There is a lot of talk about how much a rider learns and how much fun he/she has at a track day. Riders all over the nation participate in track days and highly recommended it. There are numerous “schools” a rider can use for a track day. One popular school in Texas is RideSmart and Motorsports Ranch in Cresson, TX is a popular location for track days.
Riders may arrive at the track starting at 6:00 A.M. There they unload and make sure the bikes were ready for the track i.e. no lights, light lenses and reflectors taped…(list of requirements
After appropriate registration papers are signed riders take their bikes to “Tech Inspection” where school personnel make sure bikes meet track day requirements. Once “tech” places an inspection sticker on the bike the bike and rider may enter the track (at the appropriate times).
If a rider does not have a full set of leather riding gear rentals are available. RideSmart provide first timers 1/2 priced registration, with appropriate coupon code, and free leathers and/or boot rentals.
A peripheral service at the track is suspension adjustments by Roger of OnRoad OffRoad Cycles before hitting the track. Roger provides affordable professional customized adjustments for riders.
A track preview is provided prior to the first classroom session. The preview consistent of several trucks for riders to sit in the truck beds. Trucks drive on the track and stop at each corner or series of corners where an instructor discusses the correct line for the corner and point out markers on or beside the track riders should aim for.
After the preview there is time to grab a drink, snack and/or visit the restroom before the first class session. (For Level 1 riders each hour consisted of roughly 20 minutes class, 20 minutes prep time and 20 minutes on the track.)
The first class session covers safety, awareness, cornering and track rules and procedures. The first track session is a “round-robin” – riders were lined up behind an instructor (about 8-10 per instructor). Each rider is to follow the exact line of the rider in front of them takes. A reasonable pace is maintained allowing everyone to see the correct “line” for each corner. After one lap the rider directly behind the instructor moved to the side and slowed down to take the end of the line. Now a different rider was directly behind the instructor. Before the session was over all riders had ridden behind an instructor.
The pattern of class, break, track in 20 minute increments continues. The next few sessions riders, in groups of three, sign up to wear a numbered colored jersey and a specific instructor would follow a rider while the other 2 followed instructor for a lap. The group will briefly exit and instructor provides advice/instruction to the rider. A different member of the trio would then take lead. Riders not in a trio for that session were allowed to ride and work on their skills independently.
Many times the instructor will video the session. Afterwards during the class session the instructor shows the video and discusses in greater detail points to work on. It is productive seeing oneself on video. Certain concepts became clearer. (Video Clip – at the two minute mark riders exit and the rest is of the instructor giving instruction)
Starting about 11:30 hamburgers for lunch were provided and a longer break is taken . The next session starts at 1:00 and the routine continues until 5. Many riders get enough practice and instruction skip the last session (4:00 to 5:00). After a day of riding they are tired and start loading the bikes for the trip home.
Track days are fun, informative, educational and riders improve their skills. They also gain understanding of skill limits and risk tolerance level (the bike can handle more than most riders willing/able to do).
A yearly track day would be beneficial for all riders. A track day is highly recommended for all motorcyclists.