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Anonymous

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MCN  says:

You ask/you answer: Am I experienced enough for a trackday?

I really want to do a trackday, but I'm a bit worried that my riding level isn't good enough, and I'll get spooked on track by faster riders. Should I just man up and get on with it, or should I do something like California Superbike School, the Ron Haslam Race School first? Your answer could help. The best will be printed...

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  • Posted 2 years ago (01 October 2012 17:08)

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440PROJECT

Joined:

Sep 12

Posts: 6

440PROJECT says:

Slow & Ready

1. Dont "know / test your limits" ... It is better to know what you do know or dont know. Stay confident in your abilities your happy with and feel your way round what you dont know. First time at a track, you wont know anything (in fairness) even if your a roundabout-kneedown-junkie. Work out a "racing-line" to allow you to use nice big swooping lines thorugh corners and and not getting in peoples way. Even if your slow, if your rising a decent line, a faster rider will pass you easier and less aggressivly than if your all over the place.

2. Eat light & right - chips/beans with a side of red bull is a killer. Light snacky veg & salad things with little fatty sauces or cheeses and LOTS of room-temp water will stop you cramping up and keep you hidrated & your head clear with no sugar drops.

3. Prep. A half decent £350 quid one or 2 piece suit, nice gloves & boots and the best helmet you can afford (£150-300 isnt a mindless spend!). Back protector too, even if its a £25 quid thing is a sensible buy. Ear plugs are also hugely useful, youd be amazed how much you can concentrate more then your not battered by wind and screaming engines. Exercise - a little a day will be enough for trackdays. 35 miles a week cycling will benefit you more than youd know!

4. Start slow to go fast - treat the first outings as you would when you first ent on a bike. "Use all the road" as you (shouldnt) have on coming traffic with wide lines giving you a goo visual on corners and straights. ASK ASK ASK the team who are around, the briefing in the morning will never give you enough. 2/3 laps following an instructor will reap you a lot of reward and theyre (ego's - ;-) ...) wont mind!

5. Dont try and do what you havnt done before - just because yor at a track doent mean you will instantly start scraping pegs/knees/toes/elbows. "hanging off" the bike is often something people have no idea how to do and often end up feeling "wobbly" or "loose". ask how to sit on a bike, you will find out you barely use your arms.. its all in the legs ;-) ... again, as your friendly instructor for tips on body position.

6. Gears - biggest thing ive seen over the years is people use the wrong gear almost all the time. Either too much or too little revs. the right gear-speed-rev-ratio in a corner will make your bike feel planted and tight. Tracks like mallory park on my SV650 I only use 2nd 3rd & 4th (only on the straight). Learning to slip your clutch if your bike doesnt come with one also helps "feed" the revs in for smoother gear changes.

7. Forget the tyre warmers & stop watch and buy your photo's. Its an experience you cant usually afford every week, so make the most of it and enjoy your day!

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chrisyzf

Joined:

Nov 03

Posts: 159

chrisyzf says:

Trackdays are NOT RACES

Now where do i start.

1. trackdays are a great place for riders with no experience on the track to gain experience

2. novice group means novice, SO WHY THE FECK WAS A TOTAL NOVICE RIDING IN THE ADVANCED GROUP, WHO PANICED AND DIDNT EVEN BREAK AS THEY RODE INTO THE INSIDE OF MY BACK WHEEL, WHILE I TURNED INTO A FAST RIGHT, TOOK ME OUT BIG STYLE.

net result smashed pelvis, 4 broken ribs, perminant dislocated shoulder, destroyed thumb, and wost of all a totalled bike. (ok this could have happened racing, but thats racing, TRACKDAYS are NOT RACES)

Before you all start i was in the advanced group, testing my race bike before i was due to travel to ireland to race, so you could say i am experienced.

mates riding behind, said he got his line all wrong and didn't even try to brake until after he hit me, sat and froze.

As a result i can no longer race due to pelvis injury, and will need a new hip joint with in 5 to 10 years.

So please follow these rules if you intend to trackday

1. Novice stay in this group if you have never ridden on track before, and until an instructor tells you that you are good enough to move to intermediate

2. just because you happen to think you are a fast road rider, this does not mean you will be quick on track.

3. go and watch a few to see what it is all about

4. take it easy and steady, build up speed slowly

5. most of all stay safe, not just for you for other riders

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Piglet2010

Joined:

Oct 11

Posts: 2235

Piglet2010 says:

Stupid

Stupid to require one-piece leathers when 2-piece suits are just as good if made properly.

Of course, I have ridden tracks in a hi-viz Aerostich Roadcrafter textile suit – sorry, not sold in the CE, as it may be the best ever piece of motorcycle gear.
 

www.aerostich.com/suits/one-piece-suits/roadcrafter-one-piece-suit.html

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Piglet2010

Joined:

Oct 11

Posts: 2235

Piglet2010 says:

Lines and Other Stuff

@ 440PROJECT – I was taught by Jason Pridmore (Star Motorcycle School) *not* to use all the track on entry, as this gives a margin for error. He himself uses only about 2/3 of the track on corner entry on an unfamiliar track, and works up to using the whole track. More good advice was to concentrate on technique instead of trying to go fast – get the technique down, and speed will come by itself.

Otherwise agree with what you wrote. Fitness is particularly important – most track days are divided into novice, intermediate, and advanced groups, with 20 minutes on the tracks followed by 40 minutes off. Sounds like a lot of rest, but you will be happy for it. Still a lot of riders end up skipping the last session of the day due to mental and/or physical fatigue.

Most importantly, remember that you have nothing to prove to anyone. Have fun and learn – as long as you leave a little bit better rider than when you started, your day was not wasted.

I will add that taking a good track school first is a very good idea. For one, idiotic behavior will not be tolerated, so it is safer. Secondly, at the good schools, the instructors will be positive and helpful, even if you are the slowest rider and hesitant the first time out.
 

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SlowLearner

Joined:

Feb 10

Posts: 1953

SlowLearner says:

Why the concern?

I don't understand why people should be concerned about idiots out on track days.


Just stay well ahead of them, and they will not given you any problem :lol:

------
Edit note:   Just pass them quickly while giving a wide berth, when you meet them again on the fourth or fifth lap.

[This Reply has been modified by the Author]

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shorty42

Joined:

Sep 12

Posts: 7

shorty42 says:

1st Trackday!!!!

My first trackday came about by a mate telling me 'i've got you on for Saturday, you owe me £60' !!! i was papping it, thought i had no experience, worried about the faster ones, wondering whether i should fein illness! LOL. in the end it was the best thing i ever did to learn bike handling. I learned more that day than in the previous 5 years, i learned how to brake hard & safely, how the bike could corner much better than me & even ended up getting my knee on the floor without even meaning to. The instructors are there as mentors, ask them & they will follow you for a few laps & give you some really good pointers. never say die!!!

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rcraven

Joined:

Nov 08

Posts: 117

rcraven says:

Track days

Just remember what goes on the track stays on the track

Apart from learning something about your bike and yourself 90% or more cannot be used on the road.

By all means get someone to buy u a track day experience and go with an open mind to learn and enjoy.

Then think about an Advanced Riding course.  But this time 90% of what u learn will be good for u, forget the part of overtaking as fast as u want coss its safer [ its also a moving traffic offence if over the speed limit] and whilst concentrating on a bends vanishing point please remember the FIRST GOLDEN RULE of any road, to be able to stop in the distance that u can see to be clear  and by that they mean ON YOUR SIDE OF THE ROAD.

Happy Biking.... and learn quickly and ride slowly. Live longer.

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HOSBUSA

Joined:

Sep 09

Posts: 397

HOSBUSA says:

rcraven

Wise words my friend.

Too many people incorrectly believe track days are the best way to learn how to ride on the road.

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bird1050

Joined:

Nov 07

Posts: 175

bird1050 says:

do it

Track days are a lot of fun, Thats where it should stay.

Dont be worried  as the staff will put you in the appropriate group to ride in, and will look after you .

Go for it you wont regret it, but remember that when you leave the track that you are back on public roads,

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