KTM RC8

How to prepare for a track day

A track day is one of the best experience you can have on a bike with your clothes on but if you ignore the basics it can transform pretty quickly into a nightmare. To make your life easier we developed a list of important things that you should keep in mind.

The bike

I’m assuming that your bike is working well, if you need to replace something like tires, oil or brakes, this is the right moment to do it. Check your bike. I can’t stress it enough. Everything needs to work perfectly, not just for technical reasons. Your mind will be free to focus just on riding. You have to go through a technical check in most of the tracks but basically, it’s a good thing to know your bike and its condition.

  • Brake fluid level. I’d its time to change it do it now.
  • Brake pads condition
  • Engine oil level. If it’s time to change it do it now. Think about the fact that your engine will be pushed to the limit.
  • Exhaust. Some race track might have some sound limitation, check the regulation of the racetrack. You won’t have any problem with the majority. But there are some, like the Sachsenring, which have such a low limit that you can just ride with an original exhaust.
  • Tires. I heard someone saying “I’m going to finish these set of tires first, then I’ll change them. They aren’t good enough for the road anyway”. Good luck with that. The chances are that you’ll destroy them in the first session if you won’t crash before. The tires need to be in a good condition to provide maximum grip and safety.
  • And of course, leaking of any sort.

Close or remove your mirrors. You might have probably noticed that racing bikes have no mirrors. This is because you should keep your line regardless what is doing the bike behind you. I think it’s especially important for beginners, in fact, I’ve seen over the years people jumping off the line as soon as they see someone coming really fast. I had a 180 km/h stoppie after the guy in front of me changed his mind when he saw me arriving. Believe me, keep your line, if someone is really fast he’s going to pass you anyway.

The Rider

Pack everything, even if you thing you might not need it. Be prepared for the rain even if it’s sunny. The weather can change rapidly and you don’t want to stand in cold and wet with a t-shirt. Let’s start from the basic: shelter. Whether is it a van or a tent try to make it comfortable. Don’t rely on the mercy of the weather. Food: bringing the right one is more important that you might think. Don’t bring something too fatty or heavy to digest. Split your food into several meals through the day. Water: Bring at least a gallon a day with you. If it’s a hot day you’ll sweat a lot wrapped in kevlar and leather that’s why you should probably consider bringing some minerals and vitamins.

 

racingDay

 

The Track

Know the different flags and pay attention during the briefing in the morning. Briefing: the briefing is hosted in order to inform the riders about the condition of the track. It can be about the change of a part of the track or oil from a previous race or rain and weather conditions. Flags: They are the only way to communicate the riders what is actually happening on track so that they’ll be prepared. Here you’ll find everything you need to know.

 

trackFlags

 

Conclusion

Start gradually and increase the pace slowly for a better understanding of the track and how your bike reacts to it. If you feel tired take a break or jump a session, I know that you paid a lot of money but if you are exhausted and you go for another session you’ll be most likely to make a mistake and believe me, this can cost you more your whole weekend. At the end of the day, it’s like organizing a weekend out. Take care and have fun.

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mm
Editor of Gasolirium, test-rider, and content writer. He began in the two-stroke era which makes him feel pretty old but gave him the chance to race everything from 125cc to 1000cc. All useless experiences when he got lost in the Sahara desert with nothing but a can of beans.

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