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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK. The long-awaited, much anticipated Christmas bonus has come in. [thumbsup] My credit cards are paid off. The bikes are paid off and seem to be in decent running shape. I'm squirrelling away a few bucks for retirement and I have a small sum left over in my savings for...trackdays. >:D So now I'm trying to figure out how to budget for a trackday at each of the tracks that I could be going to this year: Sears/Infineon, Buttonwillow, Thunderhill, Reno/Fernely, Laguna Seca (others?)

I've done a search here and on BARF, and as I suspected, nothing good has come up yet. Maybe I'm not typing in the right keywords. There's lots on racing budgets, but not much on trackdays for us regular folks. I'm also becoming aware that each track has different costs associated with it depending on how far it is from me and how popular the track is. I'm hoping you track junkies can help me out...

So here's what I have:

1. Leathers/gear
2. Bike
3. Tools
4. Gas Can
5. Chairs
6. EZ Up
7. Small collapsible table
8. Borrowed truck - I usually buy a dinner or a detailing of said truck as a thank you
9. Sport chock
10. Rear stand
11. Sleeping bag
12. Life insurance
13. Helicopter flight insurance
14. Savings to cover max. out-of-pocket expenses that my med. ins. won't cover in case of crash.
14. Misc

Here's what I think I still need:
1. Tie downs
2. Ramp(s) (I'm going to try making one...a 2x10 and some parts--we'll see how it goes. ;D)
3. Shelter (I'm going to try making a tent thing to go over the back of the truck--well see how that goes too. )
4. Ice Chest
5. Misc
6. Actually buying the trackdays :D
7. Recurring costs: tires, gas, maintenance



Those are upfront costs that I know I still need to deal with. Now I'm left with budgeting gas to/from each location and lodging. I know there's also food costs--I'm pretty good about packing my own food, but the 'Belle likes her burgers... [cheeky]

So I go through this financial song and dance thinking I've got all my proverbial ducks in a row, and I always end up blowing my budget for my trackday. There's always something I needed to get at the last minute or something that I wasn't prepared for. I'm still pretty new at this, so I haven't got a routine down yet.

If y'all wouldn't mind sharing with me what you budget in for each track, it would be very helpful. Or, if you could just let me know anything I'm forgetting or what kinds of things you factor in... I'm shooting from the hip and thinking $500 per day at any track should cover me. I'd like to be a little more accurate and whittle that number down where I can.

T.I.A. for your input. :)
 

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Here is what a trackday costs:

trackday fee $180

tires - depending on what rate you use up your tires - think no more than four days for a pair - fresh tires are huge in confidence and improving times. I think you can go with 208gp's for $300 - divided by 4 = $75

Gas to get there and back - my truck uses one tank of gas at $55 for the trip to THill and one full tank of gas in the bike is $12

Food - 10 bucks for a burger at the THill Grill

Hmmmm, I think that's it... well then theres the addiction part of it which will end up costing about $50000.

See you out there!
 
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as far as the the ramp goes, IMHO homemade ramp outta wood that are strong enough for a bike tend to be really heavy. Also the fact that the don't fold makes it worth it to buy a metal ramp or find a friend that has one that you con borrow.[pouting] Other than that I am jealous that you have a track bike along with everybody else in the MOB and I don't :'( [/end pouting]

[thumbsup]
 

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Track Bike: $2000

Track Day: $200

Making ******* whoopie under a tent in the back of a pickup next to the track: Priceless

[thumbsup]
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
datv said:
Here is what a trackday costs:

trackday fee $180

tires - depending on what rate you use up your tires - think no more than four days for a pair - fresh tires are huge in confidence and improving times. I think you can go with 208gp's for $300 - divided by 4 = $75

Gas to get there and back - my truck uses one tank of gas at $55 for the trip to THill and one full tank of gas in the bike is $12

Food - 10 bucks for a burger at the THill Grill

Hmmmm, I think that's it... well then theres the addiction part of it which will end up costing about $50000.

See you out there!
I'm still pretty slow and I have small, light bike, so I'm hoping that tire consumption isn't too aggressive. I agree with you that tires aren't the place to skimp however.

Gas is a bigger one for me. The truck that Enzo and I borrow lives out in Sacramento and it's a diesel. It's still cheaper than renting a vehicle, but it's significant. Even if we borrow a local truck, like we have in the past, we usually give the lender a little something in return for his generosity... The upside is that we don't have to deal with a truck the rest of the time that we don't need one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
pt33 said:
as far as the the ramp goes, IMHO homemade ramp outta wood that are strong enough for a bike tend to be really heavy. Also the fact that the don't fold makes it worth it to buy a metal ramp or find a friend that has one that you con borrow. [pouting] Other than that I am jealous that you have a track bike along with everybody else in the MOB and I don't :'( [/end pouting]

[thumbsup]
you make a good point...and I've been thinking about this. I need a ramp for the bike and another for me. I'm not tall enough to get the bike into the back of the truck walking on top of an ice chest like you guys do and pushing the bike up a ramp. I was thinking of getting an ATV ramp so that I could ride it up...and am still entertaining that. My other thought was to get a traditional aluminum ramp for the bike and then to make another with a board so that I could walk up it next to the bike, using the motor to get the bike up. I think I'm going to go that last route, and I can put a hinge in the board so that it folds up compactly. I need to price out ATV ramps and see how small they fold up. I found a regular ramp for $99 today at GodSpeed. Seems like a good price...I might pick it up.
 

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Mostrobelle said:
-------------------snip-------------------
Here's what I think I still need:
1. Tie downs
Get 4, 2 for the front and 2 for the back.
Peace of mind in knowing your bike is *securely* tied down is worth a lot.
I've had good luck with the Ancra brand.
Depending on the bike, some soft hooks can make it a lot easier:



2. Ramp(s) (I'm going to try making one...a 2x10 and some parts--we'll see how it goes. ;D)
Wood ramps are heavy, yes, but also they're cheap and not so inviting from the theft standpoint....
You'll need a *really* robust hinge for a wood ramp...
You can get a folding aluminum ramp for about $60.
Try to get one that's 8 feet long or so, it just makes it a bit easier
I would think that you could borrow a good ramp from one of the MOB....
I motor my bike up the ramp all the time.
It helps to have an assistant as well, at best, the loading procedure is sketchy


3. Shelter (I'm going to try making a tent thing to go over the back of the truck--well see how that goes too. )
You can use many of the E-Z Ups for shelter over the bed of the truck, by not extending the legs.
Just tie it down (loosely) to the bed so it doesn't blow away in the middle of the night if the wind comes up.
As an alternative, you could get a small camping tent, even the cheap ones are pretty slick.

4. Ice Chest
5. Misc
Get some kind of sleeping pad, the truck bed is cold and hard and lumpy.
I've slept on a piece of that wavy ortho-foam about 4" thick, pretty awesome.

One of those thick shipping blankets, in case you've got to change a flat tire or lay on the ground to work on your bike or whatever...I hate laying on gravelly pavement.

Trash can; it beats walking to the ones that are there at the track, or parking next to one that everyone else is using....

Service manual and owner's manual

Chain (or cable) and lock.

The big plastic tote bins are fantastic for storing nad transporting stuff, and if you get the right kind, they're pretty waterproof.
Unfortunately, those ones usually have seperate lids.
Make a lanyard to attach the lid to the bottom so it doesn't blow away.

Spares and general supplies:
Levers
Duct tape
zipties
tire pump
basic first-aid kit

LOGBOOK:



I get one of these for every vehicle I've got.
It's a small, bound book, I got my last one at Staples or Office Depot.
I record gas, oil, repairs, maintenance, mods, basic specs, suspension settings, tire pressures, etc.
I got a full-size lab notebook for my last racebike.
Worth it's weight in gold.
And it's a good place for stickers that I'd rather not put on my streetbike.


6. Actually buying the trackdays :D
7. Recurring costs: tires, gas, maintenance

---------snip-------------
There's always something I needed to get at the last minute or something that I wasn't prepared for. I'm still pretty new at this, so I haven't got a routine down yet.

In my experience over about 2 decades of racing, that's just the way it goes, you can't foresee everything.
You're off to a good start, though.
Before you go, make a list of all the things you want to take.
As you pack up, check 'em off.
Take the list with you, and add to it whenever you discover something you wish you had...be fanatical about it, if you wait to write it down, it will escape.
Don't loan anything to anybody without some kind of collateral... not that folks necessarily try to rip you off, but they forget (and so do you) in the alien environment.

---------snip-------------
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wow. Thanks! [thumbsup] There's a lot of good stuff in that post, including some logistical stuff that I hadn't considered. Kewl. :)

...and here's a real stupid thing that 99% of you don't have to worry about: I'm small and weak. I actually tweaked my back a little a couple of weeks ago lifting something that was just too heavy for me. I knew it and decided to do it anyway. Dumb. Real dumb. A brief, painful series of muscle spasms later, I opted to go about moving this thing another way. So I'm trying to get everything as light and as compact as possible, so that I can manage it alone if necessary.
 

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Belle, your list is going to be useful for me later. So thanks [thumbsup]

I think a potta-potty (one of those small ones for potty training would do), assuming you aren't parked close to a toilet ;D
 

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I highly recommend checklists, both for the bike and for packing. Here are mine:

Bike Prep:
Check front and rear brake pads
Check oil level
Check levers, throttle and cables
Check for leaks
Check loose bolts
Remove mirrors
Unplug fuses
Tape turn signals, tail light, (headlight)
Bike gassed up
Suspension: Front: Comp 6 (bottom of fork)
Suspension: Front: Rbnd 9 (top of fork)
Suspension: Rear Lo Comp 15 (screw inside nut, top)
Suspension: Rear Hi Comp 30 (12mm nut)
Suspension: Rear Rbnd 14 (rt side, bottom of shock)
Check batteries in lap timer
Replace exhaust if going to Laguna


Packing:
Bike key
Tool box
Rear stand
Ramp
Canyon dancer, tiedowns, extensions
Lap timer & spare batteries
Zipties
Tire pressure gauge
Tire pump
Gaffer tape
Oil
Plexus & microfiber cloth
Towels
Gas jug
Leathers, Boots, Gloves
Ear plugs
Spare visor
Back protector
Capilene underwear (mid or light wt.)
Spare change of clothes & hat
Aleve
Snacks, drinks
Cellphone (charged)
Notebook & pen
Money
Glasses case
Neck tube/Buff
EZ-Up canopy
Chair
Fake grass
Ice chest & ice
Sunscreen
Lock (as needed)
Winddblock vest/pants (as needed)
Rain gear (as needed)
Respro foggy mask (as needed)
Fog-X / Rain-X (as needed)

So basically you have most of the stuff you'll need. I'd definitely get a folding ramp or even the amazing ride-up jobbie (I think it is for quads) that Adrian has, especially if your back isn't up to the task. I'd also recommend the Ancra tiedowns, they stretch less than the cheaper ones. Avoid at all costs the sooper-cheap POS ones from Home Depot and the like. They are garbage. Ice chests are cheap, so get one strong enough to stand on for bike loading (unless you get the whizzy ramp). When it's 11ty billion degrees at Thill you'll really want all the drinks you can stand.

Tires and gas will be your main expenses, in addition to the trackdays of course. The initial hit buying all the up front items is the worst, and you're pretty much past that.
 

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Those are some pretty good lists. We should probably compile one master list for reference and also post it to the FAQ section on the DML and/or in the racing/track days section.

Lots of aleve if your name rhymes with "shmeorge."

Also I'd recommend "fluids" -- have brake and clutch fluid on-hand. You should bleed / flush your fluids every few days, as well.

I'll try to type up a complete list of everything I bring, but it's comprehensive. I have the tools on-hand to do pretty musch everything except drop the motor. For back-to-back track days (which are great) I come prepared to repair any "small" breaks that could occur on the bike (bodywork repair, spare lever, spare pegs -- mostly). Then again, I also roll to the track with tire-changing equipment... ::) Literally I have the tools to disassemble: clutch, take off the forks, remove front wheel, real wheel, rear swingarm, exhaust, airbox, triples, etc. I don't normally pull all that stuff off at once, but I've touched probably each of those over the course of the season.

For hot days... I ran into a product at the IMS show that another AFM guy vouched for -- it's called a "chilly pad". It's similar to those freeze/gel "cool ties" that were all the rage this year, but they don't need to be frozen. Just dip them in ambient-tepmerature water and as teh water evaporates, the temperature of the wet pad drops as much as 20 degrees below ambient. www.rainonme.com

Tigre
 

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Bad Dog said:
and....real grass ?
Umm. Not so much. [laugh] It's a tacky bit of astroturf bequeathed to me by Fast Elvis. Nice to have for your pit area.

Tigre said:
Those are some pretty good lists. We should probably compile one master list for reference and also post it to the FAQ section on the DML and/or in the racing/track days section.

Lots of aleve if your name rhymes with "shmeorge."

Also I'd recommend "fluids" -- have brake and clutch fluid on-hand. You should bleed / flush your fluids every few days, as well.

I'll try to type up a complete list of everything I bring, but it's comprehensive. I have the tools on-hand to do pretty musch everything except drop the motor. For back-to-back track days (which are great) I come prepared to repair any "small" breaks that could occur on the bike (bodywork repair, spare lever, spare pegs -- mostly). Then again, I also roll to the track with tire-changing equipment... ::) Literally I have the tools to disassemble: clutch, take off the forks, remove front wheel, real wheel, rear swingarm, exhaust, airbox, triples, etc. I don't normally pull all that stuff off at once, but I've touched probably each of those over the course of the season.

For hot days... I ran into a product at the IMS show that another AFM guy vouched for -- it's called a "chilly pad". It's similar to those freeze/gel "cool ties" that were all the rage this year, but they don't need to be frozen. Just dip them in ambient-tepmerature water and as teh water evaporates, the temperature of the wet pad drops as much as 20 degrees below ambient. www.rainonme.com

Tigre
Uh, Steve, nobody carries around as much cr*p as you do! [laugh] [laugh] [laugh]

At the Keigwin 2 day school they gave out those neck things - basically dunk in cold water and it evaporates during the session. Very nice for those inferno-like Thill days.

The bleeding thing is news to me. Would you say that applies to old, slow guys like me, or just the bleeding-edge racer crowd?
 

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I think lists like this scare people from going to trackdays. All you *really* need is a ramp, tie downs, your gear and your bike. If you're going regularly, or are going for more than 1 day at a time, then you should start thinking about getting together a whole set-up.

Your main costs are tires (don't skimp), gas, food (bring your own--buying adds up quickly), crashing and maintenance. If you don't want your trackbike to blow-up, you have to be more regular about maintenance than you would be otherwise. Budget for more frequent oil changes with good synthetic oil. Bleed your brakes regularly.

If you are seriously thinking about camping out, I've started using an aerobed in a tent. The tent only cost like $60 or $70 or something. It doesn't have to be one you'd backpack with, so pretty much any crappy but large tent will do.

For carrying around all your crap, buy some giant tupperware (kinda like the stuff you already have in your garage) or large plastic paint buckets with lids.
 

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Michael Moore said:
The bleeding thing is news to me. Would you say that applies to old, slow guys like me, or just the bleeding-edge racer crowd?
I've started bleeding my brakes pretty regularly. First, I've found that I cook normal brake fluid pretty fast. The good stuff--the Motul 500--lasts longer. Second, part of this is that the 250 has crappy, crappy brakes, but they feel MUCH better after each bleed, even if they only have a day or two on them. My brake fluid is pretty dirty by the time I bleed 'em.

Give it shot and see if you can feel a difference. If you're not getting any brake fade and you can't feel any difference, there's not *that* much need for it. I've found that I pretty much have to do it. I figure it's super easy to do, doesn't really cost anything, and doesn't take that long at all. Might as well do it.
 

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Spidey said:
I think lists like this scare people from going to trackdays. All you *really* need is a ramp, tie downs, your gear and your bike. If you're going regularly, or are going for more than 1 day at a time, then you should start thinking about getting together a whole set-up.
------------------snip-------------------
That's true.
I think if we segregate the list into 'must have', 'should have', and 'nice to have', it'll make it less scary to people.

<explanation>
The bulk of my fanatacism/OCD affliction comes from a racing background, and specifically the Speed Trials racing.
Many times, I had the chance to do *one* run per event.
Often, during the month between events, the bike had been torn down 75% of the way to individual parts, and the cases split as well.
Hence, the logbook I mentioned (plus a pre-run checklist, and bike setup/run result form that I didn't mention).
It didn't take many aborted or unsuccessful runs to prove that being over-prepared was absolutely essential.

I feel Steve's pain [cheeky].
</explanation>
 

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Spidey said:
I think lists like this scare people from going to trackdays. All you *really* need is a ramp, tie downs, your gear and your bike. If you're going regularly, or are going for more than 1 day at a time, then you should start thinking about getting together a whole set-up.
Well, put that way, you can ride to a trackday and just pull off the mirrors when you get there.

So here's my list with the must-haves bolded, and annotated:

Packing:
Bike key
Tool box
Rear stand
Ramp
Canyon dancer, tiedowns, extensions (I use a sportchock now, so need fewer tiedowns)
Lap timer & spare batteries
Zipties
Tire pressure gauge
Tire pump

Gaffer tape
Oil
Plexus & microfiber cloth Some days are real bug-fests
Towels
Gas jug
Leathers, Boots, Gloves
Ear plugs
Spare visor
Back protector
Capilene underwear (mid or light wt.)
Spare change of clothes & hat
Aleve
Snacks, drinks
Cellphone (charged)
Notebook & pen
Money
Glasses case
Neck tube/Buff
EZ-Up canopy
Chair
Fake grass
Ice chest & ice
Sunscreen
Lock (as needed - only if going overnight)
Winddblock vest/pants (as needed for cold)
Rain gear (as needed for rain)
Respro foggy mask (as needed for rain or cold)
Fog-X / Rain-X (as needed for rain)

(although I pretty much bag it if it is raining more than a tiny bit.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Obviously I'm going for the more bare bones approach to track days. I don't do that many. I'm not mechanically adept enough to fix a major problem at the track either. Carrying more than a few tools and some of the necessities seems like a lot of hassle at this point.

The simplicity of taking the Monster to the track was a lot of fun for me. I liked rolling up and taping my lights as I waited in line at tech. [thumbsup] Having a dedicated track bike is almostas easy.

I've added one item to my "need to get" list: a laptimer. I didn't use one last year because I thought it would make me focus on speed and not good technique. I think I'm getting good enough now to need the laptimer so that I can judge what stuff works and what doesn't. I might go the aerobed route for a bed at the track, but I'm leaning towards a big piece of foam, as it doesn't need inflating. I'm going to buy a canvas tarp and some pvc pipe and see what I can do about putting together a make-shift shelter over the back of the truck to sleep in. I'm still working on some options for ramps.
 

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If you planning on camping at T-hil, get a tent. the bugs will swarm all over you and the mosquito's will eat you for dinner. Oh and bring bug spray.

costs for day for me:

T-Hill day= $180
Gas in the truck=(30 gals) $80
Gas for the bike= (4 gals) $12
Tire cost $210(-50 for take off sale) /8 days =$20
Food/snacks/water/ =$20
Oil change every 4 days = $7.5
misc fluids = $5
;) Frame straighting= $400
Misc wear and tear on bike=$44
(this number is based on the once a year maintenance items divided by the number of track days.includes engine rebuild, changing fork fluid, brake fluid flush, radiator flush, brake pads)

so based on these numbers $368.5, on a good day ;)
 
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