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

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