Sports Land Yamanashi's Schedule
Phone 0551-22-8226 Fax 0551-22-9999
It looks like for the month of November there are not bike track times
that start before 10:00 AM except on Sunday the 25th, the first session is at
Give yourself 1 hour to prep your bike and have a coffee, so you should get there, on most days at 9 AM, 1 1/2 hour ride (at reasonable speeds) so we should leave Tokyo 7:30 AM. Plan to be out the door by 7 AM and you should have lots of time.
How To Get There ( Shamelessly copied from Sports Riders )
All the way up the Chuo through some loooooong tunnels, then keep on
chugging through Kofu until you get off at the Nirasaki exit. Pay the dang toll,
proceed to the road and take a right turn. Ride about 10-12 minutes up this road
until you come around a corner and see a dinky little pond on the right, not far
ahead is a big-ass Yokohama sign on the right side of the road. Turn here! Drive
up the lane and hang a left, go through a small tunnel and you will arrive in
the parking lot of the track.
What To Do
There's a girl working there at the front counter, she speaks a bit of English, so does her pops the owner. I always had to get her to help me with their vintage 1987 photocopier when filling out the form each visit....no paper tray, you have to manually feed in a sheet of paper each time you want a copy. You have to lay your driver's license face down, along with your shiny new SLY riding license, and make a copy each visit (not each session, just each visit).
Also fill out the section that shows you want to rent a transponder (ask the girl, she'll point it out or probably even ask you if you want one), and she'll tear off that little slip of paper and you take it along with your driver's license over to the little shack with all the video screens beside the main straight, and get your transponder there (you have to leave your license there as collateral). They'll point out the one- or two-digit number on your transponder, so if you have something like #22, when you blast past the start/finish line you'll see "22" on the bottom line of the digital screen on the left, then whatever your lap time just to the right of the 22. The most-recent lap always shows up on the bottom line of the digital screen, with the four slots above that reserved for the four fastest laps of the day, in descending order. After you're done for the day, when you turn in the transponder and pick up your license, they'll print out your lap times for you. Or heck they'll even do it after each session if you ask nice. Also, the girl will give you a little carnival-looking ticket with an ink-written time of the session you have paid for. Immediately take this ticket and stick it under the flip-up keyhole cover to your gas cap, or you'll lose the little bugger! Then when you ride up to the entrance of the track to the left of the aforementioned shack, he'll reach out and snag the ticket out from under your gas cap flip-up thingy.
Over 45 seconds is road rider class ( A Group )
Under 45 seconds is track rider class ( B Group )
Rick Williams. holds the record as far as Gaijinriders are concerned at 41.0 seconds.( Road Bike - Modified Bandit 1200 Suzuki )
John G. 42.2 seconds and closing....... ( Road Bike - Modified TL1000S Suzuki )
Craig F. 42.? seconds and closing........ ( Track Bike - RS250 Honda )
Fastest bike we have heard of is Japanese guy, 39s on a GSXR750 ( Modified Road Bike Suzuki ).
Emmanouil P. slowest Lap admitted to 52 sec! But a track virgin no more.
Here is an aerial shot of the track.
By Rick Williams...
A lap around Yamanashi
A scan of the Yamanashi map is provided, along with the lines/braking points/apex points I took while recording a 41.0 laptime. NOTE: I donít consider a 41.0 all that fast as Iíve personally witnessed people doing high 37s on mostly stock bikes. They were much better riders than me! Actually, the guy that scribbled his ďYamanashi TipsĒ on this map to help me out was doing 39s on a freaking Zephyr 750, humbling indeed.
Anyway, using the map, follow the solid pencil line as the line I took through the corners. My bike was a 5-speed with a massively wide torque spread so I always did the whole in 2nd gear, but thatís not normal as most bikes are 6-speeds and will require 1st, 2nd and sometimes 3rd. The dashes are the braking zones, and the large X is the apex (middle of the corner, also called the clipping point by many Japanese riders). Use typical techniques: when braking, donít slam them on, pull the lever first to settle the bike before going for the full-on braking forces. After you turn in the bike and head towards the apex, crack open the throttle slightly to balance the suspension then start rolling on the throttle gradually so that by the time you reach the exit you are Mr. Gas Man (not in a Jim Adam way though). Hold yourself onto your bike with your legs/knees, donít be propping yourself up with the bars or you will accidentally countersteer the wrong direction in the corners. Always look through the corner, you go where you look.
Turn One: As you flash past the Start/Finish line in 2nd gear probably, look for the little traffic light pole thingy up near Turn One on the right side of the track. Just before you get to the pole is a great spot to use a brake marker. Sit up, brake smoothly but firmly while transfering your weight to the left side of the bike. This is a 2nd gear corner for most people so you wonít have to downshift unless you have a low-geared bike that needed 3rd gear for the main straight. About halfway through the painted tarmac on the right edge of the track is a good turn-in point, turn in with a quick push-left countersteer on the left handlebar while turning your head to the left to seek out the apex. Clip the outside edge of the track with your left knee (boot for you SM boys) just before the curvy part of painted line on the left edge of the track reaches the straight section. This is a sharp left corner that is slightly uphill so the possibility of dragging hard parts here is quite high. Now bang a downshift into 1st quickly, this will negate the need for brakes entering Turn 2. If youíre on a four-stroke, blip the throttle to match the engine revs with the wheel speed before the downshift into 1st gear. If youíre on a two-stroke, donít worry about it, worry about using the brakes heading into Turn 2 instead because you have no engine braking.
Turn 2: Drive deep into this corner before slamming it down onto the right side, the trick is to go around a big bump that is on the inside part of this steep uphill corner. If you take a classic hug-the-inside line you will have to wait a bit to get on the gas hard because of this bump. Thatís a few tenths lost right there, its you vs. the clock! The bump and sharp uphill angle will also cause you to grind parts hard, very hard, on the ground here. Beveled exhaust-can edges are the norm. You can see the turn-in point on the provided map. Crack open the gas as you apex the corner and charge hard on the gas up the hill. If the wheel spins, just keep your left foot pushing down hard on the left footpeg, donít chop the throttle. You will run up the hill and to the left edge of the track at the top of the hill, before getting the bike straight up and down again. There are some seats in the woods up there so donít get distracted by spectators. Instead, now would be a damn good time to find 2nd gear because you do not want to be hitting the rev limited in downhill Turn 3.
Turn 3: Stay to the left then take a line that allows you to come back and apex this downhill corner on the right as the track falls away down the hill. Everybody likes this corner as it feels like an amusement park ride when the earth falls away and you power down the hill. Stay hard on the gas all the way down the hil as you reach the bottom and hug the left side. There is a slight left kink later, doesnít really qualify as a corner so stay hugging the left side of the track. Thereís nothing really here to use as a brake marker, just get used to braking before you reach the darker-colored pavement of horseshoe Turn 4. Bang it down into 1st gear again. This is a fun corner, but not easy as its shape is weird. Flick it over to the right and hug the rumble strips, steady on the gas through here, you are still accelerating but not too hard or guaranteed you will run wide at the exit. Almost a double-apex corner really, but not the true definition IMHO. Your corner speed here will be high, and the lean angle steep, so donít be surprised to continue your exhaust-can/rearset/brake pedal beveling.
Turn 5: Accelerate hard out of Turn 4, this short section between T4 and F5 is where most people waste more time than anywhere else on the track. You can plainly see that T5 is a very sharp left-hander that doubles back on itself, so the tendency is to coast into this corner without driving out of T4 properly. As you exit T4 and hopefully didnít run too wide, huge the right side of the track while still on the gas and brake hard hard at the little pole on the right side of the track. Start moving back to the left a little bit then flick it over to the left while releasing the brake. You donít want to hold the front brake too long or hard here or you will wash out the front end like I did and drop your bike on your leg. It hurts. Follow the pencil line and you can see this is an extremely difficult corner. This corner is responsible for more crashes at any other as far as I know. A lot of highsides here as people are frustrated about not carrying any speed through here so they try to make up for it with ham-fisted throttle action. If you ever wanted to experiment with gently using the rear brake to help you tighten your line through a corner, this is the place to do it. You arc into this corner a bit before actually flicking it the remainder of the way over and apexing just before the final bendy bit of the rumble strips on the left. It has a very slight off-camberness to it that is scary too. All of T4 and T5 can be done in 1st gear if you have big balls, just be very careful cracking open the throttle while using big lean.
T6: Drive out of T5, you will run right out the edge of the track anyway and perhaps even up onto the rumble strips. No worries, that what itís there for, using all the pavement is the sign of a good line. You will bang an upshift to 2nd quickly after going past the rumble strips, then aim for the deep outside part of the left side of the track as it drops away. As soon as you clip this, push right on the right handlebar hard and slam it back over to the right to clip Turn 7. Fun fun fun! Again, apex this corner like the others: as deep and far into the corner as you can, this carries more speed and allows you to see farther ahead. I have experienced big big rear-wheel powerslides going down this hill after clipping the 24R because you are going fast, you can see the short straight section and want to get on the gas, plus your momentum is carrying you towards the outside of the track but youíre trying to go straight. Not a place to highside as there is a concrete wall off to the left.
Turn 8 (final corner): Gas gas is on on, remember no coasting or wasted time anywhere or the clock will laugh at youÖif youíre not on the gas, you should be on the brakes, and vice versa. Neutral throttle is your enemy. Hug the left, the braking forces will be fierce here as youíre going downhill. Try to find a decent brake marker, not many landmarks here. Bang it down into 1st and let that help four-strokers slow down a bit for the final corner. You can carry plenty of speed here if you late-apex this one too, yet another corner that rejects the classic racing line. Actually this whole track rejects classic racing lines, thatís why itís such hard work, so much stop-and-go action. Turn in late, clip the corner and power on, drifting all the way to the outside edge and up onto the rumble strips if you have to do it. You must carry big speed out of this corner exit, must must must. As you are rolling on the throttle past the apex, if you are in 1st gear you will get great drive that will pay dividends all the way down the straight as you bang it into 2nd.
Hope this helps! Wish I was there!