Sport Bikes banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Fontana, CA - Only $269! How much time are we getting? 6 to 7 sessions of 20 minutes. Comes to $135 per hour per rider. Let's say you average 7 laps per session. You'll do 43 laps at $6.25/lap.

Laguna Seca, CA - about $300.

Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch, Pahrump, NV - $195 (no session format, i.e., track time is unlimited) - One of the better deals out there.

The trackday organizations must continue to be viable, and maybe they could cut out the prizes (free track day, or 50% off MSRP on new Shoei helmets, etc) to lower our cost. Have any trackday groups looked at offering advance purchase discount, where we'd get a nice discount by buying our trackdays at the beginning of the year?

Can the tracks themselves get by without our business? What negotiating leverage do the trackday orgs have?

Some discussion please!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,389 Posts
doller per lap value.. i've never looked at it that way.

I've never been to those tracks you mentioned, but they sound pricey. Here at JenningsGp where I go to, its $130 per trackday not per hour!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Justice. I'd like to try Jennings. Kind of like a counter-clockwise LVMS (Las Vegas) Classic Course.

I just stumbled onto something that ti2tt.com (Take it 2 the Track) is offering. $1,050 gets you 8 dates for 2009. Buttonwillow, Willow Springs, Streets of Willow, Chuckwalla (all in Southern Cal), and Spring Mtn Motorsports (Pahrump, NV). No raging bargain.

8 pack | Ti2TT
 

·
Roadracer since '96
Joined
·
1,911 Posts
One of the major costs ruining it for everyone is the Insurance, both for the Track Day org and the Track owners - unfortunately we live in an age when the greed of a few ruin it for the masses. When you go to use a race track you generally have to sign release forms which basically say that it's up to you to decide if what your going to be doing there is safe or considered an acceptable risk by yourself. But when someone goes and gets hurt (most often by their own bad decision making - like riding beyond their ability) then that moron tries to sue the Track or Track Day org for astronomical amounts of money, it makes everyones Insurance go up whether they get a settlement or not. Something that is stressed in the race org I race with is that it's up to each racer to decide whether each track is safe to race on or that the track has risks the rider is willing to accept, if not acceptable you can get the majority of your money back. Anyone who thinks racing, track days, or just plain riding a motorcycle doesn't involve some amount of risk is an idiot and may very well become the next number on the natural selection list.

I haven't told this story very many times because it can be very controversial and I won't say who was involved (because I agreed on that), but it applies here so I'm going to repeat the experience. Back in 1998 I went racing at Daytona for the 1st time, I made the 1200 mile trek by myself. One day while there I was at the Hooters restraunt getting ready to order some food at the bar when some random guy sat down next to me, he noticed my pass for the race track attached to the pocket of my Jeans and asked if I was there racing? I told him I was and we struck up a great conversation about motorcycle racing. It turns out he was a person in a position of some power in the motorcycle racing scene and was there waiting for some other people in similar positions as himself along with 2 writers for a motorcycle magazine for a casual interview/discussion. When those other people showed up he asked where the people were at that I was waiting for? When I told him I was there racing alone he invited me to come and sit with their group, so I did just that.

To sum up the conversation there was alot of talk concerning the 'fracturing' of Amateur/Expert Regional racing in the US, where instead of having just a few large and successful race org's you start having a number of smaller race org's popping up randomly. The concern was that as these smaller race org's become more numerous they actually end up hurting the quality of motorcycle racing overall by pulling racers away from the larger race org's and causing costs to go up as well. They had some number's involving the average number of days most racers spent racing per season and how more 'choices' of places to race with other race org's didn't seem to change the overall amount of days a racer spent racing per season (minimal average change at best), but did change the number of days they dedicated racing with any one specific org. Because most racer's don't have a limit-less amount of time and money available to go racing this results in lower turnouts at all the race org's events (except for the short build-up time of 1-3 years generally associated with about any new org). This 'fracturing' of racers amongst more race org's results in lower turnouts at each event and leads to less competition and higher costs all around.

There was a 2nd major topic of this conversation that tied into the topic I just described, that was Track Days. At that time Track Days either didn't exist or barely at all, when someone was going to go racing they took the new racer licensing school and went racing the next day. The concern by all that day was that Track Days would eventually end up being the final nail in the coffin for Amateur/Expert racing in the US by 'passifying' people who would have gone racing with a 'placebo' that made them feel like they actually went racing. The other concern was the fact that for much of the US there are a limited number of weekends per season available for motorcycle use due to cold weather, for example here in the upper Midwest that would be about 30 weekends max. What they predicted is that as Motorcycle Track Days became more popular the number of org's seeking weekend dates would increase, that would drive costs up and lower availability of weekend dates. Since other types of racers also seek these same weekend dates at those same racetracks (shifter carts, legends cars, SCCA, open wheel, and on and on) the costs could go up dramatically. An associated concern by this group was that Automotive Track Days would become popular as well (which they have). As an example of costs I have heard that when the race org I race with rents Road America for a 3 day event the cost is apx $100,000!

Now jumping forward to today all the things those people predicted would happen have indeed happened, and even worse. Not only have Race org's experienced 'fracturing' with many smaller race org's populating the US today and resulting in lower turn outs, but Track Day org's have out of control fracturing themselves. It seems like every season we now see new Track Day org's (motorcycle and car) popping up claiming how their the greatest thing since sliced bread and have the lowest prices (which usually doesn't last too long - unless it's a special deal worked out with a specific track which needs business). Even more unfortunate is a shift by some race tracks to schedule strictly by who will pay the most money for an event giving no priority to actual Racing at their Race Track. This is where you also see the costs you do associated with Track days, some Track Day org's are willing to pay a premium for the most attractive weekend dates because they know they will probably sell out the date and just pass the cost on to the participants.

The variety that every one seems to think is so great about having numerous Track Day org's having dates at numerous Race Tracks is one of the major factors driving costs so high. A bad recession may possibly help to weed out the smaller Racing and Track Day org's and hopefully return more people back to the larger org's which will help to make them more successful, provide better perks, increase participation per event, and stabilize costs. :)
 

·
Cheap Bastid
Joined
·
6,366 Posts
The way I see it, the only way to cut costs is to reduce the conveniences (and some safety precautions) for the customer.

Unfortunately there's VERY few corners that you can cut to reduce cost in the track day business. It's just the nature of the beast.


BTW, very interesting perspective, Mike. Thanks for the post.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
340 Posts
The best track days for the money is run twice a year by Racing 2 Save Lives. They are usually four day events and you can rides as many sessions in those four days as you care to in your group. Plus all the money raised goes straight to various children's charities. You even get to see the check presented so you know all proceeds go to the children. Everyone who works the event is a volunteer and pays their own way so there is no overhead cost.

These two events take place at Miller Motorsports Park and Virginia International Raceway. The R2SL starts the Monday before the AMA races and runs through Thursday. Then Friday you are already there to see the AMA qualifying and the races. It just doesn't get any better than that.
 

·
ASMA Racer
Joined
·
2,532 Posts
Fontana, CA - Only $269! How much time are we getting? 6 to 7 sessions of 20 minutes. Comes to $135 per hour per rider. Let's say you average 7 laps per session. You'll do 43 laps at $6.25/lap.
It's invaluable if you've got a new setup or crash damage you've just repaired in the (short) offseason, or you've never been to that track.

But if the weekend is before a WERA event, swallow your pride, and ride in the trackday (not racer) group on that trackday, or you'll see MANY less laps...

Last January it was such a crashfest on Saturday it was almost excruciating watching the racers in the TD session come back in after five minutes, and the faster racer group sitting on their bikes, waiting for the track to be cleared.

But the 'street riders' group got their $269 worth, no crashes.

Mike, this economic downturn/contracting economy will kill off the 'expansion teams'. It'll be better in two more seasons.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
825 Posts
I think it is also what you are looking out of the track too. Button Willow and Willow Springs are $135 to $200 for a track day. Some providers run a full day (no lunch brake) and some feed you too.

As for give away's stuff for the most part the sponsors give it to them to give away. If you are looking to run on a AMA circuit like Laguna Seca and Fontana, CA it is going to cost you more.

There are also other deals out there if you have your race license like testing days and discounts on track days from most providers.

But if you build your own track we will come :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
765 Posts
trackdays would have to get up to $1000 before I thought I was getting ripped off.

Dont' get me wrong, i'm not against saving a buck, but at the price of a latte per lap, I don't bicker.

Also, it's easy to forget that tracks are businesses and, as with any business, there are sooo many unforseeable and subcutaneous expenses.

My Lotus actually had to be towed recently, on a flat bed, and for about 6 miles. I cringed (and bitched a little too) when the tow truck operator/owner told me the total was $410. This man responsded very professionaly and proceded to name every single expense on his books! Long story short...$410 for a tow or $375 for a track day probably means the ower is lucky if he's putting 5% in his pocket.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
236 Posts
Fontana, CA - Only $269! How much time are we getting? 6 to 7 sessions of 20 minutes. Comes to $135 per hour per rider. Let's say you average 7 laps per session. You'll do 43 laps at $6.25/lap.
Why only 6-7 sessions? They offer 8 sessions, I just did a trackday with them yesterday.
1. 9am
2. 10am
3. 11am
4. 12pm
5. 1pm
6. 2pm
7. 3pm
8. 4pm

Me personally I couldnt ride more than 2:40 minutes even if you did get all day to do it. 20 minutes is usually a good stint for most people who usually pack up before the end of the day. You usually only get a few die hard guys that ride all day. You need that rest in between sessions to rest, hydrate, eat, work on your bike, and to mentally regroup.

The trackday organizations must continue to be viable, and maybe they could cut out the prizes (free track day, or 50% off MSRP on new Shoei helmets, etc) to lower our cost.
You think giving out a free trackday gives cost to the org?
You think that the org has to pay for that 50% off shoei coupon?


All that stuff is free, which they are passin onto the consumer...that is what sponsors are for???
:)

Have any trackday groups looked at offering advance purchase discount, where we'd get a nice discount by buying our trackdays at the beginning of the year?
Yeah many orgs do it, and you gotta pay to play. Many offer discounts like ti2tt as you said with costs of around 125 bucks a trackday when buying in bulk. Its saves a lot when most tracks are 150-200.
75 bucks off a trackday is 37.5% off...if you dont think that is a deal then you could always start your own and see what you can come up with?

Thats prolly how most of them started up anyways

:cheers
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,510 Posts
Motor sport is expensive, buy the time you factor in tyres fuel travel time bike prep etc etc the fees are only a small fraction of the overall cost. If you really want to save money on track days try knitting :p .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
579 Posts
i like how its about 170 a full day for a trackday local. that gives you 8 15 min sessions depending on track you can get 10-13 laps in. if you have a good pace. now.. If someone wreaks at the start of a few laps. and red flags it. that time is coming out of your riding time..

I was working a corner. and the 1st lap of the 1st group of the afternoon sessions. guy popped his motor put oil on the track. the riders didn't even get a half lap. they red flagged the session. they lost 1 15 min session cause of it.

now i also ride dirt bikes.
Firebird has a MX track.. cheapest to ride on right now..
8am to noon. 20 bucks gets you in and on the track... Now in the monring if a lot of peewees aren't there. you ride till you can't hang on anymore.
if alot of peewee show up you ride for 15 mins than wait 15 mins while the little guys go out there

Speedworld. 25 bucks gets you in and ride from 7-12 or later depending on the temp... funny how it is a 100% different cost. both have EMT's and people working on the track. not as much as a Sportbike track day. but have people working

ok thats my .02 :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
150 Posts
Bottom line is its supply and demand. If the demand for trackdays goes up like it has been the last 7-8 years but organizers are limited to how many riders they can admit to the track at once then price goes up. If they're overhead is high because they want good staff or pay they're staff some sort of compensation price goes up. As more and more organizations want to rent out the tracks for trackdays and time binds up this drives track rental prices through the roof as well. As for facilities such as Fontana and Laguna, they will never ever be cheap period. But they are worth the price of admission for those who want to splurge.
There are also other ways to get track time for cheap or discounted prices usually, like corner working or volunteering. Trade work for tracktime. That's how I started until I could afford to pay for full days.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top