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  • Track day FAQ

    What do I need to do to prep my bike?

    Most tracks require minimum bike preparation. If your bike is set up only for street riding some basic prep that needs to be done is the following:

    Tape up all lights, headlight, tail lights, and turn signals. If possible remove your fuse for your lights. It is recommend that you also unplug turn signals, head lights, tail lights and everything associated. By removing the fuses you don’t have to worry about the headlight burning through the tape, melting the tape, or reflecting back and melting part of the lens on the head light.
    Remove your mirrors. Also remove your license plate.
    And tape up tire weights.
    Some recommended things to consider, but usually not necessary, Remove Coolant/Anti-Freeze and replace with Engine Ice, or Water Wetter/Water mixture.
    Zip tie or remove passenger pegs and kickstand, if you don’t have a rear stand then you will need to use of your kick stand.
    Also center stands should be removed; you don’t want hard parts dragging.

    Do I need a race suit?

    You do NOT need a FULL BLOWN race suit. Most tracks will allow a decent LEATHER suit, 1 piece or 2 piece suits are allowed. If you use a 2 piece suit, it is strongly recommended to have a full circumference zipper, one that zips all the way around the waist. Make sure the suit is in GOOD condition, you don’t want to use a suit that is falling apart or has holes in it. Make sure the suit is in good condition and will protect you in the event of a fall. Most tracks do state that the suit must be made of leather, not textile fabric. So make sure that what you decide to wear meets track/Track Day Organizations requirements.

    Do I need race tires?

    You don’t need RACE specific tires. A good street/track day tire will be fine for most beginner riders. Some brand name duel compound tires are perfect and will provide ample traction on the track. Most tracks require that tires should be at least 75% of new condition. As you progress and get faster most street/track day tires will not provide enough traction for your speeds. At this point in time you might want to start to consider some good DOT Race tires. But remember to break out your wallet, tires aren’t cheap. When you do go with Dot race tires, it is recommended to use tire warmers also.

    Where can I stay?

    Depending on the track, location, and climate there are several options. Some tracks allow you to camp at the track either in a tent, your trailer, or in an RV. Some have plenty of hotels nearby. Gauge this accordingly to your climate, budget and comfort. The most important thing here is not where you stay but that you get a good night’s sleep, you want to be well rested for a day or two of riding.

    What if it rains?

    Most tracks run rain or shine, so be prepared. Some tracks let you pre-register and offer a slight discount for pre-registering before the event, but if it rains, you won’t get a refund if you don’t want to ride in the rain. You can also just show up and pay the day of, this allows you to judge the weather accordingly and decide if you want to ride or not if it is raining. BUT you run the risk of the day being full and not being able to ride. Also some private track day organizations run the same way, but those tend to fill up faster, and might have a rider cap limit, so you might not be able to pay the day of the event.

    How much track time will you get?

    That is a difficult question to answer. Some factors are, whether it is an OPEN track day or a private track day, and the hours of operation of the track. Private track days tend to have fewer riders, which means smaller groups, less problems and MORE track time. Open days have a wide variety of skilled riders and the open day can be very busy or very light, it all depends on the track, weather, time of year, etc. Most tracks run 3 groups, Novice, Intermediate and Advanced. They run each group for 15-20 minutes. So depending on the hours of operation, amount of riders, amount of crashes and clean up, but normally on a track day that runs an HOT track from 9am, to 5pm, you could get 3-4 sessions in the morning, and 4-6 sessions in the afternoon. Regardless, more often than not, you will get plenty of track time and you will be exhausted by the end of the day.

    Gas consumption: on average how much gas would you use in one Day? Do they have places on site for purchase?

    This depends on your riding style, amount of riding you get in during the day and how much fuel your bike normally consumes. If I go to ride for one day, I usually bring a Full tank in the bike and 1 extra 5 Gallon Gas can filled. If I run 2 days, I bring 2 extra 5 gallon cans. I usually try to have 1 full tank for the day with a spare 5 gallon can to keep filling up if need be. Most tracks do offer gas at the track, but beware, it isn’t cheap, and some only sell race fuel. Race fuel tends to be way more expensive then Premium Gas.

    How will the groups be set up?

    Groups are set up by experience and normally lap times. They are novice, intermediate and advanced. The more experience you have, the better the track rider you are and the faster you can go will be some factors that dictate what group you will be in. Again, this is NOT a set in stone number or factor. You need to consider if a person is riding safe at a faster pace. A fast rider might be all over the track, that doesn’t make him safe, he/she might need to stay in the lesser group to learn to be smoother. Remember you need to go slow to go fast, being smooth is the key here. As for times, well that depends on the other riders riding that day. On a normal open track day, you might be an average advanced rider, but on a certain day, there could be several really fast riders, riding a pace that could be 10-15 seconds faster than you are running. Are you still an advanced rider? Is it safe for you to be out on a track where the average advanced rider is going considerably faster than you? Probably not. That day, you might end up being bumped down into the intermediate group. It is not personal, it is a safety issue, look at it this way, you can now learn and work on passing people, and passing safely. Remember you need to be smooth. Work on your skills.

    Lap Timers?

    Lap timers time each of your laps. They mount on your bike, and usually synch up with a separate beacon off to the side of the track. A lap timer is a tool to help you ride. You should not be concerned with your time, nor let them dictate anything more than how you are doing, or what changes you made to your riding on a certain part of the track. It is my personal opinion that novice riders shouldn’t worry about their times. When you first start riding on the track there is so much info you are hit with, that how fast you are is the least of your concern. Remember SMOOTH. I have seen many novice riders chasing only their times, thinking that a faster time means they are getting better on the track, only to end up crashing because they were working on a faster time, not working on being a better rider. If you are a novice rider, work on riding the track, every time you go to your local track, you will learn something and become naturally faster, so what is a lap timer going to tell you? You ran 5 seconds faster than the last time, ok but did you learn anything? Don’t get sucked into the lap time game, ride your ride, progress at your own pace, and progress naturally.
    **See Article: Lap timers, Help or Hindrance?