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|08-30-2005, 09:59 PM||#1|
Join Date: Jun 2005
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Track Day Guide
I wrote this awhile back for HSN, I thought it might do some good here:
This is a guide to getting your bike set up for a track day. It is by no means the be all end all, just my observations / check list over the years.
Track Day Prep
1st rule: Always try to have your bike prepped and ready to go at least 2 days in advance of the event. That way if you need something, you'll have time to get it.
Tires: Check overall condition; they shouldn't be "squared off", no dry rot, plugs, patches, or cuts. wear should be above the trad wear indicator.
Check the pressure. Most bikes work well on the track with 30-32 psi. front, and 28-30 psi. rear, cold. What you are looking for is a 4-6 psi. "grow" in pressure after you come off the track. If you get more than 6 psi., raise the pressure a pound or two. If you're getting less than that lower it.
Get a good quality tire gauge, not a .99 cent one from Walmart. A good $5.00 pencil gauge that has a 1-2% accuracy is fine. I don't like digital gauges. Some of the dial gauges are good. What you want is consistency, i.e. you want it to read the same pressure every time.
If you have a gauge and want it checked, I have a calibrated pressure checker to test it with.
It may seem like a little overkill, but tires are one of the most important aspects of your bike, especially at the track.
Brakes; Check pad wear, I like a maximum of 50% of pad wear.
After that the stopping power is significantly diminished.
Check your brake fluid. If it's dark or you've done a couple of track days, flush and bleed it. I like going back with Motul RBF DOT 4, it's got an extremely high boiling point and works very well.
The 2 main reasons for brake fade are; old fluid / worn pads.
Chain & sprockets; check your chain for proper tension and for tight spots, look at the sprockets for wear on the teeth. As far as tension, I recommend 1-1/4" to 1-1/2" total up and down movement. If you have any doubt, sit on the bike and have a buddy check it. It should still have a little slack in it when it's fully loaded.
While you're down there give it a good cleaning / lube.
Forks / shock; make sure there are no leaks, and set up sag / rebound / compression if you have those adjustments. If you're unfamiliar with making those adjustments, have a professional do them for you.
We charge $30.00, and it's the best bang you'll get for the buck.
Engine oil and filter; if you've got over 1500 or so miles, change them.
Your motor will be spending a lot of time at high rpm; oil is cheap, motors aren't.
While you're there, safety wire the plug and the filter. Although it's not required by most track day organizations, it's highly recommended.
Check your engine coolant level and top it off if necessary. Be careful not to overfill it though, antifreeze puking out of your reservoir bottle onto the track surface is guaranteed to make you lots of friends back in the paddock.
Fuel; fill your tank, bring two 5 gallon cans too. You may not use it all but it's better than running out.
Lights / turn signals etc.; remove or tape up your turn signals, tape up your taillight and headlight, remove the fuses or unplug the wiring. Most bikes have a plug in the tail section for the taillights. I use blue painters masking tape to tape my lights with. You can get it at most auto parts stores or Sears Hardware / Home Depot.
Remove your mirrors. You can fasten the upper back down with bolts and washers, zip ties, or mirror block off plates.
It's not required, but I recommend removing your lic. plate. It's one less sharp thing to bump into if you go down, and if it comes off, you'll be spared the experience of searching for it in the grass.
Chassis, fairing bolts; Grab a handful of allen wrenches and sockets and check your bike to make sure everything is tight; there's nothing quite like going into turn one with your shifter dangling because the bolt backed out.
Get to the track early, bring food, refreshments, Advil or something similar, chairs, a fan, change of clothes, tools (if you have them), leathers, boots, back protector, gloves and helmet, extra shield and ear plugs. If you don't have leathers or boots you can rent them here:
If you have any questions, or need some help, don't be afraid to ask, there are a lot of people who are more than willing to lend a hand.
Enjoy the day, don't try to push too hard and it will actually come easier. Remember, no one ever won a track day.
When you get home, untape your bike. The next day,(or as soon as you get a chance) wash it and check all your bolts and fasteners again, stuff tends to rattle loose after extended high rpm operation.
Like I said in the beginning, this isn't the be all end all, just my system that has worked for me. I hope it helps.
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Last edited by Patrick; 02-07-2011 at 12:05 AM.
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