First Track Day - Suzuki GSX-R Motorcycle Forums Gixxer.com

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post #1 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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First Track Day

First off, thanks for all of the information in the stickies.

I'm taking my L5 600 for our first track day outside of Houston through Ride Smart in May (maybe sooner). It is actually their Level 1 course. Really looking forward to this experience. My ultimate goal is to become a club racer down the road. The biggest thing now is to spend time on the track. I have also been looking into suspension and how/when to adjust it to my preferences.

In regards to insurance, I know that I am covered since this is not a timed event/competition. What I am uncertain of is whether or not "racing" requires any form of insurance or if you pay out of pocket for damages. Just curious how that worked. I have done a forum search but haven't dug anything up on the subject.
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post #2 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 11:21 AM
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Re: First Track Day

Double check with your insurance, as I know some companies don't care even if it isn't a timed event. Anything on the track and they won't cover it. Some insurance companies do cover schools if they are on the track, so it is best to double check.

As for racing, there is no insurance that will cover that. Don't take anything to a race you can't walk away from. I had someone take me out in T3 up at Loudon back in like 2008, after I had just finished building my K6 1000 race bike. That was over $15k down the drain.

Your best bet when and if you do start racing is to buy a cheap, already prepped race bike for under $5k. Then even if you throw it down the track, it won't be that big of a loss.
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post #3 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
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Re: First Track Day

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Double check with your insurance, as I know some companies don't care even if it isn't a timed event.
Being paranoid about that, I called my insurance company and verified with two different representatives. I am in fact covered under my policy I am going to do a more in depth reading of my entire policy though...

Buying a cheap race bike would definitely be my option. I looked and found plenty floating around. One step at a time!

Thanks for the info. That's what I was assuming, given the lack of discussion.
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post #4 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 11:37 AM
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Re: First Track Day

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Being paranoid about that, I called my insurance company and verified with two different representatives. I am in fact covered under my policy I am going to do a more in depth reading of my entire policy though...

Buying a cheap race bike would definitely be my option. I looked and found plenty floating around. One step at a time!

Thanks for the info. That's what I was assuming, given the lack of discussion.
Here is a great place for used track bikes: Bikes for Sale | 13x Forums
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post #5 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 01:00 PM
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Re: First Track Day

Sorry OP for off topic question, but dont want to clog up forums with another first track day thread for a single question..

How do tracks feel if you rent a uhaul to trailer your bike in? Im going to buy a trailer down the road, but a nice one in the size/style im looking for is around $4000 new, which is out of this broke college kid's (yours truly) budget right now...
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post #6 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 01:03 PM
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Re: First Track Day

No one cares how you get there, as long as you get there. I rented a UHaul for my first few track days.

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post #7 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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Re: First Track Day

Definitely using UHaul. I don't have the gall to try to load my bike into the bed of my truck...
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post #8 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 01:39 PM
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Re: First Track Day

For 1-day trips, we mostly used u-hauls for $15/day for a two-bike unit and no worries about buying it, parking / storing, plating, insuring - nada. For a weekend, I'd sometimes rent an econoline, which is good for two bikes and all your gear too, plus two can sleep in there (air mattresses) when the bikes are outside.

No-brainer for a casual hobby (8-10 times a year). If you're going all the time, I guess that's a different story.


It's a lot like women. Unless you're getting a LOT of use out of 'em, you're better-off renting.

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post #9 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 02:25 PM
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Re: First Track Day

OP you are going to love Ride Smart, they are a fantastic organization.

I did my first track day with them and considered it more of a "school" than a pure track day.

You will have a 50/50 split of class and track time along with periods of you following an instructor and then an instructor following you. They will give you advice and feedback on what you are doing well and not well.

After lunch it will become more of a "free" ride with help from the instructors if you want it or they see you need it.

I rented a UHaul and had no issues showing up that day and then driving home when I was done.
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post #10 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: First Track Day

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OP you are going to love Ride Smart, they are a fantastic organization.

I did my first track day with them and considered it more of a "school" than a pure track day.
Great, exactly what I expecting

Since I don't have a riding buddy, it's hard to compare myself to someone better or receive any guidance. This will be just what the doctor ordered. I look forward to progressing through the 3 levels also.
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post #11 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 02:44 PM
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Re: First Track Day

Do not compare yourself to anyone, that will get you in trouble.

Just go and ride and learn.
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post #12 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 03:03 PM Thread Starter
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Re: First Track Day

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Do not compare yourself to anyone, that will get you in trouble.

Just go and ride and learn.
Completely understood. Maybe I should word my thoughts differently.

A superior partner would solely be a point a relativity. Not someone to chase after. In my mind, that is no different than comparing your own lap times. Honestly, just riding by myself on the streets, I cannot tell how much I have improved over the past year. I do know that Ride Smart is a step in the right direction and the best thing to better my riding abilities.

Hope that makes sense!
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post #13 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 06:04 PM
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Re: First Track Day

Quote:
Originally Posted by tatersalad314 View Post
First off, thanks for all of the information in the stickies.

I'm taking my L5 600 for our first track day outside of Houston through Ride Smart in May (maybe sooner). It is actually their Level 1 course. Really looking forward to this experience. My ultimate goal is to become a club racer down the road. The biggest thing now is to spend time on the track. I have also been looking into suspension and how/when to adjust it to my preferences.

In regards to insurance, I know that I am covered since this is not a timed event/competition. What I am uncertain of is whether or not "racing" requires any form of insurance or if you pay out of pocket for damages. Just curious how that worked. I have done a forum search but haven't dug anything up on the subject.
Congrats on making the choice to do track days.
I would say for the first track day, do not try too hard to be the fastest or to prove yourself, try to learn the track and how to be smooth.
For that it is best to look for experienced racers at the track and ask them a lot of questions. I find 99% are happy to have a chat and put you in right direction. If you can, pay for track tuition.

If there are suspension tuners at the track, definitely get it set up on the day. And keep an eye on it. It is not hugely important as you are new to track days and to be honest it will be hard for you to push the suspension to its limits.

Find out the recommended tire pressures for your brand of tires for that particular track. Something that is a base start for a new track day rider.
Tire warmers and tire pressure gauge should be one of your first investments.

If you do not have a second mode of transport, definitely get a dedicated track bike.

Also, there are a great deal of track/race related posts here on the forum for starters, do a search and you will have stuff to read for hours.

Most importantly enjoy it as it is a blast.


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post #14 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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Re: First Track Day

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Originally Posted by dLegend82 View Post
Congrats on making the choice to do track days.
I would say for the first track day, do not try too hard to be the fastest or to prove yourself, try to learn the track and how to be smooth.
For that it is best to look for experienced racers at the track and ask them a lot of questions. I find 99% are happy to have a chat and put you in right direction. If you can, pay for track tuition.

If there are suspension tuners at the track, definitely get it set up on the day. And keep an eye on it. It is not hugely important as you are new to track days and to be honest it will be hard for you to push the suspension to its limits.

Find out the recommended tire pressures for your brand of tires for that particular track. Something that is a base start for a new track day rider.
Tire warmers and tire pressure gauge should be one of your first investments.

If you do not have a second mode of transport, definitely get a dedicated track bike.

Also, there are a great deal of track/race related posts here on the forum for starters, do a search and you will have stuff to read for hours.

Most importantly enjoy it as it is a blast.
Thanks a bunch for the input

I've briefly read the Suspension 101 thread. I never knew how important it was for high performance. Fortunately my L5 isn't my only form of transportation, however, I don't plan on pushing the limits this go around like you have also recommended. Thanks to Anthony showing me that great site for used bikes, I might be purchasing a dedicated track bike after all. I'd like to enjoy this one for a long while before I start putting her to work.

Reading these forums and listening to informative people like yourself are what actually encouraged me to begin my track riding experience
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post #15 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 08:35 PM
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Re: First Track Day

Not a problem.
There are definitely a lot of racers here that will help you out.
Enjoy the addiction mate.
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post #16 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-17-2016, 09:53 AM
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Re: First Track Day

You do NOT need a $4000 trailer!

Re renting: Good in the short term but not smart over the long haul. You'll need the u-haul for 3 days minimum (for a single track day) since you need to be there at dawn and won't get home until that night. For a two-day event, you'll need the trailer for four days. So the cost is $45 - $60 per pop and it never ends.

Many, many people, myself included, use the folding Harbor Freight trailer. $300 all day long, plus the cost of a sheet of plywood, and it stores in the back of your garage. It's entirely acceptable for trailering one or two bikes. Remember, the bike, ramp, and whatever else you're likely to put on the trailer (EZ-up) total 450-500 lbs, tops. That's nothing.

And you don't need a big vehicle, again because you're not hauling much weight.

Here's my rig. It gets me there without any issues whatsoever, and gets 30+mpg while doing so. About the same cost as a single season's worth of trailer rentals, and less hassle.



If you have a pickup (I think you do, based on your post), then all you really need is a good ramp, the longer the better. I'm one of those pussies who thinks that most of what you see on the Interwebz about loading is insane... balancing a 400-lb bike over your head while you step up... screw that. I just put the bike in gear, stand beside it, feather the clutch and power-walk it up the ramp. Works fine on my trailer and would work just as well on a jacked-up 4x4 if the ramp were long enough.

Re insurance.... better triple-check. Highly unusual to have coverage for anything track-related. Just accept the risk.

Re suspension... sure, get a baseline setup. But the first day or three (or five) are NOT ABOUT THE BIKE. They're about you. I can't emphasize this enough.

Focus your attention and money where they're going to do the most good. That's on the rider and track time. If you have to choose between upgrading the bike and going to the track, GO TO THE TRACK. If you can afford instruction, GET IT. It's a much smarter way to spend your money at first.

I'm old and I'm slow and I don't care.
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post #17 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-17-2016, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adouglas View Post
You do NOT need a $4000 trailer!

Re renting: Good in the short term but not smart over the long haul. You'll need the u-haul for 3 days minimum (for a single track day) since you need to be there at dawn and won't get home until that night. For a two-day event, you'll need the trailer for four days. So the cost is $45 - $60 per pop and it never ends.

Many, many people, myself included, use the folding Harbor Freight trailer. $300 all day long, plus the cost of a sheet of plywood, and it stores in the back of your garage. It's entirely acceptable for trailering one or two bikes. Remember, the bike, ramp, and whatever else you're likely to put on the trailer (EZ-up) total 450-500 lbs, tops. That's nothing.

And you don't need a big vehicle, again because you're not hauling much weight.

Here's my rig. It gets me there without any issues whatsoever, and gets 30+mpg while doing so. About the same cost as a single season's worth of trailer rentals, and less hassle.



If you have a pickup (I think you do, based on your post), then all you really need is a good ramp, the longer the better. I'm one of those pussies who thinks that most of what you see on the Interwebz about loading is insane... balancing a 400-lb bike over your head while you step up... screw that. I just put the bike in gear, stand beside it, feather the clutch and power-walk it up the ramp. Works fine on my trailer and would work just as well on a jacked-up 4x4 if the ramp were long enough.

Re insurance.... better triple-check. Highly unusual to have coverage for anything track-related. Just accept the risk.

Re suspension... sure, get a baseline setup. But the first day or three (or five) are NOT ABOUT THE BIKE. They're about you. I can't emphasize this enough.

Focus your attention and money where they're going to do the most good. That's on the rider and track time. If you have to choose between upgrading the bike and going to the track, GO TO THE TRACK. If you can afford instruction, GET IT. It's a much smarter way to spend your money at first.
Great info brother, much appreciated!

Definitely checking out the harbor freight trailer, sounds like a great deal. If I can get a good ramp I may consider that as well since I have a slopes driveway.

Insurance will cover this event. It is not so much of a track day as it is a rider development course. Which is exactly why I'm going What insurance doesn't cover is a race, competition, or timed event. Quoted from my insurance company. My question was geared toward actual racing, since that will be my ultimate goal.

Don't worry, I'm not jumping ahead of myself here. My L5 is completely stock and I'm certainly not driving 3+ hours to a track to ignore the instruction of experienced racers!

But I DID decide I'm stretching the rear out before I hit the track

Thanks again, stay safe.
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post #18 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-17-2016, 11:21 AM
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Re: First Track Day

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But I DID decide I'm stretching the rear out before I hit the track
You want to stretch the swingarm for track use?
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post #19 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-17-2016, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
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Hell no! That was sarcasm. Definitely sarcasm lol
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post #20 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-24-2016, 09:38 PM
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Re: First Track Day

Quote:
Originally Posted by tatersalad314 View Post
First off, thanks for all of the information in the stickies.

I'm taking my L5 600 for our first track day outside of Houston through Ride Smart in May (maybe sooner)
im planning on going to TWS on May 30 through Ride Smart. thats only if i dont make it for the March days. Gotta get the bike finished up first
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