First Track Day Scheduled! - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 2007, 2:09 pm Thread Starter
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First Track Day Scheduled!

I'm stoked. I received the MOA magazine on Monday and checked the National Rally update to find Sportbiketracktime is offering a track day at Road America. I just signed up for the Street session vs Fast Street as this will be my first track day. I called them first and got details and then registered on-line. There will be 50 spaces in each session. The day runs 9 - 5 with a 1 hour lunch, 30-minute rotating track sessions for a total time of 3 1/2 hours on the fantastic 4 mile track.

Any of you do this before? Care to share your advice for a rookie or your experiences?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 2007, 3:06 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2wheeler
I'm stoked. I received the MOA magazine on Monday and checked the National Rally update to find Sportbiketracktime is offering a track day at Road America. I just signed up for the Street session vs Fast Street as this will be my first track day. I called them first and got details and then registered on-line. There will be 50 spaces in each session. The day runs 9 - 5 with a 1 hour lunch, 30-minute rotating track sessions for a total time of 3 1/2 hours on the fantastic 4 mile track.

Any of you do this before? Care to share your advice for a rookie or your experiences?
Whaaahooo!!! It is one of the best motorcycle experiences I've ever had.

Recommendations:
Since you're new to the track you'll want to get there early for the track walk, meet and great and general orientation.

If you live more than a half hour from the track, you should trailer the bike. I know 30 minutes on the bike is nothing, but you will very likely be totally "out of gas" physically and mentally by the time you're done. You might even have drained the tank on the bike and track gas to get home is pricey.

Bring an extra 5 gallon can of gas. You might get through the day on one tank, but then again you might need just a bit more to finish the day.

Also with the trailer, you can prep the bike per that tracks requirements the night before. In my case I wrapped the tail light in aluminum foil and removed the mirrors on the K-R. Some tracks have you swap out the coolant for clear water, others don't. The track will probably have you tape the headlight. If it's just to block the light you could simply turn off your headlight. If it's also to hold the glass together if you wreck then tape it up.

If you live more than, say, about an hour from the track, then get there the night before and stay at the hotel they recommend. They'll be guys there going to the track, plus that extra hour or so of sleep you'll save is valuable.

If you like to lean a lot, it wouldn't hurt to pull the center stand.

Stay stoked 'cuz you are going to have a BLAST!!!

.


Bill "Omaha"

"Life may have begun at 44, but it didn't get thrilling until I shot past 100"

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Last edited by BillyOmaha; Apr 6th, 2007 at 3:58 am.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 2007, 2:16 am
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Yep, BTDT. At the time I was riding the LT, and it was the only one there (BMW day at Buttonwillow in November '05). It sure made me realize how heavy that bike is but I had a blast, held my own against the other riders, and even managed to pass a guy on a K1200S. OK, so he couldn't corner to save his life, but he sure did rocket away on every straight. Eventually I carried enough momentum through a tight section leading into a long sweeper that I just scooted on by him.

What Billy says is the most sensible way of doing it. Instead I got up super early and rode the 100 miles there, ran the track day, then rode home that night.

Do make sure that you have excellent tires. If they're worn more than 50%, then change them out before you get there. You will eat up a lot of rubber, and a whole lot of fuel, and it will be well worth it. I get 40-45 mpg on the LT on public roads, but got closer to 26 mpg at the track.

Also, take heed when they say to warm up the tires fully before getting on it. We had a guy on an early-generation GT that overpowered out of a corner on his first or second lap and low-sided. He was much more cautious after that, as were we all.

I'm definitely gonna try it again on the GT.

Ken
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 2007, 6:30 am
 
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Billy has everything nailed down pretty good. (Good job Billy!) But don't take advise from a guy who would take an LT onto a track. :wtf I hate those morons slowing real riders down on the curves. Probably the same kinda guy would put a peg lowering kit on a GT and wonder why he can't keep up with those same real riders. But . . . I digress...

Have fun. Be safe. Push yourself. Be prepared to learn more in 8 hours on a track, than you've learned the past 8 years on the street.

Oh yea.... Also prepare yourself to be waiting on your friends from that day forward.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 2007, 11:35 am
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Hey there Joe, isn't it about time you hit 1,000 posts and took some time off?

Looking forward to seeing you in May, out in my neck of the woods.

Ken
Pacific NorthWet
'13 Dark Graphite Metallic K16GTLD, 24K miles and counting...
'09 Magnesium Beige Metallic K13GT, 60K miles miles and counting...
'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
BMWLT#145, IBA# 366, MOA# 111996, SCMA# 24032

All lower 48 states plus Alaska on the K13GT in two weeks . . .

Some people see the gas tank as half empty. Some see it as half full. All I care is that I know where the next tankful is coming from...
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 2007, 11:40 am
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meese
Looking forward to seeing you in May, out in my neck of the woods.
Right back at ya. But you better removed them extenders.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 2007, 4:15 pm
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Took my GT to Laguna Seca for the level 1 Keith Code school. Approximately 5 laps for each of 5 drills. about 80 miles total. 25mpg sounds about right. The coolant stayed in the bike, no water-wetter or clear water required. I'm guessing at a track school or non-race event, they're not too excited about the coolant as they would be for any kind of racing event...guessing though.

Two hour drive, so I trailered it and got a motel room. Wasn't sure how I'd be at the end of the day. Knowing what I know now, I could have rode the bike there, stayed at the motel, and rode back the next day. However, the trailer also had extra gas cans and on a track day instead of track school, I imagine you're on the track a whole lot more, so the extra would come in handy. Then, I had everything else in the car...tools, ramps, extra clothes, etc. Now, I can honestly pack for a four day trip with the side cases and tail bag and take the bike, but I didn't know just how things would turn out. Were I to go to Laguna again, I'd still drive with a trailer. Way I look at it, I don't intend to leave the track on any corner, nor expect any rider (or myself) to misjudge such that I have an unintentional get-off. But, if it does happen, I do have the means to get everything back home, one way or another.



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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 2007, 10:22 pm
 
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I didn't have access to a trailer when I did mine and I was pretty much mental jello at the end of the day - just in time to hit rushhour traffic. It's a good call to either trailer or stay nearby, if you can.

Take a roll of blue painter's tape for your headlights and turn signals.

Small gas can's a good idea. You probably won't need two full tanks for one day, but you'll probably need more than one. Some tracks sell gas on site, but if you think $3/gallon is bad, wait until you see what the track will extract.

Food and water are also a great thing to have. Hot day + tarmac+ physical activity + leathers is about as good an equation for dehydration as you can get. Snacks w/ a bit of protein will help keep you focused.

Have a blast. I'm scheduling one for June.

Oh, start doing squats now. too.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 2007, 11:05 pm
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Track Days

I have done it both ways, that is, rode to the track (Willow Springs) and trailered (Laguna Seca). Each time the ride/drive was quite tiring. Of course San Diego is a far piece from either track, but trailering is a much better alternative. As has been already said, you have everything in one place and that simplifies life a great deal.
All out track days, whether schooling or club events take a great deal out of you, no matter what your level of expertise. Driving home allows you to take it easy and enables the sharing process with your fellow rider or significant track supporter.
Have a great time and learn all you can as it can be very addictive. Ride safe.
EJ
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 2007, 11:27 pm
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You might find some helpful info in my "Sportbiketracktime First Timers Report" I did a while back at http://piratesk12site.net/Trackday.htm You'll laugh.. you'll cry..

I have some "Basic Non-Riding Tips for the First Timer's Track Day" at the end..

FYI.. I'm booked with them for a July session at Barber.. Have rode with them 4-5 times. All pleasant experiences. Grrrrrreat people to ride with..
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