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xcarbonsteelx

Track Days?

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xcarbonsteelx
School me on this.
 
Purpose? General cost? Pro? Cons?
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- xCarbonSteelx

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xcarbonsteelx
Thank you for the thorough explanation.
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- xCarbonSteelx

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2wheeldynoworks
It's a great way to safely learn your bikes limits, your own, and where you can learn to become a safer, more confident rider.

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pgeldz
I was going to weigh in here but it looks like @zombiphone just about covered it.
 
I started doing track days last year and got hooked ever since. I didn't have the luxury of a transport vehicle though so I rode to and from the track with full gear and backpack. I kept some basic tools in the backpack as well as some Blue painters' tape to remove my mirrors, tape up my lights, etc.
 
Don't get me wrong...having a transport vehicle is worlds better but if your just starting off it's a big investment if you don't own such a vehicle. It CAN be done without one so I wouldn't say it's a necessity, but or me what I do think is a necessity is to use the buddy system.
 
Even if you have a transport vehicle I'd make sure someone goes with you. Or at the very least, ensure there is someone at the track that you can count on if something goes wrong.
 
But like @zombiphone said, it's a lot more simple than most people think. The first one I did was with the California Superbike School, using all their equipment (gear and bikes). I learned more in their 2 day school than I have in all of my 30 years of riding. It was well worth it.
 
:)
 
- Paulie
 
 
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zombiphone
Going without track transport is less of an added luxury when your bike isn't street legal and doesn't have a kickstand anymore, haha. But yeah, it's definitely possible to go without one if you're using your streetbike. I've always traveled to the track solo whether doing a trackday or racing since I started all that about 6 years ago, but if you have a friend that can be your track transport or safety net instead, then by all means that works too. Just make sure you have SOME form of contingency in the event that your bike is no longer ride-able by the end of the day, which is always a real possibility. But if you own a 4 wheeled vehicle at all, I'd definitely say try to have transport still. And when I say any 4 wheeled vehicle "at all", well- This is my rig:
 
1601246_10204102583102943_3779240142173873394_n.jpg?oh=4d260e969cbcc1329263446827f117e9&oe=573E8D8A
 
If you don't know anyone at all who can help you with this (I didn't know a soul who rode or owned a truck before I started doing trackdays, personally), you'll definitely meet plenty of friendly people at the track. I went from not knowing anyone, to knowing a huge range of people in multiple states who have my back whenever I'm out there (And I'm a super shy, nerdy introvert, haha).
 
That might be the absolute biggest pro of doing trackdays. Motorcycle people are the best people :)
 
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Published 'Chronicles of a Motorcycle Gypsy' a book about my travels on the FZ, and a writer for Motorcyclist Magazine

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pgeldz
 
That might be the absolute biggest pro of doing trackdays. Motorcycle people are the best people :)

I agree 100% 
:)
 
- Paulie
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sorkyah
gonna save up a bit for the next season... need suspension and tires.... leathers... and boots
i really would love to get into tracking the bike and perhaps eventually racing
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ATGATT... ATTATT, two acronyms I live by.
 

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Geteup
I am about 3 hours from Jennings GP. I brought the R1 when i had it back in 2007. It does take an initial investment for the right equipment to go on track but imo the best fun and learning experience you can have on 2 wheels.

87' Honda VFR 700 F2 (sold)
03' Honda CBR F4I (donated)
05' Yamaha R1 (sold)
15' FZ-o7

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07echelon
If you do get into an accident on the track, would insurance cover the cost of replacing the bike if you have full coverage (collision and comprehensive)?
 
My guess is no, since it's a private event and not on state/federal streets. But wouldn't collision cover it since it would be an accident caused by you? Anyone care to clarify?

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so1102
If you do get into an accident on the track, would insurance cover the cost of replacing the bike if you have full coverage (collision and comprehensive)? 
My guess is no, since it's a private event and not on state/federal streets. But wouldn't collision cover it since it would be an accident caused by you? Anyone care to clarify?
Best person to ask that question of is your insurance agent ;)

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cybmx
If you do get into an accident on the track, would insurance cover the cost of replacing the bike if you have full coverage (collision and comprehensive)? 
My guess is no, since it's a private event and not on state/federal streets. But wouldn't collision cover it since it would be an accident caused by you? Anyone care to clarify?
Best person to ask that question of is your insurance agent ;)
 
I don't know about other insurance companies, but GEICO will drop you right away if you ever mention "track" or related words to them.

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pattonme
for insurance claims it's always best to characterize it as a "training event hosted at a closed venue" if they even ask. IMO you should be prepared to eat the first $1000 in repairs and only make a claim if your bike is truly mangled. Insurance companies pay out all day long for people wadding their bikes on Muhalland and such so they shouldn't be casting a baleful eye your way.
 
And don't bother restoring your bike to "showroom" glory. Live with the cosmetic character.
 
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gregjet
Zombiephone , pretty much nailed it. I would add that the "basic tools" mentioned ISN'T a shifter and a screwdriver. In fact it is more than even spanners and a hammer.
"basic tools" at the track means the tools you would use most at the track. this will include specialist tools you need to ADJUST you bike.
I would include the following as basic track tools:
Tyre pump.
ACCURATE tyre gauge with increments that are easily seen in PSI ( or whichever unit you prefer). I used a 4Wheel drive 90mm gauge with 1psi increments about 2mm apart that the minimium pressure is 10psi or lower. Ensure the valve fitting is capable of getting to YOUR bikes tyre valves.
The specific tools you need to adjust you suspension front and back. eg. shock spanner and the correct allen key if the shock ring has a allen key lock. Screwdrivers and spanners that fit any adjustments on your forks and/or shock. Shifters are NOT an option if you want you aluminium fittings to last. Shock pump if you have adjustable gas piston front and or rear.
FULL set of correct allen keys, torx, blade and phillips screwdrives as required.
Small multimeter. Doesn't have to be fancy. Mostly you want to know continuity or if something is getting full voltage or battery has full charge. Watched one a guy work for over an hour trying to get his bike working between races . No spark he said. Walked over with the multimeter and battery was fine, no spark at the coils. He had pulled the fuse but it looked fine. TESTED the fuse. Dead. New fuse, bike started first hit.
 
I would add. If you are going to continue with this fun ride to poverty ( time AND money), if you can't afford a separate bike for track and road, make all you unnecessaries quick release. Whole rear tail light assembly, whole front light assemblu, blinkers , rear seat ( if fitted)etc. You usually have to modify the cabelling, routing and often change the fixings to make them more able to take constant on/off . eg chuck phillips heads and replace with allen heads. Cheap swap that will make change over faster and more reliable.
You may even find you don't ride street anymore, then you can have a dedicated track bike . Once I started racing, I don't think I rode my street bike more than a handful of times until I got a girlfriend who lived in the next city 350km away. Even then , after being on the track where everybody pretty much knows what they are doing, the real street becomes more than a bit scarey. You also don't have to insure it ( ie CAN'T insure it).
Oh, and by the way, if you stop, withdrawal symptoms are a bitch. I had to move 1000km to a town where there is no track for 100's of km to go cold turkey. Thinking of writing a book called " The Rider's Progress"
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Go forth and modify my son...go forth and modify...

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zombiphone
Seconded on all of that (Also make sure you have whatever tools/socket sizes you need to pull your tires as a basic). Although, worst case, if you realize you don't have everything you need (Like, say, if you left half your tool bag in your garage on accident after driving 200 miles to chuckwalla and realize you have a clogged carburetor and have to completely disassemble fucking everything to make your bike run for your race, so you end up having to ask some of your competitors buddies who you pit next to for help. I mean, as a completely arbitrary reference that I've totally never experienced, of course :P) track people are usually very very helpful, so don't stress too much if you don't have everything you could possibly need yet. The track may be located in no man's land, but there will be plenty of people happy to help a newb
 
Also extreme seconded on withdrawal- part of why I don't know if I could ever leave california is having, like, 7 different tracks for big bikes or minis within 200 miles of me and year round trackdays and racing, haha. We all joke about it being an addiction, but.... for real. However addicted you are to street riding, it's that times a million. Like trading in your pixie sticks for cocaine
 
Also also on it making the street a lot more scary and/or just less appealing. I never thought I would lose interest in the street when I first started, but getting taken out and breaking my finger and getting a really bad exhaust burn on my daily commute one week before I was supposed to drive 450 miles north for a race with AFM put into perspective where my priorities were pretty quick (I refused a cast and still made the race, however painful that was, but I stopped riding street after that and went full dedicated track only, only dusting off my street bike for special occasions). I bought the FZ to try to bring back that excitement for street riding and to satiate my wanderlust, which it's doing a great job of, but don't be surprised if suddenly cars seem more sketchy, that twisty canyon stops seeming like the be all end all of a good time, and commuting on a freeway full of pissed of drivers starts seeming not worth the risk. Not everyone feels this way after going to the track, but I would definitely say an overwhelming majority of my racer friends all came to the same conclusion after a few years and don't ride street anymore.
 
So yeah. 100% everything he said, haha
 
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Published 'Chronicles of a Motorcycle Gypsy' a book about my travels on the FZ, and a writer for Motorcyclist Magazine

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potatochips
Some pretty good posts here, maybe too much info, but that's good. Don't make too much out of your first time, or you'll never go. Just get the gear and whatever bike setup the org requires (decent life left on tires). You shouldn't need many tools or anything really, a canopy and a chair. You don't need to worry about suspension setup (stock FZ only has rear preload anyway, maybe raising the forks) or fine tuning anything, just take it easy your first time.
 
Personally, I wouldn't ride to a track day, but if you have no option, do it.
 
If nothing else, just show up to a track day as a spectator to see how everything works, meet some of the people, get their advice.
 
Regarding insurance, a big factor seems to be if it is a timed event (which track days aren't, even if people track their lap times), but every company/policy is different, check yours.
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gregjet
" 7 different tracks for big bikes or minis within 200 miles of me and year round trackdays and racing, haha"
...SHUT UP...JUST SHUT UP... sobs pathetically and curls into fetal position on floor...
 
Oh forgot... WATER LOTS OF WATER! You lose huge amounts in leathers even just standing around unless it is really cold. Dehydration seriously effects you mental alertness.
 
 
Good point in previous post. If you can and you are racing go to the track and volunteer ( or get paid. I guess nobody does anything for free in the US) to be a flaggie. NOTHING will teach you as many things as fast. Rules, requirements, lines, who is fast and who is an aggro dangerous rider, and most of all appreciation for the track officials. They really do care about your safety. You get to see the riding closer than anything except riding and with a better overall view.
 
 
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Go forth and modify my son...go forth and modify...

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N/A
Wow, what a wonderfully informative thread. Congratulations to zombiphone and gregjet and all other contributors, I'm genuinely impressed. :)
 
007

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captainmay
Everything that has been said so far is very accurate.  I don't have much more to add except a couple things. Like someone said, you may not even be very interested in riding the street after doing a couple track days. Street riding just doesn't seem as safe, and if I had the time and money to only to do track days and get my riding fix, I would. But I don't have enough of either, so I still ride the street. Don't be surprised if your first track day seems confusing, nerve racking, and generally stressful, along with some fun.  You're learning how a track day works just as much as you're learning new riding skills.  But it's like anything, once you learn how it works, you will enjoy it.
If you're even thinking about it, I would scheduled at least one for the upcoming season to see how you like it.  If you post up what part of the country you're in, I'm sure you'll get a lot of recommendations on organizations.  I know from my experience they are not all the same, some a much much better than others. 
Finally, it can't be stressed enough that you need to drink as much water as possible the day before and the day of a track day.  Its extremely hot and you're covered from head to toe in heavy leather or a helmet.   
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gregjet
CaptainMay , sir!
I would be hoping that someone at a track day would in leathers AND a helmet, though it could be interesting without the former. LOL

Go forth and modify my son...go forth and modify...

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sorkyah
CaptainMay , sir! I would be hoping that someone at a track day would in leathers AND a helmet, though it could be interesting without the former. LOL
I picture an fz going around the track in full leathers and a set of pilot style WWII era goggles

ATGATT... ATTATT, two acronyms I live by.
 

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gregjet
Gentleman's motorcycle ride. T.E. Lawerence would be proud.

Go forth and modify my son...go forth and modify...

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darrooh
Just signed up for my first one in June. Through ride smart at cresson motorsport ranch. They have a special for first timers, half off and free rental of suit and boots! Can't wait. MotoGP in austin then track day for my birthday gift to myself. Gonna be a good year!

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captainmay
CaptainMay , sir! I would be hoping that someone at a track day would in leathers AND a helmet, though it could be interesting without the former. LOL
Haha ok ok. That didn't come out quite like I meant for it to. The point is you're going to be very hot and you need to hydrate before and during a track day lol
 

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