TrackAddix Track Days with Ducati Omaha
LET'S TALK ABOUT TRACK DAYS
If you have seen virtually ANY of the Ducati product launch videos for new Ducati models, you have probably noticed that there is nearly always video of the new bike being ridden on a race track. You may have wondered, "Why are they riding a street bike on the track?" Well the reason is that Ducati is a RACING company, and the RACE track is one of the primary development platforms for all of the new technology that Ducati develops. No other manufacturer comes CLOSE to Ducati's development link between racing and street bikes. Ducati proves new technology in racing, usually pioneering a new technology from scratch, which is then adopted by other manufacturers a year or two later. This is the advantage of a technology-focused, small and nimble manufacturer vs. the "big players" who manufacture hundreds of thousands or millions of motorcycles per year.
Fun fact: Did you know that Ducati's CEO Claudio Domenicali was a Ducati Corse racing development engineer, eventually running the entire racing operation at Ducati, before becoming CEO, and is an AVID racer/track rider himself? We'd venture to guess that Claudio is the FASTEST CEO on a motorcycle of any motorcycle manufacturer, by far.
So what does that mean for YOU as a Ducati owner? Well, first of all you are sitting on the pinnacle of motorcycle technology from whatever year your bike was manufactured. And second of all, YOUR Ducati was engineered to be capable of thrilling performance on a race track, regardless of its primary purpose.
So now that we have THAT out of the way, meaning the answer to the question "Can MY Ducati really be ridden on a race track?", which is "YES!", now let's talk about why YOU would want to ride on a race track.
We are speaking from experience here as not only an Exclusive Ducati dealership for over 15 years, but as a dealership that STARTED as a racing company, with OWNERS who have been riding and racing on tracks for 20 years and a STAFF comprised of many track riders. Way back in 2009 we took our dedication to providing track riding opportunities for our customers to the next level by purchasing our OWN track day company, TrackAddix! We'll be starting our 13th year in 2022 of operating our OWN track days at Motorsports Park Hastings, in Hastings, Nebraska, about 2 hours West of Omaha.
So all of that is just to say "WE KNOW WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT WHEN IT COMES TO TRACK RIDING".
What we have observed over the years is that the Ducati riders who come out and get some training on the race track are far and above the average skill level of any motorcyclist you may see on the road. Riders with track training are faster, safer, more confident, and have more finely-tuned skills. These are the riders who are the most FUN to ride with on the street as well.
So what about YOU? Are you a candidate to try something new in 2022? Read on to determine if you see yourself described below........
IS THIS YOU?
Timid Timmy - This is normally a newer rider who doesn't have tens of thousands of miles under his belt. Timmy regularly scares himself when he rides on the street by twisting the throttle a little too hard and not really knowing how to deal with speed, but it's thrilling to him. Timmy is taking ENORMOUS risks as a street rider without really realizing it, he just thinks this is how you learn to ride a motorcycle, you have to scare yourself in order to learn. He LIKES the performance his Ducati offers, but he doesn't know how to really USE it.
Serious Susie - Susie has been riding for a few years, and she takes riding seriously, she has attended every level of MSF course and regularly seeks riding training materials to read up on. She likes riding, but also wants to be the safest she can be on 2 wheels as she understands this sport is riskier than driving a car. She wishes she knew how to really increase her riding skill level, but hasn't found anything magical to make that happen as reading about riding can only do so much vs. actual riding training.
Grizzled Gary - This rider has several Iron Butt rides in his past, has owned dozens of motorcycles, is confident in his riding ability, and generally thinks that riding on a race track is for young "Ricky Racer" types. Gary would tell you he COULD go fast around a race track if he wanted to, but he doesn't want to.
Adrenalin Andy - Andy likes to go fast. Andy is always at the front of the pack on street rides, and can't wait to twist the throttle as hard as he can. Andy rides WAY too fast on the street to be comfortable for many of his riding buddies. On the surface Andy seems to be a skilled rider, until you notice he only goes fast in a straight line and then slows way down in the corners. Andy is the personification of the truth that being fast on the STREET is way more about how much risk you're willing to take than it is about how much RIDING SKILL you have.
SO WHICH OF THOSE RIDERS WOULD BENEFIT FROM TRACK RIDING?
You have probably guessed at this point that the answer is ALL of them could benefit tremendously from some track riding training and experience.
Timid Timmy - He will learn that taking risk is not required to gain more riding skills. Being trained on how to develop and practice the skills is the answer, not scaring himself and hoping eventually that he picks up the skills before he crashes. Timmy will learn how much more FUN he could have on his motorcycle than he currently is.
Serious Susie - She will finally find that "magical" experience she's been looking for, where she can actually SEE and FEEL her skill level going up in a meaningful way, through training and experience in riding at the track. Susie will find her confidence level as a rider increasing to levels she previously didn't think were possible.
Grizzled Gary - He will learn all of the things he doesn't know that he doesn't know. If he's willing to give up the idea that having tens of thousands of street miles under his belt somehow makes him the most highly skilled technical rider, he has a whole other world of thrills on tap. Gary will come away with a whole new appreciation for the sport he thought he already knew everything about.
Adrenalin Andy - He will realize that he's a motorcycle RACER at heart, and getting a taste of the track experience where he can go as FAST as he wants to, with a MUCH lower level of risk, no tickets, no left-turning traffic in front of him, etc. will likely transform his approach to street riding. It is not uncommon for Adrenalin Andy to slow WAY down on his street rides after getting some track experience, because he realizes how much risk he was taking before, and that the track is a WAY better venue for that type of riding than the street is.
HOW CAN I GET STARTED WITH TRACK RIDING?
Our affiliated track day company, TrackAddix, offers a full schedule of track day events from April through September every year! We have SIX full weekend events on our schedule, and SATURDAY track days always include our "New Track Rider's School" as a full-day program for 1st time track day riders!
If you're not quite ready to do the new track school, we also offer "Try The Track" sessions on SUNDAY track days where you can come out and get a first-hand experience ON THE TRACK on your street bike without ANY bike prep or full track riding gear requirements! Our instructors will give you some basic instruction and take you out on the track to experience it for yourself. The only caveat we can make is that we'll GUARANTEE that once you do the Try The Track session on Sunday, you'll wish you had arrived a day earlier and taken the full track school!
Try-The-Track is FREE for Ducati owners, including a FREE lunch, PLUS we organize a group ride to travel to the track with your fellow Ducatisti! Find all the details on the "Try The Track" page here:
WHAT CAN DUCATI OMAHA OFFER ME AS A NEW TRACK RIDER?
We are HERE to answer ALL of your questions about track days! Just contact us or stop by the store any time we're open and we'll be thrilled to answer all of your questions!
Here are some of the common questions we get that we can help you with!
- What do I need for riding gear to ride on the track?
- What do I need to do for prep on my bike to ride on the track?
- How much does it cost to ride at track days?
- Can I ride my bike to the track or should I haul it in a truck/trailer?
- What if I'm too slow to ride on the track?
- Am I too old to ride on the track, isn't it just for the younger crowd?
- I don't want to crash my bike, am I more likely to crash my bike on the track than I am on the street?
- Can I ride my street bike on the track or should I have a separate bike for the track?
- What tires should I have on my bike to ride on the track?
Fun Fact: Ducati Omaha gives YOU the complete TrackAddix New Track Rider's School for FREE with the purchase of a new Ducati motorcycle, and we always have done so! If you have bought a new Ducati from us in the past, and haven't taken the New Track Rider's School, you are entitled to this FOR FREE, all you need to do is talk to us to get it scheduled!
Ducati Omaha offers a FULL suite of services for track riders, from simply offering advice all the way up to building you a full-on dedicated track bike!
Track Bike Options:
If you are taking the FULL PLUNGE into track riding with a dedicated track bike, what bike should you choose?
- Ducati Panigale
- The Ultimate - same bike that Ducati races on the world stage. Panigale V4 and V2 models both make great track bikes and are EASY to ride fast
- Other Sporty Ducati
- Models such as the Streetfighter, SuperSport, Monster, Hypermotard and Pikes Peak Multistrada are VERY well suited to dedicated or semi-dedicated track use
- Other Ducati Models
- Models such as the Multistrada, Diavel, and Scrambler CAN definitely be ridden on the track but are not typically selected as a dedicated track platform beyond your first few track days
- Other Brand Sportbike
- Sure, any brand of "Sportbike" is going to be fine for the track, if you already own one that you want to turn into a track bike, go for it, and we can help
- "Lightweight Class" Sportbike
- Ah!! Here is something that we're VERY well versed in and HUGE proponents of! Unfortunately, Ducati does not currently manufacture a bike in this category so we have selected our preferred platform as the Kawasaki Ninja 400. We have a WEALTH of experience in building Ninja 300/400 track bikes, and have several of them sitting at our shop for you to check out any time. We SELL complete Ninja 400 track bikes, and we can also BUILD your current Ninja 400 into a track bike. Come see us for details!
We'd love to chat with YOU about your track day aspirations, contact us any time and we'll be glad to help!