Our bike preparation requirements are very simple and generally do not take more than 10 or 15 minutes to complete. For the most part, all we require is that you have a clean, tight motorcycle in excellent condition. No "rat" bikes, please.
With track day mornings being very busy, we encourage anyone not riding to the track to prep your bike beforehand.
For any riders that have a SPIN ON type oil filter (a filter that is outside of the motor) - please make sure the old O-Ring comes off whenever you do an oil change. Having 2 O-Rings will cause a leak when the bike is under heavy acceleration.
TECH INSPECTION ITEMS (See below for details on each item)
- OIL FILTERS
- OIL DRAIN BOLT
- OIL FILLER CAP
- BRAKES / BRAKE PADS
- TAIL LIGHTS
- CHAIN or BELT
- CAMERAS & other electronics
Oil on the track is the biggest thing we want to avoid, as it is both dangerous... and can shut down the track for a long period.
We strongly recommend (not a requirement) all "SPIN ON" type oil filters be secured with a HOSE CLAMP around it. A "spin on" filter is one that is outside of the motor (see photo below). Hose clamps are readily available at any auto parts or home improvement store for a couple of bucks. Simply place the clamp over the filter and either rotate the hose clamp so it cannot loosen (by wedging it against the motor)... or put a piece of wire on it and pull it in the TIGHTENING DIRECTION.
We ask this because some people don't properly tighten their oil filters after changing. And the high RPM riding at the track can cause them to loosen and put oil all around the track (not to mention your back tire!). Once someone "oils" the track, it can close the track for many hours. :-(
Putting a hose clamp on cost virtually nothing and takes only a minute to do, so please do it at your next oil change.
Remember, once you have a clamp on the filter, to change your filter you simply loosen the clamp slightly, slide it off the old filter and then replace on the new filter - and retighten the clamp. There is no need to cut the safety wire.
Here is what a properly secured oil filter looks like
- It is critical when changing your oil to ensure the OLD O-Ring comes off with the old filter. It sometimes will stick to the motor! Be sure to physically check the old filter has the O-Ring in the top groove before installing the new filter. Two O-Rings will result in a leak when you are hard on the gas!
- Please put the clamp on at your next oil change...whether coming to the track or not!
If you are uncomfortable putting a hose clamp on your filter, bring the clamp to the track and someone can assist you.
- If your oil filter is enclosed in the motor, then we urge you to wire the bolt holding it in, but it is not mandatory. But PLEASE make sure it is tightened properly.
- WARNING: There have been reported instances of K&N filters coming off due to thread failure. Many race organizations have banned them and will only allow stock oil filters - O.E.M - (Original Equipment Manufacturer). If you use an aftermarket filter, we strongly recommend switching to a stock one at the next oil change.
OIL DRAIN BOLT
At this time, we are not requiring the oil drain bolt to be wired, but again... make sure it is properly tightened (torqued) to spec! However, we strongly recommended you drill and wire your drain plug - regardless of whether you are riding on the track or not. It's easy and cheap, and gives peace of mind. A loose drain plug WILL unscrew, oil the track and shut us down until it is cleaned up. Don't be that guy or gal!
OIL FILLER CAP
Please make sure your oil filler cap is tight. Many people drill a small hole in the cap's tightening ridge and secure it with safety wire.
Your mirrors must be removed or completely taped over.
BRAKES / BRAKE PADS
All motorcycles must have 2 working brakes - front and rear. Please be certain to check your brake pad thickness. Most brake pads have a groove cut into them. When this groove disappears, you are dangerously low on pad material. Personally, I change my pads when they lose about half of their thickness. On most bikes, you can shine a flashlight and determine pad thickness. If not, then you'll have to remove the caliper. Your life truly depends on your front brakes... take the time to ensure the pads and calipers are in perfect condition.
No light can show through the tail light when the brakes are applied. Be sure to turn on the bike and apply the brakes... light will show through most of the painters tapes... you need to put duct tape over that. If you prefer to not use tape, you could remove the bulb or fuse - or unplug the wires usually located under the rear seat area. If disable, then you don't have to worry about taping.
If your headlight is made of plastic then you do not have to tape it over. However, if it is made of glass, it must be taped. The tape can be placed in large X's. It does not have to fully cover the lens, but is designed to keep it from shattering. If you have to tape your light, we recommend disabling the headlight to keep heat down. Many bikes have a simple connector that can be unplugged, or you can remove the fuse.
WHEELS / TIRES
Wheel weights must have a piece of duct tape over them as a safety precaution. Tires must be in EXCELLENT condition with plenty of tread remaining. If you are at or below the "wear indicators", please change them BEFORE track day. We offer complete PIRELLI tire service at all events and can put on new tires the evening before your trackday. Please PRE ORDER to ensure the tires are waiting for you.
CHAIN or BELT
Please make sure your chain has sufficient slack. With your weight on the bike, you should be able to move the chain up and down about 2 inches total. A slightly loose chain is preferred to a tight chain, which not only can snap, but will also restrict your suspension movement and possibly ruin your countershaft seals. The chain must be in EXCELLENT condition with no signs of rust or degradation. If shaft drive, there must be no leakage or obvious signs of poor maintenance.
Must SNAP BACK to the off position when released. If trailering your bike, we recommend that you DO NOT tie it down by the handlegrips, as this is one of the main causes of sticking throttles. The ideal method is to use the upper triple clamp (the thing your forks slide through).
At this time, we do not require that you replace your coolant. However, if you have a "track only" bike, we strongly encourage you to consider this step. Regardless of water or coolant, take a moment to check all the hose clamps and other connectors involved in your cooling system to ensure they are tight.
CAMERAS, GPS, Lap timers
Helmet or Body mounted cameras are prohibited (by the tracks - not us). CAMERAS, GPS, Lap timers, etc. must have at least 2 hard tethers to the bike. The hard tethers to the bike can be a bolt, safety wire, or zip tie. The tether must go to the camera case itself, as the weak link is the connector that allows the camera to swivel. If using two safety wire or zip tie tethers - place them in opposing directions. The idea is that the camera case itself will basically not move if the connector breaks. Having only one tether allows the camera to swing around - possibly interfering with the operation of the motorcycle. SUCTION CUP, or STICKY TAPE does NOT QUALIFY as a tether
All items such as this must pass tech inspection. You will receive a special sticker at tech. If you don't have a sticker and attempt to go out with a camera, etc... you will be sent back to the pits.
If your bike is more than 20 years old, email me with the bike info and a photo and I'll make the determination. Again, the focus here is to ensure the bike is in excellent condition with no leaks of any kind.
A bike that has been lowered cannot lean nearly as far as a stock motorcycle before hard parts make contact with the pavement. This creates a significant hazard for those who expect to ride at an intermediate or advanced pace. While we do allow lowered bikes, we strongly discourage bringing them to our track days, especially if you are a fast rider. It is possible to have a great time riding a lowered bike, as long as you ride at a more relaxed pace and are aware of the limits that a lowered bike presents.
If the sharp edges of your license plate are exposed then you must remove it or tape the edges with duct tape. Plastic frames or mounting plates that extend or cover the edges are okay.
Finally, make sure that all fasteners (body hardware, brake caliper bolts, etc.) are properly tightened. Physically go around the bike, and put a wrench or screwdriver on EVERY nut, bolt and screw you can find. Pay special attention to your Oil Drain Plug, Oil Filter, Levers, and Exhaust brackets.
The Palmer track has an enforced sound limit (dBa limits forthcoming). Most sport bikes... even with a reasonable aftermarket pipe... should be fine. However, if you know your bike is ridiculously loud, you should probably change the pipe. No Refunds will be given if track officials do not allow you to ride. No matter what track you ride, if your bike is very loud, it may give the track owners a reason to test everyone! So please... do ALL motorcyclists a favor and keep the noise in check.