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  1. #1
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    First Track Day

    Long time street rider....decided it's time to finally make time to get out on the track to enjoy and further explore my bike's and my own capabilities. My question is which bike? I have a 2014 Daytona 675R, which the consensus seems to point to being just about the perfect track bike. That being said, I am still a little fuzzy on the way the bike handles....very quick and not the best front end feel...but I love the engine and the brakes. I have lowered the forks, put on adjustable (and wider) clip-ons and adjusted preload and damping and it's getting better and better. I haven't had any really good warm weather to feel great confidence in the tires yet this year, but here is my dilemna.... I also have a 2012 Tuono, and, well.....right out of the gate, I just immediately felt total confidence in its handling. Also the electronics just may come into play. The track is Loudon, NH, so the horsepower advantage of the Tuono seems to not really be a factor, and I'm thinking the traction control might keep me out of trouble. Is it "too much bike" for my first track day? Any advice/wisdom from some more experienced track riders would be appreciated. Will be riding in the beginner group.

  2. #2
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    Pick whatever bike you're most comfortable with but I would have my suspension set up by someone who knows what they're doing. Also use recommended tire pressure for the track (not street pressures).
    Last edited by Luciano; 05-16-2017 at 12:17 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luciano View Post
    Pick whatever bike you're most comfortable with but I would have my suspension set up by someone who knows that they're doing. Also use recommended tire pressure for the track (not street pressures).
    Listen to the Man! He knows! Go slow to go fast...

  4. #4
    apriliaforum expert flobrandx's Avatar
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    I agree with everything Luciano said. Do that ^^^
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  5. #5
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    first track day...even after years of street riding you will be starting from 0.
    Foot position & reference points should be the first lessons learned.
    I guarantee you wont be activating any electronic nannies.
    Other than proper pressure in the tires and fuel in the tank... nobody sets the world on fire the first day.
    So relax and focus. Also wear a mouth piece!

  6. #6
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    Some other tips that help in the beginning:
    * Print a map and ask someone about tricky corners and apexes. (www.raceoptimal.com is a great site for maps)
    * Put ego in the closet and go slow in the morning sessions so you can focus on taking consistent lines and hitting your apexes.
    * If you don't use tirewarmers, cruise through the first two laps to warm up the tires. Accelerating and braking hard helps too (when the bike is upright!).
    * Drink a lot of water and eat snacks throughout the day so you can keep your focus. Once the focus goes down, so may you

    I'm still relatively new as well and those are things that really helped me.

    Also, if you have access to a track day school, do it because it's soooo worth it!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luciano View Post
    Some other tips that help in the beginning:
    * Print a map and ask someone about tricky corners and apexes. (www.raceoptimal.com is a great site for maps)
    * Put ego in the closet and go slow in the morning sessions so you can focus on taking consistent lines and hitting your apexes.
    * If you don't use tirewarmers, cruise through the first two laps to warm up the tires. Accelerating and braking hard helps too (when the bike is upright!).
    * Drink a lot of water and eat snacks throughout the day so you can keep your focus. Once the focus goes down, so may you
    I'm still relatively new as well and those are things that really helped me.

    Also, if you have access to a track day school, do it because it's soooo worth it!
    Thanks for the good advice, everyone!
    *There is a helmet cam view of the track, which I have watched numerous times to plan strategy.
    * I am an extremely cautious rider. The main reason I want to do track day is to improve ability in an environment where I am not worrying about cars, potholes, sand, animals, slow-moving construction equipment lumbering around blind corners, bicyclists...milfs pushing strollers, etc..
    * I don't have tire warmers. The Daytona has brand new rubber...I am planning on doing a group ride this weekend this weekend...that will help me decide which bike to use.
    * I will definately bring a cooler and snacks.
    The track day does in fact have a full classroom curriculum, which I am looking forward to almost as much as the track time. I am hoping I have the stamina, and that the weather is not too hot.

  8. #8
    apriliaforum expert
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    Sounds like you have the right mindset! You'll have a blast!

  9. #9
    apriliaforum expert drvacation's Avatar
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    if the tuono feels easier to ride, use it. I went all the way up to the fast group with a tuono with handle bars, now I'm on clip ons as I'm chasing the last few seconds, after your comfortable on the track, well you'll know when you want them.
    I recommend you start on w/c 3 and t/c 4 then go t/c 3 if it feels good, that is a safe starting level, hell I can do 2.03's at spring mtn. on 3/3 on the classic track, and local race pace is mid to high 1.50's

  10. #10
    apriliaforum expert drvacation's Avatar
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    all the above good advise, but we all forgot, BRING SHADE if theirs not plenty avalible

  11. #11
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    I think I've decided to use the Daytona for my first track day...I'll post to let everyone know how it goes. It's not for another few weeks. Yesterday I Took the Daytona on a rather spirited group ride through some great twisty wide open roads at a "happy" pace, and my confidence in the bike is pretty good...it was a good test. Also the ride was long...a good six or seven hours, with new leathers, so I think fatigue and comfort should be acceptable.

  12. #12
    apriliaforum prov-nov V42016's Avatar
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    It is a good track bike. Have fun!
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  13. #13
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    Okay, still absorbing my first track day experience. LOVED IT ! Rode the Daytona 675R. Was nervous for days beforehand, but by the second of 7 track sessions, I already knew I must do this again. First 3 sessions (20 min each) were follow the leader with instructor, which gave me great confidence, as he was doing all the thinking, and getting everything right. 4th session involved rain, so I tensed up a bit. One guy in intermediate group crashed. Next session, rain had stopped, track about half-dry, having to think for myself, as instructor had cut me loose, though he was lurking and observing, and critiqued me between sessions. The first 4 or 5 sessions were followed by classroom time. I definately felt like I got my money's worth. For the last 2 sessions, the sun was out, and it was very enjoyable, though I was starting to get a little tired by the end, but happily, the temperature stayed moderate all day, and I stayed fed and hydrated throughout, and the garage area stayed cool enough. There were about 15 riders in the 3 groups, though by the end, my group was down to maybe 7 or 8. Signed up for another track day coming up in a few weeks. In preparation, I installed case guards on my Tuono if I decide to ride that one. Never felt power was any issue...even on the front straight, it wasn't about the speed...just working on my lines, not wanting to wear my tires flat. "Chicken strips" gone. Were previously 5/8" from street riding, though I only had about 150 miles on the tires. The group was very Euro-centric. Mostly Ducatis, even a few carbureted, air cooled 2-valve bikes. A couple Aprilias...2 MV's. Only Beemers seemed to be Adventure Style bikes.

  14. #14
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    Unfortunately you are going to realize now that street riding is absolutely useless. You might even structure your fitness around track riding...lol.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by turboblew View Post
    Unfortunately you are going to realize now that street riding is absolutely useless. You might even structure your fitness around track riding...lol.

    Haha! Structure your life around track riding more like! Fitness is just one of the added bonuses...

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