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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm really interested in getting into some track days, but I really have no clue where to start. I'm in central NC, and I'm not really sure of any tracks to go to. I know about VIR which isn't too far away but I'm not really sure about what group to take a track day with. Do I need to attend a racing school first? I would like to do that, but I'd also like to just attend a regular track day to begin with...or would you recommend starting off with the full school?

So...what I'm basically asking here is, how exactly can I get into a track day, and at what track near me?
 

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Have you checked your regional forums? That might be the best place to get that information.
 

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Have you checked out http://www.ncsportbikes.com/?

There's a fellow on 675.net who has this site in his sig, lives in NC and does track days. His username on 675.net is PGood aaaaaaand.... it looks like that's his name on NCS, too. I'd hit him up for info; you can tell him shalihe from 675.net directed you to him.
 

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I don't know if they still do, but NESBA used to let you do a half track day for free, just to see if you are into it without having to put a bunch of money into it in the beginning. Sort of like a crack dealer giving you your first rock for free. Check out their website and see if they're still doing it, and if they still do track days at VIR.
 

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NESBA does something I think is called "Try the Track" where you put your bike through a basic tech inspection (pull mirrors off, tape up headlights, maybe safety wire kickstand in the up position, and a couple other basic maintenance points) and lets you ride the first two 20 minute sessions. Be careful because anyone I've ever talked to that did that got hooked and wanted to ride the rest of the day...I'm one of em! Luckily I was able to pay for the trackday and get into the beginner group after someone was bumped to intermediate.

There's also TeamProMotion, and they have something called Advanced Rider Training which is required for anyone who is new to the track. When I took it it was included in the price of the trackday, but it may be a little extra now. It's worth it though. They put blue vests on everyone in the class and take you around slowly, showing you the line (where you should be riding, hitting the apexes and turning in at the appropriate points). The control rider will give you feedback on how you're doing and will go over everything in the classroom. I highly recommend this.

There are other trackday organizations, but for your first trackday, I'd recommend either one of these. The others seem (to me, from what I've heard...I could be completely wrong though) to be more for just getting you on the track with minimal instruction/feedback, just for fun/practice.

VIR is a great track, I've only ridden the North course, but it was a lot of fun. Good luck!
 

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VIR is probably the closest track for you.

There are several track day and racing schools that go to VIR and they all have programs for first time track day riders, so dont worry about that. Try to pick a group you will enjoy riding with and also enjoy chillin' in the paddock. The racetrack is always the same - its the people who make it better or worse. Anyway here's a list:

http://www.teampromotion.com

http://www.cornerspeed.net

http://www.nesba.com

http://www.superbikeschool.com

http://www.classrides.com

http://www.bostonmoto.com


You need a few basic things for any track day: leathers/riding suit, full face helmet, over ankle boots, over wrist gloves, some safety prep on your bike (check with your school for details - but usually includes removing bits that stick out and taping over lights).

Transportation and food are also important. Make sure you'll have plenty to drink and if at all possible don’t ride your bike to the event - get it on a pickup or trailer. There are a million reasons for this - just do it if you can.

Once you've got transportation, safety gear, a prepared bike and racetrack, the only thing left to do is have a wicked good time :)
 

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First take a deep breath and relax. There are several organizations in your area. You happen to be in a fantastic area as far as proximity to the following tracks

VIR
Summit Point (WV)
Barber (AL)
Road Atlanta
CMP (Kershaw, SC)
Roebling Road (GA)

Now keep in mind proximity is relative. Pocono is an hour from my house and my first time out I would never even dream of traveling five hours to the next closest track and those who drive 10 hours to get from Northern NJ to VIR are crazy. I just got back Sunday from Road Atlanta, 16 hours each way for one race and have traveled to VIR for single day events. I now very very rarely go to Pocono. Once your hooked you lose track of the time it takes to get too and from.

Most track day organizations have some kind of introduction to the track class to get you familar with making the transition from the street to the track. I coach for Team Promotion and we have Advanced Rider Training "Basic" to help riders their first time. The other orgs I'm familar with are Nesba and Sportbike track time. They have more dates in your area than TPM. But keep in mind before I started coaching with TPM I belonged to more than one org, paid the membership fees (60-100) and picked the dates that agreed most with my schedule. If I can help in any way with questions, just let me know.

Z
 

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If you want to try the track, check us out. There's a link in my sig. For first time riders, we have classroom and on-track instruction on the fundementals of riding on track. We keep the groups small so you get plenty of individual atttention from the instructors. Our website has pages dedicated to preparation, personal and for the bike. And, you don't have to purchase a "membership" to ride with us.

Our schedule includes Talladega Gran Prix (Munford, AL), Carolina Motorsports Park (Kershaw, SC), and Barber Motorsports Park (Leeds, AL). CMP is probably the closest to you. Talladega is an excellent track for the first timer. Not a lot of high speeds, but technical so you really work on your skills. CMP is pretty fast, but has a lot of run-off room on most turns. Barber is a great track w/a wide track surface, elevation changes, and a top-notch facility. For novice riders who are not familiar with the race line, it can be very intimidating with the blind hills and turns.

WARNING -- riding on the track can be addictive. Once you experience the thrill of riding on the track, you'll be hooked. "Hi, my name is Linda, and I'm a track addict." :)

Other organizations that offer instruction for the novice track rider include Nesba and Sportbike TrackTime.
 

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Now keep in mind proximity is relative. Pocono is an hour from my house and my first time out I would never even dream of traveling five hours to the next closest track and those who drive 10 hours to get from Northern NJ to VIR are crazy. I just got back Sunday from Road Atlanta, 16 hours each way for one race and have traveled to VIR for single day events. I now very very rarely go to Pocono. Once your hooked you lose track of the time it takes to get too and from.
Bwhahahahaha, that is SOOOO true. I have Firebird in my backyard (30 minutes away) in Arizona. I'm heading to Barber (in AL) next month - that'd be 23 hour drive if I were taking a bike. I also have tentative plans to hit up Mid-Ohio (28 hours one way), the NM tracks (Sandia and Arroyo, 5 - 7 hours each way), and some Cali tracks (6 - 15 hours) over the summer. Somehow, though, the miles just fly by when there's a race bike in the back of the truck...
 

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+for NESBA. You will definetly be hooked so be sure to have an excess amount of cash laying around for tires & for spares for when you lay it down. Spares make it when you have a minor lowside you can still finish you day out. Extra clip-ons, lever, pegs are always.
 

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Hey man I was in the same boat as you starting out. I actually did my first trackday at VIR north last month with Bostonmoto. They really did a good job imo for us newbies. Just start out in beginner/novice category and see how things fare from there. I'm on NCSportbikes and went up there with several people from that board. That made it a lot more comfortable with knowledgeable people around me.

I believe NESBA is doing a skills enhancement day (SED) in May. It's a little pricier than your average trackday but the instruction is supposed to be really good. At the SED it's just beginners on the 14th and Intermediate on the 15th IIRC.

Another thing is just show up at a trackday. You don't have to run on track but just show up and see how things are run. Trust me everybody is incredibly friendly and open to talking to new guys on track. Just ask your questions and learn how things operate.
 

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Hey I'm up in Boone and I'm looking to do my first track day at VIR as soon as it warms up some (I guess it's warm already outside the high country) but we should meet up and do one- where in NC are you?
 

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Sportbiketracktime.com

Monte and Bonnie run a classy organization. Great people who share a passion for bikes with everyone at the track. It is my opinion that they have a leg up on some of the other track day clubs. Absolutely a must for a beginner.

Have fun and welcome to our sickness!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for all the great info guys, I really appreciate it. Right now I'm still waiting on my leathers to come in and I'm gonna start checking out all the places you mentioned and see when I can do a track day.

Hey deadhorse, I'm actually in clayton which is just southeast of Raleigh. Going with someone else who's just starting could be fun and maybe I won't get completely lost in the process.
 

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Look at the trackday section on www.ncsportbikes.com I am a newbie but several people from NCsportbikes attend trackdays quite regularly. My first day was with STT and it was a great experience at Roebling. My next day will be with USDESMO at CMP which is a good price and it is on Monday MAy 18. check it out
 
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