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Old August 6th, 2019, 04:16 AM   #1
Koala
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Palmer 8-4 and 8-5-19

Calling @csmith12 if it wasn't for you, I wouldn't be here!

It's been awhile since I have given an update....I am currently in Ware, MA roughly 10 minutes from Palmer Motorsports. I had the pleasure of spending the weekend with @adouglas, @Ducati999 and his wife, and many other awesome people.

It started out a bit nerve wracking for me, my heart was about to pound out of my chest while waiting in line for follow the leader with red group. I was behind the control rider for the first lap, and then got left behind on the second! I finished the lap by myself and came in. The guy handling pit out had seen what happened and was kind enough to set me up with another control rider for the next session.

I have to say it felt great to be able to sharpen my riding skills without having to worry about cars and stop signs/traffic lights, just ride and feel the bike and what I'm doing. Yes, I was very slow the first day getting used to the track and the uphill/downhill, but I progressively picked up my pace. My best decision was to participate in the evening track walk at the end of Sunday. Having Tony from TTD point out the line, and what to do and not do helped so much on Monday. I found I was doing some of the things he said not to do, and that I was already doing other things that he was saying we should do in other areas.

My main thing I had to work on monday was on a couple of the right hand curves (it's always right handers that are my issue ) I found that the steering was feeling much harder than it should be. My left arm was tensing up and fighting my right arm while countersteering. I had to consciously tell myself to loosen up the left arm while turning. It made those right curves it happened on a lil wobbly at first, but I got better with it.

I had a lot of fun, I now know what 75mph feels like (never been on the interstate, and speed limits in my area are super low) and also how great the lil ninja feels in the higher rpms. I had been used to keeping her around 8,000 on the street, no higher than 9. I didn't hit redline this weekend, but she was between 11 and 12,000 on the front straight in 4th gear. After taking Adouglas advice to keep her in third and see how it felt, the straight was the only time I shifted up past it. His advice helped a ton.

I am now officially a track addict. I don't care how long the drive is, I love Palmer and Tony's Track Days so much that I am going to try to hit it once a year.

pics and video to come!
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Old August 6th, 2019, 04:41 AM   #2
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Takara



tires after first day, finally getting scrubbed in!







all the bikes together

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Old August 6th, 2019, 05:46 AM   #3
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https://youtu.be/7hEBgQXAkMk

last session of Monday. I left off the very beginning since there was a yellow group crash right as we were lining up, and we had to wait a bit.
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Old August 6th, 2019, 06:04 AM   #4
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how my tires looked at the end of Monday







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Old August 6th, 2019, 11:46 PM   #5
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So much awesome!
Welcome to the addiction.
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Old August 8th, 2019, 04:41 PM   #6
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Old August 8th, 2019, 05:09 PM   #7
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any words of wisdom, sensei?

I got lots of great critique and advice from Ant and Mr. Fist, but would love your input as well.

Ant mentioned he had talked to you, and knowing I still have the free track day, I might be able to make it out this season to Mid O, but it will probably be next year. I changed jobs a few months ago, so that left me tight money wise, and the company didn't hit the new goals for our profit sharing bonuses...so no extra money at the moment. I would still prefer you to be there when I go anyways.
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Old August 9th, 2019, 01:41 AM   #8
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Awesome pics are on the way!!!! Arcy Kusari of On Track Media has put up the Sunday shots, I'm just waiting for Monday so I can buy and share

He made a total newb look fabulous
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Old August 9th, 2019, 10:26 AM   #9
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Old August 11th, 2019, 09:35 AM   #10
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I got pics!!!! I ordered all of them since it was my first time on the track. I wish there were more, but that is my fault due to not riding all the sessions. I did Sunday off of one hour of sleep. I rode the 3 before lunch, took adouglas' advice and skipped the after lunch, and went for the 2 pm session. My exhaustion hit me while out on that one, so I made the decision to end it for the day. With all the crashes that happened throughout the day, I did not want to add another to the list. I got 5 in on Monday, but a worsening migraine kept me out of the very last one.

So, here we go

My favorite of the group, Sunday some time before lunch. note to self - don't put hair in low bun, leaving it in the low pony gives the illusion of speed





note from ducati999 - starting to get crossed up. I noticed this in the pics as well, adding to the list to work on lol



from Monday's follow the leader session





@Ducati999 close inspection of my pics leads me to believe that the damage to the left frame slider and fairing most likely happened when I dropped her a few months ago. It could have been on the way up to you guys, but I doubt it. I'm shocked I didn't notice it before.
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Old August 11th, 2019, 10:11 AM   #11
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Get that butt moving!
Side to side...get it over to the edge of the seat.
Take the curb feelers off and use your toes to feel that edge. If you put the tip of the peg under the ball of your foot. You can rotate your knee out easier.
Otherwise looking great! Right turns are easy to get crossed up in. It’s an uneasy feeling turning that way.
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Old August 11th, 2019, 10:35 AM   #12
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Get that butt moving!
Side to side...get it over to the edge of the seat.
Take the curb feelers off and use your toes to feel that edge. If you put the tip of the peg under the ball of your foot. You can rotate your knee out easier.
Otherwise looking great! Right turns are easy to get crossed up in. Itís an uneasy feeling turning that way.
I didn't want to get into the moving my butt over this weekend for a couple reasons. I was kinda slidy on the bike in my leathers, and where the stock pegs are I can't get a proper lock on the bike. Stomp grips and rear sets will be on for next track day!
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Old August 11th, 2019, 10:45 AM   #13
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I didn't want to get into the moving my butt over this weekend for a couple reasons. I was kinda slidy on the bike in my leathers, and where the stock pegs are I can't get a proper lock on the bike. Stomp grips and rear sets will be on for next track day!
Atleast get your chest down, drop your inside elbow and kiss the mirror
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Old August 11th, 2019, 10:51 AM   #14
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Atleast get your chest down, drop your inside elbow and kiss the mirror
That was ducati999's suggestion, pretty much. @adouglas @Ducati999 setting my mental reminder for next track day #TOT
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Old August 11th, 2019, 11:02 AM   #15
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Good!
I’m not a fan of stopgrip. Look for the stuff made from jetski deck foam (Hydroturf). It’s more pliable and seems to grip leather really well.

TOT....took me a min, but thats funny! And acurate
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Old August 11th, 2019, 11:08 AM   #16
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Good!
Iím not a fan of stopgrip. Look for the stuff made from jetski deck foam (Hydroturf). Itís more pliable and seems to grip leather really well.

TOT....took me a min, but thats funny! And acurate
you got it quicker than I did lol! I kept seeing it on the TTD Facebook group, and finally had to ask
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Old August 11th, 2019, 08:53 PM   #17
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Nice!!!
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Old August 12th, 2019, 07:07 AM   #18
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That was ducati999's suggestion, pretty much. @adouglas @Ducati999 setting my mental reminder for next track day #TOT
You may find that vision limits you there. You may have noticed that I wear contacts while riding. That's specifically because I can't look through my glasses when I'm in the proper track riding position.

You're sitting bolt-upright on that bike, and that's the only reason you can see because you've got your helmet rotated forward a bit AND you're wearing sunglasses.

Your eyes should be (at most) centered in the helmet eyeport. You should be able to look as far up as you can without the helmet or glasses frames getting in the way.

Consider getting a tinted shield so the glasses frames arent a factor.

When you put your bike on the stand and get TOT to practice body position have your helmet and sunglasses on. Take note of what you can see when you're down in the position. Can you look ahead to the horizon or are you forced to look down at the ground in front of the bike? Note that if you obstruct your upward vision you have to crane your neck and you can only go so far because the back edge of your helmet hits your neck.

Other things I see in your shots: Your arms look like they might be a bit tense. Were you getting any arm fatigue? I think I mentioned this at the track... I struggled a lot at first with putting too much stress on my arms, which puts unwanted inputs into the bars, which upsets the chassis, which makes the bike unhappy, which makes you unhappy.

A big advantage of TOT is that you're supporting yourself with your core and your torso. Your arms can be very relaxed as a result.

Your lady bits are right up on the tank. That's going to limit your ability to get low. Try scooting your butt back. You need to be forward in the seat when you're at a stop to reach the ground but once you're riding you never need to be there. A good rule of thumb is a fist width between the tank and your crotch.

Picture a jockey riding a race horse. Very mobile, carrying weight with the legs rather than planting butt solidly in saddle. I never have a sore butt because I don't put too much weight on my a$$.


Re the helmet, observe:



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Old August 12th, 2019, 03:01 PM   #19
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I see what you are saying about my helmet. Normally before I go out, I check in my car window to make sure I haven't moved it too far down on my face. As for my sunglasses and sight, I never thought about it because it's never been an issue on my street rides.

No arm fatigue whatsoever. I did mention to Cassie on Monday morning that I had noticed on turn 4 and 9 that the steering seemed much more difficult than it should have been. I had made the connection on my own that my left arm was tensing up and I was fighting myself while trying to countersteer. Once I consciously started telling myself to loosen up that arm on those turns, it was better. In my last session video you can see the effect of this, especially on turn 9. I seem wobbly on the turn. that's because I was trying to get used to doing the turn while having no fight going on/keeping my left arm relaxed. I did not notice this during any of the left turns at all, my right arm stayed relaxed. Maybe I did have some overall tension throughout the weekend off and on, but never anything to where my arms were sore or tired.

I don't normally ride with me lady bits right up on the tank. Normally I am the way Chris taught me, I can put my fist between me and the tank. However, my leathers were making my bum slide any time I got on the throttle, so I scooted up so my legs could lock me on better as needed.

I've got in my notes, body position and staying loose up top are two of the many things for me to work on when I make it out next. I will be grabbing my helmet soon and checking out the sight with my glasses on in a bit
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Old August 12th, 2019, 03:32 PM   #20
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Hey, you're doing awesome for starting out! No need to rush and learn everything at once! Just relax and have fun! You'll improve without even trying! Especially with your awesome coaches. More videos!!!
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Old August 12th, 2019, 03:39 PM   #21
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Hey, you're doing awesome for starting out! No need to rush and learn everything at once! Just relax and have fun! You'll improve without even trying! Especially with your awesome coaches. More videos!!!
I'm a virgo. Two key traits of a virgo - we over analyze everything, and we are perfectionists. At Palmer I tried to tone that down and concentrate on a few things at a time. I think that worked, since I had a blast
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Old August 12th, 2019, 05:53 PM   #22
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At Palmer I tried to tone that down and concentrate on a few things at a time. I think that worked, since I had a blast
Keep doing that, once you have the basics down cold, then put on your perfectionist hat. To start out that way, slows down your initial growth.
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Old August 13th, 2019, 04:53 AM   #23
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The thing that struck me about your onboard video was how good your lines are for a novice rider and how smooth you are... I wasn't seeing or hearing a lot of mid-corner corrections. You're clearly focusing on important basics and that's the very best way to progress.

You can go a lot faster, everywhere. But that's as much about confidence as it is about motor skills. Something to think about as you advance. When you catch yourself thinking "gee, I didn't need to go that slow through there" instead of "crap, I blew that one" it's a sign that you've got the skill right and you have the ability to take it up a notch.

"Sneak up on fast" is a favorite little chestnut for me. Get the skills right and speed will happen all by itself. You've clearly got the right mindset to be a better rider. You think a lot about what you're doing and prepare. You're not just SENDING it, yo.

The trick is to pay attention to what's happening and know that you're ready to go faster.
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Old August 13th, 2019, 01:03 PM   #24
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I'm a virgo. Two key traits of a virgo - we over analyze everything, and we are perfectionists. At Palmer I tried to tone that down and concentrate on a few things at a time. I think that worked, since I had a blast
Heh, heh... I see... Very familiar with perfection as both my brothers are virgos!!! Hahhaahahh!!!
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Old August 13th, 2019, 06:13 PM   #25
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@Koala

I will review what can be seen and get back with you. Work has me pinned down and need time to think before opening my pie hole and say something I may have to correct later.

From what I can quickly scan in this thread thus far, looks like you got every penny's worth of fun, learning and friendship from your trip. And that is ALL that matters.

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Old August 14th, 2019, 02:42 AM   #26
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You can go a lot faster, everywhere. But that's as much about confidence as it is about motor skills. Something to think about as you advance. When you catch yourself thinking "gee, I didn't need to go that slow through there" instead of "crap, I blew that one" it's a sign that you've got the skill right and you have the ability to take it up a notch.

"Sneak up on fast" is a favorite little chestnut for me. Get the skills right and speed will happen all by itself. You've clearly got the right mindset to be a better rider. You think a lot about what you're doing and prepare. You're not just SENDING it, yo.

The trick is to pay attention to what's happening and know that you're ready to go faster.
After the last session I did on Monday, I am ready to go faster in several areas. As it was, it took me a bit to feel confident enough to pick up bits of speed throughout the day after what happened in turn 4 with me going so wide on Sunday. That was my one "oh, crap!" moment. I went into the turn faster than I had been, thinking I was ready, didn't turn in at the right spot, and as I told you and Ant, suddenly seeing green grass to the side of me and in front, having to yell in my head "turn turn turn turn turn!!!!!!!" Keeping my head cranked to the right to look through the turn and keeping the throttle steady while most likely having to fight my stiff left arm to steer to get through the turn with the grass looking so close, was quite the challenge!

Another thing I did throughout the weekend, I was not using the brakes at all. Just rolling off as needed. The only time I introduced a little bit of breaking was the one time in my second to last session where I decided to try and pick up more speed on the straight and bumped up to 5th gear. I want to go back to working on that since going into turn 1 that time I was wobbly and just not right. So, pick up more speed in the straight (since the fastest I went was 75ish in 4th), get the 2 downshifts cranked out quick and be settled in time to be smooth into turn 1 is the goal.

@csmith12 take your time lol. I've reviewed my last session a million times by now, and I see plenty of things I need to work on, but your advice will go a long way in helping me out. I know @adouglas and @Ducati999 helped a ton with their comments on what they saw while I was there and from looking at the video after.

This trip was worth every penny, and worth suffering through the dark, rainy, fog filled long trip home. The track day organization, @ttd, the friends I got to spend time with, the many new friends I made, and the track itself, made it worth it. I don't think I would have been able to push through the anxiety about tech, and going out for the first time (the near panic attack in line was not easy to talk myself down from) if not for having adouglas, Ducati999, and his wife there as support.
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Old August 14th, 2019, 08:17 AM   #27
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Something important to remember about Palmer that you won't find elsewhere (Mid-O, for instance) is that with the exception of Turn 9 (the super-cambered right-hand bowl) every one of he heavy braking zones is steep uphill. At the speed you were traveling it really is possible to stay off the brakes completely. You can even go faster without braking.

Learning to brake properly is a critical skill (says the guy who just busted his collarbone as the direct result of a braking error). It's also an amazing tool once you discover how to trail brake. One of the most eye-opening discoveries you'll make is how braking affects the chassis and handling. That only starts to make sense once you begin going fast enough for it to matter. As speeds increase, braking has an ever-increasing impact that goes far beyond just slowing the bike down. My crash happened not because I ran off or didn't slow enough... it happened because my braking error upset the chassis. If I'd braked correctly at the limit, I would have made the corner.

One of the Mid-O exercises -- and my favorite from my trip there -- is the No-Brake Drill. You ride laps without touching the brakes at all. It really teaches you how to be smooth and also opens your eyes to how the bike behaves differently in corners when you don't brake.

Read, learn, and think about how all this stuff fits together. Nothing is discrete.

(adouglas turns and walks into the sunset, softly singing "the foot bone's connected to the shin bone, the shin bone's connected to the knee bone....")
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Old August 15th, 2019, 02:44 AM   #28
Koala
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MOTM - May '18
@adouglas well said
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