Pre­pare mind and bike for a track­day

A lit­tle bit of prep will make your first track­day safer, more en­joy­able and bet­ter value

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week -

Do some home­work 1

If you’ve booked onto a cir­cuit you’ve never rid­den be­fore, study the lay­out. Bri­tish cir­cuits are no­to­ri­ously tricky and many have lumps, bumps and crests that can catch out the un­wary. It can take a few ses­sions to learn a track from scratch, so time spent at home learn­ing the lay­out from on­line video footage and maps is time well spent.

Keep the noise down 2

Most tracks have noise re­stric­tions to save up­set­ting the neigh­bours and you can ex­pect your bike to be tested be­fore it is al­lowed out. Most track­days op­er­ate at 98db, with spe­cial ‘noisy’ (105db) days oc­ca­sion­ally avail­able at a pre­mium price. To avoid fail­ing the noise test, make sure you have a baf­fle fit­ted to your si­lencer and bring along the stock si­lencer if pos­si­ble.

Don’t be fu­el­lish 3

Ac­cord­ing to No Lim­its, only 10% of peo­ple ride to track­days, the other 90% van/trailer their bikes to the track. Ei­ther way, make sure you know where to get fuel. If you’re us­ing a van or trailer you can take your own in a jerry can. If you are rid­ing, find out if the cir­cuit has petrol (ex­pect to pay a pre­mium), or know the location of the near­est fill­ing sta­tion.

Don’t look back 4

If you are new to track rid­ing it is very easy to get dis­tracted by ev­ery­thing that’s go­ing on around you, so take some of those dis­trac­tions away by tap­ing up or re­mov­ing your mir­rors – when you are on a race cir­cuit all your fo­cus and at­ten­tion should be on what’s ahead and not what’s be­hind.

Un­der pres­sure 6

Be­cause of the ex­tra heat gen­er­ated when rid­ing on track, tyre pres­sures gen­er­ally need to be lower than those you use for road rid­ing. Track­days of­ten have a ded­i­cated tyre spe­cial­ist in at­ten­dance on the day, so ask their ad­vice about the ex­act pres­sures you should be run­ning. Check reg­u­larly dur­ing the day.

Sort your bike 8

Give your bike a me­chan­i­cal check­over be­fore­hand, as track rid­ing ac­cel­er­ates wear and at­tri­tion to en­gine parts and con­sum­ables. Check and top up the oil level if nec­es­sary. Other vi­tal things to check would be brake pads; they come in for a proper work­out on cir­cuits and will start to wear rapidly so check and re­place if nec­es­sary. Also check and ad­just chain ten­sion.

Choose suit­able rub­ber 5

There are ded­i­cated race/track­day tyres avail­able, but these will re­quire stands, tyre warmers and pre­cise tyre pres­sure mon­i­tor­ing. At the other end of the scale, don’t be tempted to use bud­get road tyres as they have poor grip. Ask an ex­pe­ri­enced tyre sup­plier what your best op­tions are for your bike and rid­ing.

Sort your kit 7

Full leathers are best, al­though two-piece zip-to­gether suits are still al­lowed as long as they have a full­cir­cum­fer­ence con­nect­ing zip. Only full-face lids are al­lowed, or flipfront lids that have been tested as a full-face. Off-road-style lids are not per­mit­ted, nei­ther are metal-based knee and toe slid­ers.

Pack some es­sen­tials 9

Take a se­lec­tion of ba­sic tools, things like a screw­driver or Allen key to change or ad­just sus­pen­sion, and the right size span­ners to ad­just the chain. A tyre pres­sure gauge, gaffer tape, foot­pump, and ca­ble ties are other use­ful ex­tras, but you’ll most likely be able to bor­row these from a fel­low track­day goer. Take bot­tled wa­ter and light snacks to keep your­self fully fu­elled.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.