When is a good time to start on the track? - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-22-2004, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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When is a good time to start on the track?

I am going to be riding a sportbike for the first time this year. How much time should I spend on the street before attempting a track day? I was thinking if I can get a full season on the street I may be ready the following year. Also, what types of things should I work on to get ready? Panic stops, throttle control, and turning are on my list. I have also read proficient motorcycling, are there any other books or techniques I should be working on/studying?

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-22-2004, 06:50 PM
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If you haven't taken the MSF class DO IT. It's free and you don't even need a bike. I haven't been to the track yet (hopefully this year) but I don't think I was ready until after my first full year of riding. I know some that have gone right to the track on their first season and did fine. It's all about how comfortable you are with it. I'm sure you'll know when you're ready........

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-22-2004, 06:56 PM
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When you get your bike, hook up with one of the guys on the board. Any of us would be happy to show you the ropes. There are a few basic things we can show you. Unfortunately, the rest is up to you and your abilities. Practice, practice, practice. Ken (Odysseys) hopefully will be putting on a Riding Skills Course class this coming spring. If he does it, try to make it a priority to attend.

As far as the track, it won't be any fun until you are somewhat familar with your bike. If you get a lot of miles in on curvy roads between now and May, I'd say hit up one of the CLSB Track days or a NESBA track day in May or June. Just be warned that crashes do happen.

I suggest reading the Twist of the Wrist 1 (or 2) books before you start riding your bike. It will teach you about the physics involved with riding a motorcycle and what to expect.

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Last edited by whiteSeatEnvy; 12-22-2004 at 07:01 PM.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-22-2004, 07:12 PM
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You might actually find it easier to get use to the bike on the track, because your not worried about road conditions, road debris, cars, trucks and everything else. I fine it easier to ride on the track. If you mess up on the track you more than likely just go for a ride on the grass which is much better than hitting a light pole or getting ran over and of you do go down you'll have that same nice soft grass to go for a slide though. The biggest thing you need to know when on the track is to be predictable so that others can anticipate your motions and pass you safely. In the beginner groups there is only passing on the straights.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-22-2004, 07:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by racingxtc7
You might actually find it easier to get use to the bike on the track, because your not worried about road conditions, road debris, cars, trucks and everything else. I fine it easier to ride on the track. If you mess up on the track you more than likely just go for a ride on the grass which is much better than hitting a light pole or getting ran over and of you do go down you'll have that same nice soft grass to go for a slide though. The biggest thing you need to know when on the track is to be predictable so that others can anticipate your motions and pass you safely. In the beginner groups there is only passing on the straights.
True! Now that I think about it, I have to agree. Downside is, you probably would hold everyone else up. Also, if you can't control your bike, and follow the rules, you could endanger other riders on the track. Pay attention to these two things and the track might be the best place for you to learn.

"includes 10 used-car dealers or auto repair shops, 11 liquor stores and bars--two of which advertise lingerie fashion shows and a third billed as a "gentlemen's club"--three cut-rate motels and one trailer park. The squat, brick municipal building is next to a currency exchange and a few steps from an adult video store. The bars open at 10 a.m. and close at 6:30 a.m."

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-22-2004, 07:58 PM
 
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With the way groups like NESBA are structured and supervised, I think going to the track early on will be very beneficial.... as long as it doesn't make you overconfident on the street afterwards.

I did my first NESBA day after around 12,000 street miles and 4 months of riding during my first season.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-22-2004, 09:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joemama
I am going to be riding a sportbike for the first time this year. How much time should I spend on the street before attempting a track day? I was thinking if I can get a full season on the street I may be ready the following year. Also, what types of things should I work on to get ready? Panic stops, throttle control, and turning are on my list. I have also read proficient motorcycling, are there any other books or techniques I should be working on/studying?

J-
I purchased my first street bike last spring and started riding without getting into any MSF classes. I would have liked to, but that didn't stop me from riding. I started with a good bike (Ninja 250R) and a lot of careful street time, and I was always wearing as much protective gear as I owned.

I did 3 track days at BHF in August and September and everything seemed to work out well for me. In fact I wished I would have gotten to the track SOONER, as I went down on the street due to my inexperience and my lack of faith in the bike's abilites. The track days let me learn the bike can do in a safer environment than the street.

That being said, the track is defintely not a place for beginners, as I felt a little spooked since there were other people out there moving much faster than me.

The best advice I can think is to go with an MSF, attend some of the senior member's 'class days' and then maybe goto a track day as an observer first. Learn the routine and the basics, and then on your first riding day you'll be able to concentrate more on other things.

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-22-2004, 10:20 PM
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all great answers, also too next spring, i will be holding riding classes to get people on the right track from the start to even vets to advancing there skill from there with a full season of correct riding you be ready for the track for sure.



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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-22-2004, 10:29 PM
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I'd say get familiar with the bike just enough so that you don't have pucker moments ridin' the streets. I'm not saying though wait a whole season before you do track. It can however be little intimidating at first, but once you get over it, the track is a great place to devote majority of your conenctration on you and the bike, without worrying about the environment, like you would on the street. Bottom line is, you can do track, and as long as you keep our ego in check, you'll definatelly get something out of it (skillwise). It's not about how fast you are compared to other guys, it's how much new stuff ya learned about yourself and the bike
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-23-2004, 08:45 AM
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The main thing is be smoooooth. No matter how fast or slow you are if you are not smooth you will crash. Get some miles in on your bike in the spring then hit a trackday in the summer you will be fine. If you need help ask anyone uf us and we will help. I don't ride on the street anymore but if you ever go to a trackday that I am at I will help you out.
post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-23-2004, 09:50 AM
 
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If possible, try to get some seat time in on a dirt bike. Something small like a XR100 or TTR125 that you can get the feel of the bike moving around underneath you. Learn as much as you can about "what" you want the bike to do and "why" in certain situations instead of being "reactionary" to what the bike is doing. Twist II is an excellent read, but you need to take the time to understand it.

Search for some threads on "first bikes" also.......you probably don't want to jump right into trackdays with little/no experience and a liter bike.

Attend a trackday as a spectator or cornerworker first. See what is going on so the first time you decide to ride it all won't be so new and unfamiliar to you.

Have fun, stay safe, trust your tires - they're always better than you think.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-24-2004, 12:05 AM
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I don't think you need to wait a season. Get familiar with the bike and then go to the track. Street riding experience for the most part won't help you at all on the track so the sooner you get on the track the better. Way back when... there was no track days so if you wanted to ride on the track.. you had no choice but to take a race school and go racing and alot of people including myself bought bikes and went racing without seeing the street at all. There's nothing that's going to prepare you for your first day at the track. No dirtbike riding, no video games, no going for a spirited run down lake shore drive... nothing. So you might as well just sign up and go.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-24-2004, 05:42 AM
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Have you got your M-class yet? If not, take the MSF course, get the M-class. Street riding and track riding are two totally different skills. MSF will give you insight and skills on survivng the street and give you a solid foundation for your track experience.

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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-24-2004, 06:25 AM Thread Starter
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I've already got my M-class and took the MSF course. I was thinking I would get my bike and become familiar, then take the EMSF then try for a track day.

Do you think it would be wise to get some frame sliders before going to the track?

J-
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-24-2004, 07:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joemama
I've already got my M-class and took the MSF course. I was thinking I would get my bike and become familiar, then take the EMSF then try for a track day.

Do you think it would be wise to get some frame sliders before going to the track?

J-
Frame sliders are the first thing you should purchase and best thing you can purchase for that new bike. Get good ones. Motovation makes good ones. So does Champ91 (member on the board). Send him a PM and let him know you are looking for frame sliders - give him the make, model, and year of your bike. Frame silders are a must have!

"includes 10 used-car dealers or auto repair shops, 11 liquor stores and bars--two of which advertise lingerie fashion shows and a third billed as a "gentlemen's club"--three cut-rate motels and one trailer park. The squat, brick municipal building is next to a currency exchange and a few steps from an adult video store. The bars open at 10 a.m. and close at 6:30 a.m."

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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-24-2004, 08:17 AM
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Yes and no on the frame sliders. They help alot on the street but for the track I personally would not put then on. I have seen over and over again bikes that have them on and the will slide nicely across the pavement but as soon as it hits the grash no more sliding. It starts to flip over and over again. I am just speaking for instances that I have seen maybe other trackday/races will chime in.
post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-24-2004, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Good2Go
Yes and no on the frame sliders. They help alot on the street but for the track I personally would not put then on. I have seen over and over again bikes that have them on and the will slide nicely across the pavement but as soon as it hits the grash no more sliding. It starts to flip over and over again. I am just speaking for instances that I have seen maybe other trackday/races will chime in.

Seen that also while cornerworking. But also seen them with sliders just slide also. Kinda the luck of the draw.
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