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The "Ridge" Part Deux Holy Snike Batman!

Discussion in 'Track Time' started by Ballistic, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. Titanium Ballistic aka Craig
    Well, I hoped to never tell a story like this, but I feel compelled to share after close to 3 weeks of healing. I went to the "Ridge" racetrack in Shelton, WA about 3 weeks ago tomorrow and rode my second track day there. Great weather, tons of bikes (about 100) in the 3 classes. First session went well in the A group, felt a little slowed by the newbies but on the second session I bolted and ran first the first lap and ended up around 6th at the end of the session ---but "who is countin?" haha, me. Probably the best I have ever ridden on pavement, period. Hmmmm, can you guess what is coming? Third session I bolted, but someone with slicks and tire warmers beat me to turn one, two, three, four, five and coming off the carousel I was hauling bootie and down the hill and hard on the brakes, trail braking into that turn as was usual for me--evidently my front tire let go or I touched down on a low mounted frame slider and BAM!, I was down bouncing off the track. OWIE! Did not even realize I was down until I stopped bouncing and sliding. Crap, I crashed---first time at any track, first time on pavement in 40 fricking years. I guess I overdid it, or my guardian angel blinked. Who knows? I tried to get up immediately, but the pain crumpled me back down---hey, just like on TV. Bleahhh! Second time, after writhing in pain awhile, I made it to the standing posture and weakly waved to the flag station that I was still breathing. Barely. Control riders showed up and asked if I needed an ambulance ride---I said--Nahhhh!---just pick up my bike and I will ride it back to the pits. Great choice---NOT! I made it back to the pits and walked 1000 feet to the track ambulance to get checked out as my left hand and right ribcage was hurting, alot! They splinted my left thumb and thought it might be dislocated. Ended up going to the local ER and they said it was broken, declined chest x-rays---another mistake. After two days back in Spokanistan, I was short of breath and had severe back pain---x-rays---broken 4th rib and displaced---crap, I hardly know how to read x-rays and this looked UGLY! Well, long story a bit shorter, surgery to repair a severely broken left thumb metacarpal with TITANIUM plate, screws, etc and narcotics to sooth pain for the ensuing weeks---and here I are. If I ever felt invincible, I don't now. Argghh. More to the story, bike turned out better than me---but I now wonder if my low mounted frame sliders saved the bike/engine---but maybe decelerated the bike and helped break my thumb or even caused the crash, I was totally on my line with no worries until I bit it? Anywho, that is my story---at least part of it----and I am sticking to it.

    Titanium Craig
  2. Youch....sounds like a lot of mistakes in one day! Heal up quick. I've broken ribs before,'s no fun (I had 3 at once!) Sounds like it's time for a more capable track bike than an FZ1.

    I highly doubt your slider caused the crash, the lean angle needed for that would be absurd, your front tire would let go well before that (as it did!). You were trail lee parks would say, you ran out of pie.

  3. Pushing too hard on the first lap with cold tires causes lots of crashes. Give them time to warm up or get tire warmers. :roll:
  4. Never had a problem pushing hard first lap b/4, but I am not going to argue---as I am the one who bit it. Q2's warm up quick, but, my number one theory is the same---cold tires--too fast to soon.

  5. galenernest

    galenernest I bathe with candles, flowers, jazz music, and rub

    I always gave Q2's one lap at least to warm up. Hope you heal up quick.

    And it sounds like you were turning a track day into a race. I'm not one to judge -- everyone likes to pass and not get passed. But that may be another factor in your crash -- trying to keep up or trying too hard to catch someone else. It finally bit you.
  6. No argument here. I run every lap like it is my only one. Worked great for last 5 years or so, maybe exceeded physics on this one.

  7. Correct me if im wrong but wouldnt trail braking cause the back tire to loose grip and not the front? I always feel sketch downshifting into that turn
  8. unless he's trail braking with his rear're wrong :p. If you're on the front brake at all it's taking a portion of the available traction to that tire and using it for braking instead of turning. Yes, it shifts weight forward and can lighten up the rear, but think about it, if someone uses too much front brake, do they crash because their rear slides out or because their front washes out?

    You should read the Total Control books, they describe all this really well, that was what I referenced before with the pie (or was it pizza?). Put simply, at anyone time you have a certain amount of traction available to a tire, that traction is 100%, or a whole pie. Now, everything uses up and eats that pie. Turning, accelerating, braking, all eat the pizza. So, if your turn requires 75% of the traction, but you're using 30% for braking, something's gotta give.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2012
  9. I like pie! You made me hungry!
    shelbyguy likes this.
  10. I just ate pizza pie.:mrgreen: Maybe I ate too much at the "Ridge". Anybody that rides much at the track or races, pretty much uses only the front brake---except for a few very talented individuals that use rear brake for steering---not me. Trail braking refers to braking in the corner, 99% of the time with the front brake---my experience and track school training. Like previous poster, only so much traction available for either cornering or braking----you use up your bank account and you fall down. I still think there might be an outside chance I touched down one of my front sliders---as FZ1's are much lower mount with most frame sliders and I was heavily on the front brakes---which would compress my front suspension and make my slider closer to the pavement, especially leaned over steep. I have pictures from a flat pavement course here in Spokane with my bike showing the slider pretty damn close to the pavement without the added stress of downhill braking---so, me thinks it is at least an outside chance I touched my slider and lifted what little traction I had left on the front and therefore biffed it. No proof---but, in so many years of doing this, never had a front end slide I could not tell was coming---until this. I slid a borrowed 2009 R1 twice coming into corners a couple years ago and felt it and released the brake---no warning on this one at all---therefore crashola. Not sure, wish I knew---but, if I return to the track, I will definitely eliminate a couple possible variables so I hopefully don't repeat making business for the orthopedic surgeons. Even though I work in the medical field, they have enough to do without me adding to their schedule. :roll:

  11. Craig dude glad to hear you say you will be back, at your age that is a huge statement. I have rubed my frame slider on a cbr, turn 4 ccw orp, so I know it can happen, the bike didnt like it but there was room to stand it up instead of down. Tires and warmers are a must. I'm going to say that I put some Q2s on my TUONO for the street and they are awesome. I know how fast you are and no mater what lap it is Q2s SUCK for the track. I have seen numerous riders down this year with them, step up to GPAs. You are track riding, ride a track tire. Hope to see you out there next season
  12. Dave knows best---I am going to take your advice, especially since you know me too. Getting injured is not reasonable when better equipment/tires can prevent alot of it. I have been abit too much of a cheap bastard as I have gotten quicker and that was the wrong direction---I see the light now. :shock: Thanks for the nice comments.

  13. The gp,s are the best but I wouldnt run them on the street, you wouldnt believe how hard I can break with them, Im on my 10th track day on a front and its stil good, 4 of the days were 95deg. They arent cheep. The GPAs are a little cheeper and far better than Q2s, just my opinion and you know how thar goes, good to hear from you and hope your wife is taking it in stride. Dave
  14. I'm really not trying to be a dick, but 99% of track day crashes aren't equipment/bike caused, but rider induced. Somewhere in the actions leading up to your crash, you made a decision, or a rider input that caused you to take a fall.

    It wasn't tires, it wasn't the track, it wasn't your slider... It was the brain behind the bars.
    Be accountable to yourself for that fact, and you'll learn a lot more about how to prevent another off in the future.

    Also, for some good natured advice; While you're healing up, take some time to really think about body positioning, your riding style, and general temperament while on the track, and at the track in general.
    Remember, you're there to have fun, and learn how to be a better rider. Don't let the red mist blind you into anything else, that's what competition racing is for.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012
  15. Dang, I think I was there that day it happened. Glad to hear you're okay, and hope you have a speedy recovery.

    Come out again next year? But, take it slower... we need you alive ;)
  16. First Gen FZ1 frame sliders are very low, I had shorter dog bones on my FZ1 to get the ass end up and pegs and sliders up, that and the stock geometry blows. [​IMG]
    as you can see the sliders are slightly below the center line of the crank, so I think it can be a possibility.
  17. Thanks for the physics reality check. :popcorn:

  18. Oh, also, I am running aftermarket dogbones and Race tek .90 front fork springs, my bike sits 1.5 inches higher than stock, I use aftermarket footpegs that are higher and back, different higher exhaust, but, I still think it is a possibility that I still over rode this setup on that downhill on the brakes so hard. Never know for sure, but, I think my 40 year record on streetbikes and 10 year record of no crashes on the track---speaks somewhat for itself. I have never had a so sudden crash on a dirtbike or street or track as this---so, it is hard not to wonder if some other factor might be involved. Gotta get off those drugs! :mrgreen: I have been running in the "A" group at Spokane and then at the Ridge for 3 years, don't consider myself a novice.

  19. so what you're saying were due for a crash :p
  20. Maybe something like that, or maybe my luck/skill ran out--or outrode what my bike could really do. Wish I had the answer to know for sure. :scratchea