Great feedback! Much appreciated. You bring up a good point about distributors which I've also wondered about. I've seen people sponsored by STG, Riders Discount, and other general motorcycle parts/gear stores. What's the difference between having a distributor sponsor vs a manufacturer? If you have a store like STG sponsor you do you get a set % discount on anything they carry? Whereas if you have a manufacturer like Woodcraft, you have to order directly from them and they give you the discount, whatever it may be.
The other question I have, which I'm not sure if you want to answer or if you're even allowed to answer, but how significant are discounts from manufacturers, such as the ones you mentioned? It seems like everyone I've asked that has always hesitated to give me an actual percentage. Not sure if that's part of the agreements with the sponsors or what. Just trying to get an idea too see if it's worth it or not. A lot of times when I buy parts, I find various sales that help keep costs down (usually not on tires unfortunately), so just wondering on how much of a benefit it would be to have a racer discount for sponsorship.
Generally speaking, the distributors give you a discount on whatever they carry. The manufacturers obviously give you a discount on the things they make. For instance, I could get my Woodcraft parts from STG and get a great deal but I get a better one by dealing with them directly as I am sponsored by them as well.
As far as percentages, it is whatever they offer/what you can negotiate if you are in a position to do so. I am not contractually obligated to not discuss the discounts that I get however I just feel that it is bad form and so I don't. What I can say is that generally speaking (for me) the discounts are substantial but hey, even if its 10%, isn't that better than 0%? Most of the time the discount will be directly related to how marketable you are to them. Remember this is advertising for them.
I had a company that I had been with for a long time and got a good discount. I helped out a new rider write up a resume (she is female) and she got a better discount than I did even though I had won championships and she had almost no riding experience. The short version is: boobs sell. In a marketing sense, a female racer is worth far more than some over the hill white guy who won a few races.
I swear if I were a woman and could ride like I do I would be running nationals on someone elses dime, full time.
A lot of contracts state you cannot disclose financial deals. As a first year racer my best discounts are 50-75% ish. I think it's normal to start off around 25-30% depending on the company and what they sell etc. sometimes it's not a discount but they provide other benefits like free or cheap services. Like suspension people. Others can actually help pay for race entry fees or tires etc. I think that's the hardest to get. If you can get 35% or more off from a company I think that's pretty great.
35% is an AMAZING discount for a first year racer. Most of the time I see 15-25% offered.
After about 3-4 trackdays, I thought I was at least capable being competitive...that is up until I went to NJMP this past September to a Motoamerica race and was simply...astonished. Those guys are crazy fast! I did a TD the following day, and probably went as fast as a pace car.
talked about comraderie. I just can't get my head wrapped around that though. I mean from what I saw at NJMP, everything is against you-your bike, 'fellow' riders, your sponsors itching for you to be #1, money, and most of all...TIME(both on and off the track). Those guys eat, sleep, breathe racing and everything is competition. Being in the military, I am very used to a team attitude and everything wearing a uniform has your back, somewhat of a stark contrast I feel like in a racing career. Again this is just my observations.
Now to quote in the motivational speak Les Brown "What is it that you looked at, at some point in time and you decided that you couldn’t do it, that you talk yourself out of it." Racing is definitely it! I have thought about it and would love to get into CCS or WERA in some of the amateur races, but as soon as I roll on the track I feel like a snail to some extent. I have about 5 novice days under my belt lol.
I currently do TD's with Motorcycle Xcitement and love the org and Summit Point and Shenandoah. Both are solid tracks and Motorcycle Xcitement has a racing school! Trouble is you need to get to advanced class before entering...maybe one day....
We need to clarify some things:
There is a MASSIVE difference between MotoAmerica/AMA PRO racing, where people get paid to race, and club level racing where we are all pissing away our kids college funds for a plastic trophy and some bragging rights. I have been to many AMA events and while the people are all friendly, make no mistake they are the COMPETITION and there is no sharing of info, etc.
Now, here is the next big secret: No one is ready to race. No one. Every single person out there feels that they aren't fast enough/good enough/whatever enough to do it. I listen to people talk themselves out of it all the time, and that is fine. To most, they like the idea
of racing but aren't really committed to making it happen.
If racing is truly something that you want to do, go and do it. This is why we have novice brackets.
Yes, you will be in the back of the pack. You may even be last. I will tell you with 100% certainty that nothing
drives you to learn faster than competition. I would say that 1 race is = 10 track days in terms of what you learn, and why. I did track days for 2 years before I started racing and had plateaued on my lap times. I broke my lap record on my very first race, and took 10 seconds off of it by the end of the weekend.
I have been doing track days for four years now, before that I had never ridden a motorcycle really. I raced last year in march after a little over 2 years of track days and came in second to last. It was fun to try and I like being able to say I have actually raced, but I wasn't really ready then.
Now that I have been riding for longer and have averaged about 20 track days per year, I am now getting close to the point where I think I can be in the top third in the local amateur class. I am still going to wait until the end of 2017 to begin racing again. By that point I hope to have gained more experience and improve my pace so that I can be competing for podiums.
My point is, focus on learning to ride well first, then worry about competing.
To each their own I suppose. Once you have the basics down you should be ok to go out and race.