Well, with my track bike down and the day already paid in advance and non-refundable, I decided what the heck and took the GSA in for a day at Putnam Park west of Indianapolis.
I set up for the track by removing rear seat and luggage rack, and the usual blue tape and light disconnecting. I pulled the rear seat and rack to get a little "high and back" weight off of the motorcycle. Tire pressure for a 185lb rider: 33 rear (let 3 out) and 29.5-30 front. This got almost perfect 10% warmup through a session.
Here's what I found:
Push-button suspension setup
I'd previously discovered that without bags installed, the stock "one rider" preload just isn't stiff enough for sporty riding. "One rider + bags" and damping set to "sport" along with good throttle control will keep her quite composed. I clipped around pretty good and didn't even need to hardly slide out of the seat to use all of the front and rear tire.
Good news: the stock Metzeler 80/20 tires are very sticky and didn't slip at all on the track. NO traction control engagements!
Bad news: after 3 20 minute sessions, I had to quit as (see pix below), 3 or 4 more would have totally killed an almost new set of very expensive tires, especially the front one.
Rear Tire (not as bad as front)
Rear Tire Closeup
Front Tire (aahhgghh!)
On every front except for extreme acceleration, the GSA did really well, way better than I thought it would. The brakes are really remarkable and I was able to out-brake and enter corners to the point where I had to slow down for the sportbikes in front of me. Did manage to get one 120mph run down the front straight with 4cylinder hornets zipping past me, though this motorcycle isnt' really meant for that sort of duty.
What it does say is: "I can tour." "I can go offroad." "I can carry loads of stuff." And, "I can ride pretty darn sporty and even go to the track if my rider wants to!" Cheers for GSA, she saved the day when my 1000rr is on a factory recall!!!! However, if you take yours to the track, you might want to spring for a set of sporty sport-tourers, they'll likely last longer!