Mayhem's 2015 & 2016 Track Day Shenanigans - ZX6R Forum
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post #1 of 58 Old 02-17-2015, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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Mayhem's 2015 & 2016 Track Day Shenanigans

Part I

So there we were...

At the track... but I am getting ahead of myself here, because the events leading up to the track day were worthy of note as well.

It was the date I had been waiting for since the last track day came to an end back in October.

Last week I started making the arrangements to get my patio in order so I could start fixing up the bike for the first track day of the season. The All-Balls fork seals I had installed at the end of last season completely crapped out in an epic fail that left a metric ass-load of fork oil all over my caliper, brake pads and even my wheel as it was pretty much oozing out of the fork.

I ordered some OEM seals from the local dealer and expected things to go pretty smoothly, but anticipated anything and everything since I am, after all, Murphy. Whilst doing some landscaping and clearing out my patio in anticipation of a weekend of wrenching, I somehow found myself bit by a mosquito on the top of my foot. I didn't think much of it until the next morning (Monday) when I woke up to the horror of one foot that had swelled beyond what I ever thought imaginable without major tissue damage. Turns out I am apparently now allergic to mosquito bites and this thing had turned my beloved tootsie into one red, swollen, pissed off appendage that I could have swore was about to fall off on several occasions. It swelled so bad that I couldn't even walk on it because I thought the pressure was going to rupture it at the seams. Still, I didn't let that stop me from showing it off to random coworkers who responded with gasps of worry and a faint note of sheer awe.

After a week of icing it, popping Benedryl and Naproxen, and consulting with my best friend who is in med school, it finally started to subside. Just in time for me to begin negotiations with my track-day buddy about going out to the track the night before the day we were set to ride so that we could camp and hang out with our fellow 6R.com brethren. After some haggling he agreed, my foot retreated to its normal form (unrelated outcomes) and I began the task of disassembling the ZX6R for her big day.

The essential items for a romantic Valentine's Day date with my motorbike


Valentine's Day: getting intimate


Well shit... I suppose it's better to be ridden hard than it is to be hardly ridden...


Tiny hands make awkward angles a lot easier...


After 2 days of wrenching, I got her forks back together, changed her oil, flushed her coolant, gave her a bath and got her all ready to rock and roll for the big day. My track day buddy showed up not long afterward and we started the process of loading up the bikes



The infamous track day smirk as we make our way to pick up the Superbike Queen





Rollin' out like the Clampetts, stocked mile high:



TBC...

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Last edited by MistressOfMayhem; 02-17-2015 at 07:44 PM.
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post #2 of 58 Old 02-17-2015, 07:45 PM
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post #3 of 58 Old 02-17-2015, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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Part II

Since I only live about 40 minutes from the track, it was pretty easy to make good time. You might have noticed in the pictures above that I didn't bother taping up the headlights or track-prepping the bike. The idea was that we would get out to the track with enough daylight for me to get'er'done. See... part of my camping appeal to my buddy was simple: You ride in the advanced group, advanced group is always the first out on the track after the riders meeting, we all know I have a bit of a problem with... mornings... so if we camp then you can wake right up and be on the grid lickety split!



It seemed to have worked. I have to take a minute to declare my undying thanks to SkilledHouse for bringing his sleeping bag since it got a little colder than it was forecast to get that night, and the three blankets that I had originally forecast as being sufficient, would have been anything but. I also need to pause for a minute to commend SH and his girlfriend, the lovely Meg, for packing everything but the kitchen sink into the back of a Honda with a U-Haul trailer attached. Holy crap! We got there and found that not only did they have a tent, but they brought an entire dining room setup as well. That made for a pretty awesome Sunday night chill session with beer and grilled brats.

The next morning I woke up to a lavender sky and the sound of trucks rolling through the paddock with bikes. I silently announced through a weary grin: "Wake up! It's track time!" My track buddy had already gotten down to business unwrapping the bikes and rolling out his tire warmers. I, on the other hand, made my way to registration and to bring back some coffee.

The Superbike Princess and the Killer Kaw: ready to raise a ruckus


I grabbed coffee and then approached the reg-table: "You're in luck!" the track organization owner announced to me with a proud grin as I made way over to greet her. "There are only 20 people in C group!" I smiled and let out a subtle "fuck yeah!" There are a lot of advantages to riding in C group and I still make the most of every single one of them. The truth is, I had thought about bumping up to intermediate after the last track day but I found myself absolutely enamored with passing people. It sounds arrogant, but there actually really is an art to it and I wanted to make the most of learning it in the beginner class. I also wanted to make sure that if anything was going to fall off of my bike, that it would happen early on when I was moving at reasonably safe speeds. By the end of the first couple of laps of the first session I was sufficiently satisfied that nothing was going to fall off... and even if it did, I really didn't give a shit. I was ready to ride and I got down to business pretty early on in the second session but brought it in a few minutes early to adjust my tire pressures.

I really can't even begin to describe how well everything clicked. It seemed like every session was better than the one before it and I had consistently shaved seconds off of the time I had set a year earlier during my track day on the Yamaha. The first few sessions out I started modest and delicately made moves on people who were significantly slower than I was. At one point I had picked off a small group of riders and kept pushing to ensure that they didn't pass me back, my zone was broken when I suddenly had the strangest feeling that I was no longer being stalked. I glanced over my shoulder to gauge the distance of the nearest rider and noticed that there wasn't a rider to be seen. I was completely alone and I abruptly looked to the nearest corner worker to see if I had blown a checkered flag. As I glanced around, all of the corner workers were standing idly and I second guessed whether or not I was even riding in the right session anymore. I brought it in just as they waved the checkered flag and I felt like a dumbass for getting so wrapped up in the moment.



As the day wore on my appetite became more and more insatiable and I found myself tracking down riders and trying to pace them. All the while I was starting to make note of the tech-guy who warned me that my brake pads were going to be done by the end of the day. Sure enough I started to feel the lag in braking somewhere near my 4th session but it wasn't enough to make me compromise my determination to pick up the pace and hold onto my groove.

William was a moving at a pretty good clip and, during the sessions where we made it out at the same time, I managed to hold onto him until we hit traffic which is where his confidence really took the stage in passing maneuvers that I either wasn't ballsy enough to make, or simply didn't have the timing to make courteously. He's quite a rider and I had a lot of fun sparring with him and regrouping in the paddock to discuss the highlights of our session. The bike ran great and no matter how hard I pushed it was there with more get-up-and-go than my lazy, non-exercised body could handle. By the end of the day I had reached the limits of my physical ability and I was so sore that I could hardly get my ass off the seat. Other riders were starting to have the same problem. As I made my way around the track during an afternoon session, two riders ran off in front of me. I carpe'd the diem and throttled by but the last guy I held off on because I thought he was going to save it. Sure enough he ran off into the dirt and immediately found his line again and got back on the track in front of me. I still had some space to pass him so I took it upon myself to do so and to give him a supportive thumbs-up for the recovery.



To be continued... with pics, video, and a closing assessment...

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds" - Albert Einstein

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post #4 of 58 Old 02-17-2015, 09:25 PM
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Good read thusfar as usual MoM, sounds like a great day!
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post #5 of 58 Old 02-17-2015, 09:44 PM
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I'm hooked! I am feeling the excitement of being at the track as I type looking out at 5 inches of snow and temps under 20 degrees. You are a good writer, thanks! I'm anxiously awaiting the conclusion....
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post #6 of 58 Old 02-18-2015, 03:35 AM
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Sounds like novice group over in cali is a little more advanced than novice group over here. Tech inspection is pretty much "it runs and isn't leaking. Have fun"
We also can't pass in the corners in novice group. Actually we can't pass on the inside in a corner in novice group.
And I'm with you, I got the bump to intermediate for one organization but stayed in novice because there were so many more skills I wanna home before bumping up. I want to feel like there's not much more for me to gain. I am not going to intermediate just to say I got the bump.

Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, 'Wow! What a Ride! ~Hunter S. Thompson

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post #7 of 58 Old 02-18-2015, 05:48 AM
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Good job MOM!
Nothing better than waking up at the track! Well, waking up at the track with a beautiful girl in your sleeping bag (o, wait.... That would be u!)

I don't know what Spider man is talking about, the track days I do at VIR does not allow passing in novis anywhere but straights. I guess I stick with safer groups (PRE, Corner Speed). And I help with tech, and that shit does not fly! Remind me to never be at the same track with Superman! There is too much that can go wrong at the track without having to worry about someone else's bike maintance causing me to wreck!!! F-u for not taking the time to Saftey wire your shit if u cause me to crash! f-u for not taking the time or spending your money to get your bike working properly and safely if u cause me to crash! I take the time, I spend the money, and it is just plain disrespect to suffer a mechanical malfunction that could have been avoided!!! Those r the reasons I stay out of the beginner class!

Sounds like your getting hooked!

For me, I stay out of beginner because all it takes is one squid to try to pass u and wreck you, or to come off his line while your passing.

And as far as looking behind you, we are strongly advised to never look behind u at the track. Too many things can go wrong at those speeds. I try to ride my own ride only focusing on what's in front of me.

If you have enough time to do that, you may not be riding at the top of your game.

I spend so much time on BP, keeping the line, brake points, Apexs, hanging off, I barly have enough concentration left for working about others!

Passing is fun, but I guess I'm still working so hard on everything else and enjoying the challenge of one or two passes in a session. You seem like your overqualified for that class. Move up and improve your other skills MOM!

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Last edited by Mattel; 02-18-2015 at 05:55 AM.
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post #8 of 58 Old 02-18-2015, 08:41 AM Thread Starter
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You can't pass in corners here, so I'll need to re-read what I wrote and clarify. However, there are a couple of sweepers on this track where you can go pretty deep with a pass before actually hitting the apex. I'll include a map in my conclusion post for a better idea of what I'm talking about.

I actually don't mind C group with this organization. Usually it's a pretty quick group and I follow people for a while to get an idea of their riding pattern before I make my move. Like with the guy who ran off, but saved it: I was watching him for a while and knew he actually had a pretty good amount of control over his bike. I also still knew that he was going to get back on the track.

I have been very comfortable on my bike for a while so a quick glance over my shoulder isn't bad. Its not so much that I am a newb, it's more that I am out of practice so I don't mind the beginner group. I am most likely a bit advanced for that group, but, like I said, I like the organization.

This particular track day had the groups running at a little faster because the AFM guys were out doing practice. I heard a lot of chatter from B group riders talking about how they were usually slow A group guys but signed up in B because they didn't want to ride with the racers.

I hope all of what I'm saying makes sense... I'm pretty tired today for unrelated reasons.

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post #9 of 58 Old 02-18-2015, 08:48 AM
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Nice write up!
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post #10 of 58 Old 02-18-2015, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattel View Post
Good job MOM!
Nothing better than waking up at the track! Well, waking up at the track with a beautiful girl in your sleeping bag (o, wait.... That would be u!)

I don't know what Spider man is talking about, the track days I do at VIR does not allow passing in novis anywhere but straights. I guess I stick with safer groups (PRE, Corner Speed). And I help with tech, and that shit does not fly! Remind me to never be at the same track with Superman! There is too much that can go wrong at the track without having to worry about someone else's bike maintance causing me to wreck!!! F-u for not taking the time to Saftey wire your shit if u cause me to crash! f-u for not taking the time or spending your money to get your bike working properly and safely if u cause me to crash! I take the time, I spend the money, and it is just plain disrespect to suffer a mechanical malfunction that could have been avoided!!! Those r the reasons I stay out of the beginner class!

Sounds like your getting hooked!

For me, I stay out of beginner because all it takes is one squid to try to pass u and wreck you, or to come off his line while your passing.

And as far as looking behind you, we are strongly advised to never look behind u at the track. Too many things can go wrong at those speeds. I try to ride my own ride only focusing on what's in front of me.

If you have enough time to do that, you may not be riding at the top of your game.

I spend so much time on BP, keeping the line, brake points, Apexs, hanging off, I barly have enough concentration left for working about others!

Passing is fun, but I guess I'm still working so hard on everything else and enjoying the challenge of one or two passes in a session. You seem like your overqualified for that class. Move up and improve your other skills MOM!


PRE, Cornespeed, and Turn 1 do have significantly more detailed tech inspection than some other orgs but even still in Novice class tech inspection isnt the same as for advanced group. Most novice groups dont even require saftey wiring (not even PRE and Cornerspeed)

As far as passing, I am pretty sure it was PRE I was with last year that allowed passing on the outside in novice. I could be mistaken but I remember doing a track day last year and passing on the outside in certain turns at VIR was allowed. Or maybe it wasnt allowed but just happened. I definitely remember getting passed on the outside in turn 9 at south course. LIke I said, maybe it wasnt allowed but just happened a few times.

As far as intermediate class. I was actually advised that even though I got the bump I should stay in novice until I feel I am really just that much faster than anyone that shows up in Novice. This was just someones personal opinion. HE was a racer and he said in his experience he found intermediate to be the most dangerous group to ride with because you get alot of "barely out of novice" talent that think they can run advanced pace. Whereas in Novice, his experience was there werent as many egos or guys that thought they were fast. Based on that and the fact that I wasnt lapping the field in novice, is why I decided to stay put.

Sorry to thread jack mom. Just wanted to clarify what I meant.
carry on
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post #11 of 58 Old 02-18-2015, 10:34 AM
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Great read MoM! I understand the pleasure in working on passing as I went from racing WERA Expert to doing a Novice level track day and never had so much fun as riding around on cruise with little stress while passing anyone that I wanted. It was intimidating to go out on a National level practice and having Cory West, Trey Batey, Opie Caylor, Taylor Knapp, or Robert Jenson out there with you. You'll be in Intermediate and then advanced before you know it so have fun whatever class you ride.
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post #12 of 58 Old 02-18-2015, 10:49 AM
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Great writeup MoM. A gal that rides, does her own work, and kicks ass at the track is pretty irresistable. Good thing for you I am not 20 years younger, a lot better looking, a lot richer, etc, etc, etc. :-p

Glad that you are out there riding your own ride and that you got to experience that magical moment when you suddenly realize that things just clicked into place.

The art of passing (racecraft as we call it) is a valuable one, and it is good that you feel comfortable passing AND being passed before you step out of the Novice group. That said, I think you may be doing yourself a disservice by not moving into the intermediate group. If Novice is where you have fun, then by all means stay there and kick ass...but your skills will progress faster if you bump up a group =)

Keep up the posts please, I need to live vicariously as we have 3' of snow here still.
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post #13 of 58 Old 02-18-2015, 12:53 PM
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You definitely looked better out there than last year. And I'm sure it had much to do with trusting the old girl you were on rather than ol' red (R6). Glad to hear about your passing exploits too. Next time out you'll find better places to pass... and while I'm thinking about that... you CAN pass in C group. Must be on the outside. Just keep that in mind next time you're up the ass of a slower bike going into Riverside. Stay wide and roll on the throttle. I also like passing in "sweeper" around the outside. It's a better line than the inside. (just food for thought while you're going over the weekends video.)

Great read as always Mayhem...

See ya around the racetrack lady.

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Originally Posted by spiderman636 View Post
PRE, Cornespeed, and Turn 1 do have significantly more detailed tech inspection than some other orgs but even still in Novice class tech inspection isnt the same as for advanced group. Most novice groups dont even require saftey wiring (not even PRE and Cornerspeed)
We are EXTREMELY thorough on ALL the bikes on the track. From a bone stock bike ridden by a novice in C group, or a modded out WSBK in Advanced... they all get the same attention to detail. We don't require safety wire as this is just a track day and not a race practice or open format track day. Matter of fact... I actually had a guy compliment our thorough tech inspection. "I've never been through tech wehere they checked out as much as you guys!" I asked him how that made him feel... he replied "fucking safe!! Nice knowing all the bikes have been looked over the same way."
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post #14 of 58 Old 02-18-2015, 12:56 PM
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And yes... you're probably glad you stayed in C... B group was running at regular A group paces. (2:00 - 2:05's) There were A group guys turning 1:48's out there. THAT'S FAST!!!! Should be back to normal next month since there won't be so many AFM peeps.
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post #15 of 58 Old 02-18-2015, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, I was well aware of where I had space to pass on the outside in riverside, and the sweeper. Those were my favorites. :

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