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Getting Started with Track Riding

  1. #1
    Senior Member TwelveGaugeSage's Avatar
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    Getting Started with Track Riding


    So I'd like to get out and try my first track day probably some time later in the season. What all gear would I need to get started? Is there some place in the Palmer area that I can go to try on gear? What, if anything, would I need for my Hyper to make this happen? Any other tips, pointers, advice? Threads/websites I should read?

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  2. #2
    Super Moderator OreoGaborio's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Started with Track Riding

    So depending on what org you hope to attend, they'll usually have a decent prep page...

    Aaaaand, since I'm super biased, here's an example
    Rider Preparation
    Bike Preparation

    Not a whole lot is really necessary to get out there for your first time. Basic prep is pretty... well, basic.

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    Senior Member Philkinson's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Started with Track Riding

    A bunch of us have spares and cheap gear for sale. What size are you? I'm sure someone here will chime in with something your size for cheap.


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    Your Father csmutty's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Started with Track Riding

    Gear:

    Gauntlet Gloves
    Back Protector
    Leather (Textile) Suit - Depends on org whether they will accept textile.
    Over the ankle motorcycle boots

    Rider Preparation

    Things I would recommend:

    Earplugs (just trust me on this one)
    Make sure everything is in good mechanical condition.
    Plenty of fluids.

    Things you will have to do:

    Bike Preparation

    DAMMIT PETE!!!

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  5. #5
    Senior Member TwelveGaugeSage's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Started with Track Riding

    I'm a 9.5-10 boot, 34" inseam, 35"ish waist, and I'm 5'10". I have some used size 9.5 Sidi Vortice Air boots on the way that I hope will fit, some nice AS gauntlets, and an Icon Airmada helmet. I guess I need a suit and a back protector. I think I would prefer leather over textile.

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  6. #6
    Your Father csmutty's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Started with Track Riding

    Holy inseam bro...

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  7. #7
    Lifer Imbeek's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Started with Track Riding

    I'm not biased, as I don't get free track time from anyone. Go to Tony's Track Days. Newb friendly, worry free, groups separated by pace, VERY safety conscious, and they have track days at Palmer, as well as other tracks. Awesome group of people he has working for him as control riders and instructors.

    You will become a much, much better street rider. You're also gonna get addicted and spend a shit-ton of money (but that's not unique to Tony's, it's all track riding and still cheaper than crashing on the street due to curable ineptness)...you've been warned.

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  8. #8
    Senior Member TwelveGaugeSage's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Started with Track Riding

    Quote Originally Posted by csmutty View Post
    Holy inseam bro...
    Yeah, that's why I fear I may have to go with a two piece or have something custom fit. Anything that fits up top won't fit down low. If only my torso had grown to match my legs, haha. It's probably also why I like standard and SM type riding position.

    Quote Originally Posted by Imbeek
    I'm not biased, as I don't get free track time from anyone. Go to Tony's Track Days. Newb friendly, worry free, groups separated by pace, VERY safety conscious, and they have track days at Palmer, as well as other tracks. Awesome group of people he has working for him as control riders and instructors.

    You will become a much, much better street rider. You're also gonna get addicted and spend a shit-ton of money (but that's not unique to Tony's, it's all track riding and still cheaper than crashing on the street due to curable ineptness)...you've been warned.
    This is what I was thinking anyway. I've heard a lot of good about TTD and Ken Condon and would love to ride at Palmer. I'm actually reading Hough's Proficient Motorcycling now. Is there anywhere out your way that is good for trying on gear?

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  9. #9
    Lifer Imbeek's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Started with Track Riding

    Quote Originally Posted by TwelveGaugeSage View Post
    Is there anywhere out your way that is good for trying on gear?
    The internet has gutted inventories for most brick and mortar shops but cycle gear in Manchester CT is where I go.

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  10. #10
    Have you seen my baseball GingahNinjah's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Started with Track Riding

    Quote Originally Posted by TwelveGaugeSage View Post
    I'm a 9.5-10 boot, 34" inseam, 35"ish waist, and I'm 5'10". I have some used size 9.5 Sidi Vortice Air boots on the way that I hope will fit, some nice AS gauntlets, and an Icon Airmada helmet. I guess I need a suit and a back protector. I think I would prefer leather over textile.
    just a quick point... the Airmada is a poly shell not terrible but there are better helmets out there. ex. the HJC FG-17 is a kevlar composite shell and they can be found for less than the cost of the Airmada. should you ever decide to go racing a poly shell wont pass tech. Needs to be composite. just fyi GL!

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    Have you seen my baseball GingahNinjah's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Started with Track Riding

    Quote Originally Posted by TwelveGaugeSage View Post
    I'm a 9.5-10 boot, 34" inseam, 35"ish waist, and I'm 5'10". I have some used size 9.5 Sidi Vortice Air boots on the way that I hope will fit, some nice AS gauntlets, and an Icon Airmada helmet. I guess I need a suit and a back protector. I think I would prefer leather over textile.
    the good part about your long inseam is that if the cuff at your ankle is a bit short it will be covered by the boot. as long as the knee of the suit is where it belongs you should be alright if the cuff comes up a bit short.

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    Lifer Chippertheripper's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Started with Track Riding

    I believe the saying goes: look in your wallet now, you'll never see that much money in there again.

    It's pretty impossible to have a discussion about which org to recommend without hurting somebody's feelings here. There are a number of organizations in the region, do some reading, and listening, and pic the one that you think will be the best fit for you. Or, go nuts and try them all.

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    Senior Member TwelveGaugeSage's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Started with Track Riding

    Yeah, I buy pretty much everything online, it's just tough to buy a one piece anything without trying it on. I suppose I could order something from Revzilla and just return it if it doesn't fit since their return policy looks pretty good. Is the main thing getting the knee in the proper place? What should I look for in a proper fitting suit and should I go one piece or will two piece suffice? I'm okay with the Airmada helmet for now. I don't see myself actually racing any time soon, but have no problem buying another helmet if needed.

    Chipper, I had no idea there were so many organizations. Do you(or anyone else) have a list of the ones that are active in my area? This is all uncharted water for me. I could never afford to get into this kind of thing in the past, but I'm in a pretty good place financially right now. I just have to resist the temptation to break into my retirement fund. I've got to get out of this horrible northeastern climate at some point.

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  14. #14
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    Re: Getting Started with Track Riding

    What weight? For suit size I'm guessing you're either a 42, maybe 44 (I'm 32/32 and between a 40 and 42).

    Since you're right in town you should stop by the track during a TD. Mingle w/ folks in the pits, staff & sit in on the classroom sessions. Only downside is you'll instantly regret not being signed up to ride.

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  15. #15
    What's updog? curiouser's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Started with Track Riding

    Doesn't look like there are Palmer dates, but you could rent gear at a Penguin track day to see how everything fits. They also rent bikes, so you can just reserve all of the required equipment beforehand, show up, and ride.

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  16. #16
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    Re: Getting Started with Track Riding

    Are you going to race? Do a shitload of track days?

    If yes, the onesie is the better, safer move.
    If no, a two piece is more versatile and may be much easier to fit. Ie you can mix-n-match sizes between pant and jacket. For example I have the opposite problem as you; short inseam for my height. I like a "short" pant mated to a "regular" fit jacket. With a onesie I'm forced to compromise some knee protection and rely on my boots keeping the knee padding in place in order to get the top-side to fit the shoulders and.. uh.. mid-section.

    It's also a real pain in the ass to try to take a dump wearing a onesie.

    Active TD orgs to my memory include:
    - Penguin
    - Fishtail
    - Tony's Track Days
    - NYST (does their own TDs)

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  17. #17
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Started with Track Riding

    Re: Helmets. I'm somewhat biased against the 'plastic' poly helmets. Tainted by the LRRS rule and my own preconceptions. But the truth seems to be that many of the poly helmets out there are decent lids. Many feature SNELL and all the requisite Euro ratings a rider can ask for. All things being equal I would still prefer a fiber/kevlar lid over poly.. but I'd rock it without hesitation. That's my $0.02 for whatever it is worth.

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  18. #18
    Your Father csmutty's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Started with Track Riding

    Seacoast Sport Cycle is the only store around that carries higher end gear that you can try on.

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  19. #19
    Backwoods lobster boy number9's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Started with Track Riding

    Or you could come race on dirt.. it's cheaper!


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  20. #20
    Senior Member TwelveGaugeSage's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Started with Track Riding

    Okay, then maybe I will go for a two-piece for now and "upgrade" in the future if need be. Any brands/models you guys recommend? I don't mind spending a bit for good gear, but if I can save a lot of money and get something 95% as good, I'm all ears.

    I remember reading a long time ago that the Snell certification was overkill and that it was making helmets so hard that they were aggravating more head injuries than the non-Snell helmets. Was this bullshit or has it changed?

    As for dirt riding, I don't think my wife's 140L would cut it, nor would she be too happy with me kidnapping her bike. And I'm pretty sure she would kill me if I bought another bike right now. Tempting, but a totally different experience from pavement. Maybe a future endeavor.

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  21. #21
    Senior Member TwelveGaugeSage's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Started with Track Riding

    Oh,

    I am hovering around 165-170 pounds with a small dad gut and a really small frame. That can make things a bit difficult too, being that most tops are a bit loose on me as my arms and shoulders are pretty sad. I'm built like a runner that got fat.

    Thanks for all the replies everyone. I don't personally know anyone that rides on pavement on a regular basis and I'm a bit of a hermit/extreme introvert. So pretty much all I know about riding I either taught myself over the years, researched on the internet, or learned from forums like this one, though I have taken some MSF courses.

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  22. #22
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Started with Track Riding

    Quote Originally Posted by TwelveGaugeSage View Post
    As for dirt riding, I don't think my wife's 140L would cut it, nor would she be too happy with me kidnapping her bike. And I'm pretty sure she would kill me if I bought another bike right now. Tempting, but a totally different experience from pavement. Maybe a future endeavor.
    Stay away from track days then. Before you know it you'll be hunting for a cheap, fully prep'ed track bike.

    It's a very well established pattern. Nothing you can do, resist all you like, it won't help.

    And yes, that dedicated track toy should probably be an SV. It's fine.

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  23. #23
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    Re: Getting Started with Track Riding

    Quote Originally Posted by TwelveGaugeSage View Post
    So pretty much all I know about riding I either taught myself over the years, researched on the internet, or learned from forums like this one, though I have taken some MSF courses.
    Get ready to have your knowledge of riding turbo-charged. Whichever org you go with, spend your time between sessions around the instructors/control riders. Hit every classroom session you can, if offered. Go to the body position clinics and demonstrations. Be the sponge.

    I rode street for 19 years before attending my first track day. That one day made me realize that I'd spent 19 years riding very, very poorly. (Now I only ride poorly. Dropped the 'very, very'. Huge improvement.)

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  24. #24
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    Re: Getting Started with Track Riding

    I have a used joe rocket one piece lesther suit in southwick that may fit you, if you want to try it. Will check size when i get home if you are interested. Decent suit and significantly cheaper than anything new

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  25. #25
    Senior Member TwelveGaugeSage's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Started with Track Riding

    That's a risk I'm willing to take!

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