Yep, exactly. And I have nothing against blinging out a bike. I like carbon fiber and cool looking parts as much as anyone else, but the thing I don't like is when someone that's fairly new to motorcycles has a choice to make between spending money on more training and improving skills, and buying parts that just look cool but won't really help them in any way, and they choose the latter. With my first bike, I was a total noob, didn't know much about bikes then. I didn't buy any aftermarket parts, I just bought a new rear tire, changed the oil and rode the bike as much as I could while I had it. On my second bike, I went to the track shortly after I got it and it really opened my eyes. It was a humbling experience and I knew that my money would be better spent on more training, so that's what I did, along with a leather suit, boots, and better gloves. It was only after about 6 months that I got an exhaust, and then another 6 months when I started getting more aftermarket parts...cuz I had crashed it, so it was a good time to do that
Listen up Young Guns, SBK knows of what he 'speaks,' and speaks wisely. Many of us, probably most
of us have had similar experiences, I know I have. So, put most of your funds into track days. I'm not trying to pee on anyone's parade. You, the rider are the weakest link in the process.
'Noobs' do not think that me & SBK and other like us are just a bunch of grizzled apostolic curmudgeons, we are, but we offer advice because & in spite of our shared experiences - the Hard Knock
If it is a 'money thing' stop fooling yourself. You have money for that shorty M4
slip-on, and daily lattes... and that Mucho-Grande Beefy/Bean Burrito
five times a week, etc. You can scrape up some green.
Or, you can copy something I have set-up: I call it my ABC file
on my computer that my wife can access. ABC stands for Anniversary, Birthday, & Christmas. In this file I have compiled a hodge-podge of... as one of my riding buddies puts it: moto-porn
. Clever, I know. but when there's something in moto-dom that I... covet
... I copy the URL of what, where it can be obtained. Included of coarse, are pertinent info, such as colour,size, pt #, etc.
So, back to the ABC file, when friends & relatives ask what they can get me for each of those occasions they contribute whatever amount and just write a check or even PayPal. I have found people are more than willing to do this instead of trudging off to the store, etc. By the way parents, we have the same arrangement for a 529-college
fund for our son. We find most people are actually more generous with this arrangement!
The ABC also contains nine regional tracks from Thunderhil
l in the south The Ridge & Pacific Raceways
in the north. And I occasionally will go to Laguna Seca
, and even Sears Point Sonoma Raceway.
Now in the spirit of full disclosure, I have to admit that I have two brother-in-laws who live within 20-miles each of the former two tracks. And I have a dear friend who lives south of Santa Cruz, CA which makes it quite doable for L.S.
I do not do Disneyland. I do P.I.R., Oregon Raceway Park,
etc. Sometimes I even do this when the wife is taking the son to Six Flags, etc. Yeah! Then I'll go to Sears Point/Infineon/Sonoma Raceway
- It will always be Sears Point to this old codger. The wife has an aunt living in Sacramento... which makes it a long-ish doable experience it's, an hour & a quarter each way (< 70-mi).
Not everyone is that fortuitous, but when you start doing these track days you'll start making new acquaintances who will live close to yet another track and so on. They'll let you crash on their couch and feed you breakfast & dinner. Trust me, it is more doable than you think.
There, I'm done. Do it people! Don't become fodder for the cagers, your own inexperience, over zealousness, dare I say... stupidity. Be informed, hone your tools, use every technique that is appropriate for any occasion.