Sandia Motorcycle Roadracing, Inc.


Track day prep is very basic. See the Guidelines below for details. 


SMRI Track Day Guidelines
Written by Kimberly Prichard, former New Rider Director,  Race # 930


Why are you here?

  •  Riding a motorcycle fast is exhilarating
  • Riding a motorcycle on a closed course is the safest place to ride a motorcycle
  • Track day riding vs. racing
  • Most of you are here to take your riding skills and thrill to the next level
  • Most of you will earn money on Monday and there are no trophies at a track day.
  • Your mental approach is the most important element for your safety and the safety of others.

Common sense and accident prevention

  • We are not born with common sense, we acquire it throughout life.
  • You can experience it yourself or learn from others
  • Observe how others have taken risks and have been injured
  • Observe how others have succeeded

Suggested Items to Bring: **** The more comfortable you are, the better you will ride! ****If you ride your bike to the track:

  • Tire Gauge
  • Duct Tape
  • Zip Ties
  • Tools for removing mirrors and license plate
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Hat
  • Sun Screen
  • Sun Glasses
  • Shop Rags
  • Money for Concessions  (If we are allowed to have Concessions for 2021)
  • Note: Top off your tank with gas before you arrive. Even with a full tank, you may run out of gas before the day is over. There are several gas stations near the interstate, if you think you may run out, you can go back to fill up during lunch and not miss any track time.

If you trailer your bike to the track:

  • All the above items, plus -
  • Gas can with extra gas
  • Extra maintenance fluids (oil, brake fluid, chain lube, etc.)
  • Complete tool kit
  • Bike Stand(s)
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Spare Parts
  • Chairs
  • Canopy
  • Cooler with drinks
  • Snacks and or lunch
  • Change of clothes
  • Any other items of personal convenience

Technical and Safety Requirements

The requirements below are general guidelines and do not specifically call out all of the things that Tech will be looking at to determine if your bike is safe for riding on the track.

Safety Equipment - Get good gear

  • Leathers - One-piece or two-piece zipped together.
    • Textile okay for track days. Some are approved for racing although leather is recommended.
    • Good repair. No tears or grind-through holes, or rips.
    • No tape repairs or attachments.
  • Spine protector - Should be worn at all times on the track.
  • Chest Protector - Highly recommended.
  • Helmet –DOT and Snell compliance or FIM certification.
  • Gloves - Don't skimp here. Make sure they are well stitched and will stay on.
  • Boots - Motorcycle boots recommended with good heel and ankle protection.

Motorcycle Preparation

  • Neat and clean: No leaking fluids of any kind. 
  • Remove Mirrors, license plate, and windscreens if possible.
    • At a minimum, anything that could break and leave pieces on the track will have to be taped over with painters tape.
  • Fluids retention - Oil lines and fittings, brake lines and fittings, coolant must be secure.
  • Brakes - pads- must show wear groove or 1.5mm of pad material, retaining pins, lever bolts must be secure.
  • Tires - Tread depth must be greater than wear indicator height.   The $25 you try to save by seeking the last bits in tire-life can cost big from an expensive crash (Ask us how do we know?)

General

The Rider and Crew must comply with SMRI Rules and Regulations:

    • You are responsible for your guests.
    • No alcohol in pits while the track is hot.
    • Make all the guests feel welcome. 
    • Animals are allowed, but it really isn't a great place to have them. Pavement is very hot and any incidents will be handled quickly including removal of the offending animal. All pets must be on leash at all times
    • Help your neighbor.
    • Children need to be closely supervised and there are plenty of hazards to hurt them.
    • Space is important. Do not crowd in without checking with the person first, check the egress and direction the bikes leave and enter the pit. Nothing is more annoying at the track than an obnoxious pit neighbor.
    • If you play music, check with your neighbor
    • Don't set up your generator to blast your neighbor with noise.

    In the event of a crash:

    • The crash truck will pick up your bike
    • Do not mess with the ambulance folks
    • It’s a good idea to make sure your pit has your number displayed for drop off
    • If you are a friend, pack up your buddy’s stuff.
  • All riders must attend the rider’s meeting. 
  • If arriving late, you may not be allowed to ride that day.  Late arrivals must meet with an SMRI official before entering the track.
  • Be nice. Play nice. No fighting.
  • Fire extinguishers must be present for each motorcycle in your pit.
  • When riding any machine in the pit area, speed shall not exceed 5 mph.
  • No intoxicant or drug use by the rider or crew. It is highly recommended that pit visitors do not bring them into the riders pit area.

On-track Conduct

  • Riders must wear helmets on the track at all times.
  • Any rider who is observed in dangerous situations – while passed or being passed – or is deemed by SMRI officials to be riding too aggressively will be removed from the session and/or the track day.
  • No blocking; Attempting to block another motorcycle attempting to pass you will result in your being removed from the session.
  • A motorcycle that goes off the paved surface but remains upright may reenter the course. Use caution when doing so and obey any signals given by track officials.
  • If a motorcycle goes down (i.e. your handlebar touches the ground), it may not re-enter the course until a track official gives permission. Normally, permission will not be given until the session is over. The bike will then have to go back through Tech before your next session.
  • Motorcycles that have gone down must be return to the pits after the session is over and be re-inspected. Safety apparel is also subject to inspection.
  • Never stop on the track unless your motorcycle is disabled or you have been black-flagged by a track official. Riders must always follow the track direction. Do not take shortcuts or detours.
  • Slow riders use proper hand/leg signals.

Hand/Leg Signals:

  • Before exiting from the track, the rider should signal by raising an arm (preferred) or extending a leg in a manner easily visible to the riders behind them.
  • If a rider encounters any problem with the bike or equipment, the rider should signal by raising an arm and safely position him/herself off the pavement and wait for corner marshal assistance. The safest place for a disabled bike is off the track surface on the inside of a turn.
  • It is expressly prohibited to ride or push a motorcycle against the normal course direction on the track unless directed to do so by a track official or corner marshal.
  • Disrespect towards corner marshals and track officials will not be tolerated. They are responsible for hazardous areas around the racecourse and are there for participants’ safety.
  • Riders who do not obey warning signals and rules may be removed from the track.

Passing is the biggest area of contention for SMRI riders and officials:

The responsibility for passing safely rests with the overtaking rider. If a faster rider cannot pass another rider safely and cleanly, the faster rider must wait for a safer opportunity.

A note on passing other riders at a track day: Pass for the other rider’s comfort, not yours. It’s best to make the pass at the rider is moving away from you and not tipping in toward you.

  • In the Novice sessions, passing on the corner entry is not allowed.
  • What is a safe pass?
  •  6 foot cushion

There should NEVER be any drama.

If you have to apologize or wonder if you  should:

Than it is time for you to revisit what made you think about attempting that pass in the first place.

Where do I pass?

  • Straights and around the outside
  • Outside on the brakes or on the inside while accelerating
  • Frustrated? Pull in the pits and wait for a clear track, after all it is only a track day.

Slower riders:  Hold your line and turn predictably. The faster riders will find a way to pass.

Technique

Body Position:

  • Set up body position for the corner early.
  • Toes on the end of the pegs. Move them forward to shift and brake and then move them back.
  • Head position should be looking through the turn.
  • Eyes up and scanning.
  • Use a relaxed grip on the handlebars.
  • Move your upper body (Head) to the inside of the bike, as you feel comfortable. Work on shifting your body weight on your seat to reduce the center of gravity while cornering. Place your chin over your inside hand.
  • Weight the inside foot peg in the corner.
  • Cornering involves “counter-steering” or countering the gyroscopic force of the rotating wheels. Push your right handle bar to turn right.
  • Use your legs to move around on the bike, not your arms.
  • Your outside arm should be relaxed upon the tank.
  • DO NOT LOOK OVER YOUR SHOULDER or behind you while on the track!

Control Use

  • Use smooth throttle inputs.
  • Slowly squeeze the brake lever with two fingers and slow the bike.
  • Roll on the throttle on corner exits, once you can see your exit point.

Reasons why we crash

    1-Lack or loss of concentration or Fatigue: If your mind isn’t engaged. If you have no plan. If you lose your focus. It’s going to end up hurting you at some point.  

    2-Abruptness: All of the following things are going to end up getting you hurt at some point:  You’re gonna ‘grab a handful’, flick it in there, jump across the seat. You’re going to be able to do these things for long. They will get you hurt.

    3-Repeating a mistake: It’s ridiculously simple equation: Mistakes + More Speed = Crash.  No matter what your speed…bad riding never improves with more speed.

    4-Cold tires: The majority of cold-tire crashes come from unloading the front tire with some throttle and then adding lean angle. Less cold rubber on the road and grip is gone.

    5-Panic: Focus on your plan, stay relaxed, look where you want to go…. If not we get: Target fixation: avoid target fixation by looking through the turn.

    Crashing:

    Accept that you can fall, that injuries can occur, that the motorcycle will be damaged, and that is likely result in the end of your Day.

    Things to do when falling: I know it’s a lot to ask but please try.

    • Let go of the bike.
    • Relax.
    • Spread out when sliding.
    • Tuck when tumbling.
    • Stop before standing. Count to 5 after you think you have stopped then look at the sky or ground to make sure it's not moving.
    •  If you are on the track don't stand up or move immediately.
      • Assess where you are first and where the other riders are. It's better to be run over than hit standing up. Also the other riders have already made a decision of how to get around you. Don’t complicate the situation.


    Signal Flags

    Green Flag: start of race or clear track conditions.

      

    Checkered Flag: Indicates end of practice session. Proceed around course to the designated track exit.

       

    RED Flag: Indicates Session has been stopped. A red flag displayed during a race or practice indicates extreme danger. Reduce speed and proceed safely to the pit road.

    Black Flag with Orange Center (meatball flag): Indicates an issue, report to Pit Out within three laps.           

    Black Flag: Indicates a problem and immediate removal of your motorcycle from the racing line. Signal by raising your hand up or putting a foot out, then carefully reduce speed, get off of the racing line and stop at the first safe location off the course to the inside of the a turn.

    Yellow Flag with Red Stripes: (Debris flag) Indicates oil, gas, dirt or other debris are on the track surface. Proceed with caution.


    Yellow Flag:
     (Caution flag) Indicates motorcycles, riders, and/or Marshals are in the area but out of racing lines or likely run off areas. Proceed with caution!

    Any waving warning flag indicates a hazardous condition on the racetrack and possibly in the racing line. Proceed with caution. Passing is not allowed under any waving flag from the point of the flag until past the incident area. Read your rulebook for more information.

    Blue Flag: For SMRI Track Days ‐‐ Means NO PASSING ON THE INSIDE of a rider prior to the apex during that session.  Riders with intermediate or advanced skills are reminded that the blue flag applies to them as well as to the beginning riders.                                                     


    Definitions

    • Corner Entry: The first part of a corner, before Middle and Exit, after the brakes have come on and during the downshifts and turn-in. We teach, “The corner entry serves to get the bike ready to exit,” and get our members focused on slowing and pointing the bike during the entry.
    • Corner Exit: The third part of a corner…following Entrance and Middle…where the rider is accelerating and reducing lean angle, hopefully.
    • Apex: The closest you come to the inside of the corner. Often it’s the point at which the rider can take away lean angle. There can be an exit apex too, the point to which you drive off the corner…but usually we mean the corner’s apex.
    • Blip: A short rev produced by a quick but smooth open and closing of the throttle, usually to match the rpm during a downshift.
    • Downshift: Shifting your bike to the next-lower gear, as in sixth to fifth. Each downshift happens with separate clutch disengagement and engagement, and a separate blip.
    • Drama: We use this term to describe everything from bike oscillations under an abrupt rider, to the wrong people in your pit area, and to friends who insist on riding fast everywhere. But what we really mean and know is this: Drama eventually means crash.
    • Fade: In this case we’re talking about a corner-entry line that fades in toward the corner too early. It’s not an early turn-in, but more of a gently veering which tightens the corner’s radius. A fade often happens because the rider is uncomfortable with the speed and fades into the turn too early. We teach riders to fix a fade by taking two percent off their speed and perfect the line, and then add the speed back into the equation.
    • Heat Cycle: A term referring to the heating and cooling of a tire, and an important factor when judging the remaining performance of a tire. Modern performance street tires “heat cycle” quite well, while race tires lose more performance per cycle. Tire warmers are often used between track sessions to maintain temperature, thus eliminating one heat cycle.
    • Highside: The rear tire loses grip, slides sideways, regains grip and throws the rider over the highside of the motorcycle in a possibly long but inelegant flight that never ends well. Tires slide because they’re over-loaded or under-loaded abruptly.
    • Inside Line: The trajectory of a motorcycle entering a corner on a line inside the ideal line
    • Low Side: The front tire loses grip and slides to the outside of the turn, easing the rider onto the pavement in a relatively (compared to a highside) easy crash, unless there is something for the sliding rider to hit. Bike damage can be minimal. Unless it digs in and flips. Then it’s more. A lot more.
    • Maintenance Throttle: You’re “maintaining” your speed…see Neutral Throttle.
    • Neutral Throttle: The brakes are off and the throttle is cracked slightly open…the bike isn’t accelerating, but it’s no longer deceleration. You’re holding your speed and radius. Faster bikes require a lighter touch to maintain neutral or maintenance throttle.
    • Outside Line: The trajectory of a motorcycle entering a corner on a line wider than the ideal line. Can also use the term “wide”. The outside line is often used to turn in later than a competitor, thus getting your bike pointed earlier to lengthen the next straight and make a pass on the brakes in the upcoming corner.
    • Slow Point: Literally where the bike is traveling the least mph in any corner. In most corners, this slow point is quite short. But in 180-degree corners, this slow point can last dozens of feet and requires the rider to hold her speed with neutral throttle for an extended time.
    • Stuff: A term used to describe a too-late pass up the inside of another rider. You know it’s too late because the rider being passed has to alter his line, gets upset and may want to talk with you after the session. Apologize immediately…because you must learn to pass “for the other riders’ comfort”.
    • Trail Braking: Trailing off brake pressure as you add lean angle…or trailing brake pressure into the corner. Can be done with the front or rear brake. Helps control speed and geometry past the tip-in.
    • Upshift: Shifting your bike to the next higher gear, as in fifth to sixth.


                                                                

    Standard Configuration:


    Alternate Configuration:

     





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    "SMRI" is a New Mexico corporation. PO Box 11806, Albuquerque, NM  87192

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