I posted this "ride report" of mine on Multistrada.net
a few days ago and thought I should also put it here. Hope you enjoy it.
5 days so long waited… (and to be remembered…)
We had arranged with my friend Dimitris with his CBR600 to come by my home and we would ride together up to Lamia (~200km North of Athens) where another friend (Nikos) with his Blackbird would be waiting to join us, and the 3 of us would ride to Serres (~650km from Athens) together.
30th March, Thursday morning at 09.00’, Athens
I was a bit late and arrived at the rendezvous at 09.30’. Dimitris was already there waiting for me but he looked like he could use another cup of coffee (me too!). Anyway, we talked for a few minutes, decided the first refueling that should take place before Lamia (CBR’s mileage on a tank is at most 180km!) and we rode off.
Fine morning, sun was shining and temperature was ~18C, we were riding towards 3 days full of track laps, friends, good food and fun, what more could we ask for ?
We arrived at the fuel station where we met Nikos (the other friend with the Blackbird) about 2 hours later. We had a quick snack, a little chit-chat and we rode off again. Next stop was agreed to be at Tembi valley (a very well known spot on the road to Thessaloniki) which was ~200km further. We thought that the little CBR that Dimitris was riding would be up to the task if we were a little conservative on the throttle…
But this wasn’t meant to happen…
25km before Tembi valley Dimitris slowed down suddently and started waving to us that something was wrong… We stopped on the side of the road only to discover that he run out of fuel…. grrrrrrr…
Ofcourse this was due to our “conservative” throttle… ehmmm..
I forgot to mention that we were cruising with a stable speed of 170-180km/h and a few “up to the limiter” –for my Multi at least – blasts of 200+km/h… (the road from Lamia to Thessaloniki has some endless boring straights that you would pray to pass with 400km/h if possible). Anyway, the nearest gas station was “only” 5km away so Nikos (the Blackbird rider) volunteered to “push by the peg” (“pataki” for the Greek people that might be reading this) the little CBR to the gas station. That’s a technique riders use in situations like this when a bike needs to be pushed and it goes like this: another rider starts his bike, puts it in gear and puts his right foot on the broken-down bike’s rear left peg and pushes it this way. Hope you understand what I mean.
After half an hour and with Nikos complaining about the cramps his right foot was having from pushing the CBR for 5km… we refueled and rode off once again towards Thessaloniki. We made a few phone calls because we were late and off we went.
We had no further issues and we arrived around 17.00’ at Thessaloniki were we met a few other friends that were also going to participate in the track day at Serres. We went for a coffee and later in the afternoon me and Nikos (yes the Blackbird guy) we went to my cousin’s house to spend the night and rest.
31st March, Friday morning at 9.00’, Thessaloniki
Me and Nikos were again a bit late at our rendezvous with the rest of the group (we were supposed to meet them just outside the city at 9 o’clock and ride together to Serres, ~85km) and we got there at 9.15’ So again we rode off just the 2 of us.
The day was excellent again, sun shining, temp was fine too and as we realized that the track was less than an hour away, we got anxious. We both wanted to be – if possible – transferred to the pit lane instantly by Mr. Spok (take us to Enterprise Mr. Spok !
We arrived at Serres 45 minutes later, went to the hotel, unloaded the bikes, checked into our room and rushed to the track.
Well to cut a loooong talk short, from Friday morning until Sunday late in the afternoong we had a B L A S T in the track. I put 605 track kilometers on my faithful Multi and I shot dead a brand new pair of Dunlop Qualifier’s… But it was well woth it, maybe more than worth it but I don’t know the words to express it .
A few pics from the track:
Dunlop Qualifier after 650 road kms and 300 track kms total ~1000km since new):
…and after 305 more track kms (total: 605km on the track and 650km on the road):
Torn but happy:
And now a few action pics:
The “S” at Serres, turn 6 & 7 is an “S” followed by turn 8 & 9 which are two fast left handers:
After 3 days full of track laps, rubber and oil smells, we have to return but we're both so reluctant to take the road back to home...
Well just a few words more from the track experience:
I managed to lap at 1.37’ constantly which makes me very happy and also this time I accomplished two things. First I managed to lap as fast (or a bit faster than I used to) but constantly. I mean that I had a personal best of 1.37’ but now this is my constant lap times (no personal best yet but maybe will try for that next time). And second important is that I did that without the Multi scraping down at all (well it did to be honest but only on Friday morning’s first session and only on K5 which is the slowest 180radius turn). I had taken the time to remove the exhaust shield though and used my boot’s slider as an “indicator” of lean angle.
Another thing I now know for sure, is that I’ll do anything I can in order to participate in the upcoming 6h endurance race next August held at Serres track (I need to start saving…). I’m completely hooked by the track now, this time it only confirmed it. Also I’m now thinking of adding a stabilizer to my Multi in the future, never had issues on the road but I think that it will be of use on the track. As for the recent upgrade I did on my front forks (Ohlins springs and fork oil) I can say it works wonders on both the road and on the track and can only recommend it to any of you might have the Showa forks; it’s not expensive either, 120 euros for the springs and the oil.
That’s all for now and I’m already looking forward for my next time st Serres track. Can’t wait !
Regards and thanks for reading my rant
P.S: I have also uploaded a few pics in my personal gallery here in this forum (better size).