Downgrade to regain confidence? - Suzuki GSX-R Motorcycle Forums Gixxer.com
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
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Downgrade to regain confidence?

Last year I did something stupid, I went and wrecked my new to me L3 750 a few weeks after buying it, it was during the first session of a trackday...

At least I was not the guy who wrecked the fastest, there was a guy that wrecked in the pits, so he didn't even made tit to the first session, LOL

Some background info, I've been doing trackdays for a long time, raced (with terrible results) a couple races 10 years ago, quit the track for several years and a couple years ago I got a L1 600. I was dragging knee and sliding the rear coming out of corners with the OEM BT016s, with Rosso Corsas I was able to hold my own in the A group. That L1 600 was slow as molasses, I'm convinced there was actually something wrong with it, so I upgraded to the L3 750, which I promptly wrecked...

I know exactly why I wrecked it. Cold track, cold street tires, I started riding too fast and didn't allow the tires to properly warm up. I can't blame the tires, bike or track, it was 100% my fault; on a slow corner the front end just let go without any warning.

But I didn't go back to the track in over a year...

Fast forward one year, and now I'm slow as f*ck! I could barely hold on mid pack in the B group and I'm running S20 Evos. I had ran that same track on the 600 before and I know I was way, WAY, slower on the 750. I just can't get myself to lean the bike comfortably; Its like if the bike just wouldn't lean anymore, but I know it would if I allowed it.

So I was thinking about two things:

1. Proper training.

2. Track bike.

I'm not made of money and my 750 is my "nice" bike, I ride it a lot on the street so I don't want to make it a dedicated track bike; But I don't want another repair bill like the last one either and street tupperware is expensive. Another thing is that save for the Hermanos Rodriguez racetrack (f1 racetrack), all other tracks are small and technical and some of the rider training also takes place in go kart tracks...

So that got me thinking of an SV650. I think that a cheaper bike will allow me to get past the price tag of the repairs, moreso as I can set it up as street legal track bike, hopefully that will allow me to work on my mental block.

Any thoughts?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 10:34 PM
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Re: Downgrade to regain confidence?

The sv650 was highly recommended for a track bike. Had a lot of people recommend them to me when I was looking for a track bike. You can find some pretty nice ones setup and ready to go. Sometimes I still consider getting one for the track. Even thought about getting one for racing

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 10:40 PM
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Re: Downgrade to regain confidence?

Although I haven't been afforded the opportunity to crash my bike (yet ), I think that would be a great step in the right direction. I know that I have so much more to learn that I'm going to end up picking up a 300 within the year solely for racing. I'm not ready to push my 600 near its' true limit just yet, not safely at least!

Take your time to gain your confidence back. You need to feel comfortable first and foremost! Go into it with the mentality to have fun and not to go out there and make leaps of progress (although we all want that deep down). If you keep that mindset, you'll be back up and running before you know it. Like you said already it's a mental block - you can become capable again. Rider training could prove to be very helpful to you as well. Look into it!

I hope this could be useful to you

The Great Banning of 2016 survivor.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 05:05 AM
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Re: Downgrade to regain confidence?

I would suggest a 300 honestly... It will force you to focus on holding corner speed, and braking only to set said corner speed as opposed to braking to control fear.

They are cheap, and they crash well if you do bin it.

Start slow. Trying to push yourself to go fast will only result in you riding scared, which won't end well for anyone.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-24-2017, 04:49 PM
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Re: Downgrade to regain confidence?

I recently signed up for an upcoming track day. I haven't been on a racetrack in about 10 years, and that was riding a supermoto. Haven't raced supermoto since around 2004. Haven't had my Humpy on a track since around 2003. I signed up for the intermediate class so I wouldn't have to worry about bringing my "A-game" to stay out of anyone's way, since I'm way out of shape.
I plan to ride the Humpy for a session or two to get it out of my system, and intend to ride my DR650 supermoto the rest of the day since it won't require as much effort, and I don't care so much if I wad it.
Having a track bike you're not emotionally invested in can be pretty liberating. Better yet, something that's cheap to fix (like a supermoto) keeps your mind off the risk.
Depending on where you intend to do your track days, a decent supermoto will be a lot of fun, be possibly cheaper to acquire, and tolerate falling over very well.
After roadracing, and a crash likely ending the day, I was jazzed that the biggest worry was getting to my YZ250 before it shut off.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-24-2017, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Downgrade to regain confidence?

The Ninja 300 is the first bike I considered, but Mexico is just effin weird; they are very expensive, for almost the same money I can get a Ninja 650 of the same year. The Ninja 650 doesn't seem to have that much support as a track bike...

And the SV650 are older, but only imported here officially for one year; they are hard to find and most of them are grey market basketcases. But I don't care if it is a grey market bike as far as the engine is solid and the frame is straight, which gives me a good capable platform that is also cheap. SV650 + race fairings + cartridge emulators and fork springs + revalved sv1000 shock + brake hoses + elbow grease / DIY to catch up in maintenance end ups being less than a bone stock Ninja 300 that I'd have to get track ready; the stock suspension of the Ninja won't be happy with my 200lbs.

However there is another bike that just blipped in my radar...

KTM RC390; for some reason they are not holding their resale value like the Ninjettes and the stock suspension I might be able to live with for a while.

Or just go with the Ninja 650? Honestly I can't get myself to go with the Ninjette if I'm going to spend the same money as for the 650; almost the same money to buy the bike and getting the suspension / bodywork will cost the same for either bike.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-24-2017, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Downgrade to regain confidence?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony D View Post
I would suggest a 300 honestly... It will force you to focus on holding corner speed, and braking only to set said corner speed as opposed to braking to control fear.

They are cheap, and they crash well if you do bin it.

Start slow. Trying to push yourself to go fast will only result in you riding scared, which won't end well for anyone.
I know its weird, but I struggle the most in slow corners; I dumped my 750 in the slowest corner of the track, the front just let go; it was the first session, the track was cold, the tires were cold, but what if... I leaned it too much for the speed I had? It's not the speed I'm afraid of, it's the lean; I feel that If I continue leaning the bike more it will suddenly let go (as it did), so I will do two things:

- Avoid leaning it.
- Get on the throttle to shift the weight to the rear.

I have this idea in my mind that if the bike starts to fall into the lean it means you're going too slow, so I'll add throttle, which in turn means less lean and running wide. Lately, after I realized this at the track day, I've been paying more attention to what I'm doing and I unconsciously fight the lean, so I'll try take the corner with only one hand on the bars and it's easier on right hand corners as I keep the throttle hand on the bar, this has helped me lean the bike more.

Honestly losing the front wheel like that really killed my confidence to lean it and on the front wheel to not slip.

Last edited by Süsser Tod; 04-24-2017 at 07:43 PM.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-25-2017, 05:04 AM
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Re: Downgrade to regain confidence?

Getting on the throttle mid-corner will unload the front end, leading to more crashes.

There were probably a lot of factors in your crash. Tire type? Tire pressure? Tire temp? Suspension settings? Mid-corner inputs?

Like I said in my above post, you need to go slow to go fast. Get a smaller-cc bike, and focus on riding to control speed, not riding to control fear.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-25-2017, 08:23 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Downgrade to regain confidence?

It was the OEM BT-016 at 30psi; track was about 12-14°C (53-55°F) and I never use tire warmers. Suspension settings were stock; I had just got the bike a month before, it was my first trackday on it. To make it worse I was still recovering from ventral hernia surgery, I had just been cleared to get back on the bike a week before... Never asked the surgeon if I could go do a trackday though.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-25-2017, 08:36 AM
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Re: Downgrade to regain confidence?

Probably just not enough heat in the tires. And those pressures are kinda low for street tires, even on the track.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-25-2017, 09:38 AM
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If you care about progressing and enjoying the track again, follow Anthony's advice. Applying his advice will make you reap the benefits. Ask me how I know

Those pressures are similar pressures that the Dunlop vendor recommended me running my Q3s at. They worked really well until my last TD when they became iffy on corner entry and exits. I dropped the pressures until they felt planted again. This accelerated tire wear and I made the move to DOT race tires for this year.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-27-2017, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Downgrade to regain confidence?

My plans for an SV650 track bike are going down the drain, all SV650s I've went to look are basketcases that have been rebuilt, poorly, at least once. I'm not looking for a pretty bike, but I want something straight.

Ninja 300 is a no-go for me, just a matter of principle. Wont pay more for a Ninja 300 than a 650, and believe or not, the 300s have crazy resale around here... Just found a nice ER-6N (naked Ninja 650) for Ninja 300 money, being a naked bike I wouldn't even bother with race fairings, just sliders and suspension.

So the options are KTM RC390 or Yamaha R3; I'm leaning torwards the KTM as it seems that it is better sorted out of the box, I might get away with only track fairings for a while. The R3 will require suspension before even attempting a trackday with my 95kg on board (205lbs or so?). On the other hand, it's a KTM and comes with KTM reliability (or Bajaj in this case?), KTM parts availability, etc...
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-27-2017, 02:36 PM
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Re: Downgrade to regain confidence?

Why not the Honda CBR300? That is a killer bike, and has set some lap records.

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-27-2017, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Downgrade to regain confidence?

No CBR 300 around here, we're only blessed with the Indian CBR250. Getting a gray market CBR300 would be way too expensive.

Edit: that guy is damn fast! Passing Ninjettes and RC390s left and right!

Last edited by Süsser Tod; 04-27-2017 at 03:05 PM.
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