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Track bike prep - need some advice

762 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  TLJimmy
Hi all,

I need some recommendations on a few things for permanent track prep for my TLR.

A while ago I permanently removed it from the road, to be track only, with a very slow migration to full track prep (by slow I mean years, because I'm not made of $$). Turns out my plans have been accelerated as at my last track day, on the out lap, while I was trying to take it easy because of cold tyres etc, I apparently wasn't keeping it easy enough, lost the back end on the first turn, and the right side of my bike had some quiet alone time with the track surface.

Anyway, I was able to salvage most of the rest of the track day, but before I go out again I want to make a few changes (like tyre warmers), and also start looking at getting some other stuff done to the bike earlier than originally planned.

Does anyone have advice they can give on the following? I live in Australia so particularly interested to hear about products that are easier/cheaper to get here than in the US, but US stuff is still an option:

  • Tyre warmers - I'll shop around, but what are 'must haves' when it comes to these? Is it best to have variable temperature controls? Should they come with thermostat and safety cut off, or something? Particular brands/types to stay away from? Do I stay away from eBay stuff?
  • Fairing kits - Are the injection moulded fairing kits you see on eBay that come from Hong Kong with 'similar' to stock colours, that are priced around the $400 - $600 (AU) mark, worth it at all? Some of these look good (as they do in product photos), and they seem to have all the holes and fittings pre-drilled so they seem bolt on. Bare in mind that as the bike is track only now I really don't care much if they're a little rough around the edges, so long as they fit reasonably well. Also, these kits 'seem' good value as they include the whole set of plastic on the bike (except for the seat cowl).
  • Sprocket gearing - Ages ago I changed the gearing for a bit more acceleration, I can't remember the ratios, there is a track nearby that I will go to all the time, and I only get up to 160-180 kph (99 - 111 mph) along the straight, and gears 5 and 6 are completely unused. I don't care about the straight speed, but I figure I could make a pretty drastic change to the gearing to get the power of the bike to where it will be most useful around the track (i.e. better acceleration out of corners). Any good sprocket combination suggested that would work well here? Will I run into problems with the chain ruining the chain runner if the front sprocket is too small?
  • Frame slider - are no cut sliders good enough to protect the bike in a crash? Or am I better getting standard ones and making a cut in the fairing?
  • Rearsets - stock rearsets are seriously lacking in this - does anyone even make adjustable rearsets for the TLR anymore?

Thanks for reading and thanks for any help offered!
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tyre warmers are a wank for track days

buy better tyres and take it easy for a lap.

you lost it cos of inexperience and over exhuberation.

forget sliders too

get used to repairing you plastics ( so buy a plastic welder ) or stop falling off.

line the inside of you fairings where they rub thru in a fall with 1.5mm ali glued in tight.

forget rearsets cos they break when you fall.

cover it in things that are easily repaired or cheaply replaced.

rattle can it white or black ( or any colour fro that matter ) without anything fancy.

you want to weld it bog it and paint it you dont want to F around keeping it pretty.

buy a nice shock and fit gixxer 1k forks and radial brakes.

if you get serious park it and buy a stat write off gixxer.
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Aside from sliders, :stupid

Sliders do work, although they are more to protect the frame; I have seen pretty big ones that are suposed to protect the radiator too - just make sure you notch the mounting bolt so that if the slider digs in, the bolt snaps instead of destroying your frame. Axle sliders in the front are worthwhile too.

I have also seen homemade slider to protect exhaust can - just a metal ring with larger diameter than the can, attached where it joins the pipe. They do work, but look fugly.
I also notch my brake and clutch levers with a hacksaw about 30cm from the end. If you drop your bike, the lever should break on the notch, leaving you enough to keep riding. You can do the same with a 5mm drill bit.
I'm going to suggest trying different tyres. I always felt Michelins are offer lots of grip but tend to let go with very little warning. My own preference is Metzelers and I think the new Sportec M5s are particularly good. They offer a bit of movement before anything silly happens so there's more warning of where the limit is at any given time. That's not to say you can't still throw it away with a bit of over-exuberance.
All the same I feel more comfortable on the M5s on a freezing winter's morning that just about any other tyre I've had.
Im guessing your talking about wakefield?? its not a 1000cc course. best thing to get is a little 600 or take it up to eastern creek.tyres will make more of a difference than tyre warmers. they do the sight in laps for a reason. if you need parts let me know. seems to be a number of people coming out of the woods to chat to me at work lately.
Thanks all.

Yeah it is Wakefield. You might be right about being more a 600 track but for my purposes it doesn't really matter. I'm not out there trying to be a serious racer, but want to have fun, challenge myself a little,and do it with gear and a setup that is good for it. Getting another bike is not an option and besides, I'm 6'4" and 120kgs, so getting a 600 is way too small.

Thanks for the offer to help with parts. I'll let you know if I'm desperate for anything specific.

Curious to know why tyre Warmers are a wank at track days? Yeah I get that they would have more value to someone running slicks in a racer category, but I would have thought only putting your tyres through one heat cycle for the day, and knocking out 2 warm up laps from a 15 minute session where 2 laps could be as much as a quarter of the track time is a good thing?

Also, I haven't updated my sig in yonks. I'm running Dunlop Sports Max at the moment. I've been very happy with them so far.
I run Sportsmart tires, with a 190/55 rear - which I love. They move around a bit more than a dedicated track tire, but are very predictable with this movement, the steering is much quicker than the Michelins I used to run, they heat up quickly, and last reasonably well. Because they are road/trackday tires I don't think the heatcycles are such an issue - but with a dedicated track tire I think you are right, they only have so many built in before they deteriorate.

NB. I love leaving my drive on cold tires - a bit of right wrist and it's sideways down the road pretending my surname is Marquez:devious

BTW your inbox is full, so I posted a message on my last thread.
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