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Old 09-13-2011, 08:21 PM   #1
elikhom
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Do I need more experience?

Hi,

A friend is going to the track on Oct 1st and asked me if I wanted to go. It seems like a good idea, but I don't know if I should actually have a little more miles riding under my belt before taking the bike to the track.

I got my first bike 4 months ago, and haven't ridden a lot basically due to work and weather. Put maybe 700 miles on it.

Should I wait till I get more experienced and then go, maybe next year?
Or you guys think a track day even if I'm very newbie would be good for me?

My friend basically said that it would be an excellent learnng experience for me BUT that I shouldn't mind been the slowest one there. If I'm going to push myself too much just to not be the last one, I shouldn't go.

Thanks
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Old 09-13-2011, 08:25 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elikhom View Post
Hi,

A friend is going to the track on Oct 1st and asked me if I wanted to go. It seems like a good idea, but I don't know if I should actually have a little more miles riding under my belt before taking the bike to the track.

I got my first bike 4 months ago, and haven't ridden a lot basically due to work and weather. Put maybe 700 miles on it.

Should I wait till I get more experienced and then go, maybe next year?
Or you guys think a track day even if I'm very newbie would be good for me?

My friend basically said that it would be an excellent learnng experience for me BUT that I shouldn't mind been the slowest one there. If I'm going to push myself too much just to not be the last one, I shouldn't go.

Thanks

TAKE IT!!! you will learn alot when you do TD man. Instructors are there to help you and give you great advice.

P.S.
I'm looking forward to do my 1st TD soon!!!
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Old 09-13-2011, 08:31 PM   #3
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I would think you should be comfortable on your bike first, so that you can pay attention to what they teach you and not have to worry about the basics.

That being said, a track day is the best training you will get. I would not worry about speed....you can be the slowest and it doesn't really matter.
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Old 09-13-2011, 08:41 PM   #4
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Vegas has a good piece of advise, I've not yet ridden track on the bike but I have in cars. No matter what, on a closed course you are free to experience the machine and get as familiar as you can without wiping out or breaking the law. You are never too young to go to the track, and the experience you gain will do nothing but help in the long run.
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Old 09-13-2011, 09:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elikhom View Post
Hi,

If I'm going to push myself too much just to not be the last one, I shouldn't go.

Thanks
This.

It depends on your level of maturity and responsibility and what grasp you have on basic skills. I don't know where you rank in the above, but if you've ridden fewer than 1000 miles in your life you may want to get a little more solid on the basics before going to the track. You may find it overwhelming, intimidating and at worst could put others in danger as well.

There's a greater than average possibility that you will either be a rolling chicane or will push it farther than your current skillset and wad it up.

It also depends on whether you're looking at a school/instruction situation or just an open track day where you get lumped into the first level and fend for yourself. If it's the latter, you may want to pass on it for now. If it's a school, then contact them first and make them aware of your experience level. Regardless, big kudos to you for wanting to hit the track and start building some skills. Just make sure you're comfortable and competent enough to put yourself in that environment this early on.

You ABSOLUTELY should hit the track at some point, but you should really consider if you're ready yet. Either way, best of luck and be safe.
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:31 PM   #6
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The only track day I know for Oct 1st is GSS. If thats where you're going and they are running CCW turn 2 can easily catch newbies off guard and you run off the track. I know I almost did first time. Otherwise I would sign up and let the instructors know you only have 700 miles of experience I think they will work with you. They key is to not go beyond your comfort level. If you're cautious your first few sessions I'm willing to bet you will be a lot more comfortable and have more fun on your last few sessions.

On the other hand im not sure if the track organization has a requirement on minimum experience.

Last edited by ivancuriel; 09-13-2011 at 10:33 PM.
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vegas Kid View Post
I would think you should be comfortable on your bike first, so that you can pay attention to what they teach you and not have to worry about the basics.

That being said, a track day is the best training you will get. I would not worry about speed....you can be the slowest and it doesn't really matter.
Couldn't agree more
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Old 09-13-2011, 11:47 PM   #8
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Take it... you will learn so much.

Please don't worry about been the slowest one out there. You will not be the only one out there been slow..

you are learning how to! not trying to prove anything to anyone.. if you feel like you are holding people (DON'T) if

someone is behind you and they are faster then you then they will pass you on the straights or coming up to a

turn (just dont go full blast on every straight you get then park it in the turn... DONT BE THAT GUY) Take it nice

and slow on the straights so if you are holding people up then they can pass you very easily.

so don't be so worry about holding people up. that is the last thing you want to worry out there..
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Old 09-13-2011, 11:51 PM   #9
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oh by the way... once they pass you then you'll never see them again..

that is one of the cool things about track.. you dont know you're been follow until you're been passed, and once you have been passed by another rider then you'll dont see that rider again for that session.. people just keep moving if they are faster then you..
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Old 09-13-2011, 11:59 PM   #10
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Track days are the debil!


Go ahead and do it man...Just leave your ego at home...

Yo should be fine, believe me, you will be hooked...

Just ask Floyd.
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Old 09-14-2011, 12:04 AM   #11
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Old 09-14-2011, 12:07 AM   #12
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It's a great question to bring up.

Are the miles highway commuting and or curvy back roads?

There is a certain pace to be able to do a TD.I've seen a couple riders in novice/level 1 that rode a few sessions and that was it.The school observed them for a few sessions before they got the boot.Unfortunately track days are not MSF courses.You do need to be able to control your bike and not have a snail pace through the corners.It's dangerous to you and to the other students.

Pm Godsuki from the Fastline sponsor section or call Tim 832-641-7547 so he can have a better idea of your skill level.

Hope to see you out there soon
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Old 09-14-2011, 12:32 AM   #13
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yeah. Greatest and safest learning place possible. Scenarios without cars and cops. Lots of run off room, just in case.
I did my first noob day with four months, maybe a thousand miles under my belt, and I even noticed my shifting habits improved after that day.
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Old 09-14-2011, 05:30 AM   #14
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The track is the best place to learn. Go. Enjoy. Come back and ride again.
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Old 09-14-2011, 06:18 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vegas Kid View Post
I would think you should be comfortable on your bike first, so that you can pay attention to what they teach you and not have to worry about the basics.

That being said, a track day is the best training you will get. I would not worry about speed....you can be the slowest and it doesn't really matter.
I was. I didn't care at all. The instructors intentionally take you around the course one-on-one at a very slow pace that every beginner can handle. They don't let you out of their sight. There are people who NEVER rode street before who do perfectly fine on the track. I would suggest you do the track day. You will learn SO much about your bike and riding that you can apply it to your daily riding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ivancuriel View Post
The only track day I know for Oct 1st is GSS. If thats where you're going and they are running CCW turn 2 can easily catch newbies off guard and you run off the track. I know I almost did first time. Otherwise I would sign up and let the instructors know you only have 700 miles of experience I think they will work with you. They key is to not go beyond your comfort level. If you're cautious your first few sessions I'm willing to bet you will be a lot more comfortable and have more fun on your last few sessions.

On the other hand im not sure if the track organization has a requirement on minimum experience.
I think the LESS street riding experience you have the better - you won't feel the need to try to keep up. I did fine at GSS on my first track day - even later in the day when people were passing me in turns... Leave your ego at home and take it slow.

Do it!
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Old 09-14-2011, 06:21 AM   #16
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Not sure which organization you are choosing as your 1st, as there are 3 schools operating on the weekend of 10/1. Whichever you choose, be sure to get some personal instruction. If you are going with LSTD, pay the extra cash for 1 on 1. If you choose me, I can put someone with you for the day. You will have to call Ride Smart to see if they can do the same.

I had a student last week with roughly your experience. He did just fine. But be aware that if you are a hazard to yourself or others, I may have to pull you out, and we will work out a credit for you.

Keep in mind that most schools are not here to teach you how to ride a motorcycle, we teach you how to ride better. You must first have the basics down.

Call me for more info.
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Old 09-14-2011, 09:56 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godsuki View Post
Not sure which organization you are choosing as your 1st, as there are 3 schools operating on the weekend of 10/1. Whichever you choose, be sure to get some personal instruction. If you are going with LSTD, pay the extra cash for 1 on 1. If you choose me, I can put someone with you for the day. You will have to call Ride Smart to see if they can do the same.

I had a student last week with roughly your experience. He did just fine. But be aware that if you are a hazard to yourself or others, I may have to pull you out, and we will work out a credit for you.

Keep in mind that most schools are not here to teach you how to ride a motorcycle, we teach you how to ride better. You must first have the basics down.

Call me for more info.
I agree with Tim. There are "general" guidelines in order to do a trackday, but it's not the same for everyone. We've had students at Ridesmart that had been riding for several years that didn't have the minimum skills necessary to navigate themselves around the track. We've also had people with your experience or less that do just fine. Do you have any friends that you ride with that have done a trackday and and can give you some advice on your readiness?
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Old 09-14-2011, 10:17 AM   #18
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Between now and Oct 1. ride 3-4 times a week, even if just to the corner store and back, and you should be ready. This is less about how you'll do on the track, and more about being able to pull in and out of the pits without tipping over, knowing how to shift up and down smoothly, knowing how it feels to lean a little into a corner, and having confidence that the bike is mechanically ready for the track.
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Old 09-14-2011, 10:18 AM   #19
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Yep, call Tim. I highly recommend his program...
as to are you ready, I think he can answer that for you when you talk to him...
but you do not need to be fast for a trackday.. it is not a race, it is a training session...I would say that in general if you are comfortable with your riding in traffic and riding at legal highway speeds does not bother you.. you are more than fast enough for anything you would do at track day...
I have only been to two trackdays and I am in the Novice class and yes there are guys who go a lot faster than I do...no problem, I just let them go..
at the moment I am working on body position and lines, not speed...
so I work the corners and turns and sort of rest my mind in the straights and let them go by....
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Old 09-14-2011, 10:37 AM   #20
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Quote:
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so I work the corners and turns and sort of rest my mind in the straights and let them go by....
This is what I do, partly because I can't go over 80 mph or so until I get my custom ear plugs squared away, but also because it gives me a little time to evaluate how I did the last set of corners and what I'm going to different the next set. It really helps because when you start your learning curve is pretty steep- body position, brake/turn points, throttle control, the line etc. I have had two track days and I always start off wondering how the I passed the MSF but by the last two sessions I am keeping up with more experienced novice riders turn for turn.

I would definitely sign up for the track day but as others have said you need some seat time so that you are comfortable on your bike but you could do that between now and then. Think of it this way, you already have all that stuff I mentioned above to worry about, you don't want to add to that list anything that doesn't need to be there like shifting or basic maneuvering.
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