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Except for a few requirements listed below that differ from road preparation. Getting your bike fit for a BikeDays.co trackday is not unduly burdensome; the mainrule is that your bike is in good mechanical condition. At BikeDays.co we welcome any make of motorcycle in a good condition meeting the following requirements:
These items enumerated above are addressed in greater detail below.
Each trackday begins with sign-in and a Noise Emmissions Test of your bike. Ensure that your bike will meet the stringent limit set by the particular venue.
Preparing your bike does not have to be an ordeal. You can actually ride yourroad legal bike to the track, prep it there and ride the track for the day. While we have customers who do that, many choose to carry their bikes to the track pre-prepped.
Good, working mechanical condition – Give your bike a good once-over. Check any nuts or bolts on items you have replaced or modified. We've never seen a motor mount come loose on a stock bike. While it could happen you are far more likely to lose your oil drain plug because you changed the oil recently, or to lose a front brake caliper bolt because you just mounted new tyres. A pair of items that tend to work loose of their own accord, unlike stock motors, are bar end weights.
We're not suggesting you take a torque wrench to all 932 nuts and bolts on the bike. Just examine the common ones removed during routine maintenance, and those associated with any modifications (Silencer mounting brackets are a favourite). Regardless, take a spanner to your oil drain plug and check. Also do the same with your oil filter.
No fluid leaks. We never see this problem on newer road bikes. This problem (along with loose motor mounts) occurs on heavily modified road and race bikes.
No fluid leaks…………..Did I say, “No fluid leaks?”
Chain - For occasional track use your chain does not require any adjustment beyond what is recommended in your owner's manual. If you're riding the track once a month or more you will need to add more slack, about 50% more than that recommended in your manual. The performance rigors of the track cause the rear suspension to travel far more than that incurred during street riding and the manufacturers recommended chain tension will be too tight. Again, a trackday now and then won't be an issue here.
Controls –Check to see that your kill / ignition switch works, the throttle return spring works, clutch and break levers work, foot brake and shift lever, etc. We don't care about the horn or the adjustable wind screen.
Headlight disabled and/or taped – Many track enthusiasts are not accustomed to seeing headlights on a race track. They can become very distracting when you see them flashing periodically from other parts of the track while riding. For this reason we ask you to switch off the head light or remove the fuse for it. If these two procedures are just too much hassle you can duct tape it. One day at the track will not bake on the tape provided you keep it on low beam.
If your headlight has a glass cover then you must tape it no matter what. Most modern bikes have plastic covers and lenses and these do not require taping. Neither do plastic turn signal lenses.
Mirrors removed or taped – Again this falls back to racing where motorcycles do not utilize mirrors like cars do. Removing them is best. If that is too much hassle they must be taped.
The taping of lights and mirrors does not have to be elaborate, only functional. However, there is always a photographer at our events and everyone who did a functional tape job is always redoing it at lunch after they see the morning pictures. The most effective technique is to tape beyond the item being covered, like a headlight, and then trim the excess with a razor blade.
Tyres – As we all know, street bikes wear out the center of the tyre, often “squaring it off.” Unless you're an over aggressive canyon rider, the tread on the sides of the tire will have plenty of life even when the center is shot.
Track bikes do the exact opposite. They wear out the sides of the tires usually leaving the center in pristine condition. Regardless, the tread pattern (any portion of it) must not be down to the wear indicators when you arrive for tech inspection.
Tape your wheel weights.
Tire pressure is an important issue at the track. Add a tyre gauge to your tool kit if you haven't already. Ideally you want to check the pressure in the morning before you ride your bike anywhere. This is known as the cold tire pressure and it should be 30-32 lbs in the front and 28-30 in the rear, both well below normal recommended street pressures. If you're carying your bike to the track and don't have a compressor you can overfill the tyre to 40 lbs (at a filling station for instance) and bleed them down after you get to the track. If you're riding your bike to the track set your cold tyre pressure to the normal street psi. When you arrive immediately check them again for your hot tyre pressure. Either drop the pressure 5 lbs from this hot tyre reading or set them at 35 lbs, whichever is higher (i.e. don't let your hot pressure fall below 35 lbs).
Brake Pads – They never wear out as you're pulling into the garage. They wear out 300 miles from home or…at the track. Better to check them and not need them then to need them and not check them.
Suspension Settings – If this is your first trackday don't worry about it. You will have enough excitement for one day without learning to ride a new bike. If you've done a few trackdays then you should begin to think about this aspect of your bike and make the appropriate changes. Most on-line moto magazines have suspension articles with recommended trackday settings for almost all sportbikes produced in the last 8 years.
DON'T FORGET YOUR BIKE KEY – Not an issue if you're riding to the track.