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New Rider interested in motorbike racing

Discussion in 'Racing, Motorsports, and Track Days' at netrider.net.au started by Marlon, Nov 20, 2006.

  1. Hey Guys!

    Pretty quiet part of the forum this, but i thought I'd have a crack.

    I'm a new rider, getting my P's soon, hopefully, but I'm having an absolute blast on the bike at the moment. I've been keeping an eye on some of the bike racing websites and forums online, and I've got some very simple questions that I'm frightened are too stupid to ask.

    I imagine bike racing is similar to car club racing (my old man races a PRB - Aussie made lotus replica) with practice days etc. A lot of work, garage space needed and as much mechanical prowess to keep it all going. Not to mention money.

    Now, for el question. Is there a particular discipline well suited to a new rider? One that's cheap and easy to become slightly competitive in, while learning all the basics. I've hunted around the net for as much information as possible, but it seems the motorbike racing community is a bit of a 'secret society'. I'm mainly interested in the road racing, though motard looks like an absolute blast. Any help, or even being pointed in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.


  2. Sure, best thing to do is join up with a local racing club........ Which state are you in?

    As far as starting with racing.... there are loads of classes... I would dare to say that the begginer classes would be the 125cc GP bikes, and the 400cc class.....

    But that said.... The only reason I would say these would be beginner is because the horsepower is lower than the rest.... A lot of people in those classes are very very skilled and very hard to beat.... They also have spent some very serious money on their bikes......

    But you dont have to be a winner to race...

    I would suggest you do some cornering classes and trackdays first.... to get a good feeling for being at the track etc.... Track days are also a great way to make contacts because a lot of racers go to track days to get some extra track time..... They are easy enough to spot......
  3. Given that your location is listed as Sydney I will base my comments around the NSW racing scene.

    Firstly you indicate that you are after something 'cheap', but just how cheap?

    As an example I would look at 4 possible classes that may be suitable but it does all come down to dollars.

    Buckets - can be purchased from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars and are run in conjunction with the PCRA (http://www.postclassicracing.com.au/) who do have some information in their forums regarding starting out racing. All up, cheap with low speeds and a very good welcoming environment amongst the competitors.

    125cc - can be purchased from around $2500 and upwards, are remarkably quick and carry high corner speeds. But, being a two stroke they require a lot of skill to ride well together with regular maintenence. As an example at the recent Australian Superbike round I was speaking with one of the mid pack 125cc riders who menioned that he would go through 6 pistons per year together with 2 sets of tyres a meeting. But the total cost would still come in around $7500 (excluding the bike) for the full year and that was at national level, club level would be appreciably cheaper. The 125cc riders are a good bunch but split into two man categories, those using 125cc as a stepping stone to oveseas competition and those who just love 2 strokes and ride for sheer love and enjoyment.

    400cc - probably the most competitive of the classes and machines can be picked up from around $3000 and will be reasonably competitive from the start. They are fairly bulletproof if looked after and provide a very strong learning curve for future racing endeavours. Again the competitors are a very friendly bunch and will welcome and assist any newcomers, but at the top end it is extremely competitive and does have the added bonus of the Tri state challenge with other riders and states being involved.

    650cc twins - only a new class in NSW and likely the most expensive to start with as a result. The class is specifically for twin cyclinder machines up to a capacity of 650cc (ie. SV650, ER6, Monster 620, Hyosung 650 etc) and as a good following in some states. It does allow a new SV650 to be purchased frm Suzuki (via a dealer) for $7200 but by the time you remove the unnecessaries and add on the necessaries woul will be looking at $10000 or thereabouts.

    Ok, so that covers the bikes but you still need to factor in a lot of additional costs, only some of these are listed below.

    * Leathers (available from $500 and upwards)
    * Back Protector (around $75 and up)
    * Gloves
    * Boots
    * Helmet (should even have 2 in case one gets damaged in an off)
    * Fuel for each meeting
    * Tyres
    * Service costs
    * Spares
    * Accomodaion for away meets

    As a guide, many of the club level racers I know budget for around $50 - $750 for each race weekend as a minimum.

    Now, if still interested would suggest that you fist choose a discipline (ie. Road Race, Supermoto etc) and then locate a club within your area. Then contact that club, ask all the questions again including any bikes for sale as many people sell their machines this time of year. But, the best thing you can do is try to get along to some of the meets and vlunteer as a flaggie or something similar to understand and see for yourself what is involved, make contacts and then make that final decision.

    Whatever you end up choosing just make sure that you enjoy it.

  4. Thanks GCO, that's exactly what I was after!

    I can understand the ongoing cost of racing, my old man runs a Lotus Clubman, and is constantly going through tyres, clutches, brakes etc.

    But that's EXACTLY what i was after, thanks for the post mate, it's very much appreciated!
  5. GCO thats a good post (even if it is repeated 3 times :p )

    Marlon - I'm very involved in getting the 650 Twins class off the ground so if that is of interest to you, please feel free to email me for more details. Otherwise see the other thread in this section of the forum specifically on this class - lots of details there and I'll keep it up to date as we race this year.

    GCO is right about costs - but you can do 650 Twin racing far cheaper than that, if you don't insist on starting with a new bike. My near-new but slightly crashed SV650 (05 model with 3000km on it) cost me $3900 from a wreckers, and I'll have it on the track ready to race for about $5k (but I do have some of the bits needed anyway). That makes it very comparable with the cost of a 10-year old thoroughly thrashed 400cc... and I know which I'd rather be racing ;)

    Join a club, come watch us all racing (we'll be racing at Eastern Creek on 10/11 Feb) and have a wander through the pits, talk to the racers, check out the bikes and see what appeals. If you do, come and say hi to me - black & red SV650 #67 and we can let you know a bit more about it.

  6. Yeah, no idea what happenned there, maybe good old trigger finger got in the way.

    As for the pricing of the 650twins I did forget the option of 2nd hand purchases which could be appreciably cheaper (even getting an early model SV would save many thousands).

    Will see you when you try to get the SV passed in Fenbruary.

  7. :LOL: memo to self - don't irritate scrutineers...