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Race Bikes, What to Look For When Buying

Discussion in 'Racing, Motorsports, and Track Days' started by Pleiades, Aug 3, 2009.

  1. Hey, thought this belongs here as it's a racing bike question. I'm looking to buy a race bike (got my K8 Gixxer sold, sale should finalise this weekend), and wondering if anyone has any tips for someone buying their first race bike. I'm most likely looking at a 400, although I'm also keen on the 600's. I plan to buy the bike soon, do a race tuition course (prolly with Wayne Maxwell at Broadford), then maybe try a race after a few track/race practice days (or I might just do track/race practice days this year and start racing in the new year).

    Tips, Gotchas, etc most appreciated.

  2. Don't buy someone elses clapped out shitbox. Build a new one. You will be better off in the long run.
  3. Fark, this is a can of worms.

    Obvious stuff:

    Fully race prep'd. That means all bolts lockwired, drain pipe snipped or going to bottles. Race glass (that fits or nearly fits!). Side engine protectors for your bike (crankcase covers). Usual protection such as frame and fork sliders.

    The bike has to run. I've bought a 400 lemon before and I swear that the person I bought it from actually swapped faulty parts over between sighting the bike and taking it away. There are some real shonky people out there.


    Spares. What do they have, if any? If it's a racer exiting the scene, look for race stands, tyre warmers, lap timers etc..Anything you can get thrown in will help.

    See if they have spare sprockets, rims (for wet weather). Check the usual for really damaged frames (alignment).

    The best way to do all of this is join a club, attend a few meetings, have a chat with the club secretary, president etc..Normally they'll know who is good to buy from and who to avoid (they'll gently warn you off known didgy bikes). If you buy from within the local club scene, you're less likely to buy a pup.

    I can't think of anything else at the moment.

    [EDIT] Beaten to it by Rog. My preference and what I did was buy a new bike. Cost me an arm and 2 legs and I still blew it up, but that's the luck of the draw. But building your own bike is a good way to learn what does and doesn't work.
  4. Cejay and I finally agree on something
  5. Well, there had to come a time, didn't there? :)
  6. a suggar mumma or bank to rob.

    damn pricey sport.... but id love to get into it
  7. It's not that bad...I race and so far I have been getting bargains (relatively speaking) and doing things yourself helps a lot...however repairing race glass sucks bollocks.

    As long as you don't write off the bike during a crash it shouldn't cost too much, especially in the 400.

    Check the tread on the tyres...if they seem a bit bald, try and haggle the price down, tyres are expensive in the 600 class compared to the 400...and the 400 class tyres will last you a season, not sure how long the tyres on the 600s will last, but surely not as long as 400s.

    If you want to get straight into practice and racing, I'd suggest getting a race prepped bike...and if it comes with a trailer, even better.

    I bought my VFR400 for a cheap price, but paid the price in getting things repaired and safer for riding (transmission, stator, front suspension, engine protectors, rectifier) and since I don't have a clue about the mechanical side of things, I got a mechanic to do it which ended costing me a fair bit but didn't cost me an arm and a leg in total. (it was half a lemon...)

    Spare parts are always good, you will be needing them...especially fairings and levers.

    Hope that adds a bit more on what cejay said :p

    phong =P~
  8. I don't think they will last you a season. There may be tread (depth) left, but after a few meetings they'll offer no grip and no feel. Heat cycles are unavoidable, even with tyre warmers and it's that what kills the feel and grip from the tyre. And when you start fighting for positions on the track, you won't be able to resist replacing them, no matter what your bank statement says. :)

    600's are even worse, with more power and what are in effect pukka race tyres (just with grooves in them). But racing was never meant to be cheap.... :)

    Racing is the biggest hit and it's so addictive. Moving up here for a totally different lifestyle, one of the things I really had to think about was the racing (or lack of it). We have a circuit (literally a go-kart track, but a good one) and once I get myself sorted out, will start again.

    Phongus, really glad you took the plunge. Lots of people talk about it, few do it.
  9. Don't dream it, do it, eh Cejay?
  10. Soon as I have recovered some of the money we spent getting up here. Mind you, racing in Winter up here makes lots of sense.
  11. Yep. Racing in Summer, up there, would be hard yakka.
  12. The bike is only one consideration and should be made based on what category you want to race in.

    And it also depends on what you want from racing? Just wanna cycle round with the boys at the back? Or do you want to give it a fair crack? or maybe it'll be your budget that decides!

    If you want a new one, then prepare for a few seasons of development then, and I hope you know all the in's and out's of the rules, so you know how to bend them like everyone else at the front! Otherwise it's a bit hard to turn away from a bike thats already been developed and has proven results under its belt.
  13. Ensure the VIN number isn't scratched off. You dont want to buy someones stolen pride and joy.
  14. Too right I don't. I'm guessing my K4 Gixxer is doing the rounds somewhere. Lost it about 4 1/2 years ago, parked in St K.

    I'm looking at a pretty nice looking ZXR 400, currently owned by a mate of a mate, so I have some history. The 400 classes sound like a good compromise of fun racing and (relative) affordability.

    As for:
    yeah, I'm feeling you. I get the impression that I might be wanting to appear at the pointy end. The ZXR I'm looking at has won a few races, so all I need is some talent and testosterone injections!
  15. Race bike

    Just make sure it's got 3 wide slicks on it!!!!! :cool: :LOL:
  16. Duncan, just make sure that your thing has 3 decent bags in it, next time you bring it out.
  17. Next time

    Look out! Superside spec Yoko's & Wilbers suspension just fitted to the beast. It felt much better @ Winton but had a new passenger for the weekend. Chris did really well considering he's come off a post classic. Interclub @ Broady next meeting. :cool:
  18. We'll be watching.
  19. I don't fight for positions as of yet...still in the learning stages, so I hope these tyres will last me this season :D. Won't be in Rnd 3, so that's one less session for the tyres to see the track.

    Life is too short...why not shorten it and have fun at the same time ;)

    phong =P~
  20. fair enough