It was May 2010 and it was about to happen. For about 5 years I told everyone I was going to do this and now was the time to put my words into action. Man, was I scared. What I was about to do? Riding my first laps around the legendary ‘Cathedral of Speed’, the TT Circuit of Assen, The Netherlands. Here are 5 things you should know before you go on your first track day.
My first time at the track: body position all wrong, but who cares? I was living my dream!
1. You don’t need a special track bike
You really don’t need to buy a special bike for the racetrack if you only go to the track once in a while. If you own a sport bike you use for public roads, you can easily use that one. I’d recommend 600cc and up, but even the smaller bikes will give you a great experience.
2. Your insurance won’t cover you
Even if you’ve got an all-risk insurance on your bike, it probably won’t cover any damage caused by racing on a track. Although a track is safer than the public roads, you’ll probably look for your limits and might cross them if you’ve got some bad luck. It’s not a bad idea to double-check your health insurance, either.
3. Your top speed doesn’t matter
Don’t bother checking your top speed while you’re riding. In fact, on my first track day all speedometers were covered, so all riders would pay attention to the track instead of their speed. You really need all your attention focused on the ideal lines to reach your best lap time, so don’t bother looking at your dashboard.
4. It will hurt
I’m not talking about the pain if you crash. Even when you don’t crash, you’ll be in much pain the day after. Every single muscle in my body was hurting! Apparently, I have muscles I didn’t even know existed until after my track day. A full day on the track is really physically intense, so be prepared.
Oh yes, one more thing. You're gonna need new tires.
5. It will be the best experience ever
Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever been as excited as I was that day. Here I was, on my dream bike (I bought myself a Yamaha R6, the bike I said I wanted since I was 17), riding on the track were 1 month later Valentino Rossi would be racing. I learned so much, took the corners faster than I ever thought I’d dare, and the vibe among all the participants was just awesome. All bikers, all crazy about sport bikes, some beginners and some experienced riders, all having a great time.
If you own a sport bike, you basically owe it to your bike. Just go and do it.
The Biker Chick