Gear Inspection

 

The following is a technical writeup that I completed for use by Pacific Track Time and is published here to assist riders in conducting an inspection of their motorcycle gear.  I have seen over 100 motorcycle crashes and I can tell you that proper gear is a wise investment; proper motorcycle gear will prevent injury and could save your life.   I believe in leather (jackets and suits) and when combined with Forcefield body armor, you’ve got a winning combination.

 

Here is valuable information from the Pacific Track Time website:

 

Checking your riding gear and safety equipment is just as important as checking your motorcycle.  Most racers constantly inspect their equipment to make sure it will perform as required during a crash.  We all love riding motorcycles and you may crash at some point in your motorcycle career; proper safety gear can minimize your injury potential if your gear is worn and functioning properly.  Riding gear is an investment of your health and safety and while you don’t necessarily need to spend a lot of money, you often get what you pay for when it comes to safety equipment.

Pacific Track Time cannot stress enough the importance of proper safety equipment.  We always recommend using known good products from reputable companies.  Make sure your helmet is at least DOT rated and preferably also SNELL rated.  Make sure your helmet was manufactured in the last 5 years and preferably in the last 3 years.  Manufacturer dates can be checked on the back of the helmet or inside the helmet.  If you have ever been in a crash with your helmet and your helmet or head has touched the ground, your helmet is no longer DOT / SNELL rated and it may not protect you.  Make sure your helmet fits properly; your chin strap and chin snap are in good condition and also working properly.

A suit can be 1 piece or 2 piece and we recommend leather.  2 piece suits are not as protective as 1 piece suits but are popular with people who spend time riding on the street with their jacket and have a pair of pants for the track.  If you are wearing a 2 piece suit, the zipper must be a 360 degree zipper that securely attaches the jacket to the pants, or the suit may separate in a crash.  Check the seams of the suit to make sure none of the seams are weak from use – and in a new suit, make sure the seams are sewn properly!  If you have crashed in your suit previously, that isn’t a problem as many suits can stand up to several crashes.  Make sure there are no holes or tears in the suit and make sure the leather isn’t worn too thin at the crash damage.  Make sure the zipper is in proper working condition and doesn’t pop loose – an old or damaged zipper may not hold together during a crash.  Make sure your knee pucks are properly positioned to touch the ground when your knee is out and make sure they are firmly attached to your suit.  Lastly, check your suit for fit – it should be snug but not tight; and a suit that is too loose will flap in the wind and won’t protect you as well in a crash.

Next, check your gloves.  Gloves often wear thin on the palms if you’ve been using them frequently.  Wear is normal in this area but you need to make sure the leather is still thick enough to protect your hands.  Check all of the seams or your gloves then check any Velcro or straps to make sure they are functioning properly.  The hand is made of many small bones and day to day activities require fine motor movements – so it is important to protect your hands.  Many racers invest $200 – $300 in their gloves; while you may not need to spend this much to protect your hands, it is definitely not an area to skimp.

Check your boots next, making sure they are intact, the sole is attached to the boot and there is material left on the bottom of the boot.  Make sure that any sliders on the boot are firmly attached and not missing any screws (you don’t want a slider coming off on the track).  Boots should be sturdy and firm – not worn out and feel like a tennis shoe.  Road racing boots are more flexible than motocross boots but should still offer a lot of support.

Lastly, check your back protector for function and proper fit.  If your suit does not have a built in back protector, althought it’s not mandatory, we highly reccomend investing in a back protector under your suit.  Racers are required to wear a separate back protector (not part of the suit) and we think this is a good idea.  Your spine is a very important part of your body and a back protector will help dissipate energy and prevent injury during a crash.  Make sure your back protector fits properly and is in good condition.

Pacific Track Time technical inspectors are happy to help you check your gear if you have any questions.  If you feel like you are having gear issues at any point during a track day, please don’t hesitate to let us know and we’ll see what we can do to help!

 

 
A useful PDF checklist from Pacific Track Time can be found here: trackday_checklist