August 26, 2002

A new piece of rear tail plastic, and a seat modification (to raise me up about 1 1/2" to give me a little more leg room, hopefully alleviating some numbness in my legs late in the day) were the only changes to the bike before the Sport Bike Track Time day at Grattan Raceway.

Grattan is a very difficult track, with lots of elevation changes, a few blind corners, and some very bumpy sections of pavement.  Overall, the pavement quality is not very good, but the track is still very ridable, as long as the occasional tank slapper doesn't bother you too much. :-)

Here's a few pictures that Jeff Nyquist took of me after he crashed out for the day:

Coming out of turn 5 - I'm the second bike in the pic if you can't tell

Leaned over in 5a

Through turn 10 onto the front straight

Passing someone on the exit of turn 10 - only to lose the drag race down the front straight...

Here's my account of a lap around Grattan on the 400:

Heading out of turn 10 onto the straightaway, redline in third appears while still leaned over, Grab 4th gear and point the bike down the front straight, grabbing 5th at the start/finish line where the straight begins to go downhill a bit. Wind out fifth almost to redline all the way to the second braking marker, sit up into the wind, grab two downshifts and a crapload of brakes, trailing the front brake to the apex of turn one, a right hander, increasing radius, uphill. Great corner! touch your knee at the apex and keep it there as you open the throttle to the stop and run wide heading up the hill. At the asphalt patch as you begin to crest the hill, get back on the brakes, and grab another downshift, and start turning her into turn 2 - a blind right-hand corner, you catch a glimpse of the apex just as you're turning in, slightly off camber, and the exit is downhill before leveling out for a second. Hit the apex and hold a tight line down the hill, trail the brakes a bit as you flip into turn 3 - a completely blind (until you're knee-deep into it...pun intended) left hander. The exit of two comes back level after a short downhill, and completely hides the next apex. Very scary corner. Once leaned into 3, hopefully you're on the line, as the entry is severely downhill, and then the exit heads back up the hill, with a few bumps in the pavement just to make it interesting. :-) Hold a tight line out of three, short shift up a gear, lean her around the right hand turn 4 which crests a mild hill, roll open the throttle to the stop, and run wide onto the back mini-straight which heads downhill. At the end of the back straight, there is a crest in the road. (This was fun) At the top of the crest, grab some brake and a downshift, and try to relax as the braking causes the rear wheel to loft in the air while the engine RPMs vary due to the rear tyre's position - either airborne or grabbing pavement. I'm not Eric Bostrom, so I settle the bike *before* I turn into 5, a pretty simple right hander, requiring discipline on the exit, as to not overcook 5a (not marked on map), a quick left hander before turn 6. These are the S'es (esses). 5, 5a, 6, and 7 are right, left, right, and then left again. You're all over the bike, flipping her back and forth, knees and pegs are dragging all over the place. Trail the brake slightly into 7 which has a bit of a downhill entry and uphill exit (with a few bumps thrown in just to make it interesting). Run the exit about mid track with the throttle pinned, grab another gear, and lean her over for the "kink" turn 8. It's a bit scary on the exit with your knee on the ground, throttle wide open, and on the exit, you hit the bumps that were all over the place, causing a nice little tank slapper, that luckily went away by it's own rider input required...not that there's a whole lot I could do get used to it after a few laps. Once the tank slapper goes away, keep on the gas until your braking marker for turn 9 - the bus stop. This is a wicked corner. 2nd gear, tight right hander, downhill, off camber. Find your braking marker, hard on the brakes, and grab a downshift as the rear wheel skips along the pavement. Trail brake into the corner, and then neutral throttle past the apex until you're through the bumps, and then gas on. Stay on the left hand side of the track as you head back up the hill, grab 3rd gear, and find your turn in point for the completely blind right hand turn (not marked on the map). I was using some car tire marks to find the line and lean her over. Crest the hill (hopefully you're on the line and not running towards the curb), apex, off the throttle to flip the bike into turn 10, a left hander that leads onto the straightaway, throttle to the stop as your knee skips along and run the exit wide, grabbing fourth gear while still leaned over, ignoring that little tankslapper, as there's nothing you can do about it, and head on down the front straight again. Ye-haaw!!