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Old 03-17-2008, 11:11 AM   #1
johnpatrick87
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When you know to start racing...

I am 21 and have only been riding a little over a year, and got into track days. Am very interested in racing, but know it is not reasonable to do for another year or two. SO my question is when did you (the racer) know when to actually start actively racing? I know I'm not ready now, so please no "you've only been riding a 500 for a year" posts. I know that, just wondering when you felt you were ready. I also know it is different for each person. Thanks in advance MH community.
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Old 03-17-2008, 11:20 AM   #2
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When the trackday instructors have a hard time keeping up with you... it's time to start racing!
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Old 03-17-2008, 11:27 AM   #3
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You can start by comparing your lap times with the lap times of the racers.

www.cmraracing.com

Or you can buy a mini and bring it out to TMGP.

www.tmgps.8k.com
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Old 03-17-2008, 11:27 AM   #4
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Come check out the TMGP action. Small bikes, Big fun and a good way to get used to what all is happening on the track during a race event.
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Old 03-17-2008, 11:33 AM   #5
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That's not enough.
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Old 03-17-2008, 11:41 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texasyankee View Post
How much money do you have?





That's not enough.



when you're comfortable riding wheel to wheel or side to side with someone, and your bank account allows it......you're ready to race.

whether your goin for 1st place or 20th place.....you're still racing to hold a place.
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Old 03-17-2008, 11:44 AM   #7
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Kind of hard to answer because every person is different.

Personally...
  • I had been doing track days for almost two years
  • I had lost my fear of getting into my suspension/techniques
  • I was more or less running the pace of many novice racers in the A-Group
  • I was hearing from other who did race, "hey man... you should think about racing
  • Physically, I could stay on the bike (at speed) for pretty decent amount of time
  • No matter who/what was in front of me, I always felt that I had to pass them!!!!!!

I guess my point is that I knew I had come a long way MENTALLY with my attitude towards the track... and that's the most important thing.
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Old 03-17-2008, 11:47 AM   #8
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I started racing a little over 6 months after I started riding street bikes, I had minimal dirt experience prior to that and at 15 years old I was a true squid back then.

After a couple of not too bad street wrecks, I got hooked up with a couple of guys who were older than me that lived the block over. They're the ones that got me involved / interested in the sport, prior to that I really hadn't had any interest in it.

Of course back then we didn't have as potent bikes as we do now.
I started racing on a CB400F. On a good day it might hit 90 mph, and I swear there was a hinge somewhere in the middle of the frame.


Nowadays we've got STOCK 600's that can turn better lap times than race prepped 1100s did 10 years ago.


While the new bikes are very competent, I believe that they can mask / make up for a deficiency in skill of the rider.
I also truly believe many racers lack a good amount of experience (note I said experience not skill) before they move up to liter bikes, both on the track and the street.

A few years back, novices couldn't race anything larger than a 600 in the CMRA and WERA, then the limit was raised to 750s, and now it's been removed all together.
I can only guess it's been in the interest of putting more money into the race organizations pocket.


To answer your question; Take a good hard look at your abilities. If you feel reasonably confident on them, sign up for a C group with instruction with someone like LSTD and seek advice as to how they think you're doing. Make your decision to go racing from there.
IMO, most novice racers should have a healthy amount of track days under their belt.
Good luck!
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Old 03-17-2008, 11:51 AM   #9
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You are ready to race when you wanted to race IF being last place don't really matters.
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Old 03-17-2008, 12:09 PM   #10
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start out w/ alot, then go racing

sad but true.
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Old 03-18-2008, 12:16 PM   #11
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Track days are about track time. If you are trying to compete at a track day, you are probably breaking the rules and putting someone's welfare at risk.

Racing is about competition! If you are looking for affordable track time, this isn't it. Racing is about seeing just how good you are and how much better you can become.

Sprint racing is expensive! Endurance racing is comparably inexpensive racing but still more expensive than a track day.

What do you desire? Answer that truthfully, and you will know what is the best decision.
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Old 03-18-2008, 08:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronnie H. View Post
Track days are about track time. If you are trying to compete at a track day, you are probably breaking the rules and putting someone's welfare at risk.

Racing is about competition! If you are looking for affordable track time, this isn't it. Racing is about seeing just how good you are and how much better you can become.

Sprint racing is expensive! Endurance racing is comparably inexpensive racing but still more expensive than a track day.

What do you desire? Answer that truthfully, and you will know what is the best decision.
+1, good advise there
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Old 03-18-2008, 10:05 PM   #13
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I started riding when I was 15 'cause my Dad told me I wasn't going to get a car unless I bought my own. I went out and bought a Honda FT500 Ascot, the "motard" of the day based off the XL500 dual purpose bike Honda offered at the time.

When I was about 17, I hooked up with my bud's friend Kevin Ward, who at the time was an "up and coming" club racer that was running with the likes of Doug Polen and company in the CRRC. I went to a couple of races (not the Mexico rounds though, couldn't pull that off with the folks not knowing about it...) and decided that was what motorcycling was all about.

My bike was my daily driver, I bought some "top of the line" Dainese 1 piece leathers (for $400, I thought that was waaaay too expensive then), used my $350 Arai "Mike Baldwin" signature F1 helmet and some Justin Ropers, and hit Oak Hill for my first "track day" and licensing school with Charles Brothers.

I had been daily driving my bike for about 2- 2 1/2 years, and did just a little back road carving (I didn't get to ride on the weekends much 'cause of my job at Fame City then...). I had no idea if I was "ready" or not, and I definitely have no idea that I didn't possess nearly enough money to do it!

I like Jeff's definition the best, I think it's the advice I would give.

One thing I would add though, don't go in to it with aspirations of "turning pro" or even being club champion or something without some realistic expectations that first, it probably won't happen, and second, that takes an incredible amount of money and support. A more realistic approach is just to go in to it with aspirations of having fun!
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Old 03-18-2008, 10:27 PM   #14
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Try your hand at TMGP...

Its a fun, inexpensive way to test the waters of racing!
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Old 03-18-2008, 11:28 PM   #15
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TMGP will prove to you for $1-2k what CMRA will cost $5-10k. Either you are fast or you are slow. Doesn't matter what venue. All are a blast.
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Old 03-19-2008, 11:54 AM   #16
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Did not intend to overlook TMGP or the CMRA mini classes!!

I cut my racing teeth with TMGP. All the thrills and spills of the big bikes at 1/2 the cost!! And much like the CMRA, a good group of people to go racing with!!
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