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Thread: R1250GS on track

  1. #1
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    R1250GS on track

    This weekend I am off to Motorsports Ranch in Cresson, Texas for a Ridesmart track day on my new R1250GS. Here in the Dallas area it is hard to find roads to allow you to really explore the handling of the bike, so the track seems like a good environment in which to find out what it is capable of. People at the dealer boast that a GS will outrun a sport bike, we will see.

    Any advice? Things I should watch out for? I am running the Anakee Adventure tires and have no idea what kind of grip they will provide at lean, or the kind of tire pressures to run. Seeing those big cylinders sticking out I worry about scrapping them, but perhaps other parts touch down first?

    We are running the 1.3 mile section of the track which is tight and very hilly. I have done a lot of laps there in a car, but it will be interesting to see how different it feels on a bike. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Thank you,
    Rickdm
    rickdm

    R1250GS, KTM 790 Duke

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    GS on Track

    Well done Rick - nice to be able to explore the limits of your machine in a controlled environment (track). I suspect you'll pick up many skill sets from the track that will transfer to street riding. Were it me running on the track, I would use the same tire pressures on the track I use on the street - I tend to run factory tp specs but add 1-2 lbs on the front of my RT - stock on my GSA. I would want the same 'predictability' from the tires on the street as I learn the limits on the track. I prefer dynamic on my '14GSA and '18 RT - not sure what settings are available on the 1250 - cylinder head protective covers are a good investment - I run Machine Art Moto on both bikes

    Watching Aaron at the BMW Performance Center run the snot out of his GSA on TKC 80's is 'frightening' - the term 'chicken stripe' isn't in his vocabulary -

    Have fun!

  3. #3
    Registered User stooie's Avatar
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    Oh, I bet you're gonna' have a ton of fun!

    At many track days there will be a tire vendor present who will give advice on what tire pressure to use for your particular bike and tire. They also commonly have a rig where you can check your tire pressure gauge against a calibrated standard.

    Please report back when it's over and share your experience.

    Have a great time!
    Bob Stewart
    Salem, OR

    2018 RT

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by rickdm View Post
    People at the dealer boast that a GS will outrun a sport bike, we will see.
    That is an interesting thought. But in reality it is the rider. And often owners/riders of sport bikes have more experience pushing the envelope than many GS riders. So experience counts and talent counts and the bike doesn't matter so much, maybe.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

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    Talking

    Iíll be running in the novice group, and Iím sure some of these guys are going to think Ďoh no, an old guy on a GS, heíll just be a rolling traffic cone out there!í. But I might surprise a few of them
    rickdm

    R1250GS, KTM 790 Duke

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    Registered User r0ckrat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickdm View Post
    Seeing those big cylinders sticking out I worry about scrapping them, but perhaps other parts touch down first?
    Rickdm
    I don't think you have much to worry about - the only instance of scraping heads on a wethead I've heard of was an R1200R in Dynamic and 2-up mode, with narrow bars, and super-sticky track tires - the GS should have considerably more ground clearance and no issue with getting it over far enough to scrape that I can think of (other than as it slides off track without you, which I hope you avoid.)

    Have fun!

  7. #7
    Registered User mlytle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickdm View Post
    Iíll be running in the novice group, and Iím sure some of these guys are going to think Ďoh no, an old guy on a GS, heíll just be a rolling traffic cone out there!í. But I might surprise a few of them
    i will bet NOBODY in the novice group will think that. they are all novices. situational awareness in that group tends to be very narrowly focused on getting their own bike around the track. no brain cells available to worry about what someone else is riding!

    I did my first couple track days on a 92 K75S. that bike was older than most of the other riders in the class on their ninja's. not an issue keeping the pace.

    you will have a blast!! warning, track days are like a bad drug...addictive...
    Marshall
    92 K75s, 94 K75s, 09 K1300s

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    Quote Originally Posted by mlytle View Post
    you will have a blast!! warning, track days are like a bad drug...addictive...
    I have already experienced the track addiction in a car. I have been a Porsche Club track instructor for the last 12 years. However I remember the off track excursions as I was learning and pushing the limits of my talent. At 66 I'm not sure my body could handle that learning curve on a motorcycle. But I think a track session or two a year will be valuable in keeping my skills sharp, and make me a little safer on the road (at least that is what I'm telling my wife).

    Rickdm
    rickdm

    R1250GS, KTM 790 Duke

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    Thumbs up

    You'll learn a lot at the track day but beware you can get addicted. As for the GS It can hold it's own just fine. I thought I was doing well a couple years ago on my R1200R until an OLD guy on a 1200gs with TKC 70 knobbies went by me on the inside of a turn like I was standing still!
    Last edited by coachz; 06-11-2021 at 05:37 PM. Reason: Spelling

  10. #10
    Registered User mlytle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickdm View Post
    I have already experienced the track addiction in a car. I have been a Porsche Club track instructor for the last 12 years. However I remember the off track excursions as I was learning and pushing the limits of my talent. At 66 I'm not sure my body could handle that learning curve on a motorcycle. But I think a track session or two a year will be valuable in keeping my skills sharp, and make me a little safer on the road (at least that is what I'm telling my wife).

    Rickdm
    Perfect. Your car experience will do you well. Just remember the line on a bike will be different.
    I am in same age bracket and I followed similar path. 20yrs racing cars with SCCA and BMWCCA, 15yrs as competition and hpde instructor, then started taking bikes to track. Only do a couple bike events a year, but it definitely helps the street skills and understanding the bike far more than possible on the street. Just like you know from your car experience.

    And it is totally fun!
    Marshall
    92 K75s, 94 K75s, 09 K1300s

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    Quote Originally Posted by mlytle View Post
    Perfect. Your car experience will do you well. Just remember the line on a bike will be different.
    I am in same age bracket and I followed similar path. 20yrs racing cars with SCCA and BMWCCA, 15yrs as competition and hpde instructor, then started taking bikes to track. Only do a couple bike events a year, but it definitely helps the street skills and understanding the bike far more than possible on the street. Just like you know from your car experience.

    And it is totally fun!
    Yes, it sounds like a very similar path. This should be a fun track: tight and technical with a lot of elevation changes. It will be interesting to see how different the line is going to be. I just arrived at the hotel which is across the street from the track after an hour ride, and it is 95 degrees. Iím not sure how long I will run tomorrow knowing I still have an hour ride home in heavy traffic. The school also sent out an email telling us they will not be providing waterÖÖ.
    rickdm

    R1250GS, KTM 790 Duke

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    So I had my track day on the GS. It was a brutal 95 degree cloudless day, but I managed to get four sessions 30 minute sessions in before calling it a day.

    Let me start by saying what an amazing bike the GS is. The handling in Dynamic mode is rock solid, and the brakes are more than capable of slowing down all 600 or so pounds. The 1250 engine is just freaking fast. This is a short track with tight windows in which to pass, and with the torque of the 1250 I could blow by people. On the last session I probably passed 10 or 12 sport bikes. I never even put it in Dynamic Pro, I just used Road the whole time. If you need more power than the 1250, you are way beyond my skill level. The only real limitation is ground clearance. I was scrapping pegs on both sides and I knew the crash bars couldnít be far away.

    My biggest concern was how the Anakee Adventures would do on a track. For a trail/street tire they were amazing. I got rid of the chicken strips on both tires and the only factor limiting my lean were the pegs scrapping. I ran 33 psi in the front and 31 in the back with the computer freaking out the whole time. This is going to give me a lot more confidence in these tires on the street.

    I went into this thinking that my GS would be for cruising and all terrain riding, but maybe I should get an R1000XR for sport riding in the mountains. No more. I think I can have all the fun I need with the GS. If you have not done a track day you should give it a try. You will learn things you cannot learn on the street without putting your life at risk, and you will have a great time.
    rickdm

    R1250GS, KTM 790 Duke

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    GS on the Track

    Morning Rick - well done! Thanks for the follow-up - seems kind of 'funky' they wouldn't provide water at the track - notably with such hot weather.

    Good the bike lived up to your expectations and you didn't have to avail your self of the "if you spin, both feet in" rule - how did you decide on your tire pressures?

    When's your next track day?

  14. #14
    Registered User stooie's Avatar
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    Rick:

    Good for you! Thanks for giving us the After Action Report.

    It's amazing how good tires are now. That a dual sport tire can get you down to peg-scraping lean angles and feel good is really something.

    Ride long and prosper!
    Bob Stewart
    Salem, OR

    2018 RT

  15. #15
    Registered User r0ckrat's Avatar
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    Congrats on a fun day!

    My understanding of the dynamic setting is that you will "gain" (not lose to compression) ground clearance, and that using 2-up mode will extend that even more if you ever decide you want more lean angle... (At least, that's with an R, not GS.)

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