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STRETCH
04-15-2009, 07:52 PM
I'd like to do a track day this year but I've never done one before and don't know where to start. If anyone has experience I'd apreciate some advice.
I've got 2 piece leathers (slightly rashed), Sidi boots, good gloves and snel certified helmet. what else will I require?
what track do you recomend? what kind of fees should i expect? do you have to be a member of a group or do some tracks have a type of open track day?
what should be removed or safety wired before hand?
I thank you in advance for any advice.

Bucky
04-15-2009, 08:14 PM
I have never attended a track day. A track school may be a better choice -- instruction for those new to the track and seeking to improve street skills.

Try these links:


http://www.foreven.com/trackdod/NoviceGuide/

http://www.sportbikes.net/sportbiketracknovicerecap.html

http://www.nesba.com/Info/Typical.htm
http://www.nesba.com/Info/Forms.htm

Justin
04-15-2009, 08:34 PM
Hopefully, the leathers have a zip together for 360 degree, or thereabouts. And sometime the gloves need to be gauntlet style/over the cuffs.

Although a bit of a drive, I was just at JenningsGP in Jennings, FL two months ago. Fantastic track and the weather was comfortable for being Feb in FL. The track coaches showed the curves for the first two sessions, beyond that it was mostly on your own, but I was not part of a "school" sign-up either. My fiancee was at Little Talladega a year ago through Elite Sportbikes. The track was a shorter one, great for first times and learning... and the coaches for the novice class were fantastic. Even though I wasn't riding, I attended all the classes during intermission. And those classes continues through and after lunchtime, albeit getting shorter as the day went on. Looks like they are doing Carolina Motorsports this summer, much closer than Alabama. The day will cost between $125-160 for track fees.

!Moooocho! recommend it to any rider no matter their future riding intentions. Simply just once will be extremely helpful... not to mention waaaay fun!! :dance3:

For a street bike, the most mechanically inclined item you'll have to do for the novice class is replace your antifreeze with water, but some schools/tracks don't require it.

:scooter:

STRETCH
04-15-2009, 09:00 PM
Hopefully, the leathers have a zip together for 360 degree, or thereabouts. And sometime the gloves need to be gauntlet style/over the cuffs.

Although a bit of a drive, I was just at JenningsGP in Jennings, FL two months ago. Fantastic track and the weather was comfortable for being Feb in FL. The track coaches showed the curves for the first two sessions, beyond that it was mostly on your own, but I was not part of a "school" sign-up either. My fiancee was at Little Talladega a year ago through Elite Sportbikes. The track was a shorter one, great for first times and learning... and the coaches for the novice class were fantastic. Even though I wasn't riding, I attended all the classes during intermission. And those classes continues through and after lunchtime, albeit getting shorter as the day went on. Looks like they are doing Carolina Motorsports this summer, much closer than Alabama. The day will cost between $125-160 for track fees.

!Moooocho! recommend it to any rider no matter their future riding intentions. Simply just once will be extremely helpful... not to mention waaaay fun!! :dance3:

For a street bike, the most mechanically inclined item you'll have to do for the novice class is replace your antifreeze with water, but some schools/tracks don't require it.

:scooter:

Thanks for the info. my leathers do zip together 360 degreeish, I added a G2 back protector and my gloves are "gauntlet style/over the cuffs" I didn't know about the antifreeze. Are you saying that for the novice rider nothing needs to be safety wired or removed?
Florida is a bit far away for me but if someone is planning a track day within a 200 miles or less from here I'd love to tag along. It's always helpfull if there is someone with you who knows the ropes and can point you in the right direction.

Justin
04-15-2009, 09:29 PM
Thanks for the info. my leathers do zip together 360 degreeish, I added a G2 back protector and my gloves are "gauntlet style/over the cuffs" I didn't know about the antifreeze. Are you saying that for the novice rider nothing needs to be safety wired or removed?
Good on the back protector, have an aftermarket one as well and like it a lot. No extra wires really. Zips ties on the rear pegs is mostly it in that sense. Other simple things like taping breakable glass/plastic. As you get into intermediate and advanced though, the rules chg.

Wanderer13
04-15-2009, 11:02 PM
SportBike Track Time (STT) or USDesmo have good tracks days at CMP. No matter what your skill level is, STT requires first time riders to go through the novice group. While not on track, you are in track school. Their website details what safety precaution you need to take with your bike and protective gear. It's pretty straight forward. Definitely give one a try.

JD212
04-15-2009, 11:03 PM
We're doing one on the 26th of this month at CMP if you wanna come hang out & see what it's all about. I'd be glad to talk to ya & help you get started. Just lemme know.

Jeremy

Viper
04-16-2009, 07:06 AM
All good advice. Track school would be optimal, however, it is not inexpensive. As long as you go to a track day and plan to ride within your means in the novice group and then slowly improve/bump up to the other groups you'll be fine. Most people who attend track days know this is not a race and have the same goal: ride fast safely and go home in one piece.:Coffee_Doughnuts:

Desmo Demon
04-16-2009, 07:50 AM
Everyone seems to sum it up, and I'll add a few things...

Yes, regular anti-freeze is a big no-no. Some trackday sponsors may not check anti-freeze, but I've heard some will check during tech-inspection with a gravimetric gauge of sorts. Most people either run straight water or a water and Water-Wetter or equivilent mix...

Most people just tape up their headlights, taillights, and turn signals, but other opt to remove at least the headlight, because it is pretty expensive to replace on many bikes, in case it is damaged during a crash...

Back protectors are often only required in the intermediate and expert groups....

Most do not recommend safety wiring anything, but some highly recommend that you use a hose clamp and safety wire on your oil filter, if it is an external cartridge type. They recommend this as to not piss off everyone if your filter comes loose and everyone has to wait an hour while they try to get your oil off the track to continue the day.....

Fees: I've seen them range from $100+ per day. Many sponsors now offer special fees for Saturday and Sunday track weekends....

Tracks: I've only been on CMP in Kershaw, and you can turn that into an actual day trip with an early start. Most other tracks will probably require at least a single over-night stay....

Riding: It is a completely different world on the track. The speeds are a LOT faster than on the street (generally), and you will definitely learn more about your bike and you. You will learn further, brake harder, and may wind up having to learn about blipping the throttle. It's very un-nerving to brake hard for a turn to get a rear wheel hop. My very first trackday, I wound up with blue rotors from the hard braking, rear wheel hop from not matching the revs with rear wheel speed, and was often around the 100-120 mph speeds when I was more used to under 80 on the street. Unless you've been leaned over in a curve at 80+ before, it can get interesting on the track. Additionally, instead of a single 10-foot wide section of road to ride on, you can have upwards of the equivilent of 6 lanes in some section of some tracks. That's a LOT of pavement to try to decide what the correct line is.


It's been a while since I've been on the track, and I'm really itching to do another one. I'm hoping next year. I believe everything I stated above is accurate, as I'm going from old memory cells. The largest items of interest that I can recall are:

1) MUCH faster speeds than on the street
2) MUCH harder braking
3) MUCH more lean angles by the end of the day
4) LOTS of room on the track to recover from a screw-up (and no opposing traffic)
5) You are not out there to impress anyone, so do not try. Even if you are the fastest guy you know on the street, you probably aren't "fast" on the track.
6) Do NOT try to race anyone out there. Just work on your lines and body position. Take the opportunity to learn more about yourself and the bike in the controlled setting (chances are, it'll take several session, or maybe even multiple trackdays, untill you start to feel comfortable out there).

I've done trackdays with US Desmo and Sportbike Track Time. US Desmo was more laid back, had older members, more expensive bikes, and everyone was out to have a good time....STT had a hodsge-podge of skills in the intermediate group, had a group actually "racing" each other and they were not sticking to any particular lines and were constantly going off the track. Pete was actually rear-ended by a guy, but fortunately neither wrecked.

Oh yeah....in general, the intermediate group is the worse for diversity in rider skills.

I guess that's enough rambling for me....

STRETCH
04-16-2009, 04:16 PM
thanks for all the great info guys.

STRETCH
04-16-2009, 04:44 PM
1) MUCH faster speeds than on the street
2) MUCH harder braking
3) MUCH more lean angles by the end of the day
4) LOTS of room on the track to recover from a screw-up (and no opposing traffic)
5) You are not out there to impress anyone, so do not try. Even if you are the fastest guy you know on the street, you probably aren't "fast" on the track.
6) Do NOT try to race anyone out there. Just work on your lines and body position. Take the opportunity to learn more about yourself and the bike in the controlled setting (chances are, it'll take several session, or maybe even multiple trackdays, untill you start to feel comfortable out there).
....
2) I've been meaning to upgrade those brakes on the FZ now i guess I have an excuse.
4) the (and no opposing traffic) part is what apeals to me most.
5) considering I'm not the fastest guy on the street, I hope to be fast enough not to be a hazard

I know the FZ1 is not an ideal track day tool, but I think I can have fun in the novice group and get around quick enough not to be in the way of the race replica riding novice riders. but I welcome constructive critisism if any of you fast guys or gal want to ride with me some time:punish: I never could blip and brake well at the same time. is there a trick to that or does it just take practice. On the street I typicly stick with one or two gears so it isn't realy an issue

STRETCH
04-16-2009, 05:18 PM
We're doing one on the 26th of this month at CMP if you wanna come hang out & see what it's all about. I'd be glad to talk to ya & help you get started. Just lemme know.

Jeremy
where is CMP? I dont know if I can make it but if it's reasonably close I'll give it a try.
Do you have to be a member to ride at CMP? I saw open trAck days on there schedule, but could only find prices for memberships.

Wanderer13
04-16-2009, 06:13 PM
where is CMP? I dont know if I can make it but if it's reasonably close I'll give it a try.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=carolina+motorsports+park&sll=34.552942,-80.787277&sspn=0.472209,1.057434&ie=UTF8&z=11&iwloc=A

916SP
04-17-2009, 10:55 AM
Great advice guys!

I defineitely would sign up for either a school or novice (white) group with STT or US Desmo. US Desmo has a trackday on 05/18, just check their webpage and sign up. US Desmo trackdays are usually much more relaxed and laid back, so I would say this would be a perfect opportunity for your first track day.

STT's novice group is great. Lot's of controll riders (instructors) and some class room training between the sessions. The intermediate group though is horribe (as DemoDemon already explained).

There is nothing to be afraid of, you are riding in a controlled environment where you can focus on your riding and improving your skills. You will be amazed how much more confidence and speed you will have at the end of the day. Don't be worried about being a road block, there are always slower people out there and if it happens that you are the slowest one, who cares! You are there to have fun not to win a race.

And be careful, track days are addictive! See you on the track!

916SP
04-17-2009, 11:00 AM
Do you have to be a member to ride at CMP? I saw open trAck days on there schedule, but could only find prices for memberships.

Their open track days are well organized but I would not reccomend to go there for your first trackday. There is only one group and there are really fast
guys riding. I don't think you would be comfortable in this group.
Just my 2ct's

buster
04-17-2009, 11:52 AM
Do the Desmo Day in May. It is a good first experience. It is pretty cheap to see if you like track riding. Instruction is limited but, if you talk to a control rider, they will work with you. Don't worry about your speed, concentrate on your line and smoothness. Speed will come with experience. In the white group, there is no passing in the corners, just the straights so, it is usually the safest group. I've always felt the intermediate group is the most dangerous. You have a mix of riders who are too slow with riders who are too fast. This is a dangerous mix when you throw in wacky lines with outside corner passing.

Viper
04-17-2009, 01:20 PM
Green group has a constant accordian effect at every corner. There always seems to be some rider who is really fast in a straight line and they might as well put their kick stand down in the corners while they hold up everybody behind them. It can be frustrating to get behind one of these people when you are faster in the corners and then they drag race you to the next corner. What they should be doing is let the more consistent rider pass. The best thing to do is to pit, wait 10 seconds, and then re-enter the track so you have some open track space.:Coffee_Doughnuts:

STRETCH
04-17-2009, 04:21 PM
Do the Desmo Day in May. It is a good first experience. It is pretty cheap to see if you like track riding. Instruction is limited but, if you talk to a control rider, they will work with you. Don't worry about your speed, concentrate on your line and smoothness. Speed will come with experience. In the white group, there is no passing in the corners, just the straights so, it is usually the safest group. I've always felt the intermediate group is the most dangerous. You have a mix of riders who are too slow with riders who are too fast. This is a dangerous mix when you throw in wacky lines with outside corner passing.
"DESMO DAY" sounds like it would be for Ducati owners only?

intel_killer
04-17-2009, 04:51 PM
"DESMO DAY" sounds like it would be for Ducati owners only?

It's not, they will let you in, you just have to tolerate all the "When are you going to 'upgrade' to a Duc?" questions.

Really its not bad, they are a great group of people. :ok:







Just don't drink the kool-aid. :dance3:

buster
04-17-2009, 05:25 PM
"DESMO DAY" sounds like it would be for Ducati owners only?

I've done quite a few of them on Triumphs. :ok: There are always plenty of Jap bikes present as well. Just stay away from those crazy super motard lines!...come to think of it, they don't usually run the white group anyway.