Those who know me in person know that mu 2nd biggest hobby is my motorcycle. I’ve been riding for 7 or 8 years now, but it mostly is my daily commute or occasional day trip around Wicklow Mountains.
On recommendation of one of my friends (who also shares moto as well as climbing passions) I signed up for a track day traing in nearby Mondello Park.
It’s by far the biggest and most modern. track in Ireland, so definetly a place to be for any petrol head (2 or 4 wheels).
The training day is a prerequisite to actual track days, for which season is just starting. The course itself is split in 2 parts. Am is mostly classroom theory and slow speed manouvers practice (braking, circle, figure of eight, slalom). These were done in groups of 10 (there were some 30 people present today).
The afternoon is all about applying gained knowledge on the track (in the National Configuration, which is 2km long of mostly right hand side turns).
3x 15min sessions (in 3 trainees to 1 instructor ratio) are meant to give a chance of dicovering potential of ones bike as well as a chance to taste what a normal track day looks like.
The instructors are very experienced and obviously qualified and have no problem answering any questions. They try to match people with similar skillsets and pace together, for everyones enjoyment.
Short one on one sessions are also a thing (for those who struggle a bit) at no extra cost.
I got to say that in those few hours Ive learned more than I thought I would.
Those are couple of things I discovered today:
- I don’t need gears 4 5 6. 3rd gets me to 160km/h in no time.
- Even as tall bike as mine (MT09) leans sooo much more that I thought I would ever be able to take it (even in the wet!)
- Braking hard is fun and important, but only on a straight!
Would I go back to an actul track day? Probably not. Mainly because MT09 is just not made for it (you can do it, but its just a wrong tool for the job). The problem with track days is that they are additive, can be expensive (dropping your machine contributes to that greatly) and to fully enjoy it you need specialized equipment (for instance I must have been the only bike with a centre stand!)
Most of the people I spoke to today either have dedicated track bike or dont rely on the ones they race on for their daily commute.
Either way, I recommend that training to all riders, even if you’d never go back to do a track day.
Track is a different riding experience than road riding, but all the skills learned there translate directly to your day to day riding.