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Discussion Starter #1
Went to Reg Pridmore's Chronologically Challenged CLASS class last Friday at the Streets of Willow Springs. This was an exclusive school for those more mature riders over 40 years old. As expected, there was the usual contingent of Ducatis, but there was also a healthy sampling of BMWs in the two groups.

I started the day in the faster A group, and had a great time swapping paint with a couple of guys on BMW R1100S bikes. (I took my Triumph.) Those guys were pretty fast, and I was surprised at how quickly they could get out of the corners. I got around one and then the other got around me.

But the bigger surprise came in ther afternoon, after I told Reg I wanted to get in the B group because I was pushing myself a bit too hard for comfort with the faster group. There was a guy on a stock R1100R hooking it up pretty good. I followed him for most of a lap, figuring I could easily get past him to the front straight (200 yards). Wrong. I had to hit redline in second and third, and nearly reached redline in fourth, getting around him. I found out just how good the Triumph's brakes are when I slowed down for turn one.

The Beemers may not have the horsepower to hang with sport bikes on the big track, but on the Streets they acquitted themselves quite well. They're torque monsters.

The last session of the day I cruised around at a good pace, sandwiched between two riders on BMR R1100RS sport touring bikes. Great fun.
 

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So did the Sprint RS provide what you wanted in terms of track use? I'm curious because I've been interested in the RS since it came out and since I followed your deliberations on which bike to buy for the class.

I took Jason Pridmore's class this summer and I think my Speed Triple and another guy's R850R were about the only two bikes that didn't arrive on trailers. Whilst getting strafed by R1s, I was glad to know there was at least one guy I could keep up with. I didn't do a very good job of keeping up with the other guy on a Speed Triple, however, so that tells you the shortcoming was with the rider, not the machinery.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The Sprint RS is everything I expected and hoped for when I bought it. Tons of torque, and very stable in the corners. I had great fun on it and the bike never did anything wrong all day. I did bullox a downshift going into turn four once, right in front of Reg Pridmore's lady friend Gigi. Quite embarrassing. The second best part was the bike got 36 mpg on the track. With its 5.5 gallon tank that gives it plenty of range for a full day on the track without a refill. The best part is the handling. The RS is one sweet bike.

I'm working on a review of the Sprint RS for the editorial pages. If the weather cooperates I'll pull out the digital camera and gets some photos this weekend.
 

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Hi Guys,

I'm a new user, browsed the boards a few times, saw this post and had to reply.

I ride a '95 R1100RS, and attended Jason Pridmores Star school in Michigan a few months ago. The only other bike that did not arrive on a trailer was a '96 R1100RS. Star school was an excellent experience, one in which I plan on repeating twice next summer. I really enjoy hearing about people riding to the track. Most of the people I met that day thought I was nuts for riding 3 hours to the track, racing all day, then turning around and riding three hours home. Made for a long day, but VERY satisfying. The Beemers held up well on the track. Most satifying moment? Passing a guy on an RC51 in the corners. Just goes to show, skill counts more than horsepower.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
OldR1100 said:
<snip> Just goes to show, skill counts more than horsepower.
Speaking of which, there was a guy in the A group riding a Kawasaki KLR 650. In one session he took off in front of me. I used the first lap to warm up my tires, then cranked it up a bit. The KLR rider was about 100 yards ahead of me at the end of the first lap. I figured I'd catch him in a couple of corners then go looking for someone on a faster bike (joke). Ha! It took me three laps to catch him, then I had to wait for the front straight before I could get around him because he was carrying as much speed as I was through the corners. On stock tires, no less.

My Triumph has about 120 crank horsepower with the carbon fiber exhaust and remapped injection, and I had a set of Dunlop 207 GPs installed before the track day. And it still took me four laps to get around a guy on a dual-sport bike with semi-knobby tires. I've got to hand it to him, that guy's a better rider than me.

[Edited by photobug on 11-10-2000 at 07:13 AM]
 

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Sounds like you've got that Triumph adjusted for a nice track day weapon. My last trip to the track convinced me I needed something more sporty. My other bike is an '81 HD Sporty, had it since '83. It's my "bitch" bike...I ride, parts fall off, I bitch, I fix it, process starts over. This is hardly a track worthy machine.

Anyway, I recently started the search for a new bike for my occasionial track days and trips to the twisty's. Sounds like you really enjoy that Triumph I've been looking at the R1, 929RR, and the Duc 996. May be time for another trip to the dealer to look at Sprint. Any maintenance issues with it? The Speed triple was another contender, but I am unfamiliar with Triumph products. I've always owned UJM's, singles and twins, and of course, my 2 current bikes.
 

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OldR1100:

I didn't do a scientific survey or anything, but I believe one reason many people rode to the track school I attended was because of the distinct possibility they might crash and the bike would not be roadworthy for the trip home. Maybe THEY wouldn't be roadworthy. As it turned out, ours was a considerate group, there were only a couple of lowsides and nobody got hurt, an above average outcome according to the STAR instructors.

I stayed overnight in the area because of the track's distance from home. But believe me, I was thinking about the prospect of crashing and not having any way to get home. Kept me on the cautious side.

Then too there were quite a few guys (and a very fast young woman) who were there on track-only bikes that weren't even street legal.

Don't see many track-only BMWs, however. :)
 

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Oh and by the way, if you're thinking about an R1, 929RR, 996, etc., the real Triumph equivalent is the Daytona. In terms of sportiness, I'd rank the Triumphs like this:

1. Daytona
2. Sprint RS
3. Speed Triple
4. Sprint ST

All of which would be further towards the sporting end of the spectrum than the R1100RS, though the ST not by much.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Motociclista is spot on in ranking the Triumphs for their sporting virtues. Realistically, though, even the Sprint RS is a much more capable bike than I am a rider. The R1, 929, and Duc 996 are even faster, way faster, than the Sprint RS. I know, because I had riders on each blow by me on the front straight at the Streets of Willows.

The selling point for the Sprint RS, for me, was the price. I paid $8488 for it, plus tax, title, and license. I didn't even consider the R1 because I know my skills aren't anywhere close to that bike's capabilities. The 929 is an excellent bike, but then there's the rider factor again. The Ducati 996 is a serious lust object, but I could have bought two Sprint STs for what the 996 costs. If price were no object...

Which bike you get for the track depends upon three things:

1) How good a rider you are. Learning on a less powerful bike is easier than learning on a hyperbike.

2) How serious you are about going fast. Do you want to start racing, or do you just want to hone your skills for street riding and have a little fun at the same time?

3) Money. 'Nuff said.

Realistically, for the vast majority of us, the best track bike is probably a 600cc sport bike. I chose the Sprint RS over a smaller bike because I was looking for something that could also function as a backup street bike and an occassional sport tourer. If my son keeps doing his schoolwork, landscapes the back yard, and keeps the house clean, he'll get my '93 Beemer this spring when he gets his street license. (You knew I'd get around to BMW content eventually in this thread, didn't you?) I can then use the RS as my street bike and buy something else for the track, or keep the RS as my track bike and get a new street bike.

The new R1150R certainly looks interesting as a street bike, but I'm really holding out for an R1150RS.
 

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Believe it or not, I'm not here to bash Beemers or Triumphs. Really!
I'm afraid none of the bikes you mentioned would make a very good track day bike. Peruse the track days forum and you'll see that the experienced riders/racers mostly agree that the ideal track/beginner race bike is an EX500. If you have a real disdain for being passed on the straights, any of the 600 supersports will stay close enough to the big boys to set up for a turn 1 late-brake pass.
 
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Tristan said:
Believe it or not, I'm not here to bash Beemers or Triumphs. Really!
Damn, and when I saw you had posted, I got all ready for a good laugh! What's happening to you Tristan? First, you start using smilies; now THIS?!?!
 

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Pete, I deeply regret letting you (and my many other fans) down. I know nothing can make up for my thoughtless, humorless, information clogged post above; but I'll try:
Triumphs have come a long way in the last couple years, but they still quite suck. Have the English ever built a decent motor vehicle? The nicely styled Daytona is the only light in this dank, musty, stinky British tunnel...
I'm not sure why anyone would buy an overpriced, overweight Triumph, but I do know why people buy BMWs- they are almost exclusively:
1. Old
2. Very odd
3. Car people
4. Wannabe- Eurotrash
5. Dying to let the world know that they have lots of money and are not afraid to blow it.
I could go on, but I wouldn't want to offend anyone :)
 

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That's the thing about sportbikeworld.com, what makes it such a special, heartwarming place in this otherwise cold and sterile virtual environment. A thread starts out talking about how well BMW oilheads acquitted themselves at Reg Pridmore's school and before we get to the second page of comments someone's telling us that anything less fizzy than a 600cc sportbike is unworthy of setting foot on a closed course.

Sportbikeworld: The few, the proud, the hopelessly adrenaline-addled mouth-foamers. Join us soon before we crash our brains out. :D

Just kidding guys. ;)
 

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motociclista said:
That's the thing about sportbikeworld.com, what makes it such a special, heartwarming place in this otherwise cold and sterile virtual environment. A thread starts out talking about how well BMW oilheads acquitted themselves at Reg Pridmore's school and before we get to the second page of comments someone's telling us that anything less fizzy than a 600cc sportbike is unworthy of setting foot on a closed course.
Sportbikeworld: The few, the proud, the hopelessly adrenaline-addled mouth-foamers. Join us soon before we crash our brains out. :D
Just kidding guys. ;)
Funny, but the EX500 I suggested is a bit less fizzy than any 600. And hey- If you now own an old oilhead (or Katana, or whatever) by all means take it to a racetrack, you WILL have fun and learn a lot. BUT, if you're looking to buy a bike for track purposes I still say EX.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Excellent point Tristan. Even I have recommended people start with an EX500, and I'm trying to convince my wife to let me buy one and turn it into a race bike. Somehow, though, I cannot see myself using an EX500 as a daily driver.
 

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OK,

Looks like alot happened while I was gone, so here are my thoughts:

Regarding purchase of an open class/track weapon... I have close to 20 years on bikes, my choices are influenced by cost, purpose for purchase, and ability to push my limits without exceeding those of the bike. Sorry Tristan, I didnt buy the Beemer cause I have lots of money, although the thought of being Eurotrash might be fun...(JK)

The BMW performed on the track admirably for what it is, a sport touring bike. The point of track time for me is to improve cornering ability, smoothness, and of course, obtain that mind blowing adrenalin rush that you just cant get any other way.

Photobug is right, an EX500 wont work as a good daily ride for me, and I do ride every day. Whatever I decide to purchase must work as my track bike, and a commuter when the need arises. I have no intention of selling any of the other bikes. I have ridden all three bikes I listed. The Duc is sex on wheels, but its murder on my back, wrists, and wallet. The R1 is a horsepower bomb, and steers heavier than the 929. The 929 is a great bike, but inspired no emotion in me when I rode it.

Searching for the next bike is part of the fun. I will be at the Triumph dealer next week. An open mind may lead to my next great discovery in motorcycling.

BTW, I just signed up for more track days at Jason Pridmores Star schools, 4 days total. The 2001 schedule must have just been posted.

Thanks for the input!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Orginally posted by motociclista
Sportbikeworld: The few, the proud, the hopelessly adrenaline-addled mouth-foamers.
[/QUOTE]

Ding! Score one point for Motociclista.

Despite what Tristan says about them, the BMWs and Triumphs acquitted themselves quite well on the Streets of Willows. I bought the Triumph Sprint RS instead of a Ducati 750SS or a 600cc sport bike because I was looking for an excellent all-around bike that could also serve well on the track. If Tristan truly thinks Triumphs are junk he either hasn't ridden one lately or is still overladen with hormones and cannot appreciate the finer points of torque, everyday utility, and all-around balance.

And many people buy BMWs not because they want to show off, but because they want a bike they can live with for five, 10, 15 years or more. They're not throwaway bikes like the Japanese sport bikes, whose owners feel the need to trade them in every two to three years when the bike magazines name something else Bike of the Year.

Those of us who want a do-everything bike that can also handle track days know what we're looking for, and it isn't the fastest and neatest toy in the store.
 

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Photobug,

You've addressed the very reason I bought my BMW, I have my fathers HD. I will give my son the HD, and my BMW, should the day comes that he want them. But until then, I know I can put 100,000 miles on my bike, and it will still run.

Of course, I still have some room in the garage for a bike or two, and it seems a shame to waste the space...
 

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photobug said:
... If Tristan truly thinks Triumphs are junk... and cannot appreciate the finer points of torque, everyday utility, and all-around balance.

[/B]
Uhh... I ride a VTR, so I know about torque, utility, and balance. I just happen to also appreciate the finer points of performance and value!
 
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Tristan said:
photobug said:
... If Tristan truly thinks Triumphs are junk... and cannot appreciate the finer points of torque, everyday utility, and all-around balance.
Uhh... I ride a VTR, so I know about torque, utility, and balance. I just happen to also appreciate the finer points of performance and value! [/B]
Did you say VALUE ? You know, katana's are one of the best values around :)
 
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