Track Day, Discovery Channel and More of the Same...

Motorcycle.com Staff
by Motorcycle.com Staff
As everyone riding motorcycles in my vicinity (San Diego County) may be very well aware, the traffic and the reckless driving in the mountains - especially Mt. Palomar - has gotten totally out of hand! As a result, the cops are finally coming down hard on pretty much everyone on two wheels with a slightly sportier style of riding... they are not discriminating at all... which is somewhat unfair since it is such a small percentage of irresponsible numb-nuts that give the rest of us a bad rep...

Nonetheless... there are parties who view this subject from a slightly different -- more neutral -- angle and as a result may be able to help changing some of the public perception to the better, or at least show the world that not everyone on two wheels is a reckless hooligan!

The San Diegan Red Hot Riders had planned a track day at the Street of Willow on Monday, 8/22 and Discovery Channel had picked up the afore mentioned topic and found it interesting enough to show that quite a few riders actually take it to the track if they want to "let it fly"! and drive swiftly but responsibly on the streets...



They met with some of the club members on Saturday and rode the moutains and Mt. Palomar... and then showed up with a boatload of camera equipment and a great attitude at Willow Springs on Monday morning! We had the track the whole day and, since there where only about 20 riders, we decided to make it 1 hour sessions with a 15 minute break so Billy and his flag crew could get reasonable breaks as well... some arrangements where made and off we went!


Cameras where everywhere... they followed us while we were setting up, for tech inspection, while gearing up and on the track... there is going to be some cool footage, some of which will be seen on national TV in October... We had cameras mounted on the tail of a bike, on the tank of another and on the helmet of one rider... with that we got some very cool footage and some very nice perspective... they conducted interviews with some and just watched the conversations of others, and in all that, where trying to show that motorcycle riders are not just a bunch of ruthless idiots in general, but rather normal people with a passion and responsibility... and with the desire to go fast in a safe environment every now and then...


Now don't get me wrong... we will not be shown as the riders of the morale police... we made it clear that anyone of us had broken the law by riding faster than the speed limit, but we also made it clear that this only happens within rhyme and reason on the street and that the point should be made that is only a few who are excessively ruthless and cause accidents, injuries and major damage to themselves and - unfortunatley - to others!


The show will be aired on a Monday night, 9:00 PM in October sometimes... we don't know exactly when, but I would like to think that this is interesting enough for everyone to watch out for... also, I'll post the exact date, as soon as I know it...


Now, to me the whole event was cool for two reasons:


1) How often does one have a track day with beautiful warm weather, only 20 riders AND then have a professional camera team to create a ton of raw footage from every possible angle on top of it (and yes, we will get DVD's with the RAW footage from the team... WAY COOL)... and...


2) I finally had a chance to try my "new" bike (I had written an article about the switch from a Buell to a Ducati a few weeks ago) in an environment it was intended for...


And how much fun it was... it is always interesting and helpful to improve ones general skills as a rider when you spend a day here and there on a race track... if you have never done it... DO IT!


You can learn about and push/advance your limits in a controlled environment and you will learn how our bike responds in extreme situations which you can hardly re-create on an open road without pushing the limits to far and creating said danger and said perception of ruthlessness and recklessness... this knowledge will increase your riding skills and the controll you have over your bike in any environment and make you a better and safer rider...


That being said, I rigged my bike with a set of new Michelin Pilot Power tires and of I went... after taking it easy for a bit, I slowly gained trust in the tires and the bike and it started being "REAL" fun on the track... the DUC is a wonderful bike on the track and the combo of the bike and the tires made for easy learning about the limits for me... I pushed it to hard a few times, but with the way the tires let you now that you overdid it and the space the track gives you... it never became a problem to correct and stay on the pavement with the rubber side down.


I came away from the track day with some new friends, some new skills, new trust in my abilities (I have only been back to sportbiking for a bout 7 months... after a 20+ year hiatus) and some new video footage that will remind me of a great day, let me review the mistakes I made and keep me excited about sportbike riding in general!


As a bottom line, I do not regret switching from the Buell to the Duc... the Buell is a more versatile bike and by far the more comfortable bike (though I have made changes to correct that a lkittle)... but the Duc is just simply more exciting and gives me a more "secure" feeling when cornering fast. that may be subjective (after all, I paid a lot of money to get that feeling) but it is the way I see it right now... yet, the next time I go to the track... I'll make sure that there will be a Buell I can ride to compare.


If I only had one bike, it would be an X1 or a XB12S... but being that I have a cruiser and a sportbike... I am happy with the Duc as my sportsbike...


Thank you for your time again...

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Motorcycle.com Staff
Motorcycle.com Staff

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