Thinking of taking your motorcycle to enjoy riding on the track? You sure can do that. Racing tracks are not just for sports and racing motorcycles. But you have to prepare the motorcycle for the track ride and then yourself too. You will learn a lot about your ride, enhance your riding abilities, and put the fear off, and most importantly have a lot of fun.
To have fun while keeping yourself safe you have to prepare yourself with a motorcycle riding jacket, pants, gloves, boots and of course a helmet. This is why we are here for. Let’s have a look at how you can prepare your outfit and be ready for riding and enjoy your bike on the track.
A complete motorcycle riding suit is always necessary, either you are riding on a track or roads. Some track organizations have specific requirements so check with yours beforehand to avoid any problems. If you are going on a non-sports bike day you can wear textile gear but otherwise, most organizations do not allow them.
Having the gear in which you feel comfortable riding is important. This way you can also use it as daily riding gear, bringing it to use rather than using it once a year. Two-piece gear with a jacket to pants attachment is beneficial as you can wear either or both of them when needed. On the other hand, you can just go have a rental suit there. But if you want something specific and cool like a vintage motorcycle jacket, buy it separately. Then attach it with the pants you already have or the rental ones.
It is important to make sure the suit has protective qualities. High-quality leather means better protection but costs more. The fitting should be snug and the suit should not be made with patches because it can open up leaving you exposed. Fitting should not be baggy or too tight because it can tangle up, causing the crash and ride up, dislocating the armor. The same goes for boots and gloves.
It is best to try the gear on and get into the riding position. Ordering online? Take measurements with a flexible measuring tape. Read the return and exchange policy so you can get the right size on time if anything goes sideways. Once the apparel and other gear get delivered, try it on as soon as you get the chance.
Move your arms, shoulders, and knees, and see if you are comfortable in it. Go for the stretch panels at elbows and knees if you have the option. For summer or hot weather riding, opt for perforated leather because you would not want your gear to become a hot bath inside. Usually, leather gear is not waterproof, so either get a waterproof suit separately, make yours waterproof with aftermarket products, or just avoid riding in the rain.
Protection is still required
While the riding track is safer than roads because it has a controlled environment. The emergency crew is standing by. But still, you need to be careful. Your speed is much higher than normal, so keep steering and counter-steering in mind. Wearing back protectors under the jacket and pants might cause a little irritation at first, but it can be essential at saving your life. Go for CE approved level 3 armored back protector.
Wear a helmet every time you ride. Make sure it fits perfectly and you can ride comfortably. Go for DOT certified and full-face helmets. Either put a lid on the helmet or wear protective motorcycle riding glasses. Helmets not only save your head and face in case of a crash but also protects the eyes and ears keeping you focused. Wear earplugs or remote communicators if you are going to communicate with others.
An aerodynamic helmet will keep you comfortable, stable, and focused even at high speeds. You might need to wear a helmet that is not more than 5 years old depending on the track organization. So check for that!
Regular riding boots are not ideal for track and sports riding. Invest in good quality sports, riding boots with ankle and shin protection, and heavy, sturdy sole. With the addition of an internal shank, your foot will be safer and secure from the crash and injuries. Make sure they are in good form, have a snug fit and you secure them before riding.
Just the handle protection is not enough. Some get high-quality motorcycle riding gloves with knuckle and slider protection. Again, leather is a good choice and maybe the only option you can go for. Gauntlet style gloves are better as they protect more skin. Perforated ones would be better for summer riding.
These days some gloves have Kevlar added protection. While others like kangaroo, leather gloves are also good. The general choice is cowhide because it is cheaper and also protects good, but not as good and lightweight as kangaroo leather. See the European standards for gloves and go for those specifications.
Look for a minimal number of seams, which indicates larger pieces of leather are being used, rather than several small pieces. Every seam represents a potential failure zone in a crash. Double-stitched seams are less likely to burst on impact or with extended periods of sliding.
Under the gear
A sweat-wicking base layer will keep you comfortable and dry. Cotton will soak the moisture and chaff the skin, causing irritation and rashes. Your base layer should fit snugly and comfortably. Active wear base layers are good, but you might want to go for motorcycle riding specific base layers because they are designed and built for this specific purpose and are good at it. Now that you know, get ready and make sure you don’t forget to eat and take a piss before getting on the bike.