Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of this month's Bike of the Month Challenge!

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can anyone offer any advice for doing a track day on my '07 Sprint? A few friends and co-workers have track day and/or racing experience and are encouraging me to do one. THey say a couple days on the track is equivalent to a year street riding. I have no desire to get into racing, but i would like to learn better handling and cornering skills on my Sprint. I'm looking at the club Sportbike Track Time and doing my first one at Talladega GP in Sept or October (since it's not too far from where i am in north Atlanta).

Will my sport tourer be out of place with all the true sport bikes? I'm hoping the novice group will have sub-groups where i'll fit in.

Regarding gear & cost...since this will be first track day, I don't want to sink too much money into it until i know i'll return for future track days. I don't have a full leather suit...i'm hoping i can rent one or find a used one somewehre. I do have a 2 piece mesh suit that zips together at the waist (armor in knees, hips, shoulders, elbows, and back). Do they allow these in most novice group??

Any advice, suggestions, or experiences regarding a track day on a Sprint is greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
564 Posts
First off, congrats on taking the step. Its definitely true what they say about track days...among other things.

Here are things I would recommend to you.

First, make sure the bike is in proper order. One important thing to remember is that street tire pressures and track tire pressures are different. Contact your local tire brand distributor for recommended tire pressures.

Second, when you are there at the track, I would highly recommend dialing in your suspension. Track days usually have a suspension service out there to help you out. It typically cost $40...but that's for the entire day of them tweaking the knobs to get the bike set up for you.

Third, in regards to if a mesh suit is okay...it "should" be. Check with the track organization hosting to see if its okay. All track days Ive been to in SoCal have never "tech'd" the rider...just the bike. Make sure you have riding boots too. I would recommend a back protector too if you don't have one already.

Depending on your size, I do have a 2 piece leather suit...jacket only used for commuting and pants never even seen seat time...that I'm willing to let for for really cheap. PM me or post what your size is and I will see if it will fit you.

In terms of bike, i would remove the blinkers, headlight if you can (if not just tape up), side view mirrors, rear bracket that hols licence, tiurn signals, etc. Make sure the bike is in proper running order. Make sure tires have 50% or more thread left. You might not pass tech inspection if they are less. But no worry, you can usually buy tires at the track...and they tend to be cheaper than buying at a shop too.

Pay special attention during riders meeting for entry exit procedures and what the flags mean. This is whats most important.

When out on the track, the biggest adjustment is to not worry about others. Just "ride your own ride." Don't worry about slowing down for others that want to pass you. That causes more harm than good. Ride as if you there's nobody else out there. So don't worry about side checking your mirrors...just ride and enjoy. Remember too...if you feel like your getting tired and the session is far from over, dont be afraid to come in early. Which brings up another good point...if you have a hard time passing someone, just come out of the track and into the hot pit and get signalled to go back in. You won't see that rider again.

Most important. Have fun.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,389 Posts
Here on the other side the promoters allow textile zip suits with back protectors. You will have to check just what they will allow and want.

Unplug your lights before taping them. Drop your tire pressures 1 or 2 psi.
Set your static sag properly. There are tons of threads on this.

If you are unsure I'd take it to a trusted dealer and tell them what you want to do and have them give you bike a going over brakes, chain adjustment etc.
Take your own food with lots of fruits and nothing heavy or greasy but also lots of protein. A great source of protein is, believe it or not, Hemp Hearts. I get mine from Canada. 4 table spoons on fresh fruit and yogurt and I'm good till late afternoon. Do not take it with grains or you will get the surprise of your life. Tons of water and keep hydrated.

Don't worry, your bike will do just fine. Remember, you are not racing, but learning, increasing your capabilities and really seeing what you and your bike can do.

Have fun.

Don
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
509 Posts
Track days are certainly fun and educational but I wouldn't recommend them as a first time thing.

Far better to attend a real track riding school where the focus is on improving riding skills and there is a healthy mixture of track/classroom and post session critique as well as a good instructor to student ratio. Pridmore's Class or Code's California Superbike School, Lee Parks, etc.

Regulations on gear and bike vary all over the place, depending on the organization. I took my early Code levels wearing an Aerostitrch Roadcrafter one piece suit but, as I progressed, I was getting close to knee down time and was told I would need leathers with knee sliders for my next visit. Code rents everything, including bikes, so it isn't an issue.

For your bike, at a minimum, you will have to drain your coolant and replace it with water, you should remove your mirrors and indicators and you will have to tape over your headlight. Depending on the organization, some safety wiring may also be required. Things like oil drain and fill plugs, oil filter, caliper mounting bolts, axle retaining nuts and brake fluid reservoir caps. Make sure your tires are up to snuff. Most places want at least 75% of new.

You should also consider a means of getting the bike to/from the track. My mantra has always been to never race my ride home.

Things to bring with you. Bring too much water and then a little more. Riding at racing speeds is WORK. Bring your own food, nothing heavy but high in protien and with some carbs. Bring both salt tablets and potassium suplement, you'll need it. Bring gas!! and maybe a quart of oil. Also some basic tools, including a tire gauge. You are going to put a lot more heat into the tires and will be starting at much lower pressures, think 30/32 as a start.

If you managed to read this far and are not discouraged, go out and have fun. Check with the organization before you show up and have your bike and gear sorted and ready for scrutineering before you show up. You came there to ride, not work on the bike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
414 Posts
I'm new to the Sprint, so can't advise anything specific about it for the track. I've never seen one at the track where I ride, but I've seen Speed Trips, Bonnevilles and about everything else, including the occasional Sportster. I'd say you're gonna fit right in.

I've taken track courses and they're good, but I don't agree that they're a must provided...the track has good, cooperative control riders. Most controls are more than happy to drag a newbie through a few laps to learn the lines. Depending on how busy the track is, they'll check back with you during the day and follow you through. Tracks vary on this.

Where I ride, you tech your own bike but they ask for water or Engine Ice-type coolant, all lights taped and license plate removed. I safety wire as much stuff as I can--filter, brake elements, axle nuts and axle sliders, etc. I leave that stuff on for the street because it makes sense.

Last, gear. Some tracks allow textile suits as long as the pants zip to the jacket. Lot of controversy about this. In a highspeed get off, the textile suit will probably do the job, but it will be in tatters. Leather, I can tell you from personal experience, will do much better.
A back protector is a must, as are good gloves and boots. Good gloves are $100-plus item and worth every penny.

My guess is a well-ridden Sprint is going to spank some middleweights and heavier liter bikes. I've only had mine for a week and my sense of it is that it holds its own with my CBR.

Go for it. You'll have a blast.

--Paul
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
congrats.

I AM a member of Sportbiketracktime (STT) and I fo beleive they will allow textile although i highly dont recommend wearing textile. Leather is the only way to go. At the track you will be doing excessive speeds that you cant and wont do on the streets. Something happens you go down its road rash city but the gear is up to you.
You MUST have gaunlet gloves and tall boots. You will not feel like the odd ball out either.

You can run normal coolant but only in novice. I dont know your pace but if your a quick rider and are super aggressive on the throttle then I would go with a stickier tire. ex corsa 3, pilot power 2ct, m3.
STT will have 6 groups in the novice section. novice 1 being the faster experienced guys, and 6 being the noobs and super slow. Once again pending on your pace 3-6 is typically a slow slow pace but great for first timers. You can move up if you can prove your fast enough. Have fun and make sure you show pictures.


Oh yeah for the leather suit. do a search for WERA on yahoo. Many MAny Many great deals on there from bikes to boots you cant beat the deals.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
Track days are certainly fun and educational but I wouldn't recommend them as a first time thing.

Far better to attend a real track riding school where the focus is on improving riding skills and there is a healthy mixture of track/classroom and post session critique as well as a good instructor to student ratio. Pridmore's Class or Code's California Superbike School, Lee Parks, etc. ...snip... QUOTE]

I second this perspective. A school (nearly any school, club level, etc) is your best option. An 'open track day' may have an orientation schedule for first timers. More than anything, you need to do your homework. and come to the track as fully prepared as possible.

The quoted poster says that you go to the track to ride and not to wrench. Very true. In addition to prepping your bike and gear, prep your mind. Get all the info possible from the track that you can before you go. Learn their flag system. Learn how their pitts are organized. Read a few of the books like Code's "Twist of the wrist" and note the stuff that might pertain to your goals.

There is much debate about how much riding skilz transfer between the street and the track. Let us say for the moment that the track will help you set your personal tilt-o-meter to an amazing degree. that will give you some amazing confidence on the street when you might need it most. The track will also show you just how dangerous the street really is by comparison. Thus, you should end up a better street rider for that perspective.

The track will allow you to really and truely enjoy your bike and the riding experience in a pure riding environment. It borders on bliss. There are downsides. Most of us deal with it all as well as we can.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks to all for the replies...very good and useful info. I did find out that STT rents leathers so I'll probably go that route for my first track day and will look to purchase some later when/if I get hooked on the track.

I'll post pics and a re-cap after I do the track day. Thanks again!
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top