What's going to be the best upcoming track day for a n00b? - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-07-2005, 07:28 PM Thread Starter
 
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What's going to be the best upcoming track day for a n00b?

As soon as the coming season rolls around, I'd like to take my bike on the track.

Any recommendations as to date/location/track day organization?
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-07-2005, 07:46 PM
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NESBA!!!!!!

your best bet is one of the local tracks, autoban or blackhawk farms, no need drive to atlanta for your first track day! save that for later in the year!

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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-07-2005, 09:28 PM

 
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Talking

Organization...NESBA
Track/date............which ever one you pick cause it is addicting.


Anyone argue with that????

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too slow to ride

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OK, it was a tough day.....back open again!!!
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-07-2005, 09:33 PM

 
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Talking shut smarta$$ off now

Nesba offers an introductory ride for the first 2 sessions at every event for free. Check their web site nesba.com. Just be prepared to join and ride the balance of the day cause you will be having that much fun.
Stay in touch with the bunch here and I'm sure we will figure out how to help you get addicted like us as soon as the schedule comes out.
Oh, you maybe asking when the schedule comes out, well right after Jan 1.
Hope that helps.

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sold the track bike
too slow to ride

"Repairs end December 31. 2011."

OK, it was a tough day.....back open again!!!
Bring me your broken down machines.

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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-07-2005, 10:05 PM
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Who: NESBA!

Where: For your first track day? What kind of bike are you riding?

600 - Perhaps ride a more technical track (shorter and tighter turns)
Blackhawk, Autobahn North (or South), Putnam

1000 - Perhaps ride a more open, faster sweeping track.
RoadAmerica

Either way, wherever you ride, you are gonna love it. Season starts in February, the 4th actually in Alabama at Barber Motorsports. For midwest, you may wanna wait a couple of more months for the temps to come up.

Welcome to the addiction!

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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-07-2005, 10:28 PM
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Most dates for next year are not known yet.

My recommendation is to do a weekend at Putnam Park as it is a safe and easy layout to learn but hard to master. And as for which organization, it depends on what you are looking for. If you want complete instruction and guidance, definately go with Sportbike Track Time for your first outing. They pace the Novice group in a way that it is a class, not an open track day. They take you through guided exercises, you following an instructor and then the instructor following you, giving feedback after every session. And then you do classroom sessions after each track outing, a total of 5. The last 2 sessions of the day are open track.

With NESBA, you get open track the whole 7 sessions and a single 20 minute classroom session at the very beginning. You get the same level of feedback from the instructors as with STT, but you have to ask for it or hope one of them drags you along, whereas with STT you don't have a choice but to follow the instructor. A lot less structure and a whole lot of fun.

For the 1st time at the track experience, my vote is for STT. Then ditch em for a while to do NESBA, because you will get sick of going to the same class over and over again everytime you want track time until you get bumped to Intermediate.

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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-07-2005, 10:39 PM
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That being said, I did my first 2 track days ever with STT, and it was great. But the classes are the same both days, so by day 2 I was tired of having to listen to the exact same material, and rushing from the pits to the classroom.

Then I did my 3rd day with NESBA, and it just how I wanted it to be, great instructors, but open ended. If my 1st day was with NESBA, I think I might have got myself hurt or at least much more intimidated. And if my 3rd day was with STT, I might have lost my mind

And also it depends a lot on your experience level. I rode for less than 1 season when I started doing track days and had no group riding experience at all. Getting passed all the time would have been scary if it wasn't regulated. If you are a seasoned rider, maybe you don't need the structure or classes that STT offers, in which case I'd jump straight into NESBA's group.

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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-07-2005, 10:42 PM
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John....

PUTNAM!!???

Ok, I am gonna pass up comments on you making that recommendation....

Just kidding man.

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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-07-2005, 10:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vimkgt
Most dates for next year are not known yet.

My recommendation is to do a weekend at Putnam Park as it is a safe and easy layout to learn but hard to master. And as for which organization, it depends on what you are looking for. If you want complete instruction and guidance, definately go with Sportbike Track Time for your first outing. They pace the Novice group in a way that it is a class, not an open track day. They take you through guided exercises, you following an instructor and then the instructor following you, giving feedback after every session. And then you do classroom sessions after each track outing, a total of 5. The last 2 sessions of the day are open track.

With NESBA, you get open track the whole 7 sessions and a single 20 minute classroom session at the very beginning. You get the same level of feedback from the instructors as with STT, but you have to ask for it or hope one of them drags you along, whereas with STT you don't have a choice but to follow the instructor. A lot less structure and a whole lot of fun.

For the 1st time at the track experience, my vote is for STT. Then ditch em for a while to do NESBA, because you will get sick of going to the same class over and over again everytime you want track time until you get bumped to Intermediate.
+1 for STT as the FIRST day, and try to do Grattan, Gingerman, or an Autobahn round with them. Their drills are good but do NOT work at Road America, there is just too much open straights to work on what you need to work on. The other tracks teach the drills and have short enough lap times to reinforce them through repetition. I've been doing this stuff for years and I'll probably do a novice session with them next year, mainly because I'm a stubborn idiot and the only way I'll work on fundementals is if I'm forced to. Their fastest paced Novice group is faster than most of the folks in their "intermediate" and a few "advanced". The big downside to them is they pretty much use the honor system to get from Novice to Intermediate to Advanced. So a guy with 3 track days can say he's "advanced", much to the dismay of expert level racers on the track with him at the same time.

Both organizations are good. NESBA, especially after the day is over, is quite family like.

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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-07-2005, 10:52 PM
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Heh heh... ahhhh... just cuz I've crashed there 3 times doesn't mean it's not a good track for newbies :-P

But actually maybe I'm just recommending it because I did my first day there. What other Midwest tracks are there...

OK, from a newbie perspective:

Putnam - Open and flowing track, only 10 turns to learn, 1 decreasing radius section but it's so long it's practically 2 turns, and a tight bus stop. Not too intimidating I'd say, just don't screw up Turn 4

Blackhawk - Just not safe, armco and trees everywhere you look.

Road America - Probably a good choice as well if you can get a date there. Not technical at all, and real fast and safe. Just remember to brake early at first because at 160mph, those turns sneak up on ya real fast.

Autobahn North - I'd say no for beginners to this course, it's a bit too technical. Turn 2 and 6 will catch out a lot of people and make em crash

Autobahn South - Good track to learn on too, nothing particularly tricky, just 2 chicanes to break up your flow. Also has a decreasing radius section, but like Putnam, it's also actually 2 turns. Big downside though is the bumpiness, don't let it scare you though because at B group speeds it won't come close to making you crash.

Grattan - Scared the crap outta me and I had some track time under my belt even. Then again I did crash pretty hard the week right before and blow my confidence away. Awesome when you do it right though, but elevation changes and decreasing radius, off camber turns will mess you up

That's all I've done so far. My top 2 newbie picks would be Putnam and Autobahn South. After that, Road America, Autobahn North, Blackhawk and Grattan.

OR... you could do what Michigan racers do and ride all your days at Grattan and then kill everyone at every other track you go to

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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-07-2005, 11:00 PM
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Great write up Jon!

Now I wanna go to Grattan.

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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-08-2005, 06:26 AM
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If you've never participated in a track day before, I suggest STT for the level of instruction and structure. If I had to do it all over again, I would have started out with STT before anything else (my first time on a racetrack was the Learning Curves licensing school at Blackhawk in April of '02 followed by NESBA the following weekend - then STT at Grattan a few weeks later). STT's program has evolved more over the years and the staff has gotten a lot friendlier, but it still lacks the sense of esprit des corps found at a NESBA event. Get your feet wet, then do a NESBA day. You really can't go wrong with either organization.

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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-08-2005, 09:42 AM
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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-08-2005, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wink
Where: For your first track day? What kind of bike are you riding?
1990 Yamaha FZR400, I could use some help getting it safety wired and all of that if anyone is up for it.

It's Sticky's old bike, so it's not like I have to start from scratch, just that he returned it mostly to stock before I picked it up from him and I've never set up a track bike before.

I'm already completely addicted to track driving from my karting experiences, I really want to drag knee this year though.
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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-08-2005, 10:29 AM
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No safety wiring required in intro, beginner or intermediate with NESBA.

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post #16 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-08-2005, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
 
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It looks like I will try to catch STT somewhere with another member of the forum and then do a NESBA day after... we'll see how it goes.
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post #17 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-08-2005, 11:16 AM
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post #18 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-08-2005, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
 
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Anyone know where we can get a two bike trailer for rental?

When STT will be at Autobahn?
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post #19 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-08-2005, 11:39 AM
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Uhaul...or if you reveal your "mystery location" we could suggest something else.
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post #20 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-08-2005, 11:40 AM
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Bike trailers are usually only 1 bike if they are rental. After that, you are looking at a utility trailer from U-haul or a similar company. If you plan on hitting the track more than a couple times this year, and you have moderate storing space, you might want to think about getting a collapsable trailer. They range from $400 for the basic ones to $1800 for the super trailers.

Usually track day orgs don't publish dates until mid January at the earliest.

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post #21 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-08-2005, 12:04 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kruz
Uhaul...or if you reveal your "mystery location" we could suggest something else.


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post #22 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-08-2005, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronhix
No safety wiring required in intro, beginner or intermediate with NESBA.
But does not hurt either..

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post #23 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-08-2005, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
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But does not hurt either..
true dat is...

Hey, you might get bumped to advanced your first day.

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post #24 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-08-2005, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
 
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I need a license to participate, don't I?

That could put a damper on things.
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post #25 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-08-2005, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JAlfredPrufrock
1990 Yamaha FZR400, I could use some help getting it safety wired and all of that if anyone is up for it.

It's Sticky's old bike, so it's not like I have to start from scratch, just that he returned it mostly to stock before I picked it up from him and I've never set up a track bike before.

I'm already completely addicted to track driving from my karting experiences, I really want to drag knee this year though.
Dude, it's all drilled. You can borrow wire and pliers from me.

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post #26 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-08-2005, 03:34 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sticky
Dude, it's all drilled. You can borrow wire and pliers from me.
Dude, I'm not even really sure what I need to wire.
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post #27 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-08-2005, 03:38 PM
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If it's drilled you should wire it. Unless you're worried about being too safe....

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post #28 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-08-2005, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JAlfredPrufrock
I need a license to participate, don't I?

That could put a damper on things.
What sort of license? You don't need a racing license to do track days. Not sure if the track day org's require you to have an "M" designation tho.

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post #29 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-08-2005, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KBOlsen
What sort of license? You don't need a racing license to do track days. Not sure if the track day org's require you to have an "M" designation tho.
Yeah I have been riding on permit for the past two years, dumb I know but I just haven't been able to get into an MSF... hoping this year though.
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post #30 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-08-2005, 04:27 PM
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you can get the M liscense at the DMV without the MSF. Unless it's changed in the last 10 years

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