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Old 12-12-07, 02:26 PM   #1
Paul the 6th
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Default never been to a track day, what you like to have known before your first track experience?

How do,

I've got a few mates who've done plenty of track days and rave about them saying wild things like "you can learn more about your bike on a track in half an hour than you can on the open road in 6 months".

I would like to get myself to a novice trackday at some point next year and see what it's all about. I think the nearest tracks to me are either Donnington or Croft (being bang in the middle of west yorkshire)... would these be good starters?

I've also heard you need to have either a one or two piece suit's which I'm looking at getting in the new year.

My general assumptions are that on track days:
- it's not a race.
- if you're in the novice group it's more about learning the circuit and how to get your bike round smoothly, not about getting your knee down round every corner and putting in GP lap times...
- you HAVE to put electrical tape on your lights so that you look like a real racer on the photographs.
-any others?

any advice/info about novice trackdays etc would be great.

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Old 12-12-07, 02:30 PM   #2
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Default Re: never been to a track day, what you like to have known before your first track experience?

I havnt done a trackday either, but from what I gather these are the sensible ideas

-Go at your own pace. Mr GSXR1000 going that fast will only go in the gravel, dont follow him

-seek advice from the instructors at the track, they will help you with the best lines and make your experiance safer and more enjoyable

-dont go hell for leather until you have some heat in your tyres and brakes!

-its gonna sap alot of energy out of you - eat little, and often. Big meals will make you feel sleepy and rob you of confidence

-dont friggin bin it, unless its your crap-heap of a track bike and you really dont care.

Hope this gives you some things to ponder on!

Matt
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Old 12-12-07, 02:34 PM   #3
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Default Re: never been to a track day, what you like to have known before your first track experience?

I did my first track day this year at Donnington and it was the best day of my life ..... does that sell it to you!

My friends and family are sick of hearing about

All you need to know beforehand is that its a blast, and everyone is in the same boat as you in the novice group ... oh and just because someone else has got all the gear, doesnt mean they know what they are doing.... often far from it

Just be confident, and take your time on the first few laps
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Old 12-12-07, 02:39 PM   #4
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Default Re: never been to a track day, what you like to have known before your first track experience?

Good luck with it. I'm looking at doing my first bike trackday at some point in the new year. I'm also looking at either croft or donnington.

Corft is great I have been there a couple of times, plenty of run off, great surface, nice selection of corners.

My only query is how do you get all your tools and spare fuel to the track if your riding there ............can you tell I'm used to going in a car?
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Old 12-12-07, 02:56 PM   #5
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Default Re: never been to a track day, what you like to have known before your first track experience?

I did my first (bike) trackday at Croft in July, and it's a brilliant circuit, much better than others I've been on surface wise, although it has a reputation for chewing tyres up as it's a pretty abrasive surface.

Things to note:
You will need an ACU approved helmet and 1 piece or two piece zip-together leathers which connect all the way round.

Trailer your bike there if possible - if the worst happens you'll be happy you did (like I was).

Make sure your bike is in tip-top nick, you don't want something silly like a flat battery ruining your day.

Don't drink anything the night before, and get an early night. When I came off, I was breathalysed - it was a new thing that trackday company does (they'd had a guy come off a few months prior who was so ****ed he could hardly stand).

You may or may not need to tape the lights, some trackday organisers/tracks aren't fussed, some are. Plenty of people rode at Croft with untaped lights.

Tape over your speedo. You do NOT need to know how fast you're going.

Take plenty of water, and/or your favourite energy drink, and DRINK IT.

Eat little and often, high energy stuff, you'll be amazed how tiring it is.

If possible, get yourself a set of manky fairings to ruin in case you bin it. I wish I'd followed that advice.

Crash bungs are your friends.

Don't try to keep up with anyone else, ride your own ride.
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Old 12-12-07, 02:57 PM   #6
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Default Re: never been to a track day, what you like to have known before your first track experience?

Firstly, ask yourself why you want to do a trackday. There are a number of reasons why people do:

1) To ride fast in a safer environment, rather than do it on the road.

2) To ride the same piece of tarmac as Rossi, Walker, Haslam etc (believe me, there are lots of people who do it for this reason)

3) To improve your riding

4) To learn more about what your bike is capable of doing

5) To see if you're fast enough to go racing.

Once you've made your mind up, book yourself a trackday in Novice group and go see an instructor right at the start of the day. Explain to him/her what your goals are and ask for advice and help. That's what instructors are there for, to instruct. They won't just teach you to go fast, they'll teach you body positioning, how to hang off safely, lines into and out of corners, braking points, how hard you can brake, how hard you can put the throttle on and a huge number of other things.

If the instructor thinks you're a bit good and fast enough they might move you up to intermediate group. If not, practise in Novices until you are good enough to book yourself into Inters without worrying if you're good enough.

Just my 2p's worth
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Old 12-12-07, 03:00 PM   #7
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Default Re: never been to a track day, what you like to have known before your first track experience?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WRCSixtyThree View Post

Tape over your speedo. You do NOT need to know how fast you're going.
Oh I dunno about this one. It was a real blast seeing the speedo reading 150mph as the front came right up under Donington's bridge, when I was on my Gixer Thou. I was giggling like a loon at that.
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Old 12-12-07, 03:02 PM   #8
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Default Re: never been to a track day, what you like to have known before your first track experience?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lozzo View Post
Oh I dunno about this one. It was a real blast seeing the speedo reading 150mph as the front came right up under Donington's bridge, when I was on my Gixer Thou. I was giggling like a loon at that.
guess it depends on your outlook .... exciting to see your speed, or intimidating? Depends what kind of novice you are .... keen for speed or a little nervous and wanting to gain confidence. Personal choice but worth considering.
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Old 12-12-07, 03:27 PM   #9
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Default Re: never been to a track day, what you like to have known before your first track experience?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomcat View Post
guess it depends on your outlook .... exciting to see your speed, or intimidating? Depends what kind of novice you are .... keen for speed or a little nervous and wanting to gain confidence. Personal choice but worth considering.
i'd leave it uncovered simply to see it reading something so silly, i've only had it up to 115 so far
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Old 12-12-07, 03:40 PM   #10
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Default Re: never been to a track day, what you like to have known before your first track experience?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lozzo View Post
Firstly, ask yourself why you want to do a trackday. There are a number of reasons why people do:

1) To ride fast in a safer environment, rather than do it on the road.

2) To ride the same piece of tarmac as Rossi, Walker, Haslam etc (believe me, there are lots of people who do it for this reason)

3) To improve your riding

4) To learn more about what your bike is capable of doing

5) To see if you're fast enough to go racing.

Once you've made your mind up, book yourself a trackday in Novice group and go see an instructor right at the start of the day. Explain to him/her what your goals are and ask for advice and help. That's what instructors are there for, to instruct. They won't just teach you to go fast, they'll teach you body positioning, how to hang off safely, lines into and out of corners, braking points, how hard you can brake, how hard you can put the throttle on and a huge number of other things.

If the instructor thinks you're a bit good and fast enough they might move you up to intermediate group. If not, practise in Novices until you are good enough to book yourself into Inters without worrying if you're good enough.

Just my 2p's worth
I want to a track day for all the above reason, I can't wait to do one. I really what to find out what me and the bike can do on track!

Ask for covering the the spedo, I was talking with the guy that races in super stock, he took his bike out for a test, went back said diconnect the speedo, he really didn't want to know how fast he was going!
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