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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This goes out to those with experience racing a Yamaha R3. I've been an active trackday rider/rider coach for about 15 years. I've decided @ 53 years old, that it's time to take it to the next level. I'm joining the CRA (local club racing) in 2023. Mechanically, my R3 is very well set-up for the track. I have done "race rubber", suspension (front & rear), ECU flash, exhaust, clip-ons, blah-blah-blah.... I know that my current OEM bodywork won't make the cut, as I need an oil-containment belly pan. I'm probably doing that over the winter months, as well as all the required safety-wire protocols.

I currently run adapter plates for the OEM pegs- to move them higher, and further back. I'm very happy with the current riding position. I'm considering Woodcraft rear sets, as I've had them in the past (on other bikes). I know that they are designed to "break-away" at the mid-peg during a crash, and act as an extra "slider", to save the bodywork..... Is this just a marketing scam, or does it really work??? If it actually works in practice, I'll most likely pull the trigger on the Woodcraft. Does anyone here have any first hand experience with this????

In my 15 years of track riding, I've only crashed twice (both times on a supermoto, in 2012 :rolleyes:). I'm not chasing championships, or points. I never expect to get my "expert" plates, nor do I expect to be a "front-runner". I'll be 54 years old when I do my first race. I'm hoping to run mid-pack in the novice class, and just have some fun!!!

Any help/guidance/advise will be welcome. I'm going into this with the attitude that "I probably don't know, what I don't know".... I've been a rider coach with a couple different track day organizations. I know enough to know that this a whole other animal compared to track day riding. I'm also going to take my own advise I've given MANY new track day riders, and "leave my ego at the door".

To those that have race experience on the R3, is there anything "R3 specific" that maybe I overlooked?
 

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I use the Woodcraft pegs because I use reverse shift pattern, and I don't recall that being an easy thing to do with the OEM footpegs. There's nothing "wrong" with using the stock folding pegs ... I used those on my FZR400 (with adapter plates to move them up) the whole time I raced it. The other good thing about using Woodcraft or Vortex parts, at least in North America, is that there is a fair chance that if you break a handlebar or footpeg, someone in the paddock will have a spare if you don't.

If you haven't got GB Racing engine guards/covers, get them.

Definitely scrutinise the rulebook for your local racing organisation. Look out for anything that you need, which you don't have. I suspect that most racing organisations are now requiring:
Front brake lever guard. The intent is to avoid having your front brake lever applied if you get in too-close quarters with another rider.
Rear sprocket guard, commonly called a "shark fin" around here. Goes underneath the swingarm. The intent is to reduce the chance of your boot getting caught between the chain and sprockets on the bottom run where the chain is going onto the sprocket. I use the Spears Racing bolt-on one.
You may need a "rain light". CSBK requires this, my local regional org (SOAR) does not. Evidently last year CSBK would give you a pass if you didn't go out in the rain, but apparently not this year ... has to be there.

You will need an oil-retention lower fairing. You may need to install a removable plug in the lowest point on the lower fairing in order to facilitate draining water out of it. And don't forget to drain water out of it if the bike was out in the rain which subsequently stopped! I know someone who crashed in the second corner of a practice session because of not doing that. (no, it wasn't me)

For the older-design R3 (mine, and yours), some racing fairings have been reshaped in order to give better clearance for lower handlebars. The Flexiglass set that I use, are like that. Flexiglass are in Vancouver BC ... don't know how available they are in USA. Flexiglass can have them painted one-colour in the colour of your choice, which saves the hassle and cost of getting them painted afterward. The paint that they use is high quality but beware, it's very thin, so be careful with it.

How does your local organisation deal with scoring? Many use the MyLaps system. The regional organisations around here all expect you to have your own transponder although you can rent them if arranged in advance (and only a limited number are available). CSBK uses MyLaps but you have to use theirs, they hand you a transponder when you check in for the weekend, and you hand it back at the end of the weekend. I bought my own MyLaps transponder back when you could buy them outright with no annual fee ... they've since gone to a subscription model, and it ain't cheap, but thankfully, the old non-subscription transponders still work (for now) ... and those old non-subscription transponders are like gold!

There is a fair chance that once you start racing, that will be the end of doing track days. At least around here, and I suspect it's true elsewhere, the quality of riding is a lot better. The incompetent and dangerous riders don't last long. There is an expectation that you have some idea what you are doing out there.
 

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2016 Yamaha YZF-R3
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This goes out to those with experience racing a Yamaha R3. I've been an active trackday rider/rider coach for about 15 years. I've decided @ 53 years old, that it's time to take it to the next level. I'm joining the CRA (local club racing) in 2023. Mechanically, my R3 is very well set-up for the track. I have done "race rubber", suspension (front & rear), ECU flash, exhaust, clip-ons, blah-blah-blah.... I know that my current OEM bodywork won't make the cut, as I need an oil-containment belly pan. I'm probably doing that over the winter months, as well as all the required safety-wire protocols.

I currently run adapter plates for the OEM pegs- to move them higher, and further back. I'm very happy with the current riding position. I'm considering Woodcraft rear sets, as I've had them in the past (on other bikes). I know that they are designed to "break-away" at the mid-peg during a crash, and act as an extra "slider", to save the bodywork..... Is this just a marketing scam, or does it really work??? If it actually works in practice, I'll most likely pull the trigger on the Woodcraft. Does anyone here have any first hand experience with this????

In my 15 years of track riding, I've only crashed twice (both times on a supermoto, in 2012 :rolleyes:). I'm not chasing championships, or points. I never expect to get my "expert" plates, nor do I expect to be a "front-runner". I'll be 54 years old when I do my first race. I'm hoping to run mid-pack in the novice class, and just have some fun!!!

Any help/guidance/advise will be welcome. I'm going into this with the attitude that "I probably don't know, what I don't know".... I've been a rider coach with a couple different track day organizations. I know enough to know that this a whole other animal compared to track day riding. I'm also going to take my own advise I've given MANY new track day riders, and "leave my ego at the door".

To those that have race experience on the R3, is there anything "R3 specific" that maybe I overlooked?
I think you'll be just fine, I do suggest getting as much crash protection as possible. GB Covers, EVOtech axle sliders, frame sliders, swingarm sliders, bar ends, and full track bodywork as the OEM bodywork will literally explode the first time you crash. Crashing while racing is much more likely, I rarely crashed as well, and in the last year I was taken out by another racer mid corner, which fractured my wrist, highsided my 400 at a kart track, and most recently my knee puck caught on rough terrain mid corner and kicked me off. The faster I get, the more aggressive I get and my chances of crashing have gone up.

Have lots of spares, have a full set of rearsets as backup, including extra pegs and all bolts for the bike. Spare controls (brake, clutch, levers, bars). I also recommend a spare belly pan, but some orgs will let you tape up a belly pan mid weekend. Get a radiator guard as well, it's worth the protection and some orgs require one now. They're cheap, easy insurance as well.

Otherwise, since you've been a track day coach for 15 years, honestly racing won't feel too different. It's a little more fast paced schedule wise, and you need to pay attention to your grid and schedule more, and if you get lapped just be sure to stay consistent and predictable. If by CRA you mean California Road Racing Association, just be aware the R3 is essentially obsolete in there. There's less than a handful on the grid, as FLAP has worked hand in hand with Dustin to create the 400 class for the Ninja 400. AFM has a few more R3's on grid, but they only run Button 3 rounds I think, and the rest are Thill. WERA west has a few R3s as well, I may run that before the end of the season for fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for the replies.... I already have every slider available for crash protection. I'm planning on adding lever guards, and maybe a toe guard (shark fin). I have the second generation R3 (2019 +), so I'll likely end up buying new bodywork from Norton. I'm planning on buying a "my laps" transponder. The Central Road Racing Association (CRA) rents them for $50 per weekend. It seems like the subscription would pay for itself in two weekends? I don't plan on running in the rain. I'm doing this for fun, and riding in the rain is NOT fun (ever)..... I really don't agree with Ninja 400 being considered a featherweight bike. I have friends that race MotoAmerica. I always enjoyed the Junior Cup class the most. Now, I refer to it as the "Kawasaki Cup" for 2023, as they are the only bike on the grid :rolleyes: .... I know that I'm done with track days. We are down to one TD org in my area. I would rather not track ride than ride with that org. This is why I'm going racing :cool:(y)!!! Thanks again for the replies-
 

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2016 Yamaha YZF-R3
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Thank you for the replies.... I already have every slider available for crash protection. I'm planning on adding lever guards, and maybe a toe guard (shark fin). I have the second generation R3 (2019 +), so I'll likely end up buying new bodywork from Norton. I'm planning on buying a "my laps" transponder. The Central Road Racing Association (CRA) rents them for $50 per weekend. It seems like the subscription would pay for itself in two weekends? I don't plan on running in the rain. I'm doing this for fun, and riding in the rain is NOT fun (ever)..... I really don't agree with Ninja 400 being considered a featherweight bike. I have friends that race MotoAmerica. I always enjoyed the Junior Cup class the most. Now, I refer to it as the "Kawasaki Cup" for 2023, as they are the only bike on the grid :rolleyes: .... I know that I'm done with track days. We are down to one TD org in my area. I would rather not track ride than ride with that org. This is why I'm going racing :cool:(y)!!! Thanks again for the replies-
Oh ****, sorry to hear you're down to a one **** track org in your area. I think you'll love racing, it's a thrill and a half.

I love the Junior cup, got to work on the Altus Team bike last season with Hayden Bicknese, and love how well Kayla's doing this year. Been watching that series since it was the KTM Cup.
 
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