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Featured 40 Years To The Month…

Discussion in 'Trackdays & Rider Skills' started by Expat Jack, Jun 29, 2020.

  1. Brands.jpg

    Above is a picture of me the last time I took to a track on 2 wheels. That was 40 years ago to the month IIRC. I did subsequently get to go on the sidecar platform with Roger Body at Brands, but that was 25 years ago on a corporate event. My last track foray on four wheels was 20 years back.

    I have been telling myself that I really should do a track day for a few years now, and @Advikaz thread on his new GSXR stung me into action a bit sooner than I had intended (already had the the forthcoming Ducati day at Donnington booked).

    I PM’d Adam and arranged 1 2 1 instruction for the day on 28th at Donnington through Focussed Events. With the event in August coming up I thought it would be a good idea to get some track time in beforehand with the added bonus of professional instruction from a Forum member.

    Last week I had the suspension set up, stripped the indicators, number plate and radiator coverings on my Street Triple RS. I also swapped the tyres from my 748R (Bridgestone S22’s) as the Supercorsa’s on the Striple were looking a bit worn and, more importantly, the forecast said it was likely to rain.

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    Saturday night was not a good nights sleep! I was really nervous, my head kept on going on over things as it does. Sunday and up and out at 05:00. Stopped off at Watford Gap on the way up – almost totally deserted. Covid

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    On arrival and after registration, I met with Adam and we discussed what to expect from the day, what I wanted to achieve (we had previously swapped messages on goals for the day). Basically, just to be safe and try to enjoy myself - I told him I was :poop::poop::poop: myself o_O. Plus, work on lines, braking and build confidence. See what my bike can do without losing my licence. The first sighting laps came round real fast, and my heart rate was going just as fast.

    Sighting laps were (to me) reasonably quick, a fast road pace – I remember saying to Adam that was quick enough for me thank you, and this was the Novice group obviously!

    Then out for the first session. I followed Adam and if I wanted to go faster I simply pushed him on a bit. Following him was really great – added bonus was his Gixer had its mirrors and brake light on so I could see braking points and he could see my ineptitude.

    Adam and his fellow instructors allowed me to use their garage which was kind as there was the odd shower on the day, luckily not when we were on track though.

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    I felt that I improved through the day and actually I was pretty good on the brakes (especially on a couple of occasions where we came across groups of slower riders and it was all anchors out – The Street Triple brakes really are very, very good, super impressed and the suspension was excellent - very balanced (@Bondy7070 - you are going to love yours). My confidence levels improved and I felt safe (only a couple of moments – one when I crossed a white line and the back end had a shimmy and another exiting Melbourne when the wind hit the front wheel as it was off the ground - no steering damper on the Striple). When Adam was following me my lines were not as good as I did not always use the full track. I was also not looking far enough around the corners, focussing instead on the apex. As the day wore on I was getting more tired, so we did a slower session and concentrated on lines and vision. Brilliant!!

    Claims to fame? I passed Neil Hodgeson who was instructing. He gave me a thumbs up in the pits at the start of the next session and I nearly burst with pride. I did get my knee down but that was a consequence, not an aim. I am sadly proud of my tyre (apologies for the photo, put it down to my age) – those Bridgestone S22’s are brilliant, so much grip that the traction control only came on a couple of times, mainly when controlling wheelies and the ABS never came on once.


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    A MASSIVE thank you to Adam. A great guy, gives really clear instructions, is humble but clearly very gifted, he has helped me on enormously. Most importantly for me, the day was what it was meant to be – fun. No way I would have enjoyed it as much without his help. So, if any of you are thinking about having a go before you get too old (@West Cork Paul :D), you could do a lot worse than hooking up session with the man. Obligatory pits pic - I'm the good looking one :cool::

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    I skipped the final session as I was knackered. I got cramp in my left leg at one point after lunch which was a good sign to me that I should think about calling it a day. Good decision I think as it started to chuck it down as I loaded the bike on the trailer.

    The day after? A few aches, shoulders and right thigh mainly but Im a man and thats a badge of honour. I am not track fit, that’s for sure (but never expected to be). Also a big bruise on my right upper arm which must be from ill fitting body armour which I will need to have a look at.

    Oh......one final thing. Never turn your back on an instructor......they will nick your petrol before you know anything about it (Sorry mate! ;) )


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    I will add any track shots once the photographer has loaded them up if I can.
     
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  2. Well that has made my sunday bloody boring in comparison to yours,but great to see there's life still in the old dog,i guess you'll be hounding me down the A22 from now on in.:worried:;):upyeah:
     
  3. Could you wear pads over your nipples next time please :scream:
     
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  4. :upyeah:!!
     
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  5. Looks like you had a mega day mate. Saw that pic on Adams Facebook and knew I recognised the Trump from somewhere.
    Defo going to invest in some tuition for my self when back on track next month. Priceless if you get good quality instruction which sounds like ya did.
     
  6. Main thing is I’m still alive!!
     
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  7. Why, are you getting aroused? :blush:
     
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  8. Adam was simply brilliant and I can not recommend him high enough.
    The bike was flawless. Yours is going to be a killer with the track kit. Super quick around the bends.
    Bonus time for me - new pads going in next week foc due to a recall on Brembo pads.
     
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  9. That's the main thing as we would miss you all day long:kissing_heart:,anyway a great way of ironing out those wrinkies for the road time.:upyeah:
     
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  10. The opposite, and it was awful :(
     
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  11. Thank god for that then. :upyeah::upyeah:
     
  12. It was an absolute pleasure Richard. We really enjoyed having you along.

    Appreciate the kind words, it's something i really enjoy doing and take a lot of pride in it.

    40 years is a bloody long time to have not ridden on track, but watching you ride.. i'd have never guessed it had been that long. You could have easily been mid inters in my opinion (and it wasn't exactly a slow day)

    Both swift and safe :)
     
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  13. Sounds like a really rewarding day out.
    p.s. the Street Triple is a bloody good looking bike.
     
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  14. It was great. I was apprehensive due to the previous weekends tragic events but my main goal was always to be riding within myself. Only had to give myself a talking to once on the day. :upyeah:
     
    #14 Expat Jack, Jun 29, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2020
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  15. Great thread. I’m there on Thursday. Can’t wait
     
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  16. Well done mate. Looks like you had fun and that’s what it’s all about! :upyeah:
     
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  17. Sounds like you have achieved exactly what is required from a trackday. Enjoyed yourself, had a bit of craic, came away feeling that you were comfortable throughout and ultimately stayed rubber side down.

    Donington in August will my first ride of any description in around 12 months, which is the longest break I have had since I started riding. I hope I can tick all the same boxes.
     
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  18. Good luck. Ducati day? See you there. I will be going a fair bit slower on my old 996 than yesterday, just trying to keep the lines Adam drilled me on.
    I think I may do more days but road bike days, which I think will be more about fun rather than ultimate lap times.
     
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  19. If you run a camera on the day, feel free to ping me over some footage at lunch and I'll review it (time permitting) and send it back with some notes if you feel you're struggling matey :)
     
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  20. Cheers. Will that work with a Box Brownie? :joy:
     
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