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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
..was amazing!!! I'm hooked.

I was in the novice group at my local track (LLandow), basically an oval with some kinks in it. My first run was a complete eye opener, like learning to ride all over again.

The bike and tires were superb through the corners and I ended up scraping my toe sliders a few times by the end. No tank grips on the bike so didn't try to get my knee down as I was holding on for dear life! :D

Thing is I was getting held up most of the time in the corners but then struggled to overtake the jap bikes in the straights. If I was in front they couldn't catch me as the 848 just seemed to hold corner speed much better. The only option was to outbrake them at the end of the straights (which again the bike could do very easily).

So I'm left thinking my bike might be a little slow to pick up speed mid-rev range.

Is this to be expected for the 848, or can it be remedied? Dyno/remap or a gearing change maybe?

Or am I just getting the gear selection wrong?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
On my bike the sweet spot is about 7-9k. But I found it a very small window to work with on the track. I'm not accustomed to changing gear mid corner and was desperate not to hit the limiter while cranked over so was often lower than 7k on exit which meant the bike was losing pace on the straights. The track was so short that by the time it hit the sweet spot it was time to brake.

I'm sure a lot of it is rider error, but if I could get a bit more out of the bike in the 5-7k range it would help a lot for a track noob like me.

Would changing the sprockets help?
 

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What Japanese bikes were you having difficulty with. Sprockets help for sure. Made a nice difference on my r6.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Most were track bikes, and I couldn't really tell, except they weren't Ducs ;) The one guy I got pally with had a kawasaki 600 track bike. Again couldn't catch him, but he was a good rider. The others didn't seem as good and most were easy to catch and overtake in corners but on the straights...nope.

My mate has a street triple and I had noticed that it picks up a lot quicker than my bike from low speed. Once I'm into higher revs I can catch up.

Will look into a sprocket change - what would you suggest?
 

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Just take your time, it was your first track day on it and they are a little different to ride. You will get faster but it's the mid corner stability that I like on the DUC.

Gearing is subjective you can simply go down one tooth size on the front to try it, but I use stock gearing on my 1098 on the track. Where I ride it just seems in the right gear on most corners.
 

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I wouldn't do anything to the bike immediately outside of a decent suspension set up. By that I mean, the correct springs and proper sag numbers. There are plenty of mods for that bike, but as a new rider to the track I would take your time to learn what the Evo can do well and what it needs help with. Ducs for the most part usually have a great drive out of corners due to the torque that the twin makes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just take your time, it was your first track day on it and they are a little different to ride. You will get faster but it's the mid corner stability that I like on the DUC.
I concur :) I was amazed how rock solid the bike was mid corner. It was effortless once tipped over. If I was more experienced I could have overtaken most of the faster jap bikes on the corners. It was the novice group so our lines were unpredictable, wasn't safe.

Will try sprocket after next track day if its no better.

I wouldn't do anything to the bike immediately outside of a decent suspension set up. By that I mean, the correct springs and proper sag numbers. There are plenty of mods for that bike, but as a new rider to the track I would take your time to learn what the Evo can do well and what it needs help with. Ducs for the most part usually have a great drive out of corners due to the torque that the twin makes.
Haven't had a full setup with sag done yet, but did have it given a good base setting (preload, reb & comp) by a local race shop. I don't recall having any issues with the suspension, though I did have a bit of a moment when the rear broke away mid corner - it was more likely me coming off the throttle, I scraped my toe slider and it gave me a bit of a scare. This is the first time getting the bike to the edge of the tyre so I have nothing to gauge how far is safe to go.

I think it was probably 90% rider inexperience: wrong line, wrong gear, wrong speed, bad timing, not looking in the right place etc

I was trying out different tactics though, eg braking or not braking when setting up for entry. I thought braking and a sharper turn in was actually faster but the other riders were telling me not to brake and just roll off the throttle.

Here's my tyres after. I'm no expert but does the 'sand dune' rippling suggest the suspension was basically OK?



 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Tires look fine. Don't spend any money on changing the bike just yet....fine tune the suspension for your body weight and save the money for trackdays. Seat time is far more valuable than new sprockets....
That sounds like good advice, thanks :)

At the trackday they had a suspension specialist who for £50 will tune your bike after every session all day until you're happy with it. I paid £40 for a one off basic setup that didn't involve me even sitting on the bike so £50 sounds a good deal. Hopefully there will be something similar at the next venue.
 

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I concur :) I was amazed how rock solid the bike was mid corner. It was effortless once tipped over. If I was more experienced I could have overtaken most of the faster jap bikes on the corners. It was the novice group so our lines were unpredictable, wasn't safe.



Haven't had a full setup with sag done yet, but did have it given a good base setting (preload, reb & comp) by a local race shop.
Glad you had such a great time and that you had an uneventful day.

Couple of things, 1) don't let new/slower riders fool you into thinking the other bikes (Jap bikes as you put it) are any worse than your bike. I can show you novice (Yello plate) racers who will run circles around any bike with their mere 70 hp Suzuki SV650..and I am not even talking about the white plate experts , that's a whole other story.. The BEST part about our sport is the in 99.9% of situations, the RIDER makes the difference.. equipment only goes so far.. and that's a GOOD thing.. That's why so many of us love this sport

2ndly, get a proper SAG and base set up done as soon as possible. You don't want to make "habits" on your track bike that are based on incorrect suspension settings.. You will be surprised at how adaptable even average track riders are to imperfections in geometry. You don't want to get used to the wrong base setting..plyus the better setting will make you go just as fast with far less work..thats when you know that you are going in the right direction (suspension wise)

Good luck and be safe
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Glad you had such a great time and that you had an uneventful day.

Couple of things, 1) don't let new/slower riders fool you into thinking the other bikes (Jap bikes as you put it) are any worse than your bike. I can show you novice (Yello plate) racers who will run circles around any bike with their mere 70 hp Suzuki SV650..and I am not even talking about the white plate experts , that's a whole other story.. The BEST part about our sport is the in 99.9% of situations, the RIDER makes the difference.. equipment only goes so far.. and that's a GOOD thing.. That's why so many of us love this sport
The instructor in the fast group, which had various litre bikes including a 1000RR, was absolutely blazing, he was killing everyone...on an R6!!

My observation about the other bikes being 'slow' in the corners was more to highlight my surprise at not being able to catch them on the straights. But yeah, I think it was the riders, not the bikes that were slow and it was probably my poor corner exit technique that was the problem. But I love to learn and seeing incremental improvement is a buzz.

2ndly, get a proper SAG and base set up done as soon as possible. You don't want to make "habits" on your track bike that are based on incorrect suspension settings.. You will be surprised at how adaptable even average track riders are to imperfections in geometry. You don't want to get used to the wrong base setting..plyus the better setting will make you go just as fast with far less work..thats when you know that you are going in the right direction (suspension wise)

Good luck and be safe
Will do :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Increasing corner speed combined with stronger corner exits are your solution.

Any chance the org has a variation of a 'track school' for those who want a structured learning day w/on track instruction to go with classroom theory?
No but there's Ron Haslam race school here in the UK, you use their bikes (fireblades). There's also California Superbike School, but its pricey.

Next time I'll follow the instructors and try to learn their technique.
 

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No but there's Ron Haslam race school here in the UK, you use their bikes (fireblades). There's also California Superbike School, but its pricey.

Next time I'll follow the instructors and try to learn their technique.
I can vouch for all 4 levels of CSS. Can't imagine I'd have the skillset I have today without proper education. Price a bit more manageable when you bring your own bike instead of renting theirs.

Next td ask if the control riders are available to help. Most of the time if the group they are riding in isn't too big they are more than happy to either show you decent lines or tail you to see what yours look like or if they see any potential issues which may hinder your riding. :)
 
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