What is the sound of one piston slapping?
What is the sound of one piston slapping?
Illustration for article titled Aprilia Track Day 2019 at The Ridge

I’ve been meaning to post some pics since last year. This was my first motorcycle trackday ever and the first time I rode a bike in 2019. It was also one of the only times I rode in 2019. :(

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Illustration for article titled Aprilia Track Day 2019 at The Ridge

The whole deal was I got to pick two brand new Aprilia bikes to sample during 20 minute track sessions. No limits, no supervision.

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Illustration for article titled Aprilia Track Day 2019 at The Ridge

Including the two Aprilia sessions, I got five 20 minute sessions on my personal bike.

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Illustration for article titled Aprilia Track Day 2019 at The Ridge

They brought along a Shiver, a Dorsoduro, a few Tuonos, and a mix of RSV4s and RSV4 Factory models.

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Illustration for article titled Aprilia Track Day 2019 at The Ridge

I brought along my 2005 Suzuki SV650s which isn’t really set up for this kind of thing. It had older tires and a lowering link from the previous owner. I don’t mind that on the street but it is very detrimental on track.

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Illustration for article titled Aprilia Track Day 2019 at The Ridge
Illustration for article titled Aprilia Track Day 2019 at The Ridge
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A few photos above from my first 2 sessions. I took it pretty easy to learn the course and my bike. Even on a 650 I was still one of the faster riders in the beginner group.

Illustration for article titled Aprilia Track Day 2019 at The Ridge
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Third session out I decided to ride the Aprilia RSV4 1100 Factory with its glorious 217 hp V4. This bike was by far the most track competent machine I’ve ever ridden. You basically sit on it which took a lot of getting used to. All the settings were right in the middle of the options but you could change them to your liking. I left them alone. I still managed to run off course with just giving it a blip of throttle in the middle of a complex corner. Stood me straight up and into the runoff field. Even with the wheelie control set to 5 out of 10, it was more than happy to pick up the front wheel exiting a corner. Top speed on the front straight was 149 indicated, the SV was about 126 in a full tuck, and the Dorsoduro I rode later was 112 mph. After talking with other riders everyone loved the RSV4 on track, but nobody would want one for street duty.

Illustration for article titled Aprilia Track Day 2019 at The Ridge
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Dainese and AGV were on hand lending out any gear you could want. The AGV lid was absolutely fantastic. The Dainese guys really saved the day and let me take a pair of boots for all 7 sessions because mine weren’t allowed on track.

Illustration for article titled Aprilia Track Day 2019 at The Ridge
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Back on the SV for a session. This was unfortunately as far as I could lean without scraping the pegs because of the lowering links. Couldn’t even get close to putting a knee down. By the end of the day this was really hampering my speed.

Illustration for article titled Aprilia Track Day 2019 at The Ridge
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After lunch I hopped on the Dorsoduro which just happened to be the unexpected highlight of the day.

Illustration for article titled Aprilia Track Day 2019 at The Ridge
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Illustration for article titled Aprilia Track Day 2019 at The Ridge

I was an absolute hooligan on this thing. It felt way more natural than the RSV4 for me and gave a massive confidence boost. I was passing superbikes on the outside of corners only to lose all progress on the straights over and over again. It was a blast and an experience of a lifetime.

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Illustration for article titled Aprilia Track Day 2019 at The Ridge

I was rubbing the pegs on this one too which I didn’t really think was possible considering the height of this thing.

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Illustration for article titled Aprilia Track Day 2019 at The Ridge

Right after I got back to the pits I went online and starting researching them. It was that good.

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Illustration for article titled Aprilia Track Day 2019 at The Ridge

I really need to try out a proper lightweight supermoto. It will be much slower but handle even better.

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Illustration for article titled Aprilia Track Day 2019 at The Ridge

Back on the SV for session 6 and the money shot.

Illustration for article titled Aprilia Track Day 2019 at The Ridge
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I probably should have called it a day after session six and just packed up and went home. Half the other riders were smart enough to do so. My tires were shot. My brakes were faded. My brain was frazzled. I went off track two times in the first 10 minutes of the last session of the day. Luckily I didn’t put it down but did get rather sandy. Someone totaled their bike in the previous session, another sign I should have called it a day. Luckily out of 3 or 4 crashes that day, there were no serious injuries.

Illustration for article titled Aprilia Track Day 2019 at The Ridge
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I didn’t crash here but my paddock neighbor low-sided right across this pavement.

Illustration for article titled Aprilia Track Day 2019 at The Ridge
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Illustration for article titled Aprilia Track Day 2019 at The Ridge

This was a KTM RC8 with lots of custom work, coolest bike on site.

Illustration for article titled Aprilia Track Day 2019 at The Ridge
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One of the instructors brought this as their tow rig. Super clean.

Illustration for article titled Aprilia Track Day 2019 at The Ridge
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I already signed up for the 2020 event and will be taking the R6 track bike I recently acquired. I highly recommend this event to anybody. Well worth the experience not just on the Aprilias but on your own bike.

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