Mostly the rules are equally the same from one track day organizer to another, though they are slightly different in the detail- so check on this before you sign up. Since our track days are more track beginner orientated, you might check on what we are require and recommend to get prepared:
Signing up for a group
That’s pretty much your first challenge, isn’t it?! But don’t ya worry, we have plenty of options to make a confident pick. These are our recommendations and policies towards your level and bike you want to bring. Also to look at each group rules and restrictions gives you an idea where you personally feel most comfortable in:
- D group (if available): First time on the track- or touring bikes. No wheelies allowed. Passing only on the outside (6 feet buffer)
- C group : Intermediate riders- or street and sport bikes. No wheelies allowed. Passing on the outside (5 feet buffer)
- B group: Advanced riders- or street and sport bikes. Power wheelies tolerated. Passing inside and outside (4 feet buffer)
- B+ group: Experienced street and track riders- sport and track bikes. Power wheelies OK. Passing inside and outside (3 feet buffer)
- A group (If available): Very experienced track riders and racers- sport, track and race bikes. Power wheelies tolerated. No passing restrictions
Check your Bike
You don’t need to be a mechanic to check these things on your bike- but we do recommend to have it checked by your garage or dealership early enough:
- Check for oil moist or leaks under the bike and see oil filter and drain bolt are tight with a proper wrench.
- Check your chain slag and set it right according to your manual
- Check your brake pads and worn rotors. Also consider the age of your braking fluid
- Check rest life of your tires. If you are worried about your tires: GO CHANGE THEM BEFORE YOU HEAD OUT (we have no tire service in the paddock). Besides knobby tires, we allow all tire types, because you should know best what they and you are capable of. Inform yourself for recommended tire pressures, because we don’t know.
- Bring rain- or street bike tires if it supposed to rain. All track day events and organizers are- like ours- rain or shine, and nobody gives rain-checks!
- Tape (painter tape is good) over all lights AND tape over the speedometer. You do not need the speedometer on the racetrack. It is an unsafe distraction
- Suspension setup: Don’t waste time and money on this too much. A better rider would makes 10-20 seconds less on your bike with the same setup. Just come out and have fun!
- Safety wire your action cameras to not hurt somebody else!
Check your Gear
It is time to consider your PROTECTION under the motto… the more the better! Regular street rider gear is fine. Nobody else then yourself is responsible for a road rash you may get. In case you need to add some gear- once you’ve registered with Superbike-Coach- you’ll have access to great discounts by our sponsors. Take advantage of it!:
- You don’t need to have racing gear necessarily, and of course i can tell you our definition of street riding gear below in an article. We accept leather OR textile as long pants and jacket are zip-able. If not zip-able, we would ask you to have a back protector, but be aware that the Thunderhill staffs might take you out (this is not on us!). Nobody else but you is responsible for the road rash you’re getting. However, protectors are required in these areas: shoulders, elbows, and knees. Axo USA holds a 40% off discount for our riders on an entire purchase, so check on their safety gear and let us know what you want in sizes and colors. Check for recommended Back Protectors with Axo as well
- Leather street or race boots (ankle covering). Cordura hiking boots or some ankle boots are not acceptable. Forma Boots USA holds a 20% off discount for our riders. Makes it to a no-brainer!
- Gloves must be in a good condition, gauntlet style with closures are required. We can highly recommend to consider Racer Gloves USA (check the article below) for several reasons. A damn good reason is probably that these guys also hold a 10% off discount for Superbike-Coach riders and students.
- Earplugs are making riding more enjoyable and makes it easier to concentrate
- Helmet Requirements: Snell, BSI, DOT, or ECE R22.05 approved helmet (high impact tested). Helmets with any visible crash (beyond scratches!) damage will be rejected. If your helmet does not pass tech, you will not be allowed to ride and will not be given a refund. We highly recommend to go with the best helmets money can buy… Arai Helmets!
I personally recommend NOT to look for videos to learn the track. Even if you find good once (I never did), you are on your own on the track, and the ‘video’ got lost in your brain anyway. Also do not ask ‘specialists’ for the line… I do after you warmed up with the track and know where the asphalt band goes so far. Also skip on ‘suspension specialists’. Your bike has resources you don’t know, and you have much more important things to think of… to ride the damn thang and to have fun! All of these things are just making you nuts and you can’t sleep anymore… stay away of it!
How to load and what to bring
The day finally has come, and you are ready to go. There are more ways to get your stuff to the track. Yes, riding your bike to the track will be fair enough to see if this is a hobby for you or not, but please check your options here as well:
- To bring everything you need to the track has to be organized. A pickup truck or a trailer does the job. A U-Haul rental can help out maybe, because in case your bike brakes down- what then?! How to load a pick up truck and what it needs has been described in the article below. BikeMaster has everything you need to make it perfect
- Bring water, drinks & snacks to keep yourself hydrated and your energy up throughout the day. A ice chest is like a good friend too
- Bring the bike with a full gas tank but bring a extra fuel can. Fuel pumps are available at the track if needed, but pretty expensive. We also recommend to use 91 octane and to have a clean- or to replace your air filter with a K&N Performance filter. They are not that expensive and helping to give your bike a better throttle response
- A little canopy gives you some shade between your track sessions, and to have a camping chair helps to relax. Take your boots off, or even change completely helps me to re-center when I put my armor back on. Try it!
- If you have bring Duct tape, compressed air, bike stands, wrenches and other tools, tire gauge
When to go- Where to stay- What to do
Make your travel plans early with Google Maps so you know when to get there. You might also check for close by Hotels if your travel is long. However, be 15-30 minutes early to enter the gate, which opens at 7:00am with a long waiting line. Sign the track waiver and ask for Superbike-Coach- then find a sweet spot in the paddock to unload and setup your stuff during the track day. Chat later, and walk up to the Clubhouse right away (!) to make your CHECK IN with us to sign our waiver. Now you bring your bike (or two if you have) and helmet to our TECH INSPECTION where we look over what you should have done (above) in YOUR OWN INTEREST already. If you passed the inspection- our staff will put you a sticker on your bike(s) according to your group. You might have some time to chat now or to relax, but make sure you’ll be on time in the Clubhouse for the obligatory RIDERS MEETING. After this you should gear up and check your tire pressure (see above). Have our time schedule and to listen to the radio announcements helps not to miss your session. We are not responsible for this. Our schedule gives you an overview:
7:00am Gate opens
7:15 – 8:00am Check In open, Clubhouse
7:20 – 8:10am Tech Inspection open, at the Clubhouse
9:00am Track sessions begin in 15 minute units with group B+, B, C, D till lunch break
10:10am Questions and answers for C and D riders, Clubhouse
12:00pm Lunch break
12.20pm Free Coach Seminar ‘Ideal Line West’, Clubhouse
1:00pm Track sessions continues in 15 minute units with B+, B, C, D till 5pm
1:40pm Questions and answers for B+ and B riders, Clubhouse
5:00pm Track sessions end
5:30pm Gate closes
Your 1st session and tips
The time has come and you are rolling to our track entry. You stop by the tent and check the sign is showing your group. Our staff will check if you are wearing the required gear. Zip it up and check you helmet strap. Don’t sneak out without proper gear… we’ll get you anyway and your track day is over. Wait for instructions of our staff, who are letting only five riders at once out on the track in a 10 seconds frequency. And here are my tips to you directly!:
- Turn on your brain from the first time out and don’t do the ‘street sightseeing’ thing. I’ve seen riders clocking up the entire track. Don’t be the guy and keep the damn thing rolling
- Focus more to the FRONT and stay calculable for others on the throttle with both hands on the bar
- Don’t change lines rapidly and NEVER do zig-zags to warm up tires
- Don’t close the door on someone and do not release the brake… let the guy pass. You are not Marc Marquez!
- For ‘the faster guy in the wrong group’: Be patient and don’t get mad. Stuff like that happen all the time and everywhere else too. You are might be in the right group when all the others had some more time to find their rhythm. If not… come and talk to us after your 2nd session and we’ll help to get you into a more suitable group if possible
- For ‘the slower guy in the wrong group’: Be patient and don’t get mad. Stuff like that happen all the time and everywhere else too. You are might be in the right group when you get more familiar with everything and found your rhythm. If not… come and talk to us after your 2nd session and we’ll help to get you into a more suitable group if possible
- Find your own rhythm, and don’t try to copy someone else rhythm. Relax and keep breathing. Have fun!
For all racers and sport enthusiasts, the information in these two subjects should be ingrained in your brain. Know all the flags and the procedures that go with each one. Know the pit in and pit out procedures and how to properly signal. Don’t have any doubts about these before you get to the track.
NO STUFFING! Let’s say you make a pass around a rider and cut back in front of him/her entering a turn. You think it’s a safe pass but the rider you just passed is having to grab the front brake to keep from hitting your tail section. You just STUFFED the rider. OR you make a pass and the rider has to change his/her line entering the turn. Again, you just STUFFED the rider. In both cases, you are violating our rules and we pull you out!
AGGRESSIVE RIDING! Aggressive riding is strictly prohibited at all of our events. This includes all groups. Our schools and track day groups are for riders to learn and enjoy themselves on the racetrack. This is not a race day or a timed qualifying practice. Forget lap times. There will be times on track when you have to give way to slower riders. Remember, you are there to have fun, not set a new track record.
FLAGS AND SIGNALS! Look back before you enter the track and do not go on the ideal line until it’s clear. Check back before you close the throttle and give a permanent left hand signal if you decide to exit the track. This are the standard flags set you need to obey at all times:
Faster Riders and Racers! The slower rider OWNS the track. Take time and make a smart decision on a passing and allow buffer according to the group. Be a role model, not a jerk!
NO BIKE CONTACT! In the event you make a mistake and make contact with another rider, you are done for the day.
Superbike-Coach conclusion: Don’t make a big deal out of it. Riding on a track is overrated and pretty much the same concept as you were riding your bike on the street. Other organizers promising you will lean much more in one track day as in a year of street riding. This is BS, unless you have someone showing you the right things to do on the track. Most confusing will be the gigantic width of the track and to be worried whats going on behind you. Try to cut this out and give a little trust in others. Just relax and have some fun.