BMW K1200, K1300, and K1600 Forum banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So, for those of us for whom the West leads to the Irish Sea (or the Atlantic, if we have any Irish compadres out there) what about some sharing on trackdays.

I am sadly a trackday virgin, having only ever thought about it. Next year I want to change that, but don't really want to waste the money on something unsuitable to my experience level. While European trackdays look great they would probably be a little too far advanced for a first time, so I'm looking for something in the UK.

A couple of questions spring to mind: First, what about insurance? I'm pretty sure (without checking the policy doc) that I wouldn't be covered if I smashed my beautiful 'S to pulp - am I right? So does one arrange a special insurance policy for the day, and with who (or is that whom? Being a European forum we'd best stick to the Queen's English!) Or is it best to stick with schools that provide bikes for the day, like Haslam?

Second: I don't own leathers (yet) - are they a prerequisite? I'll need most of Autumn, Wnter and Spring to persuade the SO to allow the purchase ... or can they be hired?

Lots of other questions bubbling under, but that will (hopefully) get the ball rolling.

JJ
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
At TVAM we have organised a few track days. These are mainly done through Rapid Training, a load of serving and ex- biking coppers so know their stuff. How far down the M3 are you? TVAM covers Newbury, Basingstoke, Camberley, as well as Abingdon, High Wycombe and Slough.

SeeRapid Training and their sub-devision Rapid Track.

Leathers, yes a good idea. What I've been told is that you must have either a one-piece or a fully zip-together two-piece.

Insurance, no idea as I'm also a track-virgin.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
178 Posts
Our local BMW dealer (John-Clark-BMW) organised a track day at Knockhill (Knockhill-race-circuit) in August. Unfortunately the weather was poor in the morning though the track dried out fine in the afternoon.

Knockhill mandate one piece leathers or two piece leathers which zip together. They have plenty One Piece racing leathers for hire. They also stipulate full face helmet - not flip ups like the BMW System or Schuberth.

As you will see from their web site, there are numerous biking track days and a race school. However I am not too sure about insurance for their days. I do know that in my BMW Motorrad Insurance policy I would have cover for my bike if I took it on the track... provided its was a BMW Organised track day.

I have not actually asked if this means a BMW Dealer track day or whether it is the full monty at Rockingham.

Hope this helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Richard, I'm in Basingstoke. Thanks for the link, I'll have a browse and see what looks good. I guess I'm going to have to start convincing the SO that leathers aren't just a want, they are an absolute necessity!! Hmmmm ... this is not gonna be easy - is there a thread somewhere with tips on how to 'sell' an expensive hobby to other members of the family? :p

Rennie, thanks for your links also. If my memory is correct Knockhill is in NI, isn't it? Not really too keen to make a holiday out of it, as the SO is not as into biking as I am. (Did you notice a tinge of understatement there?)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
178 Posts
Geography?

Hi JJ,

jimjam66 said:
If my memory is correct Knockhill is in NI, isn't it? Not really too keen to make a holiday out of it, as the SO is not as into biking as I am. (Did you notice a tinge of understatement there?)
Looks like your Geography of Scotland is as poor as my geography of England!

Knockhill Race Circuit (Knockhill-directions) is in Fife, just north of the Forth Bridge.;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Oops! Maybe I'll have to think twice before knocking the yanks for being geographically challenged. What's it like as a circuit? Tight & twisty or fast and fluid? Would you recommend it?

I'm about fifteen miles from Thruxton but I don't know who organises trackdays there. I know the BSB riders hate it because they say it's unsafe (although I would argue that anyone who rides on the ragged edge for a living has got to be joking about that ...)

I had dinner at a pub on the north bank of the Forth some years ago - apparently it was the pub that inspired Stevenson to write Treasure Island. Got some gob-smacking sunset pics of the Bridge with a fog rolling in up the firth - heck, maybe I should dig those out?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
178 Posts
Hi JJ,

Would not worry about the geography hiccup.

jimjam66 said:
What's it like as a circuit? Tight & twisty or fast and fluid? Would you recommend it?
Knockhill can be a cold and bleak place, but it hosts the Touring Cars and the British Superbikes (Superbikes) each year... normally in sunshine.

Personally I think its too narrow for cars, but a great bike circuit. One of my friends, Bob Grant (from Knockhill website: Knockhill regular Bob Grant won the Supersport Cup - see photo) took a K1200S round the circuit never having been on the bike before. The lap record for the Superbikes is a fraction under 50 seconds. Bob took one lap to find out how the bike felt a second to warm it up and took the 3rd lap in 58 seconds. Says a lot for the man and the bike.

Only thing I could not guarantee about a trip to Knockhill, would be the weather... but one could say the sam about any part of the UK.
 

·
Throttle Jockey
Joined
·
1,718 Posts
jimjam66 said:
I guess I'm going to have to start convincing the SO that leathers aren't just a want, they are an absolute necessity!! Hmmmm ... this is not gonna be easy - is there a thread somewhere with tips on how to 'sell' an expensive hobby to other members of the family? :p
Yes leathers are a necessity and if the SO needs convincing, show her this picture of what happened to the guy who didn't have the leathers.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
178 Posts
JJ

If this does not work...

rickd said:
Yes leathers are a necessity and if the SO needs convincing, show her this picture of what happened to the guy who didn't have the leathers.
...get the SO to contact me and I'll give some pretty gruesome accounts of "reality" from a Traffic Cops point of view. On the other hand if you do that the SO might object to you biking, so perhaps my idea is not one to pursue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Hi, just giving you a hint about how we do in the Swedish BMW MC Club ;)

We arrange in Stockholm area Curve & Brake´Trainings nearly weekly - primary on small gokart tracks. We do also use fullsize race tracks a couple of times in a season.

The Swedish Motorcyclist Centralassociation (SMC) have a Instructors Programme - where we have several members having Instructor level.
The SMC have a deal with all Insurrance companies that their sessions on tracks are to be considered as Riders Trafficsecrurity Training - which means the insurrance is covering fully.
For the BMW´s is the branded BMW MC Insurrance also covering the traings done by our club (which most also is SMC approved, so we can have other brands oparticipating - which finances the track lease!)



SMC did this year start corporation with California Superbike School (superbikeschool

Even if you never went to a track day - try the superbikeschool - it worth every £ you pay - ride your own bike :bmw:

And yes, you need to wear protective clothing - high quality textile do we approve - gloves both is a must - back protector and leathers are wellcommed.

Enjoy - the track experinces will mostly change you view on riding a bike :D

Enjoy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
178 Posts
Hi Mad Dane,

Thanks for your input... nice to hear from more of Europe than just the UK!

I have had a quick look at your own web site... impressed :D. Though I have to confess it will take some time to look through it all.

I found your "knee down" cornering photo's very interesting... I have always been a road motorcyclist (including some off road when I had my R100GS) and have only ridden the track a few times. It was always nice being called upon as a police motorcyclist, by some of the dealers, to act as "escort" for groups on the track. But I never had occasion to have to hang off the bike.

I still think knee down is a track thing, but my K1200S is rather different to my R80RT; R100GS and K100RS. Realistically the only similarity is the :bmw: .

I am impressed with the rider training you outline and wish we had something similar in the UK. We do have track schools and I am involved in Advanced Rider training on the roads... but in the UK motorcyclists are still second class citizens who are not always tolerated. I have always found it so different in the rest of Europe.

Thanks again for your input.

All the best.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Jeeezzz guys, don't scare me with photo's like that! Perhaps twenty years ago I would have taken risks on a bike, but these days I wear high-quality textiles with full CE-approved armour everywhere except hips (zip-up overtrousers :( ) and complement that with a Knox back-protector on all but the shortest trips. I commute sixty miles a day (one-twent until three months ago) in all weathers and haven't come close to falling off yet. Did some non-IAM/RoSPA advanced training last year when I started riding again (with Garry Burns of KeyRider in Farnborough), so don't get the wrong idea!

The question (probably badly phrased) revolved araound whether textiles were okay - I note from the RapidSkills link that some tracks do allow textiles. Of course I'd love a shiny new set of leathers but wouldn't buy cheapies for exactly the reason you guys mentioned. I rather fancy the the top-of-the-line BMW leathers but at somewhere north of £700 perhaps you understand my anxiety about the SO! :)

MadDane, thanks for the info. Haven't followed all the links yet but it sounds like you guys have it sussed. I know California Superbike operate in the UK, so I'll have a good browse when time allows.

Just one question - Mad Dane? Swedish ...? Are you an expat? I ask because I'm from the 'colonies' now living in the heart of the British Empire ... :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
jimjam66 said:
... Did some non-IAM/RoSPA advanced training last year when I started riding again (with Garry Burns of KeyRider in Farnborough), so don't get the wrong idea!

The question (probably badly phrased) revolved araound whether textiles were okay ... I'd love a shiny new set of leathers ... I know California Superbike operate in the UK, ...
Well done with doing some training.

I think that as long as the textiles are zip-together then they'll be OK. It's the lack of separation that is the important thing.

Some of the TVAM members have been to California Superbikes, and reported back it was really good.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
178 Posts
rclauson said:
I think that as long as the textiles are zip-together then they'll be OK. It's the lack of separation that is the important thing.

Some of the TVAM members have been to California Superbikes, and reported back it was really good.
It appears each track has its own rules / guidelines... but basically they are all safety related... though one wonders on some of the individual race track's rules when they specify race leathers... and just happen to have stocks for hire.

Additionally California Superbikes have given presentations to some of the local Advanced Rider Groups and a few have attended their sessions and reported favourably, but adding the cautionary tales that there is "stuff" for track and stuff for the road.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
rclauson said:
Forgot to mention that eBay (UK) has leathers come up occassionally, so worth a look.
Yeah, but they wouldn't have that gorgeous new smell that leather has 'off the hook', would they? :) Although, that having been said I got a new airbrush on eBay last week - £50 less than new price and it was shipped to me in original sealed packaging from the same shop I would have paid full price at. What's that about?

BTW Richard, I took a look at Rapid Track. They look pretty good, and reassure that 'novice' trackday riders are extremely unlikely to trash their bikes. Their 'Expert' group on the other hand, seem to have a 'smash-em-up' time of things ... I'll wait until they publish their 2006 schedule and book on one closish to home.

rlmr said:
though one wonders on some of the individual race track's rules when they specify race leathers... and just happen to have stocks for hire.
Oh yes - seems to stretch the bounds of coincidence! On the other hand, I know that leather still beats virtually any synthetic material on the planet for abrasion resistance, so I'm not TOO unhappy about it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
JJ - let us know how you get on - have only taken one BM round a track, about 12 years ago at the start of a Suzuki track day at Castle Combe - it was an R100RT, on fairly bald tyres, got to the first bend with everyone else and suddenly realised was not going to get round the corner as cylinder heads and exhaust were already scraping the ground! Took to the grass in a big way and got back to the pits covered in hay and weeds. Worked much better on the GSXR750s and GSX600s (and even a DR750) Suzuki had brought along. Wouldn't mind trying the experience (without going off the track) on my K1200RS sometime!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
jimjam66 said:
So, for those of us for whom the West leads to the Irish Sea (or the Atlantic, if we have any Irish compadres out there) what about some sharing on trackdays.

I am sadly a trackday virgin, having only ever thought about it. Next year I want to change that, but don't really want to waste the money on something unsuitable to my experience level. While European trackdays look great they would probably be a little too far advanced for a first time, so I'm looking for something in the UK.

A couple of questions spring to mind: First, what about insurance? I'm pretty sure (without checking the policy doc) that I wouldn't be covered if I smashed my beautiful 'S to pulp - am I right? So does one arrange a special insurance policy for the day, and with who (or is that whom? Being a European forum we'd best stick to the Queen's English!) Or is it best to stick with schools that provide bikes for the day, like Haslam?

Second: I don't own leathers (yet) - are they a prerequisite? I'll need most of Autumn, Wnter and Spring to persuade the SO to allow the purchase ... or can they be hired?

Lots of other questions bubbling under, but that will (hopefully) get the ball rolling.

JJ
1. The Rapid Training track days would be right up your street. Well organised. Well "policed" (excuse the pun) so anyone misbehaving is dealt with appropriately (usually just a quiet word in their ear to start paying attention and stop riding like a prat). The 2006 dates aren't out yet. Rockingham is a great circuit for a track day as a nice mix of fast and slow, and left and right, bends.

2. Your insurance won't cover you, but if you view a trackday as an opportunity to find out what your bike is really capable of without the risks of roadside furniture and people coming the other way or pulling out of side turnings, and NOT a race, you should be fine. There's always the odd person for whom the red mist descends and the next thing is that they are sliding down the road. You don't have to go that road if you don't want to. You can get trackday insurance but it is expensive.

3. One or two piece leathers are a must. If two piece they must zip up all around your waist and not just at the back. Frankly if you can afford a K1200S, you can afford leathers. You can find good quality leathers meeting these criteria at Hein Gericke for under £400. Frankly leathers are better than fabric in any case, so get some. I've seen the BMW leathers but while they look nice I thought that they were no better than Hein Gericke ones, which are half the price. If you want to spend that sort of money you can get them made to measure. Crowtree are meant to be good and if you want to go the whole hog, BKS, whose quality is superb.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
rlmr said:
I found your "knee down" cornering photo's very interesting... I have always been a road motorcyclist (including some off road when I had my R100GS) and have only ridden the track a few times. It was always nice being called upon as a police motorcyclist, by some of the dealers, to act as "escort" for groups on the track. But I never had occasion to have to hang off the bike.

I still think knee down is a track thing,
I agree. If you need to get your knee down on the road in order to get round a corner then you are almost certainly riding way too fast for that road. It's a safe bet that you would not be able to stop on your side of the road in the area ahead which is visible to you.

A bit of weight shifting is OK. Knee down is a track thing. Having said that I've done about 6 trackdays and I've never even tried to get my knee down.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top