Bike Preparation and Tech
One of the most common questions people have about
riding on the track is 'What do I need to do to prepare my bike?'
In this section, we'll describe everything you need to do to pass
talk about some things you should do, regardless of the Track Day
organization you're riding with. Always remember, tech inspection is
for your safety. These aren't rules to simply make your life
more difficult... they are here so that in the event of an accident,
the damage is minimized.
else to keep in mind: There are only so many things the inspector
can check at the track. You really should get in the habit of
performing your own tech inspections, and consider this to be your
we'll be making modifications to your bike so we're going to need
some tools. Each bike is different, so we can't cover everything
you'll need. Below are some of the basic tools you'll need to prep
Note: for taping your bike, you can use duct tape,
painters tape, or electrical tape.
Preparing the bike
your headlight and brake lights.
most bikes, this can be done by simply removing the fuse. If not,
you may be able to unplug the light at it's base.
sure to start your bike and make sure it runs normally after doing
over all glass and reflectors. This includes:
(I prefer to remove these completely, but most organizations don't
reflectors on the forks or tail section
Be sure to completely cover the glass or plastic. There are two
reasons for taping. First, to prevent any glass or plastic from
shattering if you should crash. Secondly, reflectors and lights can
be very distracting to other riders.
your wheel weights
Not all organizations require this, but this is a good safety
precaution, and we recommend this regardless of group/organization
should replace your antifreeze with water, or WaterWetter¨.
can also replace your antifreeze with "Engine Ice"
adding water, don't use it from the tap! Buy distilled water.
Many organizations will allow slower groups (beginner, intermediate)
to run with antifreeze, but generally it's better to use water.
Antifreeze is very slick if it gets on the track and could be very
difficult (and time consuming) to clean up.
Things to check
fluid level should not be too high.
you squeeze your front brake lever, it should be smooth and firm.
brake pads should have plenty of life left in them.
tracks will fail you if the "ball" at the end of your
brake lever (or clutch lever) is broken off.
lines should not have any kinks or splits.
tread should be remaining
pressure should be set based on your Mfg recommendation.
There always seems to be questions about tires. Different brands
(and models) behave differently when they're reaching the end of
their life. Some tires start to let go gradually while others give
less warning. Never assume that because you have plenty of tread
left that your tires will last for a full track day.
opinion: If you're unsure about your tires, change them. Rubber
is cheaper than steel, plastic or a trip to the hospital.
throttle must fully return to the closed position.
must be in good shape.
your chain is properly lubed and doesn't bind at any link
that you have at least 1 inch of travel (slack) in your chain.
It's easiest to check your chain if the bike is on a paddock stand.
Lift the bike and spin the rear wheel while examining the chain.
your muffler is properly connected to the bike.
actually seen several mufflers fall off at the track.)
Pegs / Rearsets
should be straight with no sharp edges
to make sure all bolts are tight
Filter, Oil Filler Cap, Oil Drain Bolt
over these at least 3 times to ensure they are all tight!
groups now require that the oil filter and oil filler cap are
safety wired – check with your track club/organization.
your bike a once over
the tightness of your major fasteners, like clip-ons, pinch-bolts,
caliper bolts, axle nuts, cotter-pins, etc.
have parts of your fairing hanging off, a loose windshield, missing
Gloves, Suit, Boots, Back protector, UnderArmor
helmet should not have any cracks and fit properly
gloves should be "gauntlet" style (come past the wrists)
boots should cover the ankle.
suit should not have any tears or open seams. Two piece suits
should zip all the way around (not just the back)
should have a back protector (not a necessity - but a good
- keep in mind that these rules exist for your safety, and the safety
of others. Don't think of bike preparation as a chore, but rather an
opportunity to get familiar with your bike.
preparation shouldn't be an excuse for purchasing parts you may (or
may not) want to buy. If you look back through the list we covered,
there are actually very few tools or items you'll need to buy in
order to prepare your bike.
As a final
note - think of this list as things that you should do, regardless of
inspection rules for the track. Keeping your bike in good shape is
common sense and should be done whether you're riding on the track or