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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Part 1 - A track day sounds fun, but I've never done that so I'm not sure if that's something I could do....


So you've taken the plunge and bought a righteous R3. Been riding it a while and diggin' it and you keep hearing about this track-day stuff. The good news is that the R3 in stock trim** is a great track-day bike.

How much experience do I need? Really, not much. I took my 15 y.o. to the track a few years ago. His experience consisted of some parking lot riding and completion of the MSF course. No street experience AT ALL. I rode with him for the first couple of sessions, then turned him loose - by the end of the day, he was doing quite well for someone with virtually no previous experience.

No matter what your experience, first time at the track enroll in the beginner group. Beginner group generally gets sighting laps, more attention from the control riders and more personal instruction. Speeds are slower, allowing new riders to "come up to speed" on track layout and technique. When I go to a new track, I will sometimes go with beginner group first session just to learn the track before moving up to a faster group.

I dunno - sounds kinda scary. First time out - maybe a bit scary, but in a good way. Riding at speed on a track is safer than riding on the street - at least that's my opinion. At the track, everyone is focused and going in the same direction on a closed course - no opposing traffic (pulling lefts in front of you), no text or cell phones.

But my bike is stock - won't I have to do a bunch of mods? No. That's the beauty of a track day - you can run what you brung. Rules for bike prep vary with track-day organizations, but in general they do not allow antifreeze in the bike. Why? Because if your engine gets hot and antifreeze gets on the track it makes it slippery and potentially unsafe for other riders. So you'll need to drain the antifreeze and replace it with plain water. Other than that, you'll need some painter's tape and a zip-tie or two. Headlight, tail light, signals and mirrors will need to be covered with the tape. Kickstand may or may not need to be zip-tied in up position. Just go over all the fasteners you can get to and make sure they are tight - you should be good to go!

What kind of protective gear do I need? Helmet, over-the-cuff gloves, leathers, and over-the-ankle boots. Most organizations require either one-piece or two-piece zip-together leathers. Don't have them? Check with the track-day organizer - sometimes they have leathers to borrow or rent - or bum a set off someone you know. Actual MC boots are nice, but work boots will suffice.

How much does it cost? It varies with track, but in the neighborhood of about $200/day. Renting a track is expensive for the organizer, plus you have EMT and safety staff on site. Most organizations provide control riders - talk to these guys early in the day and get them to ride with you a few laps - they will then help you to figure out what you're doing right and what you could improve on - that's how to maximize value.

Ok, I'm in - where to go? There is probably a facility offering track days within a few hours of where you live. Roadracing World maintains a pretty comprehensive track-day directory:
http://www.roadracingworld.com/2015calendar/

** after your first couple of track days, you will inevitably fall victim to "the affliction" - then your bike will not stay in stock trim for much longer....

So bottom line here is that if you are thinking about your first track-day, then I'd encourage you to DO IT!! Your bike skills (braking and cornering) will improve dramatically - even if you've been riding a number of years. Plus it is a butt-load of fun!! Take a friend or two - makes for even mo' better fun. Post up your experiences.
 

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I agree with everything Stirz said! Doing a track day is a must even for day to day riders. The fact that you learn to open your vision will help so much on the street. Being able to learn to hard brake, trail brake, turn, lean in a safe environment is awesome! Being able to open the throttle up and hit 115 mph and not get a ticket or crash is very addicting!
 

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Part 1 - A track day sounds fun, but I've never done that so I'm not sure if that's something I could do....


So you've taken the plunge and bought a righteous R3. Been riding it a while and diggin' it and you keep hearing about this track-day stuff. The good news is that the R3 in stock trim** is a great track-day bike.

How much experience do I need? Really, not much. I took my 15 y.o. to the track a few years ago. His experience consisted of some parking lot riding and completion of the MSF course. No street experience AT ALL. I rode with him for the first couple of sessions, then turned him loose - by the end of the day, he was doing quite well for someone with virtually no previous experience.

No matter what your experience, first time at the track enroll in the beginner group. Beginner group generally gets sighting laps, more attention from the control riders and more personal instruction. Speeds are slower, allowing new riders to "come up to speed" on track layout and technique. When I go to a new track, I will sometimes go with beginner group first session just to learn the track before moving up to a faster group.

I dunno - sounds kinda scary. First time out - maybe a bit scary, but in a good way. Riding at speed on a track is safer than riding on the street - at least that's my opinion. At the track, everyone is focused and going in the same direction on a closed course - no opposing traffic (pulling lefts in front of you), no text or cell phones.

But my bike is stock - won't I have to do a bunch of mods? No. That's the beauty of a track day - you can run what you brung. Rules for bike prep vary with track-day organizations, but in general they do not allow antifreeze in the bike. Why? Because if your engine gets hot and antifreeze gets on the track it makes it slippery and potentially unsafe for other riders. So you'll need to drain the antifreeze and replace it with plain water. Other than that, you'll need some painter's tape and a zip-tie or two. Headlight, tail light, signals and mirrors will need to be covered with the tape. Kickstand may or may not need to be zip-tied in up position. Just go over all the fasteners you can get to and make sure they are tight - you should be good to go!

What kind of protective gear do I need? Helmet, over-the-cuff gloves, leathers, and over-the-ankle boots. Most organizations require either one-piece or two-piece zip-together leathers. Don't have them? Check with the track-day organizer - sometimes they have leathers to borrow or rent - or bum a set off someone you know. Actual MC boots are nice, but work boots will suffice.

How much does it cost? It varies with track, but in the neighborhood of about $200/day. Renting a track is expensive for the organizer, plus you have EMT and safety staff on site. Most organizations provide control riders - talk to these guys early in the day and get them to ride with you a few laps - they will then help you to figure out what you're doing right and what you could improve on - that's how to maximize value.

Ok, I'm in - where to go? There is probably a facility offering track days within a few hours of where you live. Roadracing World maintains a pretty comprehensive track-day directory:
http://www.roadracingworld.com/2015calendar/

** after your first couple of track days, you will inevitably fall victim to "the affliction" - then your bike will not stay in stock trim for much longer....

So bottom line here is that if you are thinking about your first track-day, then I'd encourage you to DO IT!! Your bike skills (braking and cornering) will improve dramatically - even if you've been riding a number of years. Plus it is a butt-load of fun!! Take a friend or two - makes for even mo' better fun. Post up your experiences.
Great Suggestion.... this would allow a Lot of New riders to have a Little more of a comfort Zone.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The only 'negative' side I will say about track days is the addiction of it. There's definitely a certain high you get when you're in a track environment
Not to mention you won't get busted.....
 

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I am thinking about my first track day and have a million questions.:) I have ridden 50,000+ miles in the last four years but never been on a track.
.
I have a really nice track two hours away.
.
http://nyst.com/
.
They have one more really nice rookie day this year where they offer a special first time course. And special first day pricing of $120. On Labor day weekend.
.
I have a really nice brand new R3 in the garage. What are the chances it will still be brand new when I get back from riding at the pace in a beginner group? What percentage of riders dump their bike at a track day?
.
Or would I have more fun renting their Ninja250 for $300 so I wouldn't have to worry?
.
The track rules allow coolant for beginner and intermediate so all I would have to do is unplug the light bulbs and remove the mirrors. I was going to swap the tires and use them on my CBR250R commuter bike anyway.
 

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I am thinking about my first track day and have a million questions.:) I have ridden 50,000+ miles in the last four years but never been on a track.
.
I have a really nice track two hours away.
.
http://nyst.com/
.
They have one more really nice rookie day this year where they offer a special first time course. And special first day pricing of $120. On Labor day weekend.
.
I have a really nice brand new R3 in the garage. What are the chances it will still be brand new when I get back from riding at the pace in a beginner group? What percentage of riders dump their bike at a track day?
.
Or would I have more fun renting their Ninja250 for $300 so I wouldn't have to worry?
.
The track rules allow coolant for beginner and intermediate so all I would have to do is unplug the light bulbs and remove the mirrors. I was going to swap the tires and use them on my CBR250R commuter bike anyway.
They odds of you dropping your bike a very slim as long as you do not ride above your skill set!!! I've been at track days and have seen people go into turns doing about 30 mph. You go as slow or as fast as you want.

You don't have to unplug your lights. Just make sure everything is taped up enough no light comes through. This includes your brake light! You can also leave the mirrors on if you want. They just have to be tapped, as well as your turn signals.
 

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My Favourite company here in the west has a moto;

'If you think you can, or think you cant, either way you are right.'

This goes for learning, enjoying your day, or crashing.

*Im at around 50 Track days, tuning days, and 12 race days, with progressing to advanced group, a C grading, almost lap record pace at two tracks, podiums in club and state rounds, and now called on to coach others..... not one scratch of paint or hard contact aside from a bit of elbow rubbin against rivals.

.. looking back at pics from 2011 I was hopeless and confident in what ive learnt.
Chances are in the past 4 years statistically I'd be dead riding at that level on the road.

Recently bought an R3 and was petrified at the 450km I did on the road,
Took it to the track and it felt so much more natural and 'free'.

:)

'If you think you can, or think you cant, either way you are right.'
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I am thinking about my first track day and have a million questions.:) I have ridden 50,000+ miles in the last four years but never been on a track.
.
I have a really nice track two hours away.
.
http://nyst.com/
.
They have one more really nice rookie day this year where they offer a special first time course. And special first day pricing of $120. On Labor day weekend.
.
I have a really nice brand new R3 in the garage. What are the chances it will still be brand new when I get back from riding at the pace in a beginner group? What percentage of riders dump their bike at a track day?
.
Or would I have more fun renting their Ninja250 for $300 so I wouldn't have to worry?
.
The track rules allow coolant for beginner and intermediate so all I would have to do is unplug the light bulbs and remove the mirrors. I was going to swap the tires and use them on my CBR250R commuter bike anyway.
Take the R3, some painter's tape, zipties and basic tools - tech will help you figure it out when you get there. Beginner group often has the fewest crashes, intermediate the most, btw. Talk to the tire guy at the track about recommended pressures and get after it!
 

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I am thinking about my first track day and have a million questions.:) I have ridden 50,000+ miles in the last four years but never been on a track.
.
I have a really nice track two hours away.
.
http://nyst.com/
.
They have one more really nice rookie day this year where they offer a special first time course. And special first day pricing of $120. On Labor day weekend.
.
I have a really nice brand new R3 in the garage. What are the chances it will still be brand new when I get back from riding at the pace in a beginner group? What percentage of riders dump their bike at a track day?
.
Or would I have more fun renting their Ninja250 for $300 so I wouldn't have to worry?
.
The track rules allow coolant for beginner and intermediate so all I would have to do is unplug the light bulbs and remove the mirrors. I was going to swap the tires and use them on my CBR250R commuter bike anyway.
I remember my 1st track day(2 years ago) I didn't have a truck or anyway to transport myself so I rode to the track and it was a cbr250r. I didn't crash but in hindsight I could've not gotten home. But as a first track day you're always going to be cautious. I say take your R3. There's no need to try to drag a knee haha. Even now I still have to remind myself to stay calm and have fun
 

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Signed up for the special rookie program on Sept 5th. $125 plus $90 for leathers and boots. 7 times 15 minute sessions on the track and 7 times 15 minute sessions in the classroom. Rain or shine. Tent camping the night before. Tech inspect at 8:00. Breakfast and lunch buffet available. Riding to and from on the bike because that's the way I roll. I'l call for someone in my pick up truck if I wreck it. Which I'm sure the pace won't be anywhere near that high in this group.
.
Bridgestone S20evo's in the stock sizes ordered today should make for really nice all around street tires.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Signed up for the special rookie program on Sept 5th. $125 plus $90 for leathers and boots. 7 times 15 minute sessions on the track and 7 times 15 minute sessions in the classroom. Rain or shine. Tent camping the night before. Tech inspect at 8:00. Breakfast and lunch buffet available. Riding to and from on the bike because that's the way I roll. I'l call for someone in my pick up truck if I wreck it. Which I'm sure the pace won't be anywhere near that high in this group.
.
Bridgestone S20evo's in the stock sizes ordered today should make for really nice all around street tires.
$215 for that package is a good deal - good times!!
Be sure to rub a little dirt on your leathers and bodywork before you go out first session - degaussing
 

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Proud of you sendler, you'll love it,
and being the technical man you are, no doubt can soak in what the coaches say.
(just KISS and do what they do)
you are obviously smooth with throttle control being a hypermiler, this is one of the key points.

Be interested to hear your feedback,
 

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Yes if you own an r3 you owe it to her to take her to the track!

I had my first track day experience this past April and been addicted ever since, saving up for hot bodies ATM and who knows from there on!

I showed up at the track just after my first service and the r3 is my first bike ever! My first time around I was led around the track by a safety rider I was really scared and going about 30 km/hr the whole time! Passing / getting passed was scary too. But you get use to it and build your speed slowly as the OP said.
 

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The coaches say over and over the best students are the ones that have done the least miles on the road, they are correct, I was hopeless when I started from years of bad habits.


I know some C grade and above racers , male and female, that have never held a motorcycle license, or shown much of an interest in bikes.
and juniors that come in and run record pace with a few days.

It should be a compulsory part of rider training long before being let loose on the road.
 
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