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Old 08-09-2017, 07:48 PM   #1
jamespz03
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Auto Club Speedway - Sept 17

I plan to head up there for my first track day. I plan to rent a Uhaul trailer with a gate/ramp. Any checklist advice you're willing to share? I'm nervous since I'm on a 500 and will get torn up in the straights.

Key
Gas
Key
Food
Water
Key
Stands?
Chairs
Money
Sunscreen
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Old 08-09-2017, 08:22 PM   #2
Gixxerguy855
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you have plenty of time to start a list and add to it as the event gets closer. I've been on the track/racing for years and I still rely on my list before each event just to be sure. Separate your list into personal stuff: clothing, hat, sunglasses, etc. Another one for garage setup: table, cooler, shield cleaner, microfiber towel, etc. Then another one for the bike: tools, torque wrench, safety wire/tool, air pressure gauge, fuel, key, etc.

some folks go overboard with stuff they will never use. I'd also suggest looking around while at the track to see what others brought that you didn't. Keep your list available to add to it as the day goes.

see you there, have fun! Welcome to the addiction.
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Old 08-09-2017, 10:50 PM   #3
i28
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My list from my track day on Sunday. It was my first track day and it wasn't about being faster than others (especially on the straights) but more about slowly becoming comfortable with the lines I was taking and my own personal goals and speed. Enjoy



The list of stuff to take to Buttonwillow:

Painters tape, safety wire
Mosquito repellant
Tent
Sleeping bag
Pillow
Earplugs
Extra Gasoline
Water
Electrolyte powder to add to water
Protein bars
Service manual for motorcycle
Camera(s)
Anti blister cream
Zip ties
Lens cleaner for visor
Chairs
Sunglasses
Toilet paper
Pjs and extra clothes
Some tools - including socket for rear tire
Tire pressure gauge

Gear:
Leathers, base layers, gloves, helmet, extra visor

Last edited by i28; 08-09-2017 at 10:54 PM.
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Old 08-10-2017, 08:05 AM   #4
jamespz03
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You've both provided good info so Thank you.

For the straights, I'm worried about always having to look behind me so I can setup for turns after the straights. Maybe I'm overthinking it since most riders will pass me, meaning I should hopefully be alone.

I'll be on my own this trip, is there anything I should do or not do because of that?

I also don't have leathers but have a full zip mesh/textile jacket and full zip textile pants. Do you feel that's good enough for first time or should I consider renting a full suit there?

Thanks again for the advice, I appreciate it.
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Old 08-10-2017, 09:26 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamespz03 View Post
You've both provided good info so Thank you.

For the straights, I'm worried about always having to look behind me so I can setup for turns after the straights. Maybe I'm overthinking it since most riders will pass me, meaning I should hopefully be alone.

I'll be on my own this trip, is there anything I should do or not do because of that?

I also don't have leathers but have a full zip mesh/textile jacket and full zip textile pants. Do you feel that's good enough for first time or should I consider renting a full suit there?

Thanks again for the advice, I appreciate it.
Don't look behind you on the straights or anywhere else. It's the riders' responsibility behind you to make a safe pass. If you're in C group, they usually only allow passing on the outside of turns anyway. Just try to be predictable out there so you don't confuse the rider behind you.
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Old 08-10-2017, 09:32 AM   #6
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You will have to check with the track organization about not having leathers. Personally, from someone who has done a nice tumble at the track, leathers are a must.

These two have covered all of the major considerations before going to the track. My only suggestion is to get any maintenance that you need done on your bike before you leave home. I personally hate changing out tires or worrying about some bolt at the track. Having your focus on the task at hand is crucial for safety and educational purposes.
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Old 08-10-2017, 10:51 AM   #7
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Take your own food... the food vendor there at ACS doesnt offer much during these track days.
Dont forget ear plugs! I forgot mine at my last trackday but luckily a fellow rider set up next to us hooked me up. They definitely help with fatigue...

I highly advise on a leather suit... when you go for a slide in leathers and walk away unharmed, you're definitely thankful!|

Don't be afraid to be social and get tips from other riders. Plenty of control riders will be on hand for guidance as well.
Keep in mind that you'll have 40 min of down time before your sessions so you'll have plenty of time to kill...

From FTR site-
1 piece OR 2 piece leather suit (that zips together). NOTE: 2-Piece Suits must zip together all the way around or you will NOT be allowed to ride! – ACT leather suits are available for rent for $65/day + security deposit.
Ballistic Nylon Suits are approved as well; provided they zip all the way around
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Old 08-10-2017, 11:10 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WiredOut View Post
Don't look behind you on the straights or anywhere else. It's the riders' responsibility behind you to make a safe pass. If you're in C group, they usually only allow passing on the outside of turns anyway. Just try to be predictable out there so you don't confuse the rider behind you.
Yes, I'm definitely C group but thanks for the tips. I assume being predictable means no sudden line changes but slow and consistent line setups are ok.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miruri View Post
These two have covered all of the major considerations before going to the track. My only suggestion is to get any maintenance that you need done on your bike before you leave home. I personally hate changing out tires or worrying about some bolt at the track. Having your focus on the task at hand is crucial for safety and educational purposes.
I just had my 8,000 mile service done and I'm about 1000 miles in on my new tires, they are Bridgestone S21 and I got those so I could use them at the track. I'll make sure anything else is lined up. Thanks.
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Old 08-10-2017, 12:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamespz03 View Post
Yes, I'm definitely C group but thanks for the tips. I assume being predictable means no sudden line changes but slow and consistent line setups are ok.
Yes, I have had a rider in front suddenly swerve to the left for a right hand hairpin as I was preparing to go round the outside. Definitely tested my reflexes, brakes and front suspension travel!

Try to relax, setup and hold your lines and you'll be fine. I just did my first track day for 4 years last weekend and already planning my next one. Enjoy!
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Old 08-10-2017, 05:12 PM   #10
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Everyone basically covered everything.

I would just like to add that you absolutely need to be there the first session so you can do the sighting laps. There will be a control rider showing you how to properly enter and exit the track.

I should be there on the 19th. I don't know if I'm riding or not because of my rib but just shoot me a PM with your contact info. We can try to share garages so if you need anything I might be able to help. I can also try to answer any questions you have during the about getting around a little quicker on that track.

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Old 08-10-2017, 09:06 PM   #11
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About the key, my trick to never forget it is to ride the bike on the trailer and immediately put the key in a cupholder in the car. That way in worst case you leave the key in the bike's ignition.

Plan ahead and pack early. Get a good night's sleep. Don't drink any alcohol for a few days before as well, it helps! (Bring a beer for the end of your trackday. It's sooo good then).

Never look back on the track. It's not a race so what ever is behind you no longer matters. Have an open mind, get ready to learn a lot, and expect to have the most fun possible on a motorcycle!

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Old 08-11-2017, 11:42 AM   #12
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Imma try make it on the 15th hopefully recover from these nagging injuries.
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Old 08-11-2017, 05:17 PM   #13
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I think you have it all covered. Don't look behind you, just have fun and try to be as consistent as possible. It will be much safer to let other riders navigate around you rather than you trying to get out of the way. Oh, and you should rent a suit.
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Old 08-12-2017, 02:18 PM   #14
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I'm really looking forward to this one!

Has anyone ridden this track before? How does it compare?
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Old 08-12-2017, 03:11 PM   #15
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We have lots of guys here that have ridden Fontana. It's not my favorite by any means, but I used to live nearby so I would hit it as often as I could.

Last time I hit that track was May 2014, so I'll let others comment instead of me.
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Old 08-12-2017, 04:03 PM   #16
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Quote:
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I'm really looking forward to this one!

Has anyone ridden this track before? How does it compare?
How does it compare to what?

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Old 08-12-2017, 05:13 PM   #17
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How does it compare to what?

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I've never ridden a Oval/ infield track so I'm curious about that.

For reference my motorcycle track experience has been on Streets of willow, Las Vegas, and Buttonwillow.
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Old 08-12-2017, 06:55 PM   #18
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California tracks I've ridden in order of my preference (Sonoma is the only one I have yet to try but based on feedback, I would rank it between 1 and 2 pushing Laguna to #3)
1) Thunderhill 5 mile
2) Laguna Seca
3) Spring Mountain (Nevada-Pahrump)
4) Chuckwalla
5) SOW (Streets)
6) Buttonwillow
7) Big Willow
8) Auto Club Speedway- a very distant last place. It's a NASCAR track with an infield section. No elevation changes. Mostly left hand turns. BORING. If it was not so close and accessible, I would never go to this track. Definitely not a track designed for motorcycles.
Get your feet wet at this track, learn the basics, and start exploring better tracks.
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One persistent mistake I see riders make when trying to ride faster: Using too much lean, too late in the corner, well after the apex of a turn. This is precisely where you want to be on the gas not increasing lean. Remedy: use reference points for tip in and use a strong countersteer input to quickly flick the bike to max lean at tip in
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Old 08-13-2017, 02:06 PM   #19
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Former AMA track, current WERA West includes Fontana Vegas and Buttonwillow 21 turns 2.3 miles very technical and fun if you ask me.
Check out some Youtube vid's.

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Old 08-14-2017, 02:04 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IONRace View Post
I've never ridden a Oval/ infield track so I'm curious about that.

For reference my motorcycle track experience has been on Streets of willow, Las Vegas, and Buttonwillow.
Auto club is a lot more of a stop and go track with a few flowing sections. It really doesn't compare much to any of the flowing tracks like Buttonwillow and Vegas but there is a few turns at auto club that you can compare to both those tracks.

Example I approach turn 5 and 6 at autoclub the same way I approach the sweeper at Buttonwillow eventhough the sweeper is a longer corner. T9 is almost the same as T4 at Las Vegas so you will find some similarities.

The only thing missing from ACS that others have mentioned is elevation changes. I do find this track to be the most challenging though, it's easy to loose a lot of time if you get some sections wrong. It's also very demanding specially in the hard braking zones. Everything that I have learned at Fontana does transfer to most other tracks specially my braking efficiency.



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