First Trackday on the GSXR750K2 and beyond

So to my first Trackday on the GSXR. I had not done a huge amount in preparation for this outing. I got some Bridgestone BT016Pro tyres as they were cheap and had good reviews, and i always used to be a Bridgestone man. Every set of tyres I bought in the past has been Bridgestone, if I was just changing one I would usually match up to the existing tyre on the bike. I had done some road miles to get the tyre bedded in as I did not fancy scrubbing in the tyre at Cadwell!!!! On the road I had seemed to gel with the bike and I went well on it, though the gear change was a little stiff after I had had to change 2nd and 6th gear in the gearbox due to a bent shift fork.

At the first Trackday i got on OK but I really struggled to move around the bike, this was probably a combination of leathers that didn’t fit very well, the body is too short and the legs are short and tight!, and very high footpegs. I managed to hustle it around the track but I really couldn’t hang off the bike and I never got my knee down (my new favourite thing to do, sad but true) I seemed to be lapping around the 2:00 minute which is worse than on my ZX6!!! I put this down to the “uncomfortable” feeling I got on the bike. Overall I did enjoy the day but it was a little tarnished by my slower pace and feel on the bike.

In an attempt to make the bike fit me better I fabricated up some simple brackets that moved the footpegs back 1/2 and inch and down 1 inch. It was amazing what a difference one inch makes!!! I was much more comfortable on the bike and could hang off really well and the knee was going down right left and centre….. well that was a lie as I was still struggling with right hand bends, even on the road I can generally get my knee down on any of my bikes on a left hand bend but even on the track I really struggle on right hand bends ( I think I have touched down twice on a right hand bend on the road and never on the track) I am not 100% sure why this is, maybe it is the worry about oncoming traffic on the road or that I had a slipped disc in my back a few years ago which caused some nerve damage on my right hand side meaning I am not quite upto 100% on that side I don’t really know. So I was hooning around the track getting my knee down on Coppice (a very scary (in a good way) 90mph+ left hand bend) once or twice, the Gooseneck (a twiddly left which feels so sharp after the unrelenting right hand Chris’ Curve) occasionally and every lap at Mansfields ( a 90 degree bend that opens out at the bottom of the hill from the Gooseneck

cadwellIt was getting to the end of the first session after lunch and I was getting better and better going around Mansfield, my new favourite bend. Then suddenly I was on my arse sliding along sat upright!!! As soon as I stopped moving I was up and ran to my bike to switch it off and see if it was OK, the bike was well onto the verge so it was safe to do this. The session got Red Flagged but had virtually finished anyway. Unfortunately the left-hand clip-on had snapped off otherwise I would have been able to bodge it back into shape and carry on riding though my arse was virtually hanging out my leathers. At the time I was convinced that my newly lowered pegs had gone down and levered the back wheel of the road thus reducing grip at the rear and that sliding away form me as I had caught the pegs lightly a couple of times in previous laps. I was totally uninjured not even a little bruise from the off, I was expecting to be stiff a couple of days after too but this didn’t happen either. I think this shows that i was hanging well off the bike and only fell downwards a few inches, otherwise I would of had a bruise. In hindsight I believe the accident was winding on too much power for the angle of dangle that the bike was at (As I mentioned above I was right over so it would not take much more power to unstick the rear wheel like I did) I stayed for the rest of the day watching Toby rip up the track, he is devilishly fast considering he has only been riding 3 years or so!! He was doing 1:46 laps of Cadwell which is fast on a road legal (with all the lights and such like still attached) Honda CBR600RR 2005. Toby gave me a lift home in his works van as it would have been difficult riding with the left hand clip on not attached to the bike, though i think I could have done it if I really needed to as the clutch lever still worked.

When I got home I assessed the damage and was surprised to realise that the GSXR had crashed very well. If I was going to be putting the bike back to 100% as new this is the list of bits that needed changing:

  • Left hand Faring panel – this had been severely scuffed and had warn through on the edge towards the back of the bike – I luckily found one matching on Ebay that was in fair condition for £30 posted, it needed a small split to be repaired but it did have a cut out for a crash bung in it which meant that I had to buy some (I wish I had done before now!!)
  • Left hand clip on had smashed off – I managed to get a brand new one on Ebay (New Old Stock) for £30
  • Left hand Mirror – Scuffed underneath but still 100% usable, can only see the scuff if you look right underneath it
  • Left hand footpeg – this was about an inch shorter than it was originally, I had one kicking around the garage so fitted that for free
  • Gear Change – this was a bit mangled it worked but the end was bent round a bit, and it was a bit worn away. I took the gear change form my Bandit and stuck it on, they are the same and got a fancy folding one for the Bandit.
  • Top Fairing – A section about 1 inch long behind the mirror mount had snapped off. I attached a new bit cut out of some old fairing panel that I had kicking around and plastic welded it onto the end. I then shaped it to match the other side and painted it. It is not as good as new but it would take a very keen eye to spot it
  • Rear Seat Unit – There was a crack in the rear seat unit, I plastic welded the crack and repainted it. The paint being rather fancy cost £47 and the stickers I needed were £60, the most expensive bit!!!
  • Screen – Part smashed off where the top fairing was broken. I happened to have 2 spare GSXR screens in the garage so I fitted one of those

Total price to get it back on the road to a standard that I would be happy with £167 which is not bad considering I was travelling at 40 to 50mph when I binned it!!!

As the GSXR was the only bike in my garage that was really track-able I had to use it again on the track as I had another Trackday booked. As at that time I thought the lower footpegs were my problem I removed my brackets and put the footpegs back to the standard height. Basically I had a very frustrating day. Once again I was not comfy and couldn’t really hang off the bike and I didn’t get my knee down all day. I enjoyed myself but not to the extent that I had in the past so at this point I thought the GSXR has to go….. sad I know but Trackdays are quite a bit about being happy in the ol’ noggin. So once the final bits and pieces on it have been sorted I’ll be putting it up for sale as my next Trackday bike is ready and sat in the garage!!!!

 

 

 

About The Author

Heef
Heef

Ambitious Amateur Mechanic, with a slight (OK not slight) Suzuki bias