Track Days 2016

Due to various reasons I didn’t manage to get out on track at all in 2015, something that I want to ensure does not happen in 2016.

One of the reasons for not hitting the track (maybe a bad choice of words) is that I sold my GSXR750 so didn’t have a suitable bike, the Aprilia RSV was sat in the garage but I couldn’t get it running to a stage that I would be happy taking it around the track. I think it is at that stage now, well after a little bit more fettling but not a lot.

Now R-bert has been talking about taking his SV650 and then his R1 to the track which had me thinking of differing ways to accompany him on his track visits. If he went with the R1 I would most definitely use the RSV or the Hayabusa…… (only joking, though I would love to take it round just for one session!!) but what to use if he goes on the SV. Originally I was going to be SV650 mounted too but I sold it as I was just a little too big for it (‘little’ lol) and its power (I thought).

R-bert, due to being out the Track Day habit, as he also missed a year with me,  is talking about going in the Novice group, I think he is definitely Intermediate standard like me but its all about being happy. So I would be joining him in the Novices which on the RSV I think I would be going a little too fast and would stick out like a sore thumb.

So I needed a bike that I could have fun on but would still have some go with me on it. In the garage as we speak I have a SV1000 Turbo (interesting on track but not helping me in this regard), Hayabusa (I would not beat my own lap record with this but I would bugger off on the straights!!!), Aprilia RSV (As mentioned above too sporty, good handling and good power) and my Bandit 1200……….

Well I can hustle my Bandit around and I think it handles acceptably, not too slow turning and doesn’t weave at speed so I think that is the way that I am going to go. The Bandit has already had some track ready prep (well it was all for me on the road but it’ll all help on the track!) these mods are, so for:

  1. Jack up plates on the footrests – Help with ground clearance
  2. TL1000 front brake calipers – The original brakes are OK but difficult to maintain in this OK state, these brakes are better overall
  3. Bendix Supersport Brake Pads – These are a great pad and work well with the brakes calipers on the bike
  4. Brembo Front Brake Master Cylinder – This is a great upgrade, it seems to work better overall and with the bleed nipple on the cylinder it is much easier to fully bleed and get that great solid brake lever feel that I like
  5. Renthal Handlebars – Not really a particular improvement to be honest, maybe a little lighter, but every little helps
  6. Hagon Rear Shock – This is a higher quality shock, that is in better condition than the original item would be in by now so the rear suspension is adequately damped and it has some adjustment that actually affects the bike if I need it
  7. Jack Up Dog Bones – The back of the bike is about 2″ higher than standard, this has three affects on the bike:
    • It speeds up the steering by steepening the steering head angle, this is a good thing
    • It gives more ground clearance, this also is a good thing
    • It makes the bike look good, not a really important thing for the track but you have to look good when you are on the track, there might be photographers around!!
  8. Progressive Fork Springs – These are stiffer than standard which is good for me as I am about as far from a average Japanese man that you can get, no comments about being nearer to the average Sumo wrestler!!!
  9. General Weight Reduction – I have took off various bits and bobs that is generally there for vibration damping or everyday use, the list includes:
    • Bar end weights
    • Fitted lighter weight Renthal Handlebars
    • Removed damper weight from under the tank
    • Removed the weights from under the footrests
    • The previous owner had fitted a full Acropovic exhaust system which must weigh a quarter of the standard system, so that is a great weight saving and a performance increase in one
    • Airbox removed and foam pod filters added, once again a slight weight improvement and a slight performance benefit.

The only things that I want to do to the bike before I take it on track is to lower the gearing a little to give it a little more zap, so probably one tooth of the front and fit either some crash bungs or crash bars, though I will be hoping not to use them!!!!

About The Author

Heef
Heef

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