Riding a sport bike down a twisty, turning road can cause even the most conservative rider to open her up and flirt with danger. While a few riders won’t be able to resist the temptation, the vast majority will daydream and relish in the fact that they could have done it if they tried.
For many bike riders, knowing they have great bike riding skills isn’t enough. They feel the insatiable need to test themselves on the race track proving grounds. Unlike many professional racing sports such as Formula 1 or NASCAR, you don’t need a multimillion-dollar budget and corporate sponsors to race a motorcycle.
We’re going to look at how an Average Jane or Joe can get started in motorcycle racing for relatively little money and time investment.
Buy Protective Gear
Before you head out to the track, you’re going to need the right safety gear for both yourself and your bike. It also pays to inspect your tires, brakes, and other parts to ensure everything is in proper working order. If you don’t have the time or technical know-how, many bike shops will be more than happy to perform a safety inspection.
Personal protective gear – This is where the vast majority of your money is going to be spent. It’s wise to buy the best equipment that you can afford – even if it means putting some of it on a credit card. In the event of a crash or spill, you’ll be thankful that you’re wearing good protective gear.
Equipment requirements for the bike – Certain races or race tracks require specific gear to be installed on your bike. If you’re like most people, your bike is currently in “street legal” configuration. Some tracks might require you to remove your side view mirrors or have a specific muffler installed. These modifications might sound expensive, but they’re critical to ensuring a safe racing environment for everyone.
Find a Track
The best way to find a local motorcycle racing track is to call your local bike shop. For some people “local” may be a more relative word than others. If the nearest track is 2 hours away, keep in mind that after a long and physically exhausting day of racing, you’ll still have to deal with the 2-hour drive home. This is why many bike racers travel with their bikes in the back of a truck.
Most race tracks will have a designated “track day” where anyone can participate. Generally speaking, these events are geared towards newbie riders. Escorts are usually available to guide you around the track and show you the safe way to take a turn.
The track conditions are generally considered to be safe, as there are no stoplights, no children playing in the street, and everyone is going in the same direction. This makes for a much safer training ground than practicing on city or rural highways.
It should be noted that most motorcycle insurance policies will be void while you are participating in a race event. Some insurance companies or race tracks might offer per diem insurance coverage for a nominal cost. Check with your insurance company prior to getting on the track. While race tracks are generally considered safer than city streets, accidents can and do occur. Be sure you have enough insurance coverage in the event of an accident.
Get Your Racing License
The process of getting your racing license is going to be slightly different for each organization. You’ll want to search the online calendar of the race track for signup and start dates for a new racer school. Pay the fee, sign up, and then you’ll spend anywhere from one to a few weekdays or weekends with an instructor who will give you hands-on experience and track time.
Depending on what kind of bike you have, you will need to follow a list of different requirements such as bike modifications or license requirements. Once you have completed your training, you can then apply for a race license by participating in a mock race and passing the written test.
It goes without saying that you shouldn’t crash during the mock race. Remember: you’re there to get your license, not impress the imaginary Hollywood T.V. crew sitting in the bleachers.
Motorcycle Attorneys in Tacoma
At Evergreen Motorcycle Attorneys, we share the same passion and love for motorcycles as you do. Our attorneys love to get on their bikes and hit the open road at every possible opportunity.
If you’d like to learn more about the legalities of racing your bike, or if you’ve been injured in a crash, give us a call at (253) 472-6000 or contact us via our website. With EPIC Motorcycle Attorneys, you’ll never ride alone.