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First time on track this evening at Knockhill - *REPORT*

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derillius24
Trackday Trickster



Joined: 08 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: 11:00 - 29 May 2017    Post subject: First time on track this evening at Knockhill - *REPORT* Reply with quote

This evening, I venture on track for the first time. The venue is Knockhill - no prizes for guessing the weather forecast...

The event runs from 6-8 pm in open pit lane format. It's fully booked (40 riders) and has been organised by a Facebook forum for local riders. They are a good bunch of lads with a lot of knowledge, experience, track and race credentials between them. I consider myself a competent, fairly experienced road rider. I doubt I'll be the slowest guy there, I most definitely won't be the quickest... Laughing

ANYWAY. Is open-pit not just a recipe for ten-bike bowling and utter carnage? I don't mind riding in the wet, I enjoy it. However, the thought of a wet track with 30-40 riders out (some of whom race, others have passed their tests in recent months) is filling me with dread. How do you prevent yourself looking back before diving into a bend to check if someone's closing you down at Mach 2?

Anyone able to offer tips, reassurance, abuse?

Cheers,

Nervous Norm Thumbs Up
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CG125, CBF250, DRZ400-SM, Z750, Street Triple R, Tuono V4R


Last edited by derillius24 on 17:00 - 05 Jun 2017; edited 1 time in total
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chrisdubya
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PostPosted: 10:05 - 31 May 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just saw this - how dd you get on?

I'd be surprised if they let 40 bikes on circuit at once, especially at a place as small as Knockhill? And doubt everyone will be out in the rain anyway.

Also, dont give a shit about whats happening behind you, its their responsibility to ensure they dont torpedo you into oblivion and do safe passes where possible. I usually have a little look behind every now and then on a straight to make sure I'm not holding anyone up and if I am, just wave them past.

What bike and tyres do you run?
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skatefreak
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PostPosted: 10:32 - 31 May 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mirrors... Ignore them, take them off if you can! ignore everything behind you, not your problem!
Life savers are a big no no as well (unless you're coming onto track)!

Tape over your speedo and don't be afraid to let the bike rev.

Try to find the lines/apex (try follow people who look smooth).

Be aware that not all bikes/tires are equal. Admittedly the bikes and tires are likely a lot more capable than you will be for a while remember if you're following someone on racing slicks using tire warmers and you're sporting budget Chinese chocolate tires then you're going to have a bad time.

That being said, I was chasing someone around corams at snetterton on super corsas near 100mph and found they were on bridgestones (battleaxes i think) Rolling Eyes
Am so road tires are good for quiet a way to be honest!

It's not a race so pace yourself and get a feel for the track. Once you feel you know which corner comes where, start thinking about setting braking points, tipping in points and if you've spent a lot of time road riding start to discipline yourself, no braking after tipping in. It's far to easy to get away with 'trail braking' when you start (we're going pretty slow at this point) but as you get quicker and quicker it will become far to easy to try scrub speed in a panic after going in hot which again, at this level is a bad idea because the bikes/tires will make almost any corner we can throw at them but brakes are far more likely to cause problems when leaning.

Talk to people whilst there, they will have a lot more time and track specific advice (never been there).

Enjoy it, it's ridiculously, ridiculously, ridiculously addictive and get's expensive quick Crying or Very sad.
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GT200Fan79
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PostPosted: 20:34 - 01 Jun 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

If OP survived then he's probably hooked and you should all feel shame for encouraging him.
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chrisdubya
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PostPosted: 20:35 - 01 Jun 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

GT200Fan79 wrote:
If OP survived then he's probably hooked and you should all feel shame for encouraging him.


Yeah but we've all been there haven't we Very Happy
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GT200Fan79
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PostPosted: 20:41 - 01 Jun 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

chrisdubya wrote:

Yeah but we've all been there haven't we Very Happy


Unfortunately yes. I've been skint for 18 months cause in 2014 some so called mate encouraged me to have a pootle round a track - "you'll be fine, just enjoy it", apparently...

Inb4 2 x trackbikes and looking at vans...
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robertw95
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PostPosted: 00:02 - 02 Jun 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wait until you start racing Shocked
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skatefreak
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PostPosted: 08:37 - 02 Jun 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Racing..."- don't... just don't... the wife seems to put 3 square meals a day before my happiness Crying or Very sad
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derillius24
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PostPosted: 16:59 - 05 Jun 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, All. Thank for the responses, even if they were a day too late! Good reading.

First track day. Had a total blast. Didn't die Thumbs Up . I thought I'd provide a bit of a report for anyone interested and spam you all with a load of photographs that probably aren't of any interest.

I was bricking it on the way down to the track. I didn't think I'd be overly apprehensive but I was wrong. I'm not a manly man at the best of times and I knew I was heading into what was probably the most testosterone fueled environment in Scotland for the next few hours. Mainly, though, I really didn't want to trash my bike. My dad was on track that night as well. It was ace to spend some quality time with him. He raced Knockhill a lot in his younger days but hadn't been on track in a lot of years so he was pretty nervous, too.

We arrived, signed up, drank too much tea and went to the briefing. The brief seemed well thought out, clearly delivered and with proper emphasis put on the important bits. Mainly entering and exiting the track, the flags we'd potentially see and the zero tolerance approach to anyone riding dangerously. It was reassuring.

It'd been drizzling rain most of the day but the track looked largely dry with just a few damp patches. Into the pit (open-pitter event) and I was met with a lot of guys who looked like they were taking this pretty seriously... Race bikes, slicks, wet wheels, tyre warmers, names emblazoned across the back of leathers... *Gulp*! We got kitted up (hi-viz was mandatory for anyone who hadn't been on track in recent times) and set out straight away.

Awesome. Terrifying, but awesome.

I really had to keep telling myself to not look back and found it difficult and un-natural. Knowing there were much faster guys on track, and darting across the whole width of the track into a bend without doing a shoulder check was uncomfortable and fucking frightening. It took me a good half hour on track to get over it but eventually learned to 'let go' and just do it. I kept expecting to get turned to dust by someone - needless to say, it never happened.

I came in after about 15 minutes to get my head together. Huge grin, superb fun and kind of trembling! Two of the lads out there were current racers (orange and black R6 and green and black ZX-10R) and, ohhh man, they were fast. So fast. It was an education and a serious reality check regarding what it really means to ride a bike fast. The speed was absolutely shocking and an incredible spectacle.

With around half an hour of the session remaining, the rain came on proper. My dad and I were the only two who went out and it was thoroughly enjoyable. To be fair, we were both running Michelin PR4s - if I'd had on Supercorsas or something similar I'm sure I'd have headed for the tea van as well. This final session out was also less stressful knowing that you weren't being stalked by a lunatic on a race-prepped litre bike!

There were a couple of arseholes there on the night, but then there always will be in a group that size. The majority of the guys were spot on. Plenty of guys passed me, they all did so respectfully and never caused me to swear / stand up / change course. The Street Triple was great, only lacking power on the straight sections as there were guys on more powerful bikes holding me up through the bends but then they'd disappear down the straights. This got a little frustrating, but then I'd just ride through the pit and straight back out on to a fresh space on track.

Knockhill was excellent. A couple of serious elevation changes (the hairpin climbs steeply uphill, as does Clark's, and Duffus Dip falls into oblivion at the end of the main straight). A brilliant time was had. I'm really keen to go again. The nerves went after the first session and the fast guys never put me under pressure. It's clear how this could become an addiction.

Anyone selling a track bike...?? Laughing

I'm on the black Triumph in the red and white suit. My dad is on the white Triumph in the black gear.

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Cheers Thumbs Up
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grr666
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PostPosted: 17:24 - 05 Jun 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smashing honest write up. Nice one Thumbs Up Karma
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chrisdubya
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PostPosted: 18:13 - 05 Jun 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good write up that - good to see you enjoyed it! Capable little bikes the street triples. Your dad still looks handy too Thumbs Up
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derillius24
Trackday Trickster



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PostPosted: 20:12 - 05 Jun 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, lads Thumbs Up . It's always nice to get good feedback, it's appreciated.

Great night. My old man was a bit of a weapon on track. It was cool to see the life still left in the middle-aged dog (56 today)!
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Howling Terror
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PostPosted: 23:00 - 05 Jun 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Look at you about to do a Lorenzo on Lorenzo. Smile

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Cool little writeup, much appreciated. Thumbs Up
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