Personal BLOG entries for May 2000.
Well, I've taken the Hayabusa to my first track day event. I was a little nervous as I've never ridden any sort of race track what so ever. The venue was the Hidden Valley circuit which had seen the V8 super car race just last weekend. Arrived at 9am but didn't get on the track till about 10.20am. And left for lunch after 12.00pm after 3 rides (by Hayabusa clock) Although I had seen the track as a spectator I didn't expect it to be smaller than it looked. I went with my CBR600F4 owning mate who likewise had never ridden on the track.
Other riders had sports bikes including a very old GSX-R750, a ZX-9 and ZX-6 2000 model CBR900RR, an R1. So there was heaps of room. The ride day was organised by TERRA and we rode on the track between races. The track was damaged by the car races, the hairpin being the worst part thus being new and so forth I was quite cautious. Yes all bar the old GSX-R where faster than me. I certainly wasn't worried as the Hayabusa had all the power but not enough suspension control. Or perhaps I just wasn't a good enough rider - which is probably the case.
So what was it like esp with the suspension mods ? Well, everyone I had a lousy first session as I was unfamiliar with the track. And paranoid about hitting the damaged bits of the track. On the straight I didn't realise I was hitting the rev limiter hence wondered why I couldn't go any faster. Only on the 2nd last lap I realised what was going on and I did between 240-250kph before getting on the brakes. So I think 3 gear does about 180-190 before the limiter or was it second I really don't know ! Out of the 3 sessions I had I reached top speed of about 260kph. If I had a higher corner speed it would definitely be faster. So the straights were fine, untouchable as expected, even in a gear too high until the first corner. I tried to push it but it required more skill and daring than I was prepared to give. I'm not going to crash in my frist track outing.
The best part was that when changing down the
gears from high revs the rear never locked up ! That anti-lock thing really really
works ! The brakes where great too, heaps of power and feel.
Vibes...what vibes ???
The corners where a different matter. The suspension was way to soft. The mods feel great on the road but on the track it was soft. Hence I was wobbling if I went too fast around the corners. On the good parts of the track it was fine. The lean angles felt steep but I didn't touch down. Feedback was great but I think I need more weight on the front. The thing was trying to wheelie on the straight again. I also felt the gearing was not suitable as too low a gear and it would be easy to loose the rear end the 'correct' gear was too high. Use the lower gear and you'd run wide indicating the suspension or tyres was not up to it, no matter how much I tried to keep it on line. Leaning for the corners was fine, not much effort was required. I think the tyres should be a stickier compound as I don't think they had enough grip either.
Summary until further modifications to make it more sporty are done ... The Hayabusa is a superb road bike. The suspension mods make the Hayabusa even more perfect of road riding. On the track, it feels underdone, there's heaps of power but you'd need to be a good rider to make the most of it, I certainly wasn't game enough to push it.
Update 28/05/2000 Pt.1 : A huge thanks to everyone whose sent me Email ! I do try reply to every one I get. It always gives me more incentive to continue updating the site with interesting stuff. The latest being a saving and loan estimator !
Speaking of which to Bill Vlissdis who sent me a mail asking for some Hayabusa info. I tried to reply but your address but it didn't work ! So if you do see this do try again.
Yes, the NT does not have speed on the open road. However from experience, wild life and traffic make it impossible to do high speeds safely. And believe it or not despite the lack of speed restriction everyone travels at about 140kph unless overtaking I kid you not - of course you the occasional idiot in their body kitted commodore/falcon. There is so much less fatigue when you don't have to constantly looking at the speedo. It is rare for fatalies to occur considering the amount of traffic. If there is an accident It's usually tourist trying to swerve to avoid wildlife or people sleeping on the road. Don't ask me why.
Anyway this week I have another new thing to play with... It's for all those who want to work out whether you can afford to buy a Hayabusa by either saving or taking out a loan. Stealing one of someone else is NOT on. Earning the right to buy the Hayabusa makes it all the more worth while.
Update 21/05/2000 : A few new upgrades to the site. The major one is the inclusion of a Classifies section. Been working on it on and off for a month now. You can use this facility to put stuff up for sale or swap for FREE. Quite a few people have asked for it so I hope things work out. Non-Hayabusa related news : I've got a new set of computer speakers ! Altec Lansing 45.1 These are very good speakers. About $200 Aust but well worth it considering the competition. Not exactly Hi-Fi quality but excellent for a computer set-up. Superior to shelf systems worth hundreds more. That means more multi-media type inclusions into the site. Which can only be good ! New sound card coming soon too.
This week I had the Hayabusa serviced in attempt to cure the wobble which has appeared with vengeance - it happens only at about 80kph. It is perfectly stable at any other speed - go figure ? Balancing checked and alignment, refilled dampers done, essentially I need a new tyres. The front are still OEM 56Js and rear Azaros. Anyway in the mean time the dealer (Suzuki Territory) has adjusted the suspension to calm the wobbles. In the process they have transformed the handling of the bike. I thought the OEM settings where pretty good, but now the bike really handles. It's amazing what little changes can do. Details available next week.
Summary of the new handling characteristics : Less effort is needed to lean and turn. There's more feeling from the front end. Overall handling feels like an overweight GSX-R but with much more power. Instead for the feedback saying, 'corner too hard and I'll thump you', the feedback you get says 'your cornering skills are not up to scratch'.
Anyway, it's now even better to ride, the handling is more to my liking and I'm now trying to come to grips with what the bike can actually do. As my friends used describe my cornering on the Hayabusa as graceful - gracefully slow that is. The thing is so easy to spin. Now they think I'm trying to show off. The reality is that I'm not even trying. Same effort for much better results can't ask for better. Well, at least until the settings anyway.
Update 014/05/2000 : It's a Mother's day update ! Bet your mom was real impressed when you told them your were going to learn to ride a motorcycle ! :-> Anyway I've learnt that the side pannier mounting kits for the Hayabusa are available everywhere else except for Australia, pls prove me wrong someone ! Do check out the Aust Hayabusa Club site for chat details ! Other site updates includes a revamp of the Comparisons and also the Accessories page and some news on the trike in the News Page !
Riding updates : I think I need a new tyre. The front tyre makes a funny noise when I corner. hmm.. I also had a interesting encounter with gravel on a round about after last weeks updates. Some idiot decided to spray gravel on a tight round-about, more likely some idiot with a Bad Boy sticker attached to their pathetic Korean 'faulty front wheel bracket' who doesn't know handling from their poor choice in body kits which really don't how to drive around corners, mounted the crub and sprayed gravel everywhere.
Sorry Guys and Gals but it had to be said. It was a dangerous situation. Anyway my shoe sole bears the marks of a foot down a 'Dakota' assisted cornering. With that said, I'm glad that the Hayabusa's brakes don''t bite too hard initially. If they did I'd be looking at some very expensive panel work.
Update 07/05/2000 : Another month and more Hayabusa stuff for visitors. Firstly check out the Accessories page for details on a plastic cleaner. It works very well. Anyway Darwin has entered the start of the Dry season and things are on the up. Cool cloudless and dry days are here for the nex 6 months, which means lots of riding updates.
Firstly to the Azaro rear tyres. Considering the amount of straight roads the tyees are still round. The wear rate seems to have reduced. Unfortunately I have notice on the 'cooler' mornings they lack their bite I initially noticed. They seem to get better again after a few kilometres. I've order a top box for the multimedia package so stay tuned for more. Apart from this there is nothing to report. The pictures ? well I haven't had the time to do them and hence hopefully next week..hey I'm a busy guy.