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First Track Day

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This past labor day I did my first track day at Brainerd International Raceway. The track is about 3 hours from home which isn't bad. For the track day I brought my dad with which was a big help in loading and unloading the bike and also because he had the truck. We used a U Haul motorcycle trailer to haul the bike down and back. To tie the bike down I used 4 Black and Grey Camsure straps and a Canyon Dancer Bar Harness. They worked really well. This is the first time I have ever trailered my bike and was a nervous about it the whole way down. Every chance I got I checked the straps. We stayed at a hotel Saturday and Sunday night . Saturday night it absolutely poured. First thing the next morning I went out to make sure it would start. As a result of the rain my bike and my Dad's truck were pretty clean.

Track Day

We arrived at the track about 6:50. We pulled in between two guys that were already set up. I kind of felt like we were encroaching with how tight it felt but it turned out fine. We started talking with the guys to the one side of us and ended up hanging out with them the entire day. I think my dad was in awe of some of the rigs that people had. We showed up with a pick up truck, a U Haul trailer, two lawn chairs, and a cooler. The guys next to us were in the intermediate group and I was in the novice group. It was a little hectic in the morning but not bad. Forgot to set the tire pressure on my Q3's for the first session. I set them for the next session as I didn’t work them to hard that first session. First session on track was a little awkward. I had a new set of leathers and I was not able to get a good lock on to my bike because I was sliding on the bike pretty good. Also riding my Ninja 650 on the track compared to the S1000 at school was a whole different feeling. Second session went much better I was getting the lock on figured out and getting comfortable with how the bike handled with correct tire pressure.

Turn 1 is supposed to be the fastest turn in America. It is meant to be taken wide open which is pretty fun.

The track has a turn called the joker which has to be the slowest turn in America. It feels like you are going 5 mph through the turn. The turn is a quick right and left that happens right after a long right hander. I was definitely using the knee to knee and hip flick to get through there.

Turn 12 is a very sharp left hand turn that comes off the front straight. I got in one time way to hot and got a first hand experience with deep trail braking. Needless to say I backed off on that turn the rest of the day.

The track day was a lot of fun. By the end of it I had 1 cm to a 1/2 cm left to the edge of the rear tire to use. The novice group had the last session of the day. I thought I might have been the only one on the track that last session because most people started packing up after the 3:00 meeting but it was not to be. I am glad we met the guys next to us. They invited us to pit with them if we saw them at another track day. I don't think I would have been as comfortable out there as I was if it wasn't for CSS.

Once I get the pictures I will post some of them.

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Sounds like a fun day, glad it went well for you. Good job keeping your head when you overcooked the corner and finding a way to get it slowed down enough to make it through. :)


A big part of the fun at both track days and race days is meeting the other motorcycle enthusiasts. It gets even better if you start riding with a trackday or race organization regularly, so you start seeing the same folks repeatedly and can make some great friendships. Plus racers are usually really helpful with each other, which is great if you need to borrow or tool or need a hand with something.

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Welcome to the addiction. Say goodbye to whatever extra disposable income you thought you had.


Sounds like a great first outing and honestly, the way you recount how helpful other people were - that's pretty much standard in my experience. Something about the track environment just makes people friendly and generous. I really enjoyed your write up!


Regarding the overcooked corner...why let it win for the rest of the day? How about working on establishing a braking marker and a turn-in point, then adjusting those if you discover they are too conservative? You probably had plenty on your plate already since it was your first day, but when you have the mental space available being methodical like that is really useful for enhancing consistency and optimizing your entry speeds.


Q3s - awesome tires. I am winning club level races at this point in my track riding progression, and I still don't think there is much I do on the racing slicks + warmers that I couldn't pull off just fine on the Q3s with a couple of laps of heat in them. Maybe there is a small difference with the amount of throttle I can use exiting corners, but mid corner speed is the same I think.


Great tire choice, great bike choice - it really just sounds like you are doing everything right. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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^^^^ lol


Cool pics spike. I have done a lot of track days with different orgs. CSS is one of the very few that I feel guide the riders on the proper path starting at lvl 1. You chose well imho. I am happy your first time at the track was a pleasant experience. Meeting cool people at the track is what makes going to the the track great. When you go again, remember that when you meet the next first timer as they will also need a friend. :) The track is cool and all, but it's the people that make it a great experience.


Here's to many more trouble free trips to the track!



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