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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey everyone,

I've been on the forum here for many years, but haven't been big on posting, and want to take this opportunity to try being a bit more active. I joined back in 2015 when I was initially daydreaming about owning a Daytona 675, and that dream was realized in August of that year, when I purchased a Tornado Red 2006 Daytona 675 that I affectionately named Emma. I had her for about 4 years, the last 6 months of which she was sitting without an engine. After ejecting large metal scraps through the sump, I purchased a used engine advertised as running from a seller on eBay, who sent me an engine with damage including a blown head gasket and internal rust, which I eventually resolved, but needless to say I was apprehensive to roll the dice on eBay again. You can read about her here if you'd like: My Experience with Emma, a 2006 Tornado Red Daytona 675

Anyways, in the time Emma was sitting without an engine, and after I had cleaned up the mess with the eBay seller, I decided the easiest way for me to get riding again was to shop for another bike, and I eventually stumbled upon this 2012 Daytona 675R that was a bit rough around the edges. She'd had a minor down on the left side and was repainted jet black after the accident, and still needed a good amount of love to be up to my standards (rashed stator cover and pegs, broken tail fairing mounting tab, leaking fork seal, tags back 2 years, and some other oddities). But, with a clean title, just 8K miles (only 500 from the then-owner), a solid test ride, and the lowest price I've heard of for a running 675R with a clean title, we made a deal. I had listened to the song, "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)", by Looking Glass on the way to go pick her up, so upon signing the paperwork, I gave her that name. She has been a project, but having many spare parts from my old D675, I was able to get her roadworthy in about a month, and to where she currently sits in less than a year. ~4700 miles later, she's up to date on maintenance, been to Chuckwalla 3 times, and I'm still in love with her! :)

As she sits now:









In track mode:







How she's looked in the past:













And how she looked the day I rode her home:





Mods:

Zero Gravity Corsa windscreen
TOR slip-on exhaust
Attack Performance Rear Sets (GP shift)
GB Racing case covers
GB Racing frame sliders
R&G carbon fiber tank sliders
TechSpec Snakeskin tank grips
APE race CCT
Competition Werkes fender eliminator
Ohlins 10 N/mm fork springs
CL XBK5 front brake pads
Renthal medium-compound grips
OER Ducati 848 brake lever
Clutch lever
Clip-ons
Bar-end mirror
Brake lever guard
6000K HIDs
Integrated LED taillight and LED under tail signals
Flush mount front signals
Dunlop Q4s - 120/70/17 front, 180/60/17 rear
Suspension tuned by AJ at Paradigm Racing
Subframe painted Candy Apple Red
Tail fairing and seat cowl repainted to match the rest of the bike
Decals

Parts I recycled from my old Daytona:

Gold DID 525 chain and sprockets (OE specs, lightly used)
OEM front brake rotors
OEM carbon fiber exhaust shroud (The one that came on the bike has a little damage)
Tail fairing and seat cowl
Frame sliders
Rear sets (then replaced them with Attacks)
Drilled handlebar tubes
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
And here's a few photos from Chuckwalla last month. I went back in January for the first time in nearly 3 years and am starting to get comfortable again.





 
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
So much for being more active on here, it's been nearly a year since I updated this thread.. 😅

So, Brandy is a full-time track bike now, and has been since September of last year. I've actually been prepping her to run in the upcoming CRA season at Buttonwillow Raceway that kicks off in June. Super excited for that!

As such, she's now dressed in the track fairings indefinitely, and I've made some other racetrack-oriented modifications:
  • Dunlop NTec slicks (KR448 front, KR451 rear)
  • Ferodo XRAC brake pads
  • Motul RBF 660 brake fluid
  • Kickstand delete
  • Safety wired per CRA requirements
  • Driven Racing fuel cap
  • Woodcraft keyswitch eliminator
I also set my all-time Buttonwillow Configuration 13 Clockwise PB of 1:59.85 last time out. For reference to my friends unfamiliar with the track, Buttonwillow's C13 is 2.68 miles in length.

Here are a few photos of how she stands today and how she's gotten around Buttonwillow over the past ~4 months -

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
As Brandy is now on full-time track duty, I've cycled through a couple Aprilia Tuono V4s over the past ~11 months for street riding, starting off with a 2017 RR which I replaced a few months ago with a 2017 Factory -

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I couldn't help but bring her with me to the track a couple times as well.. :)

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And here are a couple photos from last year at Chuckwalla on the Tuono RR -

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks! Gotta love the on-track photographers. My buddy took a few of those from the paddock area as well. All the high-def shots were CaliPhotography.

Honestly, I have noticed a small improvement after changing the fluid, but my brakes still fade pretty badly, which I'm confident is due to the master cylinder. I'm using the OEM Brembo master, and it honestly leaves a lot to be desired, especially compared to my Tuono's brakes (stock calipers, lines, and MC), which are incredible and running Motul's street-oriented fluid. The Daytona's brakes fade pretty bad after 4-5 flying laps, and fade a little extra in the third/fourth sector of the track, just after repeated hard braking. I had this issue before changing out the fluid as well, but it was more prevalent. I've been thinking about upgrading to the 19RCS Brembo master for a while now, but just haven't quite been ready to pull the trigger. We'll see how I'm feeling after my first race weekend!

Quality update, I wish there were more track photogs up in Ontario!

Can you talk about the differences you've found with the upgraded brake fluid? Does it change the feeling / properties much when braking?
 

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WOW. Man I wish I had the cajones to do a track day. Just got my Daytona, my first super sport bike, she joins my street triple 765 in the shed now
 

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WOW. Man I wish I had the cajones to do a track day. Just got my Daytona, my first super sport bike, she joins my street triple 765 in the shed now
It's not as intimidating as you're making it out to be in your head. The friendliest (generally speaking) people are at the track, you can push it to your or your bikes limits, there are no pedestrians or left hand turners, and there's no one there with a radar gun. You won't be the fastest guy out there, and no one cares. There's way more judgement and asshattery at coffee shops than the track. I have never in my life heard someone say they don't like the environment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Stan, I agree with Renboy. It's only as intimidating as you make it. If you go out in C Group/Beginner with most track day organizers, you'll be with many people running a pace maybe 20% above casual street riding. So long as you respect your bike and your limits, and make sure you aren't overstepping one or the other, you'll have one of the best days of your life. :)

You'll also meet some of the highest-quality, friendly people out there as well. No one goes to the track that isn't dedicated to the sport of motorcycling at some level, and willing to learn or share any experience they might have.

WOW. Man I wish I had the cajones to do a track day. Just got my Daytona, my first super sport bike, she joins my street triple 765 in the shed now
It's not as intimidating as you're making it out to be in your head. The friendliest (generally speaking) people are at the track, you can push it to your or your bikes limits, there are no pedestrians or left hand turners, and there's no one there with a radar gun. You won't be the fastest guy out there, and no one cares. There's way more judgement and asshattery at coffee shops than the track. I have never in my life heard someone say they don't like the environment.
 

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As Brandy is now on full-time track duty, I've cycled through a couple Aprilia Tuono V4s over the past ~11 months for street riding, starting off with a 2017 RR which I replaced a few months ago with a 2017 Factory -

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I couldn't help but bring her with me to the track a couple times as well.. :)

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And here are a couple photos from last year at Chuckwalla on the Tuono RR -

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Very nice! You have good taste in bikes Chad. My next bike will definitely be a Tuono Factory... I absolutely love them!

I also have met the coolest people at the track. Most of my current roster of friends is from the track...best place to ride your sportbike for sure.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Why thank you! I'd say you have fine taste in bikes as well! 🙂

You'll absolutely love the Tuono when you get it. Such an incredible machine! I thought the triple was the best sounding motorcycle engine, until I heard the V4. 🤤

Totally agree! I've made some awesome friends at the track. Nothing like a common passion to unite people!

Very nice! You have good taste in bikes Chad. My next bike will definitely be a Tuono Factory... I absolutely love them!

I also have met the coolest people at the track. Most of my current roster of friends is from the track...best place to ride your sportbike for sure.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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Stan, I agree with Renboy. It's only as intimidating as you make it. If you go out in C Group/Beginner with most track day organizers, you'll be with many people running a pace maybe 20% above casual street riding. So long as you respect your bike and your limits, and make sure you aren't overstepping one or the other, you'll have one of the best days of your life. :)

You'll also meet some of the highest-quality, friendly people out there as well. No one goes to the track that isn't dedicated to the sport of motorcycling at some level, and willing to learn or share any experience they might have.

Thanks man, i really am looking forward to my first track day in September.

Side note, are you like 6'10"? That bike looks like a little tykes toy under you hahaha
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Good! Im sure you'll enjoy it. Also, I'm 6'3".
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Time for an update! I started racing!

Back in June, I completed a New Racer Orientation (NRO) with TrackDaz and the California RoadRace Association (CRA), a new club racing at Buttonwillow. I completed NRO on a Friday, qualified that Saturday, and raced that Sunday.

Friday was a tough one, as I found oil on the track in T5 during my out lap after lunch and went down. Someone else had hit it a couple minutes before me and also crashed, but by the time I saw the red flag it was too late. Turned out it was Rob Pierce from BrotoGP. It was an unfortunate way to meet, but he's a super cool dude! Generally, if you crash during NRS or NRO at any point during the day, you're disqualified and have to retake the class at a later date, but because oil was the cause, they told me I could continue if I could repair my bike. So, I scrambled around the pit trying to find an Attack footpeg and heim joint for my shift linkage, and thankfully Jarred at Motorsport Exotica had just those pieces. Got the bike back together and tech'd just in time for the mock race. Bike went into limp mode off the line, so I dropped like a stone to the back of the field. I cut the engine and coasted, restarting the bike a few seconds later, and took off with full power, but a CEL. Ended up making my way back through about half of the field over 3.75 laps and finished 9th (I think?), earning my certificate of completion and the ability to apply for their race license. We cleared the CEL at the end of the day, and it didn't return other than during the normal cluster sweep when turning it on.

Saturday went smoothly, qualifying with a 2:00.652, about 8 tenths off of my best lap on Buttonwillow #13 CW (2.68 miles), and starting 5th for both of my two races. There was a lot of traffic in my QP session, and a mistake coming into Bus Stop on my only clear lap killed my drive on exit, costing time.

Race day was rough. I entered Amateur Supersport 600 (similar to MotoAmerica Superstock rules) and Amateur Superbike 600 (like MotoAmerica Supersport rules, not sure why they named the classes this way). In SS600, I almost ran off trying to overtake 3 people into T4 in an effort to make up for a poor start, but ended up on the edge of the track and losing all positions I had gained, and then some. I then ran off a few corners after that (coming out of Bus Stop, for those familiar with the track). I rejoined in last, and after a few laps finally started to catch someone in my class. A poorly planned overtake on the front straight sent me off at T1, luckily upright. I rejoined the track when it was safe to do so and retired afterwards. SBK600 saw me make another poor start, dropping out of the top 10 by T1. I took back a few positions through Cotton Corners (Turns 4, 5, 6, and 7) but again ran off at Bus Stop. Determined to finish at least one race that weekend, I rejoined with that goal and a cooler head. I ended up taking back two positions by the time they red flagged the race when I was starting lap 7 of 8, which put me in 13th.

Big takeaways from this weekend were that while I have decent pace over the course of a lap, I needed to start thinking more strategically about where I could make smart passes, and I needed to get better at launching the bike. Here are a couple pics from that weekend (I'm #177, black bike):

Tire Sky Wheel Motorcycle helmet Automotive tire


Tire Wheel Land vehicle Helmet Sky


Tire Wheel Helmet Sports gear Motorcycle




I did a track day in July at Buttonwillow that was 104F and pretty miserable, and started exercising more in an effort to prepare for the second round of this 2-round exhibition season. That brought me to August, and things went much better. I also got a real number plate for the bike ahead of Round 2. 🙂

I ran the Friday track day before the race weekend to learn a new layout, Buttonwillow's Configuration 26 CCW (2.81 miles long). The track is ~80% the same as Config. 13, but excludes one Sweeper (Turn 15) and instead incorporates a technical corner (Star Mazda), and also removes Phil Hill (Turns 12-14) and utilizes the "Drag Strip" which is more than a quarter mile in length between the corners it connects and is in much, much worse shape that I think any actual drag strip is. 😂 Luckily, I was able to find the least bumpy line down it by the end of the day. This was also the first time I ever needed to use 5th or 6th gear, other than for cruising on the freeway way back when she was rocking street fairings, and I did need 6th! I was hitting the rev limiter in 5th over and over the first couple sessions. In addition to that, this was my first time running any CCW Buttonwillow configuration, so it really was like learning a new track, and I was finding all of the bumps I had become familiar with on corner exit while braking now, making things even more challenging. And beyond that, the Drag Strip sends you straight into Riverside (the fastest corner on the track) this way, so I was braking from 6th gear at 148-151mph, clicking down to 3rd, and entering around 100mph..😅 I ended the day on a 2:05.5, not having much context as to where I would stand the next day.

I finally started to find my bearings during practice on Saturday and dropped down to a low 2:02.418 in qualifying, which was good enough for 6th and 5th on the grid, respectively, for the Am Supersport 600 and Am Superbike 600. Unfortunately, during that afternoon's Clubman race which I did not participate in, two of the guys that were gridded ahead of me came together on track, crashing out and packing up that day.

So, I jumped up 2 positions ahead of each race on Sunday. Supersport was up first, and another re-grid on track put me up in 3rd. I got a much better launch, losing no positions off the line, but did drop to 4th on the exit of the first corner. Applying my learnings from June's round, I did not try to retaliate immediately, but instead waited to first see if I could just hang with them. The leader took off (and ended up winning by a 30-second margin! He was running top 6 Expert pace), but 2nd place, 3rd place and I were sticking together. On lap 2 we started catching the back of the Expert field (CRA does 2-wave starts, experts start first, then they drop the flag for Amateurs once the Expert field has cleared T1), and had to one by one work our way around a couple other riders. On lap 3, and after some careful planning, I was able to take 3rd from the guy who started 2nd, after he had lost that position to the guy that got me for 3rd on the prior lap. P2 was maybe 3-4 seconds ahead of me, so it was on! I pushed and was able to close down that gap over two laps, and eventually passed him on the brakes coming off of the Drag Strip and into Riverside (~100mph entry speed), getting on the brakes from 151mph just a fraction of a second after he did. I held for the next couple laps, but he got back by me when I made a mistake and ran a little wide with two corners to go, relegating me back to 3rd. We came across the line less than a quarter of a second apart, and I took my first trophy! This race was a blast. We were working our way through expert traffic through its course, and it was a great fight for 2nd. I also ran my best lap time of the weekend, a 1:59.751! Huge improvement on what was really a new track for me in just a few days!

SBK600 similarly saw a last minute re-grid with me on pole. I dropped to 2nd off the line, being overtaken by SS600's race winner, and hit one of the bumps pretty hard while braking for T1, pushing me out wide and costing me another 2 positions. I was able to take back 3rd just a few corners later. That put me back behind my rival from the previous race. I was able to get within a few bike lengths of him coming across the line to start lap 2, and nearly followed him off the track when he went into T1 too deep on the brakes, putting me back un in 2nd! As soon as I realized he was going off, I returned my focus to where I was going and made the corner, running only a little bit too far in on the brakes. Having experience in rejoining after running off, I figured I was pretty safe where I was, and slowed my pace just a bit to come across the line in 2nd. It also became apparent during this race that my clutch was fried, and looking back on the footage from the prior race, it was giving up a little bit there too. Nonetheless, this was a massive turnaround and improvement from my first weekend, and I couldn't be more proud! Here are a few pics from the SS600 race:

Exiting the final corner before making the overtake for 3rd on the brakes into T1:
Tire Wheel Sky Vehicle Automotive tire


Closing the gap to 2nd:
Tire Wheel Automotive tire Vehicle Superbike racing


In 2nd a couple laps later:
Tire Wheel Helmet Motorcycle helmet Motorcycle


The steed and the silverware!
Tire Wheel Fuel tank Sky Vehicle


A few weeks ago, I replaced the fried clutch pack with a new set of Barnett plates, along with a Yoyodyne slipper that I am anxious to test during my next day out. I was planning to race the last AFM round of the season next weekend, but a training accident on my supermoto last week still has my left shoulder feeling very sore, and my right thumb is pretty badly sprained, so I don't think I'll be making it out for that. However, I am planning on getting back on track for at least a couple days in November, and will be racing the CVMA round in December! Can't wait for my body to heal up so I can get back to it!
 
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That was a great read thanks Chad. Being that I'm now 50+ and recently retired from racing, I was riding along vicariously through every high and low. Well done on the podiums. The low points are good for character building and how you learn what not to do. Racing is going to see your track skills and lap times improve way more than any amount of track days will. It sounds like you've already learned that it's not just about being fast. It's you against the track.
Congratulations on becoming a racer and welcome to the addiction. Winners are grinners haha.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
That was a great read thanks Chad. Being that I'm now 50+ and recently retired from racing, I was riding along vicariously through every high and low. Well done on the podiums. The low points are good for character building and how you learn what not to do. Racing is going to see your track skills and lap times improve way more than any amount of track days will. It sounds like you've already learned that it's not just about being fast. It's you against the track.
Congratulations on becoming a racer and welcome to the addiction. Winners are grinners haha.
Glad you enjoyed and hope it brought back some fond memories from your racing career. 🙂

It's a roller coaster ride for sure, and I'm really glad I've been able to learn from each of those lows. Makes for a good weekend whether you're on the box or in dead last! So true about shaving time too. a 3-second improvement in a day is something that would be extremely difficult to do during a track day. Can't wait to turn some times on the normal configuration at Buttonwillow now that I've taken steps forward, and at Chuckwalla. The last time I was out there in January I was running mid 2:04s. Thinking I'll likely be well under the 2-minute mark.

Thank you! Hoping I'll be widening my grin after a few more rounds while on the top step in one of the Am races before going for a white plate. One can dream! 😁
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Congrats! Looks like you had a blast. This just makes me want to go racing even more....!
Thank you! It was indeed, and is very addicting

If you’re thinking about it, I would highly recommend giving it a shot! It’s easiest and quickest way to drop your lap times and improve your skills.
 
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