Riding Monticello with Sport Bike Track Time

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Photos: Terry Zorich/EventPhotoNow.com

Usually when we do trackdays, half the sessions end up being red flagged
due to idiots crashing and what time we do get on track is marred by
overcrowded groups and overly aggressive riders. That wasn’t the case at
the two consecutive trackdays Grant and I did with Sport Bike Track
last week. Thanks to good organization, active participation by
rider coaches and outstanding off-track services those two days were
some of the easiest, most fun that we’ve spent at a track. >

Monticello Motor Club was conceived as a private, members-only track that’s only recently started renting time for motorcycle track days. As such, the track is awesome, but there’s very little in the way of facilities. The Paddock where STT staged is still gravel and there’s no source of shade there, pit garages have yet to be built. Taking a pavilion tent or similar would have been a good idea, but we rode up, so we just hung out in the air-conditioned club house tent a couple hundred yards away.

That gravel paddock was filled with services though. Frank Matera — former head mechanic at Ducati/Aprilia NY and former wrench with both Pro Thunder and the Fast by Feracci superbike team – was there doing tech and helping guys get their bikes set up for the track. Heroic Racing was renting track gear. The Ducati Fast Track program, run by Doug Polen, was tutoring new Ducati customers and Doug was on-track for most of Monday. STT’s own PRO school was there too, operating on a separate portion of the track. Its student graduate with WERA licenses. Terry Zorich from Event Photo Now was there taking pictures and making them available the same day. The only facility that  was really needed was some way to buy food and drinks outside of the grille that was going at lunch. Pack snacks and water bottles, you can buy the latter from Monticello at $3 a bottle.

Grant was riding an Aprilia RSV4 R and I was on the 2010 MV Agusta F4. Both of us rode in Intermediate, a group that’s usually overcrowded and filled with riders of varying abilities; from guys doing their second-ever trackday to guys like us trying to be gentle to borrowed bikes. Monday’s Intermediate group was a little crowded, largely due to people like us showing up outside STT’s normal booking process. Despite that, the average skill level was pretty high and everyone was riding safely. We felt confident no one was going to knock us off our expensive bikes. Tuesday had a lot fewer participants, mostly since the Ducati Fast Track school had cleared out, so was even easier. Instructors circulated through all the groups, showing riders new lines or providing them with feedback where necessary. There were only a couple crashes spread across both days and the whole thing was notably free from assholes with something to prove.

STT comped our fees for both days, but the $175 price is seriously reasonable. We actually bought a ticket so one of our buddies could join us, but he pussed out at the last minute because the girly transmission blew on his girly truck. He missed out, Sport Bike Track Time puts on a great trackday. We plan to go back on July 23, STT’s next Monticello date.

Sport Bike Track Time

Editor’s note: we’ll be bringing you additional features on the bikes, but wanted to give STT its own writeup since they’re doing such a good job.

  • Tony

    Sportbike Track Time is a class organization. They also sponsor Erik Buell Racing, which wins them points in my book.

  • Zeitgeist

    Monte & Bonnie are the classiest people in the industry. They set the bar many other schools could learn from. This reminds me I am WAYYYYYY overdue for a trackday.

  • Jordan J.

    This past Sunday I rode with STT at Barbers and I really enjoy riding with their crew!

  • Randoms

    I agree, Monte and Bonnie are awesome – the club I’m in has done some events in conjunction with them. And I really enjoyed the instructors as well, since I was a noobie (still am) to motorcycles and track days I ended up with my own coach. Their ability to shuffle people around (novice–>intermediate–>Advanced etc) speaks to their ability to effectively assess rider competence? ability maybe? and have the students get the most out of their track day. I can’t wait to go back, hopefully I can get the same instructor :)

    Looks like you guys were in the advanced group :) I liked how STT stacked the groups too – we were able to watch the advanced riders while we waited/weren’t in the classroom portion. It’s really great that there are so many opportunities to learn and grow as a rider (track days, Pro schools, advanced riding courses).

  • Mike

    I was there on that Tuesday, great day all in all. Like they said, very little asshole-ishness and plenty of room. You guys have some nice bikes to play with!

  • http://ttrno.com Max

    I have done a fair share of track days with different organizations and STT takes the cake. As Wes mentioned they are very well organized and everything you need is there. The most impressive part about their operation was how quickly they get everything going after a red flag. After my experience there I’m a bit spoiled.

  • http://www.freshmilc.com Noah

    Can anyone compare STT to Team Promotion or NESBA?

  • http://muthalovin.com the_doctor

    Sounds like a fun time. Track days are a great way to track ones ability as a rider. Once summer transitions, I plan on checking out some facilities in central Texas.

  • Renard

    You have a good idea but I feel there should be a few rules.
    The hole experience from booking your track day and having one issue, then getting to the track, going thru tech and then riding. Also there should be a way to rate the coaching staff and any other person you deal with at the track.
    THX for thank you for the nice write up.
    Grant I help you at tech when you guys showed up Monday.


    STT East coast Instructor

  • abe

    I have ridden with STT, Team Promotion, and Nesba and would rate my experiences in that order – STT best (especially for beginners, but overall the best package in all aspects), Team Promotion 2nd best, and Nesba last.