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riders. Pro tip: wax like crazy before rainy track days, or be prepared to be scraping worm guts for a while. Also don’t forget that goose poop is slippery when wet. BMW SEM's team at the track included


Kozy instructs novices.


drill is the no-brake drill. He says, “Stu- dents gain confidence in that drill, and the light bulbs start to really come on.” A favor- ite memory of Mike's is from a dealer track day at Mid-Ohio, where Gary Nixon asked for some tips with the hang-off drill. “Holy cow, I was co m p let e l y shocked that some- one of that stature would ask for my help,” Kozy said. “But then I real- ized, that's how you get to be great. Never stop learn- ing. Even the most experienced riders can learn at a track day. I tell everyone: any bike, any rider, especially nov- ices—everyone will learn something at a track day.” Audrey, with 13


years and hundreds of track days of experience, concurred, saying, “I definitely learn every time. One, I'm not 18 any more, and two, there are so many little remind- ers—do this, don't do that. Each time the


Audrey in the garage 94 BMW OWNERS NEWS September 2016


bike is upgraded by BMW, I have learned new tricks, new ways to control it. Track work enables me to communicate how impressive this bike really is, because I know personally.”


The wildlife


makes itself known in the long


tight


sweeper, Turn 7. Near the Swamp, Turn 7 is best known for turtle alerts. Large tur- tles sometimes make their way out of the cat- tails in the Swamp and up onto the racing surface. Corner workers shoo them off and are occasionally bit- ten in the pro- cess. It makes for the weirdest standing yellow flag ever. Geese,


coyotes, wild turkeys, the occasional nest- ing cranes and worms make up the rest of the abundant wildlife that have no respect for noisy, speeding machines and their


Mike Glinski, team leader for Parts and Service, and Jeff Koenig of Sales. Jeff shared the shop demo S 1000 RR with Audrey while Mike put a demo S 1000 R through its paces. Returning from a few laps with the single-R, Audrey talked about the most sig- nificant differences between the two bikes (throttle response and gearing), and how they impacted the ride up the long and demanding straight. She said, “You need sixth [gear], definitely. Fifth is topped out. That extra shift is the biggest difference for me, it adds a little drama to the straight that I don’t have on the double R.” The naked R is clearly a little sister to the RR, but does not lack for fun factor. Blane Kamp headed up BMW of Grand


Rapids’ team. Blane is general manager of BMW GR and a 26-year track veteran,and said, “I guess you could say we take track work seriously! We decided to go with a dealer sponsorship recently, and Robby [Scudder] is a solid fit for us. More impor- tantly, he’s putting the S 1000 RR through its paces on the track with complete sup- port from us.” Robby has raced in WERA and AHRMA and is a two-time national champion, formerly on a Suzuki SV650. Coming over to the S 1000 RR meant mov- ing up in competition and top speed. In his second season at this level, he’s competitive and enjoying the bike. Turn 8—the Bus Stop—marks the low-


est point on the track. The turn is named for the braking required before its tight right hairpin. Once through the Bus Stop, riders climb steeply to Turn 9, another combination right-left that dumps onto the main straight. “Main straight” is a misno- mer, as it's the only straight. Mess up the exit of Turn 9 and you will experience what SCCA drivers call “yard work in the valley.” The entrance to the climbing straight is bounded by a grassy wall on the right and another steep grassy wall on the left. Reach- ing the Armco barrier at the top is a truly significant event, but thankfully a rare one. The magic of Grattan is like the magic of


the S 1000 RR, a deeply technical affair requiring all the riders have to give and rewarding them with both instant feedback and room to grow.


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