Track virgin needs help

Wheeeeeee! First track day comin up!

Brands Hatch, 19th Jan (fingers crossed for good weather, but any weather is good if I’m riding)

Need advice though.

Brands Hatch Indy:

  1. I’ve got leather trousers witha 3/4 zip. If I buy a leather jacket that will attach to this is 3/4 zip enough or does it have to be the full 100% attachment. The zip on the trousers goes from the front of one love handle, round the back to the front of the other…wil this pass scrutineering?

  2. I’ve got a rear tyre with two plugs and a bit of squaring off. Now realistically, I’ve never ridden a track before so as its my first time, I’m probably NOT going to be asking the full spectrum of ability from my bike this time out… so, would it make sense to leave this rear on for now, mueller it, then replace AFTER the track day, or replace it now, REALLY mueller it and risk having to replace again soon.

  3. Also I’ve done motorways with this rear (and the double plugs), but the strain on track will obviously be far higher and in far different movement on the tyre…will a plugged tyre survive or would tracking on a plugged tyre jsut be considered suicidal…?

All advice on riding the Indy circuit appreciated too…

Cheers, Toby1

Hi Toby1,

I did a Supermoto day at Brands in November and the marshalls were stricter than any other track I have been too.

I have leathers with 3/4 zip around and they passed fine, they did check as we were on the grid before going out!

Not sure about the tyres…I would tend to agree with you and would rather ruin them and get new…other side is your confidence…you really don’t want to be thinking the plugs will blow if/when you are cornering and if you have new tyres, they will get ‘run in’ very nicely at a track!!

Enjoy yourself…:smiley:


Enjoy yourself Toby - that is the main thing for trackdays.

To answer your questions:

  1. All the ones I have been on require one or two piece leathers with 100% zip together for the two piece. You might get away with the trousers and jacket approach if they look similar and could be passed off as a set of leathers but then maybe not. Depends on the trackday and organiser and I can’t ever recall anyone being refused by scrutineering for apparel issues but be aware they may not let you go…

  2. Get new tyres - I would never run such shagged rubber as you describe on track - try and scrub them in a bit before the event. Reduce pressures from normal road riding say 30-32 if running 36.

  3. Following on from the tyres, ensure you get a bib off the organisers, take some training/sighting laps from an instructor and ensure that you put in at least 3-4 laps to warm the rubber up before starting to push the bike.

Indy at Brands is a great first time out, good surface, all right handers of varying radii apart from the left at Graham Hill. I don’t know what your riding is like but from nervous beginners to fast group thrashers, if you prepare beforehand, go there expecting to enjoy yourself (rather than the sphincter puckering worry that most track newbies display until after their first session - when you have to sand the inane grin off their mush…) you will learn more about what your bike can do then ever on the road and may even hear the scrrrrch of a knee slider - music to the ears.

You would want to take - license both parts, booking details for registration. Duct Tape - the bikers fix all and best to tape up glass so the marshals don’t give you a kicking for littering up the track in the unlikely event of an off. Water and/or food. Not such an issue in Jan but staying hydrated helps alleviate tiredness and sketchy concentration.

Hope you have a good time

hey toby. good work on going for the track cherry pop!

two piece zip together leathers are fine (no codura)

the double plug (ahem) isn’t much of an issue at the pace you’ll run as it happens, assuming the plugs have been done properly. have used plugged tyres with no issues myself. i would be concerned about the tyre being squared off tho. it definitely will make a difference to the way the bike handles on track, and if there is a big ridge it will suddently drop into corners and affect your confidence. making the shagged tyres last a little bit longer is a false economy in this instance.

also what kind of tyre is it? if you’re running hard touring tyres for instance, you may want to consider getting something a bit more track orientated. the older pilot powers are still being flogged i think, and are much cheaper than the 2cts.

on the track riding front there was actually a good/detailed thread on brands a while back with stuff from chufster/sammo/b etc, will see if i can find it out for be honest tho, on your first time to brands and to trackdays in general i wouldn’t worry about getting too detailed at this stage. bit of footage from the bike from last year if it helps you get an idea of where the track goes?

give yourself several laps at the start of each session (you’ll prob need a good 3 with it being cold) to get your tyres warm and your head in gear. work on the ol’ wide entry,apex, wide exit thing. ‘you go where you look’ is esp relevant on track with the extra speed, so actively stare at the apex as you aim to hit it, and try to ignore other riders, esp if they go grass tracking!

most importantly relax and have fun. 6/7 sessions of 20 mins doesnt’ sound like much but its actually a pretty full on day. take your time in the first few sessions and build your speed.

oh and fill up before you get there. you’ll prob need to refuel during the day, and the nearest petrol station is a few hundred yards to the left when you exit the circuit. to get there during the day you ride through the underpass to get out.

Ah folks, you done me proud!

Gonna have my Kwak cherry popped and throbbing, with me looking to get my race licence by the end of this.

Knowing my luck it’ll be pissing it down. But that said, I need to learn the limits of what a sports bike can do in the wet, so I’d only see that as a bonus.

Anyone recommend any good mushrooms for an E - ZX9?

If its wet, guess which spud would be most likely to low side… :slight_smile: Duh duh duh DUHHHHHH - Its chicken boy!

Yeah Tobe, like some of the others, I’d say to change those tyres mate…

They’ll be fine safety wise, but will have a detrimental effect on your confidence due to you a) thinking about them and b) the poor handling and feedback they’ll exhibit.

Go for a good blast around some country roads to scrub them in beforehand so you’re not worrying about fresh rubber and lack of grip on the day.

My advice to riding on track for the first time is to treat it like fast road riding with a added benefits…Primarily, traffic all moving in the same direction, and being able to use the whole width of the surface you’re traveling on.

You’ll pick up your pace quickly I’m sure but don’t be lulled into going too quick into a corner…It’s always best to leave yourself some margin for safety…Allowing time to brake, steer, then drive out.

If you do go in too hot…Lay off the brakes whilst lent over…Try and make the corner or just run on into the gravel trap or onto the grass and use a little rear brake (only) to knock off some speed.

Scaring yourself will cost you and is how many crashes occur.

Grab an instructor early on, build up your speed gradually and enjoy yourself mate

yeah I would change your tyre as well, and scrub it in beforehand as suggested above, the benefits of a proper profile and no nags in the back of your mind will be priceless.

Dont worry about shagging a new tyre, a) it wont be all that shagged and b) it will only be shagged on the outside, so you are almost ‘evening it out’ before you square off the centre bit.

Take it easy, 7 sessions is a long time and more than enough to give you a taste for more later…

so handy this thread answers all of my questions as well. Well done gents !

yay tobes!! You’ll love it. I’ve done track days with plugged tyres but the squaring off would hinder you. Best to get them changed so you can really gain the confidence in your bikes abilities.

As long as your leathers zip together most of the way round, you will be fine, it doesn’t have to be a ‘suit’.

Brands Hatch Indy is a great track. It’s short so easy to memorise and wide enough for easy overtaking.

Don’t get bogged down in the technical stuff at this stage. Just have fun and build up your speed lap by lap. If you get tired, sit out a session or come in early - it really is knackering but soooooooo much fun!

Would be interested to get your views after the event Toby as I’m intending to dip my toe in the spring:cool:

How come everyone knows I’m doing 7 sessions…I didn’t know that… :)?

few more general ones

give your bike a good check over a good few days before in case anything is loose/damaged etc. finding out you need bits say on a sunday night for a monday track day is flipping aggravating (ok so in my case the bike fell off the single sided swing arm stand but i’m not still bitter about it, honest…).

take tools to tighten all the respective bolts/fasteners. the bike will be vibrating harder and longer (think thats why sherrie is such a track addict:D) so things have a knack of working loose. saw someones number plate on the track last time!

and sherrie is spot on about not staying out for the sake of it. found this out the hard way when my visor fogged up and i stupidly tried to carry on for a few laps :w00t::

Hey fella, I know brands well and can totally recommend it for a first track day.Your leathers should be fine, would change the rubber (as a pair) for something not squared off. I wouldn’t worry about shagging the tires it will be way to cold for that.

I see you want to get your race lisence, don’t go out there and try and be Rossi in the first 5 mins, you will hurt a lot and have a busted bike. You have nothing to prove to anyone, not even yourself.

Relax and have fun, if your unsure of anything ask an instructor.

One last thing, follow faster riders to improve line and braking points, but DO NOT get carried away. I seem to remember JB trying to follow some tit on a Hornet a while ago!:D:P;)

the little minx is lovingly being cared for and tended this week…

16k service including addition of hard brake lines (braided hoses), new tyres and rejuiced…oil, brake fluid, coolant, sparks, etc… :slight_smile: :smiley: :slight_smile: :smiley: :slight_smile: :smiley: :slight_smile: :smiley:

Shame she’s such an expensive little slut, but she’s cheaper than a real mistress I tell ya! :slight_smile:

Only 16,000 miles :w00t: That’s criminal mate :wink:

actually its not fixed, it depends on when the light goes/whats been going on during the day (stoppages, weather, extra initial sighting lap session when its cold depending on the organisor etc).

you’ll should get at least 6

each session is 20 mins, and there are three groups. you’ll prob be on track for 9am, 3 sessions for each group by lunch at about 12-1 then another 3 in the afternoon off season. usually 4 in the afternoon when the days get longer again

they’ll go through it all on the day in the briefing tho mate so not to worry. the tannoys at brands are rubbish so keep an eye out for group 3 getting the checkered flag and when they put out the group number boards for you to go line up

is this booked with hottrax???

my 2 piece leathers are the same as yours it’s more a 3/4 zip rather than a 100% one and i have never seen anyone get stopped and had there leathers checked over, all i have seen them check is gloves and helmet straps.

one bit of advice i took onboard was on your first sighting laps try and get right behind the instructor to pick up his lines as if your at the back of the ‘snake’ you end up a few metres off the actual racing line!!!

Good for you Toby, you’ll have a great time. I hope you have not picked up too many bad habits hanging around the R6 Cup boys.

Get out there and have fun, but to do it safely build up your speed gradually and give yourself four laps before your tyres are working as well as they can this time of year. Oh and put new rubber on for sure…it’s a false economy otherwise as your mind will not be on the track where it should be.

You’ll be on a very steep learning curve and will be much quicker, relaxed and confident by the end of the day. So learn your way round and get a picture of what is going on and the speed will come. No need to over analyse at the moment.

Regarding emergencies: If you find yourself going in to a turn too quick (and we’ve all done it at some time) don’t grab a handful of front brake, or look to the outside of the track or tense up on the bars…easier said than done. Try to lean the bike over further (you’d be surprised how far over you can lean), look through the turn where you want to go and if you can’t help tensing up, grip the tank with your legs as this will help stop putting tension on the bars which can upset the handling and make the bike run wide.

Make sure you also bring yourself to the track in as good condition as your bike ;):smiley:

don’t crash, it hurts