Just returned from NCBike - Honda Motorcycles - FireBlades.org
Track Days / Riding Schools Discussion of Track Days, Riding Schools, etc.

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post #1 of 5 Old 11-07-2016, 11:15 AM Thread Starter
 
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Just returned from NCBike

I took the 06' Fireblade and let me tell you that I had a great weekend. 2 days of riding, but it didn't start that way.

I rode with some friends in 2 separate vehicles. That made the trip much more valuable. Orignially I was going to meet them there, but a phonecall arranged a ride for me, my gear and my bike. All I had to do was pay for gas, food enroute and 2 nights' hotel for 2. DONE!

I'd fallen asleep on the way, otherwise I would have noticed when the driver got off I-95 to get onto I-85. He was going to the wrong track!!! Once I discovered this, it only cost us about an 1h:10m or so in total time.

I went this weekend with EvolveGT and my first impressions were of a HUGE club. I've never been to a trackday with so many riders, especially this late in the season. The weather couldn't have been better and the camaraderie was high in the club.

First the bad:
  • I don't have a lot of time on this bike
  • The rearset controls are in a poor position
  • and I found out that I really did have a slightly warped front rotor- it liked to rear its ugly head under heavy braking
But, man let me tell you...the engine is HELLA strong! And the Michelin Pilot Power 2CTs were able to take all that my right wrist had the courage to give it. Turn5 (long left hander) I was able to feel a little bit of push from the front but retrospectively that may not have been the tires' fault but the rider being stiff on the bars. T5 really did test my patience. I'd love to go back to NCBike to conquer T5 and feel like I could rip through there in no time flat!

On Day1 I did their GT1 School. The last time I was on a track was 7yrs 8months ago at the Streets of Willow with California Superbike School (CSS) L1/L2. The differences are glaring: GT1 put most of what they felt a new track rider needed to know into 3-4 classroom sessions/ drills and CSS is intended to be 4 days taken in 1 or 2 day chunks. They each have their merits, but problems arise when the lines become blurred and differentiation and purpose is lost. This happened to me and I couldn't progress until I got it sorted out after a good night's sleep.

Day2 I still never got my speed up to the point where I was able to experience certain things that I was expecting. I would bring my pace up in some parts of the track, and then an issue would bring me back down and my consistency would suffer and thus my pace/ speed.

One of the unforgettable things about track riding is when you're passed by 12 year olds and you have a 700cc advantage. If you let that get to you, you will crash.

And that's the best thing that I have to say about this weekend. I had a 2016 goal to at least do 1 trackday and I finished 2 days, completed all sessions except the final of day2 and brought the bike and myself home safe and sound. There were a few crashes in my group, but none that cost us any tracktime. The corner-workers brought their A-Game! I even saw a mirror on the track that wasn't there on my next lap.

IF I ride this bike on the track again, my changes will be:
New (improved?) brake rotors
Properly adjusted rearset controls
Reduced Final drive gearing
A better windscreen
Faceshield Tear-offs
Optional but highly desired: Quickshifter
Otherwise, I am considering buying a smaller bike for next year's trackdays.

The question I have is:
If you have a bike problem (as I had the bike go into neutral 2X) how in the world are you supposed to signal
IanDoohan likes this.

-2006 CBR1000RR- Jardine RT-1 CF, #$&-%* Brand Air filter, GP shift rearsets, color matched levers (upgrades in progress)
-2002 CBR600F4i (I'm done with upgrades- now transferred to Her)

Because 12,000 RPM makes me feel better
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post #2 of 5 Old 11-07-2016, 1:26 PM
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Re: Just returned from NCBike

A quickshifter is a beautiful thing... but.. you can learn without it. Bladeracer (whom I have not seen in a while) shifts up and down clutchless with the same ease and speed as anyone I have seen with a quickshifter. I, too, have taken after his lead and stopped with the clutch on a permanent basis. It takes a little time to learn exactly where you need to be (rpm) to properly rev-match your downshifts - this is very specific for each bike and each gear and even changes if you change your gearing!


Anyway - you already have the rearsets in-place, adjusting them could/should have even been done at the track! Do not be afraid to change things up while you are there! Mine are fixed position (Pro-Tek) but they (luckily) sit in a great place for my small size =) Do not be afraid to change up your positioning (of your rearsets) during track breaks.

In general what was your experience of the track and track-day group? Any specific negatives and/or positives? I have never actually used a track-day group to go (Jennings GP has open sessions regularly).

/**Serenity**\ 2002 Honda CBR954RR Fireblade

"But risks must be taken, because the greatest risk in life is to risk nothing. Only the person who risks is truly free."
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post #3 of 5 Old 11-07-2016, 1:48 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Just returned from NCBike

I didn't get a chance to adjust the rearsets because they absolutely require Loctite. Loctite's directions say 10 mins to harden 24hours to cure. I wanted to do them them at end of day1 but our mechanic's attention was elsewhere and had convinced me that I didn't need to bring my stands.

I clutchless upshift on the street but when the revs are rising fast at WOT, the transmission doesn't want to unload unless you back off. I'd forgotten that back-off part (ha ha ha ha) and whacked the hell out of the lever (GP Shift) a couple times (my poor shift forks).

I forgot to say that I also tried raising the idle to help reduce engine braking but then I had a hard time getting the bike into 1st without crunching gears. So it went back to 900RPM and then I could kick it into gear without intuitively feeling my transmission gears round off.

I've never done an "open" trackday so I can't compare. I'd imagine though that there is better adherence to the passing rules in a club. This was my first time with them and I think I'll go back, thought I haven't found a preference for one club vs any other. My friend's ride with this club, have a business relationship with them and his son and daughter ride there (11 and 12yo). I'd been passed by them a couple times. I think his daughter actually lapped me on her Kwak 300.

-2006 CBR1000RR- Jardine RT-1 CF, #$&-%* Brand Air filter, GP shift rearsets, color matched levers (upgrades in progress)
-2002 CBR600F4i (I'm done with upgrades- now transferred to Her)

Because 12,000 RPM makes me feel better
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post #4 of 5 Old 11-07-2016, 2:05 PM
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Re: Just returned from NCBike

Do not feel bad... I've been passed by a ninja on a 250... I know for a fact he lapped me every session too! It was rough for me... but then you realize the importance and benefit of experience over a fast machine. I always stayed with the "slow poke" group and enjoyed it. Luckily Jennings requires a briefing every day of track time and they keep people in adherence to the rules all day long.

Clutchless shifting is an interesting thing... I do better when I do not think about it.... I can get up through the gears hella quick - when I do not try it ends up smooth and natural. The same is true for my downshifts. I think if you are used to rev-matching using the clutch you already have it in you to get up and down without the clutch.. but it is a mental block that stops many from doing it. My buddy insists I have probably killed my tranny by now but I have no metal flakes or chunks in my oil and my bike just keeps on going =)

/**Serenity**\ 2002 Honda CBR954RR Fireblade

"But risks must be taken, because the greatest risk in life is to risk nothing. Only the person who risks is truly free."
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post #5 of 5 Old 11-07-2016, 3:19 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Just returned from NCBike

There were a couple times where a downshift would have helped but I was cranked over on the edge of the tire. It was those times that I was fortunate to have the grunt available.

-2006 CBR1000RR- Jardine RT-1 CF, #$&-%* Brand Air filter, GP shift rearsets, color matched levers (upgrades in progress)
-2002 CBR600F4i (I'm done with upgrades- now transferred to Her)

Because 12,000 RPM makes me feel better
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