These are some tips that will help you a lot in order to have a safe and fun day at the track.
- Constant acceleration and braking from speed causes tires to heat up above normal road riding temperatures. This in turn raises the tires’ air pressure and it will be like riding on over inflated tires – harsh ride and lack of grip, instability and rapid tire wear. Front and rear tire pressures should be reduced beforehand.
- Different makes of tires need different track pressures. If this info isn’t available (perhaps because you have a dedicated road tire), contact your local distributor or tire manufacturer for recommended tire pressures
- Circuits are more grippy than road surfaces but it means nothing in the wet if your tires are worn. Worn tires don’t clear surface water, so hard braking even when upright is risky.
- Check the condition of your brakes. If they are near the service wear limits, then there is a good chance they won’t last a day of increased and hard braking. Buy a good quality kit that’s suitable for the road and trackdays.
- Brake fluid should be changed yearly to retain braking feel and efficiency. The last thing you want at a track is the lever coming back to the bars. If the bike’s over three years old, seriously think about replacing prone-to-bulging rubber brake hoses with braided steel hoses, for better bite.
- There’s an argument as to whether foot peg hero blobs, or bank angle sensors as they’re officially known, should be removed or not. They can damage the track and they might baulk you the first time they touch down, but at least you’ll know you’re close to scraping something else more rigid if you lean further.
- The engine will get revved higher and for longer. Consequently engine oil may be burnt off with use. Make sure the oil level is correct – check as per the owner’s manual at the start of the day and check as the track sessions progress. The same applies to the engine coolant level.
- Check fasteners around the bike for tightness as the additional vibrations will ultimately cause loose fixings to fall off. If you’ve never been hit in the upper body by a bouncing 100mph nut or bolt then take it from us – it’s not far off like being shot. Race bikes have many fasteners drilled and lock-wired to the chassis.
- Crash protectors aren’t expensive and are pretty good considering the savings they can give by preventing damage to panels, frame and engine. They aren’t difficult to fit and this can be done in less than an hour in most cases. Highly recommended.