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450 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
As per your request. Apologies for the tardiness...

A few suggestions for your 1st track day...

Before making the decision to attend your first track day:
-The rider must display a basic level of proficiency and be confident in his/her use of all operational controls. A low/medium pace canyon rider generally posseses these basic skills.
-Riding a race replica sportbike properly, in the environment for which it is designed, is PHYSICAL. Being prepared for this will enhance your experience and your chances of staying out of trouble.

Before heading out:
-A simple web search will reveal one, if not several track day orgs that utilize the race track(s) in your area. Some are probably value conscious, some may serve fois gras at lunch. Choose the org that fits your needs.
-Make the commitment and sign up as soon as your able.
-Check the org's website early to make sure your gear and bike are in compliance...giving yourself the time to make changes if necessary.
-Get bike prepped well before hand so there's no rush.
-NEW TIRES ARE YOUR VERY BEST FRIEND.(a note on tires: if this is your 1st track day you don't need the latest greatest whizbang DOT race rubber. A more value conscious track oriented street tire will do just fine)
-Tools, tire pressure guage, ez-up, chair, ice chest full of H20, a couple light snacks, etc.

Insurance against mishaps(yes folks, riding motorcycles on race tracks isn't the safest thing in the world):
-Going alone is not wise. Bringing your 7yr old son along instead of an adult as a track buddy is not wise. (Yes, this has happened. The look in that little boy's eyes when he asked me "do you know where my daddy is?" almost broke my soul. Calling his auntie to come pick him up wasn't any fun either)
-Riding the bike to the race track is not wise.
-Be sure your medical info(blood type, allergies, etc.) is up to date and readily available by phone.

The night before:
-Light dinner...go easy on the libation.
-Plenty of sleep.
-Plenty of H2O
-Try to minimize transit time if possible. Driving 4hrs to the track on "day of" is rarely conducive to a balanced and alert mind/body.

Day of:
-Get to the track early and set up. Last second rushing will detract from your experience.
-Start sipping H20.
-Take rider's meeting seriously, paying particular attention to the track entry/exit as well as the flags and what they mean. If you have ANY questions be sure and clear them up with a staff member before going on to a hot track.
-If the org offers an orientaion w/sighting laps...do it!
-Don't be afraid to have an instructor show you the lines. You'll get up to pace more quickly/safely. Besides, that's what they're there for.

On the track:
-Warm tires for 2 FULL LAPS before dropping the hammer. Remember...2 FULL LAPS. How many? 2 FULL LAPS! I don't care if it's freakin' florida...2 FULL LAPS!(Note: this was originally written in the dead of winter. But it's still good advice all year round for the 1st timer)
-Relax(no godzilla on the clip-ons), Breathe(sounds silly, but this is where n00bs start heading down the wrong path), Look/lean/believe(self explanatory)
-Ride within your limits. No trophies, no contingency, no purse, no brolly girls, no glory.
-Be goal oriented. It can be something as simple as being sure to relax and breath throught the whole course. Or it can be something as complex as hitting the exact same turn-in point in a set of high speed linked corners lap after lap, after lap. Point being, the folks who just go out there with their hair on fire without having any solid goals generally plateau/crash out. While the rider who keeps setting, attaining, and re-setting his/her goals just keeps getting faster, and faster.
-Be mindful of your physical/mental state. Tired? Sit out a sesh. Unfocussed? Sit out a sesh. Getting frustrated by the clown on the GSXR Gazillion who's whacking it on the straights and stacking it in the corners? Instead of pushing a bad position just pull in the hot pit for 30sec...I guarantee there's open track somewhere out there.
-Be smooth and predictable when being passed, and be polite and courteous when passing.
-3:00pm and beyond is the witching hour. Folks are tired and lack focus. Some folks tend to become a bit over confident during the course of the day and push too hard. Situational awareness is very important during this time.

And finally...
-Start thinking about a second job. You're going to have to pay for your new addiction somehow.:)

butiwasgoingtotashistatio ntopickupsumpowerconvrtr
2,762 Posts

thanks again for the advice poach. it works :thumbup

450 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Stay tuned for the next installment in the series:"My Uncle Says Harleys Are Better.":rotfl
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