Over the last four years of track days I have amassed copious amounts of hours just swapping from street set up to race set. How much do you ask? Well at 4-6 track days a season with an average of one (when I realized a faster way of doing the conversion) to two (when I had absolutely no idea what I was doing) hours it’ll add up. That is time I could be spent doing other things! This never really presented itself a problem, or nuisance rather, swapping over and over again, until this season.
Up until this point I was still dabbling in both my car and my bike, the latter taking more precedence as the warmer months came. I didn’t anticipate this season of track day riding to be this much fun, or the fact that I actually progressed more since my crashes a few season ago. This prompted a serious debate amongst my hobbies. Do I continue to fork money into both my interests or scale back and go with the choice I obviously had more fun with? The answer was simple.
I sold all the car things I had laying around unused, uninstalled and even still brand new in the box, grab my savings from a giant mason jar, hacked up a loan deal and set forth on my quest. The objective was simple, find another bike, most preferably a Yamaha and even more pressing an R6 at that. Luckily I found two within my budget and with quick dealings and negotiations with the owner of one I was on my merry way to Queens in New York to pick her up.
The idea here is to stop having to swap over, but that idea didn’t last too long as another one manifested itself. With the progression I have had during the track day season I felt like after four years of it I should dabble in racing. Watching MotoGP or even WSBK races already have my heart pounding, my palms sweating profusely and my eyes dodging back and forth from riders switching positions. So why not race? Why not try it I thought. This became the reason why I went this far to pick up another bike.
The bike itself was immaculate as so many attested to on the forums so it was a sure deal as far as that went. She also came with a few modifications, all mainly to endure a crash or of the sorts at track days. Engine covers, after market rear sets, flashed and trackside tuned ECU as well as even some cartridge kits for the front forks. The complete parts list is as follows:
-Armour Bodies Fairings with matched factory paint and black lowers
-Penske fork internals (200lb geared rider)
-Full Exhaust – Yoshimura TRC Exhaust (4 months old, used once on a track day)
-Exhaust EXUP system removed
-K&N Air Filter
-BAUCE Racing ECU, re-tuned at the track by Ant himself! (FTW!)
-AggRacing block offs
-Woodcraft rear sets
-Woodcraft case sliders (both sides)
-Woodcraft frame sliders
-Woodcraft swing arm spools
-520 DID ERV3 with Vortex Sprockets (track gearing)
-Galfer steel braided front brake lines
-EBC Racing brake pads
-Pirelli Superbike Pro slicks (6 track days on them, plenty of life left)
-Pazzo gold levers
-Ballistic Lightweight Battery
-StompGrip tank grips
-Traxxion Dynamics tank sliders
-Hotbodies double bubble custom cut shape
-Stahlbus Oil Drain Valve
What are my plans now? Well the first plan of action was to immediately take a heat gun to the decals. They were abundant and, at least to me, ruined the great OEM paint job that the track bodywork possessed. It wasn’t easy to say the least as there were so many of them and most of them were single letter decals. All I assumed were made by Drippin’ Wet who is really well known through the motorcycle industry in the U.S. for his decal work. He is a great fellow with some great designs of which I will find myself in the future inquiring too.
What’s the result after the decals are all off?
Next up and for the duration of the winter months will be swapping over my complete Ohlins suspension setup after a rebuilding of the kit, geometry setup for the bike with my choice of race tires, quick shifter kit, clip-ons for added assurance in case of a crash, a set of rain tires for the spare wheels, GB racing engine cover where applicable over the Woodcraft ones. There are more as I am forgetting at the moment but will be all listed and documented on this journey towards racing next season.