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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday I did a trackday at Willow Springs International Raceway. http://www.willowspringsraceway.com/home/home.asp
I trucked my bike and gear the 400 miles from San Francisco to try out to be a California Superbike School instructor. The try out was mixed in with a normal trackday from Hyper Cycle.
I've been here to watch races before. I watched the last AMA race at this track, and the first Toyota 200, but this was the first time actually riding it.
They call it "The Fastest Road in The West" and that's no joke.
I rode 7 20 minute session, and by session 5 I had a pretty good feel for the place.
It's not that hard to learn as there are only 9 turns, and you only down shift in two of those, and use the brakes in 3. All the others you are on the gas.
A brief lap of WSIR.
My bike is a heavily modified 87 chasis EX500. The engine is bone stock.
Gearing is 17F/45R
You come out of T9 onto the 1/2 mile front straight at 8k rpm in 6th gear
The bike hits the 10.5k limit about half way to turn 1, and is just pegged the rest of the straight. (I guess I could use higher gearing!)
At T1 you grab a handful of brakes, and go down 1 gear to 5th.
I rolled through T1 at about 7k rpm, and I never finished that turn as fast I knew I could.
There's a short straight between 1, and 2, and again you hit the 10.5k ceiling.
At the entrance of 1 you roll off the throttle, and turn in. It's a long right hander, and you continuously add throttle as the turn tightens up and opens up onto a short straight between 2, and 3.
At the exit of 2 you click up a gear, and hit 9k before grabbing brakes, and going down 2 gears.
T3 is a tight uphill left and you're on the gas as it transitions into T4
T4 is positive camber and downhill. You roll off the throttle, apex early and push wide to set up for the entrance to 5.
Between the exit of 4, and the entrance of 5 is a short downhill run, and you give a slight squeeze of the brakes to scrub off a little speed.
T5 5 flattens out at the apex, and you begin adding throttle just before the apex, and carry the speed to the outside of the turn.
At the exit of 5 you click up a gear into 5th.
There's a slight rise entering T6 which makes it a blind entrance, but if you pick a reference point in the distance this isn't an issue.
T6 is a slight bend to the right, and after clearing the rise you click up a gear into 6th, and pin the throttle heading down the slight hill.
There's a T7, but it's so barely a turn you don't really turn the bars much, and the throttle is still pegged.
At the exit of 7 you are just hitting 10k rpm in 6th gear and there's a short straight ahead.
With the throttle still pinned, and the tac bouncing off the 10k limit you tip into T8.
You hold the throttle pinned through 8 leaned over all the way, head shaking over the bumps going as fast as an EX500 can.
T8 transitions into T9 which is decreasing in radius so you roll off the throttle a little settling down to a meager 7k rpm, and roll back on just as you apex T9 exiting out onto the front straight.

This is not the most detailed account, but a glimpse of a very fast race track.

53 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I found out today that I am not making the cut.
Although my riding was good enough I did not know the curriculum well enough to really qualify.
I've only taken their Level 1 course, and read the books, and when I didn't remember enough of the specifics. I'm not out for good. If I take a couple more of their levels I could try again later this year, and set up for being an instructor next year.
That could work out for me as I want to spend my energies racing this season.
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