Italian Motorcade from Massachusetts to Tennessee

I had stopped by my friend Chuck's house last week, en route to the 35th Annual IMOC rally.  

IMOC 2018 35th Annual Italian Motorcycle Owners Club Rally

Bimota V DueI've been to the IMOC (the International Motorycle Owners' Club Rally) three out out of the past four years, and was excited to get to go this year as an official Ducati sponsored event!

HSS gets Nailed

Well, I've managed to keep my nose clean lately, or at least keep from running afoul of the law on my motorcycle... until this morning I guess...

Gotham ECD Family Barbecue

Tigh Loughhead of Gotham Ducati and East Coast Ducs Tom Napolitano, Shawn Mathew, Walter and Albert Feliz
I've been riding with a club called the East Coast Ducs ever since we started the club several years ago at Walter's house back in 2015.  

Third Annual Festival Fine Italian Cars, Bikes and Food

Who would have thought my Ducati track bike would win an award from the Ferrari Car Club of America today? 

Pure Speed at Summit Point Main with Evolve GT

I'm so far behind on keeping up with this blog, but better late than never.

Suffice to say that Summit Point Main is a very different track than Summit Point Shenandoah.
Routinely, I was in the mid 160's running down the main straight before dipping into a sharp right hander. 
Summit Main is not only newly paved,
Tigh Loughhead Track Bike at Summit Point Motorsports Park in West Virgina
but offers incredible opportunity for speed. 
I'm going to need to get some new pucks soon. 
My track bike suffered yesterday, as it was too big for a tiny track at Shenandoah,
but today I was in my element, and felt like a natural gliding around the track.
I made some friends, like my buddy Vladimir, 
who ended up winning the MotoGladiator 300 series race later that day. 

© 2018 Tigh Loughhead

Summit Point Shenandoah Track Day in West Virginia

Gotham Ducati Track Day at NJMP

My boys from Gotham Ducati in NYC are joining me at the track today.  James showed up after dinner last night, but Jerry and Tommy got in late. They decided to ride down, and didn't get in till after midnight and unbelievably, they rode down from NYC.
Harlem Superbike School OGs

Crashed Panigale 1299RFE Final Edition

Apologies for posting this El Duro... 😛. 

New Jersey Motorsports Park NJMP with EvolveGT Track Days

How to pack for a motorcycle track day

Racing motorcycles is a ton of fun, but requires a good bit of preparation.  It's awful to wait for weeks for a track day, then drive several hours to NJMP or NYST to find that you've forgotten something essential important or essential.  I've put together the following pack list to remind myself what to bring along to a track day, but maybe you might find it helpful as well.

Track Day Basics

A bike: You should prep your bike and make sure it's running smoothly BEFORE leaving for the track.  If not, you'll fail tech inspection, and not be able to ride.  Most riders safety wire parts of the bike that might come loose during a track day, like an oil filter and bolts, which especially if you ride a twin (like a Ducati), often untorque due to vibration.

Riding gear: Most racetracks require full leathers (at least zipped together), and though you can rent gear, it won't fit nearly as well as something of your own, and I highly recommend adding a back protector if your suit doesn't already equipped. Most tracks also require "gauntlet" style gloves and race boots, and a decent helmet.

Another thing you'll discover is how useful an undersuit is.  Unless the seasons are just changing, you will sweat, and leather is difficult to get on and off. 

Casual gear is also very important as well, as you'll have a bit of down time between sessions.  I usually bring gym shorts and flip-flops at the least to relax when I'm not in the middle of a lap. 

A tire pressure sensor gauge. Tire pressure can be a matter of life or death, so check with your manufacturer and run the recommended settings.  Tires also heat up over the course of the day, so measure between every session in the mornings.

Painters tape will be required to cover your headlights and any other glass / plastic bits that might shatter if you go down. 

Water Hydration is the key to most sports, and motorcycle racing is no different.  You'll sweat a lot, and need more water than usual, and there probably won't be fountains when you're going. 

Track Day Essentials

Pop up canopy I cannot stress that a pop up is not a luxury; it is needed to not be miserable sitting in the hot sun.  You'll want to relax as well, so a cheap folding camping chair can be bought for $25-30.  
                                                                        Gas can Whether you're running 93 or 101 octane gase, if you're pushing hard, you will go through more than one tank of gas, and very few tracks have on-site filling stations. 
Tools Bring a ratchet set and a set of Allen keys at the very least should you need to make some quick adjustments to your bike.  Duct tape and zip ties eternally useful to have on hand as well.  To be on the safe side, chain lube and brake fluid can also be really useful as well. 

Earplugs Even if your bike isn't super loud, other peoples bikes will thunder in your head. 

Cooler Stay hydrated and power up.  Nothing is so nice as a cold gatorade, or a cold beer at the end of a track day. 

Toiletries are also a "must have" if you're going over night.  I might also include ibuprofen, sunscreen and some towels as well. 

Track Day Optional

Camera I bring my GoPro to each track day, to check my lines but also keep track of my lap times (and it's cheaper than a lap timer). Plus, I get some pretty great footage. 

A tent is awesome if you can camp at the track, but don't forget a sleeping bag, a pad, and cooking gear as well, including utensils and such. 

Fold out tables are great as well, if you have the room.  I use the back of my truck to stash my helmet and my phone, but I wish I had a poker table. 

Track Day Advanced

A generator can power a fan or a grill, or an air compressor for your tires. 

Tire warmers allow you to start doing hot laps immediately, but you'll need power (see above) and front and rear stands.

Lap timers  are mostly used by the pro, but incredibly helpful to measure your pace throughout the day, if you don't want to go back and go thru video footage later. 
Spare tires, brake pads

© 2017 Tigh Loughhead

Gotham at ProItalia in Glendale California

 For reasons that haven't been resolved yet, I haven't posted about our ride to California to celebrate Jon's bachelor party.

Rockwell Cycles Track Day at NYST

My goal is 10 track days this season... a weekend per month.
Tigh Loughhead of Gotham Ducati Racing Motorcycles at New York Safety Track
Credit: Anthony Collins Photography

Harlem Superbike School

Every weekend, when the mercury rises above 60 degrees, my boys and I are out at sunrise to participate in a ritual we like to call Harlem Superbike School.

We wake up around 4:30 or 5

Racing Ducati 848s at New York Safety Track

Tigh Loughhead of Gotham Ducati rides an 848 at New York Safety Track
My buddy Jeff and I had been planning on racing Ducati Motorcycles at New York Safety Track for months now, having joined a race outfit called EvolveGT back on Black Friday last year, which gives discounts on track days.

848 1098 1198 Track Day Motorcycle Tire Prep at New York Motor Works

Back at Jeff's New York Motor Works. I'm itching to get to the track, but I need new tires.

Ducati New York Grand Opening in Soho

Last night I had the opportunity to attend Ducati's official "Grand Opening" in Soho.   Ducati Soho (the moniker by which the shop is more colloquially known) has been around for years, but the owner of Ducati’s most prolific franchise decided last year to divest the Triumph brand from his lineup, becoming Ducati’s flagship dealership globally.
Tigh Loughhead and Jorge Lorenzo at Ducati New York Grand Opening in Soho

Gotham Ducati NYC Desmo Owners Club

Introducing Gotham Ducati, New York City's first and only DOC officially sponsored by the Ducati factory in Italy.  There are numerous riding and social clubs, as well as groups built around track days around the tri-state area.  There also quite a few Ducati fan clubs, spanning New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, but until now, there hasn't ever been a dedicated club celebrating New Yorkers who ride Ducati motorcycles.
Gotham DOC DOCNYC New York Ducati Owners Club Manhattan Desmo NYC

Track Weapon: Ducshop 848 1098 1198 Race Bike

SoCal 5: Ducati Westlake in Thousand Oaks

Although my situation could have been better (result of the at the end of this post), the first think you notice when you arrive at Ducati Westlake is that the motorcycle shop is nestled in between a Maserati and a Bentley dealership.
The size of the outfit is impressive, sitting on a parking lot filled with gift-wrapped luxury automobiles, and driving in, you really feel like you have reached the Los Angeles suburbs of Southern California.

SoCal 4: Desperately Scrambling Down to Los Angeles on a Bad Bike

I am loath to disparage other motorcyclists.  Riding is a small community, and yet there are certain transgressions that are unforgivable, and this happened today when Mo at EagleRider San Francisco put me on an unsafe bike that nearly killed me due to his neglect.

Tigho Ducati Blog List:

Rides gone by...