The circuit crystallizes all the fantasies of the biker, cradle of performance, many have thought about it, but few have dared. Before entering the paddock door, there are many unknowns. Where to drive? With what? With what? With whom? With whom? How? How? How much does it cost? Moto Journal answers all these questions through this short guide to start the track in the best conditions.
Why start the track? In a benevolent society, where the constant search for zero risks and over-prevention have finally drained our public roads of all sensations, there remains one last place to guarantee our drunkenness. The circuit! The ultimate way to quench your thirst without fear of adrenaline rushes, with a minimum of risk. On the track there is no longer any constraint limiting performance, we are looking for it. We don't drive anymore, we fly.
Prerequisites for track riding: "Launch control activated!"
The first requirement is to hold at least a large cubic permit. Otherwise, it is possible to drive with the CASM, a motorsport aptitude permit. The latter gives the right to operate only within the framework of a closed circuit and approved by the French Motorcycling Federation. Concerning the insurance of your motorcycle, it is not mandatory, and few riders ensure their machines. Some guarantees offer to cover occasional outings, or even to provide by individual contracts a motorcycle dedicated to the track. In all cases, civil liability will be required by all organizers.
For regular riders, the French Motorcycle Federation offers year-round licences. Otherwise, there are day passes. They include Civil Liability and Personal Accident Insurance. It is also imperative to wear full circuit equipment, in which case access to the track may be denied. Some organizations rent equipment such as motorcycles, but often at prohibitive rates.
Ensure that your equipment meets the requirements
Where to ride on the track? "To heaven."
In France, many tours are open to amateurs. Among the most famous are Ledenon, the mechanical center of Alès, but also Carole and Magny-cours... There are "by the shovel" and no need to dig for long, all the outings of the year, on all the circuits, are listed on the site www.calendrier-piste.fr. They are generally set up by private "organizers" who have rented the circuit. It is with the latter that you must register. In high season, from May to August, you must anticipate your registrations one month in advance. In case of rain on the day of driving, reimbursement is rarely made. Registration costs an average of 125€.
Find the circuits near you.
Preparing your bike for the track: "Stock or factory bike? »
Engine oil is the health of a motorcycle, to avoid any symptoms, it is necessary to start by draining and replacing the oil filter. Ideally plan a replacement of all fluids, coolant, brake fluid, etc... You can quite easily ride with a road bike entirely original on track, but it is advisable to fit it with suitable tires that are also approved for the road (Pirelli Supercorsa, Dunlop D211, Michelin Power Cup...). However, at least the mirrors must be removed and the "American" type scotch lights covered. In case of a fall, the adhesive tape prevents the optics from exploding on the track. In the case of regular outings, it is preferable to have a motorcycle exclusively dedicated to the path, here are the minimum recommended preparations:
Install remote controls to improve ground clearance. For road type machines, it is preferable to drain the fork for a higher viscosity index (type 15′ or 20′), see change the fork springs.
It is advisable to open the angle of the handlebars by a few degrees to optimize the lever arm for the counter-steering related to steering. Another trick to increase the pleasure of sporty driving is the "fuel grips." They improve knee support during wiggling. To avoid any problems with the handles, you must wrap the rubber handles of your handlebars with thin wire to properly tighten them on the handlebars. This will prevent them from being removed under high pressure.
The endurance of the braking systems is put to the test on the circuit. Remember to install air hoses to avoid losing by biting on the lever handles a little too pronounced. Original rubber hoses have an unfortunate tendency to swell. You can keep your platelets.
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