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Old 1st April 2008, 22:16   #16
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@Nitin: the gixxer was actually my fav ride of the weekend, more in my writeup soon...

a short ambitious video by my friend bobby, me on ducati followed by the gixxer 600..like the sound:
Picasa Web Albums - Iceman - SBK track day...

more pics here: Picasa Web Albums - Iceman

Ducati / GSXR-600
<pics removed>
R1
<pics removed>

Last edited by Rehaan : 11th October 2011 at 14:57. Reason: Infected pic host. PM me if you wish to re-upload these pics. Thanks.
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Old 1st April 2008, 23:07   #17
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woww man!!! stunning machines. The GSX looks mean... please upload more pics please.
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Old 1st April 2008, 23:23   #18
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Looks like one action packed race day. Nice pics.

Wish I was there !
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Old 2nd April 2008, 11:29   #19
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Stunning pics Killer. The Ducati cools just awesome.
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Old 2nd April 2008, 13:42   #20
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Some guys have all the luck.
Lovely machines, and seems like a lovely day- by Chennai standards- to be riding them.

How do the Italian twins go compared with the in-line 4s?
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Old 2nd April 2008, 14:32   #21
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That's a 'killer' set of bikes. Waiting for the report now - I am sure it will be worth it.
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Old 4th April 2008, 02:03   #22
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Friday was the usual hustle and bustle before a track day. Poncho and I landed up at Bharats and after some chitchat and a brief stint around the block on his Triumph Bonneville Screamer Steve McQueen replica, the speed juices were flowing again. We loaded up the exotic line up of track machines and left by 6pm. For me the plan for the weekend was to work further on my lines amongst other areas of improvement I had identified from the last time. The tires on my R1 were past their best and considering the long list of other deficiencies on the old rat, pushing the limits was not a priority in my mind. I did secretly hope to sneak a ride on a 600 though, to get a feel for how much better it would be at Chennai versus a 1000, my thoughts drifted to the matt black gixxer in the truck and I hoped some more.

We arrived at the hotel late night, Vicky and Prasad had just arrived from Mumbai too. After a brief tiff with the management over inadequate accommodation, we all settled a into suite to make the best of whatever was left of the night. 6 hours later we were off to the track.

Saturday morning the weather was slightly overcast but locals predicted accurately that the merciless Chennai heat would soon be upon us. The bikes were unloaded and as expected the duc gathered a lot of attention. We soon geared up and started our sessions by 11am. This time out I was much more relaxed, the full loop had a familiar feel to it as opposed to how it had felt a month before. Bharat had a couple of his friends along too, they were just learning the ropes and we took turns showing them around while getting ourselves into the groove as well. Ravi and Bobby showed up and got busy with the cameras in the hot sun, how they do it I will never know. The initial sessions on the R1 felt good, I worked on some of the areas I had planned and the results were positive, low 2’s were coming without too much effort. At this point though the bike was holding me back and I was itching to ride a 600. Poncho was out with Vicky and Prasad showing them around. Bharat came back from a session complaining that the gixxer 600 wasn’t opening past 11k revs on the straights. Everything looked fine on examination though and we concluded it was likely a mapping issue. Bharat asked if I would like to take it out for a few laps and I nodded with anticipation.

As I rolled out the pits it was immediately apparent that I felt completely at home on the bike, everything was just right. I normally take a couple of laps to work up to speed but the bike felt so great that I was up to pace before the end of the first lap. I was completely shocked at how nimble the machine was compared to my R1 and just how much corner speed I could carry with half the effort. Down the straight into C1 was a bit of a chore on the R1, a hard blip and downshift required before steering in. On the gixxer however it was effortless, with the slipper clutch I found myself riding it like a 2 stroke, the downshift wasn’t even felt and the bike remained composed diving into C1 at speeds higher than I had ever attempted. At the apex I was surprised again at how hard I was able to get on the gas, the Dunlop qualifiers obviously doing their job but it was more than that. The two brother’s pipe howled angrily at full throttle coming out of C1 and at C2 I was in for another surprise, I was finally on a machine with brakes to be respected. The rear tire skipped briefly off the ground on hard braking before a quick flick into C2 saw the marvel hold a super tight line with ease. I was grinning within my helmet already. In fact I was having such a good time that I almost forgot about the problem at high revs. It came back to me though on the back straight as the bike sort of hit a wall at around 11k revs. It was only happening after 2nd gear and to me it felt like a mapping issue, however I was so taken by the whole experience that all that was in the back of my mind as I rolled into the pits after completing 4 laps. I couldn’t believe how fast the 600 could go in the corners and how it felt like I could reel off hot lap after hot lap forever. Rajini was grinning at me from the pit wall, he had just been out on ponchos 600rr and I could tell that he knew what I was thinking. The first thing I said when I got off the gixxer was “I want a 600!” I had run a 1:57 on that brief stint and without the loss of revs up top, that was a potential 1:55. All that with no drama, no spinning up the rear or any of that; it was an eye opener for me.

Next up was the Ducati 1098s, only the most powerful, lightest L-twin superbike in history. I’d be lying if I said the expectations weren’t high. I like the way the Duc tells you what you’re on when you turn on the keys and 1098S flashes across the display. The Testastretta engine came to life with that unique, unmistakable splitter splatter sound and I could feel envious eyes on me as I rolled out the pits. The 1098 is so small and compact It’s easy to forget you’re on a 1000 but once you wind that throttle, let’s just say, no more memory trouble. Bharat followed on the 600 as we went through a few laps at decent pace. Holding a tight line was a no brainer on the Duc, you simply think of turning in to the corner and it’s done. With so much agility and so much power it takes a lot of very precise riding and control to tame this machine. I found myself having to pick the bike up out of the corner quicker in order to effectively put the power down, that coupled with the fact that the ride was on the softer side made it particularly hairy putting the power down with a lot of movement at the rear. Initially we thought this was due the ohlins not being setup for my weight but they had felt fine on examination. It wasnt until later back in Bangalore after track-day that we realized Bharat had conveniently forgotten to check air pressure on the bike and it was too low, Ah well…. Despite that one small but very important detail, I couldn’t help but marvel at the precision perfectness of the machine as we went through the session, the dry slipper clutch felt like nothing I had ever operated before. The tremendous bite of the brembos was a bit unsettling at first; but then you’d expect that from a rider who’d been going around on a R1 with no brakes. The brakes on this baby were so precise with a very small range of motion at the lever for the rider to develop feel, it was simply put; out of my league. Towards the end of the session I just plonked the Duc in 3rd and rode her around like that. Mind you, we were carrying some decent pace and not puttering around, yet the sheer torque across such a wide power-band meant that 3rd worked just fine, from the slow bridge complex section all the way to 200+kph down the back-straights. The Chennai track simply didn’t do the machine justice. Thus came to an end my tryst with the torque spewing beast. I rolled into the pits not entirely content due to the bouncy ride, realizing only much later that tire pressure had been the culprit. Yet at the same time I knew I had just ridden something special, I’m an inline four person but I liked this bike. A machine from a different league, Yes the 1098S was very much that, but even the Duc needs its tire pressure set

Returning to the world of mere mortals I hung around the pits with the rest of the gang for the remainder of the day. There was lots to discuss as usual and experiences to share. The new guys were especially excited; the initial learning curve does that to everyone. I personally had too much input to digest for the day. We retired to beers and good food that lasted late into the night. Unfortunately I awoke in the middle of the night after an hours sleep and just couldn’t get back to sleep. In the morning I felt drained but there wasn’t much planned for the day anyway. The 600 had issues so I didn’t want to do any hot laps, and there wasn’t really anything left to do on my R1 after experiencing the 600. I decided to just relax and make a fun day of it.
For the first session I went out on the 600 again for a few laps and relived the feelings from the previous day. Back in the pits after that my eyes fell on the Aprilia Tuono, it was time for some pure unadulterated fun! The Tuono is basically the RSV Mille in street form with upright bars amongst a few other small changes. The bike was a total blast to ride; despite being tired I put in lap after lap not wanting to come back in. The Tuono wants to pull your arms out of their sockets when you wind the throttle. All that torque, the upright stance and great handling make it a total fun package. Having said that the Tuono isn’t a fan of turning in quick, as long as the rider keeps that in mind there shouldn’t be any problems, tell her to turn, have patience and eventually she will. I enjoyed the challenge though and found myself pushing the pace after a few laps. I kept at it, eventually ran out of fuel at the bridge complex and had to be towed back to the pits all embarrassed.

It was nearing noon and for the last session I took out the Z1000. Bharat had set the rear suspension all soft so the bike actually handled better with a pillion. The Kawasaki was a laid back street machine; no real punch in the power-band just a real linear relaxed ride. One of Bharats friends wanted to ride pillion with me and I took him around for a few laps. He seemed quite excited after we came back in and kept mumbling to himself. Praful and friends who had been riding their pulsars on track came over to say hi, it was good to see the enthusiasm catching on and maybe some good did come out of all my ranting on the forums. The rest of the gang had thoroughly enjoyed themselves and it was time to call it a wrap. We packed, loaded up the bikes and left content with another successful weekend under our belts. I'm already looking forward to the next one, once bitten by the track bug you're hooked for life. People say we're crazy doing what we do, maybe we are, but I for one wouldn’t have it any other way…

Last edited by Killer : 4th April 2008 at 02:04.
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Old 4th April 2008, 04:36   #23
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vicky n prasad didnt get their gixxer's?
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Old 4th April 2008, 07:00   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dragger View Post
vicky n prasad didnt get their gixxer's?
They did and they had a blast
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Old 4th April 2008, 11:08   #25
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Awesome! We need Lap times, especially of the gixxer!! How did the Kwacker perform? Should be the slowest on the track IMO...??
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Old 4th April 2008, 13:06   #26
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Excellent writeup Killer, Thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

So do we see you going for a Gixxer 600 sometime
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Old 4th April 2008, 13:22   #27
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Wonderful writeup Killer. Enjoyed reading every bit of it and loved the pics too.
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Old 4th April 2008, 13:54   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Killer View Post
I'm already looking forward to the next one, once bitten by the track bug you're hooked for life. People say we're crazy doing what we do, maybe we are, but I for one wouldn’t have it any other way…
Yet another writeup from the killer dude. Great one again!

Must get myself a 600, too! Only for the track, though.
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Old 4th April 2008, 20:24   #29
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Thanks

@technocrat: Well lets see, not a gixxer though..the r6 is better

@digitalrider: i've mentioned the laptime on the gixxer
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Old 5th April 2008, 12:14   #30
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I thought you liked the gixxer better than R6 since the Zookis are known for their torque. Anyways thats for another thread.

How do you compare both the 600s?
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