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Devo's Track Diary

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' started by devotard, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. I've had a lot of fun over the past year, burnt a lot of cash (in relative terms), and don't have a whole lot to show for it. So I'm going to keep note of how things progress as much for myself as anyone else that is interested in listening to my ramblings.

    A brief prologue might be necessary.

    I bought a brand spankin' new dirtbike in December '06 with the view to building a nice little street motard that I could take bush on occasion. It'd been a while since I'd ridden, about 10 years in fact, which back then was predominantly on ag bikes. As such, an '07 KTM525EXC was a bit of a shock to the system, but I soon got back into the swing of things. A few months later I finally had the coin together for a set of motard wheels. A few months after that, and my leathers FINALLY arrived from Thailand. Couldn't really complain, apparently they lost a few workers to flooding, or so they say.

    Anyway, my first track day followed shortly after and, as it turns out, the dirt wheels were never to go back on again. A couple of crashes, and a few hairy moments getting passed at break neck speeds by the guys that get paid to do what they do, and I was hooked. I ran a few more track days whilst I mustered up the courage to sign up for a race. That day finally came with the last round of the Qld Supermoto Championship in September 2007. I managed not to embarrass myself too badly, and came away with a 5th overall for novice class. As it turns out, my number plate, headlight and blinkers were never to go back on again either. :grin:

    A lot of racing followed shortly after that, with the Australian Championship Rounds following each other in quick succession. Round 1: Oran Park (3rd overall!), Rounds 2 & 3: Newcastle (blurgh, Crashy-McCrash-Crash), Rounds 4 & 5: Ipswich (1st and 4th!), Round 6: Calder Park (4th?). Anyhow, it was all good enough to let me come away with 3rd Novice overall for the season, and gave me a few dust collectors with which to justify my many 1000's of dollars expense... yeah right. Whilst I certainly wasn't the 3rd best rider out of the bunch, you've gotta take some luck when you can get it.

    That brings us to the present, where I'm a bumbling C-grade rider no longer able to hide out with the novices. They're all bloody crazy anyway, so perhaps that's a good thing. I'm running a local club series of supermoto racing which is going ok, but most relevant (finally :roll: :LOL:) to this forum, is the next chapter...

    So, I'm going to have a crack at this road-racing thing that a lot of you blokes seem to enjoy. :wink: Mind you, I'm not jumping in at the deep end. It's the Southern Downs Challenge, and Morgan Park seems to be pretty tight as far as RR circuits go. I'm lined up to do a track day out there before the 1st round too, so nothing too scary I hope.

    I'll be riding my motard which isn't a powerhouse even in supermoto terms, and I'll probably have to zip tie my boots to the bike to force me to keep them on the pegs, but it should be an interesting experience. The quickest track (in terms of corner speed) that I've ridden thus far would be the supermoto circuit they put together down at Oran Park. Coming over the bridge down toward the bus stop at 120, at full lean, completely blind and with horrendous head shake was actually quite invigorating, albeit completely alien to a novice supermoto rider whose only 100+ cornering experience is from on public roads (doesn't really count, does it).

    I've got no expectations given that I'm horribly slow at learning tracks and this will all be new to me, but I'll keep this updated, like I said, as much for myself as anyone else that may be interested. There should be a lot of questions answered along the way. Will the big end of a KTM RFS hold up to sustained RPM? Can I continue to avoid broken bones despite a current crash rate well exceeding one per each hours riding? Will I succumb to this knee-out tomfoolery that all you blokes do? :p

    Time will tell. :grin:

    Next post will be on the bike, which is still a work in progress. Hope I haven't bored you if you've gotten this far. :)
  2. Bring it on mate, great so far.
  3. Keep feeding me this stuff
  4. Nice work Devo... enjoy ya write ups.
  5. Devo, well done! As a racing novice last year, this year I got nowhere to hide...I'm still state based, maybe I can race a few interstate tracks this year.

    Great to see you're having fun, racing's good ain't it?!
  6. Awesome write up. Look forward to future posts.
  7. [​IMG]
    Thanks for the comments guys. I'm not too good at this whole updating thing, but here's my baby as promised. It is (was) a road going, LAMS approved, road-trail bike from KTM, an '07 525EXC. A couple of extra pics too for good measure, offsetting that last unbroken essay I inflicted upon you all.

    This photo sums up the bare basics of supermoto; little wheels, big brakes, and well worn crash sliders. :grin:

    Obligatory "I'm a wanker and have to show my chicken strips" shot. :LOL:

    So a quick summary on the bike. It's bare minimum stuff really. 17" wheels front and back (5" and 3.5"), though a 16.5 for the front is on my list of things to do. Remove ADR stuff. Add axle sliders, peg sliders, hand guards. Brakes are important. Initially, I tried offsetting my standard 2 pot MX caliper in conjunction with a 320mm disc, but once I started to get my lap times up, I was getting complete fade after 2 laps. I bit the bullet and went for a full Beringer setup, a cast iron 310mm disc, 6 pot caliper, and a purrrrfectly matched master cylinder. It makes every other setup I've tried feel underpowered and wooden in comparison. I also installed some correctly weighted springs front and rear, and dialling the suspension in is a constant work in progress. A complete revalve is on the immediate to-do list.

    I also installed some custom triple clamps to bring in the offset 5mm, but could do with some more (to-do list), and added an AiM lap timer (worth its weight in gold). The engine will remain untouched (bar having been re-jetted for the open airbox), as will the pipe, as horsepower means absolutely jack all on the average SM track.

    I think that's about it. :)

    Riding is going well. I ran the final round of the Supermoto Extreme Series on the weekend, secured 4th overall in C grade, and I'm now consistently lapping over 2.5 seconds quicker than my balls-to-the-wall PB from just a few months ago. My dirt riding has shown to be my biggest weakness after I qualified on all-asphalt just 2 seconds off the pace of one of the quickest blokes in Australia on his factory Kawasaki. This blew out to 3 seconds through the day as he picked up time and I didn't, but with the dirt section in play, there is more like 6 to 7 seconds difference. Time to hit a motocross track with the slicks on for some practice.

    I went and ran the road-racing track day that I mentioned before. As expected, it felt very alien to me, but I came away, pleasantly surprised, with quicker times than 80% of the bikes there (supersports, superbikes, et al). The biggest eye openers were just how early everyone brakes, how much passing room there is, and just how easy it is on the body compared to SM. I'm tossing up whether to run F3 in a series coming up, I don't find it that enjoyable compared to SM, and might head up to Townsville for the 1st round of the Qld SM Champs instead. Decisions decisions.
  8. Do you have a handle on costs? Or is it like me, just pay it and forget it (the pain seems less)?
  9. That's about it, Cejay.
  10. More pics please. :grin:
  11. Good stuff Devo. I've enjoyed the read. :music:

  12. Yep, I can vouch for that summary.

    Good luck with everything but does this all mean that you won't be doing the Supermoto thing if/when it gets going this year?

    Also, the KTM is eligible for BEARS racing so keep that in mind for any rounds that popup your way as many SMotos run in the BEARS. It may even be worthwhile jumping on their website to familiarise yourself a bit if you do decide to go that way.

    Anyway, hope to catch up again at some point but seriously good luck with it all but just remember, road racing marshalls wont come onto the circuit and lift the bike off you. :grin:

  13. I'm really enjoying the SM Garry, and should be at the Nationals when it rolls around again. Perhaps a few rounds of a NSW series that is being mentioned as well....? I just don't think I'll be doing MotoMayhem at all this year.

    Good call on the Bears, I thought that was a Victorian thing.

    ...and I didn't know that about the RR marshalls. Where's the love!? Haha.

    Thanks again mate. :grin:
  14. Haven't heard to much about the NSW rounds for a week or so but when I last spoke with Lyndel she was reasonably confident so hope that comes off.

    Nah, they have a National series which has a very strong Motard based contingent within their respective classes.

    As for you comment about feet out, don't worry. I was at a road race meet last year at Oran Park which had the Aprilias running and they were feet down around the circuit, damn looked so good as well.

    In honesty it is just deemeed to dangerous because of the speeds involved, though at some circuits you may get marshalls or recovery on the track (very very rare) if deemed absolutely safe. Nah, us SMoto marshalls just take to good a care of you guys and gals.

  15. Perhaps the whole foot out thing was BS. Come to think of it, no official mentioned anything. :? Bugger it, the foots coming off next time, black flag here we come. :LOL:
  16. You are a b@st@ard and I hate you.

    Go and Kick Some Arse!!
  17. You serious, someone told you no foot out?

    Ask the CoC at the next meet you attend and if they say no foot out in road racing check the rules as SMoto is considered Road Racing.

  18. I heard safety mentioned. :? Not sure why I haven't bother to check the GCR's myself.
  19. Some more pics as requested JB. :)

  20. Hey, I remember that last one.


    Grabs yellow flag and waves.