While just riding a motorcycle can be fun unto itself, participating in motorcycle racing can be exhilarating. However, before heading to the track for your first outing, there are some things that you will need to know in order to make sure that you have a fun and safe experience.
Of course, to get involved in motorcycle racing you will have to have a motorcycle. If this is your first time out, I don’t recommend going with the latest and the greatest especially if you are new to riding as well. Because you will be involved in crashes, you don’t want to do too much damage and you also don’t want a very expensive piece of equipment sitting in your garage if you find out that you don’t like the sport. Therefore, look for something that is easy to handle, but has been well maintained and cared for. When looking for a bike, try the end of the racing season as well as the end of the model year as there will be lots of inventory available.
When it comes to buying gear for racing, I highly recommend getting the best helmet that you can afford. This piece of equipment should be brand new, but you can save some money on purchasing the rest of your gear secondhand. Many racing clubs will have a newsletter with a classified section advertising gear for much cheaper than it can be found in a store. Buying secondhand is also a great idea if you have children who want to get involved in racing as well as they will be constantly outgrowing their clothing. Getting a helmet should be your first priority followed by goggles, boots, knee guards, gloves, elbow and chest protectors and then riding pants and a jersey.
Once you are completely outfitted with clothing and your bike, look for riding clubs in your area. They will be able to offer details on how to get a race license as well as other details. As you start practicing, build up your confidence gradually. Be sure to get the basics down first and then work up to riding at a faster pace. Be sure to take your time and ask lots of questions of and watch the more experienced riders. They will be happy to help you get better and help you grow more confident on the course.
After you have built up your confidence and feel ready for your first race, it is time to take your new skills to the test. On the day of the race, attend the pre-race meeting and then get ready to practice. Don’t go too fast on your practice run, but rather examine the track and get a feel for when you can be aggressive and when you may need to hold back. If your race is further down on the card, take the time to watch the beginning races to get an idea of the start procedure. Once you are up, put your bike into gear with about 30 seconds before the start and load the bike against the front brake with about five seconds to go. Once the gate drops, you are off and good luck.