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Street riding for track day enthusiasts - Whats your pace?

  1. #1
    Member k1200s's Avatar
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    Street riding for track day enthusiasts - Whats your pace?


    Hey guys,

    I have done a few track days and its starting to mess up my street riding. I wont get into details but basically, the more track days I do, the more comfortable I get on anything with 2 wheels and the faster I ride on the street. I've watched lots of motorcycle cash videos (not the ones on YouTube), but honestly that doesn't help at all because most of those people are acting much more recklessly than I would ever consider riding on the street, but I am still finding myself going absurdly fast (for the street) by accident. To be precise, my average speed per my motorcycle is 40.9 MPH of mostly back road riding. This is outside of the MSF average in the "MSF 100 Naturalistic Study" of 31.4mph by 30%. 1 I have, completely alone and on my own accord, gone easily 70+ on a winding back road with a speed limit of 30. I am a little concerned about crashing, but honestly I have gone through my own share of close calls in a natural progression and am pretty good about minimizing risk with a slow in fast out approach, ect. Yes it may happen but I like to think I ride in a way that promotes survival, and the ABS and smart car wheel base with dodge viper braking distances does help (or maybe it hurts? not a great justification). What does concern me is getting arrested and potentially imprisoned for felonious speeding and reckless endangerment. I do not run from the police and never will, no one in a 50 mile radius has my exact motorcycle and they definitely aren't wearing leathers. I need advice from some of you guys who ride track days and know what I'm talking about; do I sell my street bike, buy a cruiser, or just grow up and slow down? I do have a track bike now, but it was supposed to be a 250 for the street to help me slow down, so you see how that worked out. What have you guys experienced? Whats your pace? We have some wonderful law enforcement in this part of the country and they truly exemplify "officer discretion", but they aren't going to be very nice when they see me doing 40-60 over. I don't wanna keep riding like that on the assumption they just wont catch me, but if that's what you do I wanna hear it. All the advice online is too polarized, either its "go 5 under in hi-viz" or "cops will never catch my gsxr", I like to think everyone here knows how to have a good time without being foolish. If you have been arrested for speeding or know someone who was I definitely wanna hear your opinion. If you race, use to race, coach, or are just a fast guys with kids at home I definitely want to know what you think. If a racer can handle going a normal speed on the roads then i should be able to too, but if you dropped the sport bike on the streets I want to be aware of that as I progress at the track.

    you can post freely about speeding, you need to be caught speeding to be ticketed. a video of reckless endangerment or evading law enforcement is different and I like to think this is in the right spirit

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  2. #2
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    Re: Street riding for track day enthusiasts - Whats your pace?

    Just do more trackdays.

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  3. #3
    Lifer SteveM's Avatar
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    Re: Street riding for track day enthusiasts - Whats your pace?

    I think a lot of it is mindset. Think about why you ride on the streets. If it is to test yourself or improve your technique, perhaps that's where the adjustment might happen.

    It takes time, but the ability to ride to enjoy riding at a sane pace can be relaxing. Find some beautiful country and ride so you can see it.

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  4. #4
    Member k1200s's Avatar
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    Re: Street riding for track day enthusiasts - Whats your pace?

    See but then I think I'd be better off going fast enough to pay attention instead of looking around and start going faster lol

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  5. #5
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Street riding for track day enthusiasts - Whats your pace?

    You are in greatest danger when actual risk exceeds perceived risk.

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  6. #6
    Lifer 01xj's Avatar
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    Re: Street riding for track day enthusiasts - Whats your pace?

    I take some fun corners fast and hang it out there when risks are absolutely minimal but otherwise I ride slower and safer the more track time I get.

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    Re: Street riding for track day enthusiasts - Whats your pace?

    Before I raced/tracked anything, I rode like a dick on the street. Thought I was qualifying for the TT. Track day's slowed me way down on the street. Don't get me wrong, I love me some twisting roads, but I'm not trying to drag my knee on the street....anymore.

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    Re: Street riding for track day enthusiasts - Whats your pace?

    I ride like an old man on the street. I actually commonly get made fun of by street riders because i race and im that slow on the street. For me i get my fix on the track, it makes riding slowly on the street totally fine. I can adapt the skills i have learned on track to make me a better and safer street rider. One of those skills is knowing when and where to push and for me there isnt a street i have been on yet that i feel comfortable pushing like i can on the track. Before i got into the track i was a total dick street rider. I am very thankful to eboos (eric) who got me on track. If he hadn't who knows what may have happened.

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    Lifer gumby's Avatar
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    Re: Street riding for track day enthusiasts - Whats your pace?

    Don't ride with those hooligans from the neglected. Secondly, don't blow stop signs.

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  10. #10
    Senior Member capitalcrew's Avatar
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    Re: Street riding for track day enthusiasts - Whats your pace?

    Holy wal'o'text.

    I also ride a lot slower on the street since riding on the track. I didn't used to have any chicken strips on my street bike and now they're hilariously large. It ain't worth it. The track is cheap compared to crashing on the street.

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  11. #11
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Street riding for track day enthusiasts - Whats your pace?

    I probably ride faster on the street since discovering the track. But not remarkably so. I was never the kind to run stop signs or anything like that. In my truck I'm a 5-10 over kind of guy. On the bike it's often 10-15 over. Likely pretty mild compared to most.

    I do believe I ride better on the street now. More control.

    The real problem for me was racing. Got me very comfortable with having another vehicle inches away while at speed. I now catch myself making lane changes inches from a semi truck trailer at 75 MPH on an interstate. At the time it doesn't even phase me. No concern at all. Moments afterwards it will register wtf I just did and it bothers me. On the race track I trust someone to do what I think they are going to do. When they do something radically outside the norm (ie a random 'swoop') then bad things happen. We all know this and generally don't do it. On the street, well, who the hell knows what will happen.

    I've severely cut down my street riding this year and don't really miss it nearly as much as I expected. I've done almost no work commuting this year on a bike.. in years past I've gotten 6-8k miles/year doing this.

    Some days I strongly consider selling them all and just keeping a ratty dual-sport geared to top out at 65 or something..

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  12. #12
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    Re: Street riding for track day enthusiasts - Whats your pace?

    When I first started track riding, my street pace increased due to new found skill and confidence. But I always applied a late entry/apex approach to maximize visibility, and be sure I could make the exit. This increased my margin of safety a lot, but also allowed arrest me speeds. Once I started racing and crashing, I suddenly understood the ACTUAL level of risk I was taking on the street, and my speeds immediately dropped to THE PACE. Once you know how fickle traction can be, and how far your are going to slide at speed, the road starts to look like suicide at those arrest me speeds.

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  13. #13
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Street riding for track day enthusiasts - Whats your pace?

    Quote Originally Posted by k1200s View Post
    ..with dodge viper braking distances..
    A thought on braking distances.. Turns out bikes kind of suck at stopping. One would think that most sport bikes feature pretty high end brakes coupled with light weight. But the reality is that they are limited putting that braking power to the ground with two fairly tiny contact patches. One of those patches becomes almost useless as soon as weight transfers forward to the front wheel under a hard braking situation. Published ratings on most liter sized super-sports is in the 130-140ft territory for 60-0 braking. This is minivan territory. Hell, Motortrend managed to get a Silverado 1500 quad-cab to stop in 127ft from 60..

    Truth told, your braking performance isn't nearly as good as you may think it is. Keep that in mind with your following distances.

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  14. #14
    no can kneedown feralchimp's Avatar
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    Re: Street riding for track day enthusiasts - Whats your pace?

    To measure the 60-0 braking distance of a CRF250L they trained a hippo to balance on a pencil eraser. Something like a 1/4 mile. True story.

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    Lifer RyanNicholson's Avatar
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    Re: Street riding for track day enthusiasts - Whats your pace?

    I tend to ride a pretty quick pace.... as you know since we've ridden together. That said it's with a VERY conscious assessment of risk depending on the situation. If you're in a position where you're riding both street and track, it's a matter of switching between two different mindsets. You have a growing skill set and comfort level of riding at speed. When you're at the track, you can keep pushing those limits and improving. When you're riding on the street, you're just that much more prepared for the variables you may come across outside a closed course environment... and can focus on any of a million other reasons riding is awesome. What you want to get out of it is up to you. For some, the track is the only place to be and that's totally fine. Other's enjoy cruising with their significant other doing the speed limit on an 1100lb Harley, and that's completely fine as well.

    We're all guilty of doing "arrest me" speeds and general hooliganism, it's just a matter of controlling that desire. For me, adventuring and seeing where I end up has become just as exciting as railing fast corners in the process.

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    Re: Street riding for track day enthusiasts - Whats your pace?

    Yeah, braking distances are NOT good on bikes, maybe that knowledge alone will help slow things down. Not to mention hard braking literally means putting your life in the hands of one tiny little patch of rubber... on the street that alone keeps me scared enough. One little patch of dirt or oil is all it takes.

    Legally speaking, I'm not going to advocate speeding but IMO there are times when speeding is not reckless, and obvious ways to minimize risk of being caught. Awareness, route selection, doubling back, etc. But it's always a risk!

    Brakeless rides are the way to go. Instead of ripping down the straights and hitting giant corners at 70+, find more technical routes and avoid using your brakes at all in corners. There are actually quite a few routes I've found that are fun as heck without ever exceeding 10-15MPH over.

    Focus on choosing your line, body position, all the other fun technical stuff that you can still practice safely and legally on the road.

    My life/work situation and location make it hard as hell to get to the track, and after a week in front of a computer when I get on my bike it takes every shred of willpower not to do 130 out of the gate. But at the end of the day you gotta adult-up and have a lot of self-control on a fast bike. Same goes with life in general if you ask me, having self-control opens up a lot more exhilarating experiences because you can ride the line instead of crossing it and getting dead! Self-control doesn't just mean deprivation though.. you can have that 1/5th of Jack but wait until Friday night because Tuesday morning on the way to work is just a bad idea.

    Or get a dirt bike and start having fun in the woods, 30MPH feels pretty fast when you're in the trees.

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    Re: Street riding for track day enthusiasts - Whats your pace?

    I've gotten to the point where I seldom enjoy riding on the street. I've ridden a few times this year and twice i had a good time for a few minutes.. I am selling my street bikes for now. I may revisit later in life but for now I will ride the track and off-road.

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  18. #18
    Soul Rider Paul_E_D's Avatar
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    Re: Street riding for track day enthusiasts - Whats your pace?

    I know those braking distances are published, but I always wonder if a racebike, and race rubber, with race pads and suspension to match perform that much better? It sure feels like my R6 stops faster than a minivan.

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  19. #19
    Senior Member capitalcrew's Avatar
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    Re: Street riding for track day enthusiasts - Whats your pace?

    Have you ever actually hauled on the brakes in a minivan though? Be honest now. I know my chevy 2500 stops faster than I would have ever believed. I had a guy pull out in front of me a couple years ago and I got to really test the brakes and they surprised the hell out of me.

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  20. #20
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    Re: Street riding for track day enthusiasts - Whats your pace?

    Only my sprinter van, and it never surprises me with stopping power. LOL

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  21. #21
    Lifer
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    Re: Street riding for track day enthusiasts - Whats your pace?

    You do this.. play outside with your little kids.. walk into the garage to get a bottle of water, and hear another rice rocket get really loud, really fast. You quickly turn around to see where the kids are and realize a toolbag is flying down the street to a blind 90 degree turn where your kids are playing with the neighbors kids.. and see him lock it up and almost wipe out.

    I don't blame the kid, he probably just got his license and just wanted to make some noise. At least he saw 6 little kids running around and stopped rather than try to take the 90 degree and risk himself and or any other people coming the other way. I am pretty sure, and I hope he won't ever approach that same corner the same way again.

    As someone mentioned earlier.. you crash/slide once on the track and realize if you ever made a mistake or were just unfortunate and had bad luck on the street.. it's so much more dangerous than on the track. You can still drop a knee going 25 mph instead of 60mph But I guess you get used to thinking the track is for the track racing, and the street is for enjoying yourself. I think I've seen so many toolbags downtown and on the highway, I just never want to be one of them anymore..

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  22. #22
    Lifer
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    Re: Street riding for track day enthusiasts - Whats your pace?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_E_D View Post
    I know those braking distances are published, but I always wonder if a racebike, and race rubber, with race pads and suspension to match perform that much better? It sure feels like my R6 stops faster than a minivan.
    If I remember right, most sport bikes are out stopping or damn close to modern common cars. However, sports cars can do surprisingly better. There are a few bikes which have shockingly long stopping distances though. Believe the Multistrada was one of them.

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  23. #23
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    Re: Street riding for track day enthusiasts - Whats your pace?

    Another guilty party here. When I first started riding track it led to much higher aggression on the street, especially corner entry speeds. For me I had to force myself to use my new found powers for good and not evil. You can still haul some ass on occasion but choose those places wisely.

    Arrest worthy speed not only endangers your license but exposes you to huge physical peril should something go pear shaped, even geared up. Having a young family has helped keep me grounded but never pulled me away from the dark side. My episodes of foolishness have become extremely well chosen and brief.

    Your riding area can make a difference too, I was recently out West and running big sustained speeds was not super risky. With huge sight lines a mechanical failure seemed like the biggest risk.

    I don't subscribe to the "buy bike X and you will slow down". If you have the will you can do stupid stuff on the slowest of machines. I think at the end of the day you have to be an adult, as shitty as that sounds. Also consider the risk you pose to others, a 500lb motorcycle can do a lot of damage at speed.

    I know people who consistently run silly speeds on the street, how much risk are you comfortable with?

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  24. #24
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    Re: Street riding for track day enthusiasts - Whats your pace?

    My wife/girlfriend at the time... made me go to the track so I could stop riding like an ass on the back roads. To this day she calls it getting my "stupid out" when I race/track day my sv.

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    Lifer SwiftTone's Avatar
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    Re: Street riding for track day enthusiasts - Whats your pace?

    There is a video on YouTube that put braking distance of novice rider, experience rider, and a car against each other. The car was able to comfortably push 1G during hard braking, the novice rider consistently push 0.4G and the experienced rider consistently pushed 0.7G. This was done at in a parking lot (controlled environment) where the rider/driver expected to do their best braking at a set marker. They also did it at different speeds.

    There will be variations of how much stopping power a rider can put down, however in a car a driver just has to stomp on the brake pedal. Most cars in the last 20 years have ABS. I would guess maybe 50% of bikes on the road today have ABS.

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