Fun though riding on the street is, you can’t really ever go 100% all-out because of all the variables.. uneven road surfaces, idiots in fiestas pulling out without looking etc.
So how are you supposed to improve your cornering game so that you don’t look like a wally when you try to lean in?
Well, on a track day ofc…
BUT TRACK DAYS ARE SUPER EXPENSIVE PLUS LUNATICS ON LITRE BIKES WHEN I’M ON A 125 – HONESTLY THAT SOUNDS TERRIFYING!
Indeed, normally a “track day” would mean lots of (probably perfectly nice) lunatics on bigger bikes hurling past me at warp 5, and if I’m not that experienced then that would honestly be a pretty crazy experience if they’ll even let me on the track. But that’s not what we’re talking about here.
No, this is a bit different.
I happened to see a video of someone going round a go-kart track on a ninja 250… it was all pretty tame-speeds-wise but you could tell they were riding the ass off that thing, dragging knees and getting *right* over into the corners. They looked to be having a blast too.
That’s when the penny dropped for me and i started looking for a Kart track where I could practice.
So I started digging and whilst some kart tracks near me allow “mini bikes” and even have whole race series for them (cool af!), eventually i found one which allows 125s too.
That place is “Stretton Circuit” near leicester. They have open practice in the week, where basically you pay a small fee for the day (about £40) and can then have as much track time as you like, as long as there’s not a Kart booking. Kart bookings tend to be quite short (20-30mins) so when there’s a booking I’d just chill in the pits or tinker with the bike.
I’ve done two of these “mini” track days now and they’re some of my all-time favourite days out riding and learnt so much 🙂
Having the time, space and peace of mind to work on one corner at a time, over and over and over till I got it perfect, then work on the next, and the next and the next…till by the end of the day hoepfully you can link the whole track… #bliss 😀
The speeds on track are pretty tame because it’s all about the corners…so the risk of actually dying or serious injury from doing this seems quite a bit less on a full-sized trackday too.
I think I was hitting about 45mph tops down the main straight, which doesn’t really sound that fast, but it’s a short sprint and then you’re having to throw it into a hairpin and a whole sequence of corners so it’s all about how late you can brake, hitting the perfect line and how much speed you can carry. Trail braking ftw.
So obviously wanting to share this experience with my R125 friends I checked and the circuit will apparently allow groups too.
As soon as we’re not locked down anymore and Stretton Circuit re-opens we’ll doing another weekday date. There’s two of us who are down for track time anytime, and couple of additional maybes. If you fancy joining us, then please either let me know by email , or put your email address into the form below to get notified by email the next time we’re having a track day sessiom, or join our discord server
PLEASE NOTE: BIGGER BIKES ARE NOT PERMITTED. I think as long as it is in an R125 shape etc you should be ok (e.g. big bore should be fine) but don’t be expecting to show up on your a full-size bike and be let in.
There’s also a 99db noise limit so if your exhaust is crazy loud you might want to get a baffle in place beforehand or you might not be allowed on track.
The staff at the venue were great too – the whole thing was extremely chill and pleasant. They mostly just let me get on with it but were there if i had a questions.