First bike track day

On monday I did my first track day at brands hatch, I can honestly say I have never had so much fun - it beats any other sport I have played (and probably the most costly too :w00t: )

Passed my test 8 weeks ago, felt pretty comfortable on my bike on the road so thought it a good time to get cracking (the end goal is to not have a road bike and be track only/club racing)

After having my bike pinched the weekend before, even though it had only travelled about 15 miles I had a fair bit of bike paranoia, so I figured the best way to get over that was 400+ miles over the weekend :slight_smile: what I failed to put into place was bike prep time, so with the missus coming over sunday night I had around an hour to sort the bike for the following day!!

Have to admit, wasn’t planning on pushing that hard as had to ride the thing home and also its a road bike with nice fairings that I wanted to keep that way!

I checked the pads, oil, lubed the chain, cleaned the bike and stuck on my single seat fairing I just got sprayed up. Also taped up the headlights and it was ready to rock (kinda)

with a cut down, non road legal micron was a tad worried about noise testing but came in at 99DB with a baffle so good enough for most track days and well under the 105DB limit.

que’d for the noise test, couldn’t have asked for any better weather!!

ended up in a garage with some ex racers, who bought thier bikes in vans and went out in novice group :ermm: thoroughly nice chaps though offered me advice, chatted about my bike and generally made the pre session 1 nerves a bit better for me. One worked at a honda dealer and offered to sort my key issues cheap if I could get down to essex.

First session went smoothly, took it really steady trying to work out where to actually go as tracks are so wide compared to roads it felt a bit odd, even having done car track days before.

Second session started to pick up the pace and was passing everyone but the guys in my garage who were coming past at a rate of knots!! one guy had a standard cbr though so was good to see just how quick they can go!!

Mid way through the second session, coming up to druids didn’t fancy outbraking this slower guy so tucked in behind to follow him round and he broke to an almost stand still!! just couldn’t stop and wasn’t expecting it so had to use brakes and gears and went down too far into first and locked the rear just before I turned in :w00t: had to keep it stood up and rolled into the kitty litter at about 5mph looking a right idiot.

Third session got my pressures sorted by the tyre guy and went for some tuition - best decision I made all day!! The bike instantly felt better, and the instructor was fantastic. Chopped and changed between me following and me leading, suddenly every corner felt enjoyable rather than a wrestling match to try and get the bike round it!! couldn’t believe the difference.

To give you some idea, on my own I was hitting about 120mph down the straight before braking for paddock, and full throttle was really pushing me near the outside of the track which was a bit nervy. After the instructor taught me the lines I was hitting 135/140 and bang smack in the middle of the track. He also cured my fear of paddock hill bend, which turned into the main passing place once you get the hang of it as everyone brakes too much for it!

Obviously only having passed my test 8 weeks ago I have a lot to learn, but can honestly say I learnt more in that session and the next (practising what he had talked about) than the past 8 weeks put together.

By the last session I was really getting to grips with it, hitting the throttle earlier, braking later etc but came in early before I did something silly :stuck_out_tongue: plus my sport touring tyre had too much heat in it and was sliding around a bit

My bike has a wobble under braking, think might be warped discs, but other than that was faultless. Tis a great feeling going round the outside of a 1098 ducati on a 9yr old CBR600 :cool:

Im 100% hooked, have written off my savings to track days this summer so hope to catch up with you guys on some soon

Did my first one at Silverstone earlier this year and as you say its friggin awesome, few people from here came as well and all had good laugh, plenty of advice given from old hands and racers to make the day enjoyable, even wobbling round on my 'Bird was great fun deffo going to do another at Silverstone as the full GP circuit is mad :slight_smile:

I was with Steve (for my first TD too) agreed it was ace, I am after a track bike now.

Fantastic that you have picked it up so quick, those tyres look done! :slight_smile:

looks like proper fun! got my first one on the 26th and Mallory! can’t wait!

what tyre pressures did you end up running with the 021’s?

I did my first one in 96.

Had I not bothered I reckon I’d have paid my morgage off by now! :w00t:

I dropped 2PSI out of both to start with which from memory meant I was on 34/42…

then after third session the guy dropped another 3PSI out the back, front was fine. It was a really hot day though so bear that in mind.

Dropped mine by 10 psi …well the 'birds a lardy old girl :D:D

stuck to the track like sh!te to a blanket though and my tyres ended up like yours ragged to the edge :):slight_smile:

ahh cool thanks, will bear that in mind, although i’m on PR3’s at the moment (the ideal track tyre lol) although interestingly enough, Bike magazine tore some 700miles around Bruntingthorpe at a pace all day long without properly tearing them up! we’ll see!

did you get any pics from on track? glad you had a good one!

I did, paid £30 for the disc but my bag opened on the way home and it came out!! am waiting on a replacement now…

Sounds like fun mate! I really want to do one but need to get a set of leathers made up first…

Does anyone know how they measure your exhaust sound level? ie how far away is the meter from the exhaust and at what revs do they measure it etc…

500mm away at 45 deg, 7000rpm for a 600 I4.

Details here http://www.team-trophy.co.uk/bike-trackday-noise-limits.aspx

Cheers mate that’s helpful stuff… :slight_smile:

Can check mine at home now save the disappointment from being turned away at a track!

mate be very careful with what you buy. I went and got a two piece with a 75% inner zip and was told would be fine for track days but not so - they nearly didn’t let me on at brands saying HAS to be 360… I am going to have to get something sewn into mine at the front to stop it rising should I go down and to get onto future days.

wasn’t happy as bought them specifically to do track days

Leon is it the track or organiser that makes the rule? MSV brands actually checked and saw my 75% in the pit lane and were find with it. So did they actually kick you off?

was MSV that checked qued up to go out on the sighting laps, not focus

Thanks for the heads up… Was thinking about getting a two piece in which case I’ll have to insist on a 360 zip

Could get a one piece but might just be a bit too inconvenient for road use, touring etc…

two piece is ideal, as can wear the jacket on its own, even with normal jeans if you have boots over the top, jacket, gloves etc your pretty well protected for an easy/short trip to the shops etc

woops! :stuck_out_tongue:

nice nice as i am still doing my full test i think i will join you at the end of the summer for some track days as i really want to do at least one this summer … well done m8 :wink: