In this engaging interview, we had the pleasure of chatting with Jim Joyce, a track day expert from Brake Free Track Time. If you’re curious about the world of track days, this conversation provides valuable insights into what they’re all about. Whether you’re an experienced rider or new to the motorcycle scene, Jim sheds light on the exhilarating experience of taking your motorcycle onto a racetrack.
A Conversation with Jim Joyce
Setting the Stage
Host (Allen Butler): Greetings everyone! I’m Allen Butler from the Helmet Center, and today we have the pleasure of talking with Jim Joyce from Brake Free Track Time. Jim, thank you for joining us today. We’re excited to dive into the world of track days and learn from your expertise.Jim Joyce: Thank you, Allen. It’s great to be here and discuss track days with you.
Unveiling the Essence of Track Days
Allen Butler: To begin, let’s help our audience understand what track days are all about. Jim, could you explain the concept of a track day and how you got involved in this exciting activity?Jim Joyce: Certainly, Allen. Track days are events where motorcycle enthusiasts have the opportunity to ride their bikes on a closed racetrack. It’s a chance to explore the capabilities of your motorcycle in a safe and controlled environment, away from the hazards of public roads. My journey into track days began when I started working at the racetrack. That’s where my nickname “Philly” originated from, thanks to my Philadelphia roots. I started as a corner worker and gradually became deeply involved in the track day scene.
Embracing the Track Day Experience
Allen Butler: Fascinating! So, for those who might not be familiar with this, could you elaborate on what exactly happens during a track day?Jim Joyce: Absolutely. A track day offers riders the opportunity to unleash their motorcycles’ potential legally and safely. Unlike regular street riding, track days allow you to explore high speeds and aggressive maneuvers in a controlled environment. It’s not about racing against other riders; instead, you’re competing against the clock to improve your own skills and lap times. It’s all about pushing your limits while ensuring safety is a top priority.
Who Can Participate?
Allen Butler: It sounds like an amazing experience, Jim. Now, who can participate in track days? Is this an activity exclusively for experienced riders, or can newcomers get involved as well?Jim Joyce: Track days are open to riders of all experience levels. In fact, we’ve seen a surge in new riders joining track days over the past several years. It’s a fantastic way for beginners to gain confidence and learn proper riding techniques. Back in the day, accessing a racetrack required getting a racing license and taking a new riders’ clinic. But now, track days have made it much easier for everyone to get on the track without the pressure of racing.
Choosing the Right Bike
Allen Butler: That’s great to know, Jim. What kind of motorcycles are suitable for track days? Can riders bring any type of bike, or are there specific requirements?Jim Joyce: Generally, any motorcycle that passes safety inspections can be brought to a track day. From sportbikes and touring bikes to supermotos and even some cruisers, you’ll find a variety of motorcycles on the track. However, bikes with limited ground clearance might face some challenges, particularly on more aggressive tracks. The key is to ensure your bike is mechanically sound, has good tires, and is capable of safely maneuvering on the track.
The Importance of Safety Equipment
Allen Butler: Safety is paramount during any motorcycle activity. What safety equipment is required for participating in track days?Jim Joyce: Safety is indeed a top priority. Riders are required to wear protective gear, including a helmet, gloves, boots that cover the ankles, and either a one-piece or two-piece suit that zips together. Back protectors are also recommended for added safety. We emphasize safety checks and also offer equipment rentals to ensure everyone has the necessary gear to enjoy a safe track experience.
Learning and Growing on the Track
Allen Butler: Learning and skill improvement seem to be fundamental to the track day experience. Can you tell us more about the learning process during track days?Jim Joyce: Absolutely, Allen. Riders of all skill levels have the opportunity to learn and progress. Our beginner group includes a free New Riders Clinic to help newcomers become familiar with the track and basic riding techniques. Throughout the day, we focus on improving riding skills, understanding proper lines, and honing techniques like cornering and braking. The track day environment encourages riders to push their boundaries while also ensuring a safe and controlled setting.
How to Get Involved
Allen Butler: It’s evident that track days offer a unique blend of excitement and skill enhancement. For those interested, how can they get involved and participate in track days?Jim Joyce: Interested riders can find all the necessary information on our website, Brake Free Track Time. We have a user-friendly interface where you can sign up for track days, access track maps, and learn about the different facilities. We also have a phone line for those who prefer to speak directly with us. We recommend newcomers come out to observe a track day before participating. It’s a great way to witness the experience and connect with the track day community.
Looking Ahead to Thrilling Track Days
Allen Butler: Thank you so much, Jim. Your insights have shed light on the exhilarating world of track days. Your passion and expertise are truly inspiring. We hope to have you back to share more stories and adventures from your track day experiences.Jim Joyce: My pleasure, Allen. I look forward to sharing more insights and stories in the future. Stay safe and keep the rubber side down!
The conversation with Jim Joyce provided a comprehensive understanding of track days and their appeal to riders of all skill levels. Whether you’re a seasoned rider seeking to hone your skills or a beginner looking to gain confidence, track days offer a controlled and exhilarating environment to explore the capabilities of your motorcycle. As Jim Joyce shared his insights and experiences, it’s clear that track days are not just about speed but also about pushing boundaries, learning, and fostering a strong sense of community among riders. If you’re seeking an adrenaline-fueled adventure that promotes safety and skill development, track days might just be the perfect fit for you.
Allen is an Arizona native who is also the Helmet Center's marketing manager. He enjoys hiking, fishing, and general outdoor activities.