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Thread: Speedway trackday.

  1. #1
    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    Speedway trackday.

    Just had a newsflash from the bike club. Looks like we have a Speedway trackday on the cards. I've tentatively put my name down for it pending confirmation of the actual date, probably end April. I've always fancied riding something that never goes in a straight line, never points in the direction it is travelling, has the back wheel sliding most of the time and has no brakes all on an oval shale track. I have a feeling it might be a bit like the Stateside flat track racing.



    Ken.
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    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

  2. #2
    Ridin Dirty dom's Avatar
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    Memories of Japan.. Don't ask me why, but this is super popular in Japan. They love betting on it. It seemed like they bet on these races like Americans bet on horse races.

    I love this kind of racing too!

    "Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato "
    -Mussolini
    All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.

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    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dom View Post
    Memories of Japan.. Don't ask me why, but this is super popular in Japan. They love betting on it. It seemed like they bet on these races like Americans bet on horse races.

    I love this kind of racing too!
    At the club, last night, it was announced that the list was full so it looks as though our Speedway session is 'on' with at least one of our lady members signed up. Now we just wait and see what arrangments our organiser can make with the track training school.

    Ken.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken View Post
    At the club, last night, it was announced that the list was full so it looks as though our Speedway session is 'on' with at least one of our lady members signed up. Now we just wait and see what arrangements our organiser can make with the track training school.

    Ken.
    Provisional date for the session is 25th April. Booking list is now oversubscribed so there are a few people, including three lady members, hoping that someone is going to drop out. Even better news is that block booking the track has gained us a 30% discount - I've just finished writing my cheque out before they change their mind. Our club secretary has been nominated as 'Photographer for the day' so, hopefully, there will be some pictures of bodies and dropped bikes, littered all over the track, available to post and embarrass all those taking part.

    Ken.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

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    Ken,

    Looks like a lot of fun. The front tires on these bikes look almost as thin as bicycle tires - is this to keep most of the weight out back for sliding?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Disco Man View Post
    Ken,

    Looks like a lot of fun. The front tires on these bikes look almost as thin as bicycle tires - is this to keep most of the weight out back for sliding?

    Not sure. I would think that the skinny front knobblies would probably bite into the shale and give better (deeper?) grip. The back end is hung out, as far as I can see, by just brute power. Hopefully all will become clear when we are given our 'Introduction to Speedway Riding' briefing - the hilarity will start when we go on track for the initial training. I gather that once the principles have been mastered we will be given an 'Open Pit Lane' to continue to practice as and when we please.


    Ken.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

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    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken View Post
    Not sure. I would think that the skinny front knobblies would probably bite into the shale and give better (deeper?) grip. The back end is hung out, as far as I can see, by just brute power. Hopefully all will become clear when we are given our 'Introduction to Speedway Riding' briefing - the hilarity will start when we go on track for the initial training. I gather that once the principles have been mastered we will be given an 'Open Pit Lane' to continue to practice as and when we please.


    Ken.
    Decided it might be a good idea to get a few track miles in before trying to ride a speedway machine. Motor Sport Vision have 'taster' sessions at Cadwell, it gives you time to get about twelve to fifteen laps in. So, discretion being the better part of valour I've booked a session for Saturday week, yes it is a road race track rather than a shale flat track but it should sharpen me up a bit. Bike's all serviced and ready to go so why not?

    Ken.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken View Post
    Decided it might be a good idea to get a few track miles in before trying to ride a speedway machine. Motor Sport Vision have 'taster' sessions at Cadwell, it gives you time to get about twelve to fifteen laps in. So, discretion being the better part of valour I've booked a session for Saturday week, yes it is a road race track rather than a shale flat track but it should sharpen me up a bit. Bike's all serviced and ready to go so why not?

    Ken.
    I'd been feeling a bit rough and was not at my best when preparing the bike for my track evening at Cadwell on Monday evening. Riding over to the track cleared my head a bit and by the time I had booked in, had the bike scrutineered and lined up in the Paddock I was not too bad and decided not to pull out. (No sense in taking chances - if you don't feel up to it pull out, it is safer.) It was only a half hour session so I used the sighting laps A) To refamiliarise myself with the track and B) To realise just how rusty I was after the winter layoff. After about six laps the lines started to come more naturally and I started to pick off the odd rider. We had about twenty bikes on track, rather like a club race scenario, everyone trying to get themselves a better position and with the widest variety of lines through the bends that you could imagine. I had a guy in front of me for a while who was quick on the straight but slow in the bends, unfortunately he was late (and good) on the brakes which made him difficult to pass. In the end I took him on the outside at Coppice a 90 - 100 mph left hander, it meant a sharp cut over to the outside of the track then hard over for the right hander at Charlies 1. Strangely this move really sharpened me up and I was able to start moving up through the field and get a better position and clearer lines. The end of the session, as it always does, came far too soon. In the canteen afterwards one of the instructors walked past, looked at me and said 'You were enjoying yourself out there weren't you.' it was more of a statement than a question and I vaguely remembered passing him up Park Straight just before the Park right hander. I nodded, yep, he was right, I had been enjoying myself and the 'Chicken Strips' on my new-ish tyres had completely disappeared. On the road home everything came much more smoothly - it is surprising how much a good track session can sharpen up one's road riding, I thoroughly recommend it. - Roll on the Speedway session, bring it on!

    Ken.

    P.S. Glad I went on, todays ride-out to Matlock, with a small club group cancelled due to weather. Looks like the next couple of weeks are going to be rain and high winds again.
    Last edited by Ken; 03-23-2009 at 05:12 PM. Reason: Added a p.s.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken View Post
    Decided it might be a good idea to get a few track miles in before trying to ride a speedway machine. Motor Sport Vision have 'taster' sessions at Cadwell, it gives you time to get about twelve to fifteen laps in. So, discretion being the better part of valour I've booked a session for Saturday week, yes it is a road race track rather than a shale flat track but it should sharpen me up a bit. Bike's all serviced and ready to go so why not?

    Ken.
    Sunday 26th April '09. Yesterday was our club 'Speedway' track day. I think it was an eye opener for most of us. I forgot to count how many of us had signed on but I guess it was around ten or so. We got to the Eddie Wright Raceway in Scunthorpe around eleven fifteen. I must admit I was expecting brisk, highly organised reception, briefing, demonstration, etc. - not on your life, this was as casual as it could get.

    We signed in and kitted up, for those who wished they had some (well used) track wear we could use. I decided to wear my own leathers (bad move) and their boots and helmet (good move), I also decided to wear one of my own pairs of old protective racing gloves, another good move.
    We moved out to the track where we were given an informal briefing on the machines, small and very light, small engines but with very low gearing so good acceleration. Knobbly tyres (some of which were well worn), and no brakes whatsoever, front or rear. 'Once you move off, everything is done on the throttle.' we were told, 'do not touch the clutch at all except when you want to stop otherwise you will be in the wall for sure.' At this time there was a small rider going round, bike sideways, plumes of shale flying off the rear tyre as she, yes 'she' a young girl of around eleven or twelve barrelled her way round the track - just showing us how easy this track riding was going to be.

    Initially the crew sent us out, one at a time, to check that we knew, or didn't know. what we were doing. Apparently they were satisfied as they said 'OK, there are the bikes, those who want to go first grab a bike each and off you go. It is tiring so, when it gets you, come on in, give the bike to someone else, have a rest for a while, then grab another bike and go out again.

    I think most of us set off with visions of clouds of shale pouring off the rear wheel as we power slid our way round. The reality was that most of us were pussy footing round gradually finding what it was like to get the rear sliding. Big surprise number one, the back slides very easily, the bike doesn't go where you want it to, the wall is very close and the instinctive reaction to back off when the back goes out puts you even closer to the wall. On my first session I wobbled my way round (what happened to the confident sportsbike rider?) and gradually got the rear tyre sliding. Not where I wanted it to slide I might add and not always in the direction I wanted to go. After a while I got more confident and used a bit more power - BANG - under the loose shale the track is solid and my head hit the ground so hard that, if I had been wearing my Arai, I would have scrapped it after the meeting. Pick myself up, get my eyes back into focus, shake the dirt off, bump start and away again. This was the story of my day, I hit the ground about four times. The last time I gassed it too hard with not enough opposite lock and the bike snapped round on me. I hit the ground hard and as I rolled right the bike caught my left foot and turned it left. Now this, I can assure y'all, is not a good thing and the resultant stress and pain to my knee put paid to any more riding for the last hour. Over the day the only club rider who didn't fall off was our sole lady attendee, Paula - respect.

    When I got out of the shower at home Diane said 'What have you done to your leg?'. I hadn't even noticed that I had a red raw patch, about three inches across, on my left thigh. Looking at my leathers, there is a large scuffed patch just where the red area on my leg is. My guess is that what I have got is going to be a very large, multicoloured, impact bruise from one of the 'offs'. I've got a few other aches and pains here and there, a twisted little finger that bites now and again and I still have a headache.

    Would I do it again - probably not - old bones don't bounce so well and discretion is, as they say, the better part of valour. Do I regret doing it - no way! It really was enormous fun and I had the time of my life the only downside being the bruises and the limp that I will have for the next week or so. For your amusement I have posted a few piccys below. I am in the left hand pic.

    Ken.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Ken; 04-26-2009 at 07:08 AM.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

  10. #10
    Speedway is when the H-D's square off against the Indians and Crockers.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Haynes View Post
    Speedway is when the H-D's square off against the Indians and Crockers.
    You sure that isn't Speed(a)way,Chris?

    Ken
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    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

  12. #12
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    Well Ken, glad to hear you didn't bang yourself up any worse than you did. I think i'll stick to my "old mans " bike and touring around the states.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frosts08ultra View Post
    Well Ken, glad to hear you didn't bang yourself up any worse than you did. I think i'll stick to my "old mans " bike and touring around the states.
    I think you may have a good point there, Mark. For the time being, at least, I shall stick to the '6RR' and the Cadwell park Raceway.

    Ken.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

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