So here we are… doing a track day with us :-)
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 : Intermediate and low experienced street/track riders- on touring/cruiser/sport bikes. Passing only on straights 5 feet buffer.
- C group: Advanced and Intermediate street/track riders- sport/touring bikes. Passing 4 feet buffer.
- B group: Experienced track and street riders- sport and race bikes beyond 500cc. Passing rule 4 feet buffer. Power wheelies OK.
Talk to us after 1 to 2 sessions if the group you’ve picked is not a good match so that we can change things for you. Then you might know why it was bad to pick a group based on where your friends are :-)
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 because we believe that you are just hell of badly prepared coming with worn tires to the track). 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!
- Required is it to tape (painter tape is good) over- or unplug the brake light and the rear view mirrors- or remove them.
- Suggested is it to tape over your speedometer. You do not need to know how fast you are. It is an unsafe distraction!
- Suspension setup: Don’t waste time and money on this too much. A better rider would make 10-20 seconds less on your bike with the same setup. Just come out and have fun!
- Required is it to remove action cameras on the helmet, but we tolerate mounting them to your bike. Please check if they sit tight, because we’ll keep them when they fall off :-)
- Required is it to come with a full gas tank and to refill after 4 sessions! We are not tolerating a red flag for a empty gas tank, and we won’t trailer your bike until lunch break or after end of the track day.
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!:
- We accept leather OR textile as long pants and jacket are zip-able. If not zip-able or one-piece, you are required 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.
- Required are ankle covering leather street or race boots. 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.
- Suggested are earplugs, which are making riding more enjoyable and makes it easier to concentrate
- Helmet Requirements: Snell, BSI, DOT, or ECE R22.05 approved full face 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’ gets lost in your brain anyway. Also do not ask ‘specialists’ for the line… I run a line seminar at lunch break, after you warmed up with the track and know where the asphalt band goes so far. This is why we set up the lunch break early (noon). 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…
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
- 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.
- 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! Our Air Conditioned Clubhouse is a great place to hang out too.
- If you have, bring Duct tape, 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. The track does not allow camping in the paddock. If you do it anyway, you might get a bill from them! There is a place to camp right at the main gate though. However, be 15-30 minutes early to enter the gate, which opens at 7:00am with a long waiting line.
Registration and Tech inspection
Chat later, and walk up directly to the Clubhouse (!) to make your CHECK IN with us and to sign waivers which you’ve agreed to online already. The staff will put a stamp on your hand which you need to enter tech inspection. Now you find quickly a spot in the paddock and set up and 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 and to relax, but make sure you’ll be on time in the Clubhouse for the obligatory RIDERS MEETING AT 8:15am (no tolerance for missing it- no refund!).
While B and C group can leave the clubhouse- D group will have to stay to receive more instructions and to get prepared for our ‘Track newbie sightseeing track session’. 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 to not to miss your session. We are not responsible for this, so print out the time schedule below and watch the damn clock. Quick overview:
7:00am Gate opens
7:15 – 8:00am Check In open, Clubhouse
7:20 – 8:10am Tech Inspection open, at the Clubhouse
8:15am OBLIGATORY RIDERS BRIEFING, Clubhouse
9:00am Track sessions begin in 20 minute units with group B, C, D till lunch break
12:00pm Lunch break
12.20pm Free Coach Seminar ‘Ideal Line West’, Clubhouse
1:00pm Track sessions continues in 20 minute units with B+, B, C till 5pm
5:00pm Track sessions end
5:30pm Gate closes
Download entire time schedule here: PRINT OUT time schedule, SBC track day 9/8/2018 Download
Your 1st session and tips
The time has come and you are rolling to our track entry, the hot-pits. You stop by the tent and check if the SBC sign is showing your group. Our staff will check if you are in the right group and 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 four riders at a time out on the track in a 10 seconds frequency for a well spread. 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 frustrated. 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!
- ATTEND MY LINE SEMINAR
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.
Special Coach note: We pick out hooligans real quick. Zero tolerance and no mercy for violations ON AND OFF THE TRACK! This is a beginner orientated track day and you need to expect they won’t ride as you wish they would. Disrespect and ego are not welcome at Superbike-Coach events. Don’t get into fights with someone and let us know. Only then we can help!
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.
Headcoach Can Akkaya, Superbike-Coach Corp