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Getting into track days and possibly WERA racing

Discussion in 'Information For New Racers' started by William Schneider, May 7, 2021.

  1. stangmx13

    stangmx13 Well-Known Member

    All trackday providers should have a list of requirements for bikes. The list is usually very short. Taped lights, mirrors, and plates as others above said. Controls in good operating condition, ie the throttle snaps back and the levers move properly. Tires in good conditions. Chain/sprockets in good condition. No leaks. Wheel weights taped. That's usually it.

    If your bikes are in good safe operating condition, they are likely good enough for a trackday with the addition of some blue tape. Pick a bike, sign up, and go ride.

    The only extra prep you should absolutely do for every bike at the track is dial in your tire pressure. The guy selling tires at the track should have a recommendation based on your tires, your bike, and the conditions that day. Or you can search here as most of the common high performance street tires have been discussed.
  2. TurboBlew

    TurboBlew Registers Abusers

    coming back to this
    ... see if any providers offer a "simulated sprint start" aka mock race at their events. See how that stirs up butterflys or red mist.
    Also you should make sure your equipment is ready to go. Saw 3 people have to call it quits last weekend from simple mechanical stuff that mushroomed.
    William Schneider likes this.
  3. Boman Forklift

    Boman Forklift Well-Known Member

    Are you sure your family would care if you transitioned their gift into something better suited for your current goals? IMO the SV650 or a 400 is a better way to go racing and become fast quicker. If you just want to have fun and don't care about racing stay on the 1000.

    The cheapest, really good seat time, is getting a mini and racing/training with that for awhile...but I don't know what they offer in your area.

    I agree on a Ken Hill school or YRCS over California Superbike school. I took CSS when I raced, it was the only thing out there back then. I also paid for it when my son raced and tried many other schools. Ken Hill who worked at YCRS at that time and uses many similar methods, or YCRS would be my top picks now. Some other trainers also use those same methods. Pridmore is good too, but he is mainly west coast based, I believe.

    IMO after 1-2 trackdays, if you like it and want to race, start racing in the novice class. Paying for training/coaching and racing will progress you the quickest.....while doing a bunch of trackdays will not. Trackdays to train for race weekends are fantastic, but you will learn so much more competing and then paying for instruction versus blowing money on multiple track days.
    Last edited: May 26, 2021
  4. kenessex

    kenessex unregistered user

    This is the correct answer
    SpeedyE likes this.
  5. D-Zum

    D-Zum Alex’s Ohvale Maintenance & Transport Service

    I've done both racing and Track days...did my first races last year at age 49. Did my first track day in 1997...so MANY years of that "sport".
    I've flipped between a 600 and a 1000 over those years.

    I'd have a Ninja 400 prepped for this season for some LWT endurance races, and a platform for my son once he's 13 or 14, but the off season was a bit of a setback for me this year.

    You're accumulated mileage on public roads means very little, in my opinion, to this discussion aside from that you know where the brakes and throttle are. The Harley/Cruiser crowd also loves to attest to their significant odometer numbers to give some semblance of impressiveness to their rider resume. Sitting up and down and rolling on the highway watching the meter climb isn't growing any skills. Well, maybe you learn to endure the pain in your pelvis area from sitting on the rolling torture rack, but that's all.

    IF I were you, my plan would be to decide what tracks I'm going to race. I'd look at N2, STG, and the other track day organizations that ride those facilities and map a calendar of events to attend this year to ride each one. Ride what you have now. This is about you learning as a rider, and at least knowing the layouts before you get to a WERA event at a track next year.

    IF you want to spend a larger investment this year in yourself as a rider, take the Yamaha Champions Rider's School. The Team Hammer School (Daytona..usually October) is also a pretty good day, and both also qualify you for your racers license upon graduation.

    Then next year in the off season, you can make a decision about what platform you want to use going forward. You can also decide if you want more track days, or if you want to come race. If you come race, you'll have knowledge of the layouts of the various courses you've ridden (at speed). You'll be less of a rolling roadblock to the rest of the grid, so you'll be safer for all involved. Every event won't be a giant learning weekend where you're out racing and trying to learn at the same time.
  6. rice r0cket

    rice r0cket Well-Known Member

    Hmm, I didn't know that, any place I can read up more on this? Is there any "expiration"?
  7. D-Zum

    D-Zum Alex’s Ohvale Maintenance & Transport Service

    Not sure. You’d have to check with Mongo/WERA to see how long they will honor a certificate from the Hammer School.
  8. SuddenBraking

    SuddenBraking The Iron Price

    Wera also accepts proof of attending a Trackday Winner trackday as qualification for a race license. I think CCS does as well.
    tl1098 and socalrider like this.
  9. mdhokie

    mdhokie Well-Known Member

    1 year.
  10. gapman789

    gapman789 Well-Known Member

    @WilliamSchneider, this clown not so accidentally forgot his 'sarcasm' emoji when he posted this.
    There's a longstanding rub between WERA and the TDW org.

    Dumb shit like this is what turns people off to WERA, and the forum.

    OP is genuinely looking for help and info to start racing and support WERA and time after time, there's always one in the crowd to get shit going sideways.
  11. SuddenBraking

    SuddenBraking The Iron Price

    Calm down, Francis - there's not a soul here who didn't know this was a joke (quality of the joke is debatable, but a joke nonetheless).

  12. Mongo

    Mongo Administrator

    Um, WTF???
  13. Mongo

    Mongo Administrator

    This isn't a forum for stupid jokes.
  14. William Schneider

    William Schneider Well-Known Member

    Sorry I haven't been keeping up with this thread. I read all of the replies and really appreciate the advice; every bit helps as I plan out my track riding.

    I think may goal for track riding will be to become skilled enough to ride my cbr1000rr on the track. I am not sure if that will be through multiple track days or a mix or track days and racing. I've made that my goal after reading all of your advice and having some self-reflection on where I am in my life and how much time I can realistically spend on the track.

    This weekend will be my first STT weekend at Barber. I am riding a Kawasaki Ninja 650 (drove 30 hours to pick it up from my dad's house in NY). I took the general advice of starting on a smaller bike. I am very excited to ride on the track, but also pretty anxious. Although the bike is in good working order, I am concerned that I've missed something, and an issue will come up at technical inspection. Are there any common issues that people forget to check (ex. throttle free play)? I am planning to get my tires switched out for more track oriented rubber because I have sport touring tires on now. (STT has a Michelin/Dunlop vender at the event). Is this a good idea? What kind of tires would last the whole weekend? I read through all of the information on the STT website, but am still a little unsure of how the day will go. Would the novice class get some coaching before going out on track? Will there be people I can ask for directions of where to be when? I've made a "packing list" for the weekend:
    - motorcycle
    - stands
    - tent overhang
    - folding chairs
    - duct tape
    - painters tape
    - tool box
    - 2 5gal gas cans
    - 2- piece suit
    - gauntlet gloves
    - riding boots
    - helmet
    - snacks
    - lots of water
    Is there anything you guys would add? Should I bring my own lunch in a cooler?

    I know this is more of a racing forum, but I would really appreciate your advice for this weekend.

    Last edited: Jun 23, 2021
  15. mpusch

    mpusch Well-Known Member

    Your tires will last all weekend. A novice pace on a 650, you'll be fine.

    I remember being super nervous about my first tech inspection as well. It's a good thing, because it keeps you safe, but they're trying to get you out on track and fix any issues.

    Fresh tires, chain with the right amount of slack, nothing binding the bike from turning handlebars left and right, brake pads have good meat, no oil leaks, no fork leaks. Those are the big ones off the top of my head.
    TurboBlew and William Schneider like this.
  16. TurboBlew

    TurboBlew Registers Abusers

    I would not fret about using Sport touring tires on your first track day. I would stick to street tires so you dont have to deal with warmers and the menagerie that comes with that equipment.
    A good reliable air pressure gauge is recommended. I typically over inflate the tires prior and bag them down at the track... assuming the weather isnt overcast or wet... try 30/30 psi to start.
    Dont overthink too much... relax and enjoy the ability to focus on the apexes & actual riding with no cell phone distracted drivers anywhere.
    Maybe review some of Ken Hills basics on footing, body & eye position. Also controls...
  17. Kurlon

    Kurlon Well-Known Member

    If you've got access to electricity, a fan is nice to set your helmet and gloves on after a session to dry them out. A folding table is nice if there aren't benches in place, etc.
    RichMangus and William Schneider like this.
  18. wheelz96

    wheelz96 Well-Known Member

    I'm a coach with STT and my buddy who also coaches will be there. You will certainly get coaching before, during, and after all the sessions. Don't be shy and make sure you grab a coach and ask him or her to work with you. Nothing makes us happier then someone wanting to learn, listens to feedback, and of course, rides safely!

    The first few sessions before lunch will be behind a control rider and slowly bring you up in speed. After lunch is when we start sending you on your own but that's a great time to grab a coach and have them work with you.

    They sell food and gas at the track but still cheaper to bring your own. Barber will spoil you!

    Micah Hand will be coaching and I will let him know you are looking to get into racing and would like some extra coaching.

    Any tire they sell trackside will get you through an entire weekend. If you dont have warmers just get a set of DOT from the vendors and ask them about air pressure. Show up with an open mind, listen to the coaches, and have fun! Welcome to the addiction!
  19. gapman789

    gapman789 Well-Known Member

    You will realize that being on the track is less stressful than being on the road.

    Youtube ' afm banquet 2010'.....that'll get you FIRED up!!
    William Schneider likes this.
  20. William Schneider

    William Schneider Well-Known Member

    Thanks again everyone for all of the advice and for helping me prepare for my first track day. This weekend went super well and it was an awesome experience. I met a lot of great people and the coaches were really great (@wheelz96 I wasn't able to be coached by Micah Hand directly but he did help me on the track a bit). I had a great time and I am looking forward to the next one. The Ninja 650 worked really well, but some of the coaches had some comments regarding my suspension. I will be posting questions about that in the tech section later on before my next track day.

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