One rule that's always true when you go on a track day is: be prepared.
No matter how professional or how equipped you like to be, there are always some essential things you need to bring with you, or make sure that you have once at the track.
When I went to the track for the very first time I actually drove there on my bike. There are some people that do it, but I don't recommend it at all. It means that you're using road tires and you can't bring any equipment with you. Also, in the event of a crash, you'll be stuck if something breaks down. Plus, there's always the issue or riding back home when you're tired.
I usually separate the thing I carry along into 3 categories:
Stuff needed for the bike, stuff needed for the rider and tools & parts.
In bike stuff you'd find things like paddock stands and tyre warmers, air pressure gauge and, quite importantly: adapters and extension cables so you can hook up to the track's power supply. Extra fuel (and oil) can also be handy if the track doesn't have a gas station inside.
The rider's equipment depends on whether you're planning to spend the night before at the track or not. If you do, then you've got to get some camping equipment with you. We use an inflatable mattress and sleep inside the van, but tents frequently pop up at the tracks as well. Of course there's your riding equipment: racing suit (men’s or women’s), your base layer, gloves (men’s or women’s), boots (men’s or women’s), back protector, and of course a high quality helmet (go for the ones with double D closing and as large of an upwards a field of view as possible) and ear plugs. You’d also want to bring along some personal items like a cap, sun glasses and chap stick since there’s going to be a lot of wind hitting your face while riding. As a personal note: consider bringing an action camera so you can film yourself and track your riding style improvement! You'll find all of these listed on the downloadable check list below.
If you're not renting out a garage, I highly recommend bringing a gazebo (here's a really sturdy one from XL-moto), garage mats and some foldable camping chairs, it's gonna seriously upgrade your experience and provide much needed shade for the day.
Now we've arrived at the tools & parts section. Grab whatever tools you might need to perform quick fixes on your bike, especially if there are any known issues, but, at the very least grab your bike's toolkit and throw it in the rear of the van, you never know when you might need to tighten a stray bolt or add a couple of clicks to that suspension.
You might also plan to do some work at the track, since my bike is no longer road legal, I opted to do the tire change directly at Cremona Circuit, since they have a racing service shop there. So, in the morning before the sessions started, we took off the wheels and gave the to the mechanic. 20 minutes later the new tires were on the bike.
We also grabbed a spare battery for my husband's bike, and good thing we did since the one he had mounted gave up on us by 11AM. We were able to pull a quick switch between the sessions and continue the track day fun. In any case, don't forget to stuff some zip ties and duct tape into your bag as well, these can go a long way if you need to MacGyver your way out of an unexpected bike or wardrobe malfunction. Once I needed to tape the sole of my boot back together cause it was falling off. True story.
Well guys, I hope this article has been useful and informative for you, fill out the form below to download my free Ultimate Track Day checklist. You can print it out or save it on your phone and never forget any essential gear on your next track day!
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