Thinking of riding the track? - Suzuki GSX-R Motorcycle Forums Gixxer.com

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post #1 of 94 (permalink) Old 10-16-2003, 01:25 AM Thread Starter
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Thinking of riding the track?

Ok since there seems to be an influx of people seeing the light and heading up to track days I thought I would start up a post to help you out.
Riding the track is a much more fun experience IMO than riding on the street. Many riders give up on the street after a few track days. The feeling of taking your machine to its and your limits is an amazing experience.
First off contact your local track and find out when the track days are scheduled. Be sure to ask what requirements need to be met.
Here is a basic list of what most tracks *usually* require, again contact them to be sure.
Bike Prep
1. New or basically new tire. I would suggest getting some race tires, they will help out so much with your cornering speed it is not even funny.
2. Remove your mirrors, tape up lights. This usually is track to track. Some want you to take off your signals and mirrors completely, some just want taping. As far as taping up is concerned I would suggest getting colored duct tape. It seems to come off easier than the silver kind. I would not worry about making the tape really pretty, especially over your headlights; it is easier to take off if the tape is not flush over the lights. Also UNPLUG your lights; the duct tape will melt onto your upper. Disengage your brake light, and signals too! No one wants to see your signals blinking lap after lap nor your brake lights
3. Some tracks require full race bodywork. Basically they want a lower that will hold oil if you go down or your drain plug comes off.
4. Safteywire. This is when you must drill the heads of certain bolts on your bike then safteywire them together so if it comes loose it will not go flying at the guy behind you at 100mph. Safteywiring is an easy but time consuming process, but if you don't want things coming off the bike it is a good idea.
5. Get your suspension set up for your weight before the track day. Sure your suspension may feel fine for street riding with your girl but you are going to be putting it through the ringer at the track, your riding will be greatly increased with a tuned up suspension.
6. Steering Damper. Most tracks will require you have a working one. Tank slappers do happen a lot at the track, be sure your damper is in good working order.
7. Remove your license plate.
8. Change your oil, oil filter, clean/change air filter, check torque specs on all bodywork and outer bolts is a good idea.
9. If your track day requires you to go through tech, save yourself the headache and clean your engine before hand, make sure you have no oil leaks. Tech really loves a clean and tidy engine and bike, help them out and help you out.
10. I would suggest taping over your speedo too, it is a distraction and you do not need to know what your indicated speed is.
11. Be sure to find out if you need to replace your coolant with water. Some tracks require this.
You and your gear
Gear
1. Suit. 1 or 2 piece are usually fine. The 2 piece must zip completely around your waist.
2. Back protector. Not the foam pad in the back of your jacket but an underlying back protector.
3. Full Face SNELL approved helmet. Be sure to find out what year they want minimum. Some ask for 5 years or newer, some 10 years or newer.
4. Gloves. Gauntlet style road racing gloves.
5. Boots. Road race style boots.
7. Knee pucks. You may not drag on your first track day but make sure you have them!
Pit stuff
1. Air pressure gauge. I like the digital ones, small cheap and accurate. Your air pressure will be set much lower than street settings. If your track has trackside vendors talk to the tire man of your choice and see what they recommend. As a blanket idea of pressure on a warm day you will run around 30psi if not a little lower depending on weight, bike, temp ect. Check the pressure when the tires are COLD.
2. Race stands. You can use your side stand but it is better for your tires to lift the bike up after each session. Your tires become VERY soft when they are being balled up. Also remember to turn your tires right after you get into the pits a couple times. Your brake pads will be very hot and can warp your disk if you leave them in the same position for any long period of time.
4. Shade. Pop up shades are nice, back of the trailer, somewhere to get out of the sun.
5. LIQUIDS. Very important. Drink lots of water and Gatorade. Dehydration sucks.
6. Tools, bring a good socket set, wrenches, torque wrench, Service manual, extra duct tape ect. Sucks being without tools when you need them.
7. Food. You need to eat. lol
8. Notepad. You will learn a lot talking to others, it is good to take notes.
9. A buddy. VERY helpful. Bring a camera; they can take pictures of you during your sessions. Picts and video is also helpful when you go home, you can see how your body position is going.
10. Emergency contact sheet. Have it on you at all times. Just in case ya know, you are riding very fast with others doing the same thing, wrecks happen.
11. Gas can. One of those big 5 gal+ cans. You will go through at least one tank, again if there is a trackside vendor get some racing fuel!
12. Fire extinguisher. Most tracks require one to be in each pit and visible, don't toss it under a bunch of junk.
13. Seats, bring a lawn chair or two.
14. Pit bike. Bicycle, scooter, pocket bike ect. Sucks walking end to end in the pits in leathers.
15. Money, bring some extra cash in case you need more food, gas, parts ect.

The night before your track day make a checklist. Go over each thing and make 100% sure you have it with you. It really sucks forgetting things.
That is all I can think of right now, be sure to add anything else I forgot.
I highly recommend anyone with at least a year of experience on the street take a track day or a race class. They may be pricey but IMO it is money WELL spent. This is what sportbikes are really made for, experience it in a controlled environment!


Flesh


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post #2 of 94 (permalink) Old 10-16-2003, 01:38 AM
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Re: Thinking of riding the track?

Yu da man, Flesh
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post #3 of 94 (permalink) Old 10-16-2003, 01:44 AM
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Re: Thinking of riding the track?

Excellent write up Fleshy...I only have done one track day so far(see thread in this forum) and already I'm hooked. Cain't wait to go back on the 31st.
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post #4 of 94 (permalink) Old 10-16-2003, 01:53 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Thinking of riding the track?

Quote:
1qwik6? said:

Excellent write up Fleshy...I only have done one track day so far(see thread in this forum) and already I'm hooked. Cain't wait to go back on the 31st.
I was pretty close to calling in today and heading out to the track. Gotta try out da new race springs soon!

Congrads man, welcome to poverty!!!!
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post #5 of 94 (permalink) Old 10-16-2003, 03:03 AM
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Re: Thinking of riding the track?

I have a question....I can't seem to find the Peddles on my 750....can you help me..???
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post #6 of 94 (permalink) Old 10-16-2003, 03:10 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Thinking of riding the track?

Quote:
Hammer 4 said:

I have a question....I can't seem to find the Peddles on my 750....can you help me..???
Put your bi-focals on

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post #7 of 94 (permalink) Old 10-16-2003, 08:59 AM
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Re: Thinking of riding the track?

Quote:
Jon T. Flesh said:

Quote:
Hammer 4 said:

I have a question....I can't seem to find the Peddles on my 750....can you help me..???
Put your bi-focals on


Thank you Mr. Flesh......I don't know what I'd do if you weren't here to give such insightful advice...Thank you, thank you.....
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post #8 of 94 (permalink) Old 10-20-2003, 02:49 AM
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Re: Thinking of riding the track?

Another thing I thought of...sunscreen...especially for those who go to watch...I was out at Pocono last week to watch a bunch of my buddies run...next day my head, face and neck were a lil sunburned...and this is Oct.
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post #9 of 94 (permalink) Old 10-20-2003, 03:59 AM
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Re: Thinking of riding the track?

Quote:
1qwik6? said:

Another thing I thought of...sunscreen...especially for those who go to watch...I was out at Pocono last week to watch a bunch of my buddies run...next day my head, face and neck were a lil sunburned...and this is Oct.
Absolutely. You should see the back of your neck after a day in July. Bring yer sunscreen.
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post #10 of 94 (permalink) Old 10-21-2003, 12:46 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Thinking of riding the track?

Quote:
1qwik6? said:

Another thing I thought of...sunscreen...especially for those who go to watch...I was out at Pocono last week to watch a bunch of my buddies run...next day my head, face and neck were a lil sunburned...and this is Oct.
Yeah that is a good call. I corner worked a few weeks ago and got burned bigtime.
Sunscreen and sunglasses a must.
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post #11 of 94 (permalink) Old 12-13-2003, 04:39 AM
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Re: Thinking of riding the track?

your sig. reminds me of another, ear plugs
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post #12 of 94 (permalink) Old 01-09-2004, 10:28 PM
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Re: Thinking of riding the track?

Virgin post here goes.
Trackdays are the go for sure l did one about 18months ago. l had just been scratching on the road with mates and had a few close calls,thought l'd give a trackday a try. Now the bikes off the road and l'm doing my second race meeting next month!
The only other tip l can think of is leave your ego at the gate, l've seen a couple of guys go down on there first day trying to keep up. Just go at your own pace the speed will come.[l;m still waiting!]
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post #13 of 94 (permalink) Old 01-10-2004, 01:24 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Thinking of riding the track?

Quote:
Austgixxer said:
Virgin post here goes.
Trackdays are the go for sure l did one about 18months ago. l had just been scratching on the road with mates and had a few close calls,thought l'd give a trackday a try. Now the bikes off the road and l'm doing my second race meeting next month!
The only other tip l can think of is leave your ego at the gate, l've seen a couple of guys go down on there first day trying to keep up. Just go at your own pace the speed will come.[l;m still waiting!]
Welcome to the site dude!
Good to see another rider taking the poverty yet fun way off the street
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post #14 of 94 (permalink) Old 01-12-2004, 11:29 AM
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Re: Thinking of riding the track?

Looks good i would agree with everything on the list . the only thing that i would add is i have been to some tracks and they want you to remove side stand all together some do and some dont. Your are right after the frist track day i was hooked i wanted to keep going back and back and i found myself riding on the street less. to where now i hardly ride on the street the track is a lot more fun. I like going to the track some much that i started racing. The street; it will kill ya. keep the squids off the street, support racing.
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post #15 of 94 (permalink) Old 01-20-2004, 04:01 PM
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Re: Thinking of riding the track?

Awsome advice . This is my first post so as you guessed it, here come the questions.

"First off contact your local track and find out when the track days are scheduled. "
1. Where are the tracks and how do I contact people there? I live in Mississippi, no track real close to me. I know that I will have to travel a long ways for most tracks.
2. Could someone give me a list of tracks in an 18 hour radius?

"Be sure to ask what requirements need to be met."
3. I assume there are specific people that I will need to talk to. Is there an organization that holds these events or is it done strickly through each track?

4. I read somewhere that certain covers are required to be thicker than stock i.e. stator and such, is this so and which ones?

"Safteywire. This is when you must drill the heads of certain bolts on your bike then safteywire them together so if it comes loose it will not go flying at the guy behind you at 100mph."
5. Are there specific bolts that must be done? If not which one's are a good idea to do this too?

"Steering Damper. Most tracks will require you have a working one. Tank slappers do happen a lot at the track, be sure your damper is in good working order."
6. I have an '01 600, is the stock one addiquit or do i have to have one like the ohlins one?

I have spent several hours so far browsing through this forum and all the searchs that I have done have not helped. If there is a specific site that I can go to or a book to get please let me know.
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post #16 of 94 (permalink) Old 01-21-2004, 03:32 AM
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Re: Thinking of riding the track?

www.nesba.com
One of the largest track day organizations in the US.
Are you close to birmingham al, if so, barber, arguably the best track in the us is there.
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post #17 of 94 (permalink) Old 01-21-2004, 05:25 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Thinking of riding the track?

Quote:
catfish77 said:
Awsome advice . This is my first post so as you guessed it, here come the questions.

"First off contact your local track and find out when the track days are scheduled. "
1. Where are the tracks and how do I contact people there? I live in Mississippi, no track real close to me. I know that I will have to travel a long ways for most tracks.
2. Could someone give me a list of tracks in an 18 hour radius?

"Be sure to ask what requirements need to be met."
3. I assume there are specific people that I will need to talk to. Is there an organization that holds these events or is it done strickly through each track?

4. I read somewhere that certain covers are required to be thicker than stock i.e. stator and such, is this so and which ones?

"Safteywire. This is when you must drill the heads of certain bolts on your bike then safteywire them together so if it comes loose it will not go flying at the guy behind you at 100mph."
5. Are there specific bolts that must be done? If not which one's are a good idea to do this too?

"Steering Damper. Most tracks will require you have a working one. Tank slappers do happen a lot at the track, be sure your damper is in good working order."
6. I have an '01 600, is the stock one addiquit or do i have to have one like the ohlins one?

I have spent several hours so far browsing through this forum and all the searchs that I have done have not helped. If there is a specific site that I can go to or a book to get please let me know.
I will try and answer some of your questions. Looks like your track ones were answered thugh

As for who to contact. Usually the track has a phone number, just call them and see what they say.

Case covers should be a must when you goto the track. Look for NRC, Woodcraft or Facotory. You will just need the left and right side covers. They hold up usually for multiple crashes

Saftey wire. Pretty much any external bolts need to be safteywired in. Pinch bolts, banjo bolts ect.

Your stock damper will be fine


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post #18 of 94 (permalink) Old 01-21-2004, 02:37 PM
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Re: Thinking of riding the track?

Kick A$$!! That was exactly what I was looking for. Thanks guys.
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post #19 of 94 (permalink) Old 01-22-2004, 08:48 AM
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Re: Thinking of riding the track?

Quote:
catfish77 said:
Kick A$$!! That was exactly what I was looking for. Thanks guys.
There is also another track that is near shreveport, red line....(something, I will get the correct name back to you tomorrow) Also since you are willing to Drive 18 hours??? Check out the site www.cmraracing.com that is the organization in the south that has produced some world class racers.

Like the pisser man said, welcome to poverty, and if you ain't draggin scheit.......you ain't scheit........holla
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post #20 of 94 (permalink) Old 01-22-2004, 03:21 PM
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Re: Thinking of riding the track?

Yeah, I really will consider driving that far. I know that once I start going to the track I will be hooked. The reason being, every time I get on my bike I want to push it to the max. I just get that urge, ya know, not wheelies and stuntin just full on balls to the wall riding. I had heard that there was one in LA. I thought that it was around New Orleans but I don't really know. Not many people know about stuff like that around here. There is one guy by the name of Joe Camacho, rode with him once. Said that he used to race, had leathers and pics and all that sort of stuff. Thanks again for all of the links! I think I'm just going to watch the first couple "track days". Kinda get the feel for it also, my bike is not set up yet. Ahhh, poverty is the life for me!

Almost forgot, one more question. Someone had told me that you have to hvae a special oil filter, is this so? They said something about it having to be taped, maybe for a drain? Hell if I know the reason.
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