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Re: [ST] Back from the track...

Sounds like you rode the wheels off your ST Matt. Once you hone your track skills some more on a Jap four, perhaps it will be time for a 675???
-----Original Message-----
From: Matthew Heyer <matthewheyer@xxxxxxxxx>
To: st@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Sat, 17 Jun 2006 17:54:50 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: [ST] Back from the track...

So I ran the snot out of the ST today up at Summit Point, WV raceway.  I took 
the past few days prepping the bike (no blinkers, mirrors, reflectors, "comfort" 
items, etc).  Trailered the bike up and ran 7 20-minute sessions.  Now the ST is 
a GREAT street bike, but I really found the limits of it today.  Was grinding 
bits like crazy, and even unweighted the bike getting on it hard out of a turn 
(setting up another rider to pass getting a better drive - I was leaned over, 
well off the bike, lots of weight on the inside foot peg, and trying to get on 
the gas and keep the bike turning).  Heard the rear end start to scream/screech 
(what a terrible sound), the rear started coming around...and some how I was 
able to recover with a dramatic almost highside, tank slapper and all, and a 
shot to the nuts to boot - ouch!  But I as able to stand it up, somehow stay on 
top/over/on the bike, let the bars do their crazy thing, run it into the grass, 
and safely brake off the track.
The instructors said my form and lines were good, and that the bike was on the 
edge (they could see many bit touching down through the corners).  They 
suggested that I get myself of real race bike to be able progress any further.  
So one of the control riders let me take out his fully track prepped R6 for the 
last session - all I can say is "WOW"!  Now this things was dyno tuned with tons 
of after market parts, and is mapped to run on race fuel (and was - what a 
smell!).  I had to re-learn all of my shift points, and the noise and feel of 
the 4-cylinder, and the noises the engine makes, but shifting that thing at 15k+ 
is really something else.  The front end gets light coming out of the corners at 
full throttle, and the shifts make the bars wiggle - I finally see why the 
really put steering dampers on bikes.  I got used to it, especially in one 
particular section where you are coming out of a full lean right turn, start to 
stand up and really get on the gas, and then there
 is a kink to the left - and right at the kink is where the bike needs to shift 
at 15.5k.  Again - all I can say is WOW!
I really think it was beneficial to run something like the ST, and truly find 
the bikes limits.  I think it really makes me appreciate the next level of bike, 
and understand the real differences (not just all the tech talk).
The ST is a great steed, and it is more than anyone can safely use on the road.  
For the track, the pegs are way too low (also ruined a new pair of boots with my 
feet that low - ground right through the tow slider and the sole after the 6 
sessions - 7th was on the R6, and I wasn't getting those aftermarket rearsets to 
touch down....).  I really did feel the weight of the bike in the turns too, and 
suspension short-comings, and some pretty bad brake fade by the end of the day.
Just to clarify, this is not an ST bash - for from it - finding the limits 
consistently turn after turn makes me realize how good the bike is.  Especially 
because the bike can still cover long miles in comfort with luggage.  I am 
rather just sharing my experience, and thoughts from it.  I am however looking 
at some track bikes this week (2001 R1, 2003 R6, 2002 GSX-R 750).  I will 
hopefully have one all set up for my return to the track in a few weeks (Pocono 
Raceway here I come - finally a track run counter-clockwise)
And in closing - man this sh!t is fun!!!  Everyone should do it, and it makes me 
re-evaluate road riding.  Oh yeah, and one last thing.  There was a guy from the 
Albany, NY running in the beginner group on a yellow RS.  Made the trip all the 
way down to run the two tracks at Summit Point.  Good thing - he saved my canopy 
when it tried to blow away during one of my sessions.  Really nice guy, but he 
had no idea what this site is!?!?!!
Matt Heyer
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