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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I'll be going to the track for the first time on my '13 848 EVO. It also happens to be my first time to the track in general, so I am trying to prepare as best as I can.

What are some MUST DOs (and maybe some Should DOs if I have money to blow) that you would recommend before going to the track?

I have had 0 adjustments done from the stock settings. I am 5-8", weighing 175 lb (will probably be 165-170 lb).
 

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Make sure chain is adjusted correctly, tires are in good health and inflated properly.

Have you ever had the suspension sag setup for you? If not, get that done.

Id remove the mirrors and bring blue painters tape to cover your lights.

Make sure you are hydrated the day before, and all day at the track. I cant overstate this. Youll be the last to know if youre dehydrated. Dehydration will cause fatigue and also cause your mind to wander while youre out there....never good.

Make it to all the class room talks between sessions.

Dont drink the night before...and make sure you have eaten and have food to refuel yourself.

Bring sunscreen and stay out of the sun.

Make sure the gas tank is full before you get there.

Get there early, you'll be happy you did.

Find a control rider that will be in your group and make friends, you'll be happy you did.

As for bike stuff....just ride it :)

Your helmet must be newer than 5 years old.

Enjoy and be safe, this aint no race, son...
 

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You are in for an experience like never before. Track riding is way different from riding on the street...if someone tells you otherwise...stop listening.

Since it is your first track day, I wouldn't do much to your bike as of yet. Check out the track organization's requirements in regards to your bike (mirrors, lights, turn signals, license plate, coolant, safety wiring etc.). As others have mentioned, if you like getting on the track (and you will), start looking into getting specific items such as track plastics. There is no need for track specific tires and tires warmers until your pace drastically increases. Any of the current street performance tires is more than capable to carry you far into intermediate and even advanced...

While it depends on the organization you are riding with, you usually register and get your sticker indicating the group you are riding in. Once you are registered, you take your bike to tech inspection. Before anyone can go out, there is a rider meeting that you need to attend to learn about flags and organization-specific rules. After that you are good to go.

Once you get on the track, stay as calm and relaxed as you can be (you will get anxious, sweaty, nervous, excited all in one before your first session). Again, depending on the organization, you will start with following the leader to learn the track, learn where the corner workers are and what line the instructor is running. They might show different lines (inside, outside, race line) but that varies by organization. You may go to class after each session in the morning where you learn about basic track riding skills - again, depending on who you are riding with.

When you are out there, ride your own ride. Don't try to set the new lap record or impress anyone. Slow down your riding a bit and work on the fundamentals. Try to work on running consistent lines, smooth throttle and brake control, body positioning. Don't care about speed...it will come automatically once you got the fundamentals down. Take advantage of the instructors, they are there to help you.

Throughout the day, make sure you monitor your fluid intake...if you are not peeing multiple times, you are not drinking enough. Eat little snacks but stay away from too big of a meal. Take it easy after lunch as your concentration moved to your stomach....the session after lunch is known for a higher crash rate. Listen to your body and if you feel getting tired etc. simply pull in or sit out a session.

But above all of that....simply have fun!!!!!
 

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And on your way home after the track day, it would be a good idea to find a support group. I've had marginal success with trackaholics anonymous.
And, most importantly, if God forbid, you do bin it, under no circumstances tell your wife.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the valuable advice guys. I highly appreciate it.

I'll look into the suspension as I am currently running stock suspension, and I'll clean and measure the chain's tension.

I usually have 4-6 bottles of water a day, so that's no problem, I know how important it is to stay hydrated :)
 

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All kidding aside, you already have a very capable bike. Get a bundle of laps done. Let speed come up organically, avoid embracing bad habits, and keep hands and arms relaxed. Spend time on your skills, not money on your bike.
 

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To reiterate: get your sag set for your weight plus ALL gear in a riding tuck. And follow the organizations directions for setting up lights/mirrors/etc. Bring extra gas, I usually fill up twice at the track for a full day. And bring a lunch!

Last footstomp: ride at your own pace. There are no trophies for first place. Just enjoy it!
 

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Amen, don't get caught chasing bikes down the straight. Your gonna mess up corners so don't be in a rush to do so!!
 

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Don't forget your gear, and ffs don't forget your key!! You think I'm joking but I've seen people do that :D

A guy I know came to a track day with no helmet...luckily there was Honda Powersports store nearby and he bought one, but it made for a very expensive track day because of that. And a guy that lives about 3+ hours away forget the key to his bike at home.

Other than that, the previous posts pretty much covered it all. Also, there is a "on the track" section on this forum. You'll find a lot more info, including all of this in that section.
 
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jwm2k3 is right on the money.

First track day really doesn't require much more then he suggested. Just go and have fun.

Just be cautious, learn from those around you and be very very patient. The track isn't the street, you can go MUCH faster and street tires really aren't up to snuff. So just take it easy.
 
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Spend a bit of time going over the bike a few days before, just to make sure all is secure and in good shape. I go like I'm camping and take chair, table, esky and food, wet weather gear and tools.

It'll be great.
 
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