside of the track is only for the fastest riders whose speed and pace make it necessary for those far outside setups and using all the track. At the pace you will be riding, you don't need and shouldn't be setting up on the far outside of the track nor going all the down to the inside to hit the very shortest apex.

New Rider Concepts


Welcome to the track!
-Fun and safety
-Concentrate on learning and enjoyment, not speed

Bike setup:
-Tires at 30 psi front and rear, near new condition
-Good front brakes, recently bled with new fluid
-Correct amount of throttle play
-Correct chain tension (not too tight)

Bike control:
-NO REAR BRAKE! Front brake only on the track.
-Gear (tranny) selection for the track
-Good body positioning:
Scoot butt off to inside edge of seat before you start braking
Head and shoulders into inside of turn, looking through turn
Arms bent and relaxed.
-Do NOT stiff arm handle bars (especially under braking) or squeeze bars. Light touch, relaxed hands.
-Smooth throttle and brake control, both on and off.
Roll the throttle off – do not slam it shut
Squeeze the brake lever – do not grab it
Smoothly let out the brake lever – do not let it spring out
Roll the throttle on – do not whack it open

Intermediate Concepts


Bike setup:
-Spring sag setup, chassis attitude for tight turns vs. big turns. Cornering feel.
-Damping adjustments.

Bike control:
-Bike placement, track position on corner entry.
-Traction pies and management
-Trail braking
-Momentum, hitting the apex.
 

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Bring your bike to the track on Thursday if you can get the time off. Peter Cates will be there and for $40 will get your suspension pretty close. (I'll be there tues, wed, and thursday.)

Bring
plenty of fluids to drink, bring food to eat. You will either be in the classroom or on the track, so don't worry about sunscreen, tents, hats and that sort of thing.

Turn 1, 1A and 2 are faster than you think. Turn 3 is very bumpy, be careful getting on the throttle going up hill, you will high side. Turn 6, while sharp is banked, you can carry some speed through here. Turn 9 is probably the fastest turn on the track although it doesn't look it. The red and white curbing is NOT the apex of the turn, the black and white curbing is. There is only one smooth line through 10 and that is right up against the air fence. Aim for the air fence, the line is between the divot on the track and the fence. Stay hard to the right, that will set you up nicely for 11-12. Those are throw away turns, don't worry about your speed through here. The important part is getting 12 right so you get a nice drive onto the front straight.

There is plenty of on track video on you tube. check it out and what I have posted above will make sense.

Penguin is a pretty good school. Your first few sessions are follow the leader. There will be people in your group that don't. Ignore them. There will be people there slower than you.

Most of the guys instructing actually race there, so they will know what they are doing.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Wow very helpful, thanks everyone. "cag" ill get to the youtube videos in a bit, i had the bike lowered just a bit and had the damping tightened all the way at the dealer. they recommended for me to invest into better suspension do to im a "big guy" about (5'8" 240). they suggested to at least change the springs for now front and rear. at the forks(front) i guess the spring travel was 2.25" and the rear was about 1.75" which im told its a lot of travel (???) so definitly that would be priority for this winter. CAG ill definitly call for parts if you have them. by the way i tell the wife i need better suspension :naughty:cause im too heavy so she says "ok, new suspension... try again, how about you loose weight :nutkick::bawling: :conveyer:" so yeah 2 priorities for winter loose weight and better suspension :yo: "jeffy" very helpful everything you mention make more sense as far as turning goes and what to expect. bike only has 1700 miles on it so dont really know if ill need to bleed the brakes(???). thanks again for all the suggestions anything helps. i just dont wanna be that guy that forgets to do something, then cant ride cause of it.
 

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After reading you post, I would suggest don't bring plenty to eat. Bring a salad.:stickpoke
 

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Jeffy gave you a lot to think about and all good advice. One thing I did not see anyone say is to look down the track as far as you can. It makes things not happen so fast. Looking down in front of you will make you feel like you are going faster than you are. Besides anything that close is history and you have already run over it by the time you see it. :jsm:

They will have instruction and you will learn one or two things at a time. The laundry list Jeffy gave you is great but you will not be taught all that in one session. Most schools like to give you as little as possible in each session so you can really work on that. Things like just riding in one gear so you do not have to think about shifting. Or no brake drills. That may sound terrifying but it is a great way to learn to be smooth and that will help you more than most anything else.

Turn off your cell phone and dedicate 100% of your concentration on the track day. The only down side to this is it can become adictive. Don't ask me how I know. :devil:

Most importantly have fun and be safe.

Jim
 

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Wow very helpful, thanks everyone. "cag" ill get to the youtube videos in a bit, i had the bike lowered just a bit and had the damping tightened all the way at the dealer. they recommended for me to invest into better suspension do to im a "big guy" about (5'8" 240). they suggested to at least change the springs for now front and rear. at the forks(front) i guess the spring travel was 2.25" and the rear was about 1.75" which im told its a lot of travel (???) so definitly that would be priority for this winter. CAG ill definitly call for parts if you have them. by the way i tell the wife i need better suspension :naughty:cause im too heavy so she says "ok, new suspension... try again, how about you loose weight :nutkick::bawling: :conveyer:" so yeah 2 priorities for winter loose weight and better suspension :yo: "jeffy" very helpful everything you mention make more sense as far as turning goes and what to expect. bike only has 1700 miles on it so dont really know if ill need to bleed the brakes(???). thanks again for all the suggestions anything helps. i just dont wanna be that guy that forgets to do something, then cant ride cause of it.
Kreativ, can I add one piece of advice? To do a trackday properly and safely, you need to be in pretty good physical shape as well. It's an exhausting business, and I know it. Those 20 minute sessions (that's what we have in Holland) can really take it out of you. You need a lot of concentration, and for that you need to be fit.

But most of all, enjoy it!
 

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Hey Kreativ, Im local to you (Danvers) and was wondering if you are a member of nestreetriders.com?? If not, join up...youd fit right in over there. Im on a Brutale now, but have had a couple F4's in the past. (Thinking I need to get back to an F4 tho..) Tuesday nights is Motorcycle Night in Lowell...I may have seen your bike there a few weeks ago. Talk to you later!
 

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While on the track remember to do these three things.

Relax.

Breathe.

Have fun.

Other than that, just recognize that everyone remembers their first trackday. It's that much fun. Don't put any pressure on yourself. You can't win a trackday and they aren't going to kick you out for being "slow".
 

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Fitness

100% on all the advice above.
Get fitter and you will enjoy it more for longer. I have got fitter and now am more consistent through the day. Not a coincidence.
Relax and have fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
loose weight fatty! lol

yup fitness is definitly a must:conveyer: i think loosing like 20 or 30lbs :eek:nthecan: i should be "ok". anyhow looking ahead i hear is very important. also to keep you arms loose, no rear break use:)ahhh: :brutale:) and no death grip. all good suggestions thanks everyone, hopefully the weather gets better. its said is going to be raining quite a lot on the track day, so i dont really know if is going to be rescheduled or what???? by the way im 240 but i dont look it(i think) :naughty: the pic is of me doing the "RUGGED MANIAC" 5K event.
 

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One problem is so many things to remember first time out.
They soon become automatic after a few days on track. Then you can really start to enjoy yourself. One step at a time.
Addictive stuff.
 

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I have been on the track when it was raining so hard you could not see a bike ten feet in front of you. They did not close the track. I did pull off because it was just outside my comfort zone.

You are correct about relaxing your arms and your grip. If your arms are pumping up and your hands hurt you are holding on too tight. Try to relax and let the self centering of the bike's steering take care of business.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #19
well just recieved email from:penguin: school and they said we ride RAIN :wtf: OR SHINE:yo:. so i guess ill also be learning some wet riding skills:lightning. it is still too early too tell about the weather, here in New England one day is sunny 70 degrees and the next day you have 20 degree weather with a foot of snow falling:freezing:.... i hope it clears up, not to comfortable riding on wet roads. i dont want to hurt my baby :bawling:
 
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