UTAH MOTOR NEWS  Performance, Motorsports and Automotive News and Events for Utah and the Surrounding Area.

Your Street Bike In the Fast Lane: APEXtrackdays

| May 16, 2024

There are plenty of great opportunities for street bike riders in Utah and surrounding states to get their motorcycles on a world-class race track. “APEXtrackdays” was born 20 years ago from the passion of riders who hoped to make quality track time affordable and within reach. Today they’re still going strong.

The APEX Experience

APEXtrackdays participation isn’t just about prepping you for motorcycle racing. For many, it’s simply a thrilling opportunity to have a blast while honing their skills. 

Riders are split into three groups. The A Group houses the experts and racers.  Meanwhile, the B and C Groups cater to intermediate and beginner riders, respectively, with their own exclusive track times.

The day kicks off early with a 7:00 am arrival at UMC. Riders turn in signed waivers and self-tech inspection forms before diving into a riders’ meeting. Newbies also get a “First Time Orientation” focusing on track operation and safety. 

At 9:00 am the track comes to life, with every rider group enjoying 15 to 20 minute sessions over each of seven hours. That’s plenty of track time for early-registration fees that start at just $259 to $279. A first-time rider promotion, currently being offered, discounts that fee even further. 

APEXtrackdays aren’t primarily instructional. Still there are coaches on hand to help with questions on technique or mastering tricky track segments. 

For 2024, APEX lined up eight events at the Utah Motorsports Campus. Six of those events are still up for grabs. 

The point of all this is for riders to explore and expand—not exceed—their limits in a safe environment. After all, sportbikes are about thrill and capability. APEX opens the door to unleash most of that potential and maximize the fun factor! 

Cost-Effective, High-Speed Riding

For riders eying the track scene, APEXtrackdays can help you get started.

First, the Utah Sport Bike Association sometimes joins with APEX to offer “New Racer Certification” and “Advanced Rider Training.” Those USBA courses do prepare riders for the racing environment. And combining both events lowers costs for both organizations’ riders. 

Second, according to Dave Barbee, APEXtrackdays co-owner, sportbikes offer one of the most wallet-friendly routes to high-speed riding. While prices have seen a post-pandemic bump, you can still snag a decent track bike for around $6000. Don’t forget your protective gear, including leathers, boots, gloves, and a full-face helmet. All are mandatory for the track.  To avoid scraping during hard cornering, aftermarket rearsets are helpful to raise footpeg and shift lever height. Good rearsets start at around $300 to $400. 

It’s always tempting to splurge on performance enhancements, but sportbikes keep it mostly reasonable. Upgraded engine control units start around $300 to $400, with exhaust systems ranging from $500 to $1500. Racing plastics—sportbike body kits—can be as low as $150. 

Most riders opt for DOT race tires. Since those are also legal for street use, a dedicated set of track tires isn’t necessary. Tire warmers, however, help provide immediate maximum traction. Warmers, starting around $250 per set, also reduce heat cycling and extend tire life. 

So while racing is rarely cheap, competitive sportbikes are noticeably less expensive to prep and operate than race cars. Dave points out one especially cost-effective approach: grab a solid motorcycle with a salvaged title and prep it for the track. 

A Great Sportbike Community

As much fun as it is to be on the track, it’s just as enjoyable to talk to riders and organizers. Riders I talked to were having fun and spoke highly of the experience. In fact, many traveled from neighboring states, or farther, just to get a crack at a world class road course. They were also more than helpful in answering questions about their sport. 

Thinking about getting your bike on track? You’ll soak up heaps of invaluable advice and tap into a wealth of experience just by hanging around an APEX event. Plus, you’re likely to make awesome friends along the way. 

Here’s to Dave Barbee, Travis Child, and Clint Warner, the motive force behind APEXtrackdays since 2004. They’ve kept the adrenaline pumping into their 21st year, and hundreds, if not thousands, of riders are thankful for it! 

© 2024, R Bairett

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