Saturday, June 25, 2011

Ready to ride under Summer sun!!

Is the Summer sun ready for us??

Each takes 1 parking slot :D

Snapped this earlier this week when I pulled up at a cafe.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Rider visiting autox

June 12 was the 3rd sunny Sunday in a row before Summer even officially began.  That was too good to pass up, so I rode out to a local autox event.  It was also the first time using my tank bag carrying a smallish DSLR for some autox photos.  That trip added 86 km to my riding experience, it was a nice day!

Two of the fine sports cars by Honda

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Flashback: adjusting shift pedal before taking it on the road

When I got my Ninja 250R rode up to my place by the previous owner, the shift pedal angle was not working for me to safely ride on the road.  I would likely have struggled very badly to get my toe under the shifter and then it would be stuck there!  These are all the before-adjustment pictures.

Here is the YouTube video I found and followed to do the simple but very important personalized adjustment to the shifter angle.  Since then it not only becomes much safer for me to operate the shifter (crucial to riding properly), it totally feels to be MY motorcycle!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Twin Ninja 250Rs

My garage neighbour's and mine, even the same colour!! Have to arrange a group ride!

Another nice Sunday (2011 June 5th) for some good riding!

Rode around not too far from home and overall did about 40km on some fairly quiet open roads with some moderate twisties, even some good elevation changes too :)

One of the checkpoints was a newly developed industrial park area with nice wide open access roads and empty parking lots with brand new asphalt, so here are couple pictures under the sun.

Did some practice "panic" braking in a wide open empty lot (trucks all parked)

Went and did a hang-out at McD for a $1 soft drink

Sunday, June 5, 2011

No more L for learner

All legal to ride since passing the road test almost 2 weeks ago!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

GT5 vs iRacing impression

The Background
I have been a Gran Turismo fan since its first installment way back on PSX.  In fact, I bought my original PSX because of GT.  Since then I have got all the console versions (i.e. no PSP for me) of Gran Turismo ever released in North America.  As most people who enjoy GT would agree, GT is different than the usual arcade style racing games (think Need For Speed here).  It is a driving simulator (as its creator calls it) --- but is it really??

I used to truly believe that yes - Gran Turismo is THE driving simulator to swear by in terms of driving realism and attention to details.  Well, in January a buddy of mine finally convinced me to try out iRacing (a PC online racing simulator); since then, my belief has been shaken and I have not touched GT since.

GT fans, hold off on the hate mails, flaming comments :) Please read on...

 Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is the track of my comapro.

Last night I finally fired up GT5 for the first time since January and ran races around couple of my favorite real world tracks (Suzaka and Laguna Seca).  I needed to find out for myself if I actually still enjoy GT like before.

The Verdict
I still love Gran Turismo and to me it is still a good driving simulator and not an arcade game (for the most part).  It is just clear to me that there is something iRacing delivers that GT does not.  In a nutshell, iRacing is an even more accurate and no-compromise driving AND racing simulator.

The Breakdown
Driving simulation-wise, there is no setting to provide artificial driving aid (such as reduced traction loss on track edges, etc. that GT5 allows).  So driving in iRacing requires the same level of concentration and respect to the law of physics (minus the risk of bodily injuries) as one must have in the real world.

Racing simulation-wise, well, iRacing has no CPU car to race against so one could argue that is an unfair comparison.  However, that is also the essence of why iRacing can be (but not always) so engaging as the racing is done against real people around the world (grids with drivers around same skill levels) who typically exhibit real world racing etiquette (again, not always).

Last night on GT5, I used a RX-8 and then a Elise R111 racing against "Pro" level CPU at Laguna Seca.  I am by NO MEANS a professional race driver, I am far from that but I was able to beat the "Pro" handily: 20+s over 3 laps on a rolling start from back of the grid!  That has got to be a deficit for GT5 in terms of racing simulation.

The Drive Ahead
I will undoubtedly continue to play GT5 but not as much as when I first got it because in GT mode, the "racing" with ultra high performance cars (Professional Series and up) becomes closer to arcade style than a racing simulator.  I will play it to primarily do time trials on real world tracks just to challenge myself to run consistent laps with cars of different levels of performance.

As iRacing is subscription based and the fact of it being a no-compromise racing simulator, it really takes commitment and time to extract the enjoyment and reward from it.  So I will decide if I will renew my subscription when the next expiration is near; in the meantime, I have not spent much time on it and also do not have plan to commit almost every other night on it to run practice laps, qualifying and races like I did during the first 3 months I tried it.