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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This Wednesday I'll be going to my first track day; much excitement! I've got most of the technical aspects on my bike squared away, but I'm wondering what I should bring/prep for?

So far I've got:
1. Motorcycle
2. Extra gas
3. Cooler full of water and such
4. Basic tools to convert my bike to track-ready
5. Spool stand
6. Masking tape for headlights
7. Zip ties for side stand

Anything else I'm missing that folks have found handy to have? I'll also be renting a one piece suit there, and I am wondering what I should wear underneath. I'm assuming a t-shirt and shorts will be fine?

I'm also not sure what pressures I should be setting my tires at. From what I've read, it seems like 30/30 F/R is a good starting point. I'm not sure if there will be any Michelin reps there to ask - I've got PR3s.

I am going to Blackhawk Farms, if by chance anyone else from here will be there. :)
 

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Drill with bits and bolts
Spare parts (levers etc)
Chair
A fan
Find out if there are outles to plug in your stuff, if not, generator
extension cord
Food
Don't forget your keys!
Remove anything that does not belong on the track (mirrors, turn signals, locks, stupidity...)
Safety wire (if required by the rules)

So far that's all I can remember.

Have fun and ride safe!
 

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Canopy for shade if there is none there. Be patient, it's not a race and have fun.
 

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start hydrating days before, it takes that long for your body to be well hydrated for that much physical activity. Also get a good nights sleep before, and calm yourself down as much as possible. You are going to thrown into such a tailspin with the amount of information and just the fun that you will be having. Give yourself some time to enjoy it all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Didn't think about chairs and stuff. I have no idea how much classroom time there will be versus just sittin around waiting for the other groups.


start hydrating days before, it takes that long for your body to be well hydrated for that much physical activity. Also get a good nights sleep before, and calm yourself down as much as possible. You are going to thrown into such a tailspin with the amount of information and just the fun that you will be having. Give yourself some time to enjoy it all.
Haha, I know I'm not gonna be getting much sleep. Due to the distance of the track from me, I'll have to get up about 5am. I normally get up at 7 for work, and go to bed after midnight. :p
 

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I used to do that same thing and I started planning my trackdays a bit differently and its been working for me and my friends. We usually leave the night before, drop off our bikes and gear at the track then go to the local hotel for the night. Get a good nights sleep then head out to the track around 7ish, usually all our bikes have already been taped up and ready the night before. If not this is the time we usually get all that done, haven't breakfast while we do that and just talk about how much fun we will be having. Other than that we are just walking around and saying hi to friends and checking out bikes. So if you can give yourself that time, it will pay you back by giving you that extra energy later in the day when everybody else is tired and not riding the last few sessions and you will still be fresh and alert and basically have an entire track to yourself. Just imagine a whole track with only maybe another 20 or so bikes out there with you. Just the thought is making me smile.
 

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I am assuming you are going to BHF for the trackday. If so this is run by MotoVid and will be a good time.

I have a good size group heading there as well this week. Shoot me a PM if you need anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yup, BHF on the 30th.
I'm having my bike trailored there by a local shop. What group are you running in? Intermediate/Advanced?
 

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From my local track day org:


Hopefully this will help folks on their first trackday. Trackday vets, feel free to post additional tips you've gotten over the years!

Once you've decided to do a trackday, there's a lot to think about and get ready. Signing up, bike prep, prepping yourself, getting there, registration and tech, classroom, and what you've been waiting for, getting on the track.

Since I'm a RideSmart instructor, the info here is RideSmart specific, but similar to most trackday providers. If you signup for a trackday with a different provider, please check their specific information.

1. Signing Up. Lots of people wait until the last minute to sign up, only to discover that the event is full. Try to sign up no less than a week out from the event date. Check weather.com or similar and check the 10 day forecast. Most trackdays will hold the event rain or shine, but in the wet isn't near as much fun.

If you've never been to a trackday, sign up for Level 1 (also called Beginner, Novice, First-Timer, "C" group, street group, etc) EVEN IF YOU ARE AN EXPERIENCED STREET RIDER. The track is vastly different from the street. DON'T SIGN UP FOR THE WRONG LEVEL.

Sign-Up for RideSmart events online here.

2. Bike Prep. For a new rider at the track, there isn't a huge amount of prep, but get it done early (couple of days). If you find you need something, midnight the night before the event is not the time to get it done. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SAFETY WIRE FOR A RIDESMART TRACKDAY!
Tires: Your tires may be either race or street compound and in good condition with plenty of tread (at least 50%). Your tires must not be unevenly worn or show signs of damage or repair. If there is any doubt in the condition of your tires, replace them. Replacing your tires far outweighs the cost of damage to yourself, another rider or your motorcycle. Valve stems capped.
Levers, Brakes: Shifter and rear brake lever secure. Foot pegs secure. Kickstand OK. Brake pads should not be overly worn. Like to see at least 50% pads on front.
Lights, Body: Buy a bunch of blue painter's tape. Remove or tape over turn signals, remove or tape over head light, remove or tape over tail/brake light, remove or tape over License Plate. Your lights, if left on the motorcycle, must be fully taped so that no lens is uncovered. There must not be any light showing from your tail/brake light, you may also pull the brake light fuse. After taping your headlight light may still show through, this is OK but you may also want to pull the fuse or bulb(s) as heat from the headlight will make the tape and its adhesive harder to remove. Body panels must be secure, seat must be securely mounted.
Coolant, Fluids: No leaking of ANY fluids. Oil, coolant, brake reservoir, fuel caps or covers must be OEM or equal in quality and functionality and must form a proper seal. Antifreeze is allowed for coolant.
Drive Train/Engine: Throttle must be self-returning, chain must be properly adjusted. Engine kill switch functional on the handlebar.

3. Rider Prep. Make sure your head is in the game...and is protected!
Helmet: First and foremost, your helmet must be a motorcycle helmet and be Snell approved (or European equivalent). Your helmet must also be a full-face helmet. You will need to take your helmet with you to tech inspection. Straps are not torn, frayed or modified, properly installed Quick-release buckles are acceptable but must not inadvertently come undone, no obvious signs of damage, no signs of modification (cuts, holes, paint and adhesives) and a properly fitted shield.
Protective Suit: More commonly called leather’s, a suit can be of 1 or 2 piece construction from leather or Cordura. The suit must be designed for motorcycle use. 2 piece suits must attach with a zipper with at least 50% contact. Jackets and or suits made of mesh material will not be allowed.
Boots: You must wear boots that fully cover your ankles and they must be of leather or hybrid construction. You are not required to wear boots designed specifically for motorcycling, but it is strongly recommended! Boots must have adequate lace, buckle, Velcro or strap closures and should not be torn or extremely worn.
Gloves: must be full fingered and either leather, or non-leather motorcycling gloves. They must cover 1” past your wrist and have a functioning closure. Gloves must not be torn or extremely worn. They must completely cover your hands and not have holes (other than manufactured vent holes).

Don't forget to bring undergarments, socks, etc. that will make your suit more comfortable. Wicking socks and undergarments (like UnderArmor longsleeve shirts and shorts) make it easier to get in and out of leathers. Socks designed to absorb sweat help out on those hot summer days.

Make a small "track bag" with personal items, too. Sunglasses, Sunscreen, ballcap, chapstick, tylenol, prescription meds you might need, etc. I also highly recommend ear protection!!

RideSmart also has leathers and boots for rental.

4. Getting There. You can ride your bike to the event and have someone follow in a car with the rest of your gear, but bringing your bike in a pickup or trailer is much easier. Prep the bike, get it all ready, load it up and it's ready to go. Make a checklist so you don't forget anything.
What to Bring: Ramp (if needed), ignition key (and an extra - bad to get there and have no key!!!), a little cash, basic tools (sockets, wrenches, screw drivers), stands (if you have a kickstand, you're OK without 'em), extra blue painter's tape, zip ties, at least a quart of oil, folding chairs, consider an EZ Up (depends on the track - many do not have any cover. Don't forget ballast or weights for it as stakes don't work well on concrete), paper towels, shop towels, plastic cleaner (for your helmet shield), extra fuel (5 gallons), drinking water, more drinking water, even more drinking water (it is provided, but you want it always available), snacks. At some tracks, lunch is provided; at others bring either your own lunch or cash to buy it. Get to bed early the night before. You want to arrive at the trackday event early - check when the gates open and try to be there close to that time. For events that are far away, I will camp out at the track (if allowed) or get a motel closeby. The camping out is fun, and RS provides hamburgers and hot dogs. At most RS events the gates open at 6:00 or 6:30 AM. TWS does charge a fee for overnight camping.

These events are always more fun with a buddy. If you don't have someone going with you as a rider, just having someone to help unload, load, etc. makes the day more fun. Spectators are free at RS events. If you need some help at an event, just ask. Someone will always be glad to help.

5. Registration and Tech. Once you arrive, go straight to registration. When you signed up, you should have gotten an email that has links to RideSmart forms you'll need to turn in at registration. They're available in the morning, but download, print them out, and fill 'em out beforehand! Go to the registration table, turn in your two forms; they'll mark your name off their list and you'll receive a level sticker (you can also ask for a specific instructor there). The sticker need to be placed on the front of the bike. Get your bike and go to tech, don't forget your helmet. Tech will place a small sticker on your Level sticker and another on your helmet. The Track Marshal must be able to see all your stickers to allow you on the track. If you have any tech issues, you'll have to fix them and return to tech for a reinspection.

Now, go set up the rest of your paddock area, socialize, and meet new people until it's time for the Rider's Meeting or Track Drive. At some tracks, they may take a group around the track in pickups and discuss each corner and parts of the track that are of special interest - the "Track Drive." Immediately following will be the Rider's Meeting, which is MANDATORY. Some folks will get into their riding gear before the Rider's Meeting, others after. How fast can you dress yourself?

6. Classroom. RideSmart requires that you attend classroom sessions, where you will learn track protocols, flags, safety concerns, and of course, riding skills. For Level 1 and 2, you'll go to the classroom immediately after the Rider's Meeting and after each on-track session throughout the day. After the first classroom session, you'll do a "Round Robin" on the track. After the Round Robin, you're back in class. You'll get a wrist-band that you'll put on your Triple-Tree. This indicates you've been to class. No wrist-band on the tree, no getting on the track. You'll get an instructor assigned, and he or she will meet with you and a small group individually throughout the day. You may get another required wrist-band, so don't skip class.

7. The Track. Finally! What we've been waiting for! Sessions run 20 minutes. Level 3 goes first, then Level 2, and then Level 1. The first session for both Levels 1 and 2, 5 or 6 riders will line up behind an instructor and they'll take you around the track. Each rider will get to be directly behind the instructor to see the correct track lines. Each lap will be a little faster. After the first session, you're back in class for 20 or so minutes. The next and subsequent sessions, check with your instructor as to what you want to accomplish. Remember, track, then classroom. Passing restrictions are in effect at all RideSmart events, this is a SCHOOL, not a RACE. Your instructors will explain everything and feel free to ask questions. And most importantly, have a blast!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I probably would have forgotten something to clean my face shield with as well. This thread is already paying off. :)
 

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Bob,
Ill be in the I group. First time back on a track in almost a year. Last time I broke my bike in half and broke a bunch of me too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Was fun, I was situated over by the silo with the big dunlop flag on it. I saw two other dark grey SVs there - one was naked, and the other was fully faired and looked entirely stock.

I watched both novice group red flags unfold in front of me - they were both on the checkered flag lap as well. First one, the guy must've through he was going in too fast on turn 2 or something.. he froze up and went wide into the grass. Looked like he locked his front wheel soon as he hit the grass and tumbled.
Second dude had a missed gear change that freaked him out on turn 6, and off the track and into the tires he went. (*edit* from what I heard, this guy had the worst injury of the day - a dislocated shoulder. )
On our final session of the day, on the final lap, another guy just kinda rode off on turn 3. Not sure what happened really, he wasn't going very fast. Just saw him kinda go straight off.

I was probably one of the slowest people in the novice group, haha. When I had a CR in front of me showing me entry points, lines, etc. I did pretty well - but as soon as I had others in front of me or by myself, I seemed to forget those and wound up going really slow. Near the end of the day I started picking up a little speed - 10k rpm in 2nd around turn 1, 8k in 4th gear from turn 5 to 6, etc. Still really slow overall, but I did make progress. Sadly all the pictures taken were early in the day when I was still excruciatingly slow, so I look like some dude taking a sunday cruise around all the corners. :( :(

Lots of fun, but I really misjudged how fatigued I was! Driving home I suddenly felt really tired, and now today at work I'm both tired and sore. I also managed to give my PR3s a good workout - very nearly to the edge front and back, and actually did some scrubbing on the sides.

How was your day there?
 
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