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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi folks,

Newbie here. I took the MSF course at a local college late last year and picked up a 300F a couple weeks after. Went to a few dealers and sitting on the 300F just felt so much confidence inspiring than the other bikes i tried. I have only bought used cars so wanted to get something shiny for once :)

I have traditionally been a 4 wheels guy but after years of wussing out I decided to give it a shot. Seeing guys whipping out lap times on 7k bikes that shamed 100k cars on track is part of the motivation for sure. I plan on being a weekend/fair weather rider rather than commuter but a buddy of mine is convinced I will end up selling the cars and replacing them with bikes eventually!

I just broke 500 miles and am doing the first service this Tuesday, once I have ~2k miles I am planning on signing up for a track day or two so that I can get better in a safe environment. I started with a fwd 100 hp car and it helped me tremendously as I couldn't lean on the hp to cover mistakes, so I figure a 300F is a good corollary and getting >70 mpgs going around town is just hilarious!

Hopefully a little less excitement than this will occur at my first bike event (one of my wheels broke in half during a open practice session) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIHZA_bBu1c
 

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Welcome along for the ride! Great to see you like getting out on the track. That clip of your wheel failure is quite funny with the wheel rolling past you at the end! Hope you can laugh about it now.
Anyways, great time of year to buy a bike, those 300F's seem really popular in the states. Enjoy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah the wheel video is from a couple years ago now so it is more funny than upsetting :) The corner workers got to me quickly and were able to keep the fire under control. Part of the reason I want to get the bike to the track once I have the basics down is because if something does happen you have a bunch of folks looking out for you and no traffic coming the other way!
 

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Couldn't agree more, the only time i really push my bikes to nearing 10 tenths is at the track where there is nice soft grass to run off on to!
I've got my first track session on the 300R coming up in three weeks, really lookin forward to that. Mental note to self: Dont be too hard on the motor! :laugh:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Awesome, good luck and have fun! I will be trying to pick up a helmet camera mount before my first event so you guys can point out my noobish errors and help me learn :)
 

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Welcome.

Curious for why the wheel came loose? Didn't tighten / check lugs & bolts prior to session? You handled it well by taking it straight off and away from additional danger.

I used to track my sports car(s) on a monthly basis for almost three years straight until I lost the urge. Maybe I'll come back to it in the future. One thing's for sure, I use what I've learn from HPDE events on public roads every single day, and I don't even have to be going fast. Fun hobby.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The wheel didn't come loose, it actually broke along the spokes! The center part was still connected (see attached pic). The manufacturer took the wheel back and said they found no defect. I was surprised a "racing" wheel from a legit brand failed in a short time of use (I use a different brand now for obvious reasons), not that I expected a warranty or anything like that. Oh well, I made some adjustments to the manufacturers I use and shorted the replacement window to a year for cast wheels (forged ones I use for much longer but they are $$$). Other folks have used those same wheels without issue, but I don't want to risk experiencing it again!
 

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The wheel didn't come loose, it actually broke along the spokes! The center part was still connected (see attached pic). The manufacturer took the wheel back and said they found no defect. I was surprised a "racing" wheel from a legit brand failed in a short time of use (I use a different brand now for obvious reasons), not that I expected a warranty or anything like that. Oh well, I made some adjustments to the manufacturers I use and shorted the replacement window to a year for cast wheels (forged ones I use for much longer but they are $$$). Other folks have used those same wheels without issue, but I don't want to risk experiencing it again!
Wow, that's crazy... Never heard of this happening. Hopefully your next set of wheels can keep up with your speed because you were hauling a$$! :laugh:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah, it isn’t standard practice haha, which is why I suspected a manufacturing defect. That is a track I know fairly well Summit Point - Shenandoah (in the mini which is street legal, I run high 1:43s which I am proud off). When bikes run there they run a different configuration (adds a couple chicanes to prevent the speeds from getting too high on the straights) so you can’t really compare times across vehicle type.

Took the bike in for its 540 mile break-in service this week. They adjusted the chain and the clutch and did a bunch of other checks along with the oil change. The clutch adjustment caught me out as the friction zone moved a bit so I sounded like a jerk revving harder than necessary leaving the parking lot (haha noob problems). With the cars I do most of the work excluding engine open jobs but I have to do a bit more research before I tackle bike jobs myself as I know nothing right now! (also while it is on warranty I figure dealer servicing would prevent claim denial should something happen). Riding home the bike felt great and spring looks to be here for the long haul now so I am excited :D Time to map out a few new routes to check out!

I still have lots to learn, but my focus on for the next month will be on smooth shifts :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Up to 600 miles now, shifts are getting smoother (still lots more practice before I hit the track though) and the weather has been fantastic :) first time I didn't wear a sweatshirt and long sleeve shirt under my gear, yay!

Ordered some Shogun Frame Sliders as they are only $50 and seems to attach to a solid part of the bike. Taking the mini to the track tomorrow and later in the week going to swing by harbor freight and pick this up 1000 Lb Capacity Motorcycle Swingarm Rear Stand
 

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excellent focus.. extend smooth..
smooth applies to all, aspects of riding..
take your time,, think of everything
as the skill, right from standing next to
your motorcycle, left hand on bar, about to lift
and turn leg from balls of foot thru hips
smoothly over saddle, and into mount..

even, just that, can be and is a form of skill
which can be practiced without engine running..
when mounted, just finding nice balanced position
with neutral vertical alignment, finger on front brake,
[even eyes closed] is another fundamental skill
and reality of every ride..

novices most often side drop their bikes in that first phase
of ownership, just sitting on it, or just parking it, or just
doing a small movement or adjustment..
later, not likely, as repetition of mounting and moving
and balancing has sunk into brain and balance mechanism
which learns to take the weight to neutral, together with
switching on appropriate muscles for particular joints
taking weight from the clutches of gravity..

just sitting there, or standing over your motorcycle,
hands on bars [finger on front brake lever] moving
her from side to side [a little] to teach brain this
fundamental response to vertical alignments,
is an excellent practice,, so often overlooked
of not seen as part of 'riding'..

with karate skills i also think of this basic movement
in terms of weight distribution and one legged balance
as part of a lifting knee strike or round kick form,,
which you need not do of course,, but it is mentioned
in context of how even this elementary riding skill
can be approached..

moving your motorcycle forward and back with or without
engine power contribution is another excellent basic skill
also often overlooked by novices.. yet it is also another
regular element of riding, required to varying degrees
in every ride.. every time you move into your park,
and whenever you need to move her around as part of
entering or leaving a tight park..

i like parking close to a wall whenever possible,
[out of the way, sheltered from strong winds, etc]
which means leaning into the wall, left side..
other tight parks [eg, within a group of bikes]
sometimes requires mounting from the right side,
therefore when you can mount ok from the left,
practice the same thing from the right side..

from the left park she's leaning towards you,
mounting from the right shes leaning away from you,
thus a different approach, leaning upper body away
slightly as left leg goes over seat, then thighs take your
weight [smoothly] allowing left foot to move to ground..

it is excellent practice simply pushing your motorcycle
along.. finger on brake lever for control, in neutral or
clutch in, from either/both sides.. this is also brain training..
sometimes you may need to clutch start due to battery drain
[leaving key in, etc] which can be done on this motorcycle
and will charge the battery with a few good rides..
[normal charging or battery tender recommended]
but in emergency, it is very convenient to be able to
simply push your motorcycle, run, jump on, release clutch
and start engine [then slow down, holding revs over 3k
until engine feels steady] then ride away as usual,
instead of being stuck somewhere as in a car..

thats one practical reason for, doing your pushing etc..
but the effects go beyond preparation for a flat battery..

riding is and should be a whole of body experience,
including balance and movements of mass which
create lean and turning thru corners and so on..
like 'low flying'...
all these stationary and fundamental balancing
and holding etc practices tap into muscles
you will use during smooth riding...
 

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Shucks Shisoshin, I think u almost broke your own record there, had to pause for a cup of tea half way thru! :laugh:

All good stuff tho, keep it comin :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Quite a lot of tips, thanks for the list (I have also used that clutch start trick to start a car thought it took 5 people pushing it lol)! Purely by chance my house is literally on the same block as the lot used for the motorcycle license testing in my area so I am able to go and practice the figure 8 and braking etc. in a safe place with clearly marked lines. One of the reasons I picked the 300 was how much easier it was to move around and tilt back and forth, I do get to practice my three point turns every time I park at home as my driveway is on a hill too steep to back it up on. I have been riding around a bit more with the arrival of spring so at ~850 miles now. Found some fun low traffic roads with some tight turns to practice looking through and adjusting lean to make sure in a panic I just lean more rather than grab the brake!

I signed up for my first bike track day, taking place late June, (novice group obviously) at a track I know really well so I can focus on the bike part rather than worrying about learning the course. As part of prepping I installed a set of frame sliders, it literally took me longer to get it on the swing arm stand and find the right sockets than install them lol. I could get used to this ease of access compared to a car. I obviously don't plan on testing them, but they seem legit to me...

I also ordered a set of track capable pads, $30 lmfao I could get used to these prices too (racing pads for the car are in the $200-$300 range)! Will do a stainless front line and Motul 600 at the same time when everything arrives because I like to have a large buffer against brake fade.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Will do. It isn't anything too fancy as I am still on the IRC tires so don't want to overpower them, just EBC HH sintered pads and a Galfer braided steel front line.

I have thought about taking the GoPro off of the race car and sticking on the bike but since it is my first event I doubt the video will be fun to watch until I get better.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The mod bug has definitely bitten me hard :) I officially pulled budget from the race car to apply to the bike :-X I am going into this knowing I won't get my money back should I sell but I don't plan on doing that and my favorite hobby is turning $$ into lap times anyway.

So far I just have the Shogun frame sliders, stainless front line and sintered pads. Last two are going on these weekend as the weather looks bad which should keep me in the garage instead of out riding for the first time in a while (up to 1.1k miles now).

Next up is a bit of weight reduction. Plan is leaning towards:
GPR Deeptone Exhaust
Shorai LFX09L2-BS12
Ebay CBR600RR Mirror Block-off Plates (will only take them off for track days)
R&G Exhaust Hanger and Pillion Peg Delete

Anything obvious I am missing or anything a horrible idea?
 

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Cheers, your going in with the right attitude knowing that this is a hobby, not a way of increasing your bikes value.

Will be really interested to hear how the front brake up grade goes. Not something Ive looked into yet as I'm finding with the bike being 25 pound lighter and myself a lightweight the brakes feel more than adequate.

The GPR looks like an interesting option, what finish will you choose and do you know the weight of the unit? Slip on or full system?

Regarding your weight loss programme: You've hit the two main beefy items there straight off with the can and the battery. There's some good savings to be made in fitting an aluminium tail tidy if you haven't already (and your bike will look smarter), but one that is easily over looked is getting rid of those clunky steel handle bars. I saved 3.5 pounds by fitting a set of Vortex aluminium clip ons, and it puts you in a better riding position for racing. That's all weight removed from up high too, so better handling.

When setting your bike up for a track day you'll drop another two pounds with the mirrors off and 1.5 pounds if you remove your indicators. If you get a paddock stand then you can kiss good bye to the side stand and another pound of weight.

While I'm on a roll.... an easy, cheap half pound can be shed by changing the pegs to CBR600RR aftermarket jobbies. Look way cooler, no increase in vibration, all for $10USD!

I'll stop now... :D Enjoy your project.
 
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