If you've decided to turn your motorcycle into a track bike so that you can race it, you've probably already invested in the engine upgrades and your racing gear. What you might not realize, though, is that there's more to preparing your bike than just enhancing the engine for speed. Here's a look at some of the things that you should do to ensure that your bike is ready to ride safely.
Buy Good Quality Tires
When you're putting your bike on a race track, the tires you equip it with are essential. Remember that those tires are the only thing between your bike and the track, so they need to stick well. As a result, most tracks will require that you have tires that are in good condition before you can even run trials.
If your current tires have run more than a couple thousand miles, you may want to invest in some new tires specifically for track purposes. Look for something that's designed for the track so that you get grip. Look for a sport-biased tire and then scrub them in. One of the biggest reasons to have new tires exclusively for the track is because your track tires are going to wear much faster along either side than they are in the center. This can put you at risk of tire blowouts or other damage.
Invest in Crash Protection
If your bike isn't already fitted with crash bars, engine covers, or sliders for the frame, axle and exhaust, you need to invest in them. Those are essential for protecting your bike's components in the event of a crash. The sliders are usually crafted from material that will even help to slow the bike if it slides, and they're mounted in a way that allows the slider to shift when needed so that it doesn't crack or fracture.
Inspect Your Brakes
While you probably think more about speed than brakes when you're preparing for the track, you need to prioritize your brakes as well. If you haven't changed your brake fluid in the last couple of years, you should do so before you hit the track. In addition, grab a flashlight and look at the pad thickness on the brakes. The pads should be like new. Remember that your brakes are treated harder on the track, so you need them in the best possible condition.
Flush the Oil & Coolant
One of the most common things that new racers encounter is the requirement to flush coolant out of the engine. Since traditional engine coolant is very slippery, most tracks require that it be replaced with distilled water before you can race. That's because an accident can spill coolant, which could create a slick disaster on the track. Before you leave for the track, call and find out if there's a water requirement for coolant so that you can be prepared.
While you're dealing with fluids, you also need to make sure that the oil is clean. Do an oil change, then make sure that the filter and drain plug are properly tightened. You should also replace the crush washer every time so that you don't risk any leaks while you're racing. Just like coolant, oil will create a slick mess.
Disconnect Your Lights
Especially when your bike is typically a street ride, you'll want to make sure you disconnect the lights before you run the track. Daytime running lights, auxiliary lights, brake lights and other lamps can be a distraction on the track. If you can't disconnect them, tape over them with painters tape. That comes off without leaving any residue. Another benefit to taping the lights is that it prevents any accident from resulting in shattered plastic from the lens covers. This could be a hazard on the track, so take these steps to protect the lights from damage.
To learn more, contact companies like Carl's Cycle Sales.