Kevin Schwantz Suzuki School: Motorcycle Race Track Tips, Texas-Style

30-plus KSSS-approved things to do at your next track day

1. Increase your speed incrementally.
2. Find and use reference points for braking, turn-in and apex.
3. Focus your vision way out front.
4. Select a gear that uses 60-80 percent of redline at the exit.
5. Be loose on the bike and bars, not rigid.
6. Get body position set for corners early.
7. Hang off slightly--and comfortably--in corners.
8. Use your legs to move you around the bike, not your arms.
9. Go slow when learning a new track. Get the flow first.
10. In the wet, be super-smooth with all control inputs.
11. Ride with the balls of your feet on the pegs at all times.
12. Weight the inside peg entering corners.
13. Weight the outside peg at the apex and exiting corners.
14. Perfect practice makes perfect--helps muscle memory.
15. Ignore the rear brake.
16. Walk the track if possible.
17. Don't apex early; late apex whenever possible.
18. Get to neutral throttle ASAP approaching the apex.
19. Apply smooth but forceful throttle exiting a corner.
20. Keep body movements small or smooth while cornering.
21. Braking distances increase exponentially with speed.
22. Monitor chassis feedback through hands, feet and butt when braking.
23. Ease off the brakes smoothly as you lean the bike into a corner.
24. Brake in segments: first 10 percent (to settle chassis), then 75 percent (hard braking), then 15 percent (releasing smooth toward apex).
25. Get hard braking done early; don't wait till you see God!
26. Passing tip: Let off the brakes sooner and carry a bit more speed into the corner.
27. Release the brake more slowly than you initially grab it.
28. Ride a bicycle for leg strength and cardiovascular training; it'll make you a better rider!
29. Control panic by being in control at all times; resist the temptation to go beyond your personal comfort envelope.
30. If you get in too hot, look where you want to go, relax and will yourself to make the corner.
31. Resist the temptation to tuck completely behind the bubble; sitting higher allows you to see more, which helps nail your braking and turn-in points.
32. If you crash, get wide. It resists flipping.