Track days

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by cogitate, Apr 29, 2013.

  1. cogitate

    cogitate What Marcellus Wallace Looks Like

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    Who actually does these? Car or bike? Where? How much?:ear

    When I read the specs on new sporty/sports cars/bikes, they have electronics for track modes. I thought to myself, who actually does them? What percentage of buyers go to the track that would warrant such a feature? I thought it was just an ego button on the dash, i.e., hey, my car can go fast on the track and yours can't :rofl

    A few years ago my buddy who goes out to Willow Springs to do track days on his CBR, wanted to throw my Hawk in his pickup and take me with him. IIRC, it was about $300 for the day, and he said I would need new tires afterwards. His track bike was a dedicated machine, he also had another street bike. Since my bike was my only transportation at the time, I declined.
    #1
  2. McCormack

    McCormack Cronkite of CSM

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    I never have, but would love to. I think it'd really improve my riding and my confidence on my machine.
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  3. fullmonte

    fullmonte Reformed Kneedragger

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    It's like explaining sex to a virgin. Ya gotta try it man.:deal
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  4. Range Motorsport

    Range Motorsport Junk collector

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    There are usually vehicle/equipment restrictions for track use, wire tied fasteners, taped glass or safety glass only, no glycol coolant, full leathers, 4 or 5 point harnesses, hans device, etc. It all depends on the track and who is running it.
    #4
  5. Manuel Garcia O'Kely

    Manuel Garcia O'Kely Back at last

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    Never did a real wide open track day, but did take CLASS a few times. Once with a Harley, once a 750 Nighthawk, once with a VFR800. I'm not a hot shoe type guy so that was plenty of experience for me - and it's pretty educational - you really learn to trust your tires if you do it right, and Reg is a real big guy on smooth riding - easy inputs, etc. - no diving into corner chopping throttle and hammering brakes....

    I think that a course like that does improve your street riding skill, and yes, it's a pain to have to buy new tires before the class.
    #5
  6. BCC

    BCC I know better

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    I did track days hardcore for 4 years on a 600. First time, the bike had 500 miles on it and was street legal with street plastics and I rode it there and back. After that, race plastics and a trailer.

    You think you can ride? Ha. Not until you've done track days. And even after 4 years, there was ALWAYS folks faster.

    It got the Ricky out of me for the most part. Now I ride a Geezer Harley.


    And a Ducati.


    I loved track days. Loved passing guys on liter bikes.


    But the boat is what I do on weekends now.
    #6
  7. Tripped1

    Tripped1 Likely Lost.

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    ...and how much varies buy club, around here they do premiums one club does buy three get one, of if you run X days one season they throw more at you later.

    Another way to do it cheap is corner working a lot will let you work the morning and ride the afternoon.

    In these parts you don't have to safety wire or get funky with the coolant until advanced, which takes a lot of the prep work out. You don't really chew tires unless you have sport touring rubber, I got 5,000 miles and I think 4 (or 6 don't remember) out of the stock Super Corsa SPs that came on my 675.

    Lethers are a must, FF helmet, gauntlet gloves and armored riding boots.

    After that a lot of the time you can basically painter's tape all of the glass on your bike, check the pads and take it to tech....where I ALWAYS get nailed for chain tension, its always either too lose or too tight, sometimes both in the same day lol

    Prices range from $125 (with memberships) to $220 a day, with multi-day discounts being pretty common, just depends on where and with whom you are riding.
    #7
  8. RxZ

    RxZ Legal Drug Dealer

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    :nod

    I've done it once (track day guys, get your heads out of the gutter!) two years ago and I would love to go back. And that was in a Honda Civic Si :lol3

    If I had a Miata or BRZ or... Yeah, I would go again. The track day I did was $125 at Eagles Canyon Raceway outside of Fort Worth. Price for bikes is the same, except I would need leathers, new tires, etc.
    #8
  9. FPGT72

    FPGT72 Long timer

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    Not sure if I would want to....years ago I raced, (SCCA F-Production...that is where the name comes from FPGT72...F-prod opel GT #72)...while I know I can't race anymore, just not sure if the juice would be there for a lapping day.
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  10. Bueller

    Bueller Cashin?

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    I did many on two wheels. As others said. Very educational. Of all of them, my favorite track day was on my husqvarna 610 SM at mid ohio. Woefully under equipped for the big straight, it topped out at 107 indicated. Then I would scream by everyone who had passed me on the straight once we hit the twisty parts. A pair of douches on liter bikes said my lines were making them nervous. Translation - they couldnt stand getting passed by 53 horsepower on their 180 hp technological marvels. I reminded everyone we were in the advanced sessions, and if someone didn't know how to deal with a person taking a less conventional line and experimenting a bit perhaps they should step back to the intermediate group. That was the end of that discussion. Which brings up a good point - there are dickheads everywhere, and yes, you will find people who are actually trying to "win" the track day. Some will even complain after you pass them and try to get you removed from the group or the track all together.

    Typically you'll find true skill to be in relatively short supply, while bravado, ego, and stupidity is plentiful. Still, for the years I was doing it I was absolutely at my best as a rider. A day at the track is better at sharpening skills than thousands of miles of road riding.
    #10
  11. pachap

    pachap CANNOT RIDE

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    I have done both bike and car track days... as a spectator. I've really enjoyed them. The ones I've went to have been free to watch, bring a lawn chair and a cooler type of thing. They made for pretty relaxing days.
    #11
  12. Tripped1

    Tripped1 Likely Lost.

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    No really, SMs run totally different lines than bigger bikes, I've seen that one more than once, They are usually way closer inside on sweepers and and way further out on transitions, so they cut across the lines of the SS bikes at odd places, its pretty disconcerting.

    I brake early and them go zinging by so I don't have to deal with it.

    Hell on of the orgs around here was talking about not letting them on lightening at NJMP because that track is really REALLY fast (there are basically two places you are under a ton at advanced pace) and the SMs were causing issues in every class with people having to check up because of the difference in lines and closing speeds.
    #12
  13. Squelch

    Squelch Everyday People

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    I've done maybe a couple dozen track days in the past few years on my Daytona 675, on five different tracks. As stated earlier, it's just like sex - once you do it, you know why everyone loves it. It's a great way to really learn what your bike is capable of, and to take chances in a safe environment. I leaned that 675 over far more than I ever thought I could, and I probably still had more. I finally learned how much throttle will make the rear wheel spin a little in corners, but without risking getting run over by an SUV. I found out how quickly I can scrub off speed without losing control, and how to find the best line through curves. It's just a great way to learn more about motorcycling.

    Many track day organizations have a "try the track" thing that they run during lunchtime. Give that a shot, or go for the full introductory day. I've ridden with four different track day organizations, and they were all low pressure, and a decent group of people to hang out with.

    I bought my wife a 370Z last summer - I'm waiting until she goes to visit her mom or something, so I can take it to the track too... :evil
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  14. Bueller

    Bueller Cashin?

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    Great, but if the organizers allow it and if you are in an advanced session the motto is "adapt and overcome".

    I spent lots more time on an R6, a Buell XB12 Firebolt, and even an FZ-1 than I did on a sumo, and at multiple tracks. I was out there with many sumos, and like you I adjusted without complaint. What's significantly more disconcerting to me are the idiots who talk their way into a class that is way over their heads on bikes that are way beyond their control and capabilities, and the track coaches allow them to stay there.
    #14
  15. RxZ

    RxZ Legal Drug Dealer

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    Not to thread-jack.... But how did the FZ1 do? I have recently bought a first generation FZ1 and am contemplating a track day.
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  16. Tripped1

    Tripped1 Likely Lost.

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    Shouldn't be an issue, a guy I know hauls his father on his Bandit 1200, you see all sorts of bikes, if you can get it through tech and they don't feel its a danger to other riders, two wheels is good to go. I can think of a lot "worse" bikes I've seen on trackdays. People use SVs, in fact SVs are all over the damn place at most of them, an FZ1 wouldn't be that unusual.

    Not to mention that I doubt you have to worry about what the bike can do, most people that have never been on a track find out they don't know much and they have a long way to go, as a chassis the FZ should be more than sufficient as long as the nut on the seat doesn't come loose.
    #16
  17. Tripped1

    Tripped1 Likely Lost.

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    Generally yes, I've also seen it with two different orgs where the SM guys were botted down to intermidiate from advanced just to keep the closing speeds down

    I agree, but it is what it is. My personal peeve is the no passing on the inside rule, I'd rather have people there, I can see them.
    #17
  18. Barry

    Barry Just Beastly

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    Can't agree with this enough. Nobody is "fast" that doesn't spend time on a track. Nobody. Anyone who thinks "fast" can be achieved on the street speaks from ignorance.

    Barry
    #18
  19. Bueller

    Bueller Cashin?

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    Great engine! I was typically hitting 155 + on the back straight at mid ohio, 135 or so on the front straight at beaver run in PA. Plenty of power everywhere. But the suspension? Not so great. What is good for the combination of street comfort and performance is too soft for the track. I ran with the rear shock cranked all the way up, and weighed about 180 in leathers. That wasn't enough to keep me from dragging all kinds of hard parts around the track. It is also heavy by sport bike standards, so it is taxing on a smaller person like myself to push that much weight around all day. Of course I was running the nuts off of that bike. If you don't ride as hard or are just starting out it will be more than sufficient.

    I sold it and went to the R6 because I was at the stage where there just wasn't getting around spending serious money on suspension, and it made more sense to buy a purpose built bike for the track.
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  20. RxZ

    RxZ Legal Drug Dealer

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    OK, good to know. This would be my first track day on a bike, and only second overall so suffice it to say I would be a novice. The FZ1 I bought has a rear shock from an R6 on it, so that should firm it up some (it is still a 500 lb bike though). The front is stock, and I am not going to make any changes until I know what I need. The previous owner set the settings for his weight, which is similar to mine (205 or so).

    Fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately) all the "local" tracks are about 2-3 hours from me, so I doubt I go that often. I am ok with having a great commuting bike that gets used occasionally at the track. Good enough trade off for me.
    #20