How did you get into track riding? - 600RR.net
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-21-2014, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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How did you get into track riding?

I'm interested in it, but unsure of where to start. I bought my newest cbr from a guy used it as both a track and street bike, so it's already got some quality breaking equip and decent track/road tires.

I dont have any real gear though, or track experience of any kind.

Im just done pushing limits on the street, but dont want to lose the thrill entirely. I think my biggest fear is just being the turtle gettin in the veterans way and stuff. That, and the cost!

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-21-2014, 04:15 PM
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Track days do cost some. The tires put in some WORK. I was afraid of getting in people's way and stuff. I was told to just look forward and focus on yourself and hold your lines. It's the passers responsibility to get by you safely. Guys are usually real nice at tracks, especially with advice.

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-21-2014, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imhoffg View Post
I'm interested in it, but unsure of where to start. I bought my newest cbr from a guy used it as both a track and street bike, so it's already got some quality breaking equip and decent track/road tires.

I dont have any real gear though, or track experience of any kind.

Im just done pushing limits on the street, but dont want to lose the thrill entirely. I think my biggest fear is just being the turtle gettin in the veterans way and stuff. That, and the cost!

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-21-2014, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imhoffg View Post
I'm interested in it, but unsure of where to start. I bought my newest cbr from a guy used it as both a track and street bike, so it's already got some quality breaking equip and decent track/road tires.

I dont have any real gear though, or track experience of any kind.

Im just done pushing limits on the street, but dont want to lose the thrill entirely. I think my biggest fear is just being the turtle gettin in the veterans way and stuff. That, and the cost!

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I started track riding because like you, I started taking unnecessary risks on the road. As far as being a turtle goes, don't sweat it. That is one of the reasons they have three (sometimes 4) different groups that run at different sessions. Consisting of novice, intermediate, expert and (sometimes) racers.

There is always going to be somebody faster in your group, but it is their job to pass you in a safe manner and in a way that is in accordance with the track organizer's rules.

As far as gear goes, you should invest in a 1 piece suit, race boots and gloves. They can be had for cheap if your patient and good at scoping deals. A 2 piece suit will suffice but a 1 piece is definitely safer.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-21-2014, 05:34 PM
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Track days are not only an awesome way to get to know your bike but a ton of fun, be ready to become poor due to your new addiction. Gear is really important, so make sure you do your research on whats good and whats not. Besides that, getting your suspension set up for you is a great start and a nice set of tires will suffice.

Don't worry about being fast straight away because you probably wont, just focus on having a good time and learning.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-21-2014, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by The Volta View Post
Track days are not only an awesome way to get to know your bike but a ton of fun, be ready to become poor due to your new addiction. Gear is really important, so make sure you do your research on whats good and whats not. Besides that, getting your suspension set up for you is a great start and a nice set of tires will suffice.

Don't worry about being fast straight away because you probably wont, just focus on having a good time and learning.
Well said. Track days are awesome and addicting! I got involved because I went to watch a friend of mine race and I got to take my bike out during lunch time's "Taste of racing" and I was hooked! I had zero experience but just asked a TON of questions and found out that riders are super helpful and are great resources. Check out some track day providers in your area, ask lots of questions and just go for it.

You may also want to consider taking a riding school first as it really gives you great foundations and ideas of skills/techniques you can work on during your track day so that you don't end up developing bad habits :)

I have a couple of articles on my website that may give you some more info if you want to check them out.

http://www.motomom.ca/track-days-not-just-for-racers/

http://www.motomom.ca/8-mistakes-new...to-avoid-them/

http://www.motomom.ca/school-or-track-day/


Happy riding!
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-22-2014, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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Where do you live?
Lower alabama. I think theres quite a few tracks around here, and a couple riding schools

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-22-2014, 05:34 PM
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If you find out what all there is around L.A. post it up. I'd like to go sometime even if it's just to watch with the wife and kids my kids love the bikes.

I remember a buddy of mine used to go to Gulfport I think but there could be something somewhere else.

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-24-2014, 02:36 PM
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Spoiler alert: the track will totally ruin street riding for you. That being said, you should definitely do it, even if you decide afterwards it's not your thing.

As far as gear goes, get in touch with your local track day provider, and find out what they require. I ride with: helmet, boots, gloves, 1-piece suit, back protector, and armored shorts. Good gear can be purchased used, and it's a very worthwhile investment. Two-piece suits are fine, if you've got one; no need to go out and buy a 1-piece suit for your first track day.

As far as bike preparation goes, again, get in touch with your local provider to find out what they require. Modern sport bikes are so capable, chances are you won't need to do much. The usual list is making sure you've got plenty of tire and brake pad material left, clean & lube your chain (add a little slack too), and unplug or tape up your lights. You might need to replace coolant with water + water wetter.

Depending on who you ride with, there may be some vendors at your track day. If there is a suspension guru, go to him. Pay whatever it costs, and get your suspension set up for you. Suspension set up is a black art, and the people who can do it are worth their weight in gold. If there is a tire vendor, find out what tire pressures you should be running and set them. If there are instructors, and you can get some time with them, DO IT. Ask them to follow you and critique. Talk to them about lines, body positioning, and how to be more smooth.

Do not worry about being the slow guy. Everyone is there to learn, and so are you. It's a track day --- there are no points or trophies, and everyone's got to go back to work on Monday. Like others have said, it is 100% the responsibility of the faster rider to get around you. The best thing you can do is focus on your own riding, and be predictable and smooth.

Unfortunately, this is an expensive hobby. Track time and tires are basically non-negotiable, and they cost a lot. That being said, you can find out ways to save money, e.g., buying take-offs, camping at the track, bringing your own food, splitting travel costs with friends, etc. The single biggest way to save money is to not crash. Crashing hurts, and it's very expensive. Don't do it. This basically means not riding above your head.

It seems like a lot to process, and it kind of is. Nothing can really prepare you for your first session on a hot track, and that's okay. It's amazing, bottom line. Seriously, do it as soon as you can.

It is a foolish dog that barks at flying birds.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-25-2014, 06:01 AM Thread Starter
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Ah! Now im hooked. Just not sure i can afford it or accept the risk right now. If i got laid up and couldnt work right now, even for a day, id be in big trouble. It sounds like people wreck pretty often, so i think ill wait for a year or two.

Gotta find a good deal on a suit and boots anyways. And tires.

But you guys have hightened my curiousity! First step, I think i might go scope out some of the tracks and just watch. Get a good feel for how it all works and what other guys are doing.

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-25-2014, 06:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imhoffg View Post
Ah! Now im hooked. Just not sure i can afford it or accept the risk right now. If i got laid up and couldnt work right now, even for a day, id be in big trouble. It sounds like people wreck pretty often, so i think ill wait for a year or two.

Gotta find a good deal on a suit and boots anyways. And tires.

But you guys have hightened my curiousity! First step, I think i might go scope out some of the tracks and just watch. Get a good feel for how it all works and what other guys are doing.

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Can always do a race school first, that way you can hire the bike and gear. Also gives you a taste of track riding at your pace and helps you get better without risking your own kit.


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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-25-2014, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by imhoffg View Post
Ah! Now im hooked. Just not sure i can afford it or accept the risk right now. If i got laid up and couldnt work right now, even for a day, id be in big trouble. It sounds like people wreck pretty often, so i think ill wait for a year or two.

Gotta find a good deal on a suit and boots anyways. And tires.

But you guys have hightened my curiousity! First step, I think i might go scope out some of the tracks and just watch. Get a good feel for how it all works and what other guys are doing.

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There's a chance of you wrecking at the track just the same as you wrecking on the street. But at least the track is a controlled environment. Just ride your own ride. I rode the track for 4 years before my first wreck

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-25-2014, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imhoffg View Post
Ah! Now im hooked. Just not sure i can afford it or accept the risk right now. If i got laid up and couldnt work right now, even for a day, id be in big trouble. It sounds like people wreck pretty often, so i think ill wait for a year or two.

Gotta find a good deal on a suit and boots anyways. And tires.

But you guys have hightened my curiousity! First step, I think i might go scope out some of the tracks and just watch. Get a good feel for how it all works and what other guys are doing.

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To be honest I am more afraid of crashing on the street than on the track. I also wear the same gear on the street as I do on the track. I'm an all the gear all the time kind of guy. :D

Anyway, I just started on the track a few weeks ago and I am hooked. It's all I think about now, how I am going to get back out there. There are different groups, novice, intermediate, and advanced, so you don't have to worry about holding the fast guys up. As far as the gear goes, most tracks rent leathers so you can try it once or twice if you don't already own the gear.

Just try it out, I'm betting you have the time of your life.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-29-2014, 02:13 PM
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Can always do a race school first, that way you can hire the bike and gear. Also gives you a taste of track riding at your pace and helps you get better without risking your own kit.


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I'm coach with the California Superbike School which offers track classes on rented bikes (BMW S1000's!!) and is a great way to check out the track environment without worrying about your own bike, gear etc. You work with a ride instructor and get lots of seminar instruction so you can avoid having bad habits down the road. Anyway, let me know if you have any specific questions about the school or about track riding or racing :) I've done a lot
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-29-2014, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by misti hurst View Post
I'm coach with the California Superbike School which offers track classes on rented bikes (BMW S1000's!!) and is a great way to check out the track environment without worrying about your own bike, gear etc. You work with a ride instructor and get lots of seminar instruction so you can avoid having bad habits down the road. Anyway, let me know if you have any specific questions about the school or about track riding or racing :) I've done a lot

Am I correct in my assumption that if I were to crash one of those S1000's I'd have to pay for that bike though?

Not everybody DOESN'T do those things either!
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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-29-2014, 03:13 PM
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Just finished up my first track day, and as others have already said, do it!

I was incredibly slow, probably the slowest guy out there, but I had a blast and didn't get in anyone's way. Well, not too much anyway, not enough that I felt uncomfortable.

Crashing is a concern but the only people I saw crashing were people that seemed to be riding aggressively or beyond their limit. Just don't push it and you'll be fine.

Learned more in 8 hours of track time than nearly 15 years of riding. Most fun I've had riding in that time as well.

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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-01-2014, 03:11 PM
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For me, I had been riding on the street for quite a while. Bought my first bike at 16, and had wrecked god only knows how many times. I rode like a complete moron! And lucky to be alive.

LOVED watching races and always did my "Post Race Ride" that was quite spirited...

One day my (no ex) pushed me to do a trackday... There were 2 per year. So I tried it... That was December of 2006, on my 2004 CBR 1000RR.

That was it, the following March I had an 07 600RR dedicated track bike, new trailer, suit, boots, etc... I was hooked!

In 2008 I was asked for the first time if I wanted to do some "CR'ing." Then later that year it was instructing, then in 2009 I did some private coaching and it's been nonstop ever since!

In 2009 I started my own company (involving the same), started racing in 2010. Did some AMA Crew stuff in 2011 and have crew cheifed for 3 AMA teams since then!

It's been a HELL of a ride!


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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-06-2014, 01:38 PM
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Am I correct in my assumption that if I were to crash one of those S1000's I'd have to pay for that bike though?
You put a deposit on the bike, it's $1200 I believe (you need to check with the office as I'm just a coach ;) But if you wad the bike then they assess the damages and you pay only what is busted on it, up to the amount of the deposit. If you only do $50 worth of damage you pay $50, or if you destroy it you pay $1200 and walk away.
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