I'll bump this thread up since I started it and since I can't think of anything else but racing
Got out on the track this past Saturday at Inde Motorsports Ranch (Willcox, AZ) for my last pre-season track day. Had the goal of testing out my new setup and getting comfortable with it, and I believe I did!
So first off, here's the new stuff I was testing out -- modified stock triples that were 37.5mm offset before and are now 28mm after the mod; 675R Brembo front MC; new SES steering stop; and JHS oil cooler. I was also supposed to be testing out some new CRG levers that I got from TJ, but after fussing with them for a couple hours the night before the track day, I wound up having to put my Ebay levers back on there due to the standard length CRGs being too long to fit inside my lever guards. I was bummed about that, but TJ is gonna exchange them for the shorties, no problem, so I should have that sorted by the time I get back on the track in two weeks time (2 days of on-track instruction at Arroyo, where I'll be racing this season starting next month). Coincidentally, the Ebay levers didn't give me any problems that I can contribute directly to the levers with 100% certainty, but I wasn't really thrilled with my front brake feel, it was more spongy than I'm happy with. So once I get the good CRGs on there I'll know if it's the MC or if it was just those cheap levers.
I tend to base my performance and progress off of the superbike track record for a given track -- for instance, at Chuckwalla the CCW lap record set by an AMA guy on an AMA bike is 1:46.3. At Arroyo I'll be comparing to a MotoGP rider on a borrowed ASMA Superbike, lap record is 1:05.99. So here at IMR, the lap record is a 1:46.5 set a few years back by an AMA rider on an AMA bike. With that said, I'm quite happy with the 2:02.2 that I hit towards the end of the day considering it's the first time I've ever been to this track, and my D212GPs already had a race weekend plus about 140 miles of track day use on them! And I just haven't yet been able to match my race pace and intensity on a track day -- the competition and the adrenaline really brings it out of me, not to mention I'm that much more willing in an actual race to wring the bike out a little more whereas on this track day I didn't shift above 13,000 at any point. It's worth mentioning also that I was physically completely freakin smoked by this last session of the day -- this was my 6th 30 minute session of the day, and because I'm really focusing on keeping my grip light after making my steering input, my legs were doing WAY more of the work than I'm used to. So that combined with the long sessions and lots of track time left my legs literally shaking just trying to press my gas pedal in my truck leaving the track at the end of the day!
For anyone that can make it out to IMR in Willcox, I HIGHLY recommend it -- what a fun track! 2.75 miles claimed (though my lap timer consistently showed 2.25), but it's got 21 turns, many of which are blind over the crest of hills. No kidding, there's probably 5 blind turns out here, it's got everything a track could throw at you really with a nice looong straight of just under a half mile I believe.
Anyways, I'll be sticking with the D212s until Dunlop runs out of them -- I could move up to slicks because slicks are allowed even in the Superstock races, but everything I've read says that the UK tires simply give you way more life than the US tires do. Plus at this point I'm on my 4th or 5th set, so I've gotten used to them. I haven't been confident enough to go all the way down the 17 psi hot recommendation with the rear yet though, I've been running 19 so far, but considering how slippy I was getting by the end of the day I'm definitely going to saddle up and try the lower pressure out next time to see if that affects the slipping. But honestly, these 212s slip very predictably, which tends to be the big strength of Dunlop tires I think. Steering was quite a bit slower with this new shorter offset, but I think I'm going to raise the forks from flush where they are now, maybe start with 4-5mm at first to see how that goes. The 212s are a very round profile, so they transition slower than most race tires do but I like the predictability of it. I'm learning that going fast on the track is all about confidence and predictability!
How's everyone else getting on with their race season prep?
Here's me and the crew, I'm the guy still wearing street clothes and that's my wife and kiddos (Boston Terriers) in the trailer trying to stay out of the wind!