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motorcycle trackday checklist guide - Motorcycle Trackday Checklist

Motorcycle Trackday Checklist

Trackdays are great fun. If you’re a beginner and you’ve never been on one then I appreciate they can be daunting but really, you’ve got nothing to worry about. 

If you’re experienced, you’ll have dealt with the nerves but you still might need a bit of guidance when it comes to remembering what to pack.

If you sort out the essentials in advance of your day, it means you’ll have the minimum amount of admin to think about on the day and you can focus on enjoying exploring your bike on track.

Different organisers have slightly different rules, so you need to get familiar with the way they operate. When you buy your place, you’ll be emailed instructions which are essential to read.

Most organisers will email you their indemnity forms and they might send you a separate one from the circuit owner too. It’s well worth printing these out and filling them in before the day. If you leave it to do on the day, you’ll be left in a long queue and fighting over 3 pens with 80 other riders.

A typical track day schedule

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My ZX-10R gets ready to get on track at Silverstone

Here’s how a typical motorcycle trackday pans out:

07:15 – 08:15 – Rider sign on

07:15 – 08:15 – Noise testing

08:15 – 08:30 – Compulsory rider safety briefing

09:00 – 09:25 – First group out on track

09:25 – 09:50 – Second group out on track

09:50 – 10:15 – Third group out on track

Repeat until lunch

13:00 – 14:00 – Lunch

14:00 – 16:30 – Group sessions as per morning

16:30 – Trackday ends

Typically each group will have at least 5 sessions in a day.

Open Pit Lanes vs Grouped Sessions

The vast majority of UK trackdays are run in groups, with Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced groups (sometimes labelled Slow, Medium and Fast).

At some circuits there might be a fourth group, an ACU group, which is an advanced group for those with an ACU licence. Typically all the bikes in this group will be track or race bikes. Some organisers might not allow road bikes here.

Typically each group will have at least 5 sessions in a day. If a trackday is hugely undersubscribed, organisers might do away with the group session on the day and run an open pitlane. This is a great scenario as you can ride as much or as little as you like and not feel you have to cram in as much as possible in your 25-minute sessions.

Open put lanes are great if you’re working on your bike’s setup or helping a mate improve their riding as you can dip in and out of the pits after a few laps.

European motorcycle trackdays

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This is a typical palette where you load your bike and kit for a European track weekend

European motorcycle trackdays and non-UK organisers are more likely to run open pit lane days.

It’s a fair assumption to say that UK riders taking their bike to a European trackday are more likely to have a few trackdays under their belt and so the pace differential will be much less.

You’re less likely to see an XJR1300 in the garage at a Jerez bike day than you are at Snetterton, meaning the chances of open pit lanes are more likely. So check with the organiser before you book.

Popular Euro trackday organisers include No Limits, Focused Events, Eybis and Tracksense.

Motorcycle trackday checklist

We’ve split this checklist into the Essentials and the nice to haves. We’ve also created this guide for two different scenarios:

  1. You’re riding a road bike to the circuit
  2. You’re vanning or towing a road bike or track bike to the circuit

The main difference between the two is the amount of kit you can take. If it’s your first trackday, you’re probably going to be doing it on a road bike and most likely it’ll be a bike you’re riding to the circuit. So you won’t be able to pack tyre warmers, paddock stands or fuel cans but this won’t stop you having a great day.

The pre-trackday checklist:

This guide talks a lot about kit but it’s important to check you know which circuit you’re going to and that you have the right date.

If you’re staying in accomodation the night before, do you have a map in case your phone dies. Do you have the host’s number and do you have a good idea where it is?

If you’re riding to the circuit it’s a good idea to brim your tank before the day. You really don’t want the fuel light coming on halfway through the first session, so if you’re staying in accommodation close by, fill up the evening before.

Before you set off, lube your chain – you shouldn’t need to do it again on the day.

Do you know of anyone that’s going? Google the event to see if anyone’s talking about it, put a shout out on a forum or Facebook – it’s always good to meet up with people you know on the same track day as you.

1. Road Bike Trackday Checklist:

motorcycle trackday checklist guide - Motorcycle Trackday Checklist
The exact kit I took on my road bike to a trackday

The table below is the checklist I use when I ride my road bike to a trackday. It’s also pictured above. I’ll explain everything below. It all fits snugly into my Kriega US-20 drybag.

EssentialNice to have
Driver’s licenceBack protector
One piece or zip together two-piece leathersEarplugs
HelmetPhone charger
GlovesVisor cleaner
BootsDrink and snacks
Gaffa tapeHayfever tablets (if you suffer)
Tyre pressure gaugeFlip flops, T-shirt and shorts to change into between sessions
Cash / Credit CardSunglasses
PhoneFlathead screwdriver – to adjust your suspension
Exhaust baffleWaterproof top
 Neck tube
 Print out of the day’s schedule
 Circuit map

The road bike essentials

When you’re riding to a trackday you don’t need that much more than what you’d take with you on a normal Sunday blast. However there are a few extras you can pack that make all the difference.

I use gaffa tape to tape up my mirrors rather than mess around taking them off. I also put some over my brake light as I don’t want people using my brake light as their braking marker.

Even though there will be loads of trackdayers with all the tools you need, I don’t want to rely on anyone for anything, so I always take a tyre pressure gauge and set my pressures when the tyres are cold, just before I go out.

You’ll easily get through a tank of fuel on a trackday, so check where the nearest petrol station is. Some tracks have one on site, which saves time but for others you may need to fill up outside the circuit during lunch break or risk missing a session.

The road bike nice to haves

For me, these extras make all the difference.

I’ll start with the clothing. I don’t want to be in my leathers all day, it knackers me out. So after a session I jump into a pair of shorts and a T-shirt and slip on my flip-flops. I can cool down and relax – 40 minutes is a long time to hang around in leathers.

Personally I wouldn’t ride on track without a back protector, so it’s worth investing in one if you don’t already use one for road riding.

Even though most circuits have canteens, I take an energy drink and some snacks to keep me going. This regular hydration and snacking stops me from wolfing down a huge lunch, which in turn keeps me from feeling lethargic in the later sessions.

I take a set of sunglasses to keep my eyes from straining in the (hopefully) sunny paddock. I use a tiny tin of visor cleaner over water as on trackdays you tend to get the usual flies but also sticky rubber on your visor and water doesn’t cut through this as well as a proper visor cleaner. Earplugs are a high priority for me. I ride faster with them in!

The phone charger just removes the anxiety of having a flat battery, which is exactly what you don’t want should you lob the bike down the road or get stuck on the way home after a long day on track.

The screwdriver’s there to allow me to tweak my suspension but I dare say you can borrow someone else’s, no problem.

I also take a waterproof top, which acts as a windcheater too. Some dry says on circuits like Silverstone can be bloody cold. Riding home after a trackday can often be a cold ride when the sun’s gone down, so the top and necktube keep me going when the adrenaline’s worn off.

It may seem like a lot of kit but it’s a good base for you to start with. You can obviously add and remove stuff to make it work for you.

2. Trackbike Trackday Checklist:

motorcycle trackday checklist download - Motorcycle Trackday Checklist
Yours truly enjoying a cuppa in between sessions at an Assen trackday

When you’re vanning or towing your bike, you can bring quite a few extras with you that’ll help you get the best from your day.

As a veteran of a couple of seasons racing and probably 50 trackdays, I like to think I’ve got my packing list down to a fine art.

The list of essentials is exactly the same as the road bike list, except for one important thing: your ignition key!

I have heard countless stories of people forgetting their keys as they loaded the bike in the van the night before and left the keys in a jacket pocket. This is one issue road riders don’t have to contend with. If you don’t have your keys, you really are stuffed.

EssentialNice to have
Driver’s licenceBack protector
One piece or zip together two-piece leathersEarplugs
HelmetPhone charger
GlovesVisor cleaner
BootsDrink and snacks
Gaffa tapeHayfever tablets (if you suffer)
Tyre pressure gaugeFlip flops, T-shirt and shorts to change into between sessions
Cash / Credit CardSunglasses
PhoneFlathead screwdriver – to adjust your suspension
Exhaust baffleWaterproof top
Bike keysNeck tube
 Print out of the day’s schedule
 Circuit map
 Paddock stands
 Tyre warmers
 Camping electricty converter
 5m extension table
 Jerry can (full)
 Fuel funnel
 Spare levers
 Wets on wheels
 Folding chair
 Lap timer
 Toolkit including torque wrench
 Engine oil, brake fluid
 Cable ties, spare fasteners
 Ramp to unload the bike

The trackbike nice-to-haves

If you’re vanning a bike or taking a trackbike, not only have you got the space to take more stuff but that stuff will make your life simpler.

The biggest difference is the paddock stands and tyre warmers, which allow you the luxury of getting straight out and up to speed. Plus you’ll take a bit on tyre wear too.

Everything else on the list will enable you to spend the maximum amount of time enjoying your bike, whatever the conditions and whatever happens. 

Spills are rare, even on trackdays but you want to have enough spares to cover the basics and improve the chances of you being able to get back on track. Spare clutch and brake levers, plus footrests can be useful.

If you can afford a set of wets on wheels, it means any changing weather conditions won’t mess with your day. Rather than queue to have wets put on your rims, you can just swap your wheels out in 20-minutes and get out on track.

Prepare for the worst but aim for the best!

Motorcycle trackday top tips

If you're there on your own, try and say hello to the rider next to you and let them know about the essentials in case something happens. Let them know where your phone is and what your pin is.

Some trackday organisers will rent paddock stands and tyre warmers. They'll cost about £30 for the day. If you're on a road bike this will reduce the risk of you crashing on a cold tyre.

Check your tyre warmers before you go out. Ask a tyre technician or an instructor what your pressures should be. Then check them again when they're hot after your first session.

Don't go hard on the first session. Use it to familiarise yourself with the track and get your lines and gears honed in. Once you're comfortable with the track and bike you can up your pace.

Watch some YouTube videos or, if you can, play a video game of the circuit you're riding. If you know roughly which way the circuit goes, you'll have less to think about on the day and your brain won't be quite so frazzled after the first couple of sessions.

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