KIWI RIDER 11 2018 VOL.2 - Page 100

sporting a set of pre-heated slicks. Never ridden one? Read on... Ok, I’ll be upfront here. I’m not a Daniel Falzon. I’m a fast group trackday kinda guy, I’ve done a bit of racing and even won a couple of low key championships over the years. And when I say low key... I mean grass-roots. I am the proud winner of the 1996 Yamaha RD250LC EMRA championship in the UK. Yup, that was a biggie. And I’ve also had a couple of goes at hill-climbing over the years; that sport where you race for 30-50 seconds up a twisty tar-seal hill as fast as you can on cold tyres and, upon getting to the top wonder if there’s a racing Viagra you didn’t get, because you were soundly beaten by half a dozen dads and grand-dads on old bikes, wearing baggy- arsed leathers. Eventually I won the British championship in that. My point? I can turn a wheel, but I’m certainly not a pukka ‘racer’. Fast group at a track day and I’m pretty happy with that. So, this is going to be a six lap account of what it’s like to ride a pukka national level race More grip and lean angle than you can shake a shitty stick at... 100 KIWI RIDER bike that has had a lot of success at Daniel’s hands. It’s not comprehensive, I can’t analyse it and, no, I didn’t scrape the surface. For you normal riders out there who wonder what it’s like, this is for you. RIDING First off, it’s hard and vicious. The motor spins up fast with just the barest whiff of throttle. The bars are low and the seat high and uncomfortable. I’m still sitting in the pit lane at this point. I have to remember the gears are race-pattern, with first gear one click upwards and the rest down. So, I put it into first – shit, no, that was second. I didn’t feel this was shaping up well, especially as team mechanic Jo Falzon, Daniel’s Dad, has already taken me through the bike and is still standing next to me. He asks what I want doing with the traction control and wheelie control. “Umm, what does Daniel run?” I ask. “Oh, he has the traction control and wheelie control on. Cameron ran it like that too,” is his reply.