Going Faster, Faster. Part 2

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As mentioned in the introduction to Part 1, this article will be a varied list of optional things I’d recommend you buy, learn or do as soon as possible.

If you haven't already read Part 1, I suggest you do that now.

Suspension

There’s a reason there’s a suspension specialist at pretty much every track day. As stock, motorbikes are hilariously generic and soft, so, go see the suspension specialist at the track as soon as possible.

You can pretty much guarantee that anyone who's ever muttered the words "those tyres are shit" (and aren't running race pace lap times) hasn't had their suspension set up.

In exchange for a few quid, the suspension wizard will perform some black magic voodoo shit on your bike in the form of twisting some knobs on your forks and shock. After which, you’ll have new bike.

If you’re serious about attending more track days and considering dropping a small fortune on performance upgrades, I’d highly recommend upgrading your suspension before adding more power. Your bike is already much faster than you.

Tyre warmers

You’ve paid a lot of money to attend a track day, so you should squeeze everything out it. Say you get 7 * 20 minute sessions . If it’s 2 minutes a lap and you spend 3 laps warming your tyres up, you’re wasting ¼ of your session and day pootling around with your ass hole twitching like a rabbits nose.

£100 on some tyre warmers and they’ve paid for themselves in 4 track days. Not to mention the confidence and safety net they give you right out the gate.

You

Get a good night's sleep the day before and be sure to eat and drink on the day. Needing a piss after every session is a million times better than the inevitable cramp you’ll suffer.

Your bike

Remove or tape up your mirrors and brake light at a minimum. They’re distractions to you and others around you.

Check your bikes oil, coolant, brakes, tyres, etc. Take spares of what you can.

Camera

Nobody cares about your 20 minute, unedited sessions on YouTube. Anything more than a lap or two is boring to watch for anyone other than yourself.

So, use your camera as a tool. Point it at what you’re working on for review later. Your lines, your body position, foot position, throttle, whatever.

Wets on Wheels

Even though they can be quite a big investment, they're definitely worth it for a serious trackday goer.

I'm an advocate for riding in the rain.

It rains a lot in the UK. Get yourself a set of wets on wheels. They're probably going to set you back a bit - but - if you attend a lot of track days they're definitely worth it.

Clutchless upshifts

Stop using the clutch on upshifts. It doesn’t damage the bike, and, one could argue that using the clutch does more “damage”.

On the throttle, put a bit of pressure on the peg with your foot and roll off the throttle relatively quickly. It’ll change gear and you can get back on the throttle.

With practice, you’ll figure out how much and how quickly to roll off to get it to shift and they’ll get smoother and smoother.

The only exception is when changing to 1st to 2nd, when it’s acceptable to speed shift instead.

Speed shifting is when you feather the clutch slightly between the shift. Lots of people do this for every gear instead of doing it clutchless, which - to reiterate - is just adding unnecessary wear to the clutch.

Fuel

If possible, take fuel in a container and run with as little in your bike as you dare.

People spend small fortunes on their bike to make them lighter - then ride around with a full tank of fuel.

That’ll be something like 15kg of unnecessary weight high up on the bike. Your bike will accelerate, brake and turn faster with less effort without it. Even if you’re not setting blistering lap times, the weight loss will fatigue you less and might even save your ass when you find yourself in a sticky situation on the brakes.