Track on a 500? - Ex-500.com - The home of the Kawasaki EX500 / Ninja 500R
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post #1 of 75 (permalink) Old 7-28-2010, 5:21 AM Thread Starter
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Track on a 500?


I am sure someone has asked this before, but I am a complete blonde on the track subject. Does anyone take their 500Rs to the track? Was curious, I have seen a few avatars that have a 500R on what look likes the track. I would love to hit to experience the track at least once, though I am sure that experience level is a good distance into my future :P

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post #2 of 75 (permalink) Old 7-28-2010, 7:21 AM
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Re: Track on a 500?

lots of folks have tracked their EX... although the stock suspension is far from ideal.

take a look in the "racers" section for more info.
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post #3 of 75 (permalink) Old 7-28-2010, 7:44 AM
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Re: Track on a 500?

You could even come to the Great Exscape and track your 500 then. It's coming soon though so if that interests you, sign up!
post #4 of 75 (permalink) Old 7-28-2010, 9:11 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Track on a 500?


I don't think I have anywhere near the experience to hit the track. I have only about 1300 miles under my belt. Though I will admit, the idea of it does sound amazing. Especially since I just got full leathers.

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post #5 of 75 (permalink) Old 7-28-2010, 10:39 AM
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Re: Track on a 500?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Littlepaw

I don't think I have anywhere near the experience to hit the track. I have only about 1300 miles under my belt. Though I will admit, the idea of it does sound amazing. Especially since I just got full leathers.
I like this guy ^


Go track it. Be warned though...it will not just be a "one time thing."


I hear people ask if they are experienced enough for the track or not quite often. If you are comfortable riding most 30 mph rated turns over 40... I'd say ur just fine to go track. Some people REALLY are not ready because they are just plain to hesitant and will actually be a danger on the track.

The biggest concern I hear from people is whether or not there is a point for them to track since they are still a noob. I am a complete noob, yet every track day I progress more than I progress in MONTHS of street riding. It is incredibly beneficial.


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post #6 of 75 (permalink) Old 7-28-2010, 11:03 AM
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Re: Track on a 500?

What worries me the most about new-to-track-riding newbs is that they worry too much. they worry about who's behind them, what's happening down track, what the flag marshals are doing, what THEY THEMSELVES are doing making sure that they aren't doing something to raise the ire of race control... because they really stress safety at the track and they lay down the law before a wheel steps on pavement. So a lot of newbs will not want to get in trouble so they ride overly cautious. They brake too soon, they don't roll on throttle where they should, etc. etc.

The biggest piece of advice i can give to any new track rider is BE PREDICABLE. just ride your ride. to hell with what's going on behind you, THAT'S THEIR PROBLEM. they can pit in and get a clear track if that's what they want. If they need to pass you it's on them to pass correctly and safely. chances are pretty high that there will be no passing allowed in corners either inside or outside for the level you'll be in (beginner, novice, C, slow, whatever) so they will pass you on straights with a 6 ft rule (pass must be done with 6ft between riders for safety and less freek-out factor, especially when newbs bring 1000CC superbike to their first TD).

The more comfortable you become, believe it or not, the faster, smoother, AND SAFER you become. that makes everyone feel good!


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post #7 of 75 (permalink) Old 7-28-2010, 12:13 PM
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Re: Track on a 500?

usually there's a lap or two of single file no passing to get everyone's brain working. then on the straight they'll wave you by and you get to play nice.


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post #8 of 75 (permalink) Old 7-28-2010, 12:17 PM
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Re: Track on a 500?

if you're comfortable with 80mph in a straight line and taking a highway exit ramp at the posted speed limit, you're ready for a track day.

Simply put, there is no better place to improve your riding skills.

I did 5 trackdays on my EX500 with no issues. My only modifications were fogbones and stiffer fork springs, and I'm pretty sure I didn't have the fork springs in for the first weekend.

There will be a LOT of first-time track riders at the EXcape in August, so the pace in general should be relatively slow. The people who run the Fasttrax/Moto Series days are pretty safety conscious. I did a "track rider" school with them in 2008 (my last TD on the EX), and they'll set a conservative pace. Just don't be shy about reminding them "it's my first trackday."

plus anyone who arrives Friday night is welcome to join me for a track walk, and I can give you at least a vague idea of what to expect. Knowing where the track goes is half the battle your first time out. Youtube videos can't hurt!

'97 EX500 (SOLD March, 2011)<br />'93 CBR F2 (track - sold)<br />'03 600RR (track - sold)<br />'00 Honda XR100 (race mule)&nbsp; OMRL #524, stock XR100 and Formula 3!<br />'00 Suzuki GSX 750F (ugly street mule)
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post #9 of 75 (permalink) Old 7-28-2010, 2:34 PM
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Re: Track on a 500?

The short answer is yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Littlepaw
I would love to hit to experience the track at least once
I was still laughing at that one when I finished reading all the responses.

All the above is great advice. Just get out and do it. Give yourself plenty of time to get setup in the morning even if that means missing the first session. RELAX. Everyone out there had a "first day" once.

After your first one, come back here and rave about it. Then start working on your suspension.


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post #10 of 75 (permalink) Old 7-28-2010, 6:21 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Track on a 500?

Wow, just now noticed that typo. :P But its okay since I work third shift and post at the wee hours of the morning. Really glad for all the responses, and I may very well try to head down there soon. Not quiet sure where the closest track is, but I am sure if I ask around I can find one! I noticed a lot of people talk about mods but, I assume its just as fine to track with a stock ex-500?

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post #11 of 75 (permalink) Old 7-28-2010, 6:27 PM
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Re: Track on a 500?

eh, i wouldn't track it very HARD in stock trim... it wasn't manufactured for this sort of thing so just keep that in mind.


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post #12 of 75 (permalink) Old 7-28-2010, 9:19 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Track on a 500?

I have no desire to go all crazy on it. I just want the experience, and if I enjoy it - then I will think about pursuit of better modifications.

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post #13 of 75 (permalink) Old 7-28-2010, 9:29 PM
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Re: Track on a 500?

i would suggest getting a track only bike made for that sort of thing...


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post #14 of 75 (permalink) Old 7-28-2010, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Track on a 500?


Well, in about another year or so I am intending to upgrade my bike to maybe a Ninja 650. I think at that point I might turn my EX into a track bike.

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post #15 of 75 (permalink) Old 7-29-2010, 9:31 AM
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Re: Track on a 500?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Littlepaw
Wow, just now noticed that typo. :P But its okay since I work third shift and post at the wee hours of the morning. Really glad for all the responses, and I may very well try to head down there soon. Not quiet sure where the closest track is, but I am sure if I ask around I can find one! I noticed a lot of people talk about mods but, I assume its just as fine to track with a stock ex-500?
Sorry man. I wasn't bashing your typing. It's just funny when people say they would like to experience the track ONCE. Once is never enough.

As KS said, take it easy in stock form. If you get out in beginner and don't try to ride like Rossi, it will be fine. Afterward, you will have an idea why we say upgrade suspension or get a real track weapon.


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post #16 of 75 (permalink) Old 7-29-2010, 9:44 AM
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Re: Track on a 500?

track is the hardest drug known to man. once you take a hit, you can't put it away!


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post #17 of 75 (permalink) Old 7-29-2010, 10:06 AM
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Re: Track on a 500?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Littlepaw

Well, in about another year or so I am intending to upgrade my bike to maybe a Ninja 650. I think at that point I might turn my EX into a track bike.
Make your Ninja 650R the track bike and keep the 500 for the street if you are able to have 2 bikes.

The 650r has a much better chance at being a track bike than a 500. OR you can do the best thing and get an sv650 for the track.


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post #18 of 75 (permalink) Old 7-29-2010, 11:18 AM
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Re: Track on a 500?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snow
Quote:
Originally Posted by Littlepaw

Well, in about another year or so I am intending to upgrade my bike to maybe a Ninja 650. I think at that point I might turn my EX into a track bike.
Make your Ninja 650R the track bike and keep the 500 for the street if you are able to have 2 bikes.

The 650r has a much better chance at being a track bike than a 500. OR you can do the best thing and get an sv650 for the track.
strongly agree. The SV is a better track bike than the 650R.

I have to wonder what people are thinking when they track an EX and street-ride their 2010 R6... That's roughly the same as wiping your a$$ with a slice of pizza and eating toilet paper.

Track ride whatever you can afford, but if finances allow for 2 bikes, track ride whichever is more sport-oriented. Don't waste it on the street...

'97 EX500 (SOLD March, 2011)<br />'93 CBR F2 (track - sold)<br />'03 600RR (track - sold)<br />'00 Honda XR100 (race mule)&nbsp; OMRL #524, stock XR100 and Formula 3!<br />'00 Suzuki GSX 750F (ugly street mule)
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post #19 of 75 (permalink) Old 7-29-2010, 11:23 AM
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Re: Track on a 500?

That is exactly what I have been contemplating. I may ask the wife to let me keep the 500 for the street and just use the 750 for track. The 500 is so much more comfortable for that kind of thing. Plus, I have a blast on it on the back roads. Then there is the track prep each time and setting it up for racing.

I'm really talking myself into this idea. Can you guys call my wife and enlighten her on the advantages of two bikes.


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post #20 of 75 (permalink) Old 7-29-2010, 11:27 AM
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Re: Track on a 500?

just tell her you want the 500 for the street because the suspension's set for the street... plus it gets better fuel economy.
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post #21 of 75 (permalink) Old 7-29-2010, 3:52 PM
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Re: Track on a 500?

Quote:
Originally Posted by redkow97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snow
Quote:
Originally Posted by Littlepaw

Well, in about another year or so I am intending to upgrade my bike to maybe a Ninja 650. I think at that point I might turn my EX into a track bike.
Make your Ninja 650R the track bike and keep the 500 for the street if you are able to have 2 bikes.

The 650r has a much better chance at being a track bike than a 500. OR you can do the best thing and get an sv650 for the track.
strongly agree. The SV is a better track bike than the 650R.

I have to wonder what people are thinking when they track an EX and street-ride their 2010 R6... That's roughly the same as wiping your a$$ with a slice of pizza and eating toilet paper.

Track ride whatever you can afford, but if finances allow for 2 bikes, track ride whichever is more sport-oriented. Don't waste it on the street...
It is MUCH cheaper to race an EX than a 600. I go through a set of tires a year on the EX, and some go through 1-2 sets of tires per weekend on a 600. And that is only tires...

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post #22 of 75 (permalink) Old 7-29-2010, 5:24 PM
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Re: Track on a 500?

^ but racing a bike and track riding a bike are two totally separate things. You don't need fresh rubber and max grip to "win" a track day.

Yes, an EX lacks the power to destroy tires in the manner larger bikes do, but I'm riding at a fast "I" pace, and I still can't afford enough dates each year to use more than 1 front and 2 rears.

I get about 8-10 days on a front, and 4-5 days (probably more) on a rear. and Dunlop Qualifiers aren't that expensive. the Q2 is an even better tire,and you can find them for $230/set shipped right now... That's not a bad tire bill.

if you're racing against other 500's, it's also probably a lot more fun to ride an EX than if you're getting absolutely murdered by better bikes.

'97 EX500 (SOLD March, 2011)<br />'93 CBR F2 (track - sold)<br />'03 600RR (track - sold)<br />'00 Honda XR100 (race mule)&nbsp; OMRL #524, stock XR100 and Formula 3!<br />'00 Suzuki GSX 750F (ugly street mule)
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post #23 of 75 (permalink) Old 7-29-2010, 6:50 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Track on a 500?

Very simple reason to track the 500 and not the 650 :P I want to track the one that is paid for. Of course, there is always the option of trading my EX in for the 650 and then getting a used bike just for the track. The SV650s go for a decent price around here, as well as the older ZX6s.

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post #24 of 75 (permalink) Old 7-29-2010, 11:38 PM
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Re: Track on a 500?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Littlepaw
Very simple reason to track the 500 and not the 650 :P I want to track the one that is paid for. Of course, there is always the option of trading my EX in for the 650 and then getting a used bike just for the track. The SV650s go for a decent price around here, as well as the older ZX6s.
Or... sell the ex500, buy a 650, and use it for track and street. My 600rr pulls street and track duty.

As long as you have a car for all the strait line driving, you wont have to worry about squaring off your tires and stuff.

BT016 are great tires for doing street and track... at least while you're still a noob.


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post #25 of 75 (permalink) Old 7-30-2010, 12:02 AM
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Re: Track on a 500?

Quote:
Originally Posted by redkow97
^ but racing a bike and track riding a bike are two totally separate things. You don't need fresh rubber and max grip to "win" a track day.

Yes, an EX lacks the power to destroy tires in the manner larger bikes do, but I'm riding at a fast "I" pace, and I still can't afford enough dates each year to use more than 1 front and 2 rears.

I get about 8-10 days on a front, and 4-5 days (probably more) on a rear. and Dunlop Qualifiers aren't that expensive. the Q2 is an even better tire,and you can find them for $230/set shipped right now... That's not a bad tire bill.

if you're racing against other 500's, it's also probably a lot more fun to ride an EX than if you're getting absolutely murdered by better bikes.
Ok. So say the trackbike goes down. How much are EX500 parts compared to others?

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