Track Day Bike Prep Guide

You’ve finally decided to do a track day. Or maybe you’re just thinking about heading to the track and are wondering what to expect. There are some essential bike basics you should know in order to prepare and that’s what we’ll be covering in this Chance Moto guide.

Any reputable (read: safe) track day will require every bike to pass tech inspection.  The specific checklist of what’s being inspected will vary from one track day facilitator to another but the guidelines below should serve as a reference for what most track days will look for.  We recommend that you check with your local track or track day facilitator to understand their specific requirements and procedures so you can prepare accordingly.

Coolant

  • Many tracks require coolant to be drained and replaced with distilled water and a track-safe additive such as Redline’s Water Wetter
  • The reason for this is to prevent slippery coolant to permeate the track, should someone have an off or a leak
  • If your bike is air cooled, then this is one less thing to worry about!

Tires

  • Tires are checked for age and wear, with a particular interest in having sufficient remaining tread for the desired number of sessions (eg. single day or week end)
  • As a general rule, 50% tread life will be acceptable
  • For anything but the most experienced track day riders, a modern street sport tire (Dunlop Q3, Pirelli Diablo Rosso/Corsa/Supercorsa, Pilot Power series…) is more than acceptable for a track day
  • Save slicks and tire warmers for later, once you’ve got a handful of track days under your belt and are actually limited by your current street tires

Suspension

  • Fork seals will be checked for leakage
  • Although tech inspection won’t look at your specific suspension settings, it’s a good idea to consider the more aggressive nature of the track (vs street) and dial in baseline settings accordingly
  • Many tracks offer a suspension setup service on-site

Lights/Signals

  • Some tracks will require front and rear turn signals, headlight and tail light to be taped, covered or otherwise removed
  • This regulation is designed to prevent breakage and splintering of (older) glass lenses
  • Tip: This is most easily achieved with green, black or blue painter’s tape which is inexpensive and easy to remove
  • If you have a halogen low beam, it’s a good idea to pull either the fuse, bulb or connector as the heat from the bulb may cause the tape to peel

Fasteners

  • All critical fasteners must be snug, with particular emphasis on brake caliper bolts, handlebars/triple clamps, body panels, sprockets, foot pegs, exhaust, levers, shifter and brake pedal
  • Certain tracks may require safety wire around specific fasteners such as the oil drain bolt

Levers (and brake pedal)

  • Checked for clutch free-play and brake response
  • A bike with spongy brakes will not be allowed on track

Brake System

  • Brake pads are checked to ensure there is sufficient media remaining on both front and rear
  • Calipers fasteners will be checked and some tracks/classes require bolts to be safety wired
  • Fluid must be filled to the correct level

Chain & Sprockets

  • Checked for free play/adjustment and wear

Fluids

  • Oil, Coolant and Brake systems must be dry to the touch
  • Any sign of recent leaks will be cause for further inspection or denial of track privileges
  • Some track days organizations require oil filters to be safety wired

Exhaust

  • Many tracks require bikes to pass a sound test
  • Eg. Calabogie Motorsports Park in Ontario has a maximum average of 98 dbA and a maximum peak of 104 dbA
  • Any unmodified stock exhaust system will pass sound test
  • Riders with aftermarket exhaust systems should consider running (or bringing) exhaust baffles (aka. DB killers) to ensure their bike passes sound check

License Plate

  • Most track days organizations require this to be removed

Bike Numbers

  • Certain track day organizers assign numbers to each bike, which must be displayed on the front and on both sides of the bike
  • Many options are available to meet this requirement, from simple tape to custom vinyl numbers
  • Certain track day sanctioning bodies may have specific number size or placement requirements

Other

  • Outside of bike prep, many track days also have protective rider gear requirements
  • These range from types of permissible armour (leathers, boots, gloves, back/chest protectors) to helmet certifications (DOT, SNELL or equivalent)

Track Day Organizations in the Greater Toronto Area

Pro 6 Cycle @ Calabogie Motorposrt Park (CMP), Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (CTMP, aka “Mosport”), Shannonville Motorsport Park (SMP)

Rider’s Choice @ SMP, CTMP

Red Dawn @ Toronto Motorsports Park (TMP, aka Cayuga)

Racer 5 @ CTMP

 

 

 

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