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Second Track Day

February 14, 2009

I’m Hooked!

A mere two weeks after my first track day ever, I decided to have another go.  Yep, they’re very, very addictive.

If you have a sportsbike, and haven’t done a track day, think carefully.  If you don’t do one – you’re missing out on your bike’s true potential.  If you do do one – you may have just started an expensive hobby!

This time, my mate Scott came with me.  We decided we’d ride down together, so met on the day, early (5:15am) at my place, had a couple of pieces of toast and some coffee, then hit the road.  A couple of hours later, we were filling up with fuel at the service station outside of Eastern Creek.

Scott (l) and Chris (r)

Scott (l) and Chris (r)

First impressions: there were a LOT of Ducatis there.  The local distributer was there, and offering minor mechanical advice and repairs, and I think they were showing off some of the new bikes out, such as the tasty 1098R.

The Multistrada

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Chris (r) and Scott (l)

Scott has a Multistrada 1000DS.  These are an unusual bike – extremely capable, easy to ride, fast, comfortable.  Scott sums it up as being a bike that does everything, but a bit of a “jack of all trades, master of none”.  I’ve ridden it, and would love to have one in the garage – perfect for tooling around town or heading out on a tour, and can do the odd track day as well.

Scott found that he was very quick around the back, tighter section of the track.  He complained that all of the good work that he put in around the back was put to waste on the long straight, as the slower riders with their more powerful bikes reeled him back in.  Still, he had a ball, as did I.  We both booked in to the “White” group – this is the slowest of the four groups.  I was starting to get the hang of it, and feeling a little more confident in the bike.  The buzz around the pits was electric – I guess so much adrenalin, and so much energy!

A gaggle of 1098s

A gaggle of 1098s

The 848

I couldn’t get over how “planted” this bike feels on the track.  Just straight out of the showroom, with no adjustments, no after market gear, nothing.  No, I nearly forgot.  Straight out of the showroom, I felt like the suspension was set for someone twice my weight.  On any bumps, I’d end up feeling like I was getting my kidneys punched.  So, at the first service, I asked the mechanic to back the rear preload off, and I did the same myself to the front at home.  Not really knowing what I was doing, mind you – just softening it up a little.  After this track day, however, I took it to a suspension guy in Sydney.

2nd track day, stock, stock, stock!

2nd track day, stock, stock, stock!

As you can see – still very much stock at this stage – in fact, completely stock.  Not even a tank protector at this stage.

The Long Ride Home

Once again, though – riding down (2.5 hours), then a track day made up of 6 x 20 minute sessions, then riding back home again, is a huge day!  We got home in the dark.  I was that sore (shoulders, thighs) that I took a couple of asprin, had a shower, and went straight to bed.  Slept for about ten hours straight, from memory!

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