How many of you do track days? How often - and which tracks? What are you riding? Post your stories - remember your first trackday?, tell us about it, it doesn't have to be a great literary work of art. As an example I've added one of my stories, below. If you have got pictures of your exploits, post them here, we can accept pictures and even videos on our easy to use website. By the way, if posting pictures from your computer files, don't worry if you don't see them in the 'Preview' they WILL show up in your post. This Thread has a lot of readers but a disappointing number of replies - don't be shy - let's hear from you - guys and gals!



Well, the day (Monday 9th July) finally arrived and luckily (Having been ill) I was well enough to go along to Cadwell Park to join my club group at a Hottrax track-day with my new CBR600RR-7.

It was a bit iffy as I had been off the new 'bike for about eight weeks with Polymyalgia but the doc had worked wonders, I felt fit enough and had gone for a run with my brother on Saturday. The 'bike, however, was not fully run in although it would still enable me to run at a fair pace. But - good news - I was reckoning on a 1000 mile run in period but, checking the book, it said OK to open up after 600 miles. I had managed to put in a hundred miles in on Saturday and was up near the eight hundred miles mark. So, take it easy for the first session, time to re-learn the track, and then 'let her rip'.

Arrived at the track at 7:30am to tape the lights up, drop the tyre pressures to 30 front and 32 rear from their usual 36 front and 42 rear, go through the scrutineering and noise checks and get the appropriate stickers put on the 'bike. Then in to the clubhouse/restaurant to book in, have my licence checked and get my group wristband. Then, at 8:30, it was in to the pre-ride briefing, off for a quick pee then back to the paddock to await our first call.

It was good having a Wolds Bikers club group. We were well equipped with a sizeable marquee, chairs, electric generator, and electric boiler for tea and coffee (all part of the club's show stand facilities that we have built up over the last four years). We also had the necessary supplies of tools, gaffer tape, tie-wraps, petrol, oil and water, just in case.

The first session was called and I felt the usual flutter of nerves as we lined up in the pit lane to go out. The first two laps were sighting laps, then the Instructor pulled off and we were waved on our way. The new 'bike felt very different to the old one, it tipped in much more quickly and initially I was not holding the lines I wanted. By the end of the session, however, it was beginning to fall into place and I was getting used to it.

During the second session I upped the pace a little and started to push the 'bike a bit harder. It is certainly a hell of a lot quicker than the old CBR and has a lot more grunt driving out of the bends. Toward the end of this session I started to move around on the 'bike more, hanging off slightly on the tighter curves. I must admit it did seem to make a difference of several mph through the bends.

Then the clouds came over and it started to rain - we expected the organisers to stop the sessions but they kept the day running and left it up to individual choice whether one went out or not. The CBR handled very well in the wet and was little affected, even by standing water. Cadwell is a grippy track and, once the initial nervousness of travelling at (fairly) high speed on a wet track was overcome there was probably only about ten seconds a lap difference in lap times.

For the fourth session the rain had stopped, the track was still, mainly, very wet although a dry line started to appear toward the end of the session and the speeds went up. At the end of the Start and Finish Straight I was seeing about 95 to 100mph, tipping into Coppice at about 95. Park Straight is the fastest section and I was hitting about 130 before braking down to about 75 - 80 for Park Bend.

The fifth session was fun, still wet in parts but with a good dry line appearing, I was starting to give the 'bike its head now and really enjoying myself. Then, going into The Hairpin, I missed a gear and went completely off line, coming out I ran wide, onto the kerb then onto the edge of the grass. One of our club boys asked me afterwards 'How the hell did you manage to stay on, you were showering me with bits of wet grass and mud and I was waiting for you to drop it'. I just shrugged and said 'Ice cold nerves and a steady throttle hand' - actually I should have been honest and said 'It is easy when you are frozen with fear' I got back on the track without losing my place and we went on our merry way,

Back at the club marquee there was a group round one of our members new Yamaha R6. Apparently the engine just stopped and he couldn't get it started as the battery seemed to be flat (wouldn't turn the engine over). It was quickly linked up to a car battery and - the motor would still not turn. Attempting to push it, whilst in gear, showed that the motor was locked solid and a quick check showed that although he had plenty of oil there was no water in the engine which has seized solid. It looks as though it is going to turn out a very expensive track day for him.
For the last session the track was clean and dry again and I gave the Honda her head. The club Chairman and I were first and second out on the track and we were still first and second as the session ended.

All in all it was a great day, I used about $30 of gas and I think I will need to replace my tyres in the not too distant future. However, as one of the track-day regulars pointed out, the molten rubber all round the edges of the rear tyre will give me a lot of street cred. The bike ran perfectly, except for a small fuelling glitch at one point, which, I guessed, was due to lack of free play in the throttle cable (I had adjusted it to take some free play out). The CBR needs a definite amount of free play to enable the throttle position sensor to establish the 'Closed' position accurately, I added a bit more free play and the problem was gone.

I have uploaded a few photographs to Photobucket and have added the link for those of you who might be interested. I was hoping for some pictures of 'Extreme Lean' but the company that does the photos at the track-day did not have photos taken (of anyone) at any of the good vantage points for knee down action. I guess they were only authorised to take photographs at certain points round the track.

Hope you enjoyed my story, stay safe and keep the shiny side pointing to the sun.

Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

To use the photo link, copy and paste the whole line, including the 'July 2007' bit into your browser window. July 2007