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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been reading on here about track days and im starting to think i want to try it. Due to the rediculous price i got my bike at i had no choice but a standard. I didt anticipate track days but after breaking in and finally using me bike i have found a real itch for speed and corners but the rules of the road prevent it :( (somewhat). so i looked into sportbike track time at a grattan raceway in Grand Rapids. And it is certainly doable. Anyone have any tips for me before i head out? Never done a track day before. Depending how it goes it may become regular.
 

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I've only done one and it was a lot of fun! I want to do more too and am actually looking into getting a truck or van for transporting the bike too and from tracks!

Since you only have pre-load on the rear I'd suggest dialing it up. Tape up the lights, wire up the oil filter, drain plug, and fill plug. One of the guys I went with just drilled hole in the stock fill plug to run the wire. See if you need to replace the anti-freeze with engine ice or water. Make sure you have the proper gear too. Some tracks rent it. Bring fuel for the bike and for yourself. Gas at the track isn't cheap and bring plenty of water to stay hydrated. It's an exhausting day. Another good idea is to go to a dealer that does trackdays and ask them for advice as well.

Hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hmm...guess im confused as to why i would need to tape and wire things up? I can see the lights for protection from chips and dings but the wiring up of filter and plug?
 

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No idea what to set your pre-load at maybe try one or two clicks stiffer and see how it feels. The reason for the wire is so if you eat it you don't soak the track in oil. Same thing for the lights, if you wreck they don't want shards of glass and plastic all over the course.

I'd also see if one of the senior people on the track might have any ideas for preload adjustment. With it being your first time it's not going to be super critical. If you do make it a habit you might want to invest in some adjustable suspension.

One thing I did forget, make sure you have some life in your tires, trackdays eat them up.
 

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Check the website of the organization with which you plan to ride. It will have the instructions for setting up your bike for the track to their requirements. I've ridden with several organizations, and never had to wire anything.
 

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flush your brake fluid and put some fresh hi temp fluid in takes 15min to do front and rear, Id also change the oil/filter before as you will be giving your motor a hard time and $80 is a cheap assurance knowing you have fresh oil In there.. check tyre pressures and play around during the day,

You will have fun stock street triple non R are great fun on the track with decent tyres if you can ride you will keep up with most 600cc on the straights and get them on corner exit with your torque down low!

lastly check with your insurance if you can get a special track cover for a day incase you bin your bike your not left crying with a big pile of metal worth nothing
 

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Best advice I can give is have fun. Remember it's not a race,listen to coaches/control riders. Have fun,it's not a race.
As far as safety measures,requirements may vary with each organization. Check with your track. From what I understand most don't require safety wire or engine ice for beginners/first timers. For instance the track I went to was even laxed on gear. Allowing 2 piece suits and even textile for beginners.
Tape is not to protect your lights but to keep glass off the track. I found it easy enough to remove the plate holder and signals 4 bolts and a plug. The headlights are just 2 bolts and plug. Have fun,it's not a race. Don't be afraid to ask questions,most people are more then willing to offer advice,as a matter of fact some will give it when you don't ask. My first track day a few guys from the intermediate group I staged next to kinda took me under their wing. Helped me with the bike,even watching from trackside while I was riding giving me pointers. Try not to have expectations of knee dragging and bumping up to the next group. Have fun,your there to learn,it's not a race.
Ride at a pace your comfortable and try to be smooth,smooth throttle,smooth braking. Slow is smooth,smooth is fast.

I'll add a small cautionary tale. The next visit to the same track,a group of riders/friends probably 20 bikes beginner and intermediate group. Well early on while walking back from orientation I over heard one rider giving another some pointers. The new rider was clearly nervous. Not only his first track day,but he was riding a brand new BMW s1000r. Fast forward to beginner track class,as the coach goes over a map of the track pointing out markers and such,he notices me and ask "you've just done this course,why you doing it now?" I responded "I'm sure I forgot somethings from the last time I was here,wanted to refresh" he smiled and nodded his head in approval.
At that point I realized,where was the BMW guy?
Well we head back to the paddock and there he is getting schooled on track riding from his buddies. First session goes great,I'm enjoying myself. Between the next session another guy shows up late with that same group,he's riding a diavel. OK no orientation,no formal instruction and first time on the track. No surprises here when I watch him run wide into the dirt on the 3rd turn! He didn't complete 3 turns and crashed.
Why? Trying to ride with his friends. OK next session him and the BMW both crash. Both bikes had to come off in the trailer. Luckily neither was hurt. But what's that,$30k in bikes in the trailer and this time both bikes were unrideable. Point is ride your own ride and...
Have fun,it not a race.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G870A using Tapatalk
 

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flush your brake fluid and put some fresh hi temp fluid in takes 15min to do front and rear, Id also change the oil/filter before as you will be giving your motor a hard time and $80 is a cheap assurance knowing you have fresh oil In there.. check tyre pressures and play around during the day,

You will have fun stock street triple non R are great fun on the track with decent tyres if you can ride you will keep up with most 600cc on the straights and get them on corner exit with your torque down low!

lastly check with your insurance if you can get a special track cover for a day incase you bin your bike your not left crying with a big pile of metal worth nothing
You don't need to change the brake fluid.

And you'll be fine if you stay within your comfort zone. Have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hey thanks for all the info. I dont plan on changing my brake fluid. I do have plenty of life in my original corsa diablos. The organization requires one piece suit, boots and gloves. So i gotta spend some coin. Im trying to get my bro inlaw with an fz6r to join in, so i know ill always be at least second to last!!! My bike is still under warranty, is that an issue? I should prolly call progressive and see what they say!
 

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It will have nothing to do with your warranty. If Progressive asks, tell them you aren't racing, there are no lap times being recorded, and it's strictly a class to learn how to better control your motorcycle in a safe environment.
 

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For $10 and $2 for a hose I would change my brake fluid knowing I have zero air and moisture on it, the stock oem brakes are not the best and every bit helps here in qld raceway back straight I'm hitting north of 200 then hard on the brakes after a few laps my brake fluid was getting very hot I'd hate to imagine if I had the stock fluid in there instead of the Castrol react high temp
 

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Don't the standard's come with rubber hoses? If that's the case, you're better off upgrading to steel braided lines. Or, get your suspension professionally set. That is one of the cheapest/best bang-for-the-buck spends you can make to improve the performance/handling of your bike.

Or, do nothing, and just go have a good time. For your first time, it's highly unlikely any upgrades will make a difference.

And for the record, it's not if you're going to get hooked, it's how badly that bug's going to hit you.
 

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Best advice I can give is have fun.

I'll add a small cautionary tale. The next visit to the same track,a group of riders/friends probably 20 bikes beginner and intermediate group. Well early on while walking back from orientation I over heard one rider giving another some pointers. The new rider was clearly nervous. Not only his first track day,but he was riding a brand new BMW s1000r. Fast forward to beginner track class,as the coach goes over a map of the track pointing out markers and such,he notices me and ask "you've just done this course,why you doing it now?" I responded "I'm sure I forgot somethings from the last time I was here,wanted to refresh" he smiled and nodded his head in approval.
At that point I realized,where was the BMW guy?
Well we head back to the paddock and there he is getting schooled on track riding from his buddies. First session goes great,I'm enjoying myself. Between the next session another guy shows up late with that same group,he's riding a diavel. OK no orientation,no formal instruction and first time on the track. No surprises here when I watch him run wide into the dirt on the 3rd turn! He didn't complete 3 turns and crashed.
Why? Trying to ride with his friends. OK next session him and the BMW both crash. Both bikes had to come off in the trailer. Luckily neither was hurt. But what's that,$30k in bikes in the trailer and this time both bikes were unrideable. Point is ride your own ride and...
Have fun,it not a race.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G870A using Tapatalk
Gz, thanks for posting the tale. Good read. I have another one from my second day in novice several years ago. There was a guy in his 50s who let's just say was extremely confident (and verbally said so many times) about his ability to handle the corners due to his 30+ years of riding on the street. He was borrowing a more sporty bike from his daughter and son-in-law who were doing their first track day as well. First couple of sessions, no problems, though he thought we were going to slow and said we should speed it up. Third session, the instructor wanted to do a couple of faster laps with me to see if he should bump me up to intermediate and left the class temporarily with another instructor (and told them not to follow during class). The guy I mentioned decided to follow us and proceeded to crash hard just a few corners in to our faster lap. He was hurt but didn't have to be taken away in an ambulance at least. His daughter and son-in-law left that morning with him, their day spoiled with his injuries and the damaged bike. She was super nice, and I felt bad for all of them. He definitely didn't look too confident when I last saw him. The lesson? Leave your ego at home and in the words of Han Solo: Don't get cocky!
 

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The trackday org in question will spell out the requirements of what you MUST do to your bike. With a Thruxton.

(Just looked up an image to confirm)

I'd take off the headlight, signals, license plate bracket, mirrors, and invest in a set of sliders for the engine cases, front forks and rear swingarm)

and considering this is your first trackday, don't get broiled down into suspension and all that. Just go. If the bike REALLY doesn't feel right, they'll probably have a suspension person there on site, and street settings aren't going to apply to track settings anyways.

I think a lot of the advice that may apply to a weekend ride, will apply to a trackday. Namely.

1. Ride your own ride.

It is EXTREMELY easy to get caught up in the racer mentality that coincides with a trackday. Remember, at the end of the day, nobody gets a damn trophy. Don't be one of those trackday heroes who thinks they're the next VR46, MV25, AI29, etc. If anything, your trophy will be packing up your bike at the end of the day in one piece, with some great memories, a list (maybe small, maybe large) of things to work on for next time and no injuries.

2. Check everything. Tire life, pressure, brake fluids, brake pads, check for loose bolts, etc. There are a grip of motorcycle trackday lists available on google. Use one as a template, and customize it each time you go. That way you're not trying to mentally remember everything. It will lower your stress level, and increase your level of enjoyment.

Going a bit further, with each session. Pick 1 or 2 things to work on. Body position, throttle control, identifying braking markers, a specific turn, maybe 2. Write down your observations after each session about things that went well, things that went just so-so, and things that didn't go so great. Use that so-so and not so great list as items to work on for your next session.

If you're going to school, then go to learn and forget just about everything that you know about riding. That will allow your mind to absorb everything, which may increase the likelihood that you'll actually follow the drills which you think are overwhelmingly basic and a complete waste of time. You're paying good money, and they're probably building up to something. Go in as a know it all, and you'll miss the not so obvious hidden jewels of knowledge that are likely to pop up.

and to your last point....yeah...do one, and you'll be going more often. Start saving now yo!!!
 

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First track day. Do nothing to the bike it is really not necessary at all.

Unless the track requires it of course, in the UK some require the headlight to be off, so knowing which fuse to take out is useful. Most also do a noise test but a standard ST3 will be fine.

If you end up riding a track every weekend then sure start looking at brakes, tyre pressures and crash bungs etc, but for a first go just make sure you are in the novice group and go at your own speed and have fun.

I did a lot of days when I had the Street Triple, it was great fun.

If you find that you enjoy it some kind of machine control course will then be worthwhile. 'Knee down' courses help a lot with body position and cornering and are also great fun on the ST3.
 

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The best advice I could give anyone going to a track day:

1.) Look all the way through the turns because you go where you look. Vision is the most important thing.

2.) Don't try to keep up with anybody. There will always be someone faster. Ride your ride. Winners of track days are the ones who go home without crashing.

3.) Trust your tires, they'll hold (probably). If you get nervous, look where your want to go, point your chin, and go for it.

4.) Take everyone's advice with a grain of salt, including mine. Be ready to learn, but don't run 48 psi in your tires because that's what some guy in the pits told you to do. Track day instructors generally know what they're doing.
 
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