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Author Topic: Something to bring up at the next rider's meeting  (Read 12810 times)

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spyderchick

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Re: Something to bring up at the next rider's meeting
« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2006, 09:29:46 am »
I am now going to get on a soapbox and make many enemies.  :preachon: Later these people may or may not thank me.

No one who has never turned a lap on the track has any business at all on a modern litre bike at a track day. No one. There have been three track day deaths this year. I know that at least one of them was riding a litre bike. Every track day organizer I've worked with has safety at the forefront of their program. However, as Chris said, this does not weed out the Darwin Award candidates. It doesn't in racing either, but there's an "understood" tighter structure. Not to mention that experts can and will bitch to the right people until the "issue" is dealt with.

I understand that as a business, track day organizers cannot turn away guys on litre bikes, it would be financial suicide. So here's my not-so-perfect idea.

If you show up with a litre bike and you are not known as an experienced rider by the coaches and staff, you ride Beginner. Exception: Expert licence with CCS ASRA WERA, etc. If you have an AM/Novice licence, you ride beginner. (this is the "maiking enemies" part) Why penalize everyone? Because people DIE. Period. So a vetting proccess is necessary. After an evaluation session, these riders can get placed properly. K3s newbie would never make it out of begginer until he gets an attitude adjustment. Guys who can ride should have no problem moving up to the next levels offerd by the track day for the rest of the day(s).

Yes, guys can get killed on  smaller displacement machines, but the attitude of some riders about litre bikes is the issue, and you need to weed out the guys with a chip on their shoulder.

For example, the modern 600 behaves more like a 750 or 1000 of 10 or so years ago, with better technology in the frame suspension and tires. Litre bikes are like souped superbikes of a decade ago, again with all of the advances thrown in. These are the kind of machines that only world class racers could get their hands on "way back". Now you have green novices who hold an probationary operators permit that's still wet able to purchase one of these monsters. Then they decide they want to "learn" during a trackday, but close their minds to the possibility of actually absorbing some of what good experienced riders want to teach them.

The other class of Litre madness is the mid-life crisis guys. These guys tend to buy the most high powered bike they can afford, most likey the Hyabusa. :rollseyes: We all know how appropriate that 1300cc monster is for the street or the track. Mind you, these are the guys who rode Honda CL350s in highschool and college. No clue.

So yeah, I think the process of weeding out potential problems this way allows trackday orgs to control a potential problem while still allowing the patron a little bit of glory. And hopefully, it also gives them an additional opportunity to educate those that wish to learn. Let's face it, bikes are just about one of the biggest pleasures we know of, let's spread the love while keeping 'em safe and in one piece.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2006, 09:36:15 am by spyderchick »
Alexa Krueger
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Re: Something to bring up at the next rider's meeting
« Reply #16 on: July 17, 2006, 01:09:37 pm »
Well, this guy made it out of novice in the crash truck.  We never would have promoted him to intermediate.  Litterbikes (because their parts usually wind up littering an impact zone....) are fine in careful hands.  I've had students with one year of riding experience and the Mid Lifers with the new toy come through my classes, and we've taught many of them to ride quickly and safely.  Some have gone on to race as well.  If the rider shows up with a dose of respect and a willingness to learn, their new litterbike probably won't spit them off.  It's the Kamakazi pilots that really scare me.
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spyderchick

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Re: Something to bring up at the next rider's meeting
« Reply #17 on: July 17, 2006, 01:51:06 pm »
Yeah, but you and I both know that starting on something a little more managable is a better learning tool. Sometimes common sense is the scarcest when it's needed most.  :ahhh: ::)
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Woofentino Pugrossi

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Re: Something to bring up at the next rider's meeting
« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2006, 02:04:33 pm »
No one who has never turned a lap on the track has any business at all on a modern litre bike at a track day. No one. There have been three track day deaths this year. I know that at least one of them was riding a litre bike. Every track day organizer I've worked with has safety at the forefront of their program. However, as Chris said, this does not weed out the Darwin Award candidates. It doesn't in racing either, but there's an "understood" tighter structure. Not to mention that experts can and will bitch to the right people until the "issue" is dealt with.

I understand that as a business, track day organizers cannot turn away guys on litre bikes, it would be financial suicide. So here's my not-so-perfect idea.

If you show up with a litre bike and you are not known as an experienced rider by the coaches and staff, you ride Beginner. Exception: Expert licence with CCS ASRA WERA, etc. If you have an AM/Novice licence, you ride beginner. (this is the "maiking enemies" part) Why penalize everyone? Because people DIE. Period.

Not that I dont agree with ya Alexa, but trackdays are full of STREET BIKES, not racebikes. They use what they own for street riding normally. Not everyone can afford a streetbike and a track only bike.

As for putting am/novice race licesne holders in beginners, well intermediate would be better. expert license holders should be able to start in advance groups.

More than likely the goofball Chris dealt with probably bought that litterbike (that is just a great word:biggrin:) for his first bike. The kd crashing at the track may have been the best thing for the kid since he probably would had done that on the street sooner or later and bought it there.

Personally I wish I had found a GS500, Ex500 or FZR400 when I started racing instead of the F2. Wanted a lightweight bike, but the F2 was a deal that was too good to pass on.
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Re: Something to bring up at the next rider's meeting
« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2006, 02:14:20 pm »
In GTO at BHF on Saturday, I watched an AM on a relatively new 1000 crash 3 times (that I saw) and re-enter the race...  Shouldn't we have a 'strike' system?

There was a waving flag as I approached T1.  I round T1 to see the cloud of dust as this person re-entered the track, only to blow the bus-stop and go off and fall down there too...  The next time I lapped him/her (2 laps later I think?) s/he was laying down in T6...
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Re: Something to bring up at the next rider's meeting
« Reply #20 on: July 17, 2006, 02:22:21 pm »
If its the bike I'm thinking you are referring to, yeah he should had been pulled. It looked like the heat was seriously affecting him. Problem with a 'strike system' is a rider could had been forced off and the corner didnt see the force off part. Being forced off should count as a 'strike'.
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Burt Munro

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Re: Something to bring up at the next rider's meeting
« Reply #21 on: July 17, 2006, 02:26:31 pm »
Very good points Alexa and Chris.  

Seems like every time I've riden with a local group that likes to find country roads that are fun to ride fast, I've had a guy say to me that  he'd be able to keep up with the leaders if he was on a 1000 instead of a 600.   He can't understand that the only place he's losing the pace is on the corners!

Although people buy liter bikes for a variety of reasons, there looks to be a large number who show up at tracks with a "Pit Bull" mentality - the only good dog (bike) is the one that can rip your arm off on command and gets lots of oohs and ahhs in the process.  The dog (bike) may be a complete pussy cat, but you just know in the back of your mind that he's capable of going from 0 - 100 in an instant.

I still keep thinking about the guy that I was standing next to at the gate at Gingerman last July.  He had ridden his shiny new, street stock R-1 to the track to do the Learning Curves race school.  I joked with him that he was taking a big chance riding his bike to the track instead of trailering it.  He flat out told me not to worry, he'd be riding it home.  I laughed and reminded him that he didn't have control over the other riders who may be in over their heads.

From the first laps that the school got on the track calls starting coming in from the various corners about the guy on shiny new R-1.  "Make sure the instructors know this guy is an accident waiting to happen."  We got the word to Brian and the guy seemed to understand for the next couple of track sessions.

Now were down to the school's mock race.   Shiny R-1 boy immediately proves he has forgotten anything he learned in the school.  The vision of that $5000 purse that Learning Curves offers to the winner of the mock race was too tempting.  What?  You're kidding me....  there isn't a big prize to the winner?  I know SOMEBODY told this kid there was money to be won!

Within 3 laps he had overcooked turn 1 and cartwheeled his bike to turn 2.  No race license.  Luckily no serious injuries.  A now totalled, once shiny new  R-1.  No way to get home, 60 miles away.

Maybe we should let Darwin has his way and allow the gene pool to be cleansed of these mutants!
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Re: Something to bring up at the next rider's meeting
« Reply #22 on: July 17, 2006, 02:32:17 pm »
In GTO at BHF on Saturday, I watched an AM on a relatively new 1000 crash 3 times (that I saw) and re-enter the race...  Shouldn't we have a 'strike' system?

There was a waving flag as I approached T1.  I round T1 to see the cloud of dust as this person re-entered the track, only to blow the bus-stop and go off and fall down there too...  The next time I lapped him/her (2 laps later I think?) s/he was laying down in T6...

Jeff,

I talked to the guy as he was pulling off the track at Hot Pit.  Told him it was probably better that he voluntarily pulled off because he was going to be black flagged anyway.   Not sure if it's true, but I heard that Dave in Control was afraid he didn't have enough log sheets to keep track of the guy's incidents!
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spyderchick

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Re: Something to bring up at the next rider's meeting
« Reply #23 on: July 17, 2006, 02:33:27 pm »
Not that I dont agree with ya Alexa, but trackdays are full of STREET BIKES, not racebikes. They use what they own for street riding normally. Not everyone can afford a streetbike and a track only bike.

As for putting am/novice race licesne holders in beginners, well intermediate would be better. expert license holders should be able to start in advance groups.

Well, they can bring their litre street bike, just understand that this is not a toy to be played with in inexperienced hands. So the vetting process would be to make sure they ride where they belong.

And as for amateur racers, they can go to Learning Curves or another school, get their race license and never have turned a lap in a race situation. So you could potentially wind up with this scenario:
* Rider who goes and buys a litre bike
* Rides it on the street for a few months
* Decides that to be cool they wants to race
* Goes to a licensing clinic, never races
* Obtains race license
* Signs up for track day, want to be ut in advanced based on said license
* Chaos insues

Most track day organizers need to perserve their business by being proactive when potential problems arise. Escalating costs, both with the track and insurance companies could potentially ruin a business if there are too many negative incidents. Then it's happened in the past where the media gets a hold of info (generally incorrect info), and runs one of their famous "witch hunt" stories during sweeps week and you have a track losing business and community support.

So a few riders are inconvenienced by a rule. Life sucks because we have rules. 

Burt saw your post as I was writing this, there is a classic case in point. As much as we'd like Darwin to have his way, I'd rather they learn at some point from us expereinced folk and live to spread the gospel, and bring their friends to join the sport. However, that might be too pie-in-the-sky. Darwin Award winners will continue to stalk our sport unless we can intervene.
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cbirk

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Re: Something to bring up at the next rider's meeting
« Reply #24 on: July 17, 2006, 05:48:00 pm »
This is what happens when a sport grows as fast as this one has been growing. Everyone wants a bike these days and everyone thinks they can go fast w/out experience...Some peoples brains are just numb to logic, though no matter what reason its sad to see anyone get hurt or k.i.a..





« Last Edit: July 17, 2006, 05:53:34 pm by yzfkneedragger »

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Re: Something to bring up at the next rider's meeting
« Reply #25 on: July 17, 2006, 08:04:28 pm »
Getting ahead of any learning curve in this sport spells disaster sometimes-Newbies in any "extreme sport" need a lil lookin after! Great ideas/posts Chris and Spyderone! John in NJ

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Re: Something to bring up at the next rider's meeting
« Reply #26 on: July 17, 2006, 09:06:21 pm »
So you could potentially wind up with this scenario:
* Rider who goes and buys a litre bike
* Rides it on the street for a few months
* Decides that to be cool they wants to race
* Goes to a licensing clinic, never races
* Obtains race license
* Signs up for track day, want to be ut in advanced based on said license
* Chaos insues

$125 for a race license just to be able to ride a faster track day group?  Nah.  Can't see it.  A bigger problem is the guys who sign up a group or two low because the group they wanted is sold out.  Now they become bullys, and a danger to everyone.  An intermediate rider trying to remake the novice group to his liking is a very bad situation, but it has surely happened.  People have been thrown out for it as well.
Most AM racers should start as intermediate riders anyhow.  If they can run expert times, then thyey should be advanced.
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Re: Something to bring up at the next rider's meeting
« Reply #27 on: July 18, 2006, 12:01:54 am »
Somewhere in the whining about liter bikes you all forgot that the cause of the two fatalities was a newbie apparently crossing the track to exit improperly.  Haven't we all seen that problem before? Now you're going to solve it with new rules that have nothing to do with the problem. 

Now it's my turn to get on the soapbox...  :preachon:
Quit picking on "mid life" crisis themes.  I get it all the time and I'm sooooo bloody tired of hearing it.  I've been riding and screwing around on every type of bike under the sun since I was 13 years old.  I've always ridden for the love of it.  Now, just because I'm older people tell me I'm having a mid life crisis?  If I were having a mid life crisis I'd be riding a 24 yr old blonde with a firm @%& and great $&$# and an insatiable appetite for more than pizza.  That's a mid life crisis. 

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Re: Something to bring up at the next rider's meeting
« Reply #28 on: July 18, 2006, 01:06:31 am »
Now you're going to solve it with new rules that have nothing to do with the problem. 

Yeah, this thread did kinda turn a corner.  And let's keep in mind that one of the two fatalities was an experienced racer who got caught up in a newbie's mistake.  I guess we started on the 1000cc theme because the guys who usually make the most boneheaded mistakes at a trackday usually started the chain of judgement errors by buying a litterbike.




Quit picking on me.   I've been screwing since I was 13 years old.
Me too!  But even then I was having a mid life crisis.  You see, everyone predicted that I'd never see thirty, so my life at age 13 was already essentially half over.  I just wanted to make sure I got my share of mid life crisis before it was too late!  Who'd have thought I'd last THIS LONG?




 Now, just because I'm older people tell me I'm having a mid life crisis?  If I were having a mid life crisis I'd be riding a 24 yr old blonde with a firm @%& and great $&$# and an insatiable appetite for more than pizza.  That's a mid life crisis. 

Don, when you find a woman like that who wants you, call me!  I'll be your wingman and ride shotgun on her friends! :thumb:
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HAWK

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Re: Something to bring up at the next rider's meeting
« Reply #29 on: July 18, 2006, 01:49:29 am »
It seems that it is getting too easy to get on the track, be it racing or trackdays. As was pointed out quite correctly by Alexa, anyone can buy a sport bike and go to learning curves and buy a racing license. I attended learning curves last year after attending 5 trackdays and wondered if I was ready or not. I found out at the classroom session that half of my classmates had never turned a wheel on a race track. Chris you point out the riders that show up and demand to be moved into the next group, clearly things have gotten to the point that people seem to feel some entitlement. Maybe some lessons could be learned from the progressive licensing of 16-18 year olds (cars not motorcycles) that is saving lives on the streets.

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