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mossrider

Thinking about a track day?

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mossrider

So you're thinking about participating in a track day event. Good for you! You'll have a blast. There is no better way to have fun than learning to go faster(ish) on the relative safety of a racetrack. Everyone going the same direction, w/o fear of turning traffic, wild animals, cell phones, distracted drivers, or law enforcement. An environment free of curbs, signposts, delineators or parked cars, with sand traps and run offs created to make mistakes painless. Learning how to be a better rider, exploring your and your bike's limits and all while hopefully sharing it with friends. Here are just a few things that may make the preperation less stressful, help you enjoy it more and prevent some common mistakes that often cause trouble along the way. And by the way, a track day (un-timed, closed course event) is covered by most auto insurance should you 'oops'. Your health insurance covers you in the event it's needed. 

 

The event itself;

First off, a track day event is not a race. You do not have to worry about, "I'm not fast enough", or "I don't like competition" . There are groups for every level of rider from rank newb to veteran fast guy. There is no need to be intimidated or worry that, "I wont be able to poke along at my pace" because there is always someone else with your skill and mindset wanting to do the same thing.  The provider will have trackside corner workers (flaggers) and First Responders (ambulances) present for safety as well. There will also be Control Riders present in each group to control pace, assist with riding technique, nip goof-offs in the bud, show ride line and to give feedback on your performance. Don't be afraid to enlist their assistance or ask for tips or 'a tow'. They are there because they love to ride, love the track and want to help. Once at the track there will be a required Riders Meeting. Don't miss this. Here is your chance to ask your questions and make sure you feel comfortable with the proceedures, flagging, your gear, what ever. Track riding will usually take place in cycles, 3-20 minute sessions per hour and then cycle throughout the day. For instance Novice, Intermediate, Expert, Novice, Intermediate, Expert....all day. You will be on track for 20 minutes each hour then have 40 minutes off track to refresh, rehydrate, refuel, use the restroom or whatever. Don't worry, you will find that 20 minutes will kick your butt and you will need the full 40 minutes to recharge.

 

Once you decide to try it;

When you sign up for an event you will have to pick a group to ride in, usually classified as Novice, Intermediate & Expert, or something similar. Some times groups are split a step further too, Intermediate 1 and Intermediate 2 for iinstance. The event promoter will help you if you are confused about your level of riding. Unless you have some credentials that suggest otherwise the provider will usually put folks with no, or limited, track experience in Novice or Beginner. A seasoned track day rider or novice club racer is most likely in Intermediate. Where as expert club racers or track day veterans on bigger bikes would go into Expert or Fast, which ever the promoter uses to delineate faster riders. Keep in mind these classes are flexible and people frequently move up or down a class for various reasons. There are seperate rules in each Group that govern when, where and how passing is allowed to help with safety and let the beginners have fun at their level yet allow the folks in the Fast Group to stretch their throttle cables.

 

You, your bike and your gear;

You don't need a full hog 1000cc racebike or even a sportbike for that matter to enjoy a track day. Many folks have taken their Goldwings, standards, dirtbikes, or cruisers on track and had a hoot. The bike must be in good mechanical condition with no fluids leaking. Tires should have at least 50% tire tread and check and recheck tire pressures. Good functional front and rear brakes. Some track day providers require replacing the standard coolant with a track friendly variant like Water Wetter, Engine Ice, or simply plain distilled water. It will specify in their sign up packets what is required. Make sure all your controls operate freely and are in good condition. No frayed cables, duct taped case covers or flapping body work. Check and top off your oil and brake fluid levels. You will probably be required to remove license plates and mirrors and tape over lights to prevent sharp flying objects in the event of a crash.

 

Beginner protective gear normally consists of a riding suit of some sort. Generally doesn't have to be a one piece race suit. A two piece riding suit that zips together, made of leather or textile will usually fulfill the requirements. Boots that cover the ankle, full gauntlet gloves and a good helmet that fits. Back protectors are reccamended but usually optional for beginners. Higher levels frequently require better or more gear.

 

A minimal toolkit that allows adjusting controls, a gas can (cause you're gonna have a ton of fun and burn through the gas). A cooler with ice, water, sports drinks, fruit, lighter foods and refreshments make the day more enjoyable. Umbrella or pop up sun shelter is nice, a chair, sunscreen, hats, towels, and bug spray if needed completes your kit.  

 

 

 

It's really pretty easy. Pick a nearby track. Google up a track day provider at said track. Use their Web site or simply call the provided number and talk to them. They want you there and will do everything they can to make you a repeat track day hero!

 

Giddyup 

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r1limited

What no warning of Squids?  Oh ya thats right, nobody is a squid on the track ;)

Great write up, pretty spot on, thanks

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MiniFZ

Great post. This should probably be stickied, pinned or whatever it’s called these days. :)

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norcal616

I would also recommend if your not used to wearing full leathers in the heat, it would be a good idea to start getting acclimated weeks prior to to your track day... And drink lots of water, water and more water.. 

 

I have been "heat treated" for the past 11yrs from running brazing ovens which requires me to wear flame proof shirts/pants and a portable air filter full face mask...

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r1limited

One of the items I like about track days is to have one on one or one on group instructors.  Though I am a seasoned rider, getting back to a instructor based session and keeping your ears open and unlearn what you think you know, is the best you can do.  As mentioned its not about who has the biggest or baddest or fastest, everyone there is about improvement and learning.

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fzar
On 1/11/2019 at 1:30 PM, r1limited said:

Just read this article about CHAMP.  Nick Ienatsch as lead instructor is no slouch, many of the names you see in the articles are those aliens we all wonder about.

Any great article and in line with what are common mistakes made

 

https://www.cycleworld.com/new-year-riding-plan-from-professional-instructors

Good reading in that article, well worth reading as you can almost hear the frustration in the rider coaches comments. Thanks for the link.

 

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r1limited
2 hours ago, fzar said:

Good reading in that article, well worth reading as you can almost hear the frustration in the rider coaches comments. Thanks for the link.

I dont think it is frustration but more bewilderment.  I can agree

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Beemer
11 hours ago, r1limited said:

I dont think it is frustration but more bewilderment.  I can agree

I agree also but I think that the process of retraining each persons brain, since they all think differently, would be like negotiating the dual apex cones of the mind for the first time with each person which would cause jabbing, stabbing, flicking of the brain and thusly, the appearance of bewilderment, soon followed by frustration. There, soup is ready!! 👨‍🍳

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cornerslider
On 1/11/2019 at 12:43 AM, MiniFZ said:

Great post. This should probably be stickied, pinned or whatever it’s called these days. :)

I agree on the stickied/pinned idea. I know Mossrider personally, and he's always willing to help anyone get "on track" that wants to 😎-

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elmo

Just received e-flier from Z2, a track day sponsor with a cover photo of an FZ-07.

These are a great group of guys, and provide the best 1 on 1 coaching free if you request it.1st track day is Feb 11th.

 

609849721_Z2-1sttrackdayoftheyearflyerwithFZ-07.thumb.jpg.ad7afc99e5a7a7e807c4d52ba25cc91b.jpg

Edited by elmo

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RojoRacing

Yup any bike can be fun at a track day so don't be shy, they'll fit you into one of the typical 3 classes.  Don't worry about being faster or slower then anyone out there, riding predictable and safe is your only concern.  The average track day rider is faster then most riders you find on the street and the fastest riders in the A group are still 10 seconds slower then a top regional racer. 

For me in the past I would hate track days because it meant nothing but frustration trying to dial in the bike setup while passing 4-5 riders a lap and totally blowing my lines.  A few years back I took my ninja 250 commuter bike to a track day and with special permission and a warning to the other riders before hand I was allowed to enter the A class.  The closing speeds of the 1000's is too great when riding a ninja 250 that you can't risk having someone unpredictable on the slow bike.  I ended up having a blast and aside from the massive speed difference on the straits I ended up lapping around the same times as average riders in the class.  I wonder how the 07 would do if I took it out to a track day, would it be just right to still have fun or would it be too fast and be like the old days as a racer dealing with traffic.  I'd think it would be quite fun if I could just get some larger rotors on the bike to really get the bike floating around late on the brakes. 

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cornerslider
3 hours ago, elmo said:

Just received from e-flier from Z2, a track day sponsor with a cover photo of FZ-07.

These are a great group of guys, and provide the best 1 on 1 coaching free if you request it.1st track day is Feb 11th.

 

609849721_Z2-1sttrackdayoftheyearflyerwithFZ-07.thumb.jpg.ad7afc99e5a7a7e807c4d52ba25cc91b.jpg

What a great pic!!! I'm assuming that is a female rider with serious skills 😎.... Appears to be riding on street tires (Dunlop Q3's)? NICE!!!! 👍

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fzar
1 hour ago, RojoRacing said:

Yup any bike can be fun at a track day so don't be shy, they'll fit you into one of the typical 3 classes.  Don't worry about being faster or slower then anyone out there, riding predictable and safe is your only concern.  The average track day rider is faster then most riders you find on the street and the fastest riders in the A group are still 10 seconds slower then a top regional racer. 

For me in the past I would hate track days because it meant nothing but frustration trying to dial in the bike setup while passing 4-5 riders a lap and totally blowing my lines.  A few years back I took my ninja 250 commuter bike to a track day and with special permission and a warning to the other riders before hand I was allowed to enter the A class.  The closing speeds of the 1000's is too great when riding a ninja 250 that you can't risk having someone unpredictable on the slow bike.  I ended up having a blast and aside from the massive speed difference on the straits I ended up lapping around the same times as average riders in the class.  I wonder how the 07 would do if I took it out to a track day, would it be just right to still have fun or would it be too fast and be like the old days as a racer dealing with traffic.  I'd think it would be quite fun if I could just get some larger rotors on the bike to really get the bike floating around late on the brakes. 

I saw your youtube video at Laguna seca, it was interesting how you were catching and passing in the corners (mad skills) nothing you can do about the straights!! Do you instruct people at track-days? and would you consider doing a round of Moto-America in the twins class? @RojoRacing

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RojoRacing

I used to instruct people by request but it’s been years since I did any of that. Even that day when I had the 250 at laguna I had a few people ask me to instruct them on course but I had to turn them down because it would have been impossible a bike that couldn’t  match their pace turn by turn.

 

In a side show class like the formula twins(apologies to those who race it seriously) I’d probably do pretty well on equal bikes because you’re not getting world class riders in that field. Sadly that class has a pretty steep entry point when it comes to the median amount of mods needed to race that class. I doubt I’d fair too well on a stock street bike like I did on the ninja 250. 

 

I was able to win races each of the two times I came out of retirement but those were regional level events so nothing to brag about. The more interesting one was when I borrowed bodywork for the 250 and raced chuckwalla one time. I only won one of 3 races I did that weekend but I’m pretty sure I was the only rider in the top 10 on stock suspension which was a massive handicap when trying to brake into the corners and corner entry.  I think my friends who convinced me to race it were trolling me when I ask if stock suspension would be good enough to race, because they were laughing when I showed they how much front end chatter I was getting. 

 

Maybe be one day I’ll take the O7 out for a track day in stock trim and see how well it corners. If I can do some decent lap times I’d consider trolling the local races for a single random weekend.  

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Beemer
14 hours ago, cornerslider said:

What a great pic!!! I'm assuming that is a female rider with serious skills 😎.... Appears to be riding on street tires (Dunlop Q3's)? NICE!!!! 👍

Not a female, it's …….

 

 

 

Dr. Pepper dude.jpg

 

 

 

the Dr. Pepper dude all pumped up on Dr. P.

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Evill_Ed
15 hours ago, cornerslider said:

What a great pic!!! I'm assuming that is a female rider with serious skills 😎.... Appears to be riding on street tires (Dunlop Q3's)? NICE!!!! 👍

Female Yes. Tyler Jane Bronson

 

 

Here's a video.

 

Ed

 

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elmo

Nice and thanks for sharing, great job working through the pack.

Most of the lime vest are the available Z2 instructors, enjoying the day.

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fishtaco

Its awesome to see her on that fz07 scoot and bogie down the track while passing  a lot of people....nice!

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r1limited
4 hours ago, Evill_Ed said:

Female Yes. Tyler Jane Bronson

 

 

Here's a video.

 

Ed

 

This cannot be B group, or those back markers should be in C!!!  if it is then she cherry picked and this is one bad thing about "SOME" track day promoters, they will allow the favorites/regulars to kind of oops get into classes they need not belong

 

But I digress, Most all Track day promoters are pretty good at keep out the cherry pickers, hot dogs and nincom poops.  They will be talked to to, reprimanded and or kicked out.  Occasionally you see over aggressive riding as is naturally anticipated once you are on the track.  case in point, HOW MANY OF YOU, started picking lines and re-enacting as if you are on the FZ?  Your Adrenalin gets pumping and ya start thinking wrong, good example of what Track days are all about

Edited by r1limited

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sorkyah
6 hours ago, Evill_Ed said:

Female Yes. Tyler Jane Bronson

 

 

Here's a video.

 

Ed

 

@Tyler Jane is lurking around on here somewhere 

 

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elmo
4 hours ago, r1limited said:

This cannot be B group, or those back markers should be in C!!!  if it is then she cherry picked and this is one bad thing about "SOME" track day promoters, they will allow the favorites/regulars to kind of oops get into classes they need not belong

 

But I digress, Most all Track day promoters are pretty good at keep out the cherry pickers, hot dogs and nincom poops.  They will be talked to to, reprimanded and or kicked out.  Occasionally you see over aggressive riding as is naturally anticipated once you are on the track.  case in point, HOW MANY OF YOU, started picking lines and re-enacting as if you are on the FZ?  Your Adrenalin gets pumping and ya start thinking wrong, good example of what Track days are all about

There is a big B sign as she goes past the starter.

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r1limited
1 minute ago, elmo said:

There is a big B sign as she goes past the starter.

I saw that, I have been to Z track days, as I noted either those back markers being passed were C grads or really slow B riders.  My personal experience is all I am going by, but I have not been on a track day for a few years, So I guess riders are just slower now ;)

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blackout
35 minutes ago, r1limited said:

I saw that, I have been to Z track days, as I noted either those back markers being passed were C grads or really slow B riders.  My personal experience is all I am going by, but I have not been on a track day for a few years, So I guess riders are just slower now ;)

 

passed by girl.jpg

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r1limited
13 minutes ago, blackout said:

 

passed by girl.jpg

Been there done that, even had an instructor that was a gal.    Er uh wait let me be clear, one of my Track Day instructors was a very proficient racer who happened to be a gal, she, female, binary 0, fast chic in leathers

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