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Brands trackday report


danksy
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I had my first UK bike track event last night at Brands.

Being my local circuit I thought I'd ride there and take the Hornet as I have no means currently :secret: of transporting the 'blade to/from the track.

It was a Motorsportvision evening event which basically involves the following.

15.30 onwards registration.

up until 4.45 - Noise testing

16.45 rider briefing

17.30 sessions start

20:00 track closes

There were two groups, novices and intermediate/advanced with sessions of 20 minutes each. The first session comprised of 3 sighting laps after which the whole group returned to the pits and lined up ready to take to the track for the remainder of the 20 minute session. The intermediates went out first and as they returned to the pits the novices went out and basically that was the format for the rest of the evening (but obviously without the sighting laps) +++.

For the first 3 sessions I was in, not one session went past without someoning binning their bike, which of course resulted in a red flag and us returning to the pits. The whole group was read the riot act (next person off is going home) and luckily things improved for the next 2 sessions with uninterrupted tracktime.

Being the Indy circuit it was quite short in terms of laptimes but the benefit being that you could really concentrate on getting the lines right for each corner without forgetting to much from the previous lap. I have done Brands 3 times in cars, but on the bike it was completely different, with the changes in gradients much more noticeable and the double apex at clearways being much more fun on a bike!

There are only 2 left handers on the whole circuit, so the right hand side of the tyres took a bit of a hammering, it took me a couple of sessions to get in the swing of things but by the 3rd session I had the lines pretty well sorted and was getting used to the capabilities of my bike in terms of braking, and also working out where it was best to short-shift inorder to maintain balance and speed through some of the higher speed sections of the track. Throughout the second session I concentrated on the lines and turn in points and gradually built up the speed and started to pass a few others on more capable machinery. On session 3 onwards I really tried to pull everything together and even managed to lap a few of the slower guys and was grinding the hero-blobs on the tarmac on most of the corners. By the 4th session I was really into the swing of things and was probably in the top half of the group and was enjoying going 'off-line' to make my around others on the track.

So all in all I had a great time and it represented good value for money at £79 because it meant I could still get to work in the morning and leave at 3.30 and still get to the track in time for the action, and still be back home in time to chill out!

My mrs also did the trackday and whilst she was a lot slower on the track, she was focussed on getting her lines right and she had a cracking time, and plenty of admiring glances when she was in the pits (at her bike I think :eek: ). When we came to go she said her bike was making a funny noise, I took a listen from a distance and it sounded like a blowing manifold. :smashfreak: I had a closer look and it looked like one of the HT leads had come off one of the plugs on the left hand side fairing. We took the fairing off and lifted the fuel tank out of the way and discovered the whole flipping spark plug had come out of the cylinder head :eek: :smashfreak: and the noise that we were hearing was just the lost compression and fuel/air exiting the head. We had no sockets or tools other than a couple of spanners and screwdrivers but a guy nearby helped us and we managed to get the plug back in with the aid of his fuel tank hose (which he took off) and popped over the end of the spark plug to enable us to rotate it into position. Whilst not a great fit it was enough for a good earth and reasonable seal around the cyclinder head so at least we could ride home (6 miles). Anyway 2 miles down the road the bike stopped we had to call the RAC :smashfreak:

All in all great value for an evening's entertainment, but looks like this weekend I'll have the VFR in bits checking each of the plugs etc.

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Great report, Nick +++

It's a slippery slope though - once you've done one trackday... ;)

I thought Bike trackdays would be cheap...

so far i have spent all this and only used the backprotector :ffs:

Fireblade £1500

Alpinestars back protector £50 (fleabay)

Aplinestars scuffed up leathers £50 (fleabay)

BKS "Nice Leathers" £600

2+1 bike trailer £230 (fleabay)

Towbar £300

Kneesliders £25

Ear protectors £5

So i'm all kitted up, just need to fettle the 'blade a bit then ready to do 3/4 more at least this year! Once I get the trailer sorted I'll use the rest of the stuff, I didn't want to use any new leathers for my first day as I wanted to be as comfortable as possible.

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I thought Bike trackdays would be cheap...

Fireblade £1500

Alpinestars back protector £50 (fleabay)

Aplinestars scuffed up leathers £50 (fleabay)

BKS "Nice Leathers" £600

2+1 bike trailer £230 (fleabay)

Towbar £300

Kneesliders £25

Ear protectors £5

Great write up, I think I know where you made your mistake, thinking it's getting expensive...

You must make sure that you never add it up, just spread it all out and it's easily affordable, at least that's what I keep telling myself:ffs:

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I thought Bike trackdays would be cheap...

Aplinestars scuffed up leathers £50 (fleabay)

BKS "Nice Leathers" £600

I didn't want to use any new leathers for my first day as I wanted to be as comfortable as possible.

Your not doing the proddie racer's trick of having a "scrutineering" set of leathers/boots/crash helmet & a "racing set" then ?

Hope bike is OK & plug thread not damaged

Would like to do a trackday myself this year as been ages since had a bike that was even slightly suitable, trouble is need a tight circuit as all my friends run fast track bikes !

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Nice write up Dansky- I think you'll find track days are horribly addictive and expensive and time consuming and even a bit risky at times but worth every single penny and every minute you spend on them. If you love riding bikes - its the only way to go...

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I'm booking Jerez for September +++

I'm booking Californian Superbike school for 28th July +++

I'm doing snetterton, rockingham and brands this summer +++

Just spent £150 on 2 "tyre downs" - one for each bike & ratchets and and stuff to tie the bikes down on the trailer.

Now I need a new cyinder head for the VFR £50 on fleabay 4 plugs @ £15 each :eek:

Then I need to do oil and filter changes on both bikes and 2 new tyres on the blade- Say another £250 :smashfreak:

But it's great fun :notworthy: +++

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It's a lot cheaper. Just take the trip to Portugal :

£650 I think are that was :

3 days on a grade A track

transport of bike and gear there

three nights hotel and breakfast

Bike track days seem a lot cheaper. Snetterton on Monday was £79 (although I got a freebie).

Besides everything else, bike trackdays are way more fun that car days. I've done various car days including a day at Donington in a Caterham race car on slicks but none compare with a bike day.....although I do think the fear has something to do with it! :roflmao:

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