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533 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
In recent years, sportbike enthusiasts have taken trackday riding to new levels. We all have questions, we all have concerns, we all have budgets, but we all share a common goal - to get our bikes in the arena they are meant for; The track!

A friend of mine created the list below and I have modified it. I feel there is ample information on here for trackday enthusiasts - beginner and advanced alike. By the way, I have seen riders show up wearing their gear, riding their bike, remove a couple of fuses, tape the turn signals, head and taillights, remove the mirrors and hit the track. This is what and all you need to do. This list is here in case you want to take it to the next level and beyond.

In red, you will see commentary on price and other notables. The prices are obviously from a low range to a high range. This is meant to offer the beginner an idea of what expenses the rest of us have paid to maintain our obsession.

If any of you have any other suggestions, please post them and I will update the list accordingly. Otherwise, print this out and keep it in your gear bag as a reminder on what you need or should do prior to and after a trackday. Safe riding :thumbup:

Items to check before a track day


Front axle bolt tight.
Fork pinch bolts tight.
Brake caliper bolts tights.
Brake pads not worn to depth indicators.
Brake pistons clean and no leaking fluid.
Fork seals good and no leaks (inspect the legs for bug debris and rock dings, keep clean).
Tires have sufficient tread and in good wear condition (no cracks from winter storage or dry rot 230.00 – 350.00 set).
Wheel weights present and taped in place.
Valve caps present (Use metal valve stems and caps 8.00pair).
Oil filter tight and not leaking (safety wired if necessary).
Oil level is good.
No oil leaking from drain plug (safety wired if necessary).
Coolant levels are correct (Filled with distilled water or Water Wetter instead of antifreeze if you can).
Frame sliders are in good condition and tight.

Verify the front brake lever retainer nut is present (safety wire).
Brake fluid is clean and level is correct.
Adjust brake and clutch levers for your riding style / position.
Ensure bolts for clip-ons and control levers are tight.
Be sure the entire range of brake lever travel is clear of throttle cables.
Make sure brake lever is not spongy and does not contact the throttle grip, if so, bleed brakes.
Check throttle cable nuts.
Ensure throttle rotates freely without binding and SNAPS back to idle position when released.
Recommended to safety wire grips (they do get loose when wet).
Squeeze and hold the brake lever tight for a minute, then inspect all brake line joints and bolts for fluid leaks.
Windscreen clean.
Engine kill switch is working correctly.
Turn front forks to full stop both directions. Feel for steering stem bearing play.
Ensure that when turned to full stop, there is enough room for your hand or thumbs to pull clear of the grips and the tank or fairings.
Check to ensure that clip-ons are tight.

Brake fluid clean and level is correct.
Rear brake pads are not worn to indicators.
Hold rear brake lever and inspect lines and joints for leaks.
Shifter and brake levers adjusted for your boots and riding style.
Brake lever is not bent or obstructed.
Shift lever is not bent or obstructed. Linkage bolts tight.
Shift shaft seal is not leaking (where it enters the engine or transmission)
Front sprocket bolt tight and teeth are not worn or cupped.

Chain has sufficient free play, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 in (Even with a load on the rear. Have a friend sit on the bike).
Chain is lubed and master link is intact.
Pull on chain at the rear sprocket straight out the back of the bike; You should not be able to see the dish of the sprocket teeth.
Rearsets are adjusted for comfort and riding style.
Rearset bolts are all tight and control mounting bolts are tight.
Exhaust bolts and springs are intact and tight.
Make sure safety pin, keeper, or cotter pin is through rear axle nut (if necessary).
Recommended to drill and safety pin the rear axle bolt.
Check frame sliders to ensure tightly mounted.

When your event is over, clean your bike! Visually inspect everything and keep it clean. Look for leaks and keep an eye on seals and shafts for build up.

Riding Gear:
Helmet (175.00 / 575.00).
Visor clean, not loose and flip mechanism operates smoothly.
No scratches or cracks from previous crashes. When in doubt, get it tested or replaced. If it hit the pavement or is older than five years, buy new.
Chin straps tight not frayed and clips are good.
Glasses (if applicable).
Spine protector (100.00+).
Boots (175.00+).
Toe sliders – replace if needed.
Soles aren't worn through from pegs.
Gloves (75.00+).
No holes and stitching isn't loose.
Jacket / pants or suits (175.00 up to $$$$$ – eBay is your friend here).
No holes and stitching isn't loose.
Armor installed and secured where applicable.
Zippers operate smoothly and properly.
Knee sliders installed and have material on them (30.00 pair).
Foul weather gear.

Spares and Equipment:
Any backup or spare gear listed above.
Make a list with the torque values of items commonly changed.
ie. caliper bolts, axle bolts, pinch bolts etc.
Bodywork is secure (350.00 – 650.00 set, did I mention eBay).
Tools (whatever your tool kit consists of – Harbor Freight).
Tire gauge (buy a good one – 15.00+).
Spare bike parts or crash replacement parts, subframes, clipons, windscreens sliders.
Case covers (optional, but recommended; 65.00 – 300.00).
Spare bolts and nuts (if you replace items on your bike, keep ALL bolts).
Engine oil for top off (8.00qt +).
Brake fluid for top off (5.00 pint +).
Coolant or water/water wetter for top off.
Gas cans and additional fuel (5gal cans 7.50 – 29.99).
Lap timer (150.00+).
Front and rear pit stands or chocks (125.00 – 300.00 pair).
Tire warmers (150.00 – 500.00).
Generator (150.00+++ depending on wattage and model).
Ignition key.
Chain lube (8.00+).
Control cable lube (7.00+).
Cleaners for bike, windscreen and helmet visor (sales at autoparts store).
Clean rags or cloths for cleaning and wiping (buy in bulk).
Waterless hand cleaner or handy rags (buy in bulk).
Extra safety pins or safety wire (pocket change for additional safety).
Air compressor or tire pump (99.00+).
Spare brake pads (If you upgraded for track, keep OEM pads for back-ups).
Spare tires, wheels or rain tires (Once again, eBay is your friend $ - $$$$$$).
Extra chains or sprockets (different gearing for different tracks).
Pen and paper to note suspension changes and other notes.
Duct tape / Zip Ties.
Spare fuses.
Directions to the track and track maps if you like.
Hotel reservations or camping / sleeping gear.
Canopy (99.00 – 250.00).
Folding Chairs (9.99+).
Cooler for lunch and water/power aide supply.

Transportation to the track (if you do not ride your bike)
Trailer: Open or Enclosed ($$ - $$$$$$$$).
Tire pressures for car and trailer.
Brake lights.
Tie-Down Straps (personally I recommend Ancra Straps 26.00+pair).
Wheel Chock (110.00 +).
Ensure all trailer connections are connected and secured.
Make sure everything on your list is loaded!

Yearly Service:
Forks – seals, oil, valves.
Shock – knuckle, seals, valves.
Synchronize Fuel Injectors or Adjust Carbs.
Clean air filter (K&N, BMC 75.00+)
(Make friends with local mechanic or buy/download service manual)
Battery – voltage (battery tender is your friend $35.00+).
Keep tires off concrete for extended periods of time – especially if you reside in areas where there is cold weather and an off-season.

Go out – have a great day! Come back home, and work on budget for next weekend : )

533 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Well, I just realized I can't modify my post once it is done. So those of you with additional, please add. The medical or I.C.E. information is a good one that I forgot.

Anti-squid moderator
6,477 Posts
I'll add one cheap spare to bring and on occassion has come in handy for my friend and one other guy. I always bring 1 or 2 extra sets of grips ($7-10) and go to the travel section of Wal-mart and get a tiny bottle of hair spray (not the pump kind, the actual spray...$1-1.50). Grips go on faster and hairspray dries fast. Sometimes Canyon Dancer harnesses can rip or damage grips if you do alot of transporting.

Anti-squid moderator
6,477 Posts
Just put a sticky on your post dc

254 Posts
Great info and post bro. Just everybody remember that every track and their requirements are different. Some may not require all this, and some may require more. All and all, it really is not as big of a pain in the ass that some people make it out to be. I actually enjoy track prepping a bike. After you do one it only gets easier.

155 Posts
Dean I dont see anything on your list on how to remove my SH#$ eating grin off my face everytime I get off the track. Great list brother it will def help.

533 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
are street tires ok.
Your street tires will be fine depending on how many miles you have on them or whether or not they have been abused. The techs at the trackday will let you know.

391 Posts
Nice work!

But metal valve stems are really not used by many people at the track. Whether they are track day regulars, club racers or even AMA pros you just don't see that out there very often. FWIW - I work tech for a track day company (close to a decade now) & for WERA. I used to run metal valve stems as I figured they were more durable & a better choice for that environment. Found that this is not the case & they weigh more than their cheaper rubber counterparts. The tire vendors that provide track side support for the major tire vendors told me they were not the best set up. A much better route to go is changing out your rubber ones every so often & make sure you put a valve stem cap on them after adjusting your tire's inflation pressure before you roll out for your first session of the day...

Definitely like the one about chain slack! That is the number one issue I find wrong with bikes rolling through tech during track days. I catch at least 3 or 4 every day that are adjusted WAY too tight. With the rider sitting on the bike I see chains that barely move 1/2" & you have to manhandle them to get them to move that much! What is the suspension going to do when you ride over some bumps or get weight transfer from the front to the rear under acceleration. Poor chain! Loose is a good thing, especially on the track where you will be doing heavy braking & accelerating. Let the suspension be able to do what it is designed to do! A little on the loose side is FAR from dangerous - quite the contrary, it is a very good thing!

Second most frequent issue I find is throttle's that don't snap back into position after you pull the throttle back. Usually this is due to the tie down straps riders use to secure their bikes. Pull & peel the rubber throttle grips back toward the forks after you unload the bike so that rubber grip doesn't hang up over the bar end weight or slider you have installed on the end of the clip-on. You may have to squirt a little lube on the throttle slide & grip end to get rid of the stiction as sliding the rubber over the end of the throttle slide drys out the end of the assembly. Riders are a little nervous & busy running around in the morning so they usually don't check that stuff. Don't need that throttle staying open while you are busy downshifting & braking...

Third most frequenst issue I catch is footpegs that are getting loose almost to the point of falling off! On the track you will be putting a great deal of weight on that one footpeg in a corner & putting your foot there & not finding a peg as you are ready to go through a turn is a little disconcerting. Since you will be putting lots of weight on & off & back on your pegs every lap if the peg is starting to get loose the bolt will undoubtedly fall off during the day. Since your attention will be directed at your braking marker & turn it point you won't realize it is ready to fall off until it it gone. I started looking for this issue years ago when corner workers started seeing debris on the track & between sessions would walk out on the track & find footpegs laying there. The riders who lose their pegs all had the same story: didn't realize it was loose until I put my foot down & it was gone. Not good folks.

I highly recommend bleeding your brakes at least a few days before you go out on a track day. Just getting fresher fluid in there and possibly getting air that is stuck in the lines out of there is a very good idea. Being able to stop effectively is very important when you want to go fast.

Finally, when I check a bike rolling through tech I grab body panels, fenders, chain guards & pull on them to see if they are getting loose. Pretty easy & quick check for me. Way easier that seeing if every fastener is in place. Since I can't check the fasteners' torque this lets me know if the panel is loose or not. If it is loose sometimes it is the fastener that got loose & sometimes the fastener(s) are just not there. Doing this grab test is a good final check & feel free to grab a couple of small wrenches and an allen wrench or two & check to make sure your bodywork is tight.

19 Posts
One of the best posts I've seen yet. cheers to the author who will save many frustrations and possibly lives.

140 Posts
Regarding the street tires question... how many people use slicks or race tires vs regular street tires? Mine are almost new so I think they'd be ok but should I look to invest in tires before I go?

64 Posts
good write up guy's,the only thing that has been missed,
"TAPE UP THE SPEEDOMETER".sorry for only need to see the tachometer,and the oil's only a distraction to look at your speed! oh,have fun!:bounce

3 Posts
Regarding the street tires question... how many people use slicks or race tires vs regular street tires? Mine are almost new so I think they'd be ok but should I look to invest in tires before I go?
Top of the line street tires such as Dunlop Qualifiers, Metzler M3s, etc. are well respected as track tires. I would recommend running them until you get to the point that you are dragging your knee around most corners without hanging way off. If you have good riding position and are dragging toes, it's definitely time to move up to DOT race tires or slicks.

The downside to race tires is that they should not be run on the street. They are not designed to provide good grip at street temperatures and will be ruined by constant heat cycling.

If you are a C or a B- group rider, I wouldn't bother with race tires. If you're a fast B+ or an A, it may be worth doing.

The profile of street tires will provide a larger contact patch at normal lean angles. However, at extreme lean angles you may end up riding past the edge of your rear tread. This is very common for riders who push the bike under them during turns, rather than leaning with the bike. Always take a look at your chicken strips between sessions.

Also be aware that you should run a medium compound unless you are comfortable with slipping your rear tire around corners. The extremely soft compounds can release oil and will pick up dirt or debris that need to be scrubbed off. Soft compounds will wear our extremely quickly.

If you ride your track bike on the street between events, I would encourage getting a second set of rims. This will allow you to easily swap out your race sprocket and tires with something more appropriate for the street when the time comes to resume your normal life.
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