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I am heading up to Streets of Willow for the R.A.C.E. school next week. Then on to the CCS race in Las Vegas may 4,5. If/when I make it back, I'll let you all know if it was worth the$$$$$$$$$$$$
 

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Lucky Dog....Have fun....
 

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Hey Desmo, Are you gonna do the Sport Rider Day on friday?

I'm gonna be up there for the Sport Rider Day and the SuperTwins race on Sun. Haven't decided if I'm gonna run GTO on Sat or not...

patrick
 

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Discussion Starter #6
R.A.C.E.

OK, I'm back.

First, about the school. They warned us the morning of the first day that we will feel worn out at the end of both days. They were right.

The morning of each day consisted of at least two of what they called "open practices" of about 20 minutes of just riding so that your instructor could observe your riding. Myself not having any track time between this and level I, II my instructor worked on the basics which for me was hanging off technique and throttle control. If you have mastered more of the basic skills, they will work on more advanced ones.

In the afternoon of the first day, they set up a radar trap coming out of a turn and had you run three sessions using the high line, the middle line, and the low line. You were then shown the results of your exit speeds from that turn for each line.

Starting practice was then conducted. One at at time we would take off and go aroound a short version of the track. As we were lined up to go again, an intructor would come up to you and give you some hints.

At the end of the first day, we had a race. The grid was based on a "qualifying session" Needless to say I was in the back row. The race was really fun. One guy went off the track at turn 3 on the first lap of the race. Other that than that, everything was great. No results were posted, so the next day I asked Kieth to post results for Thursdays race.

The second day started out with several practice sessoins in the morning. In the afternoon, we had braking practice. We ran the short course backwards so that we would come DOWN the front straight and brake before making the turn Right before the turn was the speed trap. This time, you got a graph for each of your runs. They had us congregate at about turn 4 and released us about 20 sec a part so the radar would lock onto just one of us at at a time. After we ran through the trap, we would get feed back from an instructor at the top of the hill while we were waiting to go again. One of my runs was perfect. 100 to 40 in 8 sec. with a perfectly straight graph.

Next was the consisntency exercise. We were to go out on the the track and try to do all laps within 1 sec of all the other laps in that session. I did pretty well on this one. My laps were only about 2 secs from each other.

Then we had the race. Once again, I was in the last row. Lots of fun. The results revealed that two guys finished behind me I was jazzed.

Oh yeah each race there was an instructor with a camera on his bike following us. I didn't get in the first one, but hed did get mt in the second race. During the race, I felt I had the bike leaned over pretty far. It is amazing to see what you REALLY look like and how far you are NOT leaned over.

As you can see the reasons for the starting pracitce is obvious. The hi-med-low line sessions give you confidence on all lines around the track so you have several ways to pass on opponent. The braking drill was, of course to improve confidence and lap times.

There was very little class time, but LOTS of feedback from your instructor after EVERY session. They would come to you and discuss AT LENGTH every area they thought you could improve.

I really wish I had had more track time to get down to habit what I had learned at Level I, II. Nonetheless, it was extremely helpful.

This course would be a waste of time if you don't intend to race.

However even if you do know how to start, stop and pass this is the perfect place to practice those skills and sharpen them.

This is all that I remember about the R.A.C.E. school. I suspect that there are several exercises I have for gotten.

Below is my personal account of what I did.

On the VERY FIRST lap of the FIRST day I was leaving turn 2 feeling paranoid about scrubbing in my new tires, so I decided to lean the bike hard into the looming left hand turn 3 to get ALL of the treadd scrubbed.

Next thing I know I have performed my first ever asphalt crash. I came to a stop and tried to get up, but guess what? I wasn't stoppped! So I tumbled a few more times at about 25 mph. I got up and walked to my bike. SH#T!!!! My windscreen was shattered. My left rear set was bent up and into the swingarm. My left shoulder was sore. I was pissed that I could not continue on.......until an instructor said "If we can get this fixed, do you want to continue on?" I was overjoyed. I think I missed the rest of that session, but after I had taken the shift rod, and rearset to the in-house mechaninc who had straightened things up for a $20 "tip" (well worth it) and re-installed them I was ready to go.

Then in an afternoon session on the same (first) day I lowsided on the right side this time. The front just washed out. The bike just scraped the muffler and the peg and barslider, but I had smacked my head into the asphalt pretty hard. A guy behind me said my helmet really "bounced" off of the pavement. A knot did develope near my right temple, but witnesses said I did not passout. But I waived the next session and then continued on. My RIGHT shoulder was sore by then, too. I rented a helmet the next day and had no crashes after that.

Fri. I rested and then went to Las Vegas. Sat. I did one practice session and entered the Formula 40 race and had fun (dead last, I'm sure), but my heart wasn't in it. I just kept running out of track coming out of two of the turns on that track(please don't ask me which ones) and didn't have enough enthusiasm to return on Sun and figure out why. So Sun. I got up late, went to the Guggenhiem totally awsome "Art of the Motorcycle", had a Prime Rib dinner, went to the "midnight fantasy" topless review at the Luxor, went to bed late, got up late on Mon. and here I am, all smiles and sore muscles.:D :D :D

I welcome all questions. They may help jog my memory.
 

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Awsome report, Desmo.... warts and all. ;)

Congrats on keeping both get-offs as lowsides.

After completing this course, do you feel adept (or more adept) at "scientific" race-riding... brake points, turn points, shift points, race lines? Are you "seeing" them all yet?

Can you creep your brake point one way or the other to adjust your corners?

These are some things I need to work on.

Anything strike you as the most important thing you learned (other than stop completely before you stand up :D )?
 

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Ditto on the awesome report, Lek....

You have to take your pleasure with the pain, eh....;)
 

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"You have to take your pleasure with the pain, eh.... ;) "

Speaking of the pain, Cam, that just reminded me that I am now officially "afoot", streetbike wise (as noted now, in my updated signature). The insurance company decided to allow me the decision on the ZX-6R (fix or total) and I decided to fold that hand and limp away. :rolleyes:
 

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Joss said:
"You have to take your pleasure with the pain, eh.... ;) "

Speaking of the pain, Cam, that just reminded me that I am now officially "afoot", streetbike wise (as noted now, in my updated signature). The insurance company decided to allow me the decision on the ZX-6R (fix or total) and I decided to fold that hand and limp away. :rolleyes:

Joss, did I miss it, or just forget about you wrecking your bike.....
post a link to the details.....:confused:
 

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Great report Des...Just curious, which turn was it that they set up the radar...? I can never get set up right for turn 2..argh..ran off turn 4 once..that was fun..:D We should do a track day at the Streets sometime..:D I have a tracxk day comming up June 10th at Buttonwillow if your interested..?
 

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Did you ever have that lump on your head checked out or drained? That would scare the sh*t out of me. I can see why you were apprehensive after those crashes. Your poor R6 too. Sounds like a fun class though.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Joss said:
Awsome report, Desmo.... warts and all. ;)

Congrats on keeping both get-offs as lowsides.

After completing this course, do you feel adept (or more adept) at "scientific" race-riding... brake points, turn points, shift points, race lines? Are you "seeing" them all yet?

Can you creep your brake point one way or the other to adjust your corners?

These are some things I need to work on.

Anything strike you as the most important thing you learned (other than stop completely before you stand up :D )?
Thanks, Joss.
I do feel more adept at those things. I just have a hard time doing them all at the same time. I just haven't gotten to the point where they are ALL second nature to me. I really needed a lot of track time after level I, II to do that, so consequently a lot time at R.A.C.E. was spent on that when it could have been spent on things like different lines. It is all in my head, but applying it in real life is the hard part. I think I am just going to concentrate on the Streets a lot so that I have the course figured out and can concentrate on making the basics something that I do without thinking.

The most important thing I discovered was that I can hang-off AND shift, AND brake AND turn all at the same time.

As for creeping up your brake points, you probably won't get much specific help with that because it is just some thing you have to try for each line and each turn and will be different for each indiviual.

My advice to you would be to take Level I, II and then go PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE preferably on a track and then consider R.A.C.E Otherwise, you'll end up with some very expensive track time like me.

If I haven't answered your questions, please let me know.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hammer 4 said:
Great report Des...Just curious, which turn was it that they set up the radar...? I can never get set up right for turn 2..argh..ran off turn 4 once..that was fun..:D We should do a track day at the Streets sometime..:D I have a tracxk day comming up June 10th at Buttonwillow if your interested..?
The radar was set up on the straight b/w 2 and 3. the high line on 2 was the fastest exit speed for just about everybody.

Exiting turn 4 was where I lost the front end so, yeah I feel your pain :)

I am set up to do the streets on may 21 with Pacific track time. maybe we could work someting out?

Turn 2 is deceptive because it kind of creeps up on me, so I make a point of braking plenty early so I can get on the gas real soon....

Later.
 

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"I just have a hard time doing them all at the same time."

It's overwhelming. To me it is so similar to learning a new kata; trying to manage body positions, breathing, hand positions, feet positions... sequences, all at the same time. Practice, practice, practice. Patience, patience, patience.

I was just asking if you are good at those yet as I am not and have yet to "see" my first one. Now I can envy you openly. :)

My "brake point" for the long straight here at Roebling Road was probably about 50 yards long. It was more of a "brake area". When I got scared of going any further, I would just brake. Monday, though, I am GOING to establish a brake POINT there and USE IT.

One small step for "track-kind"!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Joss said:
"I just have a hard time doing them all at the same time."

It's overwhelming. To me it is so similar to learning a new kata; trying to manage body positions, breathing, hand positions, feet positions... sequences, all at the same time. Practice, practice, practice. Patience, patience, patience.

I was just asking if you are good at those yet as I am not and have yet to "see" my first one. Now I can envy you openly. :)

My "brake point" for the long straight here at Roebling Road was probably about 50 yards long. It was more of a "brake area". When I got scared of going any further, I would just brake. Monday, though, I am GOING to establish a brake POINT there and USE IT.

One small step for "track-kind"!
Yeah, that is a valuable lesson. One very important thing I learned at level I,II was to not let my entry speed scare me so much that I was reluctant to get on the gas until way late into the turn. My lap times actually went down when I started LOWERING my entry speed just a little bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Wet Shrub said:
Did you ever have that lump on your head checked out or drained? That would scare the sh*t out of me. I can see why you were apprehensive after those crashes. Your poor R6 too. Sounds like a fun class though.
Yeah, I was scared, but I cheated. My "crew chief" was my 3rd ex-wife. She and I are still friends. She is Nurse Practioner(about 100 times more training than EMTs) by profession so she watched me and made sure I was OK. I feel fine now, but thanks for asking.

Yeah, I love my R6. Despite all of the abuse, it ran STRONG. It seems to thrive on track time.

After R.A.C.E. I bought a KBC (VR-1??) helmet in Vegas. $219.00 and it is ten times more comfortable than my ARAI. Go figure.
 
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