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Discussion Starter #1
I’m guessing the instructors were testing the bikes when I arrived... looked like fun.
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VIR is an awesome track. I did my Level 4 at VIR twice. And staying on site makes for a relaxing day.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Was a pretty hot and exhausting day... 2 hours of track time, and the rest coaching and class time. It was a ton of fun and the coaching is outstanding (learned a lot just in L1). It seems like the track equivelant of the MSF class... if I was interested in track riding it would really accelerate my skills (and there’s a lot to learn... the l1 riders including me are all pretty slow)

the S1000RR is very German, very competent, well made... predictable. It’s also VERY quick at the top end. (not that I spent much time up there, midrange is plenty fast for a track noob, and at this level they keep you busy with basic skills building where it’s more about precise than fast)

Agree VIR is great, still want to do L3/4 at Laguna tho. ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Also found out my Shoei helmet is not ideal for sportbikes... when I’m tucked in the helmet hits my neck in the back.
 

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Those Pit-Lane rooms are awesome! The lodge is great too, just spent three days there two weeks ago. Have fun!

Side note: What helmet do you have? I have a GT-Air and I'm picking up a RPHA-11 Pro in a few days
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have the RF1100 or 1200 (had it for a while now). Great helmet but I see other helmets cut differently at the back for sportbikes and now that makes complete sense. I ended up putting some foam in the top and front to give me a bit more clearance (they had a big box of foam bits so that's obviously a common issue.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Multi Fuel Consumption during the trip - So the trip was about 1100 miles and took 5 refills. I tracked consumption just so I could see if the bike is where it was when new.
46.3 mpg - Fill 1 -199 miles/4.3 Gal - avg speed high 50's
49.0 mpg - Fill 2 - 201 miles/4.1 Gal - avg speed low 50's
49.8 mpg - Fill 3 - 200 miles/4.0 Gal - avg speed high 40's (lot of dirt roads)
44.8 mpg - Fill 4 - 206 miles/4.6 Gal - avg speed low 60s
40.8 mpg - Fill 5 - 196 miles/4.8 Gal - avg speed mid 70's

Highest mileage touring I've seen is 52mpg (back in 2017), avg speed for that was in the mid 40's. so even with mods and rapidbike I'm pretty much right where the bike was stock (when I have rapidbike set to the non-adjusting base map). This is with the bike back at stock gearing... and this is directly reading mileage and fuel pumped (the readout is handy but not super accurate).
 
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Discussion Starter #10
Wait. You rode your bike 100's of miles to the track, did the track school, then home on the same bike? :D
Not quite... though there was a guy riding a pre-DVT 1200 Multi (and he was fast), he was one of the track support folks (who got time to ride during the two days, nice perk). If you sign up for the 2 day session you ride a CSS bike (which right now is the S1000RR, guess I should do a review of the bike for the Multi folks who are not from a superbike background).
However... if I'd signed up for a 1 day then yea that's exactly what I'd have done... which is why I love the Multistrada. :) .

I did get done with Day 2 (9 hours total with over 2 hours of track time) at 5pm and then hop on the Multi and ride 3/4 of the way home (bit over 7 hours to Selinsgrove PA) before stopping though. I think that's a testament to how comfortable the Multistrada is. IMO the S1000RR is pretty comfortable too... though not I think for continuous touring miles... a few hours without a break on that bike and I'd be pretty sore.
 
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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
CSS Review - TLDNR... it was a ton of fun, a lot of work, and far more cerebral than I'd have expected... but I should have known that training your brain is key to riding fast safely. I'd highly recommend it for anyone who wants to improve their technique and thought process around riding fast. It will help regular road riding some (specific training around situational awareness)... but it will REALLY help you ride safer and/or faster in the twisties (if that's your thing).

I went in expecting to learn at least 3 or 4 things I didn't know I was doing wrong that would improve my road riding. I didn't go into it wanting to get into track riding... so it wasn't about speed... though on any of the liter class superbikes I imagine it's hard to behave. On day one I found myself blasting down the front straight and then riding slow as shit through the corners so I limited myself to 10krpm in 4th (whatever that turns out to be... 110mph maybe) on the straight and put all my focus on improving my cornering, which I learned pretty quickly needed a LOT of work.

The L1/L2 class was made up 10 folks, 1 was getting back into riding and so was quite slow and deliberate, focused on technique. 2 were fast on the straights but slow in the corners so the only way I could pass them was by pushing my braking later and passing them in front of turn 1 or 7... and sometimes turn 10 (I think... the downhill right hander)... that actually was helpful because it made me explore more of the braking envelope than I would have otherwise. Then there were 3 or 4 that were already experienced track riders, they were faster everywhere... though they all felt like the class was worthwhile for helping them work on bad habits. The rest of us were in the middle... first time on a track noobs or developing basic skills. Interestingly - 3 of the L1/L2 class were women... all were a bit to a LOT faster than me... which makes me think that if Ducati came out with a sportbike sized for women they might be surprised by how well it would sell.

Area I had to work on the most: Throttle Control - I had a tendency to be impatient and grab throttle too quickly... which pushed me wide even though I wasn't actually going that fast. All of day 1 I had Throttle control as a focus point (and a good chunk of day 2 also). This was in large part because I wasn't entering the corners fast enough... so the fix was a combination of braking later, carrying more speed into the corner, and forcing myself to stay off the throttle until the bike was in the corner and stable.

Next biggest area for work: Picking good apex and exit targets on the tight left turn 4. Even though I knew turn 4 was a late apex and middle exit (to line up for the immediately approaching right turn 5)... I constantly found my eyes getting drawn to the curbing before the actual apex (which wasn't quite visible just before turn-in)... so I'd apex too early (or worse yet run over the curb) and then go wide. Took me a stupidly long time to train my brain to look a couple feet off the curbing so that I'd apex in the right location... then if I wasn't paying attention the next lap I'd go right back to picking the wrong location. Really annoyed at myself for that... stupid brain.

Another development focus - The next 'weakest' skill I had was body position. This was my first time on a sportbike of any kind and finally about 3/4 through the first day when reviewing video my coach and the video reviewer told me to stop riding it like it was a touring bike (upright centered). Even though I was not fast in any way I'd already scraped the pegs on the bike a couple times in corners and while my line and stability were both very good (neither really needed any work) they were worried I was going to lowside with that much angle. That was interesting and taught me viscerally that chicken strips don't mean shit... obviously I was using all the rubber on the tire but was still slow as turd in the corners. It wasn't that I was leaning my body the wrong way (like in the videos of guys trying to get rid of their chicken strips by leaning one way so the bike is angled)... it was that I was NOT leaning into the corner... just staying in line with the bike centerline. I'd been planning to delay body movement so I could focus on the more street relevant skills (3 step, throttle control, entry speed, etc...), but I had to start doing SOME body movement just to be safe. They taught a technique where you just rotate your hips on the seat so you can basically lean straight forward toward the mirror... it was a simple and easy to master way to get your COG moved (without needing to slide around on the seat). On the second day we did the lean bike and that was more of the traditional hang a cheek off approach. The hip rotate approach was super easy to apply and immediately brought the bike more upright through the corners without really messing up my other work by distracting me with body manipulations. I did a session on day 2 practicing the "hang a cheek off" approach and when I got it right it felt great... but I didn't get to the point where getting into position or transitioning side to side was smooth and automatic (more track time required for that).
Final development area - Corner Entry speed. This was one of the later subjects on Day 2 and I really only had 3 or so sessions to work on it... but it wasn't until the very end of day 2 when I had the other areas somewhat under control that I started trying to trail brake and increase my corner entry speed. My last session of day 2 started to fell like I was bumping my corner entry speeds up but since I was also still working on body positioning I wouldn't say I ever had it as a focus. I guess I feel like I need to sort out all those other things and then I can start focusing on this with less likelihood I'll do something wrong and end up in the grass. It was pretty satisfying when I got to the point that in the corners I'd reel in a guy that had been faster than me both days... then he'd pull away on the front straight and the straight before corner 7 just to be reeled back in within a couple corners. Maybe next time I'll push it harder on the straights... I never even got out of 4th gear (though the top of 4th is moving right along... 130-140mph I'd guess).

Another thing to work on for next time - core strength - Once I started getting harder on the brakes for faster corner entry I found out something... it's HARD to keep from transferring weight to your arms, and that's really bad for bike stability. The strength of MotoGP riders who casually reposition their body by hanging off the bike all while under hard braking is pretty impressive. My initial mistake was to hold on by squeezing my legs together (the right way to do it is by lifting with your calves to lock your legs into the tank)... but even when I started getting the right "lock in" approach I had to use both legs because if I tried to scoot over to prepare for the corner I couldn't quite keep locked with just one leg and my ass would slide forward on the seat (if I didn't hold it back with my arms... which we've already established is really bad). Now granted my poor leg is trying to hold back about 80lbs more than they are... but I was also probably only braking about 20% as hard as they do... so I just ended up feeling like I needed to work on strengthening those muscles before I do L3/L4 next year.

The Multi isn't designed with the tank 'overhanging' in a way that the lock in would be as good I imagine... but I'm thinking if I get some of the rubber grips that they used (they had big nubs on them) and mount them in the right spot on the bike I could at least start to practice it. Anyone out there doing this successfully even though the Multi isn't really designed for it? Probably also need proper leathers for that (I suspect my fabric pants would just rotate)?

Damn that's a book... next maybe I'll cover the details of the program... doing some maintenance on the Multi right now (installing some CF farkles, cleaning it up after the trip, detecting any maintenance issues that need to be sorted, etc...) so was just taking a break
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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
BMW S1000RR Review - First sportbike I've ever ridden so review from the perspective of a guy that went Dirtbike -> traditional ADV bike -> Multi (sport ADV bike).

Overall - Cool bike... but not a Ducati. It didn't take much to get used to (something I was worried would slow me down and make it harder to learn until I got used to it), and it felt very solidly built. I enjoyed riding it and it had no issues that my limited abilities could detect. Biggest problem I have with BMW's is the lack of local dealers (similar to Ducati... but without the lustworthyness that makes me OK with riding a long way for Ducati service).

Comfort - It's not a bike I'd tour on but really only because it doesn't give you any options for changing position to stretch/relieve pressure points... but on the track the bike was very comfortable. The seat was hard but not a brick, my legs on the pegs were just a bit more bent than one of my normal Multi riding positions with the tips of my toes on the pegs, (spend maybe 40% of my time like this when touring) and the bars were low and forward but not so far away that I couldn't sit up and ride with one arm to get pretty upright (not that there were many opportunities for that). The big caveat is that 20 minute sessions don't really give you the opportunity to get a feel for how you might cramp up on it over time.

Riding position - the "Superbike" clipon and peg placement wasn't really a problem, as mentioned earlier it did take some behavior modification to start taking advantage of that riding position but I didn't feel contorted at all... on the track the riding position felt good... and even better when I got some guidance about how to properly use it. The seat did feel pretty slippery and maybe a bit more 'grippy' might have been better for holding seating position under braking (though It's possible I just need to get man up and build some new muscles). They had installed tank grips with big nubs (not sure the vendor) and when I properly gripped the tank (butt back in the seat a bit, balls of feet on pegs, lifting knee into the tank with my calves, bent forward supporting upper body with core) it felt VERY stable and resulted in zero pressure on my arms or wrists (something I'd heard was a problem on these bikes).

Handling - How the hell would I know... I probably explored 15% of it's performance envelope. :) The bike transitioned fast but not really so much faster than the Multi that it amazed me or anything (I was actually a bit surprised that it didn't feel HUGELY more flickable than my Multistrada... it certainly WAS but I was expecting it to be even more I guess). It dropped into corners nicely and felt very planted, as I mentioned I scraped pegs a couple times and it never felt 'sketchy' (it was shod with Dunlop Q3's or Q4's... don't recall which but I know they were planning to switch to running Q3's at one end and Q4's at the other).

Power - More than I needed... I would have been better off from a training perspective with a 600 or even 400. I did go for it a bit on the front straight (on day 1)... the bike would wheelie around 9-10k in 3rd under full throttle... just a bit and then the ECU would clamp it down (presumably because I didn't have to do anything). Power built amazingly linearly from a moderately stout feeling midrange to a pretty ballistic top end. Delivery was EXTREMELY predictable... clinically predictable. No surges or "Power bands"... just smoothly increasing power. I was a bit surprised by how much wind still hit my helmet even when I was tucked over pretty far, felt similar to the Multi with the DPE carbon fiber windscreen. Maybe you need to REALLY get your head down to the tank to get out of the wind... but over 100mph I really felt it.

Quickshifter - I rented a GS in iirc 2018 (first year for the quickshifter on that bike)... it was crap (mushy like trying to shift with a big spring linking the lever to the transmission, spotty performance), but the QS on the RR was great and lever feel was pretty normal (maybe a bit softer). I did a couple experimental shifts and blips on the first lap on the first day then completely forgot about it for the rest of the class... it just worked. Then when I got back on my Multi to head home it took a bit of time to get back in the habit of either clutching or blipping the throttle to clutchless shift. If I could get a quickshifter that good on the Multi I'd want it.
 
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