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Discussion Starter #1
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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The Indifference Engine
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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
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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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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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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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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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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I'm in Asheville, NC, so western NC. I'll have to look up what you were mentioning though.

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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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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.


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. :D
 

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Glad to see you signed up.. You should check out wforiders.com it's a local board and about 90% of the members regularly ride with ridesmart.

Agg2001, exaulted512, and my self instruct for ridesmart occasionally, it's a great org you are gonna have a blast!

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Just an FYI, ridesmart will supply you with all the bottled water and Gatorade you can drink. They also serve you lunch. So you don't HAVE to bring any of that.

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Veteran Lowsider
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Welcome to the addiction. Make sure you drink water constantly, get enough sleep the night before and dont push yourself too much. Things get dangerous when you try to push yourself when you are dehydrated / tired (trust me :()

Most importantly, have fun and enjoy it!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for the recommendations everyone. I should've worded my op differently; I'm not looking to race by any means, just to have fun and start learning how to use this bike to it's full potential, in time of course. It is my first track day after all. Even though it's 2 months away, I'm still excited.

WCCoffey, so they actually supply all the hydration and you don't have to pay for it? If so, that's a big relief because tbh, I drink water/Gatorade like there's no tomorrow, especially here in Houston. Thankfully the track day will be in October when it's cooler out.
 

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Awesome! I'll be there if the weather is good. This was me at RideSmart's last day at MSRH:


Have you already signed up and paid for it?

RideSmart does provide free water and gatorade. At MSRH (not all tracks), they provide a free lunch as well. It's pretty important to start drinking a lot of water a day or 2 before the track day. It's late October, so it won't be as bad as late July, but it's still a good idea.

As far as what to bring, maybe a couple things to snack on...but aside from that, I'd just make sure to bring a chair.

You can ride to the track, I did it when I first started out, but it's not the best of ideas. If you have a truck/suv, uhaul rents motorcycle trailers for really cheap. Otherwise, sign up on WFOriders.com. It's a texas motorcycle forum with a bunch of really great people on it. I'm sure someone could give you and your bike a ride. Even if you don't need a ride, sign up anyway...like I said...a great group of people.

So far, that's a play day for me, so I'll be out running around in level 3. If you see my bike, come hit me up. If you have any questions, let me know.
-Cody
 

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J-Moges, I appreciate the info. I actually went to Road Atlanta a couple months ago for the AMA Big Kahuna races. Was def worth going to see, and that's what sparked my interest in track riding. Totally slipped my mind about that rack though, its about 3.5 to 4 hours from where I live.

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Discussion Starter #17
^^Oh cool, I was wondering if you were gonna be there Cody. Yea, I've already registered online and paid for it. I only have a Camry at the moment, but may be able to borrow my mom's SUV and rent a trailer. Budget's kinda tight right now, so I may ride there and back for my first time and do the trailer for subsequent visits.

Hopefully I'll see you there and come bug you for a bit lol. Name's Tommy btw.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Well ladies and gents, just got back from my awesome track experience. I ended up doing the 40 minute ride there, and it was pretty friggin cold this morning. I didn't sleep too much last night because I was excited as hell.

Track was a little cold for a few hours, but started warming up past 11:00 or so. Really organized event, lots of sessions, classroom time was brief but informative, and instructors didn't really have to critique me too much. Body position was good after a few tweaks, lines were good (a bit sloppy when first learning the track, but improved when I became more comfortable with the track/fixing my entry speed), etc. The instructor I was with encouraged me to open up the throttle some more on the straightaways and trust the front brakes more. My friend came by to watch me and saw my times dropping each lap as I got more comfortable and clocked me under 2:00, so I'm pretty happy.

We had a few people crash in lvl 3 late afternoon, so I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to get one more ride in. They ended up combining lvls 1 and 2 for one last session, which was cool because a lot of people had left. I was actually keeping up with the lvl 2 guys for the most part, but obviously a few passed me so no biggy; just going at my pace.

Overall, very awesome experience. Everyone there is pretty cool and real friendly. Highly recommend Ridesmart. Great day to just have fun and really use the bike the way it was intended. Only downside, good lord man, my legs are on fire! :violent: I won't be able to move tomorrow, but so worth it.

Edit: I think Larry J may have been there. Heard his name being called out, but didn't see the guy. Could be coincidence, not sure. Cody, I didn't see you there though.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
They had a photographer there, so I should be able to see a few shots of me in a few days. For now, hooray for actually using most of the surface area of the tire.





For a road tire, I was happy with their performance. Michelin Pilot 2, about 3k miles on them so far with little wear in the middle (commute is almost always long, straight lines).
 

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Forgot about this thread. You saw me, you just didnt know it. I was track marshaling. ;)

They have a couple more dates in December. I should be instructing then.
-Cody
 
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