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Hi All,

I attended my first Track Day this past weekend at Lightning (NJMP). I had an absolute blast and I'm definitely signing up for more. But I wish I could have done better with my performance and I wish I was less fearful. I think part of the problem is that I didn't know the track very well. I didn't know the turns and I didn't know where I should be on the straights so that the faster folks can safely pass me.

Does anyone have maps of the NJMP Lighting & Thunderbolt race tracks, with their own recommended racing line, that a beginner like me could follow easily and perhaps memorize? My hopes is to know exactly where I should be at every single spot on the track.

Also, if I'm prepping for my next Track Day wrong, please let me know. Thanks in advance for the help!!!
 

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Lots of guys on here in your area that will help you out with that information! Have you looked into enrolling in a riding school/organization? For instance, I just went to my first track day 2-3 weeks ago through an organization. When we weren't on the track, we were in the classroom looking at footage from the previous session and discussing lines, BP, and the track itself. What was really helpful is that they have large orange X's on every entry/exit corner point on the track for reference. The most important resource they offered, however, was the instructors. You could pair up with an riding instructor of which would critique you after each session. Can't say anyone else does that though... The most important thing is seat time. Track familiarization will come with time.



Glad you had a good time like I did! The first track day is full of unsettled nerves of fear and excitement. I'm expecting the next go around will be much more relaxed. What bike did you take out?
 

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What org did you ride with? TPM requires all first time track riders take the ART Level 1 school. You learn a lot in the classroom sessions and they have the track map on the wall and go over the race line and every turn in detail. I'd suggest signing up for a class next time and spend as much time with the coaches as you can.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Lots of guys on here in your area that will help you out with that information! Have you looked into enrolling in a riding school/organization? For instance, I just went to my first track day 2-3 weeks ago through an organization. When we weren't on the track, we were in the classroom looking at footage from the previous session and discussing lines, BP, and the track itself. What was really helpful is that they have large orange X's on every entry/exit corner point on the track for reference. The most important resource they offered, however, was the instructors. You could pair up with an riding instructor of which would critique you after each session. Can't say anyone else does that though... The most important thing is seat time. Track familiarization will come with time.



Glad you had a good time like I did! The first track day is full of unsettled nerves of fear and excitement. I'm expecting the next go around will be much more relaxed. What bike did you take out?
Thanks! I Actually went through ACE this past weekend (TPM for May 29) and they did the same thing where it switched back and forth from riding to classroom. The instructors were awesome, but as soon as someone asked a new question, the instructor wiped the board and started drawing new lines. I wish I was able to take a photo before hand.

Also, I took my Gixxer 750 to the track. It was a lot of fun. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
What org did you ride with? TPM requires all first time track riders take the ART Level 1 school. You learn a lot in the classroom sessions and they have the track map on the wall and go over the race line and every turn in detail. I'd suggest signing up for a class next time and spend as much time with the coaches as you can.
Hi Kevin. I was with Ace this past weekend and then I will be with TPM on May 29th. I agree, I am going to get as much coaching time as possible, but I'm hoping someone can make me a map with the racing lines until then. I think that will help me.

It scared me when I heard folks behind me and I wasn't sure where I was suppose to be. I just don't want to crash or worse, make someone else crash. So I think memorizing the map along with where I should be will help me tremendously. Do you agree?
 

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Your lines will get better once you become more familiarized with the track :thumbup



Was it you L5 or K9? I was really happy with my L5 out there too.
 

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What org did you ride with? I know TPM, Absolute, and Evolve have good beginner programs. In those programs, they will teach you the race line. Drawing it on a map isn't gonna help you, doing it will.

First off, and most importantly, do not try to go fast right away. Speed will come, don't try for it.

As I teach all students, the first thing you work on is line. No matter what, stay on the line. Let other, faster people go around you. The most important thing you can do is be predictable.

Once you have the line down, then work on body position. Your body position should be a race tuck, shifted to the inside of the corner in varying amounts depending on the lean angle and speed.

Work on just those two things for now. Once your line is good, and your BP is second nature, then work on speed.

Work the corners backwards.

Work on exit first. Get off the corner faster and faster each time.

Then work on mid-corner speed.

And finally work on corner entry. Brake later and later, first getting all the braking done while the bike is upright. Then, braking later and later until you are trailing it into the corner. The reason you work on this last is because most riders brake to control fear, not speed. That is the wrong thing to do. When you brake, you should brake so that at the apex of the corner your mid-corner speed is already set. You shouldn't need to roll on and off the throttle after braking to set your speed.

Be smooth and consistent.

Speed is the last thing to worry about.
 

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Hi Kevin. I was with Ace this past weekend and then I will be with TPM on May 29th. I agree, I am going to get as much coaching time as possible, but I'm hoping someone can make me a map with the racing lines until then. I think that will help me.

It scared me when I heard folks behind me and I wasn't sure where I was suppose to be. I just don't want to crash or worse, make someone else crash. So I think memorizing the map along with where I should be will help me tremendously. Do you agree?
What was helpful for me was following a coach around for a few laps to see where I should be. My best advice would be listen to what @Anthony D says.
 

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I feel that watching videos of good riders is the best way, not looking at a map. I can draw you lines, as I have done for some very fast riders (ask James Shepard about my sidewalk chalk drawings at Thunderbolt), but they only give you an idea of where to be once you already know the track and how to put your bike in certain spots.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Your lines will get better once you become more familiarized with the track :thumbup

Was it you L5 or K9? I was really happy with my L5 out there too.
I was debating about taking my Ninja 300 but I ended up taking my L5 and it was a good decision. It handled very well. I'm sure you felt the same way.
 

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I feel that watching videos of good riders is the best way, not looking at a map. I can draw you lines, as I have done for some very fast riders (ask James Shepard about my sidewalk chalk drawings at Thunderbolt), but they only give you an idea of where to be once you already know the track and how to put your bike in certain spots.
Thanks for the great advice, Anthony. I'm definitely not trying to go fast. I'm enjoying just cruising and learning. I just get so nervous when other riders gets closer. I'll try to concentrate on the lines by watching some videos and then work on my BP as you mentioned. Do you recommend any youtube videos that has good body position lessons? I found a bunch but I'm not sure which is actually correct.
 

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I was debating about taking my Ninja 300 but I ended up taking my L5 and it was a good decision. It handled very well. I'm sure you felt the same way.

I was at the dealership yesterday about to pull the trigger on an R3 or CB500R. Had to walk out before my wife got too upset :biggrin
 

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Thanks for the great advice, Anthony. I'm definitely not trying to go fast. I'm enjoying just cruising and learning. I just get so nervous when other riders gets closer. I'll try to concentrate on the lines by watching some videos and then work on my BP as you mentioned. Do you recommend any youtube videos that has good body position lessons? I found a bunch but I'm not sure which is actually correct.
Getting spooked is one of the worst things you can do, because it makes you less predictable to faster riders. Just hold your line, and realize there arr gonna be people faster than you.

I would buzz new track riders on purpose to see how they reacted, and if they got spooked I would pull them off the track and have a talk with them.
 

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I was at the dealership yesterday about to pull the trigger on an R3 or CB500R. Had to walk out before my wife got too upset :biggrin
Oh yeah, those R3s are so sweet. My buddy has one and they are really fun to ride. I bet they are even more fun on the track.
 

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Another thing worth noting...


Don't stay locked down behind a rider in front of you. It is easy to become focused on them and follow their lines and behaviors which will lead you to make the same mistakes that they make. Focus on what you are doing and make passes safely when you can. Some of the guys running off course were becoming too desperate to pass and took some very risky outside passes for themselves and the other riders involved.


If you get stuck behind someone *cough* typically 1000 riders *cough* who hammers the straights but you get stuck behind him in the technical parts, do a hot pit to put some distance between the two of you.


Just a couple of things I learned, hope it helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Getting spooked is one of the worst things you can do, because it makes you less predictable to faster riders. Just hold your line, and realize there arr gonna be people faster than you.

I would buzz new track riders on purpose to see how they reacted, and if they got spooked I would pull them off the track and have a talk with them.
I do get nervous and ride much slower when I hear other riders coming up. I recall on Sunday when I was on a straight, I was going about 74 mph and then I started hearing someone possibly to my left and I saw a turn coming. So in avoidance mode, I dropped down to about 40 mph and took the turn like a scared puppy. lol.
 

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I do get nervous and ride much slower when I hear other riders coming up. I recall on Sunday when I was on a straight, I was going about 74 mph and then I started hearing someone possibly to my left and I saw a turn coming. So in avoidance mode, I dropped down to about 40 mph and took the turn like a scared puppy. lol.

Get this out of your head. In the beginner's group for my organization, only outside passing is allowed in certain sections. If they want to pass you they'll do so at their first opportunity. Until then, just relax and focus on you...
 

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I do get nervous and ride much slower when I hear other riders coming up. I recall on Sunday when I was on a straight, I was going about 74 mph and then I started hearing someone possibly to my left and I saw a turn coming. So in avoidance mode, I dropped down to about 40 mph and took the turn like a scared puppy. lol.
That is extremely dangerous and will cause a crash. Don't ever do that again. Look where you are going, no where else.
 
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