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Thread: Circuit of the Americas From the Seat of My GSW

  1. #1

    Circuit of the Americas From the Seat of My GSW

    A friend and I headed out Saturday morning to one of the rare track days at Circuit of the Americas (so far, once per year). All the usual reasons: Just for fun; to experience the real, honest-to-goodness, newest and perhaps most technical F1/MotoGP track in the world; to ride at any speed you dare (without fear of some Dilbert coming the other way or turning in front of you); and finally, because you?re never too old to learn something from a coach.

    Of course it was expensive and of course it was sold out. It?s COTA. There are apparently a ton of serious track day riders out there, and many (or most) of them seem to have the latest in trucks, trailers, pop-ups tents, tool sets, bike stands, and WSBK-worthy BMW?s, Ducatis, Hondas, Yamahas, etc.

    Lots to remember: First and foremost, don?t ride over your head (Corollary: Avoid the red mist). The line. Braking zones. Be smooth. Turn-in points. Clip points (Corollary #1: Even though cars do it, you probably don?t want to use the rumble strips on a bike. Corollary #2: Don?t cross the rumble strips and get on the Astroturf borders while leaning ? very unfriendly). Trackside reference points (don't choose any that move). Other bikes. Don?t use the front brake if you overrun into the kitty litter. And the last ?most important? point, have a good time (taking all of the above into account).

    I checked ?chicken strips? at the end of the day. Mine were ?? (or maybe 15/32?) wide, Art?s were ?? (or maybe 5/16?) wide. That could mean:

    1) He was twice as quick as I was (2 X 1/4? = ??).

    2) He was half as quick as I was (1/2? / 2 = ??).

    3) My GS ?bottoms out? (scrapes the kickstand, center stand, or pegs) before Art's FJR does.

    4) All of the above.

    5) None of the above.

    You see GoPro cameras mounted on bikes in many different positions: 1) On the tailpiece, facing forward, for those who want a motion picture of their own backside. Not that interesting unless maybe ?The Doctor? is emblazoned across your leathers. 2) On the fairing, looking at the rider?s face. No idea why, unless it?s to capture the grin. Or the grimace. Or the panic. 3) On the tank, looking ahead, which may make sense unless it gets in the way of your high speed tuck. 4) On the tailpiece, looking back, in order to count all the bikes you pass. IF you pass any other bikes. If not, just forget about the video. 5) Finally, on your crash bar, if you happen to be riding a big dual sport, as in ?the only freakin? GS within miles of the track on this particular day?.

    I video?d one 20-minute session, then edited out all the embarrassing parts, ending up with the last lap of the session. It?s appropriately called ?One Hot Lap at Circuit of the Americas?, which in this context means only that it was 90+ degrees and was a rolling lap, starting and ending between Turns 19 and 20 (pit-in lane).

    Lines! Turn-in points! Clip points! Suspension loading and unloading! Pavement rising up to meet you! The roar (of the other bikes)! With no mirrors, it?s ALWAYS a surprise when one of said bikes suddenly and unceremoniously blows by, as if to say, ?go back to the Gelande/Strasse where you belong?!

    We had a good time. Here?s the video:

    Be careful and don?t lean too much when watching it - you could overturn your chair.

  2. #2
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    Michael -

    Pretty cool! You said one hot lap and I was going to time you from the start to the end of the hot lap to see what you're average speed was...but you had to pull off before you crossed the finish line. Some of those other guys really blew by...had to keep looking in the mirror??
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  3. #3
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Nice! Thanks for the ride a long!

    Only GS out there huh?
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  4. #4
    Are we there yet? tonyfr's Avatar
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    Hate to say it, but it would be a really nice video without the music.
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  5. #5

    Seriously?

    Quote Originally Posted by tonyfr View Post
    Hate to say it, but it would be a really nice video without the music.


    TEHO - to each his own.

    You can always find your speaker switch and put it in the off position.

  6. #6

    Thanks Kurt

    Quote Originally Posted by 20774 View Post
    Michael -

    Pretty cool! You said one hot lap and I was going to time you from the start to the end of the hot lap to see what you're average speed was...but you had to pull off before you crossed the finish line. Some of those other guys really blew by...had to keep looking in the mirror??
    You wouldn't want to time it since the video is not in real time! Mirrors are taped over to avoid broken glass on the track in case of a spill. That means you don't see them coming - every time someone passes it's a pucker up surprise!

  7. #7
    Are we there yet? tonyfr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by michaellmcc View Post


    TEHO - to each his own.

    You can always find your speaker switch and put it in the off position.
    I know where the "volume control" is on my speakers, but hearing the engine revs when a bike is on the track is much nicer. If you want me to experience what you were feeling on the track, I would like to hear what it sounds like through the corners and on the straights, braking and getting on the gas like this guy. Not unless there is a soundtrack playing in your head.
    Last edited by tonyfr; 06-25-2014 at 01:31 PM.
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  8. #8
    Registered User dieselyoda's Avatar
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    There is always music playing in my head.

    Quote Originally Posted by tonyfr View Post
    I know where the "volume control" is on my speakers, but hearing the engine revs when a bike is on the track is much nicer. If you want me to experience what you were feeling on the track, I would like to hear what it sounds like through the corners and on the straights, braking and getting on the gas like this guy. Not unless there is a soundtrack playing in your head.
    That was a neat video. Looks like you pushed the GSW pretty good and it doesn't sound like you are a Pro so the Pro's blowing past you was just their job. Sounded like you had fun. Good for you and thank you for sharing the video.
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  9. #9
    I enjoyed it immensely. Not sure if the revs on a GSW would excite me as much as the sportier bikes on the race circuits revving past 10,000 for top end performance.
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    Circuit of the Americas From the Seat of My GSW

    Most of the time a one (1) camera GoPro video in one position is pretty boring. Not yours. Found that I was leaning my head a bit left and right as you were turning, really! HaHa.
    Great video.

  11. #11

    Thanks!

    I appreciate all of the encouraging comments re the track event, as well as on the video itself. Just a few comments and acknowledgements:

    - The GSW was great fun, but no way-no how could I keep up with the other riders (intermediate class) on their track day bikes! You could see them blowing by on the long straight, when my max speed was around 110MPH.

    - COTA, for those from "elsewhere" who may have not seen it, is a fabulous place. Its design and perfect asphalt put most tracks, including Barber, in second place. But then it should, given its cost.

    - Granted, the soundtrack drowned out the engine noise... such as it is. While the stock exhaust has some nice notes, it's largely underwhelming on the track. I expect my Remus to arrive tomorrow, hopefully to give it a little more BITE!

    - I've concluded from a lot of trips, with tons of photos and videos, that the only practical way to share and keep the viewer interested is to boil it all down into a video montage of a few minutes' length. And in the case of a motorcycling video, my view is that silence (or road noise) is not golden. So my trademark is video/photo montage set to music. Like it or not. Any hints or suggestions always welcome!

    Good riding to all!
    Mike

  12. #12
    Registered User dieselyoda's Avatar
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    You asked for a suggestion, here it is....

    The music that plays in my head is almost always Bob Seger, Bruce Springsteen or John Mellancamp. In the rain, it's the Crash Test Dummies. I might be rather partial to them, local band you see.

    Let's see you do that. If you can make the noise in my head match your ride, well, that might be scary and rather, scarier but you have to make the pictures you see match the stuff in your head. Then there is some real magic.
    1997 R1100RT, 1981 KZ 440 LTD, R80RT, R90/6 sidecar, K1100RS,1983 K100RS (Cafe now)

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  13. #13

    You want John Mellencamp...

    Quote Originally Posted by dieselyoda View Post
    The music that plays in my head is almost always Bob Seger, Bruce Springsteen or John Mellancamp. In the rain, it's the Crash Test Dummies. I might be rather partial to them, local band you see.

    Let's see you do that. If you can make the noise in my head match your ride, well, that might be scary and rather, scarier but you have to make the pictures you see match the stuff in your head. Then there is some real magic.
    dieselyoda,

    Well it's off topic, but I'm with you on Springsteen, Seger, and Mellencamp. I've pored over my iTunes files for something of theirs that fits when developing videos. With regard to Mellencamp, here's one of my early films, trip to Indy for the MotoGP in 2012:

  14. #14
    Registered User dieselyoda's Avatar
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    C'mon man. thats's the best you got???

    Here I was, thinking and pondering that a guy with a handle like michaellmcc was a Mike, kinda like me. I was rather thinking you would post something that would blow everybody away. Close, keep trying. Let's see what you really got in that eye of yours that simple folks like me might get. Might have to make it more for the kinder folk out my way. Eliminate the subtle images, drop the music to something like, ABBA.

    Ooops, me bad, I just sent a ton of e-mail to a bunch of friends with your video.

    It still makes my brain hurt how people like you can see simple things and make them a statement.

    If you have a website, please share it. If you don't, get one. I think I just became another one of you fans.
    1997 R1100RT, 1981 KZ 440 LTD, R80RT, R90/6 sidecar, K1100RS,1983 K100RS (Cafe now)

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  15. #15
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 20774 View Post
    ..................( Some of those other guys really blew by...had to keep looking in the mirror??

    Absolute no-no on the track, in fact most track day operators do not allow mirrors. Stay on line, be predictable, it is the responsibility of the person overtaking to do so safely.


    Every rider should do a track day on their everyday ride, it will teach you more in a day than a year of street riding will.
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