It's enticing, isn't it? The chance to race around curves and down straightaways without having to worry about oncoming traffic, people pulling out, or suddenly breaking for their turn. It's possible on a track.
We know what you're thinking, you like riding, but you're not sure about racing. That's ok, track days aren't all about racing. Track days are about improving your skills as a rider.
You might be tempted to go out and buy all new gear and get the latest apps and gadgets. You don't need to do all that though.
Follow this guide to get ready for your first motorcycle track day.
Those that are serious about track days will have a dedicated bike just for the track. If this is your first time, feel free to use your regular ride.
Seriously, you'll see people get out there on every kind of bike you can imagine. The point of track days is to improve your skills. So attending a track day on your bike will only serve to help you get more intimate with your bike.
Just be prepared to do a little prep work before you go. The first thing you should do is give your bike a tech spec inspection once over. This will ensure that you have no leaks and everything is in working order.
Almost all tracks will require you to tape off your lenses. This will include your headlights and taillights. Just make sure you choose a tape that will stay stuck, but not leave a bunch of gross residue.
You could also pull the fuse if you know your headlight is on its own fuse. This will stop the light from heating the tape and melting the glue to your lens.
Take everything that could come off at high speeds. This includes that cell phone holder you have. It also means taking off the license plate.
You need tires with more than 50% of the tread life. This will ensure you have plenty of tire life left to get through your day.
The tire pressure needed is going to be different than what you use riding down the road. Prepare for it to be a lot lower than what you use on the street.
You will want to trailer your bike to the track. This will let you bring all of the gear and other stuff you need with you.
If you don't have a trailer, you can always arrange for a transportation service. This will make your trip as stress-free as possible as all of the logistics will get taken care of for you.
Check with the track you intend to visit for their specific regulations. Above all else, you'll need to follow their gear rules.
That being said, you can probably get away with a lot of the gear you already own.
You are probably thinking that you need to go out and buy one of those expensive one-piece leather body suits. If you are starting out, this is a big investment.
If you own a leather sport jacket, you have half of that leather suit. Buy a pair of leather pants and you have an outfit.
Along with your suit, many tracks require you to wear a back protector. Now, some suits and jackets have a pocket where you can insert one. If you want the most spine protection though, you'll go with one that is a separate piece that you wear over your jacket.
For boots, you'll want to opt for something without laces. These can get untied or caught on things and cause a safety hazard. You'll also want them to cover your ankles.
Most track attendees wear gauntlet style gloves. These are the ones that have a cuff part that comes up your arm. If you don't have these, you just need them to cover the end of your jacket sleeves.
This should have been an obvious piece of gear that you would need. Most full face street helmet will work fine. You just want to make sure it satisfies whatever the track requirements are when it comes to safety certifications such as SNELL, ECE, or DOT.
Don't try to bring the entire garage with everything you could possibly need. This will take up a ton of space and become overwhelming.
Instead, focus on a few tools that will allow you to make some adjustments. As a start, you'll want an air pressure gauge and wrench for chain tension adjusting.
Bringing some extra gas with you will mean you don't have to buy gas at the track. This will end up saving you some money.
Then not bike related, but equally important, you need to bring some creature comforts with you. This would be a chair to sit and relax in while you're not racing. You'll also want a cooler with drinks and snacks.
Keep in mind that wearing full leather can get hot, and that means you'll sweat, a lot. So bring plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Riding on the track is not like riding on the road. If you've never been to a track day before, you may not know all of the nuances involved.
Having a great attitude and a willingness to learn will make the experience a much more pleasant one. You'll also gain the respect of your fellow riders.
By learning from those more experienced, you will improve your body position, braking techniques, and other tricks. This will only improve your track and overall riding.
It can be a bit intimidating getting out there for the first time. Remember, it was everyone's first motorcycle track day once. The sooner you get out there, the closer you are to becoming a track day pro.
With this guide, you're already ahead of the game! By going in prepared, you're setting yourself up for a fun day.
Check out some of these awesome tracks in Spain that are waiting for you to come and test your skills on.
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