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meadeam

Lightweight bikes on the track

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I'm a fan of lightweight bikes in general, though I don't currently own one.  I'm fairly lightweight myself at around 150lbs.   Anybody around here ride a lightweight on the track who can speak to the merits and downsides vs. a middleweight or 650 twin?  Are they common or rare at track events?

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FYI, sv650 is still considered a lightweight in racing terms. 

MotoGP riders don't weigh much more than that. If they even weigh that.

 

Merits to riding a lightweight:

  • Nothing feels better than you going around the outside of a $30k bike on your clapped-out $3k piece of shit.
  • It will help you LEARN to ride and not rely on your equipment as a crutch.
  • Cost of ownership is low.
  • Parts are usually plentiful and cheap.
  • Knowledge is usually everywhere and plentiful because of the above items. (Lots of people have these bikes.)
  • SV's, ktm 390s, ninja 300/400 any bike like that are plentiful at track days. Very common.

 

Downsides:

  • Not nearly as much power as other modern super sports.
  • Straight line speed (because of point 1). You know that jack-off with the $30k ducati you just blew away going around the outside or into the braking zone? Well guess who's zipping right by you in the straight if you didn't gap him or her enough.... THAT GUY. Any you'll be right back on his ass again when he decides to park it into a corner. It's frustrating but it makes you a better more strategic rider. Which will translate to bigger bike.
  • No wheelies really lol.

 

There are probably more Merits and more downsides that I didn't think of off the top of my head.

Edited by TimTheAzn

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Interesting, I thought the SV was in kind of a special place, not quite a middleweight, but not a  lightweight either.  

I'd rather learn to carry speed into a corner than rely on pure HP to compensate for lack of skill.  Something for me to think about... so much about a lightweight appeals to me, including keeping it streetable for fun times.

 

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All I know is the first word in my races I enter start with LWT aka Lightweight :)

Edited by TimTheAzn
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There are entire 250/300cc classes of racing and they look like they're having a blast.  You can also always do the minis through OMRL, they race groms and xr100s and other fun stuff.   Talk about cheap and light. 

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I'm totally feeling a RC390 or R3 now.  Learn to ride the sh%$! out of it, then move up to a 600.

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2 minutes ago, meadeam said:

I'm totally feeling a RC390 or R3 now.  Learn to ride the sh%$! out of it, then move up to a 600.

Ninja 400 is as capable as the RC390, but it won't blow up like the KTM.

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Just now, Tpoppa said:

Ninja 400 is as capable as the RC390, but it won't blow up like the KTM.

Useful information to have...

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Anybody have experience with the R3?  Seems the journos prefer the Ninja 400 based solely on speed, with the R3 having a bit more refined suspension.  I'm not sure how much difference it will make for my purposes. 

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11 minutes ago, meadeam said:

Anybody have experience with the R3?  Seems the journos prefer the Ninja 400 based solely on speed, with the R3 having a bit more refined suspension.  I'm not sure how much difference it will make for my purposes. 

Won't really make a difference at your level tbh. Hell, probably wouldnt make a real difference for me either. We'd both notice the power difference mostly.

Edited by TimTheAzn

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3 hours ago, meadeam said:

Anybody have experience with the R3?  Seems the journos prefer the Ninja 400 based solely on speed, with the R3 having a bit more refined suspension.  I'm not sure how much difference it will make for my purposes. 

I got a ride on a buddys R3 and I couldnt help but laugh my ass off. You have to wring the shit out of the engine, but it was light and flickable.. I didnt get a chance to try it in twists, but I bet I could do some good corner speed with it. - -I would love to stick one of the 300/400s in my garage for a twisty riot party... 

(Add it to the wish list....)

Edited by mello dude

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50 minutes ago, mello dude said:

I got a ride on a buddys R3 and I couldnt help but laugh my ass off. You have to wring the shit out of the engine, but it was light and flickable.. I didnt get a chance to try it in twists, but I bet I could do some good corner speed with it. - -I would love to stick one of the 300/400s in my garage for a twisty riot party... 

(Add it to the wish list....)

That's why I bought the N400.  Not the most capable bike I've owned, but it just might be the most fun.

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20 minutes ago, Tpoppa said:

That's why I bought the N400.  Not the most capable bike I've owned, but it just might be the most fun.

I bet.  I'm going to keep checking them out.

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An R3 would be in the ultra light category. 

From a track day perspective I could see that size bike getting a tad bit frustrating in terms of passing a larger bike where the rules allow. 

 

But this is coming from a guy who hates riding anything smaller than a 1k so take that with a grain of salt. 

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11 hours ago, Jester_ said:

From a track day perspective I could see that size bike getting a tad bit frustrating in terms of passing a larger bike where the rules allow. 

Small bikes make you get better or keep getting frustrated. It's built-in motivation to get better. :lol:

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I get the sv thing, ultra light would just be frustrating unless racing other ultra lights. 

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On 10/17/2019 at 7:48 PM, Jester_ said:

An R3 would be in the ultra light category. 

From a track day perspective I could see that size bike getting a tad bit frustrating in terms of passing a larger bike where the rules allow. 

 

But this is coming from a guy who hates riding anything smaller than a 1k so take that with a grain of salt. 

 ultralight makes sense.  I as a bit confused as to how the 300cc bikes were lumped in with the SVs.  I'll have to edify myself on the racing classes.  I've always wanted to race as well, and I should do it while I am still (relatively) young.  

Is WERA the org I should start with to learn about racing, how to get started, etc?

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21 minutes ago, meadeam said:

 

 ultralight makes sense.  I as a bit confused as to how the 300cc bikes were lumped in with the SVs.  I'll have to edify myself on the racing classes.  I've always wanted to race as well, and I should do it while I am still (relatively) young.  

Is WERA the org I should start with to learn about racing, how to get started, etc?

WERA/CCS would be your options.

I would start with a track day and see if you like it first.....

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40 minutes ago, TimTheAzn said:

WERA/CCS would be your options.

I would start with a track day and see if you like it first.....

That is most definitely the plan.  I am almost certain I will love it though.  

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9 minutes ago, meadeam said:

That is most definitely the plan.  I am almost certain I will love it though.  

Saw you post up on the N2 forum as well. Just let me know when you're ready next season and I'll get you setup.

We have a Try the Track offer open to anyone who is comfortable manipulating the controls of a bike and going highway speeds and has never ridden on any track before (this is a safety issue). A person can get 2 free sessions at any of the track days we host for free, no catches. Just make sure to sign up early because those spots fill first. If you want to continue to ride the rest of the day after two sessions, no problem as we offer a special low rate for those individuals to continue to ride the rest of the day. You just need to supply the bike in good mechanical condition so it'll pass tech. We rent gear (suit, boot, gloves) as well.

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7 minutes ago, TimTheAzn said:

Saw you post up on the N2 forum as well. Just let me know when you're ready next season and I'll get you setup.

We have a Try the Track offer open to anyone who is comfortable manipulating the controls of a bike and going highway speeds and has never ridden on any track before (this is a safety issue). A person can get 2 free sessions at any of the track days we host for free, no catches. Just make sure to sign up early because those spots fill first. If you want to continue to ride the rest of the day after two sessions, no problem as we offer a special low rate for those individuals to continue to ride the rest of the day. You just need to supply the bike in good mechanical condition so it'll pass tech. We rent gear (suit, boot, gloves) as well.

This is very cool.  I will definitely jump on it!

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On 11/10/2019 at 7:03 PM, serpentracer said:

brian van rides a 300?    he's a big guy.  

 

I believe that's his son. 

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1 hour ago, Jester_ said:

I believe that's his son. 

They were both riding little bikes at Nelsons when they were there during the td. Got around him, couldn’t catch his kid.

Edited by TimTheAzn

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Brian on a 400 and his kid on a 300. 

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