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Precautions? Yeah, relax, be limber and enjoy the ride - you'll be alright [8D]

Chaos, panic, disorder......

my work here is done
 

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Hi, everyone. I'm taking my 03 6R to my first track day at California Speedway in Fontana this Sunday! I've read on Motorcycle Online's 600 shootout that the infield course at Fontana is a little bumpy. My track day is scheduled for the AMA track, but I'm still a bit concerned. My 6R's suspension still has its stock settings and I was wondering whether it would be too bumpy for the 03 6R, possibly leading to a tankslapper? I do have a Scotts on order but it won't be delivered on time. Any precautions I can take to avoid tankslappers? Thanks in advance.
 

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My biggest advice is this... relax, go at your own pace (ride within your limits), and most importantly, don't get excited about the faster guys when they catch up to you... just hold your line and do YOUR thing, they'll get around you, don't worry. A lot of beginners try to "get out of their way" and end up making mistakes because they're all out of synch with their own ride.

As for the suspension, you should set it up to suit your size (weight) and riding style before a track session for sure... the stock settings on the rear are notoriously stiff according to most, especially for lighter riders. Find someone who's got good experience setting 'em up quickly if you can, and test it out to see how it's working before you REALLY start cooking it.

Good luck and have fun !

"Keep yer feet on the pegs and your right hand cranked."
 

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Yeah no joke hold your line in corners, at one of my races i had a guy that when he got to the corners he would cut hard from the out side to the grass on the inside of the corner, i did not say anything to him but i saw a couple of people did. He had no line and just about ran me off the track in two seperate places. Everyone i have met at track are pretty nice and to see people telling him what they thought let me know he had made other pretty mad as well. Also road atlanta has real bumpy places in it, just stay on the power and the front wheel goes. Like the other guy said ride within your limits. Also the mirrors you took off your bike are to make you pay attintion to what is ahead not behind you. If you are looking at pavement at your front tire you are not looking ahead.
 

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Cool! Thanks for the very useful advice, guys! (Fortunately, I'm taking the safety school, where I assume that people will ride at a moderate pace.)

As for the suspension, I'm clueless about it (still trying to understand the sportrider article). I may ask a friend to help me set it up in the near future. For now, I kind of like it the way it is (mostly because with only 2k miles riding experience, I'm still experimenting and looking for my riding style). Coming from an EX500, I thought the 6R was veeery stiff. But now, I've gotten used to it, and on bumpy parts, I just rise off the seat a bit and use my legs as shock absorbers.
 

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Originally posted by micty

But now, I've gotten used to it, and on bumpy parts, I just rise off the seat a bit and use my legs as shock absorbers.
Hmmmmmmmmm... not sure I like the sounds of THAT so much... better to get your suspension dialed right for YOU... and honestly, it'll take five minutes for adjustment, and a lap or two (or a mile of twisties) to test... probably the BEST five minutes you EVER spent on your bike in terms of enjoying future rides more. Again... good luck !

"Keep yer feet on the pegs and your right hand cranked."
 

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Honestly, I would really like to tune the suspension if I knew enough to know how to do it properly. Maybe I'll ask someone from the track to help me tune it, and I can test it there at the same time. :)

In the meantime, is rising off the seat so bad? It feels like it keeps the bike more stable, and I'm able to keep the throttle steady by doing that through bumpy roads. What are the disadvantages?
 

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I rode at the Star School with stock supension set up...then had it set by a shop and rode Buttonwillow (fastrack)....major difference in handling and everthing else (I am just starting out)...get it set by some one who's knows what they are doing...best investment you can make...I you live in the Orange County area go to Mach1 Racing...San Diego Lee's Cycle...
 

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Thanks for the recommendations! I live in LA, but Orange County is close enough. I certainly would rather have someone else do the main setup for now since I don't know enough yet. Then I can just tweak it in the future. BTW, about how much would it cost?
 

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Oh yeah, the other night, I was turning left onto a freeway onramp (5th st. entrance to the 4-level in LA), and my bike suddenly wobbled very violently (almost a full lock left and right). But it was over in about a second, and I didn't even have time to panic. I'm guessing that it may have been triggered by the fact that it was an uphill onramp and I was accelerating somewhat hard (front end was light), and I hit a bump, conditions which I understand can set off a tank slapper. Anyway, I'm glad I survived that without problems. But it convinced me that I need a steering damper, and that I can definitely benefit from suspension tuning.
 

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I don't remember...I had other work done at the same time (oil, coolant, tires)...Call them 949.642.3084 (Mach 1)...they are in Costa Mesa at the end of the Newport freeway
 

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Having tried it, I think a steering dampener is not required, at least at that track, and at non-racing speeds. I had my Scotts set to the lowest possible settings but had no headshake or anything, which is why I think it's not necessary. That said, it increased my confidence in the bike -- dunno whether it's a placebo effect.
 

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I rode a 636 at fontana this past friday that had a GPR damper on it. While i guess it's not necessary at Fontana (my bike doesn't have one) it sure is nice. You don't have to be as easy on the clip-ons and can pull yourself around more.
Fun track isn't it MICTY! Maybe i'll see you there next time, i'm going again in June (27th i think).
 

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I will be there on the 27 and 28th....if my bike is back from the shop....I took a tire tire cassing the front of the bike late Friday night...took the front faring, part of the side faring, wind screen and instruments off the bike....
 

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Major bummer...some how I didn't go down, I was lose on the grips, the bike moved around under me alittle but striaghten up right up...It even bent the frame slider bolt !!!!
 
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