Just a thought on costs... Pacific Track Time doesn't charge an extra fee for their orientation school. And they give you a coupon for $100 off your next set of Pirelli tires each time you attend one of their track days.
I'm doing my very first track day exactly three weeks from today.....I am so pumped.....I am riding my '00 basically stock R1. I got my full Alpinestars suit a couple weeks ago and just tried it out on a ride last week. I managed to get the kneepucks scrubbed in at my local favorite riding spot, now I can see how much easier it makes it to ride. Judging your lean angle is much easier when you can use your knee to do it. I can't wait to bend into turn one at BIR at 170mph.....or 150 I mean......ah, well maybe 130......
Excellent article! I try to explain these things to my friends (riders and non-riders alike), but they just can't get their heads around it. "What's that? The track is safer than the road? But don't you go a lot faster?" Ugh.
PS. Can I put a link to this article on www.clubdesmo.com? We run track days at Buttonwillow and Laguna Seca, so we don't compete against Fasttrack.
I was under the impression that MO considers itself to be a legitimate motorcycle journal. Serious journalism means presenting ads as ads, not as supposedly reluctant editorial content. At least you had the decency to make the conflict of interest public.
While I don't disagree with much of what was said, an article about trackdays would be much more useful to the rest of the motorcycling community had it included information that could really help a track novice get out to enjoy a track day. A comprehensive list of names and contact info for commercial trackday providers around the country would certainly have been useful. The non-commercial ones are hardly difficult to track down, either. A list of equipment and supplies that a track novice is likely to find useful would certainly not go amiss. Surely the staff at MO, clearly experienced trackday attendees themselves, could find the time to scribble a few words about shade, food, fluids, tools, stands and the like. A set of easy exercises designed to get a total novice familiar with track riding during those first few sessions wouldn't be amiss and shouldn't be hard to compile, either.
In short, I can think of a ton of useful things to say about trackdays beyond why I shouldn't be afraid to attend a Fastrack day.
There is a web site that has some of the information you are suggesting. They have reviews and link info for several trackday operators on the west coast, as well as some info on preparing for your first track day. Its' worth a look.
I'm well familiar with Trackjunkie.com and do track days with many of the contributors. My point was more about the fairly poor journalism that resulted in the 'article' being presented as it was. In fact, a link to trackjunkie.com in the writeup would have been a step in the right direction, but a reiteration of some of the content wouldn't have been inappropriate (barring plagiarism, of course) and would have been useful for those who didn't bother to traverse the link.
"This is kind of a gray area, but if the track day company is considered a safety school and not a race school, some insurance companies will cover the cost to repair your damaged bike...Bottom line, you won't know until you give it a try!"
Check with your insurance company before you do a track day. The vast majority will NOT cover track days. Many riders that crash their bikes during track days simple claim the accident as happening on a public road (fraud). If you intend to be honest, you will have to fix the bike yourself.
lLighten up nimrod. Good article. Exactly what is needed to encourage people to get their feet wet by doing their first track day. It helps to dispel the myths that may keep some off the track. Just about the most fun you can have on a bike and it really separates the squids from the real riders. It makes you realize how stupid it is to go really fast on the street. Too many variables beyond your control.
It's hard to tell if comments like this are just a troll, or if you are serious. Let's assume you are serious about the idea that David is filling his secrect Swiss bank account with the hard earned cash of us poor motorcyclists.
I'm still trying to figure out where some track riders get the idea that track day operators are making a "HUGE" (or any) profits. I've talked to a few people with this attitude and I'm still amazed at how they jump to this conclusion. If you call up a track, and get pricing for track rental, ambulance service, insurance, corner workers, starter, food, gas, etc. and then look at per rider price I honestly think you will change your mind.
Whether it is David Pyles, Mark Duncan, Lance Keigwin, or any of the other folks putting together track days, they do it becuase they love the sport, and they are trying to fill a need. Yeah, they are trying to make a living... but could we agree that this is ok? The simple fact is, it costs a boatload of money to put on a track day event, and basic economics says if it costs the operator a boatload of money, they are going to have to charge you a price comensurate with their costs.
Chill, man, chill. There wasn't anyone on the grassy knoll, Enron is dead (and no Enronites are involved here) and this article was made simply to raise awareness of track days -- so, sorry, there's no consipiracy or even any money involved. What is at issue is this: Track days are an awesome thing that 99% of the flip-flop wearing squids would benefit from (the other 1% would probably crash themselves out and then brag about it ;-). We were simply trying to help a friend, again, no money changed hands and the story was published non-subscription -- apparently, all those are bad things, and helping someone these days can only regardless as poor journalism and/or savage profiteering?
You need to relax!
It's comments/people like you that make us say "screw it, what's the point in being cool?" THAT is definitely bad.
And what the heck is wrong with the guy trying to make a living or (GASP) even a profit? If it weren't for profits somewhere -- even if your mommy gave you the computer you type on -- somewhere, someone involved with you is making a profit. To the mirror with you!
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