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  • How to save money doing track days...

    How to save money doing track days...


    First let’s discuss what a normal track day or track weekend costs. Well you first need to decide if you are gonna do 1 or 2 days. Personally when I go to the track, I like to do 2 days rather than one. My reasoning for this is usually it takes about a half a day if not more to get back into the groove of the track, and then I ride better on the second day. Also if it is a new track, you spend at least a day learning the track and then the second day you ride so much better. I realize that not everyone is in the position of doing 2 days, and the cost goes up, but if you can swing it, I highly recommend it. The second day will normally be so much better, and you will be more relaxed, comfortable and ride smoother so you will actually learn more and advance your riding skills more on the second day.

    Now the cost of a track day or weekend will vary based on a lot of different factors, some out of your control. For example, if you crash during your track day (yes crashes happen, and happen first time people also) that is going to increase your cost, because now you have to fix your bike. If you get hurt during your crash, then medical bills and possible time off work could make your track weekend even more expensive. Finally, please make sure you have good health coverage; I’ve known people to go to a track day, crash, get seriously hurt, and now have the expense of a helicopter ride to a hospital, large medical bills, and time off work. Again, be smart, be safe, this sport can be dangerous; you are riding a motorcycle at high speeds. Although it is on a closed course and in a relatively controlled environment, it is still dangerous. Best advice, is ride at your own pace and stay at your comfort level. Yes there are many people who walk away from a 100 mph crash on the track and if that was on the street, they might be dead, but just because you are on a track doesn't mean that all risk is removed.
    To save money we need to consider what costs we incur during a track day or weekend. First there is the cost of the day; this is pretty much set in stone. But some tracks offer group discounts. If you can organize a group of 10+ people call the track and see if they will do a reduced rate, even if it is like 10.00 or 15.00 per person, it may not seem like much now, but when all is said and done 10-15 saved per expense can save you some decent money. Another way to save some money on the cost of the track day is to see if that track has a local web forum, register on that forum and surf the forum to see if people are selling track days. Normally you can save about 10-20 dollars of the actual cost if someone has a track day certificate and cannot use it before it expires, so they’ll be looking to see it. This isn’t a common thing, so be patient and look often.

    Another cost of track riding is gear. By now hopefully you have this squared away, if not, see our other article about buying gear, what to look for and what you’ll need.
    Ok so now you know WHEN you are going to the track and WHICH track you are going to. The next expense is how am I going to get there??? If you organized a group to go and got a group discount, then you should all work out a car pool system. This will save money, plus if someone goes down and gets hurt, there are friends there to help that person out... Probably the cheapest way is if you own a pickup truck that will be the most fuel efficient. You can just load everything in the bed of your truck. If you have a SUV, you’ll probably need to tow your bike with the use of a trailer. The best is an enclosed trailer, BUT that is going to eat up gas, and will cost you more travel money. If you have a buddy going, look to share the cost of gas and also driving. If you own or know someone that has an open trailer, one of those cage trailers, you can use that, and that will save money on gas. Those open trailers have less wind drag and use less fuel when towing. Again, depending on the size, car pooling is always the best. Finally I have seen those versa-trailers, the ones that mount into the receiver of a tow hitch on an SUV or truck. I don’t know much about them, and have heard decent reviews. This will probably use less fuel then even an open trailer. Bottom line no matter which of these you choose sharing the ride with a friend always helps save money on fuel, especially with these crazy fuel prices lately.

    Where are you going to sleep? The best and cheapest way is to camp. Call ahead to the track and see if they allow camping. Again, depending on your geographic location, and your inclination to camping, this is probably the cheapest way. Another option is, sleeping in the enclosed trailer; bring a mattress or an air mattress. Remember if you camp or sleep in the trailer, remember to consider what the night time conditions will be like and prepare accordingly. I remember one time I slept in a friends enclosed trailer, the wife and I had a space heater going, in full clothes and it hit the low 40’s that night. The trailer wasn’t insulated (new lesson learned) and we were so cold, we had our dog with us, and we were fighting with who got to cuddle with the dog to stay warm. Finally the easiest, most comfortable but NOT cheapest is a hotel. Again, if you go with some buddies the cost of the room can be split up among those going. Look to see how much the hotel charges to add a cot into the room. So 3 people can share a room, or if you are real close, you can put 4 guys in a room and share beds… It’s been done before, but remember bring ear plugs and a sleeping aid, because it’ll get loud in that room and you want a good night’s sleep. Sleep is also important for a good day of riding.

    Another cost that can quickly add up is food. Best to pack food the days you will be going. Get a cooler and pack drinks, snacks, deli meats, anything that you will eat for the next couple of days. See if the track allows mini BBQ’s and bring a small portable BBQ, make steaks, burgers, chicken. By bringing your meals you can save bunch of money by not eating at the trackside concession, or going out to dinner. Plus you want to eat relatively healthy, not greasy or heavy, remember riding on a track will take a lot of mental and physical strength, the better you eat, the better you will feel and the better you will ride. Heavy greasy food will sit in your stomach, and make you feel sick… Best to eat light during the day, and have a larger meal at dinner, but still healthy. Also remember to stay much hydrated during the day….

    Ok depending on how much of this you were able to apply, you saved like $10.00 on the track day, let’s say you saved $50.00 on sharing fuel costs with a buddy, you saved another $50.00 on hotels, depending on where you stayed. And you probably saved $50.00 on bringing your food rather than eating out. You saved roughly 160.00 dollars and that could be the cost for your second track day, or just 160.00 back in your pocket for another weekend.

    Remember think of all the costs you are going to incur over the weekend and see if there is any way to reduce those costs... You want to try to save as much money as possible because when you get addicted to this, you are going to spend a lot of money, and the most expensive items are, Tires, Gas, Travel, and logging… Whatever you can reduce or eliminate, do it… you’ll need to... Save throughout the month, it will help as you save a little money here and there. Just packing your lunch for one day a month can save $5 - $15 a day.