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I feel like I'm asking a stupid question, but how does one get into racing? I know there's the obvious answer "be really fast and have lots of money", but for the rest of us, is there some usual path? At this point I like doing track days but at some point I'd like to do more to challenge myself. Here's some of my million questions- how good do you have to be? how do you know when you're ready? can I do it with my street bike or do I have to have something dedicated? does this have to be expensive? is there some entry level class? I've been thinking about it since a remark from last year someone made to me:

Aside from some top notch coaching, my guess is that it might be a little competition. Perhaps it's time to skip the track day and go race.

So, for those who have raced, how did it begin for you?

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I don't race, but I know a lot of people who do. It's not how expensive, but how much is the investment to you? I make in the range of 3 times as much money as my friends do, and don't have the money to do it. They all do. Go figure. If it's what you want to do, I don't think it will seem that expensive. I don't know if you can have a bike on the street that you race. I HAVE seen two people do it, but there is a lot you need to do to it including taking off the kickstand, safety wiring everything, all the adjustments you'll make to the bike for functionality.

As far as skill, you just need the want. I've seen some people racing who I could smoke, yet they're out there racing, and I'm watching them. It's just that they wanted to do it more than me. You'll learn as you go, and I've seen people improve by leaps and bounds once they start racing. Some people have told me that racing is just as addictive as riding track. Whole different level.

The circuits I've seen all have something entry level. When you improve, you advance.

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I feel like I'm asking a stupid question, but how does one get into racing? I know there's the obvious answer "be really fast and have lots of money", but for the rest of us, is there some usual path? At this point I like doing track days but at some point I'd like to do more to challenge myself. Here's some of my million questions- how good do you have to be? how do you know when you're ready? can I do it with my street bike or do I have to have something dedicated? does this have to be expensive? is there some entry level class? I've been thinking about it since a remark from last year someone made to me:
Aside from some top notch coaching, my guess is that it might be a little competition. Perhaps it's time to skip the track day and go race.

So, for those who have raced, how did it begin for you?

 

Well, I just started with it, so I'll give you my thoughts. Here is the obvious answer - go to CodeRACE. That requires less bike prep, or you can even use a school bike. It's also safer and a lot less intimidating, less people on the track and a well controlled environment. For me, I was ready for CodeRACE when I was brave enough to go, and willing to test myself against others. I was riding Level 2 (an intermediate level) at track days, about in the middle of the pack. CodeRACE made me a lot faster.

 

The next step was to get my novice race license, that requires attendance to a Novice Racer School, but at my local organization CodeRACE is accepted for that, so I didn't have to do the Novice school.

 

Here's a cool option, if you are out on the west coast: www.racebikerental.com, this guy rents Ninja 250s, already race prepped, so you can try a race without having to do all the safety prep on your own bike.

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Thanks for the advice. I think for this year I'm going to focus on getting to at least level 2 class and maybe 3 and doing track days more frequently. With temporary layoff weeks (I work in automotive) and 2 kids in college I may need to wait a bit for this although there are some good potential alternatives out there job-wise. I like watching races on TV but I want to be the guy on the bike, not in the pits, not an owner, etc. I'm a terrible spectator!

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Thanks for the advice. I think for this year I'm going to focus on getting to at least level 2 class and maybe 3 and doing track days more frequently. With temporary layoff weeks (I work in automotive) and 2 kids in college I may need to wait a bit for this although there are some good potential alternatives out there job-wise. I like watching races on TV but I want to be the guy on the bike, not in the pits, not an owner, etc. I'm a terrible spectator!

 

I know what you mean, terrible spectator also.

 

One can for sure spend a ton of dough racing. It can be done a lot more cost efficiently too. Some years ago, ROADRACING WORLD had a nice series on how to go racing on the cheap. You might contact them, see if you can get those articles.

 

Tires is the single biggest expense, lighter bikes with less HP are easier on tires. One of my coaches now does Supermoto, cheap and fun, but it's a little different than roadracing.

 

Prepping a bike can be a bit of work, and best to use aftermarket body work (way cheaper). Finding a used race bike, might be a good approach, if it's in decent shape.

 

Some like to try CODERACE as Hotfoot suggested. It's a good approach, and can be done on our bikes, lots of training and then you race at the end of each day (and you don't have to prep a bike). The 250 Ninjas the guy rents sounds like fun, Hotfoot had a blast doing that.

 

As for being ready, some clubs have a lap time limit that you have to make, if you are slower than that, you can't race.

 

Racing is an absolute blast, let us know if you give it a go. Use the kids as pit crew :rolleyes:

 

C

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Thanks for the advice. I think for this year I'm going to focus on getting to at least level 2 class and maybe 3 and doing track days more frequently. With temporary layoff weeks (I work in automotive) and 2 kids in college I may need to wait a bit for this although there are some good potential alternatives out there job-wise. I like watching races on TV but I want to be the guy on the bike, not in the pits, not an owner, etc. I'm a terrible spectator!

 

I know what you mean, terrible spectator also.

 

One can for sure spend a ton of dough racing. It can be done a lot more cost efficiently too. Some years ago, ROADRACING WORLD had a nice series on how to go racing on the cheap. You might contact them, see if you can get those articles.

 

Tires is the single biggest expense, lighter bikes with less HP are easier on tires. One of my coaches now does Supermoto, cheap and fun, but it's a little different than roadracing.

 

Prepping a bike can be a bit of work, and best to use aftermarket body work (way cheaper). Finding a used race bike, might be a good approach, if it's in decent shape.

 

Some like to try CODERACE as Hotfoot suggested. It's a good approach, and can be done on our bikes, lots of training and then you race at the end of each day (and you don't have to prep a bike). The 250 Ninjas the guy rents sounds like fun, Hotfoot had a blast doing that.

 

As for being ready, some clubs have a lap time limit that you have to make, if you are slower than that, you can't race.

 

Racing is an absolute blast, let us know if you give it a go. Use the kids as pit crew :rolleyes:

 

C

 

 

Haha, thats great Cobie, use the kids as pit crew! I can see that now w/ my girl. I'd have a Barbie Doll wedged up in the windscreen and lipstick decals! Lets just hope she puts fuel in the tank instead of apple juice!

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I like the 250 ninja idea, it looks like an affordable way to get into racing and is pretty much hasstle free to the point you can concentrate on learning the tracks and working on your riding style without having to worry about the bike. Anyone want to organise a forum race weekend, I'd fly out to Cal for that, :lol:

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I like the 250 ninja idea, it looks like an affordable way to get into racing and is pretty much hasstle free to the point you can concentrate on learning the tracks and working on your riding style without having to worry about the bike. Anyone want to organise a forum race weekend, I'd fly out to Cal for that, :lol:

 

Fantastic idea!!! I don't particularly want to to have to organize it, but you can definitely count me in to participate, and my husband would for sure do it, too. Think you could handle getting your ass kicked on the racetrack by a girl? :lol:

 

To do it on the Ninja's with WSMC you'd need a race license (which has a min lap time requirement, it's possible to show up then not be able to race if you can't get there), plus Rich only has about 8 Ninjas, we'd have to reserve WAY in advance. But, I LOVE the idea of a forum race day (friendly, relatively low key, and safe), so I have a couple of other ideas - there's also a group out here that rents NSR50's (50cc race-prepped 5 speed mini sportbikes), to ride on a go-kart track. It's a different experience, since they are LITTLE bikes and don't go very fast, but it would probably be a lot easier to organize a private event with no race licenses required. It's still pretty darn competitive and fun, but not nearly the adrenaline of the big track, big bikes.

 

Or, here's another option - how about CodeRACE in October? Let CSS do the organizing, all we have to do is show up and chase each other around! Little more expensive, but TONS of track time, two real races, and we'd all learn something too.

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I tried to post a reply, but can't find it...so, here's another.

 

A race sounds like a blast to me to (forum guys), but if that doesn't go, how about even meeting for a track day? Or a school? The minus of a school would be I'd have to work, still could be cool (not sure I could make a track day, but I'd sure try).

 

Maybe even do one east coast and one west coast?

 

C

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I tried to post a reply, but can't find it...so, here's another.

 

A race sounds like a blast to me to (forum guys), but if that doesn't go, how about even meeting for a track day? Or a school? The minus of a school would be I'd have to work, still could be cool (not sure I could make a track day, but I'd sure try).

 

Maybe even do one east coast and one west coast?

 

C

It'd be wonderful to meet folks from the board in person! That would be a lot of fun, sort of like a class reunion. I'm planning on going to level 2 this spring, probably VIR.

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I tried to post a reply, but can't find it...so, here's another.

 

A race sounds like a blast to me to (forum guys), but if that doesn't go, how about even meeting for a track day? Or a school? The minus of a school would be I'd have to work, still could be cool (not sure I could make a track day, but I'd sure try).

 

Maybe even do one east coast and one west coast?

 

C

 

It would be cool to meet up with other people from the forum, I have booked my L2 and L3 for here in the UK this year and due to the current financial situation we dont get so many Dollars to our pound at the moment, making traveling to the US for a school very expensive!

Laguna Seca is however one of the tracks I have to ride sometime so expect to see me there for L4 in the future!

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It would be cool to meet up with other people from the forum, I have booked my L2 and L3 for here in the UK this year and due to the current financial situation we dont get so many Dollars to our pound at the moment, making traveling to the US for a school very expensive!

Laguna Seca is however one of the tracks I have to ride sometime so expect to see me there for L4 in the future!

 

Ace,

 

It will be great to have you over, I'm sure you'll let us know when that happens. The UK guys are great, and Andy is seeing if he can get some more of his guys up here too.

 

C

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  • 2 weeks later...
So, for those who have raced, how did it begin for you?

 

Started with a couple of track days. I only went because I had a couple of people tell me that it would help me be safer on the street.

 

It was addictive, I was really hooked after 2, I went out and bought a used track bike so I didn't have to worry about my street bike.

 

It took me two years to work fulling into racing. It is expensive, but worth it.

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