Riding and "The Zone"


The hum of the motor is putting me in a trance as I wait my turn to enter the track. I wait my chance with great anticipation as I keep my eyes on the track safety to give me the start signal. I creep out into the first gap in the riders and setup for my first lap. As I twist the throttle more the beast lets out a deep grunt and lunges forward. My shoulders almost dislocate from the intense acceleration. Second gear. Everything is beginning to blur as the Busa propels me down the straight. I can feel it wanting more and more. The pressure is almost to much. My mistress DEMANDS MORE! I shift to third. I can feel the wind flowing over my helmet and back as I'm violently catapulted forward. I'm getting tunnel vision as I strain to look as far ahead as I can through the windscreen and my visor. The Busa just keeps going faster and faster. 120...135...150...155MPH! It wants to go even faster.

Forth gear. The needle continues to climb toward the 11,000 RPM mark. I still have two more gears to go. I want to shift it up so bad just to see how fast she really goes! I'm quickly running out of straight road. I have to slow down if I'm going to make the corner. My pulse rushes as I squeeze the front brakes. The nose drops slightly as I apply more pressure to set up my turn. I maintain the throttle as I move off the seat to the right The wind hits me at full force as I put more pressure on my right peg. I got my speed back down to 130MPH just before I begin to tip her into a high-speed sweeper. My knee is just millimeters above the asphalt as I whip through the apex. Just after the apex the road starts dropping away. The forks start to extend. I've got to hold the throttle steady if I'm going to make the corner. Adrenaline is pumping through me like a fire. It's burning me up inside. I FEEL ALIVE!

I see a long left-hand turn and I'm coming up on it. I slowly apply more brakes and slide back over the seat toward the left. Letting off the throttle I start the double apex turn. Down to 75, then 70. Shifting into second gear makes the Busa hunch down for the next turn. Sweeping just inches away from the first apex I can feel the air pressure changes as my knee is almost touching the grass. Damn! I'm going too deep. I need to push it wider. I can feel the tires on the tarmac. Visions of the rubber being torn away as the tires are doing everything they can to keep my beast on the track flash through my mind. My tires aren't warm enough yet. They wiggle as they slip and recover traction telling me they are not ready to give me their all. Let off the brakes just a little and hold the throttle steady. The tires are stable now. Passing by the second apex marker I can feel myself not breathing. Breathe Doug! Breathe! I take a few quick breathes and look for the exit marker. There it is. I start giving her more throttle. The beast responds by going faster and faster, pushing wider almost like she wants to attack the exit marker with everything she has. Getting closer and closer, it's time to start pushing harder for the next straight. Everything is so clear. My awareness grows stronger as I slide back behind the wind screen.

Running back to 100 MPH I charge down the hill into the next obstacle. Ahead, the road twists hard to the right. I'm coming in too hot. I need to scrub speed like it was yesterday. My pulse quickens even more. Harder and harder I squeeze the brakes. It's not enough. I'm still coming in too fast. I slide off to the right and shift down to first gear. The beast is smooth and confident as she slides the rear tire just a little to the left. Holding the throttle steady I get my speed down as I set my line in the center of the road. I pick my reference point and tip slightly into the corner. The Busa continues toward the edge of the track. Coaxing her to make this turn will be tough. The road is banked steeply. I can make it. Pushing down hard on the right grip I get the beast to fall into the turn. The G-Forces are increasing. The tires again complaining of too much stress, I give her just a little more throttle and hold the brakes steady.

Knowing that the next turn is a tight downhill left, I slide over to the opposite side to prepare for it. The forks are still compressed from the last turn as we begin reaching for the apex marker. The stresses are building. My veins are on fire. Nothing else matters. The exit marker is next. I have it in my sights. Time to start rolling back on the throttle. Passing the exit marker I reach my toe down to flick the transmission into second gear as I blip the throttle off for just a second. As I get back into gear the rear tire spins then launches like a ground seeking missile, leaving a long black mark on the asphalt behind me as evidence that me beast was very serious.

Running back up the hill I start decreasing my throttle input. The next corner will be a breeze. The Busa already knows what to do to make it though turn five. Just slide to the left and add a little lean and we whip though it with ease. Riding close to the left gets us setup for turn six. Slide over to the right and gripping the tank hard with my left leg we sweep though the turn. My knee is getting closer and closer as we approach the exit marker.

The next turn can be tricky. Many riders have failed to navigate around it successfully. Today is not my day to fail. I slide back over the the left and push down on the grip with everything I can. Seeing the exit marker up the hill assures me that I got my line correctly. More throttle, less brakes. More throttle, less brakes. Up the hill we launch toward the deep blue sky. The fork input stops as my front tire leaves the ground. The rear tire is biting into the tarmac so hard I can almost imagine it peeling away a layer of the road as it relentlessly pushes me forward.

I've got to watch the speed for turn eight. I know my suspension is going to unload as I crest the top of the hill where I need to start my turn in. This is another long turn to hang on for. The asphalt flattens out as I set my line. I'm in the zone now. My thought are manifested to the Busa unconsciously. I look through turn nine as far as I can see. Managing the throttle and brakes as smoothly as I can I complete turn eight and enter turn nine. It's as if they are one big corner linked together. A little more brakes. Lean a little more, then a little more. Perfect. Hold the line. Breathe. Push down harder. We are almost done with this lap. One more turn to go.

Exiting turn nine I start braking and drifting wide right as I shift down to first. I can see the flag to end the session I know my session is almost up. Still hanging off the left side of the Busa from turn nine, I set my speed and push hard on the left. I see a wall of orange cones as I set my line. This is called the 'Buss Stop'. Smoothly, I increase the brakes. It's a delicate balance between enough and locking up the front tire. Decreasing the throttle I slide to the right and wait for my marker. I push wide left and skim the cones as I approach the curb to my right. Lean hard and keep my eyes on the exit cones. More throttle and lean harder. We get lined up to finish the corner and I let the beast run with everything she's got. It's so surreal I wonder if I'm dreaming. Adrenaline is saturating every cell of my being.

I have tuned out every thought and worry. I am living in the moment. Just me and the Busa, nothing else matters.

We have become one. Man and machine working in harmony as we perform a dance on the edge of danger. We can't afford even one wrong step. The cost is too high. When we get it right the reward is nirvana! I am in "The Zone"!

Let's do it again!


Jumps from perfectly good Airplanes
Donating Member
Are you challenging Projekt for the "Bard of the Busa Board"?

Well written, feel like I'm sitting in the saddle (wishing I could ride mine that good)...


that is awe inspiring wish I had those skills. I could feel myself rolling with your bike through that poetry of turns. It is killing me to learn. maybe one day I too will be able to claim that symmetry in motion. this post rocks!:cheerleader::cheerleader::cheerleader::cheerleader::cheerleader:


Are you challenging Projekt for the "Bard of the Busa Board"?

Well written, feel like I'm sitting in the saddle (wishing I could ride mine that good)...
No challenge at all. Just a recap of my thought from last years track days. Glad you enjoyed it.


Very well communicated - this is the essence of riding - the feel, the freedom, the "zone". Not just about speed.

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