[Pics] Went down at track day... - TwoWheelForum: Motorcycle and Sportbike forums
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-01-2006, 10:37 PM Thread Starter
 
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Angry [Pics] Went down at track day...

As they always say at the morning riders' meeting, it's not if you go down, but when. As it turned out, last week was my time.

It was my 3rd track day, and the second one to run in the counter-clockwise (standard) direction at Hallett. By now I had learned the course and had a lot of track time. I could tell that I was immediately improving on my best times (as the time sheets would later prove), because I was a gear higher or else hitting the rev limiter all over the track. So far, so good.

Since rolling on more throttle can make for an uncomfortable position on the grip, I apparently choked up on it a bit (as I would soon come to the frightening realization) while running down the back stretch on the way to the carousel. The problem was that when I thought I went to zero throttle entering the turn, I was actually at more like 10%. This was enough to run me wide as I entered too hot.

Hindsight 20/20, I should have spun my head like a barn owl, stared down the main straight, and order up more lean angle (which is usually not in short supply on a Buell). Instead I looked at the transition from pavement to grass and target fixation took over. Convinced I was headed for the runoff, I decided I didn't want to hit it leaned over and stood the bike up. (This all happened very quickly!) I have seen people run off in the grass and back onto the track all the time, so I had a misconception that this is a simple and safe thing to do. As I would find out, nothing could have been further from the truth.

The runoff was anything but smooth. Pretty sure I caught air once or twice on my Firebolt turned Ulysses. Then target fixation decided to screw with me some more, as it looked like the tire wall was approaching very quickly. At this point I remember thinking "slow down," but I don't recall hitting the front brake. Regardless, I am pretty sure that is what I did because the bike dumped on its left side and we slid next to each other for about 10 feet or so.

I immediately got up and waved to the corner worker to let them know that I was OK and not to dispatch the meat wagon. Then I paced around cursing to myself until a voice in my head yelled, "HEY, IDIOT!!! SHUT OFF THE BIKE!!!" I think it had already stalled, but I ran over and shut it off. I figured if I tried to pick it up in my shaken state, I would throw it down on the right side like an idiot, so I waited for the wrecker, who came over right away.

Once he got me back to my little home on the paddock, I was able to survey the damage:
  • Left peg snapped off.
  • Shift linkage broken.
  • Fairing clip damaged.
  • Right thumb hurts.
  • 1 vacation day and at least $150 wasted. (Or so I thought at the time. Read on...)

I headed over to the garage where the guys from Cycle Connection Buell were making adjustments to their XBRR race bike before the next session. Well, guess what? They hooked me up with the parts I needed, and I was back on the track when the 3rd session started.

I tell you, if those guys had not been there, my riding confidence would have been tanked for months. Instead I was able to get back on that horse and ride it, and felt great about everything that happened by the end of the day.

I was riding injured, so my lap times suffered, but I was consistent and only 2 seconds off my previous pace, so I was happy with that considering. My thumb was pretty sore by the end of the day, and very swollen the next. I hyperextended it on the right grip when I hit the ground. (An injury commonly called Skier's Thumb.) I got it x-rayed, and it will be okay, but it is still sore and lacking a little movement. Other than that, I have 2 buises on my left side, and a small tweak in my upper back. My gear held up great though, and, like the 'Bolt, got more dirty than damaged.

OK, now on with the pics as promised...

This is the replacement peg. It is actually a passenger peg, which is why it is missing the feeler. Also, you can see John's business card sticking out, which was used as a shim. I plan to replace them with some sort of rearsets. Guess now that she is no longer pristine stock, it's time to mod her, eh?


Here is the left side. This pic was taken at the track, so most of what you see is dirt. Everything should buff out okay. Can you imagine the damage if I was on a plastic wrapped Jap bike? Buells take damage quite well! I will probably add some frame pucks while I am at it.


Here is the swingarm. Same story there.


This was the worst of it. The piece that holds the fairing on cracked and had to be taped. The problem is that it is a magnesium part, but I have a friend who may be able to weld it for me. I also had to zip-tie the relay box to the bike and the cover broke off. (It looks like I am missing a relay, but that is a blank.)


Here is the engine case after we fixed the shift linkage. More dirt. Glad I went down on soft grass and not pavement!


Here is damage that makes me smile. My rear tire:


Between the spook factor and riding with minor injuries, I think I held my own out there.





And, yes, I am looking forward to my next track day!
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-01-2006, 10:49 PM
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Shiot happens. Glad your ok and was able to get back in the saddle so soon.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-02-2006, 01:05 AM
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What about that frame damage?




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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-02-2006, 01:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gas Man View Post
What about that frame damage?
I guess we will have to wait till he gets it cleaned up. Frame pucks may hid any superficial scratches.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-02-2006, 01:12 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gas Man View Post
What about that frame damage?
Merely cosmetic, and should buff out. (Just need to be careful to avoid heat, or it will discolor.)
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-02-2006, 01:15 AM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by jeeps84 View Post
I guess we will have to wait till he gets it cleaned up. Frame pucks may hid any superficial scratches.
You are right. And this is kind of ridiculous, but the schedules between my friend who tows my bike to the track and me have been conflicting all week, so I still have not gotten her home yet to clean her up and see what is damage and what is just dirt.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-02-2006, 02:32 AM
 
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Good story. Taking the runofff isn't a bad idea. That's why it's there. I realize things happen in a blink. I'm pretty sure if a hairy situation comes up like that for me, I will try to lean more. I kinda got use to doing it. But come panic time, who knows? Better you went down in grass though, for sure. Bike doesn't look bad at all. Props to those guys who hooked it up.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-02-2006, 04:13 AM
 
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Glad you and the bike are both okay. It's good that you got back out there, but you recognize that as well. It's also good that you know what went wrong. It's amazing how we can feel like we're running too hot for a turn, but all we really need to do is look where we want to go and lean the bike over more. I highly recommend those frame pucks, especially since the fuel is in your frame. My brother has an XB12R as well and he's modded it quite a bit. Frame pucks, new exhaust, race ECM and many, many other mods. Again, glad you're okay. Bikes can be fixed or replaced.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-02-2006, 05:52 AM
 
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Wow man. Thats great that those guys could help you out and you got back out that day. I'm sure that did wonders for getting back on after the crash. Damage doesn't look bad at all! Glad you're okay.



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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-02-2006, 09:21 AM
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wow, , glad you shared, it helped me put my near miss in perspective!!! I am so glad you are okay though!!
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-02-2006, 09:22 AM
 
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glad to hear you're ok dude, sorry to hear about the damage to the Bolt though.

I visited a trackday yesterday (just to watch again) and one of the guys I was hanging with from WOS ended up highsiding in a turn. I don't know what the bike damage is but he broke his wrist, separated his shoulder, and really had his clock cleaned if you know what I mean. So things can be much worse and anytime you can jump up from a wreck you're lucky.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-02-2006, 02:04 PM
 
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Glad to hear you're ok.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-04-2006, 10:17 AM
 
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Arrow

Sweet bike, glad it only minor damage, and your ok...

clean 'er and get back to riding...
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