The thrill of having a sportbike or high-performance motorcycle is all about the power and performance it brings. Unfortunately, when you're riding on regular roads, you can't really go full throttle without putting yourself and others in danger. But, when you hit the track, it's a whole different story! You can really let it rip and push your bike to the max. Of course, just because there are no speed limits doesn't mean you can do whatever you want. There are still rules you need to follow to make sure everyone stays safe.
Just like in anything else, there are rules to abide by when you're riding on the track. It's not a free-for-all as some might imagine. These rules and safety precautions are in place to make sure everyone is protected because let's face it, the track is not without its risks and hazards. So, if you're joining a track event, there are certain things you should keep in mind to ensure safety for all.
Ride within your limits
It's common knowledge that your motorcycle has much greater capabilities than you as a rider. This is particularly true if you're new to riding on the track. You might be in awe when you see a seasoned rider confidently sliding their knee on the ground while flawlessly maneuvering their smaller or less powerful bike. However, if you don't have the same level of experience, don't attempt it. You'll likely end up with more than just a scraped knee on the ground.
There are some riders out there who are so skilled that they appear to have a psychic connection with their bikes. They might perform wheelies on straightaways or slide the rear when taking corners. However, keep in mind that these riders have spent years honing their skills, and with time and practice, you'll also develop your abilities on the track.
Respect your machine
It's essential to understand that a track day is not the same as a race. While you can have some friendly competition with your friends, it's crucial to keep in mind that there are no awards for finishing first. If you're new to track riding, it's easy to get caught up in trying to keep up with faster riders. However, the primary goal of a track day is to have fun on your motorcycle, enhance your skills, and become a better rider overall. Don't worry about showing off or trying to prove anything to anyone else. Just focus on improving your skills.
It's crucial to remember that your motorcycle is not a toy and is capable of achieving high speeds both in straightaways and corners. Instead of pushing your bike to its limits, focus on developing good riding habits. As a novice rider, your bike is far more capable than you are, especially if you're riding a high-performance motorcycle like a Ducati Panigale V4 or a Triumph Speed Triple. So, concentrate on honing your skills and gradually building up your confidence, rather than trying to max out your bike's potential right away. You may want to keep key rider aids such as ABS and traction control on, just in case a corner takes you by surprise.
There’s no shame in getting passed by faster riders
During a track day, there will always be riders faster and slower than you. If a faster rider approaches, make sure to give them enough room to pass safely by moving over to the right side of the track. But don't suddenly slow down as they will know how to overtake you. Stick to your line and move over when it's safe. If you're the faster rider, avoid tailing beginner riders too closely as it can be dangerous and stressful for them. This can lead to more mistakes on the track.
At the end of the day, track days are all about fun and learning
Motorcycle track days are all about having fun and learning because they provide a safe and controlled environment for riders to push their limits and develop their riding skills. Unlike riding on public roads, track days offer riders the opportunity to experience their motorcycle's full potential without the danger of oncoming traffic or other hazards.
Additionally, riders can receive coaching and feedback from more experienced riders or instructors to help them improve their technique and confidence on the track. It's also a chance to socialize with other riders who share a common passion for motorcycling and to enjoy the thrill of riding in a low-pressure, non-competitive environment. Ultimately, motorcycle track days offer a unique and rewarding experience that can make you a safer and more skilled rider on the road.