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post #1 of 41 Old 03-03-2009, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
 
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Starting Track days

hey all,
i really dont know where to start here but i'll try my best to keep it short and simple.
1) i bought a 05 honda cbr1000rr 3months ago (1st bike)(love the bike and love to ride )
2) want to learn how race a bike (on a track of course)
3) is learning to race on a 1000cc ok or should i start with a 250cc 1st?
4) how do i get in a program that teaches me how to race a bike? do some bike clubs offer to teach that?
5) what exactly is a track day? (a day you go go practice your riding?, what if ur a noob like me, how does that work with track days?)

Guys i really want to learn how to ride on a track and may even proceed to racing. i know that im kinda too new for all this but is there really a better place to learn how to ride than a track?

If anyone has any info or website of a sport bike club in NY (Long Island, NYC, or close) that does some track riding and teach it too, let me know.

I really appreciate any help that i can get.
-Alex P
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post #2 of 41 Old 03-13-2009, 2:10 PM
 
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Re: Starting Track days

look up team pro-motion. also check with hondagaltoo she may know more about it. i havent done a track day and just like you im wanting some track time.

as far as your bike is concerned i would have bought something smaller to start on the street with. you will see what i mean if you do bring the 1krr to the track. once the pace pics up the bigger bike is gunna be a handful exiting corners. i have roughly 12years experience on the street and im a little nervous to take the 929 to the track, i am getting much more comfy on my 929. but i would rather spend my first trackdays only worring about cornering and learning the lines around the track and not worry about getting bucked off.

im not saying that you wont be successful its just being a new rider all together your setting the bar quite high for a beginner.

if i were you i would get a smaller bike. at 19 you have plenty of time to upgrade when your skills improve.

ive stated this time and time again just because you can operate a bike doesnt mean you can "ride" it.

have you shopped for leathers yet?
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post #3 of 41 Old 03-13-2009, 6:17 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Starting Track days

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Originally Posted by shakey1378 View Post
look up team pro-motion. also check with hondagaltoo she may know more about it. i havent done a track day and just like you im wanting some track time.

as far as your bike is concerned i would have bought something smaller to start on the street with. you will see what i mean if you do bring the 1krr to the track. once the pace pics up the bigger bike is gunna be a handful exiting corners. i have roughly 12years experience on the street and im a little nervous to take the 929 to the track, i am getting much more comfy on my 929. but i would rather spend my first trackdays only worring about cornering and learning the lines around the track and not worry about getting bucked off.

im not saying that you wont be successful its just being a new rider all together your setting the bar quite high for a beginner.

if i were you i would get a smaller bike. at 19 you have plenty of time to upgrade when your skills improve.

ive stated this time and time again just because you can operate a bike doesnt mean you can "ride" it.

have you shopped for leathers yet?
Thxs for info dude;
For a while now i got fed up with everybody telling me that 1L bike is too much for a beginner but recently, after taking the bike out for some exercises and some freeways, i just understood why they gave such advice. I am planning on selling (or trading) my bike for a smaller one pretty soon.

Now, i really understand that operating heavier bikes delays the learning curve and also takes some fun out of it because it takes soooo long. As for the power, i really did not have a problem with that. I moderated it pretty well i believe. For these reasons, i think a 0.6L will suit me much better. what do you think?

As for the track, i really was not planning on starting out with the 1L. What do you think of the 0.6L? Is that also too much for a beginner on the track?

Again, i really appreciate your help
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post #4 of 41 Old 03-13-2009, 6:22 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Starting Track days

oo, i forgot to add that i got some leather pant and jacket but they are perforated. I had also bough some 30$ gloves from Joe Rocket but they ripped already (crappy stuff). A two piece perforated gear should OK for an amateur track rider correct?
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post #5 of 41 Old 03-13-2009, 10:26 PM
 
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Re: Starting Track days

i believe for two piece it needs a full 360 zipper, otherwise street only. i plan on getting a one piece anyway for days im only going out riding and track days once i grab as either a cheap sv650 or f4i. i like these two for there ergos "im feeling old these days" and useable engines. i want a twin in the worst way but i dont want to give up the blade so those are two bike reccomendations cause i prefer a bike thats fun to ride all day not just fun to ride...




to get back to gear thats the game plan ive taken sourcing all my safety equipment before i get the track toy.

my shopping list at the moment
celtic suit from stg
bohn or knox armored shorts
undersuit for easy escape of suit for trips
sidi vertigo corsa boots
spare shark rsr2 incase i have a off...

if there is one thing i am finding out about blowing all my money on the best gear is that its comfortable.
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post #6 of 41 Old 03-13-2009, 10:38 PM
 
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Re: Starting Track days

Track days: most go in 3 groups Novice, Intermediate, Advanced they usually run 20 minute rotation all day. You will start in Novice and advancement is dependent on you and the group you are riding with rules (basically you don't want a Novice out with a WERA champ as closing speeds get hairy)

Schools: an excellent way to start even before track day #1 They vary in cost and focus. Not familiar with the ones in your area so I will reserve any comment.

Race: Do this later.

Most groups require a helmet newer than 5 years (by date not how long you have it), leather boots up over your ankle, cuff gloves, a suit or two piece that zips together with a 360 zipper. The rules differ but why not protect yourself To much is not an issue. Many want your antifreeze out and replaced with water and water wetter. Even if not required be kind to your fellow riders and do it, antifreeze is slick and VERY hard to get up so a major safety issue.

Check the bookstore for Road Racing World and in the back they have a schedule that might be helpful.

Hope this helps some.

Must obey the sheep dog
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post #7 of 41 Old 03-23-2009, 12:19 PM
 
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Re: Starting Track days

Sheepofblue has great advise; the school is really a wise thing to attend. On my first track day last year, they had a school with the track day.

Go with a friend, or if no one wants to ride with you bring a friend or relative; also rent a trailer or something to haul your bike with just encase you have a spill and can't ride it home.

One more thing that Sheep didn't mention; it is highly addictive and sooooo much fun not getting any tickets.

Have fun!
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post #8 of 41 Old 03-23-2009, 7:58 PM
 
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Re: Starting Track days

Closest tracks to you are Pocono in PA, New Jersey Motorsports Park in southern NJ and New Hampshire Motor Speedway. I can't speak of the first 2 but HondaGalToo can shed some light on good clubs/schools that take place there. As far as NHMS goes I've ridden with a 3 different organizations there and they all seem to pretty much have the same group of instructors/control riders. all of which are very good coaches, most with more years of track riding experience than you've been alive. I've done the Penguin Racing School beginner level, track days with Lean Angle Performance School and a combined day with Lean Angle and the Carl McAllister Motorcycle safety school. Check out BostonMoto also, they are running some days at NJMP and NHMS this year. I haven't ridden with them but I know one of the owners from another forum and he's a good guy and former racer.


a 600cc or smaller will be a much better bike for you especially at track days. whatever you decide to do I suggest you get a lot of miles under your belt so you can get comfortable on it before going to the track. and check out the gear requirements on the sites I listed. you're gonna want to buy all that stuff (or you can rent but I figure its good to use on the street too).

if you can't convince them, confuse them.
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post #9 of 41 Old 03-23-2009, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Starting Track days

Thanks A LOT for all the info. I will definitely try to get a 600cc as soon as possible. I am hoping that i'll feel comfortable enough this summer with the bike enough to go take the lessons offered by the schools. I am really looking forward to start of all this good stuff because honestly, i would like to know the proper way to do just about everything on a bike and i am also very competitive .
Again, i really cannot thank you guys enough for the help. It had greatly decreased my ignorance/ confusion about this whole topic.
Thank You
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post #10 of 41 Old 03-23-2009, 10:09 PM
 
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Re: Starting Track days

Helllloooo! As mentioned, start out with trackdays first, learn the ropes there, then advance to racing later if you want. A good starter bike for the track would be a Suzuki SV650. Lots of guys race them, too. A literbike is too much for a noob, on the street or the track, I'm glad you've figured that out.

In our area, there are 3 main trackday orgs. All of them offer some sort of instruction in the Novice group. STT has classroom time, TPM has an ART basic class. NESBA is a bit less formal, but has really good control riders to help you. The three biggies are:
NESBA (northeast sportbike association). NESBA : Northeast Sports Bike Association
Team ProMotion (TPM). www.teampromotion.com
Sportbike Track Time (STT). Sportbike Track Time - Get on the right track !! Toll Free #888-390-4020 I think their novice classroom sessions are good.
There's another one, Absolute Cycle, that runs days primarily at NJ Motosports park. ABSOLUTE CYCLE PERFORMANCE LLC Rahway, NJ 1 (877) 382-9800

They all have rules, it's not a free-for-all, nor is it "open practice". As Sheep said, there are 3 groups, beginner (novice), intermediate, and advanced. All have different passing rules. Start in beginner. Most clubs run 20 minute sessions, rotating between the groups.

As far as schools locally, unfortunately not too much. The above mentioned trackday orgs offer instruction, that's your best bet. Penguin School at Loudon, NH personally I think is too much for a beginner, unless they've changed things. I've never taken it, so I'll defer to CBR929RE. There's a group at Loudon NH called fishtail riding school that is also good. Loudon is about 8 hours from NY, though. Keith Code runs schools at various places, including NJMP. I haven't taken his courses, however, but some folks seem to like them.

The closest tracks are Pocono (the East course is a good track to learn on, stay away from the FUSA course initially), and NJ Motorsports Park. Others that are good but a bit further are Summit Point in WV, and BeaveRun in western PA.

The track orgs I've mentioned above all have their pros and cons. Best to try them all, or at least spectate at some, to see what's the best fit for you. I ride with NESBA and Absolute.

As mentioned, do not skimp on gear. Get motorcycle specific boots with ankle protection. Get gauntlet gloves that come up above your wrist, the shorty gloves are not allowed. A 2 piece suit must have a full-circumferance zipper, not the short one that just goes across the back. Helmet should be no older than 5 years, full-face required. Get a back protector (a separate one, not the cheapie one that comes in the suit).

That's all I can think of for now. Except that if you are a brand-new rider, get several thousand street miles under your belt before going to the track. They will teach you to ride on the track, but they don't teach you how to ride a motorcycle. Operation of all controls must be second nature, and you must be comfortable at highway speeds. Have you taken an MSF class? If not, you should.

As far as bike prep and other rules/regulations, read the info and rider's manuals on each club's website. They differ just a bit sometimes. Basically, mirrors removed, all lights taped, unplug the headlight, disable the brake light. In the beginner group you don't have to change your antifreeze to distilled water/water wetter, but I still advise it. Some groups require a number on your bike. Some of the groups also offer an intro day (NESBA) or try the track (TPM). Not sure about TPM's, but NESBA's intro gives you 2 free sessions in the morning, and requires minimal bike prep.

Last edited by HondaGalToo; 03-23-2009 at 10:19 PM.
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post #11 of 41 Old 03-23-2009, 10:26 PM
 
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Re: Starting Track days

hell if i cant save up for a track bike i may trade down just to get some track time. although i guess i should be patient...i do love the blade and its mine no payments. damn economy lol
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post #12 of 41 Old 03-23-2009, 10:53 PM
 
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Re: Starting Track days

The time I went to the Penguin School it was jus the 1 day friday school. I think it would be perfect for a first time track rider. First half of the day is classroom and follow the leader sessions. after lunch they let us go in our group. If you aren't comfortable going out on your own the instructors are all more than willing to take you around the whole day. I can tell these guys love teaching new track riders because of how often you see all of them any time I've been to NHMS. and seeing Carl McAllister ride a former AMA Superbike putting down 180hp in the rain riding on slicks showed he has more talent and experience in his pinky than I do in my entire body. but yes you do need to know how to ride the bike before you go to any track.

I can't believe I forgot Fishtail, I had just looked up the site so I could put it in that last post. I bet if I looked at the instructors and and compared them to the Penguin ones there'd be a bunch of the same faces.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shakey1378 View Post
hell if i cant save up for a track bike i may trade down just to get some track time. although i guess i should be patient...i do love the blade and its mine no payments. damn economy lol
you've been riding for 12 years, I think you have enough experience to take the 929 to the track. just ride like you know how and not above your head and you'll be fine.

if you can't convince them, confuse them.
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post #13 of 41 Old 03-24-2009, 12:11 AM
 
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Re: Starting Track days

hey Alex, where in LI are you?(Im in huntington) I also do trackdays as much as possible, so if you have anymore specific questions feel free to pm me.

I started track days on my 954, but I also had the bike for a few years beforehand. Its all about how comfortable you are and if you have the restraint to not go over your head...
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post #14 of 41 Old 03-24-2009, 12:46 AM
 
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Re: Starting Track days

HG2 and the rest of them pretty much covered all of the bases. I'll add this:

You might want to hook up with some more local groups. Most folks are friendly to strangers and obvious n00bs but the first few trackdays can be overwhelming and it helps to ride with folks that you know or can supplement the coaches teachings. It also helps with the initial awkwardness of being alone in the paddock.

I think all of the clubs have Try the Track events at lunch time where they take total noobs out for a slow, very controlled taste of the track. Best sales pitch I've ever experienced.

Check out the different schedules and let us know when/where you're thinking about coming out. I'm sure one of the tri-state locals will be in attendance.

I'll 2nd JDsmRR's question.... where in NY are you?

-jh
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post #15 of 41 Old 03-24-2009, 5:46 AM
 
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Re: Starting Track days

Quote:
Originally Posted by CBR929RE View Post
The time I went to the Penguin School it was jus the 1 day friday school. I think it would be perfect for a first time track rider. First half of the day is classroom and follow the leader sessions. after lunch they let us go in our group. If you aren't comfortable going out on your own the instructors are all more than willing to take you around the whole day. I can tell these guys love teaching new track riders because of how often you see all of them any time I've been to NHMS. and seeing Carl McAllister ride a former AMA Superbike putting down 180hp in the rain riding on slicks showed he has more talent and experience in his pinky than I do in my entire body. but yes you do need to know how to ride the bike before you go to any track.
Good to know that, Penguin used to be strictly a race school and didn't offer much in the way of instruction, especially for noobs. Hmmm, maybe I should go take their school....




Quote:
Originally Posted by CBR929RE View Post
you've been riding for 12 years, I think you have enough experience to take the 929 to the track. just ride like you know how and not above your head and you'll be fine.
Shakey, agreed, you've been riding a long time and are used to your 929. I'd use it on the track and see how you like it. Then decide if you want something smaller. If you decide to do a NESBA day, let me know. If I'm there, I'll look you up. Or, let me know if you want to do any street rides this year...Spring's coming!!!
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