UK bike track day providers
We’ve rounded up the places you can get on track in the UK and taken a look at the companies that help you get on track. Bike track days are just about the only time you’ll be able to take your bike to its limits, in a way that’s legal, safer than roads and let’s face it, way more fun than practically anything else you can do on two wheels.
We love our track days here at Biker & Bike. We’re on a mission to do every single UK track and hopefully a few of the European ones before we have to hang the keys up.
As we say in our ‘Your first track day’ piece, just one track day will improve your riding skills significantly.
How you use speed, your awareness, your technique and your level of control over the bike will come on leaps and bounds, even if you’ve been riding for decades.
So, seeing as we are preaching a gospel and we want to get everyone sorted, here’s a list of the track day providers in one very handy place, along with some views culled from around the interwebs on which offer the best experience.
Most track day pricing is pretty level between the main providers but you can find the odd bargain if you hunt hard enough: we found a No Limits day at Snetterton that was £20 cheaper than MSV and even No Limit’s own usual price of £99.
But that’s pretty rare. Focussed can sometimes look more expensive, but it’s often because they have put something special into a package, such as a day with current and former racers like Jamie Whitham and Neil Hodgson.
Rained-off track days
Although clearly rained-off days are not the operator’s fault, it leaves a sour taste in the mouth when your hard-earned day is completely lost to the elements and there’s no compensation.
Unfortunately, if it’s pissing down and you don’t want to ride, you can’t just demand your money back.
Fortunately, the three major players do have wet-weather policies. If you are doing a circuit- or club-organised day you’ll have to check their individual T&C’s as to whether you get a refund for credit note for another day.
However, having experienced one of the wettest days of my life, on or off bike, at Cadwell Park once, I will tell you that operators will stretch the limits of reason when deciding whether a track is wet enough to be deemed dangerous. Aquaplaning anyone?
All tracks do have a safety policy, however. If Race Control (the circuit’s own managers who are responsible for the safety of you and the marshals) say it’s too wet, the track day operator has to abide by that and call the session to an end.
Bike track day locations
These are the UK race tracks that run motorbike track days.[wpgmza id=”2″]
18 UK tracks to get your bike on
The track day providers
MSV Track days
Motor Sport Vision (MSV) actually own five of the UK tracks, four of which, Brands Hatch, Snetterton, Oulton Park and Cadwell Park feature regularly on bike and car race calendars.
Only their Bedford Autodrome track doesn’t but it’s a beauty, especially if you live in the South East and your only other near option is Brands Hatch.
Brands Indy circuit is small and technically challenging and nearly all right-handers. Bedford is the opposite, with a nearly 1/4 mile straight and loads of left-hookers to even up the wear on your tyres if you’ve been at Brands.
The Brands GP circuit is pretty much universally accepted as the best bike track in the country, better even than Silverstone. Along as you’ve got the money and the sheer balls for it.
The MSV team are extremely professional and possibly a bit tighter on rules and regulations than other providers who run events at the same circuits. They do possibly have a closer relationship to the track marshals though, and while the rules are never bent as such, they do go a long way to help you if you have an issue with noise or clothing regulations.
Noise is a big deal at many tracks, especially at Bedford where I’ve been a victim of a noise warning on a bike that wasn’t particularly loud. I’d passed the static test fine, but the drive by reading saw me flagged.*
MSV wet track policy
MSV’s policy, lifted from the website is: ‘Where a track day is cancelled in its entirety for such reasons… (a) a full credit towards a place on an alternative, later track day (subject to availability) up to the face value of the existing booking or, (b) if MSV cannot provide an alternative date, a full refund.’
It’s not clear from their T&C’s though if that applies to a day where some sessions have already been completed.
Getting an MSV bike track day discount
MSV offer a discount card, where you get 10% off your next booking after attending three events. That doesn’t sound like much and indeed if you had done the same number of events with No Limits, below, you’d save more with NL. It does, however apply to evening session as well. And we are very fond of those.
Every time someone runs a poll of the best track day companies on a Facebook group like Trackday Addicts No Limits comes out near or at the top. We have to agree, based on personal experiences.
Before we forget, join the Trackday Addicts on FB and there’s an excellent pinned post with details of track noise limits, static noise test limits, garage and camping availability and more.
No Limits days are arguably more relaxed than MSV and run on many of the same tracks. The instructors are really friendly, happy to pass on advice, even happier if you book a training session with them.
You’ll often bump into the guys that actually run No Limits when you are on one of their days, and it shows in the day itself, which is all about maximising every little squirt of joy from the throttle.
We find that, as they are less concerned about running to the clock, they often get you out on the track quicker when it’s your group’s turn, meaning less chance of a missed or reduced session towards the end of the day.
Their FB group is fairly active BTW, with bikes, scrubs and fairings etc. all up for grabs. You can sometimes pick up cheaper track days from people who have booked but can’t make the day.
No Limits wet track policy
We found no wet day policy on the website so we approached them direct anonymously and, bizarrely, got two different responses: “If the day has already been running then, unfortunately the circuit [doesn’t] make any refunds. If however the day never even starts then everyone gets a full credit towards another day.” That’s from Mark. But Paul has a slightly different version, “In the event that weather conditions are so severe that the circuit cancels the event, we would normally issue some kind of credit towards another event – but the amount will be dependent on what time of day this judgement call is made.” Basically, ask for a refund from Paul. 🙂
Getting a No Limits bike track day discount
No Limits offer a pretty generous loyalty scheme: £75 voucher once you’ve collected 7 stamps. However, the stamps can only be collected by attending a full, UK-only all-day event, not European or Evening events. And if you got a discount for that day or were on a group package, you won’t get a stamp. All of which means it can be harder to actually save money with No Limits, unless you are caning the track on a very regular basis.
We have to say that we’ve noticed that Facebook group and forum members offer some pretty mixed reports for Focused.
Yes there are positive recommendations and stories of great days, especially when a Star Rider is involved. But there are also a great many complaints, often around the attitude of a particular member of the senior team at Focused.
However, speak direct to someone who has actually been on a Focused Event, and the story is very different – the days are very well run and professional with a friendly bunch of instructors…
As we haven’t ridden with them yet we couldn’t say but one thing we do know is that they have a cracking list of tracks including the monsters Silverstone (including the GP circuit) and Donington, as well as the smaller Rockingham and pocket-sized Pembury over on the Welsh coast.
The thing that really makes Focused stand out from the other riders is their Star Rider session where you can ride with often a WSB, BSB or WSS champion. Neil Hodgson, Niall Mackenzie, Wayne Gardner, James Whitam, John Reynolds and Andrew Pitt all ride exclusively with Focussed Events.
If you’re really lucky, you can get to ride with the biggest smile on the grid: Steve Plater British Supersport Champion, BSB winner, TT winner, Northwest 200 winner, Macau GP winner…
Focused also have a large range of track day bikes, including BMW, Ducati, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Triumph available to hire, direct from them.
All of which backs up their claim to be the No1. track day operator in Europe.
That said, they aren’t members of the Association of Track Day Operators, whereas MSV and No Limits both are. The ATDO has a stringent Code of Practice and a Complaints Procedure if things don’t go to plan.
Focused events wet track policy
FE’s policy is a bit more flexible than the others but less generous if there’s a complete washout.
1 session lost – No credit
2 sessions lost – 12.5% credit
3 sessions lost – 25% credit
4 sessions lost – 37.5% credit
5 sessions lost – 50% credit
6 sessions lost – 62.5% credit
7 sessions lost – 75% credit
You have to remember that the credit is exactly that – credit for a future event that you’d have to buy. It’s not a refund on the event that has just been cancelled.
There are a few exclusions, including weekend events, which doesn’t seem that fair, as these events can be considerably more expensive than weekday sessions. And the guarantee doesn’t cover extras you may have taken out such as track bike hire or time with a Star Rider.
On our internet travels, we also found what is possibly the best-kept secret in UK bike track days, Darley Moor, which we found a lot of love for on the TDA group when we asked about it.
There’s no reason why these smaller circuits can’t be a lot of fun and they are often cheaper than the big boys – so worth investigating.
Make the most of it.
Get yourself sorted:
If you’re looking to do your first track day, go for the most local teach, regardless of the provider. If something happens to you or the bike, it’s better to be closer to home.
If you are worried about noise tests, take your baffles and get tested without them in. Then if you do fail on either the static or the drive-by readings you have the option of putting them in, sacrificing some power, and staying on track.
*I still suspect that it wasn’t me that should have got the noise warning but my mate on his KTM Duke, from which he’d lost his baffles during the 2nd session. The bastard laughed when I told him about it, too.
If you are one of the track days providers and you think we have got something factually wrong in our round-up, please get in touch via the Contact Us page.