How to begin racing motorcycles - Page 3 - ZX6R Forum
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post #31 of 92 Old 03-03-2015, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by XPyrion View Post
Great write up. My main excuse is time.

Do you have to balance a full time job, a wife and kids?
How do you make that work?
Do you just use vacation wisely or are the tracks fairly close?
Does the family tag along?
Do they enjoy it?

Did I get the last paragraph right?
I'm married and 4 kids. Gave up racing for awhile when the kids were in the High school/sports and college stages, because of both time and money. Now that the last one is about to graduate college, I'm back to racing full season pretty much.

If your married, it sure helps to have a wife that supports the racing. I don't think I could do it if my wife wasn't my biggest fan. We have invested in alot of stuff so she can enjoy being at the track with me (mainly the RV).

Most weekends I'll take at least 1/2 day off on Friday, so we aren't arriving at the track after dark, though it's possible if your travel distance isn't too far, to do a weekend without taking weekdays off. Be prepared though, your first race weekend, you will be exhausted come Monday LOL!

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post #32 of 92 Old 03-03-2015, 07:06 AM
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I've never had any aspirations because of my weight. With my height and build there's no way to get under 200 without looking sickly. I always figured I would have a big disadvantage vs people weighing 50-75lbs less. Does that pretty much ring true?
I'm 6'3" 225 lbs. For the most part I don't consider it a huge disadvantage. The little bit of acceleration I loose I just have to make up with better drive out of the corner and little later braking. You could laughably argue that because I'm so tall and weigh more I can shift a bigger percentage of weight off the side of the bike and require slightly less lean angle than a smaller dude LOL!

It would be a much bigger disadvantage if you were running a 250 ninja or 125 GP bikes. But not as much on SV650's and bigger bikes. It's just part of the game...no different than other sports like a short guy who wants to play basketball or skinny guy that plays football LOL!. Like was already said though at club level it's more about skill than the bike or weight of the rider.
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Last edited by Todd; 03-03-2015 at 07:08 AM.
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post #33 of 92 Old 03-03-2015, 08:10 AM
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I'm married and 4 kids. Gave up racing for awhile when the kids were in the High school/sports and college stages, because of both time and money. Now that the last one is about to graduate college, I'm back to racing full season pretty much.

If your married, it sure helps to have a wife that supports the racing. I don't think I could do it if my wife wasn't my biggest fan. We have invested in alot of stuff so she can enjoy being at the track with me (mainly the RV).

Most weekends I'll take at least 1/2 day off on Friday, so we aren't arriving at the track after dark, though it's possible if your travel distance isn't too far, to do a weekend without taking weekdays off. Be prepared though, your first race weekend, you will be exhausted come Monday LOL!
The wife lets me do it, not so much a fan and that is only for track days. I believe that would be a big help and maybe a nice home away from home would help that.

The two closest tracks don't have a race series and the closest (3 hours away) which does is Heartland Park Topeka. I believe their foreclosure is not entirely settled yet. The rest are over 7 hours away. That basically means I probably won't really be concerning myself with racing for a while anymore. My youngest of 4 is 6 so maybe I have 12 more years to think about it.

My track days average above 175 miles so I am no stranger to putting in the reps. I imagine the race pace and all the other stresses like prepping, schedules, life balance, etc. take their toll though.
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post #34 of 92 Old 03-03-2015, 09:27 AM
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I imagine the race pace and all the other stresses like prepping, schedules, life balance, etc. take their toll though.
Only if you let it. I don't take my racing that serious...meaning I don't expect to win trophies and championships. Don't get me wrong I'm always working on getting faster and in a race I'm always trying to catch the next guy in front of me...but there is zero pressure or stress to win. I have no sponsors so the only person I have to keep happy is me (and the wife, but that doesn't have much to do with winning).

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post #35 of 92 Old 04-20-2015, 04:07 AM Thread Starter
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Got a few more race related questions recently so I am bumping this to the top!
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post #36 of 92 Old 04-20-2015, 05:00 AM
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I was shying away from track/race as well-I am 6'4", 380. But, having gastric bypass next week so should be down to about 225-250 in no time, then off to the track i go!
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post #37 of 92 Old 04-20-2015, 10:03 AM
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Good thread! Just get out there and go race! I think it's the best decision you can make if you want to get faster!

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Originally Posted by exalted512 View Post
What Slo doesn't tell you is racing only gets more expensive as you get more into it.

Great example is the evolution of getting your bike to the track.

It starts with a $70 ramp to load your bike in the back of your truck. Then it's just easier to buy a $600 trailer to load all your stuff.

After a while, you're thinking, man, an enclosed trailer is really the way to go so I can just throw everything in there and keep it there... Plus I can sleep in it! So you spend $3k on an enclosed trailer.

-Cody
This is where I'm at. I'm sick of loading my truck, I want a trailer or a small enclosed. I usually go with my buddies to races, but at some point I'm sure I'll venture out on my own.
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post #38 of 92 Old 04-20-2015, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Derek1387 View Post
I was shying away from track/race as well-I am 6'4", 380. But, having gastric bypass next week so should be down to about 225-250 in no time, then off to the track i go!
Good luck with your surgery!

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This is where I'm at. I'm sick of loading my truck, I want a trailer or a small enclosed. I usually go with my buddies to races, but at some point I'm sure I'll venture out on my own.
Yep, that happens and you can make the decision to go further in (and spend more money) or keep it more casual and less expensive. Obviously I chose option A :-p
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post #39 of 92 Old 04-20-2015, 11:50 AM
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I'm definitely on the path to spending more money.. trying to keep it to tires and race fees though lol. I just need to suck it up for now, I'll take a look at it once the season is over.
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post #40 of 92 Old 04-20-2015, 12:20 PM
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Good thread! Just get out there and go race! I think it's the best decision you can make if you want to get faster!



This is where I'm at. I'm sick of loading my truck, I want a trailer or a small enclosed. I usually go with my buddies to races, but at some point I'm sure I'll venture out on my own.
My best advice has always been to set up a budget that you can stick to for the long haul and STICK WITH IT. Since I started riding the track, I average about 50-75 bucks per month out of pocket. Now, I also instruct (I used to corner work), so I'm able to sell those credits and that goes into my TD fund and doesn't count in the 50-75 out of pocket budget. I've also bought/sold bikes & parts bikes and turned a profit off of those and also put it towards my TD fund. I've been riding the track for almost 5 years now, which is longer than most. I've seen a lot of people come and go already...and most of those people sink a whole lot of money into it, then get burned out really quickly because they're tired of being broke.
-Cody
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Last edited by exalted512; 04-20-2015 at 12:48 PM.
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post #41 of 92 Old 10-12-2015, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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Bump due to recent inquiry!

I really need to keep better track of where I post my writings...took me forever to find this :-p
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post #42 of 92 Old 10-12-2015, 01:13 PM
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I have personally crashed about a dozen times throughout my racing career. All but one of them I was able to get right back up and continue racing, the ‘bad’ one was a concussion and some torn ligaments in my hand all of which have fully healed.
That's 'all but two' now.
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post #43 of 92 Old 10-12-2015, 01:46 PM
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I've been racing for 30+ years now, mostly lightweight bikes and most recently an SV650, however one of by racing friends let me borrow his 250 Ninja to race.... What a freakin' blast! I'd highly recommend it for a host of reasons. It's pretty much as cheap as you can get for racing so it's a good way to get into the sport without a huge financial commitment. It'll teach you a lot about keeping high corner speeds. Many organizations that the 250 Ninja runs in allow very limited modifications, so you aren't going to have to deal with a bunch of dudes racing $10,000 bikes. It's a really fun class and the competition can be pretty close.

Last lap, two turns from the checkers. We finished with 4 tenths covering 1st to 3rd


I just did a deal today to swap my race SV650 for a 250 Ninja.

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post #44 of 92 Old 10-12-2015, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by commiehunter View Post
That's 'all but two' now.
Hahaha, true enough!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tgold View Post
I've been racing for 30+ years now, mostly lightweight bikes and most recently an SV650, however one of by racing friends let me borrow his 250 Ninja to race.... What a freakin' blast! I'd highly recommend it for a host of reasons. It's pretty much as cheap as you can get for racing so it's a good way to get into the sport without a huge financial commitment. It'll teach you a lot about keeping high corner speeds. Many organizations that the 250 Ninja runs in allow very limited modifications, so you aren't going to have to deal with a bunch of dudes racing $10,000 bikes. It's a really fun class and the competition can be pretty close.

Last lap, two turns from the checkers. We finished with 4 tenths covering 1st to 3rd


I just did a deal today to swap my race SV650 for a 250 Ninja.
Good for you! See, I consider the SV650 to be a lightweight bike...the 250s out by me (and 300s now) are in their own class.

Yes, it can be some insanely fun racing and a fantastic bracket to learn in.
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post #45 of 92 Old 10-13-2015, 05:05 AM
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Hahaha, true enough!



Good for you! See, I consider the SV650 to be a lightweight bike...the 250s out by me (and 300s now) are in their own class.

Yes, it can be some insanely fun racing and a fantastic bracket to learn in.
Yes, I'd agree the SV is a lightweight bike. At under 325 lb, my first SV racebike was actually lighter than most 250 Ninjas.

Picking the right bike to start on can make a huge impact on your enjoyment of racing. Back in the day when I started you just ran whatever you bought at the dealer pretty much stock (including the suspension) I had no idea what an actual good handling bike could do for my confidence. Being able to really feel what the bike is doing in corners gives a rider confidence. Confidence translates to going faster. An example: The 99 GSXR 600 that I had for a short time last year did not have good front end feel. The approach to going faster through a corner was like this: I couldn't feel very well what the front end was doing, so I would just go into a corner a little faster and kind of hope for the best. If the bike didn't do anything bad, I would repeat the process. Later that same year I rode a bone stock R6S. It had the best front end feel of any production bike that I've ever tried. I could tell what the front end was doing and that feedback gave me confidence to go into corners faster.
You can go fast on a bike without good feel/feedback, but it isn't nearly as fun.
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