First time on the SD; Cadwell Park 25th April

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Scotty
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First time on the SD; Cadwell Park 25th April

Postby Scotty » Thu May 05, 2016 11:04 am

I arrived at Cadwell late Sunday afternoon and found a few bikers already there in the paddock that was still very busy with the weekend’s car racers – the bikers included a few from Calne, among them a blonde girl who rode an RSV Mille. Once it was clear I bagged my usual spot behind the shower block and some of the Calne lot (and their mates from the Aprilia forum I believe) helped me put the gazebo up. I got unloaded and set up which, when doing it alone and with nobody to have a craic with, seems to take an inordinately long time. It was ridiculously cold for late April and as the sun set it cooled off rapidly. I ended up sitting in the driver’s seat of the van with the engine running and the heater on full, reading the latest Bike mag until my friend Sam arrived in the dark around 10-ish. She'd bought some butties so we had them and a cuppa before unloading Sam’s R6 and locking it to the SuperDuke inside the gazebo, then turned in. I spent the coldest and most uncomfortable time I’ve ever had in the van that night, even sleeping fully clothed and with a blanket doubled-up over the top of my sleeping bag. In hindsight, fully-clothed probably didn’t help much as I couldn’t move in the sleeping bag, and not eating hot food may not have helped too..

Anyway, up and about by 06.30 on Monday, a nice warm wash to try and bring me back to life, followed by a cuppa and a porridge pot (good trackday brekkie, those, worth a try if you haven’t done yet. The colonials would know it as Oatmeal). After buying this SD I’d fitted baffles to the Akrapovic silencers, though it wasn’t as noisy as my road bike was when I got it. I know that it had done trackdays without the baffles so I thought I’d give it a try and removed the baffles – passed the noise test, registering only 96dB – result! Registration and briefing were straightforward enough, being with No Limits. I only managed to get an Inters spot following a cancellation, but I didn’t mind as it was the first day of the year and I was on a new bike.

First session out I found that I was suffering quite a lot with double vision, (as a result of a brain haemorrhage in Jan 2014). Fortunately I’d had the presence of mind to bring my X-Ray specs (plain lenses with a prism fitted to one to mitigate visual misalignment) so I used them and they improved things a fair bit, though I found that when things were getting really busy, say at the end of Park Straight amongst other bikes and picking a braking marker, the muscles controlling the movement of my left eye couldn’t keep up and it was getting out of sync with the right. Backing off for a few seconds would let things calm down and return to normal again (and also let all the bikes that I’d just out-braked past once more). It’s frustrating, not being able to do what I used to, but talking to friends afterwards I realise that considering how I was a couple of years back I should be thankful for what I can still do, not lament what I can’t any more. It could be worse I guess.

The bike was excellent fun. Sure, it isn’t as fast as my old ZX-10 was, but that just means doing things slightly differently. Travelling more slowly means braking later, and it is blessed with truly awesome brakes. Cresting the rise on Park Straight on the ZX would require hitting the brakes at about the III marker, whereas on the SD I can keep it flat until the II marker and still make Park Corner comfortably. It was great fun out-braking people for Mansfield, and the riding position was easier on my shoulder, but by lunchtime I found that heavy braking for left-handers (Mansfield and the bottom of the Mountain) was hurting just like it used to (and the morning’s ibuprofen had probably worn off by then). The bike has heaps of ground clearance, and still pulls respectable wheelies over the Mountain, without feeling that it would be easy to flip it.

Image

Over lunch the wind increased considerably and it began raining, precipitating a sharp drop in temperature. I went out for the first afternoon session, still on Conti Race Attacks and it was horrible. It felt like riding in January as the temperature was down to about 3˚C and it was thoroughly miserable so I decided to sack the remainder of the day and packed up, even though I had a set of brand new wets fitted the day before. Getting wet is one thing, being freezing cold at the same time is no fun, and that’s what trackdays are supposed to be. Sam toughed it out as she was having 1-to-1 tuition with Gary from notso-fast.com, and she was having a good day overall, learning plenty, and was generally a star. Blonde Mille girl encountered the talent gap, as did another girl that morning, both of whom were going on to Donington on Tuesday to do their ACU race licences – Sam tells me that they both passed OK, so well done them :-)

Cadwell is my favourite circuit, which helps me justify the 400-mile round trip. Only 50 miles from home is the Castle Combe circuit, which I've ridden once and stated that I'd never bother with again having ticked it off the list. I rode up there yesterday to hang out with a bunch of friends who were doing a trackday there and watching them enjoying a laid back day in the warm sunshine I almost wish that I'd elected to join them instead of doing half a day at Cadwell. Almost. Combe has draconian noise limits (as a result of outraged local residents who bought houses beside a race track and then complained about the noise), and the track surface is very bumpy (a number of teams test there in preparation for the Isle of Man TT races due to its bumpy nature). A day there costs more than one at Cadwell and the sessions are limited to ten minutes/hour, only 12 bikes on track per session - a plus point is that the track is never crowded. Doing the maths tells me that I actually got more track time in half a day last week than my friends did yesterday, I shall have to point that out to them.... That said, if they're going again sometime and there's both spaces left and a good forecast I might be tempted to join them...
Wheelies - they ARE big, and they ARE clever....

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Sarasota_Steve
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Re: First time on the SD; Cadwell Park 25th April

Postby Sarasota_Steve » Thu May 05, 2016 11:49 am

Scotty wrote:
Anyway, up and about by 06.30 on Monday, a nice warm wash to try and bring me back to life, followed by a cuppa and a porridge pot (good trackday brekkie, those, worth a try if you haven’t done yet. The colonials would know it as Oatmeal).


Good write up Scotty.

Thank you for the translation to normal English. :P
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Edorta
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Re: First time on the SD; Cadwell Park 25th April

Postby Edorta » Thu May 05, 2016 11:59 am

Glad to read you, did you fix all the bikes failures?

C.P. has got 96Db noise limitation? OMG :evil:

Next time i want to see you flying and waving a hand like Johnny Rea :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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Ride it like you stole it!!!

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Scotty
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Re: First time on the SD; Cadwell Park 25th April

Postby Scotty » Thu May 05, 2016 12:16 pm

Gracias :D
It turns out that there was nothing wrong with the bike, so nothing needed fixing.
Cadwell's noise limit is 105dB, so it's nice to have a bike that is way quieter, even without baffles fitted. Sticking to noise limits at Cadwell is slightly absurd as I'm pretty sure that there as nobody living within about 2km of the circuit so no-one can hear it anyway.
Castle Combe's noise testing is done differently, I think that the limit is 105dB, but instead of a prescribed rpm for testing (1000cc twin = 5k rpm, 1000cc four = 5.5k rpm, 600cc four = 7k rpm etc), they want the bike revving to ¾ maximum revs, so on a modern 600 that's about 12k rpm! Certain modern bikes such as the R6 and GSX-R600 fail the CC noise test with standard silencers! There were a couple of Ducatis there yesterday that were way noisier than my SD so if I did go there I might get away without re-fitting the baffles.
Leaping the Mountain with one hand? Oh, that's just so passé, don't you know? This year's trick is to do it more slowly and keep one wheel only in contact with the track for as long as possible. I'll be back there for the Crashfest in August to improve my technique.

Steve, re. the translation; you're welcome mate 8) Tell me, are you lot seriously considering electing that buffoon Trump? Uh-oh, could have opened a right can of worms there, better quit while I can. Apologies to all our other colonial friends, let's leave politics off this forum... please
Wheelies - they ARE big, and they ARE clever....

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shadowman
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Re: First time on the SD; Cadwell Park 25th April

Postby shadowman » Thu May 05, 2016 1:15 pm

Image

The old girl looks great.

Snout in the air, heat haze behind - you know I think it's better looking than the 1290 even after all this time!!
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SuperDoopa
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Re: First time on the SD; Cadwell Park 25th April

Postby SuperDoopa » Thu May 05, 2016 7:51 pm

shadowman wrote:Image

The old girl looks great.

Snout in the air, heat haze behind - you know I think it's better looking than the 1290 even after all this time!!


Have to agree that yours looks better than the 1290 and has nothing to do with me having a luverly white one :mrgreen:

Miff_UK
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Re: First time on the SD; Cadwell Park 25th April

Postby Miff_UK » Thu May 05, 2016 8:01 pm

Hi Scotty, I was in the same group on a Black Rsvr with a rsv4 rear end, you will have sent me as I went past you :0)

I will probably have some video footage of you I'll see if I can put it on YouTube .!

Have you checked out the photos on Alex's website ?
Miff

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Re: First time on the SD; Cadwell Park 25th April

Postby Miff_UK » Thu May 05, 2016 8:59 pm

Miff_UK wrote:Hi Scotty, I was in the same group on a Black Rsvr with a rsv4 rear end, you will have sent me as I went past you :0)

I will probably have some video footage of you I'll see if I can put it on YouTube .!

Have you checked out the photos on Alex's website ?
Miff


video will be here shortly. shame about the fecking throttle jockey powering down the straights and then bimbling round the corners trying to keep up with you , lol




https://youtu.be/pfO4-eDJ8Zw

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DukeNukem999
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Re: First time on the SD; Cadwell Park 25th April

Postby DukeNukem999 » Fri May 06, 2016 5:21 am

Thanks for the great writeup. Made for a good read :)
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