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Thread: First Track Day - Advice & Pointers

  1. #21
    1 YEAR PREMIER MEMBER dmc12's Avatar
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    Re: First Track Day - Advice & Pointers

    Quote Originally Posted by GavD101 View Post
    Bedford is my local track and I always use it as my warm up for the season. I was there last Friday and the temp didn't get above 9C. And being open (Old ww2 airfield) it doesn't have a lot of shelter from the wind. The Novices are kept in a different area to the Inters/Advanced (Covid19 rules). You basically don't get a garage and stuck in a carpark. But you can hang down by the main pit area which i would advise). But wrap up if you can, worst is being cold before a session.

    There is loads of good advice here as we can all probably remember our first day track day jitters. Obviously we do not know how handy you are on a bike on the road. But I personally think for at least your first session and being novice, I wouldn't drop the pressures too much, a few PSI. (Last thing you want to be worrying about is wobbly cold tires). Once you pick up your speed then you can go lower. There is also an airline/gauge in the main garage at the pits you can use.

    The novices are pretty much lead by an instructor for half the first session. The speed isn't fast and you're gradually brought up to speed. From memory the first few laps (3/4) are instructor lead and then you are brought back to the pits (So you know where it is). Then sent out again on your own.

    In regards to Bedford, it is a flat ish open track, tons of run off and very wide. It really is a great novice track. It is a left hooker so the right side of the tyre won't see a ton of action. It does have some fast straights and the odd bump but generally it is pretty smooth. I would say go in Dynamic mode to start at least as it does have some fast straights and heavy braking. Lastly and this isn't to scare you. But the first tight left out of the pits is always bin city for throttle happy guys who have cold tires. Take it easy there until you have a least a lap under your belt.

    Other than that have fun, grab an instructor to show you the lines or just crack on at your own pace when you are comfortable. But I guarantee you're going to have a huge smile on your face after that first session.

    )
    Agree with all this - I've binned it at bin city straight out of the pits on a cold day so can back that up! Although it was a front wheel tuck under rather than too much juice. Same applies to the first right hander as part of the chicane that comes just after it. Cold days you'll have lots of bikes going down there straight out of the pits too.

  2. #22
    2 YEAR PREMIER MEMBER schua2007's Avatar
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    Re: First Track Day - Advice & Pointers

    Thanks everyone, looking forward to tomorrow

  3. #23
    1 YEAR PREMIER MEMBER Mutl3y's Avatar
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    Re: First Track Day - Advice & Pointers

    maybe hire a van for your next trackday, don't know about the others but im pretty knacked at the end of the day if its all full sessions and no reds, couldn't imagine riding back 90 miles after it.
    mut

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  5. #24
    1 YEAR PREMIER MEMBER dmc12's Avatar
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    Re: First Track Day - Advice & Pointers

    Hey @schua2007, let us know how you got on today

  6. #25
    2 YEAR PREMIER MEMBER schua2007's Avatar
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    Re: First Track Day - Advice & Pointers

    Good morning everyone,

    Thanks again for all the advice, all very useful.

    You'll be pleased to know that both the bike and me are in one piece and we stayed together and upright at all times.

    I'm rather aching today, chest and quads got the biggest workout - not sure if that's to be expected.

    It was a long day, riding there and back (total 4 hours) is certainly not ideal but testament to the versatility of the Gen 4 as it ate the motorway miles and was comfortable and with a higher screen installed no issues, albeit I resembled the Michelin man with numerous layers on due to being 4 degrees when I left at 0545.

    The event itself was run very well, really impressed by the set up, the staff and all of the people who attended. Everyone was welcoming and took pity on the new guy with a rucksack (drinks and snacks) as they unloaded their vans/trailers etc and set up home for the day. I was quickly adopted by two set ups running Kawasaki's and Suzuki's and provided with chairs, advice and looked after. What an absolute pleasure to attend an event where everyone looks out for each other and goes out of their way to do so - really impressive!

    I was unable to locate the tyre man, not sure he attended. However, due to early adoption my tyre needs were looked after and jointly, which really means the Kawasaki & Suzuki teams with me just nodding decided on 34/34 to start. For me it seemed ideal and we did not alter during the day as it was predominately overcast and didn't get above 10 degrees. I also got to feel warm and hot post sessions so now understand what that really feels like so noted for future events - giving the game away as to how much I enjoyed it by that statement.

    I ended up doing five sessions as was getting knackered and was very aware of a 2 hour ride home. During the fifth the rain began so that made my decision easy but I think adrenaline was subsiding and tiredness was beginning to show so I wouldn't have pushed for the later sessions. I'm old enough to know when to call it quits.

    On the very first session I elected to position behind the instructor to see the lines, I think there were about 30 in my group. After the sighting laps I kept well within my limits and was only overtaken by two (one on a ducati and one on a track bike - not sure how that person is a novice but hey ho). That gave me an idea of my pace within the group. The next session I managed to grab an instructor for the whole of it. Initially I followed for 2 laps as he upped the pace and then he followed me for the rest. During this session we were not overtaken and actually caught up and overtook many. The instructor, significantly younger than me and called Dan only had a few pointers following the session, focus on tip in points and tuck down more on straights as he was catching me at the higher speeds. I noticed 157 on a brief look after tucking down but I did confess to Dan that I wasn't pinning the throttle at the higher speeds as first time experiencing that speed and a couple of focusing undulations on the straight made it interesting. Dan thought that I should book inters at the next event - open to debate on that one as might build confidence a little more at the next one before going up a level.

    The bike, just phenomenal. I had a few issues though with the quickshifter when pinning it. About three times at 100mph+ going up the box it didn't change up and felt for a second that it went into neutral. When this happened, I looked in and it hadn't changed up so I lost some confidence with the quickshifter so any thoughts/advice welcome please as maybe I'm doing something wrong? I also kept it in Road for the entire time which I feel was the right thing for a first time but I think it might have been a little soft suspension wise so will definitely try Dynamic next time. During some of the corners and exits as I applied power I could feel it squatting down, almost spongy if that makes sense.

    Regarding the sessions and the two corners everyone warned me about with cold tyres. I believe every session had a red flag, across all groups. And all of the incidents happened at the two corners that people had advised me of so a huge thank you from me as it firmly installed in my mind to treat with appropriate respect and ensure tyres warm. I felt that two laps gave the confidence that the tyres were up to temps.

    So overall, loved it! Great fun, lots to learn which makes it more appealing and so nice to be at an event with so many people that are genuinely caring. For the next time, until I invest in 4 wheels specifically for carriage of bike/equipment I'll look to overnight near the track when hotels etc open up. I'm attending California Superbike School in June at Brands which is just over an hour from me so will go direct from home for that. I'll also see if I can get a Brands day in May.

    Best go and chat to the bank manager and get an overdraft.

    Finally, thank you again for all the advice. I read every post several times and it really helped and I hope to say hi to some of you at an event soon. If you see a guy on a Gen 4 M Sport, with rucksack over the next few months it's probably me! Thanks again

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  8. #26
    Forum Moderator alex's Avatar
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    Re: First Track Day - Advice & Pointers

    Congrats sounds like you had a great time and rode well.

    Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk

  9. #27
    1 YEAR PREMIER MEMBER bananaman's Avatar
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    Re: First Track Day - Advice & Pointers

    Excellent !! Very easy to unintentionally change your shift action on track, bent over, different leg angles etc. I would suggest from what you were saying that you wasn't releasing the shift lever fully before hooking the next gear.
    Roll on the next one !
    Speed doesnt kill, its how fast you stop.......

  10. #28
    1 YEAR PREMIER MEMBER dmc12's Avatar
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    Re: First Track Day - Advice & Pointers

    Hey Schua, great to hear you had such a good experience. Definitely the right call to call it a day early if you were getting tired and it was beginning to rain.

    Whereabouts are you based? I’m NW London, sounds like you might not be too far away?

    I did my fair share of riding to track days and riding home again - it’s brutal. Have now taken up the new model of riding up and overnighting the night before nearby, or alternatively hiring a van and doing the same thing. That way you can take what you need without stressing what will fit in a rucksack. You also get more out of the day.

    Re which group - I would stay in novice for at least a couple more days, if your pace is good just line up near the front and you won’t have a problem.

  11. #29
    Forum Moderator alex's Avatar
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    Re: First Track Day - Advice & Pointers

    Quote Originally Posted by dmc12 View Post
    Hey Schua, great to hear you had such a good experience. Definitely the right call to call it a day early if you were getting tired and it was beginning to rain.

    Whereabouts are you based? I’m NW London, sounds like you might not be too far away?

    I did my fair share of riding to track days and riding home again - it’s brutal. Have now taken up the new model of riding up and overnighting the night before nearby, or alternatively hiring a van and doing the same thing. That way you can take what you need without stressing what will fit in a rucksack. You also get more out of the day.

    Re which group - I would stay in novice for at least a couple more days, if your pace is good just line up near the front and you won’t have a problem.
    I did both models, now I use a motolug trailer...and will escalate to a van when I can park one!

    Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk

  12. #30
    1 YEAR PREMIER MEMBER bmwbadboy's Avatar
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    Re: First Track Day - Advice & Pointers

    Van rental is what I do. Cheaper than a hotel.

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