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On top of providing endless fodder for the adolescents among us with it's
name alone, Beaverun also happens to be a pretty damn good place to go fast
on motorcycles. Approaching the track in the morning felt more like going to
a ski resort with the steep, winding, gravelly access roads. The rain and
cool temperature conspired to make the ride quite "interesting" in my Focus,
it's worn out front tires unweighted by the trailer spinning, hydroplaning,
and skidding all the way. Pulling through the gate, I get the impression
there's a lot going on here- lots of paving and earthmoving equipment
sitting around. Besides our track day there's also an Autocross and a
Go-cart race happening.
The steady barrage of rain that would normally ruin a track day didn't
bother me so much this time. In addition to my SV I also had an excellent
"rain bike"- my friend Jeff's Derbi 75 was on the trailer. With a sub-200 lb
weight, and (maybe) 10 horses on tap the Derbi made the prospect of a wet
track less intimidating. After dealing with registration and tech I head
out on the "Weedwacker with wheels". The rain took a break, but the track
remained wet for some time. If this is the "short course" at Beaverun, I
can't imagine riding the big one (once complete)! The track is very wide,
especially on the back section. There are good elevation changes, the most
radical is the uphill leading onto the front straight. No matter what I do,
the Derbi does not have the steam to get up that hill without bogging down
to jogging speed. From turn one to five, wringing the throttle in 4th gear
works well, and once onto the back straight I'm quickly into 6th and tapped
out at 10,500 rpm all the way to the big hill. Taller gearing would have
helped.
Ok, I've had enough of sharing the track with bikes packing ten times (!)
my horsepower; time to pull out the SV. I suppose I am at fault for the
rain- I decided to mount slicks instead of the DOT tires I also had ready to
go on my second set of wheels. About half the guys there had rain tires-
where's the challenge in that? The 'Beav has excellent drainage on and off
the track, so there's no standing water, no rivers running across the track
like some other tracks I won't mention... So, at least the traction is
consistant. I'm not pushing too hard, but traction is actually pretty good
and I'm able to get a sense of the layout at speed. The rain held off, and
the next session was almost completely dry- time to let 'er rip. This is
going to be a great place to race- wide, fast, lots of places to pass. There
are more kinks than turns here, the back straight is wide open on the SV
for most of the way. Coming up the hill onto the front straight there's a
big bump in the middle of the track, and I had lots of long slides exiting
the turn no matter which way I went around the bump. I predict this will
provide some spectacular highside action!
Just before lunch the rain returns. I go out twice more on the SV and
once on the Derbi. This time is a lot more fun on the Derbi- the organizers
had a Rieju (basically the same bike) and we took turns leading around the
track, drafting each other at 70 mph. More than once some big bikes blew by
us halfway down the front straight, only to be passed by us in turns 1-3.
The looks on their faces had to be priceless!
In conclusion, this was the most fun I've had riding in the rain.
Beaverun is a great track, hopefully soon to have the facilities it
deserves. I got some much-needed wet riding experience, and just enough time
at speed to determine that my latest round of suspension tweaks did the
trick. Maybe I'll see you at "The Beaver" next year!
 

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As always..great report...I've heard really good things about Beaverun...i think most of us westcoast riders are jealous..:crying: If I ever win the lotto, that's gonna be my first stop, then on to Philipps Island..:D
 

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Where is Vegas' track? In Vegas I'm sure! I will be out on the west coast for my first time to visit friends in October. We are hitting up LA, Vegas, then Stanford(San Fran). I would love to see a track day out there. Hmmmm, maybe RENT a bike and participate? It is a vacation, time for gratuitous money spending!

Let me know what's fun to check out around those areas, namely LA. :D I am considering moving out there to San Diego, perhaps in a year or so. We shall see! What are all your thoughts on the west coast?
 
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