Ready For The Track.............. - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-12-2002, 01:44 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
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Unhappy Ready For The Track..............

Once again, you people on this damn website have "bucked my head up" and encouraged me into really killing myself I think I am ready to put my bike on the TRACK

First, do you guys recommend signing up for a "track school" first? Or, should I just pay the $15 dollars at Gateway International Speedway and take my chances. Gateway charges $15 dollars to "drag" race, but I don't want to just go in a straight line. I want to hit the turns, drag my knee, and ride a distance greater than a 1/4 mile.

Does anyone know of a track school in, or close to St. Louis, MO? There was a race a few weeks ago at Gateway's "oval" track, but I don't think I am ready for that just yet. As a matter of fact, I KNOW I AM NOT READY!!!!! I really want to enroll in a track school to learn as much as I can before I put my one and only bike in any more danger than I already do on the street How much should I expect to pay for a track school?

I have a 2001 YZF-R6, blue/white, Yoshimura RS-3 Carbon Fiber Race Slip-On, Dyno Jet Stage 1 Jet Kit, and I am ready to put those mods to "good" use. I tried on the street a few times, but my "responsible" side got the best of me. I would hate to kill anyone, especially myself, trying to race, or "act like" I am racing on the public roads. I am kind of concerned about "going all out" and wrecking my bike on the track, but here is my theory...

"If I enroll in a track school and improve my skills. Great!! If I wreck my R6 in the process, oh well. I can just dedicate the 'battle scarred' R6 to track use only, and get the beautiful silver/black R1 as my street bike. (notice, I said get the R1 after I have improved my skills)

I really want to improve my riding skills, but I want to be taught by a professional. If anyone has any ideas, suggestions, or information that will help me, I will really appreciate it. After all, reading you guys' posts and looking up to you has gotten me into this predicament in the first place

Thanks in advance
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-12-2002, 02:45 AM
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
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Re: Ready For The Track..............

Quote:
[i]After all, reading you guys' posts and looking up to you has gotten me into this predicament in the first place

[/B]
Just cause you're a bad judge of character and hang around with people like us doesn't obsolve you of responsibility for your actions.

Check out Putnam Park over in So Indiana. Sposed to be a great track and I know they do track days and schools. I recommend a school first but if there aren't any scheduled don't be afraid to start with a track day. Just stay in the novice groups and you'll be fine.

You can find the track web site easy enough in a google search. Or WTF, I'll go grab it for ya.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-12-2002, 02:52 AM
 
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Here goes www.putnampark.com

Check the schedule icon on the left, there is a load of motorcycle dates. Check for links to the schools and track day clubs. Looked like Keith Code Does CSS there amoung others. I prefer Reg Pridmore (www.classrides.com) but Code might be a good place for a noobie to start since he does more detailed instruction.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-12-2002, 05:48 AM
 
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Thumbs up

Putnam is a great track. Very smooth, very safe with lots of grassy runoff if you should happen off track. Don't feel confident in recommending a track day or school for your first time out, I think that depends on your experience and confidence in your abilities. I did a track day for my first track experience and had a blast, no regrets. Should you decide on a track day first, just start easy and advance slowly, don't ride over your head and you'll do fine, you're not out to win a race, just have fun.

Apexismaximus, have you taken the Code as well as Class schools? Can you possibly give feedback on one or both and how they compare? May help other riders decide.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-12-2002, 06:28 AM
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Location: Castle Rock, CO 80108
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Isn't Gateway in St. Louis???

Check out www.nesba.com . I know they have some dates out by you. You can try it out for FREE , and get some really great instruction to boot. The control riders are awesome- they get Stakes highest rating (just ask Brian Livengood ). Be prepared to join on the spot and start dedicating pretty much all of your resources to the next chance to get on the track, and the next one, and the next......you get the idea.

Don't try to keep up with my life, you'll only get hurt.

-Mike
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-12-2002, 07:00 AM
 
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I hear gateway sucks but it's been 5 years since I lived there so maybe it's been improved. Where as I've only heard good things about putnam.

I did Code back in 91 when all he let you do was no brakes and 5th gear. It was very restrictive I thought. I hear this is now a single drill and he allows shifting and braking but his '1 level per day' rule means that if you are already a 3 that you have to endure the level one and two at 400 a pop just to get where you are to begin with. I can't argue with his results but for my money I'd prefer to have a little more credit where it's due. I've heard several people bitch about this structure.

Reg's CLASS was perfect for me. They teach a few basics and then give you enough rope to hang yourself with. Basically they let the on track instructors (plentiful) analyze you and give you help where it's needed. I was, ahem, pulled over several times for a chat about how I sucked. However, I was NEVER attacked or belittled or made to feel like a loser. They just matter of factly asked what I thought I was doing and then they pointed out the truth to me very politely. Truth be told, I was pushing very hard and trying to get as much as possible out of my very limited budget. I got a TON out of that day, it just wasn't always pretty. I was lapping in the top half of the 'fast' group on my first track day. Had practised in the clover leafs and canyons a lot prior to going but still, I was very happy.

SO, if you like structure and want a carefully laid out course take a big wad of cash to Code.

If you want a track day with great instruction thrown in and all the freedom you could ask for take Pridmores.

Actually take both. They both have good points you can benefit from. Pick what feels right to you from each.

Now what I'm really excited about is the American Supercamp. My next challenge is sliding and this sounds like the place to get comfortable with that!!!

Cheers all.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-12-2002, 07:50 AM
 
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after some nervious moments, i finally got the 'bus in the back of my truck. man, i miss the gsx-r now. headed to putnam this weekend. found out my ground clearance is lower on the 'bus than the gsx-r. drug the exhaust pipe briefly at the top of the ramp. my question is specific to putnam and track days in general. are there any loading docks at the race track? would make loading/unloading a world easier. also, this is my first track day, so is it safe to assume there might be some helping hands for me and the other new-to-the-track guys? appreciate any tips. thanks.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-12-2002, 10:56 AM
 
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Apexismaximus,
Good synopsis. Sounds like a CLASS school would be right for me later in the year. I've heard very mixed reviews about Code's school.

Ricerun01,
There is an observation hill about 6 feet tall, you can back your truck up to and unload at a lesser angle. But there is no loading/unloading docks. You won't have any trouble finding others to help you unload your bike either. Track instructors depends on what club you're riding with. Some have riders on the track to help you, some have none. Above all, have fun and don't ride over your head, progress slowly.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-12-2002, 12:19 PM
 
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American Supercamp

Apex,

I took American Supercamp in February. It was awesome. I am doing the classes in the opposite order that you are but with a similar goal. I have yet to do a track day but would love to start racing (I think). If I had 2 pieces of advice for supercamp they would be....hang it out because if you wreck, you are only going about 20 mph at most with lot's of pads on, and follow as many instructors as possible. The 2 things that helped me the most from that class were the mud drill (I didn't "get it" until this drill, it forces you to slide) and also following the instructors. I would do as much of both as you can stand.
It was also fun racing around with Eric Bostrom and his dad. I got to stuff Eric into one corner...course he FLEW by me in the next corner with a HUGE rooster tail of dirt coming from his rear tire. Great class, lot's of fun.

I have heard similar things about Code's class and Pridmore's. I will probably end up skipping Code's and only doing Pridmore's class. Then maybe a DP Safety School course. Not sure if the DP classes are specific to California or not. They are basically just lot's of track time and if you WANT instruction, you have to ask for it.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-12-2002, 12:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ricerun01
my question is specific to putnam and track days in general. are there any loading docks at the race track? would make loading/unloading a world easier. also, this is my first track day, so is it safe to assume there might be some helping hands for me and the other new-to-the-track guys? appreciate any tips. thanks.
No ramps, but there is a grassy hill you can back up to to help unload. As soon as you hop out of the truck say hi to the first guy you see and there's a 99% chance he'll help you unload and give you some tips on the track.
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