When your pastime is racing motorcycles at the racetrack — even ‘mini’ ones like these Honda NSR50 two stroke race replicas — you always end up pushing yourself and the bike to the limits. Sometimes, this means you fall off. And by ‘sometimes’, I actually mean ‘all the damn time’.
Here is a collection of my most memorable crashes from 2011. You are riding on board with myself (#11) and my buddy Eric Hung (#2) who is wearing the white Dainese leather suit.
The finale in this film is probably my worst ever crash. This was at the 2011 Nationals event at Greg Moore Raceway where all of this was filmed. After overpowering me with a faster bike on the straight, my competitor Shawn Finn runs out of talent in the middle of turn 3 and lowsides. The ensuing pile up was probably the most epic I’ve seen or experienced at this track, but thankfully I came away uninjured. I was very lucky there and very fortunate to have landed on the grass.
I intended this to be a promo film for the racing club to which I belong (PCMRC), but I wonder if some people would find all the crashing off putting. Although truth be told, anyone who rides a motorcycle — whether on the street or the racetrack — knows about the risks involved, and if they don’t, they really ought to. This is not an armchair sport. People get hurt. Sometimes they die. That is a very scary and sobering thought.
On the tech side, we had two GoPro HDs running (the original HD, not the HD2). They were mounted to the tops of our helmets using the provided 3M VHB mounts which are exceptional. It’s a real testament to the GoPro’s toughness that they withstand this sort of abuse, time and time again. We have broken suction mounts and cases, but have yet to destroy a camera. Also, they have a great way of falling off or detaching during a big impact, which is always helpful.
Frame rate was 720p/60 on the camera. I always prefer this over the 1080p/30 for GoPro, not because of the added smoothness which I don’t care for, but because of the overcranking ability. I slowed the footage down 2.5 times and then conformed it to 24p. This gave the perfect slow motion you see with no added frames.
Edited in Final Cut Pro 7 and while you may not notice it, I had to do quite a bit of motion in post to centre and scale the action. You probably noticed the resolution loss. Did a bit of grading using Magic Bullet Looks and Colorista II to give the image more pop and a more film like aesthetic. The footage took quite a while to collect and sort, but this was a quick edit. About 3.5 hours from start to finish.
For more info on mini racing and for ways to get started crashing with us, visit the PCMRC website.