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Salem flat track racing

Old 11-27-2011, 12:09 PM
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Salem flat track racing

Tried my hand at flat track racing last night. Drove down to the fair grounds in Salem with the guys from Mt. Scott Motorcycle Club. We were running our dirt bikes in the Modern Knobby class.

The facility was nice. Being in the pavilion, everything was out of the weather. The track was good with a smooth surface and consistent traction.

Practice went well. I warmed up to the concept and left my CRF450R in third gear. The tail would pivot out as I exited under power. Tried a few different lines. Caught the front end once or twice and rolled back to the pits a survivor.

Spoke with the veterans. Consensus was that second gear starts were the hot ticket. Never having done this, I ran out into the dark parking lot and practiced a few. Lower revs / slight clutch slipping resulted in astonishing acceleration. It was disorienting. More power or too much clutch resulted in wheel spin.

Race one. Nod to the starter. Wait for the light. Way too much noise to hear my own bike. Way too much adrenaline to modulate the clutch. Rode a fender-dragging wheelie into the first turn. Nice.
Pushed it for several laps until the fear-factor kicked in along with the realization that I wasn’t going to catch up.

Main event: Started from the end. Better start. Clicked into third. We’re rolling. I stayed right with the pack. A few times I thought I could pass, but had trouble compensating when somebody took my line. Our pack of riders stayed tight and pushed hard. White flag waved and I threw abandon out the window. Last turn I got my front wheel by the next riders back wheel. On the gas, both of us sliding with boots down. It was not enough. Last place. Rats.

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Old 11-27-2011, 12:25 PM
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Looks like a fun time. Especially the quads
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Old 11-27-2011, 12:55 PM
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Looks like one hell of a time
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Old 11-27-2011, 06:23 PM
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Those quad guys are crazy.

I'd like to try a real track bike some time.
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