After seeing numerous requests for info on what to do on "my first trackday" I thought this would be a useful place for everyone to post their hints and tips, their dos and don'ts for trackdays, as well as any information relevant to specific tracks or trackday organisers (noise limits, leathers requirements, licence requirements etc)

General Tips


Check your tyres have plenty of tread. Track surfaces are much grippier and so more abrasive than the road, so you don't want to be riding home on slicks. Be aware of suitable tyre pressures for riding on a track. Riding on road tyres at road pressures will tend to overheat them, leading to the tyres losing some grip. a *rough* guide would be to drop 10 psi (cold) from the tyres (front and rear). The tyre technician at the trackday will be able to give you specific advice. Don't forget to reinflate your tyres before riding home. For a first trackday, especially if it at all damp, leave your tyres at road pressures for the first few sessions. You are unlikely to overheat them unless you are a riding god, and there's little worse than tipping into The Hairpin at Cadwell in the damp on your first ever track lap with a half inflated front tyre, except perhaps one where it is brand new and the muppets have left it at the 50psi they put in to seat it on the rim.


Take a jerry-can or two with you and fill up outside the track. You'll use far more fuel than normal, and track pump prices usually involve you bending over and lubing up.


Check your oil, and take some with you just in case. If your bike has a habit of using oil then, like fuel, you'll use more than normal.


Make sure it's lubed, but if you have a scot-oiler, then remove it or at least turn it right down. A lot of tracks don't like the idea of oil being dripped out along the way. Make sure it's adjusted correctly as well.


Taking things like spare levers and a spare gear and brake pedal, and potentially some spare clip-on tubes can save your day after a minor spill. Gaffer tape and zip ties are also very handy. A selection of basic tools will also prove useful. These can all be taken in a rucksack.

Due to the large number of dedicated race bikes at trackdays now, several people are likely to have full toolkits with portable drills, etc, so should the worst happen, there is a high chance your machine can be cobbled together and you can be back on track fairly soon.

Lights and glass

Take some tape for your mirrors and lights. If you drop it, and the glass is taped up, it's less likely to cover the track with shards that can cause punctures. Also, if you have daytime running lights, then unplug them. Leaving hot lights on when the lens is taped up can knacker your headlights


Ensure your cooling system is working well and topped up. Modern engines need the correct mix of anti-freeze and distilled water to function correctly and fight corrosion, especially at high temperatures and water pump speeds.

Lids and Leathers

  • Leathers: Make sure you have leathers with a full length zip. Some places might let you on with textiles, but leathers are always preferred
  • Helmet: As long as your helmet is full-face, has an EC, BSI or TUV sticker then it shoud be fine. The lack of an ACU Gold isn't normally an issue, as long as it's obvious the lid is of decent quality. Make sure it's done up prior to going on track. This will be checked.
  • Visor: Remember to have your visor down, the amount of rubber thrown up by other bikes is very high.


  • Don't forget to take Both parts!


  • Get there early: You'll need to do a safety briefing, most likely, and normally the track opens pretty much as soon as that's finished. Don't lose out on tracktime by not being ready in plenty of time.
  • Use all the track - you're not limited to one side as per the road! If there are any cones on the track (usually denoting turn-in, clipping (or Apex) points, and occasionally, the exit point) make sure you get used to using these. Aim to join them together in a fluid arc, rather than trying to join the dots with straight lines. As you get faster, move them to your peripheral vision. Once you've done several days, the 'racing line' starts to become more instinctive.
  • Focus on *your* time on track. Don't worry about those people around you - if they are faster than you are, it's the responsibility of rider who is behind you to make a safe overtake. Riding in a smooth manner will make this easier for others to judge an appropriate moment to do this. Ride at your own pace. If you feel tired before the session has ended, come in for a rest. You'll be out on track again with the hour!
  • Tape over your speedo. Leave the rev counter. On the track, speed is irrelevant, and you'll only get distracted by it.
  • Knee sliders: do NOT take spraky metal knee sliders. You will be asked to remove them. There's nothing more off-puting than sparks coming off the bike in front of you on a bend. I want to know that sparks="he's grinding bits off bike,and might go down! get out the fking way" and not "he's showboating"
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of (non caffeinated) fluids, and rest between sessions. It's far more dehydrating and tiring than you think. Also eat light. Its surprising how trackside delicacies such as pie and chips will make you feel sleepy and less assertive on the track
  • Getting there and going home: If you're riding to/from the track, then PLEASE take it easy on the way home. Don't forget the road is rougher, slippier and has less runoff. It might seem obvious, but I'm always amazed by the number of people who rag it out of the track and bin it on the first bend on the way home.
  • Bike problems: If you suspect there is a problem with your bike not running correctly, revving it repeatedly whilst the engine is not under load in the pits is not going to help diagnose the problem. Ask around for help. Everyone also knows what a race can sounds like, so bouncing off the limiter is not big or clever.
  • Make friends with the people in your pit/garage: It's amazing how many tools/pump/cups of coffee from their kettle you may be offered once you've said hello with a smile. They can also help gather your stuff in the unlikely event of you having an off.
  • Wet weather: This is an exercise in being smooth. Try and take nice wide arcs when turning (using all the track). Brake in a stragit line, and treat the throttle like a tube of toothpaste (i.e. squeeeeze it gently just as you're tipping into the corner). Be aware that although the surface on most tracks is based upon a different type of tarmac to the road and is still fairly grippy when wet, it can be slippy if your trackday is after a car race meeting where there are rubber 'marbles' on track, or even where the surface has become worn. Donnington is famous for slippy patches! Build up your pace gradually. Don't try and keep up with the guy who has just gone past you, who may be riding on full wets....

Trackday Organisers

(This is just a list of organisers. They are neither endorsed nor recommended simply by being present here)

Focussed Events
No Limits
Motorcycle Folly
Club MSV / MotorSport Vision

Hope for the best but plan for the worst.

While the vast majority of track days are great fun and happen without any issues, there are still occasions where things go wrong. Have an outline plan as to what will happen if your bike gets damaged/breaks and can’t be ridden home. Who will you call if you need to recover your bike? (Check that the AA/RAC etc. are OK to recover a bike that has been crashed at a track day – they may not!) Where will you leave your bike if it can’t be recovered immediately?

Likewise, have an outline plan to handle the situation where you are unable to ride. If you are injured then you will likely be dropped off at the local hospital A&E by the track medics. After that you will be on your own. Who should be contacted? Who will take responsibility for sorting out your bike?

A simple list of names and numbers may well stop what is already a difficult situation becoming a major crisis.


Cadwell Park

Google maps satellite view of track
Feef's top tips...
Here's my take on the track, the bends and what to do.
Old hairpin:
brake early, keep to the far left on the entry, and turn early, so you'll be on the power earlier than most, and can pass on the inside on your way to Barn.

Barn: is slightly off-camber, and is the slowest drying part of the track. I'll not say "take is easy" but certainly be aware the track can be cold and damp here when the rest of the track is dry and grippy.

Coppice: CAN be taken WFO, but unless you have balls of steel you'll probably brake a little at the end of the straight. As the day goes on, try not to, and just knock it down a gear and use engine braking on the entry, and then tip it over and get on the gas. You'll find yourself passing peope on the inside into charlies 1

Charlies 1 and 2. From charlies 1 into 2 is blind. USE the cone markers to find the apex, don't panic that you can't see the track. IT was there last lap, and it hasn't moved wink

Park: You can often outbrake people into Park.

Chris Curve: is Fun!

Gooseneck: be prepared for a bit of quick shifting to the left.

Mansfield: The only proper left-hander, and at the bottom of a hill. There seems to be many ways into this corner, but bear in mind it IS the only real left hander, so your tyres will be a little colder on that side. Try going down the inside and braking later, but don't be a smile

Chicane: Is horrible. Do what you can to get thru

Mountain complex: nice left right, and then up the hill. If you're taking the mountain in 2nd gear, keep your weight over the front wheel, otherwise you WILL need those spare undies. The further to the right you go, the more chance of lifting the front (until you're RIGHT over where the lip levels off, but you're getting close to the grass then)


Abingdon Airfield has top quality tarmac with a good mix of corners, long straights and run off area.


Located on the outskirts of Liverpool, Aintree is a largely flat, easy-to-learn circuit.


A brand new circuit layout for 2007 and one of only two racing circuits in Wales. Anglesey is fast becoming a very popular track day venue.

Brands Hatch

Brands Hatch has been home to British Motor Sports since 1926, constantly updated and upgraded it is now home to some of the best car and motorcycle races in the world.
As well as track days in your own vehicle there is also a great range of Driving Experiences available.

Castle Combe

One of th fastest circuits in the country with good run off on most corners however riders must be careful as they travel along the start / finish straight, this leads into a gentle right hander and Avon Rise, as you travel over this the suspension extends and it can compromise your braking becuase just after Avon Rise is a left hand corner which leads directly into a sharp right hander called Quarry, and it is at Quarry that a large number of accidents occur as people carry too much speed through Avon Rise and run out of track / talent.


Croft is an International Motor Racing Circuit which as well as hosting track day events is used for the British Touring Car and British Superbike Championships.

Donington Park

Great fast, flowing circuit. Due to the proximity of East Midlands airport, when the jets take off they tend to dump fuel vapour on the circuit. In the dry this is not noticable at all, but in the wet, the track can be noticably more slippy than other circuits in the wet.

Be careful with your lines, especially tipping into Redgate late to allow you to get back on the power early to carry the speed through into the right hander into Craner curves. The old hairpin is much faster than you think it is upon approach, and can be apexed fairly late. Through starkeys (under the bridge) is flat out, although you'll need to physically handle the bike over to the left hand side of the circuit to get ready for Mcleans. After mcleans you're going uphill towards Coppice, which is a blind entry double apex corner. Make sure you DON'T tip in too early for this corner, as you compromise both your line and your exit speed. Coming out of the corner if you have enough speed and are fairly light on a big bike, you may lift the front wheel slightly coming under the Dunlop bridge. Stay on the gas. The front will settle very quickly. Make sure you get your braking sorted for the next left/right (depends which circuit you're doing) as both can be taken fairly quickly, but several riders outbrake themselves here.

If you're doing the international circuit (turn LEFT after the dunlop bridge and use the 'melbourne loop') this is fairly straight forward, but beware the high side coming out of the hairpin, and again there are often instances of people out braking themselves after coming back up the hill to the 180 degree left on the the st/finish straight.

If you doing the national circuit (turn RIGHT after the dunlop bridge), it can be easy to end up right on the curbs on the right hand side of the track if you're pushing on. If you end up on the grass, don't panic, just carry on and rejoin the track (staying on the far right) as soon as possible.


Although renowned for it's road racing and tarmac rallies, Jurby is the only permanent circuit available on the Isle of Man.


Knockhill is Scotland's only permanent racing facility created by linking service roads and a disused railway line to form the simple, yet demanding layout.


One of the shorter circuits in the UK located in the South East near Dover.
more info.

Mallory Park

Oulton Park


One of only two racing circuits in Wales. Pembrey is an extremely popular Bike track day venue.


A unique venue with the fastest circuit in the UK.


A very quick track, where it's essential to ensure you're in the correct group due to the probability of either cutting someone up inadvertently, or needing to stand the bike up mid corner and take someone who's going round the outside out. If you go in the inters/quick group, you need to be able to hold your line no matter what speed you go in at....

Updated in time for the start of the 2010 season, Silverstone features 5 different track layouts – Bridge GP (original GP layout with some slight alterations), the new ‘Arena’ GP as well as the shorter National, Southern and Stowe circuits.

The two GP layouts share many of the same corners – starting from the pit straight you hit Copse (v fast sweeping right) then the complex of Maggots, Becketts and the now tighter Chapel, before hitting Hangar straight, the fastest part of the circuit. Another fast sweep right (Stowe) then hit the anchors for Vale, a sharp left (again made tighter in 2010) before flipping right into the modified Club corner, a double apex, fast right. Another straight leads you to Abbey, which is where the two layouts split:

-Arena GP: Abbey is a fast right, leading you into the new section. It’s quickly followed by a fast left then a tighter right before a left hand hairpin. Exit the hairpin wide to get ready for the left hand kink that follows it, bringing you out onto National straight. It’s then a short blast up to Brooklands (a fast, wide left), where the two layouts re-join.

-Bridge GP: Abbey is a sharp left-right that leads you out onto a short straight under the bridge and into the superb Bridge corner, a fast, blind right hander. The track here is very wide so the next left, Coppice, can be taken quickly too, but watch out for the unhelpful camber. Straight after that it’s round Brooklands, another fast left, where the Arena GP layout rejoins.

After Brooklands corner, on both tracks, you finish your lap with Luffield (a long, sweeping right) followed by Woodcote, an extremely fast right that brings you back onto the pit straight – The unpleasant Z chicane section that bypassed Luffield and Woodcote was removed as part of the alterations in 2010.

Being such a quick circuit there’s lots to watch out for. Many of the corners, and especially, Copse, Stowe, Arena GP’s Abbey, Bridge and Woodcote can be taken very quickly by experienced riders. This is very exhilarating, of course, but any mishaps at these kind of speeds are likely to hurt the body and/or the wallet significantly. Watch out especially at Woodcote – it’s only a kink but if you turn in too early it’s very easy to run wide and off the track.

Good facilities and restaurant. A couple of bike shops (mainly Italian related) just outside the main entrance (almost opposite the main security booth) - useful for emergency help. A very well stocked motor factor is just next door (Silverstone Motor factors).


A fast and open circuit, perfect for beginners.

Three Sisters


The Small Print
Please note: The information, hints and tips given in this article are based on the opinion and experiences of forum members, and is worth exactly what you've paid for it. Use your noggin and evaluate any recommendations, and don't just follow advice blindly. Don't be afraid to ask for clarification or more information, as it's better that than you kill yourself while running off the track with a seized chain and flat tyres because you misunderstood something.