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Thread: TVS Apache RR 310: First outing on the track with Atomic Motorsports

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    Dec 2015
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    Default TVS Apache RR 310: First outing on the track with Atomic Motorsports

    Fate sure has a way of adding to our experiences. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. This one, was awesome. Being a motorcycle rider, one’s journey of improvement is endless and there’s always something ‘more’ to add to one’s riding skills. Although I have been working in the automotive industry for quite some time and have ridden my fair share of miles, I have never ridden on a track and the track which was supposed to be the venue of my first track ride, the internationally acclaimed- the Buddh International Circuit. It happened as a part of Level 1 Workshop of Track Riding by Atomic Motorsports, which I was not even supposed to attend. It was supposed to be attended by the Sunny aka Motographer, but an overnight decision put me in his place. As I said, fate.

    I was very excited to say the least but I was ill-equipped for my first jaunt on the track. Why is that? Let me give you the details on the requisites (apart from the motorcycle that is) on going out on the track before I go into further detail on what the workshop was all about.

    You need the following things to be eligible to ride on the track:

    1. A full racing suit
    2. Full gauntlet riding gloves
    3. Racing boots
    4. A double-D ring helmet

    Unfortunately, the only riding gear I had was meant for touring and is not allowed on the track. This resulted in a rather late (9:30 PM) call to Riderz Planet to rent a full-leather racing suit. But because of the upcoming JK Tyre Championship and numerous Track Days being held at BIC, there was no suit available. Also, we had to be on the track at 7:30 AM which gave us no time to arrange one. So, Sunny asked me to try his Taichi racing suit. To my good luck, it fitted me well, which was a surprise considering I have more generous dimensions as compared to Sunny’s. After the suit came the boots and the gloves and predictably, Sunny lent me his Dainese riding boots and Gloves and I already had a helmet so I was all set to wake up at 6 AM the next morning and have my first outing on the track.

    The ride

    We reached the track and I got myself registered. I was supposed to ride our TVS Apache RR310. So after the registration, I got the transponder fixed on my bike to track the lap timings. The bike needed a few more modifications, nothing hardcore though because it wasn’t a race, just the rearview mirrors were removed and the tyre pressure was adjusted to increase the contact patch of the tyres and make them grippier for the track. So, I and the bike were both ready to go for the first drill.

    The first drill consists of riding around the track to get to know the surface, the turns and to get one acquainted with the track. It starts with the class room training where the Atomic Motorsport trainers explain the technicalities of riding on the track which we have to use when we are out on the track. After this classroom session, we headed out on the track for a session which is of around 20 minutes. In the given time, a rider can muster up 4-5 laps which I believe is enough to implement the techniques learnt.

    After the session on the track, there is another classroom session where the riders share their experiences. And I would say that implementing those techniques brings out such a difference in one’s riding style that it is hard to believe the progress. Also, 3 guys from the training team rode with us on the track tracking and gauging our performance and providing feedbacks after the session for improvement.

    Day 1 of the workshop includes working on the following parameters:

    1. Throttle Control
    2. Clutch Modulation
    3. Understanding of the lines to be followed on the track (Inner or Outer)
    4. And yes, the famed ‘APEX’

    Day 2 involved working on these parameters:

    1. Body position
    2. Braking
    3. Leaning in corners
    4. ‘Hitting the Apex’ (pun intended)

    And to help you guys understand the extent of improvement, I started with a timing of 3:18. Slowly grasping the basics and implementing the techniques taught to us by the Atomic Motorsport trainers helped me with a gradual improvement and I was able to improve my timings to 3:16 and then to 3:13. My last session of Day 1 saw me pull off a 3:00 lap so an improvement of 18s on the first day itself. Not too shabby for a newcomer.

    The second day of training included fine tuning and brushing the techniques learnt on Day 1. With constant practice and proper implementation, I was able to shave off 8 more seconds from my previous best helping me setting my own personal best of 2:52: i.e. and improvement of 26 seconds which sure is a big deal.

    The satisfaction that this improvement provided me is hard to put in words. Being a tourer who was sent on the track all of a sudden, I will admit that I was intimidated and somewhat scared. But having faith in oneself and the trainers can help a lot in this regard. This also helped me understand the difference of riding the roads and riding on a track. The major difference is the ‘limitless-ness’ according to me. One can explore the limits of their machines on the track but the same cannot be done on the road. But that does not mean that riding on the track is any easier. It requires immense amount of focus and the ability to understand the limitations of your machine and yourself. Precision is the key on the track.

    Seldom one gets to feel the real emotions that accompany improvement and this is surely one of those instances. Not only because I improved on my timing around on the track, but as a rider I also feel more equipped to ride more safely on the road. Getting familiarised with the limits of your machine, grasping those little things like clutch modulation, throttle control etc makes one a better and safer rider on the road as well. I personally feel, that every motorcycle must add at least a few sessions around the track to their repertoire in order to understand what I have stated here.

    The bike

    Now, let’s talk about the motorcycle that I rode. TVS Apache RR310. Firstly, I’d like to say that the RR tag is not added in the name just for ‘style’, it has a lot of substance to it as well. And the same can be said for the text on the frame that says Race Spec. I rode the bone stock motorcycle on the track and yet it felt like it belonged there. It feels very comfortable around the track. The chassis and the suspension are very well setup and the feedback from the chassis is amazing. It feels planted in the corners and I never had a ‘big moment’ on the track. According to me, the biggest reason for the responsive and predictable handling of the motorcycle is the unique reverse inclined engine setup. It helped TVS to accommodate a longer swingarm (which aids stability) without elongating the wheelbase enabling the bike to be quick on its feet without robbing it of straight line stability.

    It’s all good but there is a bit of a longing here. Sometime ago, TVS unveiled a race spec version of the Apache RR 310 for the TVS Apache RR 310 one make race. Now, that would have been a different beast to ride on the track. The reason, race-spec Apache RR 310 is equipped with a race-tuned exhaust, improved induction system; specially mapped Electronic Control Unit and modified foot- peg to provide race ergonomics. The race tuned version churns out 38 Ps of power which is quite a boost compared to the 34 Ps of the stock motorcycle. The race tuned version boasts of a top speed of 175 kmph.

    But in the end, the stock was more than enough for a first-timer on the track and it was my skill and experience that bottle-necked the motorcycle the limits of which were still unexplored by me. Having said all that, this is just the start and I am sure there are many more track days to come for me, and hopefully for you guys too so, see you there.
    Last edited by xBhp; 11-29-2018 at 07:17 PM.

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