First time on the track?

This track day guide will tell you exactly what to expect

The Track Day

First Things First

  • Each day begins with a mandatory Rider Meeting. THIS IS A MUST FOR ANYONE WHO WANTS TO RIDE THAT DAY.
  • Daily Rider Meetings cover information that is critical to the safety of all riders participating in the event.
  • If your day is important then you need to arrive on time.
  • Standard Events Registration and Tech open at 7:00 AM or 7:15 AM (depending on the venue) and closes at 8:20 AM when the riders meeting starts.
  • Registration and Tech Inspection for riders who were “late” but present at the riders meeting will re-open at 9:00 AM for an additional 30 minutes. You will likely miss your first on track session due to being late. PLEASE be on time.
  • Tech and registration will then close for the day at 9:30 AM.

Through The Day

  • After the Rider Meeting the first group will have about 15 minutes before their session begins at 9am.
  • Your group will go out on the track on the hour or 45 minutes
  • Sessions are usually 15 – 20 minutes long
  • A typical day will have 7 – 8 sessions with a break for lunch for the staff and corner workers around 1pm
  • There will be three announcements to warn you before your next session begins, so make sure you’re listening so you don’t miss your session!

Packing Up

  • Depending on the organization a track day will conclude around 5pm.
  • Make sure to clean your pit area and make it out on time.
  • Get home safely.

Choosing Your Group

Novice

Whether you’ve ridden a motorcycle once or just an avid street rider, this group is typically broken down into 5-10 subgroups. So if you’re brand new to the sport you will be paired with others of your skillset within the class. The novice groups will typically have some sort of classroom instruction after each session and then an assignment to follow on the track for the next session. Passing is only allowed on a straight away in this group.

Intermediate

This group is typically for a rider with a handful of track days under his/her belt or a rider nearly in the Advanced group. This group is the most unpredictable, with the widest range of skillsets. There are some who should be in Novice, some who should be in Advanced and a few who should be in Intermediate. The Control Riders do their best to filter this group in one way or another. Passing is typically only allowed on the outside for this group.

Advanced

The fast group. To move into the Advanced group a control rider will have to follow you for a few sessions before confirming that you’re ready. You have to be predictable with your speed and your raceline to make it into this group. Passing rules are typically open and people will be passing on the inside and outside of each other. Get close and comfy and don’t be afraid to trade a little paint if you want to be in this group.

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Motorcycle Preparation

The Requirements

  • All bikes must pass technical inspection prior to admittance to the track. If your bike does not pass tech inspection, you will not receive a refund. It is your responsibility to have your bike prepared prior to riding on the race track.
  • Tires and brakes must be in good condition. Tires should be at least 50%+ of new condition. Any tires that are bluing from excessive wear will be disallowed.
  • All glass, headlight, turn signals, and plastic lenses must be taped over or removed. Side mirrors must be removed for the advanced group and at least taped over for all other groups.
  • We recommend but do not require removal of center stands. No bikes with center stands will be allowed in the Advanced Group due to the ground clearance issue.
  • All machines must have an operational handlebar mounted kill switch/button and self-closing throttle in good working condition.
  • Advanced and Intermediate group riders must use water, water wetter or a non-ethyl glycol based anti-freeze/coolant. Approved Poly Glycol brands are: Evans, 7th Gear, Liquid Performance, and Engine Ice. Automotive ethyl glycol based coolants are not allowed.
  • All valve stems must have caps.
  • Wheel balance weights must be well secured and duct taping is required.
  • License plates must have bolts taped or be removed.
  • Advanced riders only must safety wire oil drain plugs, oil filter and oil fill caps. Intermediate must have a minimum of RTV or Silicone dab on the oil drain plugs and oil filter.

New Riders

After you’ve read the requirements above we recommend doing the minimal amount to get started. It doesn’t take much. Other than those requirements, go get yourself a roll of painter’s tape, tape your lights up and take your bike out to the track. You don’t need anything fancy at first. Spend the money on proper gear before spending money on a new bike.

Buying A Track Bike

Buying someone else’s track bike is extremely common for the sport. We recommend doing this, rather than spending the money to build one yourself. Someone else has already taken the financial beating and the pain to build the bike, so take full advantage of it. Buying a track bike or race bike with a salvage title or “bill of sale” is extremely common. With that, you still need to use caution and your best judgement before making your purchase. You can find a track bike at our favorite classifieds list with Wera Classifieds. If you can’t find what you’re looking for there, search the forums for your favorite track day organization for their selling forum.

Gear Requirements

What To Look For

  • Damage free BSI,ECE-2205, DOT or SNELL full-face helmet with face shield.
  • Riding boots that fully cover the ankle.
  • Gauntlet style gloves with full wrist coverage.
  • One or two piece leathers. Two piece leather suits must zip together for Novice, Intermediate or Advanced groups. Ballistic nylon suits such as Joe Rocket, AeroStitch etc. are acceptable in the Novice ONLY. They can be one piece or two piece that zip together with 50% zipper contact, reinforced and padded shoulders, elbows, hips, and knee areas. No chaps.
  • Advanced and Intermediate group riders are required to wear back protectors. Soft back pads sewn into suits are not enough.
  • We also asks that you consider the use of a chest protector.

What Gear To Buy

This is your safety we’re talking about. Our recommendation is not to skimp out on good gear because of price. Whether it’s gloves, boots or your leather suits, our favorite brands right now are Dainese and Alpinestars. Both are italian companies and you cannot beat their attention to detail. They both have a wide selection of styles and price points that you won’t be disappointed with.

What Helmet To Buy

Covering your head is key. Two of our favorite brands for helmets right now are Arai and Shoei. Both brands are worn by the best riders in the world and you cannot argue that. They also have a wide selection of styles and price points that you won’t be disappointed with.

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