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California Tracks That I Love

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California has an amazing concentration of public tracks made for sport-bike riding.  This should be your sport-bike riding Bucket List, Page 1.     I'll save my favorites for last.


Willow Springs - Excellent track for high speed runs.  Turn 8 is an amazingly fast turn. Turn 2 is the perfect model for throttle control rule number one. But the most fun is turn 3...just appeals to my senses with the visual, the angles, the approach.  It just works.  

Pros - Fast, run off everywhere (although it is dirt), and exciting little backside launch.  Cons - Limited shade, wind when it picks up dirt

Autoclub Speedway - If you are a NASCAR fan I don't need to list the Pros.  Very fast front straightaway to "pin it".  Lots of different turn types in one location with some unique transitions. Love Turns 11 and 12 which results in quite a bit of punishment for charging turn 10.  The off camber 12 with pavement seam is not happy unless you plan your turn well.

Pros - Fast, pavement run offs, everyone gets garage space (if they want it) with power, lights, and air connections for no extra fee.  Cons - Most expensive track, freak wind can move around the bike on the front straightaway.

Chuckwalla - Great little track to perfect your cornering.  I love bowls so 13 is a favorite.  Short straightaway for tricky CW runs into Turns 1/2.  CCW does not seem to be an issue going into 17/16.  Might just be me.

Pros - Fixed the facilities so those complaints are gone.  Great layout with lots of high speed corners.  Cons - In the middle of      n o w h e r e     , and has no fuel.  Eats tires for breakfast.

Buttonwillow - Really enjoyed CCW, enjoyed CW too, but not as much.  Elevation changes are quick for the small amount they have. Most folks comment on Bus Stop and Sweeper,  I found the changes around Grapevine to amuse me the most.

Pros - New pavement (thankfully, or this would have been a much different write-up), remote but still around facilities and hotels.  Cons - Remote, no garages for the masses.

Sonoma/Infineon/Sears Point (or ?) - Would be great if they would stop changing the name.  Crown is great, I need Keith to show me how to do Carousel perfectly.  I just never get the feeling I have it perfect...there is something missing.  The double apex 7, which turns into one apex or other, depending on who is riding it, is a great visual trainer for wide vision.  Funny how some turns just say something to you.

Pros - Garages are nice but depending on who you ride with may or may not be covered (mostly not), great facilities.  Cons - Some track areas could use some love, garages for eveyone!

Laguna Seca - Its Laguna, whats to say.  If you have never had the back of your throat pushed down to your hips you haven't ridden the corkscrew.   

Pros - It is Laguna, HELLO!   Cons - 2nd most expensive, limited motorcycle track days, Monterey is $$$$.  Sound monitoring is %$##*%^

Streets of Willow Springs - Perfect track to learn, perfect, learn, practice, perfect, repeat.  Oh, and it has a bowl!

Pros - Favorite training track of Keith Code.... I think I read that somewhere.  Designed by Keith Code.  The chicane is a confidence tester, then builder.  Love it.  Cons - Facilities are a bit dated but hey, its a track.  Wind can be interesting.  

Thunderhill - My favorite.  Favorite layout - Combined East and West.  Turn 9C is just crazy fun.  The new straightaway from 7W to 10W has a nice little launch pad for those that like to take flight...if you didn't get enough on 9C.  10C will punish you for charging over the hill so pay attention during the sighting lap.

Pros - Long, long layout with the combined tracks. FOUR long speed runs, and lots of off camber to train the best.  Cons - a long way from SoCal  :-(


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