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Old 21st November 2021, 14:45   #1
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Default Motorcycle Track day with CRA Motorsports - Meco Kartopia, Bengaluru

My experience at the RE GTCUP Selection round was an eye opener. It revealed how off the pace I was. While I harbor no false hopes of competitive riding I decided to get serious about training to ride faster. The event was outsourced to JKTyres who in turn had roped in CRA Motorsports to marshal the event.
Over the next few days I noticed most of the national riders on the grid were alumni of CRA or still associated with them so I decided to reach out. Their website didn't have any details with regards to their training schedule however they were pretty active on Instagram. I was directed to a whatsapp message where I had a good conversation with Prateek. Since I had already completed my certification elsewhere I was told the next batch was on the 5th and 6th of November and I could sign up for their open sessions at Meco Kartopia Bangalore. This place is literally located in my backyard.
For the sum of Rs15,000/- I got 5+5 sessions with each session ~15 minutes, a bike and riding gear if I needed it. I only had to bring my Helmet.

The School -CRA Motorsports
Founded and run by Tharunkumar S, they are pretty active in the motorsports scene in various capacities including track, offroad and go karts. Speaking with Tharun revealed how passionate they are in bringing up and nurturing talent. For eg, they have taken a house on rent in Bangalore to provide accommodation for riders coming from far of places and need a cheap place to stay. Also they are focusing on smaller cities to give everyone an opportunity at some track experience. They even have a tie up with a track in Malaysia and conduct events there (turns out cheaper than BIC)
Motorcycle Track day with CRA Motorsports - Meco Kartopia, Bengaluru-sess.jpg

The Venue - Meco Kartopia Bangalore
Ill be honest, I did have some reservations about riding on a go-kart track but one look at the place laid them to rest. 1.2kms long with enough corners to get some serious practice.

Motorcycle Track day with CRA Motorsports - Meco Kartopia, Bengaluru-track0.jpg
Motorcycle Track day with CRA Motorsports - Meco Kartopia, Bengaluru-track.jpg
Motorcycle Track day with CRA Motorsports - Meco Kartopia, Bengaluru-track1.jpg
Motorcycle Track day with CRA Motorsports - Meco Kartopia, Bengaluru-track2.jpg
Motorcycle Track day with CRA Motorsports - Meco Kartopia, Bengaluru-short.jpg
Motorcycle Track day with CRA Motorsports - Meco Kartopia, Bengaluru-cond.jpg

Reassuring sight but didnt realize I would be using this facility
Motorcycle Track day with CRA Motorsports - Meco Kartopia, Bengaluru-amb.jpg

Some interesting vehicles lying around
Motorcycle Track day with CRA Motorsports - Meco Kartopia, Bengaluru-buggy.jpg
Motorcycle Track day with CRA Motorsports - Meco Kartopia, Bengaluru-20211106_070531.jpg
Motorcycle Track day with CRA Motorsports - Meco Kartopia, Bengaluru-20211106_070544.jpg

The Bikes
Completely stripped down Yamaha R15 V2s with road tyres and an open exhaust.
Motorcycle Track day with CRA Motorsports - Meco Kartopia, Bengaluru-bikes.jpg

Motorcycle Track day with CRA Motorsports - Meco Kartopia, Bengaluru-bikes1.jpg

There was also a simulator to help with getting a feel of the right body position
Motorcycle Track day with CRA Motorsports - Meco Kartopia, Bengaluru-sim.jpg
Motorcycle Track day with CRA Motorsports - Meco Kartopia, Bengaluru-class.jpg




My Experience
To keep costs down they did not block the entire facility and we had to share it with karting teams getting ready for the Rotax championship and general public. Since its open to public from 11am the plan was to start at 6:30 am so we could complete before the crowds started gathering. Unfortunately we were hit by the worst weather possible and these were the conditions (treacherous)

A damp and slippery track
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The sun fighting a losing battle with the clouds
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My first time riding a bike with an open exhaust and was an eye opener for me, engine braking was really aggressive and the throttle was like a switch on/off
Motorcycle Track day with CRA Motorsports - Meco Kartopia, Bengaluru-bike.jpg

Day-1
So all in all the perfect learning conditions. Within the first few laps I could feel the rear moving around under braking and downshifting and when accelerating out I could feel the rear sliding. I was here to learn so I was paying keen attention to what was going on but for some reason I could not get the throttle response right. No matter how gentle I was when coming out of a corner if the bike was not bolt upright a light twist was making the bike lurch forward. The fact I was struggling was very evident because on two occasions I had to save a highside and the trainers kept asking me how I managed not to go over the bars.
Courtesy of the bad weather we had to start late and by now it was a full blown mela with karting teams and general public vying for track space. In my third session of the day having gotten used to the track I decided to up the pace when I had a horrible highside for the third time and this time I felt/heard a loud pop in my left arm and a flash of lightning went off in my head. My entire left arm went numb and I knew something was wrong, I still dont know how I managed not to crash, rolled the bike to a stop and walked to the ambulance. There was swelling at the elbow and I almost passed out in pain. Got an ice pack and I knew the day was over for me, called the Mrs and asked her to take me home as I couldnt drive back.

That evening
Motorcycle Track day with CRA Motorsports - Meco Kartopia, Bengaluru-elb.jpg

Day-2
After spending all night icing my elbow the swelling seemed to subside and I did not see any signs of internal bruising so I decided to go ahead with day 2. I made a conscious decision not to take any pain killers so at least I would know the limits of my arm. It was stiff and only hurt when bending and for some reason I wasnt able to pull my helmet strap down.
The advantage was I had no other choice than to start using my lower body more and I started to feel like I was getting smoother and faster. On my first sighting lap I used the same bike that I was using the previous day and the throttle response was still horrible so I tried another bike. Wish I had done that earlier as now I felt in complete control, so much so, that I completed 7 sessions on day 2 and was raring for more.

Benefits of better body position and a smoother throttle
Motorcycle Track day with CRA Motorsports - Meco Kartopia, Bengaluru-scuff.jpg


In Summary

What I liked:
- Tharun and his team, got more of a family vibe than a track shool
- They are very flexible and accommodating based on your needs (within reason)
- I had signed up for open sessions but Tharun did not begrudge me any training session and even asked me to join in for some drills where he felt I would benefit
- They were already planning how to cover my remaining sessions on another day since I had almost lost a day but I was not having any of that
- The track, is a good place to hone ones skills
- Lots of parents had brought their kids to learn and in fact we had a Father/Son duo learning together.

I would highly recommend checking them out

What I didnt like
- Vying for track time with karting teams and general public
- It got too crowded and was finding it a bit difficult to concentrate (I get easily distracted)
- The weather


What about that elbow?
Day 3 I saw signs of internal bruising and knew it was time to go to the hospital. I had torn my tricep clean off the elbow, had to undergo surgery and now I have my arm in a cast. Recovery is going to be slow (up to 6 months) but hey, when life gives you a break- take it. Cant wait to get back on the saddle and chase those laptimes.
Motorcycle Track day with CRA Motorsports - Meco Kartopia, Bengaluru-fin.jpg

Last edited by deepfreak15 : 21st November 2021 at 16:07.
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Old 21st November 2021, 18:28   #2
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Default re: Motorcycle Track day with CRA Motorsports - Meco Kartopia, Bengaluru

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!

Take care Deepak!
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Old 22nd November 2021, 07:52   #3
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Default re: Motorcycle Track day with CRA Motorsports - Meco Kartopia, Bengaluru

Quote:
Originally Posted by deepfreak15 View Post
I had torn my tricep clean off the elbow, had to undergo surgery and now I have my arm in a cast. Recovery is going to be slow (up to 6 months) but hey, when life gives you a break- take it. Cant wait to get back on the saddle and chase those laptimes
As a fellow rider, I will say 6 months is too much boss, just get back to saddle by Feb/Mar 2022!! Believe in your over anything else!!
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Old 22nd November 2021, 10:09   #4
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Default Re: Motorcycle Track day with CRA Motorsports - Meco Kartopia, Bengaluru

Get well soon Deepak. Soft tissue injuries take time to heal and need patient rehabilitation to avoid chronic niggles. Please follow the routine as prescribed by your doctor.
I admire you for following your passion, soon you might be our own Rossi especially since the seat has been laid vacant by the Pro:-).
On the serious front, it highlights the fact that, riding the machine aggressively, needs not only skills but good fitness levels too, which should be ingrained or required for such training programmes. Actually this is important not only for the racing machines but also for regular riding/driving in order to avoid chronic health problems like neck pain, backache knee issues etc. So guys while taking care of your steed on a regular basis take care of yourself too.
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Old 22nd November 2021, 11:27   #5
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Default Re: Motorcycle Track day with CRA Motorsports - Meco Kartopia, Bengaluru

Ouch! Just looking at that picture hurt! Get some rest and get well soon so that you can chase that faster lap time. Maybe I need to take that course as well - so that I can more understand and practice the art of "understanding your bike" more than what I do now.
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Old 22nd November 2021, 13:28   #6
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Default Re: Motorcycle Track day with CRA Motorsports - Meco Kartopia, Bengaluru

Dear Deepfreak15, thank you for sharing your experience. Admire your courage and sprit, inspite of your injury you still went ahead for another battle with the track on day two. Take care, get well and back on the saddle soonest.

Cheers
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Old 22nd November 2021, 15:54   #7
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Default Re: Motorcycle Track day with CRA Motorsports - Meco Kartopia, Bengaluru

Get well soon Deepak, Not a great sight that, but that smile makes up for it, and of course the time you spent riding on track.

Hoping to see you soon back on the saddle!!
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Old 22nd November 2021, 16:02   #8
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Default Re: Motorcycle Track day with CRA Motorsports - Meco Kartopia, Bengaluru

You are a brave person deepfreak15. I am so glad, you are okay now.
Wishing you a speedy recovery.
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Old 22nd November 2021, 19:48   #9
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Default Re: Motorcycle Track day with CRA Motorsports - Meco Kartopia, Bengaluru

Wishing you a speedy recovery brother. Loved your smile in the picture, shows your spirit. Keep it up.
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Old 22nd November 2021, 19:55   #10
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Default Re: Motorcycle Track day with CRA Motorsports - Meco Kartopia, Bengaluru

deepfreak15, glad that you didn't fracture your elbow along. Healing time is when the forte is fortified. Take it easy, being a tricep rip, the tendons can take a while to heal. Do work with a physiotherapist so that they help with the movement and you recover fully.

God speed.

Cheers!
VJ
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Old 22nd November 2021, 20:44   #11
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Default Re: Motorcycle Track day with CRA Motorsports - Meco Kartopia, Bengaluru

First of all, get well soon Deepak! Take care and take a good rest!

It is amazing that you penned this report so well in spite of getting injured at the end of this event. Kudos to your positive attitude and energy!

Also, it is great that you are so active in these bike events, and you are pursuing your passion of bikes so well. I am sure you will be back to enjoying your bike and to your passion after you recover. Wish you a speed recovery!
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Old 23rd November 2021, 10:37   #12
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Default Re: Motorcycle Track day with CRA Motorsports - Meco Kartopia, Bengaluru

Many thanks for sharing Deepak.
Take full rest first and take baby steps in recovery. We want our riding experience to be longer in time and not just faster (compared to own only).
I am sure your physical and mental strength is going to help you bounce back quickly.
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Old 23rd November 2021, 13:30   #13
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Default Re: Motorcycle Track day with CRA Motorsports - Meco Kartopia, Bengaluru

Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post
As a fellow rider, I will say...6 months is too much boss, just get back to saddle by Feb/Mar 2022!
Unfortunately this type of injury does require a more cautious approach. I was back in the gym performing weighted squats and lunges 3 months after my ACL surgery but in this case I have to take it slow if I know what's good for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fawad0222 View Post
Get well soon Deepak. Soft tissue injuries take time to heal and need patient rehabilitation to avoid chronic niggles. Please follow the routine as prescribed by your doctor.
.... Actually this is important not only for the racing machines but also for regular riding/driving in order to avoid chronic health problems like neck pain, backache knee issues etc.
Thank you for your kind and words and yes you are spot on. I only wish I had known this 20 years ago, right now every joint in my body screams in agony due to years of abuse in the gym.


Quote:
Originally Posted by krishsreedharan View Post
Ouch! Just looking at that picture hurt! Get some rest and get well soon so that you can chase that faster lap time. Maybe I need to take that course as well - so that I can more understand and practice the art of "understanding your bike" more than what I do now.
Thank you very much and yes track days are worth it and only makes you a better/safer rider on the road.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyborg View Post
Admire your courage and sprit, inspite of your injury you still went ahead for another battle with the track on day two. Take care, get well and back on the saddle soon
Thank you very much, some might call it stupidity

Quote:
Originally Posted by AtheK View Post
Get well soon Deepak, Not a great sight that, but that smile makes up for it, and of course the time you spent riding on track.
Thanks buddy..I was high as a kite with post op painkillers, hence the smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andaleeb View Post
You are a brave person deepfreak15. I am so glad, you are okay now.
Wishing you a speedy recovery.
Thanks for the kind wishes, adrenaline makes logic fly out the window sometimes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by behaln View Post
Wishing you a speedy recovery brother. Loved your smile in the picture, shows your spirit. Keep it up.
Thank you very much, it was the meds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VijayAnand1 View Post
deepfreak15, glad that you didn't fracture your elbow along. Healing time is when the forte is fortified. Take it easy, being a tricep rip, the tendons can take a while to heal. Do work with a physiotherapist so that they help with the movement and you recover fully.
You said it! Taking it slow but will come back stronger.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.AD View Post
First of all, get well soon Deepak! Take care and take a good rest!
Thanks Doc, I was kind of tired of driving on our roads and was wishing for a break, didn't expect it to happen this way but I ll take it

Quote:
Originally Posted by sukiwa View Post
Many thanks for sharing Deepak.
Take full rest first and take baby steps in recovery. We want our riding experience to be longer in time and not just faster (compared to own only).
I am sure your physical and mental strength is going to help you bounce back quickly.
Thanks for your kind and wise words.

Last edited by deepfreak15 : 23rd November 2021 at 13:43.
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Old 23rd November 2021, 17:31   #14
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Default Re: Motorcycle Track day with CRA Motorsports - Meco Kartopia, Bengaluru

Quote:
Originally Posted by deepfreak15 View Post
What about that elbow?
Day 3 I saw signs of internal bruising and knew it was time to go to the hospital. I had torn my tricep clean off the elbow, had to undergo surgery and now I have my arm in a cast. Recovery is going to be slow (up to 6 months) but hey, when life gives you a break- take it. Cant wait to get back on the saddle and chase those laptimes.
Attachment 2235300
Deepfreak15, my friend, you are a warrior!! Get well soon and hope you crush your laptimes!!! Take care buddy!!

- from a guy who crashed his Ninja 250 and received 3 stiches on his family jewels, and who continues to ride till date.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 23rd November 2021 at 18:34. Reason: Please avoid typing...like...this. Thanks.
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Old 23rd November 2021, 19:02   #15
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Default Re: Motorcycle Track day with CRA Motorsports - Meco Kartopia, Bengaluru

I just wish you were more careful & listened to your body proactively. Maybe this could be avoided but it's all retrospective mulling now. It makes me sad to see you like this & wish you a speedy recovery.
Ironically the same optimistic outlook that led you here will also Inshallah see you through this & emerge stronger (hopefully wiser too but thats me being optimistic).
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