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Jobs That Would Benefit Me Going Into Racing


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Hi, I was just wondering what type of job would benefit me going racing as a career. I originally planned on becoming an auto mechanic because I thought I could make some decent money to start racing but after a month or so of doing that, my back gave out due to the heavy lifting/stress. Now this has been something I've always wanted to do, and now it's been a while and I still don't know where to go from here.

 

I work the corners at my local race track and I know it requires alot of money to race so I'm thinking, now that I gotta start from scratch again, what job should I take up prior to getting on the track?

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Hi, I was just wondering what type of job would benefit me going racing as a career. I originally planned on becoming an auto mechanic because I thought I could make some decent money to start racing but after a month or so of doing that, my back gave out due to the heavy lifting/stress. Now this has been something I've always wanted to do, and now it's been a while and I still don't know where to go from here.

 

I work the corners at my local race track and I know it requires alot of money to race so I'm thinking, now that I gotta start from scratch again, what job should I take up prior to getting on the track?

 

 

Well, I'm going to go way out on a limb here and suggest that, rather than "auto mechanic", a trade that might benefit you going motorcycle racing might be "motorcycle mechanic" instead?

 

Another job that came in handy for me was working as a parts man. Of course, that was after learning the technical skills of being a motorcycle mechanic.

 

And when looking to acquire sponsorship, there is nothing like good sales training to learn how to sell yourself and what you have to offer a potential sponsor.

 

The bottom line is that unless you plan to hire a mechanic, you will in fact have to BE a mechanic to keep your own bike going. In fact, as a race mechanic, you will acquire skills beyond what the average guy at the dealership might have ... or at least be a whole faster at doing it!

 

The good news is that proper sponsorship is not only for guys that are always on the podium if you can manage to make a name for yourself to any degree. And that does not necessarily mean winning a championship, but, simply being professional in your presentation of yourself and your program. Clean cut, clean machinery and pit, and a good people person. Honest, forthright and keeping it real with yourself and others.

 

My biggest mistake early on was assuming only winners had sponsors and not purposefully going about finding a good mentor. So, if, like most riders, you don't have someone reputable you can trust to represent you and are in need of a mentor, look around the pits to see who has a professional looking pit at the next race you attend and introduce yourself in a forthright fashion and clearly communicate your intentions and perhaps offer a to buy the rider, mechanic or somebody lunch for the opportunity to ask some advice. Chances are they won't accept your offer to buy; but, will be impressed by your willingness to do so such that they will open right up.

 

The key is to open yourself up and be real about it. Don't be shy and don't aim low. Don't be afraid to ask someone in a pro team, unless you wanna be like Joe Dirt. If you wanna be a winner, ask a winner.

 

I'll give you an example from my own "career" ....

 

I ran out of 2 stroke oil at a Formula USA national weekend about ten or so years ago and nobody was selling the brand I needed (Silkolene). As it turned out, Rich Oliver (reigning American 250 king forever and ever at that time) was there and had a big Silkolene banner over his pit (as he would being sponsored by Silkolene) and I sucked up my awe and overwhelm at His name and walked over to his pit to buy, borrow or beg a bottle from his mechanic ... except that the only person there was Rich who looked up and said a big, "Hey man, what's up?" before I could pretend I was just walking by.

 

I stammered through my situation and before I could even ask the question he reached in the trailer and tossed me a full case of oil ... for free. Refused to take any money and insisted I come back if I ever needed anything. (He on a Yamaha, me on a Honda....)

 

D-d-d-duuuh, ok...uh...thanks, um...Rich....c-can I call you Rich?

 

Now this isn't a perfect example, but, the point is that these guys (gals) are just like you. They just wanna ride. And they were once in your position and know exactly how it feels to be you where you are right now. They are looking through a time portal in a mirror at themselves then. And, generally speaking, they are happy to spread the wealth of their success for a lot of reasons.

 

Now Rich being a Silkolene rep obviously didn't hurt, but, I have no doubt he would have done it anyway even if I wasn't riding for Silkolene contingency bucks that day. Or would have given me a bottle of whatever he had even if he wasn't sponsored by anyone. He is one of the nicest guy I ever met (which has a lot to do with why he is a winner).

 

Approached at an appropriate moment, like not when they are pulling on their helmet to go race, most of the winners are. Now, this doesn't mean that they will always tell you what main jet to run if you are competing against them; but, for instance, Roger Lee Hayden was always happy to share (and not afraid to ask!) for that sort of information when we raced 125's against each other.

 

I was having trouble with the old style front brake on my '94 RS one time and asked Izuka for some advice, and he came over to my pit and completely rebuilt my front brake for me, politely explaining everything he did along with tips for each step and making sure I understood it, and even showed me how to modify small screwdrivers to create special brake seal tools.

 

HELLO??? Probably before your time, but, Izuka came over from Japan with Mori to ride for Sam Yamashita around 1994-95. He and Mori were the current champions at that time ... and were, in fact, racing against me in the same class that day!

 

Hmmm ....another champion, another one of the nicest people I ever met. Anyone see a pattern forming here?

 

So, ask somebody else's sponsor what they want to hear from prospective riders. Ask them what made them decide for one rider over another. (Now don't look like you are trying to steal some guys sponsor at the track...duh.) But while you will find some commonalities, some parts of the answer will be different for all of them.

 

Ask a sponsored rider how they did it. Ask a mechanic where he started out ......

 

Put yourself out there. Show confidence. Smile. Be real. Be honest. And talk to everybody. And no matter what you know, always be receptive and respectful of what others have to offer. Think it through for how it fits for you later and keep your opinions to yourself unless someone asks for it.

 

(Good grief if only someone had said those words to me as young racer... )

 

 

So, what job do you need to go racing?

 

ALL OF THEM!

 

(The more money the better!)

 

But, the tool box is bottomless and you never stop adding to it. Any tool you don't have you need to get from somewhere or someone ....

 

Go git em dog!

 

 

BH

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Hi, I was just wondering what type of job would benefit me going racing as a career. I originally planned on becoming an auto mechanic because I thought I could make some decent money to start racing but after a month or so of doing that, my back gave out due to the heavy lifting/stress. Now this has been something I've always wanted to do, and now it's been a while and I still don't know where to go from here.

 

I work the corners at my local race track and I know it requires alot of money to race so I'm thinking, now that I gotta start from scratch again, what job should I take up prior to getting on the track?

 

 

Well, I'm going to go way out on a limb here and suggest that, rather than "auto mechanic", a trade that might benefit you going motorcycle racing might be "motorcycle mechanic" instead?

 

Another job that came in handy for me was working as a parts man. Of course, that was after learning the technical skills of being a motorcycle mechanic.

 

And when looking to acquire sponsorship, there is nothing like good sales training to learn how to sell yourself and what you have to offer a potential sponsor.

 

The bottom line is that unless you plan to hire a mechanic, you will in fact have to BE a mechanic to keep your own bike going. In fact, as a race mechanic, you will acquire skills beyond what the average guy at the dealership might have ... or at least be a whole faster at doing it!

 

The good news is that proper sponsorship is not only for guys that are always on the podium if you can manage to make a name for yourself to any degree. And that does not necessarily mean winning a championship, but, simply being professional in your presentation of yourself and your program. Clean cut, clean machinery and pit, and a good people person. Honest, forthright and keeping it real with yourself and others.

 

My biggest mistake early on was assuming only winners had sponsors and not purposefully going about finding a good mentor. So, if, like most riders, you don't have someone reputable you can trust to represent you and are in need of a mentor, look around the pits to see who has a professional looking pit at the next race you attend and introduce yourself in a forthright fashion and clearly communicate your intentions and perhaps offer a to buy the rider, mechanic or somebody lunch for the opportunity to ask some advice. Chances are they won't accept your offer to buy; but, will be impressed by your willingness to do so such that they will open right up.

 

The key is to open yourself up and be real about it. Don't be shy and don't aim low. Don't be afraid to ask someone in a pro team, unless you wanna be like Joe Dirt. If you wanna be a winner, ask a winner.

 

I'll give you an example from my own "career" ....

 

I ran out of 2 stroke oil at a Formula USA national weekend about ten or so years ago and nobody was selling the brand I needed (Silkolene). As it turned out, Rich Oliver (reigning American 250 king forever and ever at that time) was there and had a big Silkolene banner over his pit (as he would being sponsored by Silkolene) and I sucked up my awe and overwhelm at His name and walked over to his pit to buy, borrow or beg a bottle from his mechanic ... except that the only person there was Rich who looked up and said a big, "Hey man, what's up?" before I could pretend I was just walking by.

 

I stammered through my situation and before I could even ask the question he reached in the trailer and tossed me a full case of oil ... for free. Refused to take any money and insisted I come back if I ever needed anything. (He on a Yamaha, me on a Honda....)

 

D-d-d-duuuh, ok...uh...thanks, um...Rich....c-can I call you Rich?

 

Now this isn't a perfect example, but, the point is that these guys (gals) are just like you. They just wanna ride. And they were once in your position and know exactly how it feels to be you where you are right now. They are looking through a time portal in a mirror at themselves then. And, generally speaking, they are happy to spread the wealth of their success for a lot of reasons.

 

Now Rich being a Silkolene rep obviously didn't hurt, but, I have no doubt he would have done it anyway even if I wasn't riding for Silkolene contingency bucks that day. Or would have given me a bottle of whatever he had even if he wasn't sponsored by anyone. He is one of the nicest guy I ever met (which has a lot to do with why he is a winner).

 

Approached at an appropriate moment, like not when they are pulling on their helmet to go race, most of the winners are. Now, this doesn't mean that they will always tell you what main jet to run if you are competing against them; but, for instance, Roger Lee Hayden was always happy to share (and not afraid to ask!) for that sort of information when we raced 125's against each other.

 

I was having trouble with the old style front brake on my '94 RS one time and asked Izuka for some advice, and he came over to my pit and completely rebuilt my front brake for me, politely explaining everything he did along with tips for each step and making sure I understood it, and even showed me how to modify small screwdrivers to create special brake seal tools.

 

HELLO??? Probably before your time, but, Izuka came over from Japan with Mori to ride for Sam Yamashita around 1994-95. He and Mori were the current champions at that time ... and were, in fact, racing against me in the same class that day!

 

Hmmm ....another champion, another one of the nicest people I ever met. Anyone see a pattern forming here?

 

So, ask somebody else's sponsor what they want to hear from prospective riders. Ask them what made them decide for one rider over another. (Now don't look like you are trying to steal some guys sponsor at the track...duh.) But while you will find some commonalities, some parts of the answer will be different for all of them.

 

Ask a sponsored rider how they did it. Ask a mechanic where he started out ......

 

Put yourself out there. Show confidence. Smile. Be real. Be honest. And talk to everybody. And no matter what you know, always be receptive and respectful of what others have to offer. Think it through for how it fits for you later and keep your opinions to yourself unless someone asks for it.

 

(Good grief if only someone had said those words to me as young racer... )

 

 

So, what job do you need to go racing?

 

ALL OF THEM!

 

(The more money the better!)

 

But, the tool box is bottomless and you never stop adding to it. Any tool you don't have you need to get from somewhere or someone ....

 

Go git em dog!

 

 

BH

 

Thanks for the very informative post, I can imagine the time you put into this.

 

I did want to switch over to motorcycle mechanics but I wasn't sure if there was a better option for me. Maybe I overlooked something? Guess that's not the case here

 

Reading your story really got me thinking, as I already have someone I sort of know in mind. But tell me, I'd like your thoughts on what the best way to gain sponsorship, I plan on trying for a factory ride (yes, I know that sounds farfetched) and I heard it's taken some riders up to 4 years to get one, and they're still at the club racing level(maybe they don't plan on going further? Who knows?). Would a business course, or marketing course help?

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Thanks for the very informative post, I can imagine the time you put into this.

 

I did want to switch over to motorcycle mechanics but I wasn't sure if there was a better option for me. Maybe I overlooked something? Guess that's not the case here

 

Reading your story really got me thinking, as I already have someone I sort of know in mind. But tell me, I'd like your thoughts on what the best way to gain sponsorship, I plan on trying for a factory ride (yes, I know that sounds farfetched) and I heard it's taken some riders up to 4 years to get one, and they're still at the club racing level(maybe they don't plan on going further? Who knows?). Would a business course, or marketing course help?

 

 

Some cliche yet still true nuggets (how do you think they got to be cliche's?):

 

1. The only things in life that are far fetched are the ones you believe are far fetched. One thing you can be certain of...if you believe in your limitations, they will be yours.

 

That said...

 

2. The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.

 

3. Aim low, shoot high. Er...or was it aim high, shoot low....nevemind. Forget that one. I'm not sure I ever figured out what it really meant anyway. Bloody musicians and poets.

 

4. It is right, good and necessary to have long range goals and a plan to achieve them. HOWEVER, as one moves forward and gains experience (and hopefully wisdom), the view and perspective and proper course may change. Hence, although the long term goal remains the same, the plan...or you...need to remain flexible about your plan or course to get there.

 

While it is good to think about all of this, taking action is the essential ingredient.

 

Being mindful of and focusing on the current step, being present in the here and now, accomplishing the mission you can accomplish today. And completing it.

 

Whatever you accomplish in the end, it will be different from what you thought it would be and the battle to overcome the challenges and gain confidence along the way will lead to the serenity to consider the next move wisely. And in the end, it will be the journey that holds the most value and meaning. Once you get to be a factory rider way in that far fetched future four years from now (you'll practically be an old man by then, eh?) you may find yourself thinking , "Um, wow. Here I am, what now?"

 

I'll restrain myself from quoting Yoda here.

 

 

 

I'll try to think of some specific tips in addition to the ones in the prior post later. For now, I'll leave with with this assignment:

 

Do something today, nay, do something RIGHT NOW to take the next step to becoming a factory rider. I mean the second you stop reading this post, immediately do something.

 

Hint: Ask yourself what a factory rider would be doing right now on a Tuesday afternoon, and go do that.

 

Don't "think" about being a factory rider ... BE a factory rider.

 

If a factory rider doesn't have a current contract, does that mean he is no longer a factory rider? Does he stop being who he is or change what he does? The contract is just another detail.

 

 

"Being a factory rider is way of traveling, not a destination!" (I said that. You can quote me.)

 

 

Ok, I have to go BE someone who pays my rent now. Later!

 

 

Cheers,

 

BH

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  • 1 year later...
  • 1 month later...

Thank you, Kristi. And yamfz.

 

It's nice to know my efforts are appreciated and that I've been some help to someone.

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