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Ride Day/Track Day - Willowbank SE Qld

12783 Views 24 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  david1300
Hi all. On Monday 20 August there is a ride day/track day at Willowbank organised by Ulysses for Ulysses members and friends (we get a discount that way). Cost is $100 and they will hire you full gear (Joe Rocket leathers, boots, gloves) if you need it for $50.

I am going, and taking along 2 younger mates (both on 600Fazers). So far there are 8 or 9 in the group, and they will (apparently) give us total newbies a session or 2 as a separate group, and also some tuition/tips etc.

If you want to come along, post your interest here or PM me and I'll send you full details.
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Last week fitted new tyres to the FJR, thought I'd try the BT021's, and to the Fazer600 even though there was still 50% tread left, but there is a plug in the rear tyre (younger friend coming along and using the Fazer), checked everything yesterday, packed everything needed in the panniers & topbox, set the alarm for 5:30, and ......

Well, the big day arrived........along with the first rain in 2 months :? Don't get me wrong. I am very grateful for the rain, but:

They say it's only the third day they have cancelled in the last 5 years :x Oh well, riding there and back in the rain means that I did get an idea of the BT021's wet weather capabilities, and I'm happy with that - BUT IT'S NOT WHAT I WANTED :(

Oh well :roll: :(
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Looks like a "wet arse and no fish" outing David............

The wet track shows the "un-smooth" surface in a few places. The Superbike racers must have some fierce vibration going through their bikes over the bumpy sections at warp speed. Last bike racing round I saw at this track there were some significant "surface irregularities" after turn 1. Still be good fun to run at full throttle though 8)

I am going out to Willowbank on Wednesday for an "Advanced Riders Safety Course" through Top-rider. Hopefully the Gods will be kind and stop the rain for us.... :roll:

Sorry you missed out today mate :ale:

OK - we are rescheduled for Monday 24 September. Let me know if you would like to join us.
The second most fun in leather

Well, a different scenario on Monday:

And these were taken on the second session out on the track - still warming up at this stage:

So, what did I learn:

Track days are the second-most fun you can have wearing leather :twisted: :twisted:

The FJR is a heavy beast pulling down from WFO to make a 80kph corner :shock: :shock: Yes, I know that, but when really pushing the envelope it is good to have a wide run-off.

I showed surprising lack of confidence accelerating out of turns early on, really only hitting the throttle hard quite late in the turn exit. I know that I was being conservative, as I wasn't going to be taking my bike home on a trailer, but it really showed how my 'street manners' carried over to the track. Although I love accelerating hard out of a corner, I never trust the street to have consistent traction, and here I was, mistrusting the racetrack too. :eek:

Nothing learned here in this observatio, just proved in controlled circumstances: It's hard to stay with a 600 through twisty sections. I had a young friend using my 600 Fazer for the day (to improve his riding skills), and through the twisty section he could easily pull a 30 meter gap in about 200 meters. I would have loved to swap bikes, but I was not putting him on the FJR this time. Next time, maybe :twisted:

It is addictive blasting past everything else (well, almost everything else) down the straights :twisted:

This could cost me a lot of money (honey) :oops: 8) because I am going to do it again (and again).

When I got home and was talking to Zea about the whole day, I made an interesting assessment -When riding on the street I think I never ride more that 7-tenths, and usually below that. With her on the back probably never more than 6-tenths. And I felt good about that. (But I think the road conditions and hazards probably add 1- to 2-tenths, maybe more, because there is no big run-off area, there is other traffic, roadside furniture, etc.) On the track there were times when I was up at 9-tenths, but I was treating it as fun, learning day, so I reckon I was between 8- and 9-tenths all day. When I'm on the Fazer I'll do a some :twisted: 10-tenths stuff, but not on the FJR, I reckon.

So whens the next day - probably Monday 19 November. If we get a group of 10 we get a discount, so I'm working on it (we have 3 already). (And I'll have to polish the bike so it looks twinckly in the piccies)
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Hey David,

Looks like fun :)

I would be keen, BUT, how does it go insurance wise ?? I can't imagine it would be covered on the premis of a ride day at a race track..

Advanced motorcycle TRAINING perhaps... Will see whats in the fine print of my QBE policy...
so no one rides on the track in the wet huh...

i'd do a track day, but i just cant seem to justify the cost,distance and time. It still would have to be a saturday thing, punt down firday night and punt back home saturdaynight sundaymorning
I treat it as if I am uninsured. Really, the risk of doing damage is far less on the track than on the road. The risk factors are hugely reduced:

Firstly, everyone else is on a bike going the same way. No oncoming traffic, no dozy drivers in 4WD's, no people on 'phones, and everyone is bike-aware. No intersections to negotiate.

Second - every corner is wide open - you can see the entry, the middle, and the exit. No trees or barriers obstructing your view.

Third - everyone has the same instructions. Beginners group - no 'undertaking' (overtaking on the inside). You can only overtake around the outside of a corner, or down the straight. Now if anyone goes too fast around the outside of a corner, that is their decision.

Fourth - If you get to a corner too hot, the track is wide enough to brake hard for another 5 to 8 meters and still make the corner. Can't do that on any road I know. (I know. Never used a full 8 meters, but did use 3 or 4 extra once or twice).

5th - you can count on the surface and the traction. On the road every corner is potentially a new hazard (gravel, oil, surface breaking up, potholes, etc), but on the track, after one session, you can trust the surface.

The risk factor is totally controllable by the rider (except the risk of getting hit from behind, which is really small). Probably the biggest risk factor is guys braking too early for corners in front of you, but there is so much space you really should not get into this situation. There were three lowsides during the day, all in the more advanced group, and I called one of them before it happened. guys came onto the main straight together, and raced all the way down and into turn 1. I said to Matt with me: 'watch this, it has the potential for tears' and true enough one went down. Why? He just had to show his balls were bigger than the others guys. Sitting looking at his bike on it's side in a rented trailer to take it home, his balls probably felt pretty small.

I'm still grinning, but I was stiff and sore yesterday - about the same as I felt after a day kart-racing when out of condition.
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Thommo, they do run the track days (almost) no matter what. Only 4 cancelled in 4 years at Qld Raceway, and the one I was booked in was cancelled because there was standing water all over the place. Doing a day in the wet would probably teach me heaps.
Great fun, David! Looking good!!! :D

Another Ride/Track Day

Another Ride/Track Day scheduled for Monday 19 November, at Queensland Raceway. Lets see if we can get a few more FJR's out there :mrgreen:

If anyone is interested contact me for details of a group discount.
Another good day - must be the best way to spend a Monday, I think. :D It is getting pretty warm, these days, so careful management of fluids is essential to enjoy the day.
Still the fastest FJR at Qld Raceway:

Might have to 'pull' the FJR from track duties, and fire up the Fazer600 next time. I also think they are going to bump me out of the Red (beginners) group - they figure 2 days in that group is enough of me there :mrgreen:

And just another gratuitous piccie from last time. The pro photographer probably didn't get as many good shots this time, as there was a long delay in the morning (his best shooting time) due to a 2-bike crash. One rider hit the back of another - remember the lesson: in the early sessions, when braking, leave at least enough room on the outside for someone to go around you, 'cause as sure as nuts there is someone behind you who will brake deeper and later than you.
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Love the black. The FJR has a motor for the track doesn't it? The earth meets the footpegs a bit too soon is all. 8)
20V - you're right about the footpeg/tarmac interface, but the motor is a beauty.

BTW, there was a group of 5 of us that met there, and one of the guys was on this:

We had some fun, as he didn't want to exit the pits ahead of me. I figured it was because he didn't want to run the risk of being passed by a FJR. Well, one time he did come past me (my excuse - it was the warm up lap and I wasn't yet warm). He got away by about 100 to 200 metres in the next lap, then it took me about 6 to 7 laps to close up. The only way I could get by was under braking, and I guess I had more confidence in the FJR brakes than he had in his :twisted: :twisted: He didn't get by again all day, and not for want of trying :mrgreen: That back wheel can skip a little when pushing REAL HARD.

Now I've got no doubt that in the right hands the roles would absolutely be reversed, and I would see the Blackbird getting ever smaller as it outcornered me, but it was fun on the day.

I did 2 sessions with the GPS on the bike, with the track set-up set to take readings every 1 sec. I've just downloaded them and will have some fune trying to analyse them.
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Good work david, keep the opposition at bay. Nice pics.
Good to see you get a dry day to blow the cobwebs out of the beast and brain - it's been that bloody wet lately here in SE QLD I've forgotten what that big bright light in the sky is :wink: - (Says he with the dust on his clothes and fiercely sunburnt arms and legs after 3 days in the paddock / out of the workshop and office)

It'll be interesting to see what comes of the proposed motorsport complex planned for the Stapleton / Norwell area between the Gold Coast and Brisbane. While it's great to have the track at Willowbank, what I've learned of the planned future facilities should be very high standard and provide track day variety - depending on costs / access of course.
Next Track Day

Looking like it will be Monday 16 June for me. If anyone is interested in coming along, post here and lets coordinate so we can get a group discount. Usual cost is $125, but with a group of 6 or more I think it comes down to $100. I am sure I can rustle up another 3 or so from other sources.
Hi all. So far we have 3 probables for this date, so I will be contacting Champions Ride Days and setting up a Group for the day to get the group discount. We need 6 to get a discount from $125 down to $100. I'll be contacting them Friday (busy tomorrow) so you can contact them direct after that, say you are part of the Ulysses group, and claim the reduced price.
Another update - there is no longer a weekday group discount. They say that the price is already discounted to $125 (from $175) and that's fair enough. They have costs to cover. So just make your own booking if interested.

But the 16th June is confirmed, and another but, I think I am about to lose my place as the fastest FJR at Qld Raceway, because today we met Al and he is keen to come along. He has no hero pegs left, and half his footpegs are ground away (he used to race superbikes). Oh well, the self-given title was fun while it lasted :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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