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 Trackday advice...

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Dam0n
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PostSubject: Trackday advice...   Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:11 pm

This is mainly for Adam/ everyone is who going to Snetterton at the end of this month, but anyone who is considering doing a track day should give this a quick read. It is what I have learnt through other people and my own mistakes. I turned up to my ACU licence day with just 1 allen key and some duct tape... affraid I had to borrow/beg/steal a few things to get me through the day.

First of all, prep prep prep. Preperation is key to making sure both you and your bike make it through the day with no dramas.

Preperation of the bike can be split into a few key points...

Suspension...

This makes a big difference on track. You do not need the latest fancy kit to go fast on the track. Spending big bucks on ohlins gold will not make you any faster. The key is having the right set up for YOU. Most bikes now have fairly adjustable suspension as stock. Take some time and set it up / pay someone to set it up for you. If you do it yourself, dont fall into the trap of harder is better. You want the bike to be as soft as possible without bottoming anything out. There is no perfect setting. Everyone has their own preference.

Tyres...

DO NOT SKIMP ON TYRES. I can't say it enough. Having poor tyres will at best make you ride slowly and damage your confidence and at worse throw you into the nearest kitty litter. Metzeler racetecs are a good choice, as are Pirelli supercorsa pros. If you have a choice betweeen a 50 and 55 tyre profile, go for a 55 as this makes the bike feel more agile and flickable. If you have been running the same tyres all winter, now would be a good time for a change.

Brakes...

Brakes have a tendancy to fade over time and if you haven't replaced the pads/ fluid in a while, it's worth doing it now. I have seen first hand what happens when brakes fail on track and it's not pretty. At the very least get some new fluid in your brake lines. Brake fluid is hydroscopic which means it attracts water over time decreasing its effectiveness. Once the fluid gets hot enough the water can start to boil, making braking not so great. A new set of HH rated pads can make quite a difference too. Sort out your brakes and get a good set of tyres and you are laughing.

Coolant...

Your bike is going to get quite hot on track. Flush out your coolant and replace it with water or a fresh water/coolant mix. Once you have done the trackday you can dump the water and go back to your usual coolant mix.

Oil...

Check you have enough oil in your bike for a start. If you haven't done an oil change in a while, now would be a good time to go for one. Use a more expensive brand but don't worry about going fully synthetic. Semi synth will be fine.

Race prepping...

If you have race fairings, fit them a couple of days before the track day. If you run into any problems it gives you a few days to remedy them before hitting the track. If you are using your usual fairings, tape up the lights, remove the mirrors and indicators (or tape them up). Check your chain has the right amount of slack and give the bike a bit of a clean and check. Better to find a loose bolt now than when you are doing 160mph down the back straight.

............................................................................................................
What to bring with you...

First of all, make sure you have a good selection of tools between the group. It might be wise to seperate the tools between you so that you each have around the same weight backpack. Include a selection of allen keys, a few choice sockets, adjustable spanner, screwdrivers, cable ties and of course some duct tape. Bring a tyre pressure guage to check your tyres before going on track. If you have any spares, bring them. It might make the difference between completeing the day and not. Bring a small medikit with you for the ride to and from the track. You are going to be so mentally and physcially tired at the end of the day an accident is more likely. Bring some food with you and plenty of water to get you through the day. A couple of sweets can help to get you through the last couple of track sessions.

............................................................................................................
Nutrition...

Have a big breakfast to set you up for the day. Try and get some slow release carbs in (porridge etc) to help you with your concentration levels. During the day, eat small amounts throughout the day. Pasta is ideal. Do not eat too much food in one go as it will make you tired. Stick to small meals to keep the blood sugar levels high. Some caffiene is good, but dont go over the top.

............................................................................................................
Tips for the day...

Decrease your tyre pressures before going on track. Most manufacturers recommend losing 5 - 10 psi but check first.

Do not do the last session of the track day. This is the session where most people crash. Everyone is tired, exhausted and is trying to make one last push before going home. Be sensible and sit the last session out. It makes sense...

Bring both a dark and light visor. You don't want sun glare hiding your corner exit if you can help it.

Check the noise DB limit for the track. Put your baffle in to guarentee it passes. It can always "fall" out later...

............................................................................................................

There is so much advice out there. This is all I could think of at the moment. If you have any questions feel free to get in contact.

The best peice of advice is just to relax, get out there and have fun. The moment you relax (physically and mentally) is the moment you start getting faster and enjoying yourself.


GOOD LUCK AND BEST WISHES,


Damon
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PostSubject: Re: Trackday advice...   Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:19 pm

Good thread bro!
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RedZ
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PostSubject: Re: Trackday advice...   Sat Mar 20, 2010 8:30 am

My main piece of advice is... DO NOT CRASH!

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PostSubject: Re: Trackday advice...   Sat Mar 20, 2010 8:43 am

also its not a race and make sure you have enough go juice Idea
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RedZ
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PostSubject: Re: Trackday advice...   Sat Mar 20, 2010 4:27 pm

On a serious level, great post! To add or reinforce what Damon has already said, it is worth doing or getting a service done on your bike, this will ensure fluids brake pads etc are all in good order. Check your chain and adjust it accordingly BEFORE going to the track day.
In the novice group follow your instructor ask for help and they will give it to you, this way you can learn your lines and braking markers. It may seem slow but dont even consider a fast speed concentrate on learning lines and breaking markers etc

Its gonna be a great experience so enjoy it!

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