Finally bit the bullet and signed up; 1st track day - KawiForums - Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-26-2012, 11:30 PM Thread Starter
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Finally bit the bullet and signed up; 1st track day

First track day coming up in October at MSRH for Ridesmart. Super excited about it. Bike's good to go on all the basic requirements for racing. I didn't see anything about securing the oil filter, but I may do that mod before going up there to be on the safe side in case the inspector wants that done. One thing I am worried about is what if there's a fair amount of rainfall that day? Will they still allow you on the track, with caution of course, or if it's bad enough to where no one can race, will they refund your money or tough shit?

Oh and I don't have anyway to transport my bike there, so I was just going to ride there. Not too far away to be honest; probably about 40 minutes. Anything else I should bring in my backpack besides tools, tape, water, money(duh), a small tank of gas (provided that it can even fit), etc?

I'm going to take it slow to get a feel of the higher speeds/cornering. Been looking forward to this ever since I got the 636; lovely machine.
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post #2 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-26-2012, 11:46 PM
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Good for you sir.

Great place to learn a little more about yourself.

Take food, I prefer fruit (anything with lots of fluid watermelon, grapes, oranges or apples) nuts and cheese and sausage pieces with crackers. Basically fuel for you.

Of course I'm generalizing from a single example here, but everyone does that. At least I do.


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post #3 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-27-2012, 12:47 AM Thread Starter
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Oh also forgot to ask; any tips on braking while downshifting? I can downshift pretty well (still need to work on the overall smoothness), but when you factor in squeezing the front brake lever as well as rolling on/off the throttle, might get a bit tricky. I haven't exactly practiced that portion because I don't go that fast on the highway to necessitate that; just let the engine do most of the braking work.

^Oh and good suggestion on the fruits and snacks Sev.
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post #4 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-27-2012, 01:52 AM
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First of all, a track day is not a race, big difference between the two. Most organizations run in the rain. If the weather get too extreme they might call it a day, but that's rare that something like that happens. Just slow down a bit, focus on being smooth, and gently apply brakes and throttle.

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post #5 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-27-2012, 03:38 AM
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Nice, I want to try a day out on the track as well. Only track I know of near me is 3 hours away, don't know if I want to mix racing and stunting. Still trying/wanting to learn the stunt thing first.

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post #6 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-27-2012, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by 03636kawi View Post
Nice, I want to try a day out on the track as well. Only track I know of near me is 3 hours away, don't know if I want to mix racing and stunting. Still trying/wanting to learn the stunt thing first.

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Where are you at in NC? There are tracks everywhere near the Virginia Beach and I am right across the the border from NC.

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post #7 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-27-2012, 12:03 PM
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03636KAWI - Team ProMotion runs track days at the NCCAR(NCBIKE) test track in northern NC...that's a great track to work on a lot of things at.

OP: I'd recommend not riding your bike to the track in the unfortunate case that something happens; I'd recommend either finding a friend with a truck you can borrow or renting a truck for the day just in case.

Take way more water/gatorade than you expect to drink (during an average track day I drink 1 gallon of water and 2 liters of gatorade at minimum) because you need to stay hydrated.

The braking/downshifting will come with practice...also same with the engine braking vs. hard braking - that will take practice for you to really get used to. Just keep in mind that it is NOT a race and is a track day - so have fun!

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post #8 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-28-2012, 03:05 AM
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I'm in Asheville, NC, so western NC. I'll have to look up what you were mentioning though.

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post #9 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-28-2012, 06:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimmaethBoy View Post
First track day coming up in October at MSRH for Ridesmart. Super excited about it. Bike's good to go on all the basic requirements for racing. I didn't see anything about securing the oil filter, but I may do that mod before going up there to be on the safe side in case the inspector wants that done. One thing I am worried about is what if there's a fair amount of rainfall that day? Will they still allow you on the track, with caution of course, or if it's bad enough to where no one can race, will they refund your money or tough shit?

Oh and I don't have anyway to transport my bike there, so I was just going to ride there. Not too far away to be honest; probably about 40 minutes. Anything else I should bring in my backpack besides tools, tape, water, money(duh), a small tank of gas (provided that it can even fit), etc?

I'm going to take it slow to get a feel of the higher speeds/cornering. Been looking forward to this ever since I got the 636; lovely machine.
It's best not to ride to the track. If you bin it you have no way to get the thing home.

I usually take a 24 pack of water, several 32oz gatorades, front and rear stands, tools needed for any basic things I might need to do such as remove wheels, fairings and tank, brake fluid, a 5gal gas can, chain lube, spray cleaner, rags, grease, tire warmers, spare knee pucks, change of clothes, a couple towels, tires, and whatever else I have forgotten.

As for the rain, usually no refunds. If you want to ride you can, if you don't want to you don't have to but you just wasted money. Being smooth is of the utmost importance in the wet.

Practice braking while rev matching downshifts. I don't think you'll get past 3rd gear your first time out unless it's a really fast track anyway.

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Last edited by goingtoscotland; 08-28-2012 at 06:57 AM.
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post #10 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-28-2012, 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by TimmaethBoy View Post
Oh also forgot to ask; any tips on braking while downshifting? I can downshift pretty well (still need to work on the overall smoothness), but when you factor in squeezing the front brake lever as well as rolling on/off the throttle, might get a bit tricky. I haven't exactly practiced that portion because I don't go that fast on the highway to necessitate that; just let the engine do most of the braking work.

^Oh and good suggestion on the fruits and snacks Sev.

Roll off the throttle, then smoothly squeeze the brake lever, go ahead and practice two finger braking if you are comfortable and plan on blipping for downshifts. Leave yourself plenty of space while you build up confidence. Start 100+ft before your normal braking point, roll off the throttle, throttle fully closed, squeeze brake lever. Don't upshift from the last corner (meaning stay in one gear) if possible to limit stuff to throw you off of what you are working on.

If I misunderstood and you are saying when you blip just put the bike up on a rear stand and with the bike off SLOWLY practice. From open throttle -> close throttle, brakes, brakes still on clutch in, downshift, blip, clutch out. Repeat: clutch in , downshift, blip, clutch out... I personally do better practicing at speed, for whatever reason the pushing against the tank helps me be smoother on downshifts.


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Originally Posted by 03636kawi View Post
I'm in Asheville, NC, so western NC. I'll have to look up what you were mentioning though.

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Road Atlanta is 3 hours away but it is hard to find a lot of trackdays there, plus they cost more. I go to CMP (Carolina Motorsports Park), love it, about 4 hours away from me (Waynesville), its about an hour south of Charlotte. Went to VIR this year too, also about 4 hours away, South course is small, not bad just small, havent ran the other configs at VIR though. NCCAR is on the other side of the state, probably about 6 hours away.

Check with NESBA (wouldn't recommend them for your first trackday though) and Sportbike Track Time, they run CMP and VIR pretty regularly, but no one had CMP dates this year, not many anyway. TeamPromotion runs VIR a lot. But screw that stunting crap, less people to get you in trouble in the twisties and you go as fast at you want at the track.

Trackdays aren't races, don't show up looking to race, you will wreck/get booted/get shown up. That said, doing a trackday is probably the most fun a human can have without doing something illegal.

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All I'm saying is that our trannys are designed to handle the load (yea, I just said that)
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