Willow Spring Raceway

That’s Big Willow to you, sir.

Everything moved like clockwork.  Got up, attached the pre-loaded trailer to the truck and off I went to Rosamond.  Skies we perfectly clear and zero wind.  Temperature peaked in the low 80’s which made for perfect track conditions.  I got there before the crowd and tech’d the bike in 2 minutes.  TrackDaz were the hosts.

I watched a couple of YouTube videos of Willow Springs to memorize the track and lines better but what I didn’t anticipate was Turn 6.  Holy cow.  It felt like you were racing down a steep diagonal  – while leaning hard – while short shifting up – at full throttle – all while the outside of the turn looks like an infinity pool!  If you’re not focused, you are going off the track and into an event horizon.

Then there was Turn 8 and Turn 9, collectively called The Sweeper.  You were wondering if it was ever going to end.

We did encounter many delays because people were crashing out a lot. The two ambulances could not keep up with taking people to the hospital. (yikes)  All of the crashes were occurring within the first 1/2 lap of a given session.  This means that the yahoos didn’t allow the tires to warm up, thus crashing out. (tisk tisk)

After Darwin weeded out the hooligans in the morning, we were able to enjoy an uninterrupted track day all the way ’till 5pm.

I was also able to finally track-test my Brembo Goldline front caliper conversion with sintered EBC pads.  They performed beautifully.  Excellent braking.

I’ve got tons of photos from a photographer friend (Ron Sinoy) and from the track’s CaliPhotography.

Willow Springs is very different from many other tracks.  It’s layout facilitates very high speeds where others have many turns and odd corners.

It is definitely deserves the title of the “Fastest Road in the West“.

That  –  was  –  fun.

Brakes Upgrade

I’m currently in winter hibernation mode and ready to work on upgrading my stock Brembo calipers to the Brembo Goldlines. This is a 2 piston to 4 piston axial caliper conversion.  This caliper comes off a Ducati 748/996/998.

The stock master cylinder should work fine and after lots of research, these Brembo Goldlines should bolt right up nicely after I remove 4mm off the mounting bosses so that the caliper lines up with the rotors.  The Alpina rim’s spokes clear the back of the calipers.

Braking will substantially be significantly stronger (not that it wasn’t already) and modulation should be very nice, too.

The inspiration came from riding a KTM 1190 cc RC8-R on the track with radial mounted monobloc 4-piston/4-pad calipers. Dual rotors at 320mm.  Sick braking but too “digital” for me. The goal for these brakes is somewhere in between.

With these calipers, I should be close to the KTM but smoother.  🙂

Below: The Brembo Goldline caliper

Below: Me on the KTM 1190 RC8-R and it’s crazy brakes and 180hp

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