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Seven practical tips to get your motorcycle on the track for the first time: learning without stress
Seven practical tips to get your motorcycle on the track for the first time: learning without stress

Have we ever talked about how beneficial it is to enter the circuit. It is not a world reserved for the burned out, but for all those motorcyclists who want to improve their skills in the face of safe driving, because knowing that your limits and those of your motorcycle (regardless of the motorcycle you have) are much further from those that You really think it's positive for the road.

Now, not everyone has entered the circuit and for everyone there is, there was or will be a first time, so let's review a little the foundations of a motorcyclist who gets to ride for the first time on a closed traffic circuit.

Wear the appropriate equipment

Ducati Panigale V2 2020 Test 012

One of the fundamental requirements every time we get on the motorcycle is be duly protected, but the street gear is usually not appropriate for an entry on the track. A sanity suit, even if it is well protected, is not suitable for riding on the track since in the event of a fall it does not withstand abrasion as well as leather.

The equipment to roll on the track must be composed of a leather jumpsuit with protections (at least on shoulders, elbows and knees), high boots, full face helmet, long leather gloves and a good back protector It is the minimum we must put on to enter the circuit.

Besides, we can add a technical undergarment to improve thermal comfort and the operation of getting in and out of the jumpsuit, and of course, all garments must be approved for the use to which they are to be used. At the end of the day, it is about our physical integrity and with that we do not play.

Prepare the motorcycle for the foray into the circuit

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Just as we check our mount before going out on the road or going on a trip, we also have to do some prior checks and / or adjustments for a day of circuit. We are going to force the bike to operate for hours with a higher demand than usual, so it has to be in optimal magazine condition.

Ideally, apart from the liquids being level, their state is the best possible. If he oil accumulates many kilometers, it is even recommended to change it together with the oil filter. The suitably tensioned and greased chain is another key point, as well as checking the condition of the brakes and reviewing the tightening of all the screws so as not to lose any part and guarantee the safety of both us and the rest of the participants.

On the other hand there will also be remove unnecessary parts as far as possible such as mirrors, turn signals or license plate / license plate holder. Incidentally, we can use the duct tape to cover the headlights so that, in the event of a fall, the crystals are not scattered on the asphalt.

A small tool box with what is necessary to deal with the unforeseen is highly recommended. A modest multitool, a few Allen, duct tape, cable ties and a pliers will save us from many unforeseen events.

Street tires yes, but in good condition

Benelli Bn 302 R Cup 010

For someone who signs up for a series or a circuit course for the first time, it is logical to think that he is going to do it with his street tires common, but there are some considerations to take into account.

The Pressure of the tires on the track should be lowered to the range recommended by the manufacturer (and remember to raise the pressures again before hitting the road). We must also note that the tire has to be within the wear margins, with regular wear and with the date of manufacture without expiration.

If not, maybe it is time to change tires, because if we have a tire with a flat central area, it will distort our sensations on the track and will not give us enough confidence to learn safely.

Slicks yes or no?

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This is the eternal discussion and the answer is not as simple as it might seem. On paper his thing is to use circuit tires on the circuit, that is, slicks without a pattern not approved for the street, but for a beginner it is not the best option.

The slicks need to work at very high temperatures to show off its advantages in terms of grip. Below their optimal window they can become a nightmare and that is why they always need the use of heaters in the box and, in addition, a sufficiently high steering level not to let their temperature drop. So no, the answer is that for someone new to the circuit it is best not to use slicks.

However, the use of heaters is not exclusive to slicks, they can also be used on street tires and are recommended in very cold temperatures, although a street tire manages to perform better in adverse situations by reaching its optimum temperature window earlier.

Have the right mindset

Suzuki Gsx R1000 2017 Action 008

No, going to ride a circuit does not mean going to touch the knee or go full blown from the first moment. You have to be aware that the first steps in the circuit are slow, and it is not a bad thing, it is that they must be like that.

First of all, someone who enters the track for the first time must take things slowly and learn the circuit. Once with the assimilated track (which seems silly but it is not) it is time to start thinking about going a little faster each time, but without skipping intermediate steps. It is not a question of going fast for going fast, you have to focus on how the bike and the tires feel as we pick up the pace. Going faster and faster comes naturally if we do not force, so we must avoid being anxious and arm ourselves with patience.

Run away from bad advisers

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We do not know why, but by some strange mental process, human beings tend to feel the need to give lessons to other human beings even if they are wrong. On a circuit where testosterone and adrenaline soar in equal parts, it is quite common to see individual masterclasses of participants who teach others the keys to go fast, touch the knee or be more aerodynamic.

They may have all the good intentions in the world, but the most common is that newcomers on the track end up with their heads like a kick drum or worrying more about the photo of posture on duty trying to touch the asphalt with their knee (or elbow) in instead of focus on learning from experience by getting to know themselves, the bike and their tires.

At the end of the day, it's about learning, not becoming a Marc Márquez overnight. Riding on the track is very satisfying if worries are minimized and that is precisely why you have to forget about timing. Banished completely.

Eat and hydrate properly

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It seems obvious, but it is not. Eat and hydrate properly during a circuit day it is very, very important. Forget binge eating and bingeing with friends, as they are totally discouraged.

Nuts, energy bars, some pasta and fruit will be the most appropriate when facing a day on the circuit. Intake is better spread it out throughout the day to have a constant metabolic activity and a homogeneous supply of nutrients throughout the day.

As for the drink, more of the same. Drinking water or isotonic drinks during the day, even just a few, is more than enough. Carbonated sodas will only make us feel uncomfortable on the bike. Needless to say, any alcoholic beverage is totally prohibited.

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