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Doing a track day

Posted by Howard Jones on Friday, March 8, 2019 Under: Guest Motorcycle Articles
If you're wanting to improve your road riding, you may not have thought of doing a track day on your pride and joy, or you may find it downright daunting. There are many reasons why not to, the thought of dropping your baby, others riders may being much better, and just the thought of being on a race track can be intimidating. However, if you want to become a better rider, get to know your bike better, and experience the joy of riding your bike in a controlled and safe environment, then a track day is for you.



Your first step, now that you've decided you want to do it, is to find a provider in your area. Asking around at bike shops is a good way to find out. There may even be several to choose, and you will find people will be happy to share their experiences about the different ones. A good provider will do the following as a minimum:

Provide a riders briefing at the start of the day

Have a minimum standard of required riding gear. This should be a 2 piece zip together, or single piece leathers, gloves, motorcycle boots that cover your ankle, a helmet that complies with local standards, and possibly a back protector.

Provide scrutineering at the start of the day to make sure all bikes meet a minimum standard, there's no fluid leaks, no parts are going to fall off on the track. You get the idea.

Have graded groups. Usually there will be at least 3 groups. Novices, or people that have not done a track day before, intermediate and advanced. They will have rules depending on which group you are in. For example, if you start in the novice group, there should be a no undertaking rule on corners as you don't want to have to worry about someone zipping up the inside as you're concentrating on going around a corner.

Provide medical support and bike recovery if you do happen to come off.

Provide advice on tyres, tyre pressure and suspension.

Provide information on bike requirements. For example if glass is to be taped up, mirrors removed etc.

Offer tuition
Once you've chosen a provider, it's just a matter of preparing your bike. I would suggest installing crash knobs if you don't already have them. This is not because you're likely to crash, but they will definitely minimise the damage to your bike if you do. I would make sure your chain is clean and well lubricated, there's no fluid leaking from anywhere, and everything else on your bike is working fine. Once you get to the track you may need to remove mirrors or other components to comply with provider rules.

Now that you're at the track, you will need to attend the riders briefing, where they will explain the rules, flags, and give information on how the day will run. From here, it's a matter of getting on your bike when it is your groups turn on the track. You will get several sessions on the track during the day, and it is important to have the right pressure in your tyres. Usually this will be about 6psi less than when you ride on the road. Allow 2-3 laps for your tyres to warm up each session, and only go as slow as you're comfortable with.

You will probably find track days very addictive, and you will find that your riding skills and confidence will improve from the experience. As you get better, you will probably have question about tyres, suspension and riding skills. These however, are a whole other topic.

In : Guest Motorcycle Articles 


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