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Another Day at Eastern Creek

By Wom Battle
Category: Rides

Once a year or so I like to go to an Advanced Rider Training Course, for the last couple of years I've done the Stay Upright Advance II Cornering and Braking Course.  It's really an instructor led track day and excellent for pushing the limits safely and brushing up on skills that sometimes get lost in traffic.

After an interesting night at the Chifley and a big breakfast we rode the short distance to the pit area of Eastern Creek and parked with 40 or so other motorcycles of all descriptions, even a couple of other Harley-Davidson® riders there.

Sadly on this course pillions weren't allowed so Zanderhar missed his opportunity to get dragged around the track flat out but there was plenty to see and do during the day.  After the briefing the group was split into two, sports bikes and tourers.  The riders however got to choose which group they wanted to be in based on how hard they wanted to push.  Last time I did this course I opted for the sports bike group because I was determined to ride flat out all day, which on a 300+kg Road King® is hard work and quite tiring. Today I was feeling a little more sedate so I opted for the tourers, which as it turned out was a great decision because the group was smaller and I still got to ride flat out!

Also in our group was an M109, the other Harley-Davidsons, a group of BMW GS's RS's, a Ducati Monster and a mix of other sports bikes and bits and pieces whose riders preferred to take it a bit easy.

We started off with a few laps to warm up and get familiar with the track, then stopped near turn four for the posture lecture.  One group at a time we did some laps while the other group and instructors watched the form of the riders.  First trip around I got off the side of the Road King and still scraped the footpan, at that point I became certain I was in for a good day.

After some feedback and a cuppa we moved to turn two, the trickiest hairpin at Eastern Creek and the groups had two sets of laps each while we were observed tackling that one.  This was the third time I've been to Eastern Creek and I've got turn two nailed so I presented the instructors and other group with plenty of footpan and bracket scraping which was the cause of some laughter in the feedback session.

After lunch it was time for some follow feedback, where you break up into a smaller group an instructor follows you out of pit lane for a full lap except for the straight (anyone can ride fast in a straight line) and talks you through any issues they notice.  Everyone gets a turn in front and the rest of the group just follow.

The pit lane drops you out past turn one onto the short straight that leads into the hairpin turn 2.  I shot out like a bull at a gate and just had one of those laps you remember forever, I don't think I could have got around it faster.  I looked back a couple and noticed the instructor hanging back and the rest of the group further back again. I thought momentarily I might have been doing something wrong but was having too much fun to care at that point.  After completing the lap I pulled into the pits and waited to see what was up. I asked the instructor if something was up and his reply was "Mate, I'm only on a 600. I couldn't get near you out of the corners to catch up. I don't think you could have got anythign else out of that Harley, just keep doing what you are doing and maybe think about buying a sports bike if you want to ride that way".  I'm a happy old geyser!

The afternoon brought some discussion of turn nine, a downhill hairpin that's probably the most tricky for me on the Harley-Davidson.  Sadly, or happily depending on how you view it, the lower parts of my nice shiny new Vance and Hines Power Duals found the track surface and got a decent scuffing. We did some more laps practising easing off the front brake while turning into that bend followed by another session of laps at speed to finish the day off.

I finished the last session a couple of laps early, the Road King slipped into Limp Home mode coming out of turn 2, not much fun.  A restart sorted it, but the trip home confirmed something was amiss with the throttle.  Dave thankfully kept an eye on us till we got to a turn from home, we made it fine, but tomorrow the bike goes to the dealer.



Disclaimer: This non commercial website and its content is not affiliated with or associated in any way with the Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Harley-Davidson Australia, the Harley-Davidson Owners Group® or any Harley-Davidson® Dealers in Australia.  The use of the terms Harley-Davidson, and Road King® are unavoidable because that's what I own and ride.  This website,  called "My Harley Davidson" , and any opinions or comments expressed herein are purely about my Harley-Davidson Road King ownership experience, a truly great experience at that. I have no intention whatsoever to infringe on any trademarks or copyright ownership of the Harley-Davidson Motor Company or anyone else.

July 2020