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Old 05-20-2010, 02:52 PM   #11
Kevin_Duke
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I'm with Ken.

I'll probably never do a 'hot lap.'

But, it was an interesting article!
Every MC enthusiast should get out to the track at least once. Otherwise, you have no idea what you're missing! Dragstrips count, but only half points.
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Old 05-20-2010, 03:23 PM   #12
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I'm sure it can be a very cool job, but keep in mind that being required to ride a bike is quite a bit different than choosing to ride at your convenience.

Penisi is one cool dude. Smart, jovial and a stud on a bike, despite being at an age when the rest of us are slowing down.
And having a last name like "Penisi" is a definite plus. Especially if you can back it up.
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Old 05-20-2010, 06:35 PM   #13
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Every MC enthusiast should get out to the track at least once. Otherwise, you have no idea what you're missing! Dragstrips count, but only half points.
I got to do a couple 'parade laps' at Mid-Ohio two years ago.

The first ones were when my buddy and I had just rolled in from about 7 hours enroute, and we almost literally ran into a young lady with release forms on a clipboard.

She looked at us and said, "Are you guys here for the parade laps?" We looked at each other and said, "Sure, we are!"

There I was, cranking around the track in the middle of a herd (?) of Laverda's, with full panniers and tankbag; a tent, groundpad and a sleeping bag strapped to the back.

What a hoot!

I'd love to do a school, like Schwantz' at Barber. Maybe someday...
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Old 05-21-2010, 08:36 AM   #14
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I got to do a couple 'parade laps' at Mid-Ohio two years ago.

The first ones were when my buddy and I had just rolled in from about 7 hours enroute, and we almost literally ran into a young lady with release forms on a clipboard.

She looked at us and said, "Are you guys here for the parade laps?" We looked at each other and said, "Sure, we are!"

There I was, cranking around the track in the middle of a herd (?) of Laverda's, with full panniers and tankbag; a tent, groundpad and a sleeping bag strapped to the back.

What a hoot!

I'd love to do a school, like Schwantz' at Barber. Maybe someday...
Great story! Mladin had it easy, not having to carry a tent on his Yosh bike!

I highly recommend doing what it takes to get on a real trackday, preferably a school. It likely will be a highlight of your riding career.
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Old 05-22-2010, 06:53 AM   #15
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Doesn't mean you can't enjoy the scintillating prose of my article...
Intresting read Kevin, do they regularly not allow you to mess with the tire pressures or set up when you attend these test rides. How many
journalist are in attendance on a regular basis?

Man Assen, thats just epic without a doubt. Youve probably had a chance to ride some amazing venues. I am jealous. Did the tires ever start to move under you at all before they allowed you to lower the pressures? I would love to see shots of the tires after they been used or maybe I should say abused. Thanks Kevin.
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Old 05-22-2010, 10:40 AM   #16
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Intresting read Kevin, do they regularly not allow you to mess with the tire pressures or set up when you attend these test rides. How many
journalist are in attendance on a regular basis?

Man Assen, thats just epic without a doubt. Youve probably had a chance to ride some amazing venues. I am jealous. Did the tires ever start to move under you at all before they allowed you to lower the pressures? I would love to see shots of the tires after they been used or maybe I should say abused. Thanks Kevin.
At tire intros, they usually set pressures to what's optimum for the venue. This time they wanted to run OEM-recommended pressures to show how versatile the DRCs are. But after a session, they were up well into the 40 psi range, which is too much for optimum track grip.

After learning Assen a bit, we could push enough to feel the tires moving under us, and from then on I asked Pirellli's techs to drop pressures to something more track-appropriate, a 30/32 combo, which hooked up much better.

Tires were changed at lunchtime, so we didn't really get to see any degradation at all from the tires. But from what I could tell, the DRCs were holding up very well, and I predict good longevity for a tire with this much grip.

There were 5 just American journos at the launch, a world group that numbered around 40.
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Old 05-22-2010, 11:19 AM   #17
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Man Assen, thats just epic without a doubt. Youve probably had a chance to ride some amazing venues.
Timely that you bring up this topic. After riding Assen, I came up with a list of racetracks I've had the pleasure of sampling. I'm now up to about 35, which brings up the question of my favorites. They're nearly impossible to rank, but here's my top 5 American and world tracks I've been on, in no definitive order.

World
- Nurburgring Nordschleife: Miles and miles of amazement; BMW rider school.
- Portimao: The most amazing elevation changes; S1000RR intro, Metzeler M5 intro.
- Autopolis: Kawi's test track which has a rare combo of being technically challenging yet flowing, ZX-6R intro.
- Ascari: A private Spanish circuit with a variety of elevation swoops; Ducati Streetfighter launch.
- Assen: The most entertaining flat track I've ridden. Who knew a flat-as-a-pancake track could be so fun?! Its historic past added to its allure.

Special award to the Isle of Man: I didn't race on it, but I got to ride it during the TT2000 edition when Joey Dunlop won for the last time before he died. Outside of towns, there are no speed limits. An insane place to race, which makes it all the more special.

America
- Barber: Like a four-fifths Portimao. Very fun, and the museum is not to be missed! ZX-6R launch.
- Laguna: No surprise here. Been there several times, most recently at the CBR1000RR and R6 launches.
- Road America: Fast and fun, with enough hills thrown in to spice it up. Raced a Buell there last year in AMA MotoGT competition.
- Infineon: First rode on it when it was called Sears Point, and I've been on it a handful of other times. The first third of it is as good as any circuit in the world.
- Thunderhill: A few years ago I said this place only needed a re-pave to make this list, but I haven't been on it since it was repaved! Must remedy this.

Special award to Daytona: It doesn't make the top-5 list, but it sure is an awesome and special place. Anyone's first trip up on the banking is an indelible experience.

Also, two notable domestic venues missing from my resume are Road Atlanta and Mid-Ohio. Those could shuffle my above deck.

Similarly, I haven't yet ridden Phillip Island or Mugello, and I expect those to bump into my top-5 world list.

Hope you guys enjoyed this!

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Old 05-22-2010, 07:13 PM   #18
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Every MC enthusiast should get out to the track at least once. Otherwise, you have no idea what you're missing! Dragstrips count, but only half points.
Palm Beach International Raceway, formerly the iconic "Moroso" racetrack, is doing "Motorcycle Fridays" now. Apparently, for $75, you can do laps. There are probably requirements for leather suits, and stuff like oil pans and safety wires on the bike. I guess I could put some frame sliders on the Vee and have a go at it.
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Old 05-22-2010, 11:24 PM   #19
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Palm Beach International Raceway, formerly the iconic "Moroso" racetrack, is doing "Motorcycle Fridays" now. Apparently, for $75, you can do laps. There are probably requirements for leather suits, and stuff like oil pans and safety wires on the bike. I guess I could put some frame sliders on the Vee and have a go at it.
I did a Reg Pridmore CLASS school at Infineon on an R1150GS and first-gen Triumph Tiger. Ended up bumped to the fastest group!

I highly recommend giving it a go. I'll bet no oil pan or safety wire required, but you'll probably need a suit of some kind. Some clubs allow an Aerostich and similar. Let us know how it goes! I'll bet you'll love it.
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Old 05-24-2010, 05:57 AM   #20
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BTW Mr. Duke, did you notice anything unusual as you would transition from the harder center compound to the softer side compounds?
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