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ZRXOA enjoys a Track Day at Buttonwillow: 2/20/06: THE WRITE UP

The adventure began with a Sunday afternoon departure from beautiful downtown Irvine; my wife’s Camry looked sexy with the trailer attached ready to transport a motorcycle into track day battle the next day. Okay, sounds big but the vehicular adventure for that day was limited to a three hour drive. Several track day participants met at a hole in the wall authentic style Mexican restaurant and had Chile Verde, nachos, and one of the braver guys had Menudo (yuck)

The track day organizer had secured a discount at a local hotel which included breakfast. Great deal for $45 and the bonus was track day participants could see all the bikes in the parking lot the night before the event. Between the anticipation and strange surroundings I didn’t sleep too well, but I was sure I wouldn’t be sleepy while on the track! I was at the track promptly at 7 am, signed the waiver, and picked up the key for Garage #5 where we would be pitted today.

It was bitter cold that morning so the intrepid track day junkies crossed their fingers and hoped for sun. The first two sessions were cold, right about 35 degrees brrrrrrrrrrr….. I took it easy, scanned the track carefully, got reacquainted with various pavement irregularities, all the while worrying about my new tires slipping on the cold track surface. Then we all pulled in, checked our bikes over, and did it again. Finally the sun came out for the third session and that’s when the fun began.

This time out it was warmer and the riders were a bit more spread out. I was much more comfortable and started to add some speed. My bike had an odd quality to the handling, a vibration from the front end in the faster sections of the track. After finishing the session we pulled the front wheel and took it to one of the tire vendors to check static balance. Sure enough it was out of balance; the tire guy carefully rebalanced it and taped on the new weights.

With the front wheel’s balance fixed the bike was much smoother and easier to throw into the corners. I was laughing in my helmet, passing people left and right, and generally having as much fun as I’ve ever had on a motorcycle; it was great! I rode several more session and got into a couple of competitive dices; one with a guy on a ZX600-RR and another guy on the ZX12R. What made the dice so fun in both cases is both riders were faster than me at a couple of spots and I was faster than each of them in another couple of spots. So we passed and repassed each other a few times and that’s fun stuff!

It was great to see so many of my friends there: Big Al, Cosmo Joe, Marcus and Lisa, Frank, Lau Keyzer, Bruce Stanton (GREAT photographer), and several others, thanks for everything you guys! I had a great time and I can tell you this much; there are more track days in my future, soon!!!!

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