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How do you get started with Track Days?

  1. #1
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    How do you get started with Track Days?


    I've been riding for years and wanted to try out the track and see if I like it.

    What's a good place to learn the bile and personal requirements for a track day? Any bike ok? I've bought and sold a few bikes recently and I'm now on a 2005 Superhawk.

    Do you guys do track days for lap times? Is it an actual competition or are you just trying to beat your own previous times?

    Can you rent or borrow gear to try it out before making a huge investment?

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  2. #2
    Super Moderator OreoGaborio's Avatar
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    Re: How do you get started with Track Days?

    Well for starters, there are a few different organizations to choose from. All have their similarities but each with their own "target market" and offering a slightly different experience. Tony's Track Days, Penguin racing school and Fishtail are the main organizations that offer events around here.

    Once you figure out what organization, dates & tracks you'd like to attend, each org will have their own rider gear and bike prep requirements... again, all fairly similar and pretty basic. Most street riders need only buy a hard back protector and maybe a hose clamp and safety wire to secure their oil filter.

    Typical requirements are motorcycle specific full gauntlet gloves, motorcycle specific (textile or leather) jacket and pants that overlap in the seated position, full face helmet, hard back protector and motorcycle specific boots. Bikes need to be in top working condition with good tires & brakes. Oil filter secured with hose clamp & safety wired as mentioned above, glass removed or taped and tail light disconnected or covered from view.

    Lap times are NOT the focus at any track day event, nor is competition (aside from maybe bench racing ). The focus is fun, learning what you and your equipment are capable of and the honing of your skills. As such, most organizations offer classroom time between each on-track session to teach their riders about various riding techniques.

    There are places to rent gear, but most customers own all their own stuff. Good news is, it doesn't take THAT much more than what most riders should already own to have a bare-bones track day program.

    If you'd like to take advantage of it, Tony's Track Days has a "ride the track for free" option where you can get a taste of what it's like by taking part in the rider's meeting, the new rider orientation, the morning follow-the-leader session and classroom sessions. Riding requirements are a little more lax for that as the speeds in the follow-the-leader session are fairly tame for most. You can also come and spectate, talk with the instructors, etc at any of our events.

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    Last edited by OreoGaborio; 09-11-15 at 12:48 PM.
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  3. #3
    Member Swizz's Avatar
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    Re: How do you get started with Track Days?

    You hit the track pipe once and your hooked. This is my first season doing track days and I find myself looking at dedicated track bikes already. Its the heroin of motorcycle riding. You've been warned.

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  4. #4
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    Re: How do you get started with Track Days?

    Quote Originally Posted by Swizz View Post
    You hit the track pipe once and your hooked. This is my first season doing track days and I find myself looking at dedicated track bikes already. Its the heroin of motorcycle riding. You've been warned.
    This.

    In the same boat as guy above. "Tried" 1x and well Tony's "Track Dealer" is extremely accurate. Now trying to get there whenever life permits.
    Great instructors and totally un-intimidating.

    Just annoyed that I didn't do this much earlier in life. So.....

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  5. #5
    I pick things up.... mzdagrl's Avatar
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    Re: How do you get started with Track Days?

    If you don't want to rent gear, beg and borrow what you do need that you don't have. I did my first 6(?) seasons of track days with a borrowed back protector, and finally got my own (used) at the end of last year, only to sustain a back injury at work and be off my bike all summer (boo). Any organization is going to be great for newbies, and the instructors are all great

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  6. #6
    Awesomeness, Inc. MattR302's Avatar
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    Re: How do you get started with Track Days?

    Seems like this a better question to ask on NewEnglandTrackRiders.com
    I've done the majority of my track days with Tony's, and they are very good for a first timer to the track. Check their website, like Pete said, most of the gear you should already have, and you can probably borrow something from someone here if you ask nicely. Almost any bike can be prepped and ready for the track in under an hour.
    Quote Originally Posted by Swizz View Post
    You hit the track pipe once and your hooked. This is my first season doing track days and I find myself looking at dedicated track bikes already. Its the heroin of motorcycle riding. You've been warned.
    Not necessarily. That bug bit me, I'll admit, but it took a while to hit. I did two track days back to back in 2010, had fun, but was like, meh, I'd rather spend a day exploring roads on my own if I had a day off. Late Summer 2013, I was on a group ride with a bunch of guys on here, and realized how slow and hesitant I was when cornering, so I did another track day to improve my riding, and then got hooked. I searched for and bought a cheap track bike that winter.

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  7. #7
    Member HRCfan1's Avatar
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    Re: How do you get started with Track Days?

    I just did my first track day on Monday. Tony's is great for beginners. The requirements for gear & bike are pretty basic. I was hooked after my second session.

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  8. #8
    Bizarro Zoolander Petorius's Avatar
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    Re: How do you get started with Track Days?

    Another vote for TTD. They do a great job teaching the fundamentals. You will be able to apply what you learn at TTDs anywhere.

    Once you realize you want to start racing, you'll want to check out Loudon. Penguin does a great job at Loudon. Their Track Experience group is a great intro to that track, you will get a very comprehensive walkthrough of the track. The teaching is a bit more focused on riding the particular course.

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  9. #9
    Lifer loudbeard's Avatar
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    Re: How do you get started with Track Days?

    Penguin is a great place to start with their "track experience" group. You can also rent all the gear you'd like from them as well. I wouldn't recommend staying in that group as most competent riders outgrow it quickly. TTD is also a great provider for street riders, coaching staff isn't exactly easy on the eyes though...

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  10. #10
    Rookie Rada's Avatar
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    Re: How do you get started with Track Days?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinned View Post
    coaching staff isn't exactly easy on the eyes though...
    Ouch.

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  11. #11
    Lifer backinthesaddle's Avatar
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    Re: How do you get started with Track Days?

    Quote Originally Posted by Swizz View Post
    You hit the track pipe once and your hooked. This is my first season doing track days and I find myself looking at dedicated track bikes already. Its the heroin of motorcycle riding. You've been warned.
    Its easy to start, the question is how do you stop?

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  12. #12
    Day late, dollar short carsick's Avatar
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    Re: How do you get started with Track Days?

    Quote Originally Posted by backinthesaddle View Post
    Its easy to start, the question is how do you stop?
    Go racing!

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  13. #13
    Backwoods lobster boy number9's Avatar
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    Re: How do you get started with Track Days?

    Quote Originally Posted by Swizz View Post
    You hit the track pipe once and your hooked. This is my first season doing track days and I find myself looking at dedicated track bikes already. Its the heroin of motorcycle riding. You've been warned.
    I didn't come up with the quote but, "the desire to go racing makes a heroin addiction seem like a vague desire for something salty"

    I have also not done heroin.

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