Jett Tuning/Ultimate MotorCycling Track Day Recap
Last week, we ran the third semi-annual Jett Tuning/Ultimate Motorcycling Magazine track day at Buttonwillow Raceway Park, and it was the best yet. Our track days are unique in the industry – we have most manufacturers participate by bringing bikes for our riders to test on track as well as other vendors to answer questions about product and offer loaners for riders.
The temperature was predicted to be around 103 degrees F, so all participants were prepared. Unfortunately, the weatherman was right, and there was a bit of moaning and grousing, but that didn’t dilute the opportunity, enthusiasm, camaraderie or time on track, as some participants ran all day until our 4 p.m. closing. Tire warmers were certainly optional this day and many wore wet towels on their heads, which did so much to enhance their appearance.
We organized each hour with A and B groups, giving riders 20 minutes for A, 20 minutes for B and a combined session for the last third of the hour. There is no C Group, yet the few newbie track riders in attendance had no problems acclimating to the environment since there were so many people there to help them. Riders can enjoy up to 40 minutes per hour track time with little or no crowd, especially compared to most other track days we see in Southern California.
Even more important is our relatively low rider count allowing not only lots of unencumbered track time but plenty of one-on-one personal attention from Instructors on hand, such as Wyatt Ferris (who recently picked up a third place finish at the Daytona 200), Corey Neuer, Dave Price and Jeff Tigert (winner of the 2015 Pikes Peak Heavyweight division). No matter the skill level, if you wanted some tips or a tow, they were on hand to help.
There was just one red flag all day and it was only a mechanical problem on an attendee’s private machine. Everyone rode very responsibly and safely—especially on the test bikes. The track surface was excellent and, in this heat, tire grip was massive. People were there to try out different machines back-to-back; they weren’t just tire kickers having a laugh, according to Balz Renggli of Moto Forza.
Aprilia supplied their RSV4 RR as well as their Tuono RR and Factory models. BMW brought a pair of S1000RRs (one on slicks) and the S1000XR. We had the Ducati Monster 1200R and 1299 Panigale, as well as the MV Agusta Brutale 800 and F3 875 thanks to Moto Forza, based in Oceanside California.
Honda arrived with their tried and true CBR1000RR along with Jeffrey Tigert, their representative. Kawasaki brought many bikes including the ZX-6R, ZX10R, Ninja 650, Ninja 300 and the undisputed new peewee champion of the Kawasaki line, the Z125 Pro and although it didn’t see any track time it was a big hit—maybe the most fun machine there. Suzuki made available their GSX-R750 and GSX-S1000 bikes in MotoGP livery.
During lunch we gave away two sets of Dunlop Q3 tires in a raffle drawing in which every participant was automatically entered. This went over incredibly well and generated even more enthusiasm. We also held a silent auction for a Kenny Roberts autographed Bell 70s jacket which raised $300 which will be donated directly to the RRW Action (Air Fence) Fund.
Vendors aplenty were in the house with Alpine Stars, ASV, CT Racing, Dainese, Kushitani, Pirelli and Racer Gloves spending time with those riders who had questions and/or needed help. It was a day filled with a great deal of friends rekindling relationships and as much track time as anyone could handle, especially since the thermometer rose to near 106 degrees F in the afternoon. We were all prepared for the weather, every garage had coolers filled with iced water and no one was any worse for the heat.
After dinner we watched “Road,” the film about the Dunlop family of road racers. With all its sad crashes it was a bit depressing, especially the night before a track day and the consensus of opinion is that next time we screen a comedy to suit the fun mood.
With belly’s full and bikes on our minds, all of the riders shuffled off to their sleeping quarters to get some rest before the track day. It ran without a hitch with riders cycling in and out of their respective groups, while many rode a bit more in the open groups aboard bikes that they’ve been eying for some time.
There were several families and a few children there, including Ken’s family who arrived in a full size RV and bike trailer. After the track day they then headed to the beach for the rest of the weekend. It was awesome seeing the little kids riding their bicycles and having so much fun while Daddy was out on track doing his thing.
As the day drew to a close and riders perused all of the shots that Cali Photography took on track, we all said our goodbyes, until September, that is. From the life-long friends to the new, we hope to see you again on Friday, September 16, 2016, again at Buttonwillow, along with a fresh batch of faces that are eager to try out what the world of motorcycling is offering.
From Ultimate MotorCycling and Jett Tuning, we would like to extend our thanks to all of the riders who attended and a special thanks is in order to all of the manufacturers, dealers and vendors who were on hand, representing not only their brands but motorcycling at the highest level. It wouldn’t be possible without your support, tireless energy and dedication.
Please read some of the comments and testimonials we received after the event, below.
Jett Tuning/Ultimate MotorCycling Track Day Comments:
“Thanks Jett Tuning, Arthur Coldwells and Ultimate Motorcycling for a great day of riding at Buttonwillow. Great seeing many friends as well George Beavers, Wyatt Farris, Corey Neuer and Jonathan Handler. I’ve been away for a bit too long. Unbelievable amount of track time. 7 sessions, 2 full tanks empty, and 100+ heat but felt great despite a little case of the desk hands. Really feeling pumped for Moto America next week!” – Jeff Tigert, American Honda via Facebook
“There are many occasions and organizations helping motorcyclists to put their own machines on the racetrack. Very few combine a trackday with support from many different OEMs, allowing users to experience all of the top machines of today in a safe and controlled environment. Kudos to JETT/Ultimate Motorcycling for pushing the industry and for creating a welcoming environment for all. We brought most of our Ninja lineup including the all-new 2016 Ninja ZX-10R — the base equipment for the FIM Superbike World Championship points-leading KRT team.” –Kevin Allen, Kawasaki USA
“For Aprilia and the V4 engine family, Tuono and RSV4 models, there is no sales strategy more galvanizing than to give a rider the opportunity to ride one on the track. While seeing and hearing these motorcycles is enough for some, riding one is a contagious experience that travels not just by word of mouth, but often back to one’s garage as well.” – Shane Pacillo, Aprilia USA
“Really enjoyed the Ultimate Motorcycling/Jett Tuning track day. Thursday night’s BBQ and movie by Jett Tuning’s John Ethel was great! Really enjoyed having the option to ride so many different bikes, Honda’s, Kawasaki’s, Ducati’s and BMW’s which you not normally get to sample at a “regular” track day. Overall, it was a well-run, safe event and got to meet many new people. I’ll be back in September! Thanks UM and Jett Tuning!” –Lee Block, Racer Gloves
“First time at the Jett Tuning/Ultimate Motorcycling Buttonwillow Track day event with friends. It was AMAZING … Not to mention the delicious BBQ and movie gathering the evening before. Also, having all the manufacturers from Ducati, MV Agusta, Aprilia, BMW, Kawasaki, etc. demoing their products was the icing on the cake. Thank you Arthur, Mary and John. Can’t wait for the next one.” – Zaid Awni
“Once again a fantastic experience at JY/UMC track events. Why I love it? The Motorcycle Demos – Have you had your eye on the next awesome exotic European or Japanese motorcycle but you never had an opportunity to ride it at the track? Well, you have this privilege at Jett Tuning/Ultimate Motorcycling Track Events.
“The Open Sessions – Have you experienced an anxiety of missing your group session at track? Have you rushed in to your group session without properly securing your helmet strap? If you answer yes to either of these questions, then Jett Tuning/ Ultimate Motorcycling Track Events are for you. A friendly environment in which everyone is relaxed, no one really has an anxiety of missing track time. If you missed your group session there is always an open session right after to catch-up, you get to ride the track as much as you can physically manage.” – Omid Haghighi
“After 12 years of riding, I finally decided to attend my first track day at Buttonwillow Raceway with the crew at Jett Tuning/Ultimate Motorcycling. What set this apart from similar events was that I was able to demo the latest manufacturer’s flagship superbikes on the track, thanks to Kawasaki, Suzuki, Aprilia, BMW and Ducati supporting the event. The entire day was very well organized and signing up for the next one is a no brainier!” – Joseph Hawke
“I am a motorcycle enthusiast since 16, now at age 62, and have attended numerous track days in the last 5 years by varies organizations. There never was an organization that had manufacturers provide ‘Track’ tests on their latest Sport bikes. But on June 3rd Ultimate Motorcycling/Jett Tuning track day, my buddies and I got to test, Kawasaki ZX10, ZX636, BMW S1000RR, Honda CBR1000, CBR600, Suzuki GSXR1000, GSXR750, Ducati 1299S, Aprilia RSV4RR, MV Agusta 1000 F4, 800RR, 675 triple and much more.
“My friends and I exchanged notes on each of the bikes we like and dislike, and were even surprised to find a bike we loved that was never on our wish list. My buddy Brett loves the MV800 triple, while Dr. Gary was in shock over how much he loves the Kawasaki ZX636. I can’t wait for September and the next Ultimate Motorcycling/Jett Tuning track day.” – Kaming Ko
“This was my third time at this event and it keeps getting better every time with more vendors and more manufacturers at each event. You always get more track time than you can handle, and everyone has a great time!” – Joe LaCroix
“What a cool and casual event! I was immediately at ease riding with a predictable and safe group. And to be able to sample a selection of incredible motorcycles, that we all lust after, on a race track – was just unreal! Great People, Great Motorcycles, Great Track…and Hot as F*&$…” – George Puckhaber
“I rode seven bikes and more than 200 miles. That’s some serious “experiential marketing.” The only humans on the planet who put more racetrack laps on more new bikes in one day are motorcycle magazine editors.” – Eric Putter
“Wanted to thank you guys for a great track day. Was a lot of fun learning the track and bike and I have to say was the friendliest bunch I’ve done a trackday with. Hope to see you guys again soon.” – PJ
“There are no other track days where you can just demo any manufacturers you ever wanted. Along with the BBQ the night before, the movie, and the family environment, Jett/UMC puts on one of the best track day I’ve ever attended.” – Ken Tam
“Many thanks to Arthur and John for arranging the track day at Buttonwillow Raceway and to the many participating sponsors. It was a hot day, but well-organized, great friends and a good group of riders. I spent most of the day riding the demo bikes, rather than my own. Where else can you do consecutive laps on multiple motorcycles and get a real feel for what each one has to offer? It certainly changed my opinion about some of the machines in a very positive way. The problem is, I now have some bikes on my “can’t live without” list that I never considered before the demo rides. Decisions, decisions.” – Dr. Gary Pattee
“What another great UM track day event. I enjoyed seeing and hearing the responses from the riders that got a chance to enjoy our ZX10R and ZX6R Ninjas. What a great opportunity for all those involved.” – Joey Lombardo, Kawasaki USA
“I’d like to thank Ultimate Motorcycling and Jett Tuning for providing an unparalleled track day experience with Kawasaki, Aprilia, Honda, Suzuki, MV Agusta, BMW and Ducati providing motorcycles to ride on the track. Also, Pirelli and Dianese and all the other vendors plus coaching by expert riders and bike set up tips from John Ethel at Jett Tuning. What a great opportunity to really make sure you buy the right bike or get the most out of your bike. The format is great allowing anyone to ride 40 minutes of every hour if they choose to. The best trackday experience bar none. Thanks again.” – Rick Wall
Jett Tuning/Ultimate MotorCycling Track Day | June 2016 Photo Gallery