Yamaha R3 Forums banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
267 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
It was the best of times, it was the also best of times, it was the age of Matt riding on the track. So I bought my R3 earlier this year in July. It’s my first motorcycle, and I finally got around to buying it at the age of 35 because the timing worked out, and because I discovered track days were a thing. Also my wife let me. That helps. At any rate I managed to get in 3 track days this year and I’d like to share a wee bit of each of them. I’ll try and keep the text brief and all, but if you want to comment on things or ask questions…please do! I like help. There will be a link to a video as well, if you want to poke at my slowness.  My bike at this time is entirely stock aside form a fender eliminator that I got cheap. I have relocated the clip-ons to underneath the top triple clamp, but that’s really it.
First up, on September 10th, I went to Road America in Elkhart Lake, WI for a day hosted by Midwest Track Days. Road America is less than an hour from my house and I had been here earlier in the year for an Indy race before I bought my bike. Super long, awesome track. Unfortunately, it was raining. So my first time on the track was also my first time riding in the rain. I’m not ashamed to admit when I went out for the first session (after waiting and debating) I was all kinds of scared. Made it through, though, and spent the rest of the day riding in mixed conditions. It did dry out for a bit so I got some fun time, and once a CR found me and gave me a talking to about riding with others (I was trying to give them space, so wasn’t riding predictably. Bad Matt!), things improved. That same CR would later look for me on track and show me lines and give me more coaching afterward. It was very helpful, so thanks, unknown CR guy! Unfortunately not really any pics, so here:
Pit at Road America, you see a Ninja 300 in race trim and an R6, along with my R3. Notice the wet at the bottom of pic!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
267 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
My second track day was on September 28th at Blackhawk Farms Raceway in South Beloit, IL. This is almost 3hrs away from home and was hosted by Motovid.com. These guys have a very structured novice group with pretty strict, but progressively looser rules as the day goes on. As I am the very definition of novice I found all the classroom sessions and “hand holding” actually made for a more confident day on the track when they let us loose for the afternoon sessions. They make everyone in the novice group do this, so I could see it getting old after a while, but I also feel that if you seek out the coaching, pay attention and put in the effort, you can get yourself up to intermediate before too long. Also, Jason Pridmore and Caroline Olsen were there! They did several seminars for the various groups, and I sat out some riding sessions to be in on the body position and downshifting seminars. And, of course, the day started cool, warmed a little, then got wet. The end of the day they combined groups so I got a 30min session to finish instead of 15. The track was just really getting some dry lines when the day ended. Cool track though, and probably better for a 300 than Road America was. (Photos from Zone Photo of Ft Atkinson, WI)

Look at those steely eyes! Didn’t realize I was looking at the camera. Inside turn 1, lap 1 or 2 I think.


Also turn 1 I think, later on in the day. Way upright.


It’s wet! I just like the spray from my rear tire in this.


Later in the day when it’s drying out a bit, going in to turn 5 looks like. Trying to get down over the tank more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
267 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Last was a few days ago on Oct 9 at USA International Raceway in Shawano, WI. This is a kart track that allows supermotos and small bikes to ride. Nothing formal here, just go out, ride, and have fun. A group of us went including @Capitalview all small bikes. Well, there was an SV650, he said it’s the first time he had the biggest back at the track! Capitalview also had his son with him, so that was pretty cool too. The 5 of us had the track to ourselves the entire day. The course as laid out had 17 or 18 turns, all tight. If you want to learn cornering, this is the place! I made plenty of errors, none of them had me crash, but I think I’m finding the tire limit. I even ground my right peg twice…which is weird. I mentioned elsewhere, but Cap let me ride his R3, and boy does that make a difference. Very stable and planted. Also very cool to feel the difference rather than just read about it. Again not many pics, but there is a video link.

Track Aerial


Bikes Lined Up


Capitalview on his sweet R3


Tire wear. Getting close to the edge? Been warned not to go much farther on stock, and if feel is any indication I don’t want to anyway. I have a set of Dunlop Unbeaten 02s in the basement, waiting for spring now.


Video-One of the other riders was kind enough to follow me around for a few laps. Later in the day so I was getting tired, and I was especially nervous going into a couple of the right handers as I had scraped pegs there earlier, but still. Starts following at around the 3:20 mark. Let her rip, I can take it. I mean I might cry a little bit, but not much. Also ignore the bit where I go over the rumble strips. Totally never happened.
https://youtu.be/s1PNDLqU-qc (I don't know how to embed video better)

And here is where I thank the crew at WiRiders.com for being helpful online and in person, and getting me set up with gear, trailering, pretty much everything I needed to get going. Now I just need to figure out what parts to get (and which to ignore) before spring and send out some orders to @jbluetooth !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
255 Posts
Keep it up! :D

Sorry I can't offer much advice other than getting more seat time and coaching. I only have 6-7 track days under me, but I won't pretend I can teach anything ;)

As for embedding youtube, just take the 's' out of "https" and the forum software should do the rest automatically.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
267 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Keep it up! :D

Sorry I can't offer much advice other than getting more seat time and coaching. I only have 6-7 track days under me, but I won't pretend I can teach anything ;)

As for embedding youtube, just take the 's' out of "https" and the forum software should do the rest automatically.
Thanks! Super fun, so I'm going back for more. Definitely hooked now!

You guys had USAIR all to yourselves? Did you guys rent the track out or did no one else show up?
Yeah, all to ourselves for the whole time we were there, from about 11-6. Nobody else showed up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Awesome fun. Jeez Road America, I only see it on TV. The aerial shot is nice and that track really looks like fun. Keep it up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Sounds like you had a lot of fun and learned a lot too. I'm planning on doing my first track day this December or January. Any tips to share for us track newbies?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
267 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Awesome fun. Jeez Road America, I only see it on TV. The aerial shot is nice and that track really looks like fun. Keep it up.
Thanks! Being so close to RA is cool, but then it just means there's tons of other awesome tracks that I only see on TV! :) The kart track at USAIR is awesome also. Something that doesn't show up in the aerial shot is all the elevation changes on that little track, and that the one sweeping curve is also banked!

Sounds like you had a lot of fun and learned a lot too. I'm planning on doing my first track day this December or January. Any tips to share for us track newbies?
Yeah definitely. One of the benefits is that I've learned more about controlling my bike at speed and how it feels going over different pavements, wet, etc.
Well I don't have a ton of tips, but what jumps out are:
Tire pressures! The track heats your tires more, so starting out this is something to look in to, it will vary by tire, rider etc but there's usually a good number to start with.
Follow the rules of the organization. Obvious right, but they help keep everyone right side up.
Hold your line and ride your own ride. It's the other riders responsibility to pass you safely, not yours. So keep to the race line as close as you can, and be as consistent as you can so that riders behind you know what you're doing. Study a track map ahead if you can and if the org doesn't demo a line for the novice group, then ask a control rider/coach to show you. Don't be ashamed it's your first time, those folks usually love to bring new people in to the sport and keep them here!
Slow is smooth, smooth is fast. I struggle with this, but take your time and learn to take the corners well, and the speed will come. You won't master the track in a day, just try and improve yourself. Also pay attention to how you're moving/feeling on the bike. You want to be relaxed, guiding the bike more than forcing it. The more you try and muscle it through the more tired you'll get, the more mistakes you make. Again, I struggle with this. Partly mindset, partly positioning, but I tend to use my arms more than I should.
Stay hydrated!
Above all, have fun! Especially your first time, it's about enjoying yourself and building confidence. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
160 Posts
Watching your video it looks like your lower body has good body positioning but your upper half is leaning against you. In a left hand turn your butt is off the left side of the seat but your leaned all the way to the right, you need to lean into the turn! Other than that you've made great strides in progress for only doing 3 track days. Looks like you'll be in intermediate very soon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
267 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Watching your video it looks like your lower body has good body positioning but your upper half is leaning against you. In a left hand turn your butt is off the left side of the seat but your leaned all the way to the right, you need to lean into the turn! Other than that you've made great strides in progress for only doing 3 track days. Looks like you'll be in intermediate very soon.
Thanks!
I went back and watched again, and now that you've pointed it out it's super obvious. That explains a thing or two! Now to sit in my garage and move around on the bike making vroom vroom noises. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
810 Posts
Sorry I wasn't able to help you much. The little boy was taking all my time. I think I might have gotten about 15 laps for myself in all day. I do have a couple other videos to post to YouTube. Just haven't gotten around to it.

I agree with @EngineeringAnon. You are crossed up. It is going to take more than 3 track days though, so don't worry about it. Heck, I am still working on it. I have been back on the track for the past 7 years now. I am finally getting comfortable with my BP. The R3 has really helped with that though. If you start by dropping your elbow down towards the ground that will really help. You are also holding your knee into the bike. Point your toes toward the corner and that will move your leg and knee out.

Getting a set of rearset risers and better tires will really help a lot. I saw someone had listed some braided brake lines on here you may want to look at also. That and the RJL brake pads would really make a difference in stopping.

Next time we are at the track just ask for help. Don't hesitate. I know you were out there a lot practicing. Next time I shouldn't have to spend so much time with JR so I should have time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
267 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Next time we are at the track just ask for help. Don't hesitate. I know you were out there a lot practicing. Next time I shouldn't have to spend so much time with JR so I should have time.
Will do. He looked like he was having fun though, so I didn't want to interrupt!

Yeah, the more I watch it the more I look like I'm trying to move over, but also hang on for dear life. I'm going to do static practice in the garage but not sure when I'll be able to work on it in motion again. Rearsets and R6 throttle tube on order soon, then I'll look at brakes too. I've been reading in the suspension area here and I'll try and check sag and everything this fall/winter, see if I can at least improve that a little bit before deciding to put money into it. More a case of how much do I want to spend and can I get by until then. If it works for the speeds I'm at for a little while then I might just wait and spend a little more on components than I would otherwise, but we'll have to try it and see.

Elbow down, point the toe, shoulders line with hips. Repeat. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
810 Posts
If you can just get the suspension set up for your weight it will make a big difference in your comfort level. If I see a shock for a reasonable price I will let you know.

If I was closer I would say bring it on over. I think my wife might get a little annoyed though if I had another bike sitting in the garage. So far there is the R3, a Honda Aero scooter, a KTM 50SR, a CT70, and Spoot's VTR 250.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
267 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Haha, sounds a bit full. I'll try it out over the winter and give a yell if I get stuck. Probably buy that suspension bible first.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top