How to prepare to take your bike on track
The good news for anyone who wants to transition from riding the roads on two wheels to some real motorcycle track time – preparing your bike is easy. Preparing yourself is the trickier part.
But with some quick mental checks and a little bit of TLC for your bike, you will soon be dragging your knee through the turns with confidence and control. Here are some of the ways you can get ready:
Make Sure You Have Fresh Tires
Tires touching the track need to have 50 percent or more of their original rubber intact. This can mean that your racing slicks will grip a little more, or it can mean that your DOT highway treads have enough meat on them to look only slightly worn.
Bottom line: no matter the tire type, make sure it’s got plenty of life ahead of it when you hit the track. Also, bringing pre-mounted, balanced spares never hurts.
Tape Everything Down
Spilling out on the track doesn’t have to be a huge incident. However, chances are good that if you neglect to tape down your gear, it will be far worse for you and everyone else on the track.
Start your track session with a vigorous round of taping over your lights, plastic or fiberglass fixtures, and any meters you won’t necessarily need for the day. You should also take measures to tape down your wheel weights in case they decide to come flying off at an inopportune time.
Make Sure You And Your Bike Are Hydrated
The biggest worry on the track is surprisingly not the turns, it’s your own energy levels.
As you run laps, you will exert a surprising amount of physical energy shifting your weight around and operating your bike. Within just an hour, you may suffer from exhaustion and not even know it.
Be sure to bring lots of water, and some carb-loading snacks like bagels or granola to keep your energy up. Also, keep your bike cool by topping off your coolant and oil systems as needed throughout the day.
Go as Smooth as Possible, Even If It Means Going Slow
Most inexperienced track rider spillouts come down to sudden and jerky split-decision maneuvers. You may need to do that on the road as you react to other drivers who may enter your lane, but on the track everything should be under your control.
So lead in every turn with the right speed and gear before you enter it. Keep your eyes focused throughout the entire turn, too. Many novice riders end up picking an apex point and then running right into the tire walls after passing through it because they weren’t thinking about their exit line.
Get the Motorcycle Track Time You Need
The skills you learn on the track will make you a better driver everywhere else, bar none. Put in the time you need every month to build up that skillset and make all your actions as smooth and predictable as possible. Atlanta Motorsports Park even helps show you the way with a control rider who leads the lap and demonstrates proper turn entry and exit maneuvers.
Over time, you’ll break bad habits you didn’t even know you had and learn tricks that will have your riding buddies green with envy. Find out more about how to get your motorcycle on track at AMP and become better at what you love.
Rider, Video Blogger, racer and enthusiast of everything two wheels. Getting his start by riding motorcycles and putting his adventures on YouTube, he has gained traction in the motorcycle community by riding for top name brand companies and being invited to race all over the world.