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Old 03-23-2009, 06:57 PM   #1
tomLSTD
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On the track in anger with a junkyard queen...

I was really pleased to see the weather reports change from 80% chance of thunderstorms for the 22nd to 80* and sunny over the last week. I was lamenting the thought of going to our 3rd event of the season with wet leathers and without the opportunity to open up my new bike on the track. I've been anticipating this trackday season for weeks ever since I got the new bike finished ("From the boneyard to the track..." http://www.motohouston.com/forums/sh...boneyard+track).

Gabe McLendon really came through for me when I asked him to find a good '06+ GSXR 600 or 750. Any time I ask the boys (Mark Niemi, Gabe, Olay, Ronnie, the whole staff really) for any help/ advice/ whatever, I always get good results. They're just good people all the way around. If you've read the thread above, there's no need for me to re-hash the past, I'll just go over a bit of what I've done since then.

The bike took a trailer ride to Andy at Metric Motorcycles for some of his patented TLC. Andy and I had big plans for this bike, and some of them got a bit too ambitious to be realized by the first event of the season. I was without my bike at OHR because we just didn't have time to get it done; there was too much work in the shop and my bike had to take a back burner to get the paying customers taken care of. That's as it should be, but it was a bummer. What wasn't a bummer was when Macman and Mark stepped up to offer their personal bikes for me to ride for the day! The best part about it was getting to ride the '09 ZX6R (http://www.motohouston.com/forums/sh...highlight=zx6r), but it sure was fun to drag toes around OHR on Macman's KTM 950. Not to mention the handful of laps I got to do on Mark's baby Ninja, that bike is a blast to track!

The plan at Andy's was to build the suspension and change out the remainder of broken bits (levers, sprockets, other little stuff), and then let Andy have at it with his in-house dyno and in-house machine shop to massage the heads a bit and get it mapped juuuuust right. The day before ECR, we finally finished the suspension and reassembled the bike- the head work never happened, but that will happen next month.

Andy built the stock shock and did some of his patented luvin' to the valving and a new spring; the front end got the new Racetech RGV's, springs, and some more of Andy's patented luvin' to the cartridges. It's not the first time he's done my suspension, ever since Billy Weise left town he's been doing it for me (actually, before Billy left town...), so I knew it was in great hands. Not to mention I had been at the shop helping him out with small stuff since he was is so busy, that was I could keep and eye on things We also ordered a bunch of goodies from Parts Unlimited and Tucker Rocky, as well as Race Tech to finish everything up.

In the mean time, I had two sets of bodywork; one new, one used to get ready. Plan was to use one set to teach, and one set in case some old fat guy decided to grid up again. All that happened (picts to come), and I got both sets done. One set in "Metric Blue", the other set in the spirit of my (now deceased) old GSXR that I sold last year.

Here is a teaser of that paint:

On the track in anger with a junkyard queen...

So, on to the track day yesterday. I arrived to Granbury at around 22:30 and sacked out pretty quickly after trying to watch that abomination of the new AMA racing show on Speed Awoke in the morning to find that it wasn't nearly as foggy as I thought it would be and headed to the track after a nice breakfast courtesy of the Plantation Inn. Upon arrival to the track, I wasn't surprised to find the "Cresson Winds" were up with the sun, right on cue. Wipe down the bike, make a final safety check, top off the fuel (more on that later...), set the tire pressures, and put on the warmers!

Along with a new bike, I'm trying the Bridgestone Slicks. I've run the GP250 slicks before, but never on the big bike. I was so impressed with the 003's last year that I didn't see a reason to spend extra money on slicks- edge grip with the 003's was so good that it almost negated the need for slicks 'cause that's where slicks are supposed to accel. So, why slicks now? Simple, tire wear. Slicks last longer by and large than the DOTs do, and since I ride so many sessions in one day, I wanted to get as much tire life as I could, especially since I'm increasing the horsepower from my old bike to my new one by over 30hp.

I took the first A group session and scrubbed the tires in. The track was cold, it was Cresson, and the wheels never got warm because of the wind. Why is it that I bought Tyr Sox years ago? Oh yeah, 'cause they had that neat little fleece cover that shielded the wheels from the wind/ cold so that your wheels got warmer faster. I got rid of those warmers (like so many others) in favor of the one piece warmer because the two piece Tyr Sox were just too much to keep up with. . Oh well.

My first session was a feeler, and also to scrub the tires- no heroics here, I'll be patient instead of throwing my bike down and going all "yard sale" in the morning. The tires felt good, but I knew it was too cold to really do anything... to my amazement, I touched a knee slider in the "Wagon Wheel" after about 3 laps. So I guess the tires were sticking just fine, and I was feeling comfortable.

My next session out I picked it up a bit. I purposefully didn't deploy my lap timer because it's the last thing I wanted to think about. I needed to pay attention to my new bike and see how it acts/ reacts before I even think about lap times. The engine was very smooth and linear. Andy did a great job with the mapping! I felt like I was fighting the bike though, and I felt like I was working too hard. I need to find out WTF I'm doing wrong so I don't feel that way because I'm fixin' to start turning suspension adjusters, and nothing good can come of that. Especially since Patrick and Brandon aren't here to fix my fukups! Next session out, I'll figure it out.

Now in between these sessions where I'm riding on my own, I'm working video and with students along with one-on-one instruction for the Advanced Rider School. Here's where the fuel thing comes in, I was so busy, I forgot to check my fuel level after riding several sessions. I was working with a student filming in the "A Group" when he waved off (too tired I think) and exited the track. That was my opportunity to get a couple more hot laps in and continue to feel the bike out! Nothing let's you get to know your bike better than coasting down the front straight, eventually pushing it up hill, being passed by your friend and fellow staff members all the while cussing yourself for forgetting to check the fuel level!

To summarize this event, in my "personal" sessions where I wasn't working with a student or filming, I finally found my problems. They were twofold, one part was being tense and pensive with the controls- my grip was making finger indention in the grips, and I was NOT relaxed. I was probably more worried about the new power from the new bike and was thinking about how easy it is to spin up and fly me to the moon in a neat little high-side. Relax dude! That helped a lot. The second part was in a couple of key areas, I was looking in front of the bike instead of down the track. Bamm-o! We have a winner! Finally I started to carry significantly more corner speed and riding much more comfortably.

On to Texas World now! I can't wait to open this bike up on that front straight.

Cresson didn't disappoint, but I can't help but think that missing time "in anger" at ECR didn't keep me from getting some real quality time on the best track in Texas! MSR is just a great facility... can't get enough of it and I wish I lived closer so I could have a membership there.

Anyway, I'm done rambling... for now.
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Old 03-23-2009, 07:11 PM   #2
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I forgot to give props to all the folks that helped get this bike together and running so well!

John at SCRacecenter.com for the sticky icky Bridgestones
Steve/ Wade/ Jeff and all the LSTD Mob!
Olay at USB Consulting for the M4 exhaust
Alberto ("Alrova") for the push back to the pits (he only lapped me twice before stopping... )
Memmo & Julie Velarde for the Prem-o Arai helmet and Sharkskinz
Chris and Sam Romeo for all the parts that replaced all the bent stuff!
Cycle Gear
Andy at Metric Motorcycles for the suspension magic, parts, mechanical work and everything else on top of being a good friend!
The whole Motorcycles Unlimited crew!
Supersprox for the killer sprockets
GBRacing.com for the fantastic (and un-used) engine covers
And for all the Motohouston freaks that come to the track days for excellent instruction and to help out by cornerworking for us. You guys/ gals are the best!
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Old 03-24-2009, 10:07 AM   #3
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Glad you liked it. You know you didnt have to do all that work before you took it too the track. You did see the endurance bike right
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Old 03-24-2009, 10:38 AM   #4
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As always, Great write up Tom!!!! Also sorry if i suck at pushing you with my bike but that right leg felt weird going up hill trying to push you and your bike, plus i suck lol. Man, you need to put a fuel sensor on that bike.
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Old 03-24-2009, 07:46 PM   #5
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Old 03-24-2009, 07:48 PM   #6
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Nice write up Tom and the bike looks sic!!!
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Old 03-24-2009, 07:56 PM   #7
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Thanks Alonzo. Ima see if I can get used to the bike enough to see if I can chase you at TWS (Texas World Speedway) next month

I think if I can get it dialed and get my laps down on the 5th, I may get after it on the 12th.
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Old 03-26-2009, 07:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Thanks Alonzo. Ima see if I can get used to the bike enough to see if I can chase you at TWS (Texas World Speedway) next month

I think if I can get it dialed and get my laps down on the 5th, I may get after it on the 12th.
sounds like a plan.... hopefully I can make it out on the 5th with you guys.
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Old 03-26-2009, 08:07 AM   #9
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ok, this might be a dumb question but in the blue bike, is that rust in the headers?

BTW, both are great looking bikes.
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Old 03-26-2009, 09:03 AM   #10
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Nice writeup, Tom. Are the slicks offering the wear and performance advantage you expected?
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Old 03-26-2009, 10:27 AM   #11
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Looks good Tom! By the way, how are you liking the GoPro. I love mine.
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Old 03-26-2009, 10:32 AM   #12
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Slick looking paintjobs Tom.

Did the GoPro come with that mounting bracket, or did you have to make some sort of custom bracket to mount it there?
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Old 03-26-2009, 12:16 PM   #13
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Slick looking paintjobs Tom.

Did the GoPro come with that mounting bracket, or did you have to make some sort of custom bracket to mount it there?
The GoPro comes with several different mounts. The suction cup is very tall, but there are some adhesive backed tabs to mount to bodywork/helmet/etc that are very lo-profiled.

I think that's what Tom has pictured.
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Old 03-26-2009, 01:07 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 07SLVRCBR View Post
The GoPro comes with several different mounts. The suction cup is very tall, but there are some adhesive backed tabs to mount to bodywork/helmet/etc that are very lo-profiled.

I think that's what Tom has pictured.
True. My GoPro came with the suction cup and several other mounting brackets.
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Old 03-26-2009, 02:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Gonzo View Post
sounds like a plan.... hopefully I can make it out on the 5th with you guys.
I hope so too- maybe you can drag me down to 1:50 on this new bike!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ileono918 View Post
ok, this might be a dumb question but in the blue bike, is that rust in the headers?

BTW, both are great looking bikes.
It's the same bike with different clothes. The headers are stock, I just have a slip-on that gets rid of the cat, the stock headers are good and I didn't see the reason to buy a full system for the extra cash.

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Nice writeup, Tom. Are the slicks offering the wear and performance advantage you expected?
Wear? Yes, they definitely wear better by my best estimate than the 003. Performance? Well, believe it or not, I think the 003's edge grip is almost as good! I'll find out more on the 5th I think although Cresson is about the best test for a tire in the State; well, besides Oak Hill I guess.

So that I can run Superstock B, I may run 003 instead of the slicks...

Quote:
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Looks good Tom! By the way, how are you liking the GoPro. I love mine.
I like it so far, I didn't have the issues that some of the other guys did. I don't like the way it eats batteries, but to it's defense, I don't think you can get a better picture/ camera for the money even if you use two sets of batteries each day. I filmed all day literally and used 4 batteries.

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Slick looking paintjobs Tom.

Did the GoPro come with that mounting bracket, or did you have to make some sort of custom bracket to mount it there?
This bracket is a custom bracket but uses some of the GoPro stuff too. The custom bracket was highly developed and built with precision (I'm not joking) an is a much better product than anything GoPro provides. The picture is much better with this bracket, and it was a good picture to start with already.
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Old 03-26-2009, 03:11 PM   #16
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A good read Tom and the bikes look great
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Old 03-26-2009, 05:35 PM   #17
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This bracket is a custom bracket but uses some of the GoPro stuff too. The custom bracket was highly developed and built with precision (I'm not joking) an is a much better product than anything GoPro provides. The picture is much better with this bracket, and it was a good picture to start with already.
When/where will this bike make its track debut? May I steal some of your bracket ideas?
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Old 03-26-2009, 06:19 PM   #18
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When/where will this bike make its track debut? May I steal some of your bracket ideas?
I didn't design the bracket, but I can put you in touch with the guy who did to see what he'd charge for it.

I'll have it at TWS (Texas World Speedway) on the 5th and I already had it at Cresson with that setup The video I got with it was KILLER!
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Old 03-26-2009, 10:09 PM   #19
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I didn't design the bracket, but I can put you in touch with the guy who did to see what he'd charge for it.

I'll have it at TWS (Texas World Speedway) on the 5th and I already had it at Cresson with that setup The video I got with it was KILLER!
What are you waiting for, POST UP THOSE VIDS!
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Old 03-26-2009, 10:17 PM   #20
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I didn't design the bracket, but I can put you in touch with the guy who did to see what he'd charge for it.

I'll have it at TWS (Texas World Speedway) on the 5th and I already had it at Cresson with that setup The video I got with it was KILLER!
I might be able to see ya'll out on the 5th.

Look forward to it, sir.
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