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Phillip Island Ride Days on the 24th and 31st March

Discussion in 'Racing, Motorsports, and Track Days' started by [FLUX], Mar 20, 2006.

  1. Since it's my birthday on the 28th March, it seems that track days were the birthday present of choice and so I'm booked in to go on the 24th and 31st of March.

    Just wondering if anyone else from Netrider is booked in for either of those days, and if so, put yer hand up and maybe we can catch up down at the track.


  2. Just a friendly bump for the evening crowd.
  3. nope, some of us have full time jobs and have to work..
    but come and do the 17th of April
  4. what time??
  5. Uh, I figured that maybe we could just catch up at the track on the day. Plenty of time spent sitting around in-between sessions (1hr off / 20mins on).
  6. Okay, last bump before tomorrow.

    If you're down there on the day, don't be afraid to say hello.

    I'm on my blue 2000 model R1.

  7. Some of us will be stuck in the F1 Pit Lane at Albert Park on the 31st :driver: :dance: :cheeky: \:D/
  8. Ride day today went somewhat okay.

    The two year old daughter woke me up about six times last night, and I was dead tired already from a busy work week trying to make time to have today off. Bad move really, as it meant that I spent much of today in a bit of a daze, which is not really the best of mental conditions to be on when belting around a race-track.

    Felt the adrenaline surge, sure, just didn't have the mental acuity to go along with it.

    About 10 different riders came off the track today, with varying degrees of seriousness. Two were apparantly very serious, requiring an ambulance, and along with the other offs, a very large amount of track time was lost. Probably only got about 2/3rds of the planned track time, and quite often in 10-12 minute cut-down sessions, which meant that my tyres had only just barely gotten warm before we had to come off again.

    Seriously starting to think that tyre warmers are a good investment if this continues.

    Unsure how the two serious incident riders ended up as they were whisked away. The other riders who came off were unhurt, aside from pride and scratched/bent bikes.

    All incidents were single bike incidents. Don't know. Maybe everyone had a hard night much like I did.

    I had a bit of scare going into Turn 2 at about 220kph. Hit the brakes as you do but I clicked down the gear too quickly. Don't know what I was thinking but ended up in 3rd gear while still doing about 180kph but with only about 5000 rpms on the dial, so I got a massive compression lock up and was waggling towards the outside of southern loop totally out of control.

    Kept a cool head (are we awake yet?!), absolutely forced myself to look into and through the corner rather than the outside of the track, braked hard once the bike settled and pitched it in, and managed to keep the bike on the track, although it was close.

    Rear wheel was squirming and drifting and spinning under even small amounts of power. This is a newer Metzeler M1 that I had fitted after the last M1 rear got a puncture. Total chalk and cheese. Where the last M1 gripped like a vice to the bitumen, this one slid about almost without trying. Am now starting to wonder if there's some truth to these rumours of a bad batch of the M1's on the market.

    Got to the point where I was even scared to lean the bike over as it would start to slide under even steady throttle through some corners, or under the slightest throttle out of others.

    Took the bike in, had the suspension looked at, and it was decided that the rear suspension was way too soft. Clicked up preload, compression and rebound, and it was like a different bike, which is both good and bad.

    Rear now sat much higher, which totally threw off my knee-down lean indication that I had worked out up until now. I was still scared of the rear tyre sliding, but now I had no idea just how far over I was leaning.

    Still, it did do something, I was able to power out of corners more strongly without the rear braking away, but I was tired, my confidence was shot to pieces, and I was now riding a bike that felt nothing like what I was used to.

    Managed to slip'n'slide my way to a best time of somewhere in the 1:53's, which is quite disappointing. Oh well. Win some. Lose some. Today was a bit of a day of disappointment.

    Still, track days are a bit like sex. Even when it's not that good, it still beats doing just about anything else!
  9. Thats very unlike the M1's

    I found them to be extremely sticky but they needed some time to heat up.
    Perhaps the shortened sessions didnt help?

    The storm has Michelin Pilot Powers on him at the moment, I must say, they feel like a fairly nice sticky tyre too.
  10. Yes - that's been my experience with them too, on the whole to date, except for this rear tyre. Sorting the suspension out better helped to a fair degree, but this particular tyre was squirming and moving, even when warmed up after 5 laps, more than I ever remember the last M1 rear ever doing.

    I'd say that may have had some impact. Seemed like they had only just gotten to a good temperature by about the 5th lap, and I was starting to gain some confidence in the tyre again, and then just as I felt like I was ready to start putting some more faith in the rear, out came the end of session flag.

    I dropped 2PSI in the rear and that did seem to help out a bit too. The rear definitely got warmer faster.

    Still, I do think that a large part of the problem on the day just came down to the rider. I was tired and the brain simply wasn't working fast enough. I was taking the wrong lines through corners quite often, and not positioning myself for a good drive out of many corners. Still, part of that was caused by my total lack of faith in the rear to stick when needed, but definitely I could've been more alert. Would be optimistic to say that the brain was even working at 50%.

    Yeah, the pilot powers are good tyres. Very sticky, heat up quickly. I'm just not too impressed with their feeling at mid lean angles, but maybe I'll relent and give them another go when I get some work done to the bike's suspension.

    Presently trying to decide between K-Tech or Öhlins springs and internals.
  11. Stew, sounds like not such good day. Like my last HRCA day. I missed having people to 'play' with, as I was lapping way much quicker than anyone else, I was tired and there were a couple of accidents.

    I really like the Powers, they seem to work for me, but I am starting to feel as though I have cooked the front. Tread pattern is good, it doesn't seem to have the feel I was getting used to. I suspect I need to adjust the suspension, but not too sure which direction.

    I'm hoping to check out a VFR track bike today, so with luck, the next PI day will be on a race bike with slicks! That will feel different!
  12. Well, it's time for the second of the two ride-days tomorrow.

    Anyone going to be down there?

    If so, don't be shy and say "Hi!".
  13. Have a good safe day!! :)
  14. Thank you. Am a little concerned with the forecast afternoon rain, but with any luck it won't hit the Island until really late.

  15. Fingers crossed it will hit when your safe and sound at home.
  16. Well I had a total ball today. What a difference a better set of tyres make eh?

    Got Pirelli Diablo Corsa's fitted, and arrived at the track still with those little mould rubber spikes hanging off the tyre, so I spent the first session scrubbing them in and getting back into the swing of things.

    I think that I should invest in tire warmers. In the 2nd/3rd sessions I got passed by the 3rd lap by a guy doing 1:53's, and by the 4th lap had gained confidence in the tyres and set about halting his advance away from me, and then very slowly hauling him in, but there was a fair bit of traffic on the track today with the Medium-Fast group overfull, and so people opted to book themselves into the available Fast group to get some track time, which meant that some of these guys were getting blown by at a very rapid pace.

    By the 4th session I was really starting to come to terms with the new tyres, how they gripped, and the bike's suspension setup changes which were done at the last session of the last day I was there. There was a guy who's setting up to race a Triumph 675, had it all kitted out, and he got past me just as I had considered that my tyres were properly warmed up. Well, that was a red rag to a bull, and I upped the pace and kept hot on his tail, and for about 7 laps there I'd get to a point where I'd just be about to pass him, then we'd run into some traffic which somehow always seemed to end up with him getting past, and pulling a 3-4 sec gap by the time I got past, and then I'd run him down again. He had the jump on me out of Siberia, but everywhere else I was able to make up time on him.

    More importantly there seemed to be fewer and fewer people overtaking me, except for some REALLY fast guys, who I later discovered were Australia Superbike racers on their kitted out R1/ZX10 bikes. Man, these guys go by so quick at times that you seriously wonder if you're moving at all. It's just insulting.

    Got into the fifth session, and spent my obligatory 3 laps warming the tyres up, and then set about getting serious. Had a total ball in this session. Everything went perfectly, I was hitting every gear change, getting into the right gear everywhere, started to lean the bike further and harder than ever before, held the throttle wide open almost everywhere except for the corners, and best of all after watching Steve Brouggy overtake me in Southern Loop on an earlier session actually figured out how to take that corner better and treat it like a double apex and power on hard out of it, earlier and stronger than I had ever done. By the time I exited Turn 3 the speedo was indicating 240kph (it does read 5% high though due to a larger rear sprocket). In fact, out of every corner I was really starting to explore just what I could do with these Pirelli Diablo Corsa's, and after the bodgy Metzeler M1 rear that was sliding about like a mad thing last week, the Corsa rear almost seemed to have limitless grip in comparison. In fact the whole day I did not get it to spin up even once. I was powering on earlier, and stronger, than ever before and having a total blast and consequently picking up speeds on the circuit that I've never achieved before.

    I have a digital watch on the bike and was watching my lap times, but frankly I'm now not sure if I believe what I was seeing, so I'll keep my trap shut on what I think I finally managed to do in the 5th session. I'd rather that someone confirms it too, and sadly I don't have that.

    10 minutes after the 5th session ended, the rain clouds that were threatening the entire day finally rolled over the Island and hit with a vengeance. Rain bucketed down with such ferocity that you couldn't see more than 200-300m. That ended the day for me, and I donned the rain-proof over-suit and rode home where I discovered that my boots are not waterproof and filled up with water. :cry:

    I had a total ball today. Easily one of the best track days I've ever had. The fifth session was just magical for me and I was totally zoning through it. I owe almost all of it to the wonderful Corsa's, and to Stewart, the Scottish suspension guy who tweaked the bike's suspension to as good as it'll ever do in stock trim with my lardy bulk aboard it. Going to get the suspension rejigged in a couple of weeks and I can't wait for that.

    Man, can't get this grin off my face. :grin:
  17. Glad you enjoyed the day, was hoping the weather would hold out. :)

    On my way out at 5.30pm, i noticed a few bikes on trailers coming back from The Island. Luckily all in one piece :)
  18. Well, I guess that the weather held out for "long enough". Having it hold out until 4pm was a pretty good deal given the dire forecasts only a few days earlier.

    There was 1 rider who came off that required an ambulance. There were about 4 other offs on the day, complete with disconcerting scratch marks on the tarmac leading from the inside mid0corner to the outside on about 3 corners. Actually a little distracting 'cos you come around and see these huge marks leading off the track and have to force yourself to look where you want to go instead of where they went.

    Aside from the 1 ambulance job, no one else was hurt that I'm aware of, and their bikes all looked lightly scratched up/damaged, and that includes the ambulance guy's bike.
  19. Hey mate, great write up.

    Sounds like you had an amazing day.

    .......and that you're pretty damn quick :)
  20. A rather gloomy shot of me at the Island on the 31st March: