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The secert to being fast…..


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Last weekend was spent going around Thunderhill. Ive been working on my body position, being in right gear at right time, spinning the motor more, using more engine braking and so on.

The throttle on the R1 has different size reels to adjust how quick the throtte opens up the throttle bodies. The one I have installed is progressive. The more the throttle is opened the quicker it gets in opening the throttle bodies. I rotated it forward more to change where the progression starts. That made a really big change. Because Im on the quicker part of the reel sooner, engine response was quicker. It took a bit to figure out why the R1 was getting out of the corners quicker, picking up speed quicker. My tire wear changed also. Now, I didnt need to twist the throttle as hard to get out of corners, plus since the engine picks up quicker, I wasnt plowing the front as much.

But the real secert to being faster was……….riding in C group and not B group. I normally ride B but I wanted to work on a few things at a reduced pace. What I wasnt expecting was how the change in throttle position was gonna effect the R1.

It was a whole different motorcycle. It became much easier to go faster with a engine that responds faster to throttle input. My corner speed went up alot. I got alot of passing practice, something I needed work on.  

It was alot of fun this last weekend. It was like everything Ive been working on came together. I was kinda uncomfortable in B cause of all the rust in my track riding. But now, I feel comfortable in being in B.





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After I stopped road racing, I got my track time in instructing with one of the local track day programs for several years.  One of the keys we always emphasized was the idea that smooth and relaxed is the way to build speed, and sometimes you have to slow down to go fast.    Charging around blindly, full of adrenaline, and on the edge of control is NOT a recipe for success…  just ‘going a little faster’ rarely ends well if you don’t understand and can’t mentally process what the bike is telling you.   Slow down, really focus on technique and all the subtle feedback details you’re getting, and speed will naturally come.  

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On Sinday, I met a young rider doing his first ever track day. He has 11 years of street riding in the hills around here. Nice guy.

I started sharing what little I know about track riding. I went over the somethings about track riding. 

Heres some of the things discussed:

Keep your eyes up, look through the corner.

Spin the motor more, be in the right gear.

Forget about lap times

Track riding is about learning about yourself and what the motorcycle can really do.

Hold his line, be predictable and easy to pass.

Shift his weight to the inside peg to help with being light on the bars. The bars are not for holding up your upper body.

And use the whole track. Dont use street lines.

Be smooth, fast will come.

I think, in reality, this was more for me than him. Sunday, everything just clicked for me. My past racing experiences from many years ago finally emerged.

 I checked in with him a couple of times during the day. Hes hooked. He was on his street ride and now gonna look for a dedicated track motorcycle. 

He was all smiles and grins and thanked me for my advice as it helped him. He stated that he didnt realize what his motorcycle and him could really do.  He was surprised about that. 

This was the real highlight of my track weekend. 

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