Motorcycle Track Day: Prep and Action


By the third session, I was feeling relatively comfy on the bike on track again and also had a feel for the grip level of the tires.
The track layout at Autoclub Speedway is dominated by left handers, so the right side of the tire didn’t get nearly the same usage.

These Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SPs are simply amazing! Coming off track, they are stickier and softer than any bike or car tire I’ve used before! The one time I got the rear to slide just a little bit was on the warm-up lap where I purposely giae it a lot of throttle. Even when it did slide, it was very progressive. The grip of the front tire was something that was very confidence inspiring. I was able to get on the brakes pretty hard with the bike leaned over and I had absolute confidence in the grip of the front tire. The other characteristic of these tires is their stability while leaned over. They just stick and inspire a ton of confidence which is critical on a motorcycle to going fast. I know it’s cliché, but the bike felt like it was on rails in the corners. There was no squirming or deviation from the intended line. As for the brakes, they felt rock solid throughout the day. The brake level feel was always solid never getting soft and the braking power was always there.


The brake rotors showed some signs of getting significant heat in them with a slight bluing. Brake feel was always good and consistent with the Goodridge brake lines and Motul RBF660 brake fluid.
This video is from part of the third session where I was feeling fairly comfortable.

I did the level 1 group with Fastrack Riders which is the beginner group. I was mostly out having fun and not pushing too hard because it was my first time back on track in a long time. So I wasn’t pushing deep into the brake zones and I was easy on the throttle out of the corners. For reference, I turned a 2:03 lap time. My buddy on his CBR 600RR track bike in basically the same configuration as my bike can turn a 1:45. Despite my relative lack of pace, I still managed to blow a few apexes, ha! It took a bit of time to acclimatize to the timing of turn-in on the bike at track pace versus street pace.

Riding a motorcycle at track pace is much different than riding on the street because you actually have to muscle the bike to get it leaned over quickly. That and deal with the braking and acceleration forces while positioning your body. Riding a sport bike quickly is physically demanding, hence why so many motorcycle racers use cycling for conditioning. I did not do a good enough physical warm-up and stretch before the first session so I actually developed a bit of a hip flexer cramp. A good stretch before the next session fixed that.

After being away from the track for so long, it felt great to get back out there and have some fun. And at the end of the day, my bike and my body were still all in one piece, so I’d call that a successful day at the track!


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