Motorcycle Track Day Handbook $10+ship Signed (if you want that) - Honda RC51 Forum : RC51 Motorcycle Forums
 
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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 11-18-2015, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Minnesota
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Motorcycle Track Day Handbook $10+ship Signed (if you want that)

I was sending out copies of my book as a bonus when selling parts. I used to hand them out like business cards but I just found out that the warehouse doesn't have any more and since they were printed before everything went digital, it's going to take a big demand (10,000+ copies) to get another print run to happen.

So it looks like I should hold on to the ones I have left or at least try to get something for them. I think they are great for the help setting up suspensions (had Traxxion Dynamic's head guy do that chapter) and you may be entertained by some of the stories. It was well liked by those who found it but never got much promotion since it missed the publisher's deadline for their spring sales sheet (back in 2004).

The book ships in a $5.75 flat rate priority mail envelope so shipping should never be more than that and can be cheaper if you want a slower ship method. Ex: $3.77 to Miami via media mail.

I'll be glad to add a signature from the author (me) if requested.

You can do "look inside" on Amazon:


Looks like you can also buy it used ($3.39) and new ($7.59) at Amazon while they last.

Here's a racing story from page 76:
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When I started my 1997 racing season on a 1988 Yamaha FZR400 I didn't have a steering damper and I didn't think I needed one. I felt that a good rider on a properly sorted bike should be able to handle any tank slappers or front-end twitchiness without needing a damper. A tank slapper is fixed by just staying loose on the grips and getting on the gas. I'd proven to myself many times that slappers go away after a few seconds if your bike is properly balanced. Any twitchiness you feel is just good feedback telling you what the bike is doing. Excessive twitching tells you there is something to fix. If was my belief that the only thing a damper would do is mask a problem. I'd rather feel what the bike is doing.

That opinion ended in the middle of a Lightweight Supersport race with the Central Roadracing Association at Brainerd International Raceway in Minnesota. I started at the front of the novice pack behind four rows of experts. It was a one-wave start and I got off the line well. By the time we got to turn 3, I had passed all but four of the experts. After a few more laps, I was second overall behind Sean Mowry. I could see I wasn't going to catch Sean and checking behind me down the straight showed I had a big enough gap (about a mile) to relax. I'd just won the novice race (in my mind) and got second overall. What should I do with the next four or five laps until the checkers?

Well, I thought, I'm still not as good going left as I am going right. I can use this time to practice my left turns and improve some. Seemed like a good idea at the time.

The next lap I tried to rail turn 4 (the first left). Not bad, but I could have gone faster. Here comes turn 6 (the second left), let's make this perfect. I tossed it in a bit faster than the last lap and got on the gas nice and early. I could tell I was going to go a bit wide but that's okay. Going a little wide is what the rumble strip is for.

By the time I drifted out to the rumble strip, I was almost upright again. I finished rolling on to wide open and leaned slightly left to drift back onto the track proper. I could see that I was going to still be a little right of the track surface by the time I reached the end of the rumble strip, but I didn't worry about that or change my line. I would just jump the gap from rumbles to track like I occasionally do at the end of turn 3.

The didn't quite work as expected. Turn 3 didn't have the big sinkhole at the end of the rumble strip like there was at turn 6. Wham! My front wheel dipped into the sink hole and caught the edge of the track at an angle. I still jumped up onto the track but I was having the worst tank slapper of my racing career.

Well, no biggie, just stay loose and wick up the throttle, right? Oh, wait, I'm already at wide open throttle. Crap! Now what?

The slapper just kept getting worse as I bounced down the track toward turn 7. I had plenty of time to think but couldn't come up with anything. I figured trying to shift would just transfer the front end wobble into the chassis as I worked the clutch or make the slapper even more violent during the momentary loss of power. As the bike started hopping the front wheel back and forth down a 2-foot-wide path, I gave a last desperate attempt to grab the bars hard mid-hop and land with the wheel strait.

"Well that didn't work" I thought as the little FZR tossed me into the air.

Mark Foster was the lead novice at that time and later he told me "I came around turn 6 and saw you lying on the track at the entrance to turn 7. I picked a line that didn't run over you but couldn't figure out what happened. You were gone about halfway through the race. You were out front not racing with anyone and I was working hard to keep second place. Thanks for letting me win that one."

An old pro and great tuner suggested that I might have tried to stand on the rear brake and pull the front out of the slapper by rapidly slowing down. I don't know if that would have worked. My hope is to never need to try that technique. Now I run a damper on the track.

I still don't run a damper on my street bikes. The same old argument about masking problems applies, and I'm almost never at wide open throttle on the street. Maybe I'm living dangerously, but I'd still rather feel every twitch and squirm the front end is transmitting without a damper filtering the events.

No Damper Crash, Lessons Learned:
1. Always run a damper at the track. You may find you can't accelerate out of a tank slapper because it starts when you can't give more throttle. If that happens, you will need to rely on a damper to fix the wobble.
2. Don't use race time to practice. Just race. You can practice during practice.
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Later,
Kent Larson in Minnesota
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