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Street or Track

1.      Main

2.      Conclusion

by Jérôme Daoust.  Revised 2010/5/24

Main (Top of Page)



As safety is concerned, the track is probably safer, where there is a stronger relationship between your riding and consequences. Not sure if it remains safer if you divide the incidents by amount of time spent riding, but the worst case scenario (death or worse: paralysis) seems typically less at the track. I lost a friend (I sold my bike to) who was hit by a driver going through a red light. I remember the evil eye his mom gave me while at his funeral. My past accidents were 50% other driver's fault. All has been sobering and I live with "ghosts" from motorcycling and paragliding.



No doubt that track experience can only improve one's skills. Hopefully one will use that to increase his street safety margin and not just push harder. A big problem with street riding is unexpected and large variations in traction, which is less of a problem at a track. ABS and traction control in recent motorcycles are helping with those aspects. Unlike me, If you are young (less than 35), I would be careful not to be entrained by the "group effect" and that applies to both track or street, where you feel validated to push the limits further.


Getting your fix

But quitting street riding altogether to only keep riding the track, seems like getting into a long distance relationship. I like that I can start enjoying my motorcycle close to home, or ride it to a local social event.



Track riders typically spend more money on modifications than street riders, but the reverse can happen. If you use your street motorcycle at the track, your normal insurance will most likely not cover the cost of repairs if you crash it. Track riders also typically spend on transporting their track-only motorcycle to events, sleeping accommodations, track fees…



Something about the track says "conformism", where one enters a well-oiled machine offering pleasure but dictating what/when you can do it, and shops all too happy to cater to your modification needs. Street riding opens the door to more personal adventures, like where do I want to go this weekend, which road have I not yet explored?


Switching works both ways.

What about riders who quit the track? I have met a handful in OC Moto members that say they have "paid their dues", and seem to be now enjoying the streets and social events. So there seems to be life after the track.



Good luck to all in finding your ratio of life pleasure and managing risks. A single event can make you look wrong, but we still must seek what seems right for us throughout our lives. The right time to stop (I am not saying quit forever) something, is when you are focusing more on the dangers and the pleasure has tapered off. I know something about stopping. But don't just quit something because of your first scare, now can be the start of your safe period based on a reality check.


Good rides,



Conclusion (Top of Page)


Enjoying and risking it on the streets.