EMRA Race School!

Edmonton Travel Blog

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She's a beauty!
So I figured rather than develop a bunch of bad habits and compound them over time, I'd do a race school and learn how to handle my bike and be able to push it and myself properly from the get-go, be it for fun, or in case of the need to react. So I enrolled in the Edmonton Motor Racing Association Race School. It was a 3day weekend starting with a Friday night class, a Saturday Beginners track day, and a Sunday Advanced Rider track day. The things I learned were INCREDIBLE! I already knew about techniques such as peg-steering, and tank steering, but it gave me a whole new appreciation for the Moto sport. To bring be on the very threshold of the motorcycles ability, and to make minor adjustments by simply shifting another inch to tighten a turn, etc just blew my mind. If you don't get it right, you're in the rhubarb!

Of course... I'll be the first to admit, I did NOT get to that level, lol! No, I'll swallow my pride... *GULP* (not as hard as I'd imagined)... and admit I was not pushing the bike or myself to such a threshold. BUT I was still taking 50 meter diameter turns at nearly 60 kmh, and dropping my knee into the turns. Like in snowboarding, when you turn your head, your body will follow. Now apply that principle to a 450-650 lb motorcycle (my bike being the latter) and amazingly, you can get that thing doing some amazing maneuvering! Even principles like not just simply leaning a bike into a corner like you see everyone doing, but hanging from the bike with the head dropped down to the body acts as a counterweight for the bike to rotate around... all while on about a 2 inch by 10 inch strip of flexed rubber on the back and front tire. So cool...

However, as I pushed faster and faster, being new (I mean honestly, I'm not ashamed for how things turned out after being on a motorcycle for about 8000 km's of street riding and only no track days), I was starting to make mistakes, inevitably, they lead to me going down. Nothing too serious, I was going slow, so I was barely hurt *see attached pic of my gnarly knee), and thanks to brilliant german engineering, sliders on all the pivotal points on my bike protected it for the most part from body damage and mechanical damage.

So I picked my bike up, got it off the track, checked it over with a trainer, went into the pits, altered the suspension, and got right back out there. What did I learn from my fall? "You're going too slow". I'd slowed down in the corner while leaned too much and there was just no energy to keep the bike standing. Pretty dumb, and a real newb mistake. Ah well. The instructors that saw said it was probably soft pre-load in the back tire, even though I told them right away what I thought happened. As well, I need to trust the bike, and trust the tires, and trust myself... If it felt like the turn was ending to quick for me, I couldn't relax on the throttle, I had to turn my head and look to where I wanted to exit the turn and let the bike follow.

Anyway, got back out there, and tightened things up, started making better transitions, and handling the turns much smoother.

Even so, I knew the advanced day was waaaaay over my head, and I really needed a better foundation to get anything out of it (I mean, I was still learning how to corner and there was no way I was going to be rolling onto and off of my brakes in corners while applying throttle... Can you say "Recipe for disaster"? hahah), and a season of track days to really get things ironed out needs to come first. Things got put on hold due to rain and we started onto some theory. The rain ended up stopping and the track dried up enough to go back out there, but I decided to pull the plug on the advanced day. I'm glad I did. I got to leave at 4pm to ride 493 km's home, instead of 6pm... and I work tomorrow!

So that's what's new in regards to my massive tour. Oh I should mention I got my side/top mounts and my cases while I was in Edmonton, as well as my bluetooth helmet commmunicator so I'll be able to take phone calls while riding now without removing my helmet and talking while riding with one hand like I usually do.... Just kidding...

For those of you who didn't understand much of the moto lingo, and maybe found it 'boring', I promise there'll be more ENTERTAINING entries in the future! BUT, if you watch the documentary on Moto GP racing called "The Doctor, the Tornado, and the Kentucky Kid", I know you'll be as amazed as I am by this sport. Fascinating... Now it's time to watch Moto GP Season 2010 Race 2 in Spain that I stole off the internet cause I was working when it aired on speedtv haha! I don't feel bad, my tickets to the Laguna Seca and Indianapolis races are about 200$ a piece.
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Shes a beauty!
She's a beauty!
photo by: silan