Wheeltek trackday also about safety

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Multi-brand bike dealer Wheeltek recently treated clients and friends to a whole day of riding bikes from Suzuki, Kawasaki, KTM and other brands at the Clark International Speedway.

There were professional riders like superbike champs Jeff Chan, Joey Rivero, among others, to give track briefings and special riding tips to participants. Lady champ Jacq Buncio also showcased her skills on her race bike that was witnessed by the participants.

There were more than 220 riders who came and the early birds even braved a light morning rain. The riders were classified into novice, intermediate and open with track experience.

The bikes were divided into four groups, from 400cc to 800cc, which were given separate track times.

For safety reasons, riders were required to wear the proper riding gear, ranging from the basic like standard helmets to armored jackets and full race leathers.


Test ride
The 4.9-kilomter track had two sections: the kilometer-long main straight to test a bike’s engine and technical section where riders who committed errors negotiating it were penalized.

My first ride was a cruiser bike, the Kawasaki Vulcan 400. Since no one wanted to ride it much, I hopped on and immediately knew it was a great bike to warm up with. The Vulcan had forward pegs and I knew its riding stance would be too relaxed for the track.

I was able to get the pegs dragging on the pavement and knew it was best to just take it easy. I was amazed at how well the Vulcan handled the turns but it needed a firmer suspension and a bigger engine. At least the brakes were up to spec for track use.

The second bike I tested was the Kawasaki Ninja 300, which was a small sport bike. This was much better than the Vulcan on the track and it really carved up the turns. I was able to push it hard on the straight until its engine had no more to give.

I feel the 300 is very good for beginners and intermediate riders.

Special mention
The best bike in the pits was the very rare full-race Kawasaki H2R, which is a supercharged 1000cc bike that had more than 300 hp on tap. It was full of composite parts and had slick tires and an engine exhaust sound that just made you deaf when the throttle was wide open.

There is only one H2R in the country and Kawasaki sold it to Wheeltek for being the brand’s best dealer in the country.

Wheeltek’s event was made possible through the support of Kawasaki’s Henry Raquedan, Suzuki’s Vic Syho, KTM’s Gani Baybay, and sponsors Hitch Pro, Police Timepieces, Pocari Sweat, Evian H20, Cycle Seal, Smile Eight Photography and KYT Ph.

Wheeltek General Manager Bobby Orbe has been a good friend of mine, and our friendship started when motocross was popular in San Fernando, La Union Motocross during the 1990s. He was one of the organizers of the motocross event and tapped us to cover it for our TV show Speed. Glenn Aguilar and Jovy Saulog made their names during the event.

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