1. Last Friday I went over to Shelton, WA and did a track day at The Ridge Motorsports Park with 2Fast track days. That’s me above, coming out of “the carousel”, a looooong left hander at the track (photo by Jason Tanaka). As you’ll see below, the track is a left heavy track, with 6 rights and 9 lefts in its 2.47 mile layout.

    In talking with other riders, by all accounts this track is gaining a reputation as one of the best on the west coast. While the facilities are still being built (read porta-potties, well taken care of at least), the track itself outshines any roughness around the edges that remain as they finish construction. The track features an amazing mix of elevation changes through many fast sections and a few tighter technical ones, including “the ridge”, a series of turns resembling the corkscrew of Laguna Seca. In fact, by the end of the day, most of us were calling it the corkscrew.

    The day was a bit of a crash fest, for a while with red flags in almost every session. Mark DeGross and the 2Fast folks did well to mitigate lost track time, adding an extra hour of track time onto the end of the day. They also convened a meeting halfway through the day to try to dial people in a bit, which may have helped. Luckily I wasn’t one of the crashers, only having one big moment at the entry to “the ridge.” Getting in a little hot, I leaned the bike further to the left than usual and my side stand connected with the ground, causing the rear tire to step out for a moment. I can’t pretend to be good enough to definitively say that I saved it with my left knee, but it sure felt like it as the pressure released from the tire, went to my knee, then reconnected at the rear, sitting me up. Exhilarating! 

    Overall, I was really happy with the day. I took it easy as it was my first real track day in 3 years, and my stock suspended SV650S was less than ideal along with the stock foot peg position which cost me toe sliders over the course of the day. Some suspension swapping and aftermarket rearsets are in the SV’s future. Other than that, the bike performed admirably. There’s one more 2Fast track day at The Ridge this year, I highly recommend you hit it up if you’re in the area.

    2Fast track day owner Mark DeGross talks about the entry to “the ridge.” 

    A couple of riders take to the straight as one in the background makes his way down the ridge.

    My 2003 SV650S and 1987 Ford Ranger in the pits.

    My new A&g leather sliders after 8 sessions at the Ridge Motorsports Park.

     
  2. Man’s Gotta Ride

    Chalk up another failed forecast as we had a gloriously beautiful day here in Seattle. Keep ‘em coming!

     
  3. Man’s Gotta Ride — Just bought this 2003 SV650S. Needs a little TLC and some upgrades, but overall I’m very happy to be an SV owner again. Rode the Mercer Island Loop and the little twin made me smile. Sure, the stock suspension leaves a lot to be desired as mid-corner bumps unsettled both the chassis and my nerves, but that’s what shock swaps and aftermarket suspension upgrades are for. I got a great deal (thanks Jeff!) making the knowledge that I’ll have to put a little extra into it easier to swallow. Just counted it up, this is my 14th bike since I began my love affair with motorcycles in 2004.

     
  4. Man’s gotta have a cave. Be sure to see my earlier post on this. Say hello to some two wheeled friends.

     
  5. Man’s gotta ride. Test riding a 2003 SV650S today. Yep. #gogogo