RIDING DIFFERENT BIKES. RACING SOME
Why everyone should ride on track, at least one time? Because you will learn more in one track day than you will learn in months of riding on the streets. Do we exaggerate? Maybe a little. But trust us, really only a little. Let us tell you why everyone should ride on track, at least once.
As we just stated; you learn much more during one day on track than you do when road riding. Because let’s be honest. Where on public roads can you ride like you would on track? Some of us might try it every now and then. But you never really ride without any concern. There are always fellow road users to keep in mind. Or wells, holes, white lines and crash barriers. Or you have to avoid random stuff which people lost while driving. Does that mean you can ride on track without a worry in the world? Not exactly.
There are more riders riding on track, after all. But you can expect almost flawless Tarmac. You will hardly ever encounter big cracks and holes. Maybe a little dent here and there, but that’s about it. And the Tarmac on tracks gives way more grip than the usual road Tarmac does. Another great thing; everyone rides in the same direction. So no traffic from opposite directions of surprises from side alleys. Just keep an eye out when riding out of pit lane. Besides that, you just ride with the flow. Kind of nice, if you ask us!
You will ride under the surveillance of an instructor when you just start riding on track. The instructor will show you the ideal lines to ride, where to look and will control the pace. Don’t worry, other riders won’t fly by.
When riding in groups, following an instructor, you will only overtake other groups when the instructor says so. So other groups will also only overtake your group as a whole and only at places where the instructor says it’s safe to do so. You will ride in groups, determined by pace. Fast riders will ride togethers etcetera.
It’s always a bit of a gamble for the first session. But after that, groups will be optimised by the instructor to make sure riders within groups fit well together. This way, the factor of ‘surprises’ is kept to a minimum. Normally, we love surprises. But at the circuit, we love safe situations.
So, the risks are way smaller than you might have thought at forehand. After all, riding on track doesn’t mean you have to ride fast. You can just ride your own pace. Are you a bit unsure whether you ride fast enough or not? Please don’t let that keep you from trying at least once.
No one will force you to ride faster than you feel comfortable doing. That also means you don’t have to ride a sports bike to ride on track. Almost every motorcycle can ride on track. Only electric motorcycles aren’t allowed, at least not on every track. But all the others are.
Do you ride a custom chopper? A big all road bike or a lightweight naked bike? No problem at all! Just make sure nothing is wrong with it. Is something broken? Fix it before your track day. You don’t want bring anyone in danger. But that should be common sense. A well checked motorcycle shouldn’t be a rare thing.
Do keep in mind that there’s a maximum of noise your motorcycle is allowed to make. A roaring exhaust without a dB killer is often a no go, even though we love the noise too. Do you still have the dB killer? Please put it back in. Give up the pleasure of that lovely noise for a day, so you can enjoy the thrill of your first track day. Trust us, it’s worth it.
So we’ve dispelled those little excuses. But all jokes aside; the barrier that keeps you from booking your first track day isn’t that high. So why not book one? Maybe you still ask yourself: why would you ride on track? Well.. because you will learn a lot. It’s not only big fun, a huge adrenaline shot and just totally awesome. You will learn a great deal about your own riding skills, your motorcycle and about riding on track.
You will learn how to look through turns. “I already do that!”. Great, we believe you straight away. But on track, it’s different. No upcoming traffic, no unpruned hedge or a tree which blocks your view. You don’t have to worry about going wide. You can focus completely on your riding and on that turn. You can keep your attention with your riding skills and improve them bit by bit.
When road riding, you don’t hang of that bike with the same confidence you have on track, especially when you just start to try doing that. At the circuit, you will get more space and safety for that.
And what about that motorcycle you’re riding? It will get whipped. Not necessarily of course. As we said, you can also cruise on track. But do you want to take that sporty riding style to a next level? Then riding on track gives you all the opportunities to do so.
And also to open that throttle real good. Which actually tells you a lot about your motorcycle and its throttle response. And how fast (or maybe slow) you can actually accelerate. You will be amazed what kind of forces that machine can handle.
But you will also find out how hard your bike can brake. Riding towards a short turn after a long straight? That’s the perfect opportunity for you to really brake, hard. Don’t cross your limits without thought. Just try to find the edges and play with them. See how far you can go, but do so with caution. Your bike will probably surprise you. It can often brake way harder than you think.
All this information and these experiences are valuable, also for road riding. We don’t want to encourage you to ride like a looney towards every turn on the road. But it does give you a lot more confidence in your abilities and your motorcycle.
We aren’t all born racers. And you won’t have to become one. You don’t have to be a racer, or to want to be one to ride on track. And you don’t need a sports bike. A track day is a controlled and safe environment. Or course, accidents can happen. But you can also trip and fall while walking towards the supermarket. On track, you will be coached by experienced instructor and passionate riders. You don’t have to ride a motorcycle for years. You can also ride on track when you just start riding. Do you feel safe on your motorcycle at your own pace? And do you have control over your bike? Then you are good to go. And that’s exactly why everyone should ride on track, at least once.
You will feel more safe on your motorcycle after your track day. Not just at your own pace. You take that gained confidence and trust in yourself and your motorcycle with you at any pace. Also, your controle over the bike and your position on it improve too. Riding the bike will feel more relaxed. A track day confronts you with your riding skills. Is that a bad thing? Not at all. 9 out of 10 riders will notice they can ride way better then they think. So give the track a chance. Will it be the first and last time? Then that’s perfectly fine too. You’ve been so bad ass to at least try it and you’ve learned a lot. But let us warn you; riding on track is addicting. In the best way possible.