Top 9 needed expenses to begin doing trackdays
Before I begin, if you’re thinking about trying a trackday, the only thing you really have to do is call Moto-Nation. Their bike rental service offers an all inclusive service and gives you the chance to try the racetrack without investing in all the necessary gear. You will ride recent machinery built for trackday. You will be satisfied with their motorcycle rental, gear rental, riding school and all inclusive service. You can just show up and they take care of the rest.
If you consider investing in that awesome sport that is motorcycle trackday, here is a list of item you would need in order of what’s least important to the most.
9. Your motorcycle
Yup, your bike is one of the least important things you need when doing trackday, if your motorcycle is a 125cc or 1300cc, a 2018 of a 1980. Of course supersport motorcycle are designed for the racetrack, so it’s preferable to go with that style if able, but an adventure, a sport touring or, at some extent, a cruiser can also go on the track. Your motorcycle should be the last thing to get on your budget list.
8. The suit
Here is another over estimated point. With my personal experience, a high quality suit usually are lighter, give better comfort with movement and a small increase in wear resistance. I have never seen someone injuring himself with proofs that a better suit would have prevented the injury (except small scuff). When buying a new suit, go with what fits you better. The only important thing to look for is that it’s a renowned/proven brand.
N.B. There’s now some air bag system available that can increase the security that would be worth investing, but it’s still pretty expensive.
7. Back protector
What most trackday promoters now request is often forgotten. Don’t mess with that as this important part in your safety gear increases the protection of your back. It’s not an expensive product so it’s easy to get a quality one without breaking the bank. And please, forget the street armor (aka Icon stryker, speed and strength), go with something designed for the track.
6. Maintenance of your motorcycle
Being in charge of the mechanical inspection at Moto-Nation trackday, I am well placed to tell you that we’ve seen every possible problem. If you motorcycle models doesn’t matter, the overall states of it really does, and having a well prepared bike will bring you a better experience during your trackday. Make sure your suspensions are well maintained (serviced every 1 or 2 year), you have good brake (quality and not too used up), that chain and sprocket are in good shape (well adjusted and no tight spot), etc. Keep in mind that an old bike well maintained works much better then a new one that lacked love.
The feet are the one of the first contact point with the ground in an accident. It is very important to have a pair of boots that will support your ankles. If you are serious in your new passion, don’t skip this step. In addition to a better protection, a good pair of quality boots will give you a better comfort and will be easier to move and feel on the bike. You have to consider this purchase on the long term, as it’s part of the equipment, along with the suit and back protector, that will last you a while.
4. The gloves
In an accident, it’s a natural reflex to try to slow yourself down with your hand. The gloves are also making the link between the motorcycle and your arm, it is then important to have a flexible pair designed for that art. There is a lot of choice on the market so it is easy to get lost. Here are a couple quality marks to check for: ring finger and pinky are attached together, knuckles protection, outside stitches for the finger, Kevlar liner.
3. The tires
That superb invention that is rubber, it keeps us on the pavement at incredible speed. But those black donuts aren’t all born equal. Considering that it is the only contact between our motorcycle and the ground, it is really important not to take risk with them. You need tires adapted for the sport you want to do. If you are beginning on the track and just want to have fun without looking for laptime, a street sport tire (Michelin Pilot Power, Pirelli Rosso Corsa, Dunlop Q3+) will do the job just fine. But if you plan on pushing your limit, like beating your friend or your laptime, treat yourself with tires designed for the race track. Without being the competition compound, a track tire can help you gain better feeling, so having greater confidence, during your trackday.
Without a doubt one of the best investment you can do in your motorcycle career. Your course will give you the opportunity to learn and practice great on track technique. Don’t lose your time, in addition to getting bad habits, by learning everything yourself. Learn from those that already made most of the mistakes. Your formation will give you better riding confidence and security on the track AND on the street, and that experience will follow you many years after.
1. Your helmet
Helmet is by far the piece of equipment that requires most of your attention. Do not take the helmet that you find most attractive, affordable or especially used. Go with something that has a better chance of saving you from most problems. A helmet is designed to protect your head and the quality that you are going to buy reflects the value you give to your head. In general, helmets of quality have better comfort, are more aerodynamic, better ventilation and give you a wider view angles. Save 2-300$ on the suit to get a better helmet, I’m telling you, you won’t regret it.
So here is my 2 cent on how to distribute your budget to start doing trackdays. If you already do some, maybe you could have seen a point that needed a bit more attention from you. Do you have anything to add that you find important? Let me know, come and discuss it here (French only).
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