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Old 25th February 2008, 17:49   #1
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Default Pics: Superbike Track Practice @ Chennai - 24th Feb 2008

Pics from Track practice this past weekend. My first time on the full track at Chennai, absolutely the most fun i've had on a bike to date! Will post a write up of the experience soon. Really learnt a lot from finally actually being able to push a superbike to the limit, the tighter short loop wont allow for that and Coimbatore seems like a go-kart track now, it was great fun too with powerslides and good speeds. A huge thanks to Venkat, Preetham and Rajini for the tyres and their help setting up my suspension to handle decently for once. Brakes need to be fixed next, the warped rotors not only meant very weak braking but trail braking also was not possible, so lots of time lots there. Overall though, the bike has never felt better.
My best time was 2:00.81, a small mistake on that lap costed me a fraction of a sec so 1:59 is where its at for me at this point.

A big thanks to Aditya for his brilliant photography:
Picasa Web Albums - adi - track practice

Last edited by Rehaan : 11th October 2011 at 14:54. Reason: Removing hotlinked pictures. Infected host (watchtheworld.../killer/)
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Old 25th February 2008, 18:24   #2
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superb pics there killer. Waiting for the detailed review now.

Its so much fun to watch the SBK's ripping on track and the sound is so captivating and hair raising.

I can imagine how much fun (and adrenaline pumping) it is to actually ride an SBK on track... and to ride one to its limits.

Do post a thread when you plan this sort of "event" next time (couple of days in advance will do). I'd love to be there to watch.
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Old 25th February 2008, 19:50   #3
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Nice pics Killer

Btw you repainted your bike or is this someone else's as I remember your bike as a Yellow R1
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Old 25th February 2008, 20:45   #4
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Wonderful shots,have seen pics like this in the auto mags.Keep them comming guys.This thread is sure going to be a puller.
ram
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Old 25th February 2008, 22:08   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technocrat View Post
Nice pics Killer

Btw you repainted your bike or is this someone else's as I remember your bike as a Yellow R1
Actually its a race fairing, i've kept the original one away safe . i did repaint the tank though to match the rest, not really concerned about the looks that much though.
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Old 25th February 2008, 22:34   #6
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Amazing shots ..Killer ..so when is the detailed review coming up..
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Old 25th February 2008, 22:56   #7
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awesome pics killer, specially the one with your back towards the camera.

also wanted to know if you could just go to the track and start practicing or do you have to book the track or take prior appointment, not that i have my own SBK but was curious about it.
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Old 26th February 2008, 01:11   #8
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Thanks guys, will post a detailed report by tomorrow

@ishotmydog: You need to check with the track officials for track availability on the day you wish to come down and practice (MMSC - Madras Motor Sports Club)
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Old 26th February 2008, 15:40   #9
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WOW.....what a feel that must have been astride the bike and an open track.
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Old 26th February 2008, 21:10   #10
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Wonderful pictures! It must've been wonderful hearing that superbike revv up on the track all the way to the redline.

cya
A
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Old 26th February 2008, 21:49   #11
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Killa i'll race you with my Bullet Hehehehe....

So this is where you disappeared to....

Nice leathers! When did you buy the Alpinestars stuff?
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Old 27th February 2008, 00:28   #12
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Nice leathers! When did you buy the Alpinestars stuff?
Lol i didnt buy em, my sponsor did
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Old 27th February 2008, 08:40   #13
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what tyres did you use? those look like semi slick track rubber...

Did you notice a big difference over the road rubber?
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Old 27th February 2008, 15:33   #14
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Originally Posted by simplythebest View Post
what tyres did you use? those look like semi slick track rubber...

Did you notice a big difference over the road rubber?
I actually used road tires which are good for track as well. Michelin Pilot Power 2CT, Dual Compound tires

Michelin Pilot Power 2CT

Tires like the Michelin Pilot Power Race are more suited for track (thats what most other riders are running) and will perform a lot better but the 2CT's last longer and are a good balance for track and road use. You also get pure race tires like the Dunlop D208GP's that Dilip Rogger uses

Last edited by Killer : 27th February 2008 at 15:52.
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Old 27th February 2008, 20:30   #15
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Default 2-24-08 Track Practice at Chennai Writeup

This weekend wasnít prepared for; the run up to the weekend had plans changing constantly with people backing out last minute. Finally it was just Henna and I driving down to track and Dinesh who was keen to experience the Chennai track on his RTR met us at the hotel when we arrived Saturday morning. It was 11:30am, we were late and Preetham and Venkat were already at the track as we drove in. I really wasnít sure what to expect, Iíd spent some time on the short loop but never ridden the full track before. Moreover Preetham and Rajini had worked on my suspension for the last race; it had been completely out of shape. They had changed the oil and tuned it up as well as thrown on a new set of tires, a luxury I had never experienced on my bike till date. Preetham had told me the bike was handling much better now and I had taken his word for it. In fact that was the reason for the adhoc trip down to the track. The bike was probably in the best shape it had ever been in and I wanted to see first hand just how much better it was. I also had a curiosity and desire that had been burning within me for quite sometime; a desire to know just where I stood with respect to other riders even though I was running pretty outdated machinery.

We eased into pit-lane and parked, Venkat and Preetham came in from a succession of laps, they were already settled into their day and I was eager to get started. I asked Preetham to take it easy so I could follow for a couple of laps. As soon as I got out of the pits I could feel the handling was much improved, it was so confidence inspiring and it was a bit of a shock when my knee touched down right into the first corner. As I followed Preetham and Venkat onto the long loop, it felt so different from my past track experiences. There was now this vast expanse of space, nothing like the short loop or Coimbatore track, this was so much more flowing and faster. It was also quite a bit of work muscling the machine around and I found it very hard to keep up with Preetham even at his slow pace. I ran a few more laps and came in, my forearms were aching badly and I realized I had been putting too much pressure on my arms, I made a mental note to hang on more with my legs, this wasnít like racing the apache; the forces from acceleration and braking were simply overwhelming. One of the guys told me I had been lapping in the 2:16ís, it wasnít really a concern at the time though, I had other things to fix first before worrying about the lap time and the experience from following Preetham and Venkat had already told me that I was no where near the pace.

One of the biggest factors affecting me was the brakes, the warped rotors were inadequate and not only meant weak braking but I couldnít trail brake into corners either. Rajini had already informed me to finish braking early and if I was smart enough Iíd be able to gauge my speed and use the litreís massive engine braking to some effect into the corners. Rajini and Preetham helped clear a few other doubts I had about the approach to certain corners and as I sat in the pits I played back everything in my head. It was going be hard work and along with that realization I had my answer, other riders were clearly way faster than me. The best litre bike times were around the 2 minute mark and ironically the best ever time of 1:57 was set by Rajini on my bike. He was a pro though and he had 2 weeks to practice on my bike, I wasnít even looking to come anywhere near such a time. What was more daunting was that most other midpack riders were in around the 2:05 mark. Most riders had moved to new 600ís from their 1000ís and promptly found another 5 to 6 seconds, as these thoughts ran through my mind, I wondered if looking to be competitive on my machine was a lots cause. I decided that it was but I would still make the most of it. Rajini shook me from my reverie, he was wondering why I hadnít gone back out yet. I smiled as I stood up, yes; it was going to be hard work.

In the meantime Dinesh had been around the track on his RTR and was thoroughly enjoying himself. Henna waited and watched, he hadnít a bike to ride but would take a few laps on the RTR later on. The sky was overcast and made for excellent conditions by Chennai standards. There wasnít anyone else on track besides the few of us and as we approached lunch I went out for another session, Preetham and Venkat had come back in, I wanted to be alone on track and just take my time without any distractions.

The session felt a lot smoother this time. There was no arm ache and I consciously relaxed myself as I worked my way around. I made some changes in line and riding style and was starting to enjoy myself. The wide expanse wasnít so intimidating anymore. I worked more on checking my entry speed and setting up my line so I could square off the corner, pickup the bike quickly and get good drive out. The style would be different on a 600 but on my bike it felt right. As I came in Venkat and Preetham had smiles on their faces, I was running in the 2:08ís

Venkat, Preetham and Rajini left at lunch, they would be back the next morning. I was just Henna, Dinesh and me on the track, I was feeling a lot more relaxed, Henna took the RTR and showed him around. It felt unreal to have the track all to ourselves; Iíd never seen the Chennai track so empty. Back in the pits Dinesh was pondering over his lines and asked that I show him around later. We too a break for lunch and downed some sandwiches as we reflected on the day so far. After lunch Henna took a spin on the R1 and agreed it was so much better than it had been. I ran a few laps post lunch while henna manned the camera, he commendably managed to click a few snaps of Dinesh and I amongst a majority of empty frames and shots of the grass and the trees.

I decided to do one more fast set of laps and have Henna time me. The speed really built up this time as I gassed it hard out of corner 3 through the esses, leading onto the long loop, screaming down the back straight redlining in 3rd and briefly into 4th before hard braking down into 2nd gear from around 120+mph into a tight left hander. Then a quick flip right making sure to get the right line for good exit drive through the esses before dropping it into the never ending right. From there I got on the gas harder than usual, briefly checking the throttle mid way as the corner tightens and then gassing it hard again. This was one of my favorite parts of the track flipping quickly to the left to align myself for the return straight, just briefly touching the knee to the apex while exiting onto the straight at 100mph, the rear squirming just wanting to break free but not quite doing so. Again braking from 120mph into a tight right, getting the line just right in order not to run wide, then a left that joins back onto the short loop and leads up the to famous bridge complex. A quick right handed kink followed by a tight left hairpin and then a right leading onto the bridge. This was another fun part of the track, the R1 front remaining airborne for a good 20 feet or so as I descended from the bridge into the last corner leading onto the front straight. There making sure I got good drive onto the straight screaming past the pit-lane in 3rd, briefly up to 4th and then dropping it to 3rd again into the famous C1, carrying as much speed as possible to the apex and on the gas at the apex before a tight right turn at C2 leading up to the all important C3 left where you build up speed all over again. That was a flying lap. I got back to the pits after a couple more laps where Henna had timed me at a 2:04, I was ecstatic; things were looking up after all. We called it a day by around 5pm and headed back to the hotel. The anticipation of a cold beer and air conditioning after a hard day at the track was simply irresistible.

Sunday morning I woke early and dragged the other 2 out of bed. We planned to be at the track by 8am and after a good nightís rest I was eager to get into action. I knew from experience that Sundays were always faster after Saturday practice. There is also the danger or getting overconfident and I made a mental note to be careful and not push beyond my limits. After hearty breakfast, we arrived at the track by 9am, Preetham and Venkat hadnít arrived yet. I still had about 5 litres of gas left in the tank enough to do a few laps before the gang arrived, they would bring extra gas. We expected more riders to show up as well as is customary on a Sunday.

Out on track I was feeling super confident and I could feel the pace had been upped from the previous day. I had a couple of scares from the early morning wildlife, once while knee down at a right hander at the back of the track a cobra that had worked itself to the kerb, promptly raised its hood in my face, not something you want to see when looking for your exit. Then a couple of laps later a wild pig with young scurried across the track to seek shelter from this noisy unknown beast that had suddenly invaded its territory. Aside from these the session went well and I felt I was lapping considerably faster than the previous day. Towards the end of the session I put in a couple of fast laps and experienced my first powerslide. Coming into C1 I carried the usual speed to the apex but coming back on the gas I gunned it harder than usual. It was surreal feeling, knee down in the corner with the rpms suddenly shooting up as the bike tightened the line. I quickly realized the rear was spinning and gently rolled off while feeding in a little countersteer to correct the line. I couldnít believe what had just happened but continued on with the lap and returned to the pits grinning ear to ear.

I took Dinesh out to show him the lines on the short loop and we did about 4 laps with me taking turns in leading and then pulling back to watch him. At one point I decided we should pull into the pits and so that I could give him some feedback. I showed him my hand indicating that we would pull into the pits but Dinesh thought I was asking him to take the lead again. Thatís when it happened, I promptly turned into the pits while Dinesh accelerated and ran into the back of my bike. I skidded a bit and stopped but he fell and was dazed for sometime, the RTR bars and gear lever were bent. It was a silly misunderstanding between the two of us and I apologized but it meant that the weekend was over for Dinesh.

In the meantime the rest of the gang had arrived and I narrated the events since the previous afternoon. Preetham told me to take it easy and I took some time to rest and clear my head, Dinesh did likewise. I finally went out for another session and this time the poweslides were coming at a couple of places on the track. I could feel the pace was good and I was curious to get a time. For the next session I asked Henna to time me, I put in a couple of fast laps but made a small mistake into C1. Carrying too much entry speed I ran a little wide and lost time correcting the line. I came back in after that and Henna indicated I had done a 2:00.81. I was super thrilled I went out again for a couple more laps keen to drop it below the 2min mark, but the wheels where starting to spin up and sense prevailed,I decided not to push more. 2min was as good, I was happy with that and called it a day at that point. Rajini, Preetham and Venkat were very encouraging, they felt I had done very well and would straight away drop a few more seconds if I moved to a 600. I briefly met Rajkumar and couple of others and by around 12:30pm we said our good-byes, packed and left. As usual the drive back was peaceful but with a lot of thoughts racing through my head. I had already lapped faster than some of the pros and I had less than competitive equipment. Where does it go from here? Well not really sure. All I know is Iím having the time of my life and want to keep doing it. Until next timeÖ..

Last edited by Killer : 27th February 2008 at 20:39.
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