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Trackday Motorcycle Preparation

Trackday Motorcycle Preparation - News

Make sure suspension is set up for fast riding and check the owners handbook to give you a good starting point. Slowly make changes throughout the day to improve the feel through the bike.

Your engine is going to get worked harder and pushed further than ever before and its best to make sure your service schedule is up to date. Your engine is likely to use oil during the day so best to check periodically throughout the day and make sure you have some with you. Some people opt to do an oil change before and after to make sure the engine is in tip top condition, and admittedly, gear shifting and ride always seems to feel better on fresh oil Its good practice to do the same with the coolant as well.

check motorcycle oilLovely clean oil and a good oil level :)

Well maintained chains and sprockets should last a long time but its best to bear in mind that any wear will accelerate while on track. You should test the length of the chain for loose and tight spots and make sure they are in good condition and tensioned correctly. Too tight and the chain will be over strained and snap. Too slack and there will be a big delay between you twisting the throttle and the bike driving forward – not good out of a corner – high-side anyone? Approx 3/4 an inch of movement at the loosest point will do.Information on how to adjust and the specifications can be found in the owners handbook. Make sure the chain is well lubricated and clean. Make sure sprockets have no missing teeth and all the teeth should be evenly shaped and the tips shouldn’t be too worn. We have seen some terrible ones!!

check chain teethThis is exact the opposite of how it should look!

Taping up your headlamps, indicators and rear lights is good practice. It’s a requirement that no light shine through. Normally the easiest way to do this is pull out the lighting fuse or disconnect the light connector. This way nobody is distracted and if you do take a tumble, its much easier to clean up any glass. If you can take off your indicators or number plate brackets then this will make life much easier.

track lightsA nice "taping" job. Duck tape, the enthusiasts best friend.

This is one of the most frequently talked about areas on track days. The best rule of thumb to go by is if you have a standard exhaust your normally safe. If you have made changes, then its likely you will need to check. Most after-market exhausts will come with a baffle to reduce the noise. Most tracks have a limit of 105db but its best to check with the venue to be sure. If you don't have a baffle invest in a "DB killer" as if you fail the noise test that's the end of your day.

motorbike baffleDo whatever is needed to pass the noise test…

Don’t forget to make sure you have plenty of fuel and a funnel! It’s often the most overlooked part but your track day may be over unless you have fuel. A full tank and a 25Ltr approved fuel container should keep you going for a whole day, but that does really depend on what you ride. A great big twin may use a lot more fuel than an in line 4. If you’re running a smoker (2 stroke) don’t forget your 2 stroke oil! Most of the time a lot of tools aren’t required but having a modest tool kit can help if you have any issues throughout the day. Often at these kinds of events, there are a lot of kind hearted people about and the biking community is well known for being a helpful bunch, so don’t be afraid to ask for advice if you need it.

If in the unlucky event you take a tumble, having a spare brake and clutch lever or maybe a foot peg doesn’t mean your day is brought to an abrupt end. You don’t have to have a full spares kit but if you have some spare parts sitting at home minimise your risk and bring it along.

Lastly, but also as important as anything else, make sure your well rested. A good nights sleep makes sure your focussed and ready for the event. It can be a physically tiring experience and its best to be as alert as possible. Make sure all your gear is ready, your bike is loaded up and you know exactly where your going, know the way or have a sat nav as sign ups are strict and early. Make sure you have a bag with your licence and all other documents (both halves of the driving licence) ready to go so you don’t forget. Burgers and hot dogs etc are normally laid on by the events but if you want to bring food and water feel free. Don’t forget to bring the bike and keys…. You will be surprised its happened to people we know. Don’t let this put you off, the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy yourself but to do it safely. Have a look at our motorcycle track days and book yours. We will see you there.

tired bikerSleep can make all the difference...
07 March 2014

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