Tuesday, 11 February 2014

KTM 390 Track Day

KTM 390 Track Day- February 2nd 2014

KTM organized its first ever track day exclusively for Duke 390 customers at MMSC race track and I was a part of it. Customers were informed through Facebook and emails 10 days before the event and were given basic description and requirements to participate in the event. It was mandatory for the riders to have full riding gear. There was no registration fee charged and the participation was completely free of cost for the customers.
On the day of the event, riders started assembling at the venue at the reporting time of 7:00 AM and registration started at around 07:30. Registrations included the following:
  • Signing the indemnity bond
  • Rider numbers were allocated and corresponding stickers (2no.s) were issued to the riders
  • Riding gear (gloves/knee pad) was allocated to riders on first come first serve basis
There were about 80 riders from Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kochi, Coimbatore apart from Chennai. The registrations process took around 45 minutes after which the riders were asked to fix the stickers on their bikes, one on the headlight and one on the rear number plate. Then there was a basic check-up of the bikes and minor adjustments were made on all the bikes such as chain slack adjustment, chain lubrication, tyre pressure check and each bike was signed ‘OK’. Then the riders were asked to enter the pits where breakfast was served to the riders.
All the participants were divided into 3 groups according to their rider numbers. KTM had tied up with Apex Racing academy for the training requirements of the riders. A small briefing was made by the KTM employee who charted out the flow of the event throughout the day. Safety and discipline instructions were given by Apex and MMSC track officials such as importance of flag signals, avoiding overtaking etc.

The day started with Group 1 going on the track for 40 mins for a free-ride session, this was without any training or classroom sessions. The track officials were careful enough to send the riders on track with sufficient gap in between them so as to avoid cluttering on the track. After this the Group 1 riders were taken to the classroom session by Apex officials and Group 2 went for the free-ride session on the track. In the first classroom session, riders were explained about the importance of correct racing line, and they were asked to practise the 4thgear-no brakes drill on the track in the next riding session. Meanwhile Group 2 and Group 3 continued with their free ride and classroom sessions, one after the other respectively.
After the second session on the track, riders were again taken to the classroom and were explained about cornering techniques, out-in-out line on the corners and riders were no longer restricted to riding in 4th gear. After this the riders went on the track again for about 30 minutes. This was around 1:30pm after which lunch was served.

After the lunch Group 1 riders were taken for the classroom session and this was the last classroom session. This time the importance of vision and  ‘where to look’ was explained to the riders and how to tackle individual and particular corners was discussed. It was fairly interactive session and riders were encouraged to ask questions. We were not asked to lean much by changing the body position at the corners because according to Apex guys, the tyre profile of KTM 390 allows the rider to lean sitting in the centre of the seat and tucking in the legs to the fuel tank.
There was a tea break at around 3-3:15pm.

All the bikes were fitted with transponders to record the lap timing throughout the riding sessions on the track. The classroom and riding sessions for all the groups were over by 4:30pm. After which there was a small closing presentation/briefing by the KTM employee explaining about the purpose of organizing the event and another VP from Bajaj-Marketing also addressed the crowd. Top 3 riders in terms of lap timing were mentioned and the event witnessed no fall/accident throughout the day.

After about a week KTM shared the link on their Facebook page for the riders to track their individual time sheet and observe the improvement in lap timing over the day.

Overall the event was organized very well and there was no confusion ever on what’s going to happen next. Bajaj employee mentioned that they will keep organizing such events in future also. It was a great experience. 

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