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So I'm thinking about going to the track for the first time ever and I'm trying to figure out what all I need to do to prepare. I'm open to all recommendations. The track I would be going to, I'd be put into a "Novice" rider group. So I won't exactly be racing super hard or going for any record times. But I'm more or less looking for, do I need to do anything to my bike for the track vs it's normal "street" state. Are the stock tires and suspension fine if I'm not looking to set any records, or should I be looking to get a different set of "track tires"? Should I put racing oil in just for 1 track day? etc.

I'm open to any and all suggestions/tips. Motorcycles as a whole are new to me (I have ~2400 miles on 2 wheels in my lifetime. All of those miles are on my N400 and have come in the last 1.5 months).
 

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Nope, you don't have to do any of that stuff to the bike, just need to make sure it is mechanically sound, no leaks, brakes working, tires in decent shape, etc. Just remove or tape up the mirrors and lights. Your track day org should have a manual published that tells you everything you need to know. Even if you were trying to set records, with 2400 miles under your belt, you couldn't anyway. And there is no winning track days, anyway, it's all about learning your bike, your abilities, and improving. The stuff you will need is decent gear. Leather suit, race boots, gauntlet gloves, back protector, etc. You may be able to rent that stuff if you don't already have it.
 

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I just removed my mirrors, removed license plate, taped up all the lights, and pulled the fuses for them. Whatever organization you are running with should outline what needs to be done. Bike should be fine stock, it was for my first track day. Have a blast, it is a ton of fun.
 

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I was at a track day last year, the track does not host a lot of motorcycle events, so we all went for a van ride on the track just before the day started. Van rides are nice because you can see everything without the worries that accompany riding. One of the guys in the van was doing his first track day ever and was super nervous. His biggest worry was being slow and that it would cause a hazard. We all just laughed and told him that slow riders are typically the least hazardous riders because they are so easy to pass. We didn’t want him worrying about being passed and then trying to ride faster than he is capable of. I just mention this the let the OP and others know that the key is to go out and have fun at a pace you are comfortable with. Most novice crashes result from riders doing things beyond their skill level because others are doing it.
 

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You need to find out what track organization you want to go through (2WTD, TrackDaz, Fast Track Riders, etc) and see what their requirements are. Most are minimal since its just a track day and not a race. That's important because you don't want to fail tech inspect on your first track day.

No need for racing oil.

Bring:
bike
Keys (cant stress this enough)
GoPro,water/food/Gatorade
an EzUp if your track doesn't have paddocks
extra gas
a notebook to take notes
track approved suit/helmet/gloves/boots
extra clothes
friends/family
tools
trailer/truck to get your bike and gear over to the track
money
tables/chair if that's your thing. My sessions are 30 minutes and 30 minutes in between, I usually just sit in the van or on the floor if im not walking around talking to people




As you start progressing, you will start adding more to the list with things like warmers, generator, a cooler, tent for camping if you are going 2 days straight at a far away track, extra tires/parts/etc.


Bring a willing attitude to learn. You sound new, so that shouldn't be a problem. Plenty of "experienced" riders thinking they know everything, never been to a track day and have their minds blown when they are told/realize they have been doing things wrong and developed bad habits over the years. Be safe, have fun. Its not a race, its a TD.
 

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If the organization you are running with offers a riding class, I highly suggest it. I did Fastrackriders rider development school. My riding vastly improved in just 1 day. Having an instructor to help you work on fundamentals is invaluable. I though I had built a decent foundation of skills on my own... read twist of the wrist, watched it, read other books, consumed all the youtube videos (motovudu). My instructor corrected multiple things I was doing wrong. I rode auto club speedway... first run of the day I ran a 2:13, last run was a 2:01 and I was riding smoother and safer.
 

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The guys have given you lots of good advice here.

If I was going to offer one thing regarding track riding it would be this: Keep looking ahead through the corner and the bike will follow your eyes
It sounds simplistic but it works.
This! Working on track vision has greatly improved my lap times and corner speed.

Stock N400 will do fine. Just go out and have fun. The little green (or whatever color you have) will do fine.
 

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The guys have given you lots of good advice here.

If I was going to offer one thing regarding track riding it would be this: Keep looking ahead through the corner and the bike will follow your eyes
It sounds simplistic but it works.
This is very true.
 

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Only thing I can add is that some of the tracks here in Southern California, as an example, have a couple of stringent requirements.
1.) Suit must be either a one piece suit, or a two piece where the jacket and pant zip together into one connected piece.
2.) The scrutineering of your bike is more stringent at some places than others when it comes to your tires.
Some places I've seen, are somewhat lax on it, and others want your tires to be practically brand new with NO cuts, gouges, scrapes, shagging, etc, AT ALL.
 

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Man, I have done some ninja 400 race days and this beauty is a beast on track. I went there without a thought, only rubber banding my mirrors and front lights. GO TO THE TRACK without any hesitations, without any experience, without any doubts, you'll have fun and that is the most important.

Peace
 

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The guys have given you lots of good advice here.

If I was going to offer one thing regarding track riding it would be this: Keep looking ahead through the corner and the bike will follow your eyes
It sounds simplistic but it works.

So true.
I have done multiple track days, and even some WERA back in the 90's none of them on the 400, "yet"

I can tell you I knew better, and even while I was doing it, telling myself what are you doing, stop focusing on that, and had to look away through the corner instead.

Someone put down their R3(some guy running WERA, getting in time on the track) in a bus stop tight corner (turn 10-11 at NCM) and it came to a stop right on the edge of the rumble strips and the tarmac between it and the tire wall, so if you ran wide you might smack clip it. He was standing off track behind the tire wall waiting and watching for crews to come by and let him pick it up.

Well as I approached and set up for the corner I saw it coming down the straight and said to myself "Ok, look through corner, don't rubber neck...and get on by"

What did I do, even though I knew better, laser focused on that thing and dude standing off track...I was thinking about not hitting it so much that I was looking right at it and heading straight for it.

Needless to say I finally snapped out of it and looked through the corner and tightened it up, but I did hit the edge of the rumble strips running wide just past the bike.

If I dig through my camera videos I might have it :/
 

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Just dont do this :grin:

Second track day with the little Ninja. Took a corner too hot and dragged a feeler peg. Threw me upright and I lowsided trying to get back into the turn. My R3 I took them off right after I dragged them and forgot to take them off this little guy before pushing it...they are so long on these beginner bikes and the footpegs are so low it doesnt take much lean to grind em off :wink:
 

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Just dont do this :grin:

Second track day with the little Ninja. Took a corner too hot and dragged a feeler peg. Threw me upright and I lowsided trying to get back into the turn. My R3 I took them off right after I dragged them and forgot to take them off this little guy before pushing it...they are so long on these beginner bikes and the footpegs are so low it doesnt take much lean to grind em off :wink:

Yeah on all little bikes you pretty much need aftermarket rear sets. Stock ones are too low to the ground. Anyway, since you mentioned an R3, I'm wondering what you think about the 400 compared to the R3 on the track? I have both, but just got the 400. Haven't even ridden it yet. I've ridden a bone stock 400 on the track once but it was a demo unit, so not mine, and it had street tires and due to the limited amount of time left that they were letting people demo it, I ended up having to go out in the novice group which was packed so I was going at a pretty slow pace. It was just enough to realize the difference in power, but not enough to see the difference in handling.
 

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Yeah on all little bikes you pretty much need aftermarket rear sets. Stock ones are too low to the ground. Anyway, since you mentioned an R3, I'm wondering what you think about the 400 compared to the R3 on the track? I have both, but just got the 400. Haven't even ridden it yet. I've ridden a bone stock 400 on the track once but it was a demo unit, so not mine, and it had street tires and due to the limited amount of time left that they were letting people demo it, I ended up having to go out in the novice group which was packed so I was going at a pretty slow pace. It was just enough to realize the difference in power, but not enough to see the difference in handling.

I find the handling substantially different. The 400 definitely tips in easier and I find it more flickable than the R3 which I didn't think was possible, at least not such a big difference. Power is definitely better, braking I would say is slightly better...though the Ninja still suffers from small cc squishy brake syndrome. My biggest peeve with the 400 vs the R3 is clutch slippage. Not noticeable much on the street but on the track or when riding hard, the clutch slips like a :devil: when aggressively shifting. Not a big deal 3 and up cause that's when clutchless shifts become buttery smooth, but from 1-2 and 2-3 the slipping is ridiculous. I think a couple companies make aftermarket springs that fix this problem though.
 

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I find the handling substantially different. The 400 definitely tips in easier and I find it more flickable than the R3 which I didn't think was possible, at least not such a big difference. Power is definitely better, braking I would say is slightly better...though the Ninja still suffers from small cc squishy brake syndrome. My biggest peeve with the 400 vs the R3 is clutch slippage. Not noticeable much on the street but on the track or when riding hard, the clutch slips like a :devil: when aggressively shifting. Not a big deal 3 and up cause that's when clutchless shifts become buttery smooth, but from 1-2 and 2-3 the slipping is ridiculous. I think a couple companies make aftermarket springs that fix this problem though.

Yeah in my short demo ride I did, the clutch was my biggest (and only really) complaint. I like that it comes with a slipper clutch, but that's way more slippage than I want lol Just seemed too soft overall. Spears does have a different return spring that's stiffer but it's $50! I'll be damned if I pay that much for a little spring! lol
 

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Feel free to post here, or PM for more specific info.


Lots of experienced riders out here in laptop land.
 

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PS: Squishy Brake syndrome. Easily solved. I don't have that issue on either of my 400s.


1) braided lines
2) Bleed, bleed, bleed. (With good RBF600 fluid)
3) Good Pads EBC or Vesrah, Galfer etc
4) If all else fails, BrakeTek full floating rotor. (I recommend cast iron)


Finally, before you spend a dime, make sure your pads are in correctly, and the anti-rattle spring is in place correctly. This alone has been the sole reason Ive had squishy brakes on this bike. After I did all of the above.....


Hijack Over....
 
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