Track tips for a supermoto noob

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81forest
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Track tips for a supermoto noob

Postby 81forest » Fri Feb 14, 2014 7:09 am

I know that a lot of you guys are experienced track riders, and some of you ride supermoto. I've read a couple of good threads about what to prepare for when planning a track day.

I am planning a weekend at Mcminnville in Oregon, which includes two practice days and a race on Sunday. Never done a track day, never done a road race, very little experience on the 17" wheels. I can't afford new race tyres so will be running with the Pilot Powers I have on there. Kind of sounds like a bad idea when I describe it that way, but in my mind it's a great idea! :D

Curious what you all would suggest as far as gearing, riding tips, mental prep, etc. Knee down, or leg out? I can't imagine dragging my knee on the dirt bike but my buddy raves about it. I'll be riding my KTM 450 EXC, with the 13/50 gearing unless that sounds like way too low. Bike will probably top out at about 90 (screaming bloody murder) with that gear ratio. Here's a pic of the track:
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Thoughts?

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Re: Track tips for a supermoto noob

Postby DribbleDuke » Fri Feb 14, 2014 4:02 pm

Leave the feet on the pegs. The gearing will be fine. No dirt section? so your tyres will also be fine. Air down and try and get lotsa heat in them. Remember if you do not lowside the whole weekend, you were not pushing yourself or the bike hard enough.
Looks like a blast. The SD would fare real well on that track too.
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Re: Track tips for a supermoto noob

Postby 81forest » Fri Feb 14, 2014 4:26 pm

Woohoo! Thanks DD. I don't think there will be a dirt section unfortunately. I'm getting pretty stoked! I'm driving down with a buddy who races the series pretty regularly, he said the same thing about get-offs.

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Re: Track tips for a supermoto noob

Postby SDNerd » Fri Feb 14, 2014 4:46 pm

Don't forget Rule #1: Don't crash. :mrgreen:

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Re: Track tips for a supermoto noob

Postby 81forest » Fri Feb 14, 2014 6:23 pm

DribbleDuke wrote:
SDNerd wrote:Don't forget Rule #1: Don't crash. :mrgreen:
Remember if you do not lowside the whole weekend, you were not pushing yourself or the bike hard enough..


A PARADOX!!

tyre pressure suggestions for getting warmed up? My friend has tyre warmers but I don't know if he'll let me use them... He wants to make me pay for all the roost he has eaten on our dirt rides. :twisted:

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Re: Track tips for a supermoto noob

Postby bic_bicknell » Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:34 pm

I've exclusively owned, and ridden, sports bikes for over thirty years but I had a KTM LC4 Supermoto for about five years. (It's what got me into KTM brand and mentality).

I've never really ridden off road much, nor motocross, so it took me a bit of time to get used to the riding style of that kind of bike. The thing handled so well, you could throw it into corners and it never seemed to have a limit for lean angles. At first I used to hang off and stick my knee out but it felt wrong and so I started experimenting with the foot out and getting right over the front end of the bike and not really bothering about the back end. It took a while but eventually I got to riding like this. Trying to get your knee down on a Supermoto is a bit like forcing something that doesn't want to happen IMO.

So, my advice is that you shouldn't try and ride the Supermoto like your road bikes. Just adapt and see how it wants to be ridden, I think they are pretty good at showing you how they want to be ridden, if that makes sense.
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Re: Track tips for a supermoto noob

Postby DougFir » Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:41 pm

Zat Pat's Acres? If so it'a a go cart track...tight stuff.
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Re: Track tips for a supermoto noob

Postby Superdan » Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:42 pm

Have fun!

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Re: Track tips for a supermoto noob

Postby DougFir » Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:43 pm

Not Pat's. Hummmm..got to check that out....when you coming down? What's the name of this track?
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Re: Track tips for a supermoto noob

Postby SDNerd » Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:16 pm

Superdan wrote:Have fun!


Oh man - if I only had Mr. Xaus' skills ... sigh ...

81forest wrote:
DribbleDuke wrote:
SDNerd wrote:Don't forget Rule #1: Don't crash. :mrgreen:
Remember if you do not lowside the whole weekend, you were not pushing yourself or the bike hard enough..


A PARADOX!!


LOL - it is, sort of. There's tossing one's bike down the tarmac (easy step-off lowside) and then there's crashing. :mrgreen:

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Re: Track tips for a supermoto noob

Postby 81forest » Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:18 pm

Holy mackerel Superdan, that is an epic pic! Don't think I'll be backing it in like that anytime soon. Making it look a little too easy there... :shock:

Dougfir, I think the track is called Yamhill Fairgrounds. It may be a kart track, not sure. Weekend is March 22-23.

Bic, good advice. I will do exactly that, let the bike tell me what works. :D Most people do put their leg out in front and it seems like that would be natural. My friend is coming from sport bikes as well, I think he just likes dragging his knee. Here he is at another local spot:

Image

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Re: Track tips for a supermoto noob

Postby SDNerd » Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:26 pm

81forest wrote:Holy mackerel Superdan, that is an epic pic! Don't think I'll be backing it in like that anytime soon. Making it look a little too easy there... :shock:


Dude - that's not SuperDan, that's ex-MotoGper and ex-Ducati-tester Rueben Xaus.

Biaggi is pretty badass on an SM as well - turns up at a local kart track here now and then.

Most people do put their leg out in front and it seems like that would be natural. My friend is coming from sport bikes as well, I think he just likes dragging his knee.


It's a funny thing, on a DB chassis, or even a big-bore twin SM, I just naturally end up putting my foot out - and I'm not (really much of) a dirt rider. I am a kneepuck-grinding fool. Can only agree with the suggestion of going with whatever feels best. Some even do both - foot out in slower corners, knee down in faster sweepers. It's all good!

You're gonna have a great time.

Thinking of Oregon, I've often wondered how fun it might be to do an SM day in the rain ... Hmmmmmm ...

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Re: Track tips for a supermoto noob

Postby 81forest » Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:46 pm

SDNerd wrote:. There's tossing one's bike down the tarmac (easy step-off lowside) and then there's crashing. :mrgreen:


Copy that. Haven't crashed in a long time, so the Rule # 1 will stand. I am amazed by that photo of Xaus. There is always so much to learn...

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Re: Track tips for a supermoto noob

Postby Lowrance » Fri Feb 14, 2014 10:45 pm

Start with pressures in the low 20s. Id start with 22 front and 23 rear. Keep in mind those tyres were designed to work on much heavier bikes than the typical SM bike. Give yourself 1.5 to 2 laps to build a little heat in them and then tear it up.

Im of the knee down in fast corners and foot out in the slower ones crowd. Been riding SM for several years here in SoCal but recently sold the YZ450. Starting to get that SM bug again.

Have fun!

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Re: Track tips for a supermoto noob

Postby Lowrance » Fri Feb 14, 2014 10:56 pm

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Re: Track tips for a supermoto noob

Postby DougFir » Fri Feb 14, 2014 11:33 pm

"Thinking of Oregon, I've often wondered how fun it might be to do an SM day in the rain ... Hmmmmmm ..."

Hey SD....come on up, get some moisture in them bones.. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

I O U a local beer or three 8) 8) with all the crap I give ya..

Bring your SD too and I will show you some of my fav's...

Forrest , March is kind of damp 'round here in Oregon, but you are in a wetter neck of the woods...and know what to expect :wink: :wink:

My bud was using his KTM 950 and doing really well on one of the small tracks in Oregon...'till they told him not to bring the 950 beast anymore. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
He is one of the instructors for PSSR. (careful if you do a search on that) :shock: :shock:
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Re: Track tips for a supermoto noob

Postby ktmguy » Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:48 am

Best bit of advice I can give you is when it seems to go wrong OPEN the throttle! Lowside is ok highside is not!
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Re: Track tips for a supermoto noob

Postby The Gin Reaper » Sat Feb 15, 2014 11:33 am

13/50 gearing may be a bit on the low side! Seem to remember when i swapped mine over to Mr Millars SM setup the chain was considerably shorter and the rear sprocket much smaller…..thinking more like 14/45???? :?:

….. i run 13/52 for tight twisty enduro stuff! - all be it with enduro rims - smaller sm wheels and you won't be using the first 3 gears at all!
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Re: Track tips for a supermoto noob

Postby 81forest » Sun Feb 16, 2014 12:53 am

Lowrance wrote:Image


Very cool. Supermoto bikes stay so clean!

Thanks for the gear advice Gin Reaper. I think I can get away with a 14/48 on the same chain length and maybe will try that.
I'm getting the bike's shock and forks revalved this week by a local suspension guru, Alex at Konflict Motorsports. His specialty is ADV stuff but he knows all the WP products well. Says he can do magical improvements on the SD shock, we'll see. Also replacing the heim joint with my fancy new Motion Pro tool. Spring cleaning!

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Re: Track tips for a supermoto noob

Postby 81forest » Fri Mar 21, 2014 11:32 pm

Well, I have been up all night with the jitters and getting the bike ready for the weekend. What started out as a "tune up and fork oil change" turned into tune-up and full suspension revalve, starter rebuild, steering and swinger bearings, and miscellaneous fixes. I still don't have a proper catch can for the radiator but I rigged up a hose into a can and hoping I will pass inspection.

I rode the bike around the block in sweatpants and just about had a fit, the thing is so much fun and running like a top. Sunday should be good, I have very little expectations and I do not have a proper track tyre anyway- so I'll just be keeping it upright and enjoying myself. Life is good. :D

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Re: Track tips for a supermoto noob

Postby DribbleDuke » Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:32 am

She's ready and I'll bet you are too.
Have fun and let us know all about it. Stay sober the night before.
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Re: Track tips for a supermoto noob

Postby roamer » Sun Mar 23, 2014 3:27 pm

14/47 is what I run on a kart track. I'm running Bridgestone Supermoto slicks and start cold at 18 front and rear. Add some axle sliders to the rear axle if you can. Most tech isp will pass you with a Red Bull can for a radiator catch. Also add one for the gas vent lines on the carb. If you drop it on the track, the gas leaks out and eats the asphalt. Thats up to the track, some require them, some dont.

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Re: Track tips for a supermoto noob

Postby 81forest » Tue Mar 25, 2014 4:48 am

Thanks for the tips guys. What a blast. The race was cancelled because not enough people registered on Sunday. So it was basically two track days, which I was more than happy about, especially after low siding into a barricade on the one high-speed corner on the track. :roll:

Saturday morning, I knew I was too excited but I let the tyres warm up before pushing the bike much. I was totally unfamiliar with the track and how tight it was. There were vintage bikes, a dude on a kx65 (that ripped!), a few Ninja 250s, and about two dozen supermoto bikes. A free for all. A guy with a pristine CB400 Four with full fairings, RD200s, a YZ465, and a guy on a modified Zero XU. Interesting bikes. As it turned out, that Zero would be the highlight of the weekend. :!:

Pretty soon I realised just how far my bike could lean and I became ecstatic, started going way too fast. After about 15 laps I was feeling like a total badass in the big fast turn, wide open in 5th gear which must have been about 60-65 mph, toes and peg dragging on the ground, and who knows what went wrong but I was soon sliding down the track and into the plastic barricades (which luckily were not full of water at that particular time.) My buddy was right behind me and I could hear him laughing while I slid! How fooked up is that? :D I could tell I had sprained my thumb but I felt like I'd better pop back up on the bike and get back on the track. I pulled into the paddock and bent the handlebars back a bit, took some deep breaths and went back out. Next lap I binned it again when my wheels just touched the grass going into a corner. Tumbled and looked around and saw my bike spinning around in the next corner. :shock: Ouch! Sprained a finger on my other hand and thought, OK, enough of that.

The next morning, everyone was gone except for a few of us that camped out in the fairgrounds. Both my hands were swollen up but felt fine holding handlebars. :P
Waking up and brewing instant coffee on a camp stove in the paddock, and knowing that we would have the track to ourselves all day was a feeling I never want to forget. The Zero rider was telling us about his bike and said, "Take it for a spin." He was a really impressive rider and was going as fast as the fastest bikes all day saturday. His bike weighed a respectable 260 lbs. I was super curious to ride the thing. He was beating every single bike in the long stretch, and said that he couldn't keep the front wheel down under full throttle! Here is a vid of him dicing it up with the event organizer on a Husaberg SM650, and out accelerating that huge thumper on the straight.


I rode it for about ten laps and I loved it. I'm sold. I couldn't believe the power. Instant and immensely strong. Zero to eighty mph and no shifting. The fact that the throttle controller is smart enough to handle inputs at any speed and adjust accordingly is incomprehensible to me, but it works. The suspension sucked and the brakes were totally custom. The motor had some cooling mods to prevent overheating. If they can get around a couple of things, my next bike will probably be electric.


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Re: Track tips for a supermoto noob

Postby 81forest » Wed Mar 26, 2014 5:38 am

Faster than you might think-
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Re: Track tips for a supermoto noob

Postby Hotbrakes » Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:09 am

Sounds like you had a good time. Welcome to the addiction...
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