If you’ve got a motorcycle, you know how annoying it can be never really being allowed let rip. Sure, you might have pretty nifty acceleration off a set of red lights. But there’s no skill in depressing the throttle as far as it will go. What you want is somewhere that you can put your bike through its paces. You know – to see what it can do.
Well, that’s where track days come in. Track days are a blast. And they’re hands down the best way to improve your riding skills and get into racing. In fact, one could consider them a form of safety training. After all, you’ll come back from a track day a more accomplished rider.
Here’s how track days help you prepare for motorsport.
You Learn Your Bike
To really understand your bike’s limits, you have to be able to push them. When you drive on the road, much of your attention is focused on the actions of other road users. You’re constantly asking questions like “is that car going to pull out in front of me?”
Track days allow you to get rid of all these distractions. It’s just you, your bike, and some tarmac.
Track days also help you to learn different types of bikes. There’s a big difference between riding a tourer and riding a sportbike, for instance. If you head out to a track day, test a range of different bikes and try to master each of them. You’ll be rewarded with better skills on the road.
You Learn About Equipment
If you’re planning on getting into motorsports, you’ll need to learn about equipment. Perhaps the most important piece of equipment is the helmet. If you’re racing, you’ll need a specialist helmet, like the Schuberth S2. These helmets come with a special construction that is designed to minimise the impact on the rider’s skull in an impact.
You’ll also have to spend some time getting clued up on jackets, trousers and boots. Jackets need to be waterproof. The best jackets use a combination of high tech fibres, including kevlar, to protect riders. Boots should be both waterproof and breathable. It’s also helpful if they have a reinforced gear change cushion, to stop the foot from being damaged by the action. Also, look for boots that come with plastic ankle protection to prevent the foot from becoming bent in a crash. Plastic protectors should be reinforced with a steel underlay.
You Find Out How To Corner
We’ve all wanted, at some point, to corner the way that they do in MotoGP where their knees are brushing the track. It is possible: but it takes guts and a bit of practice to get there.
The best way to learn how to corner is to first go to a classroom session on track day. These sessions will take you through the technique for how to get the bike low and corner rapidly. Here, you’ll get a demonstration of how it’s done which hopefully you can emulate. Then it’s out to the track to give it a shot for real. Remember, everything you learn about cornering is transferable to regular street riding.