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Introduction

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TrueIce

Introduction
« on: September 16, 2008, 11:46:04 pm »
Hey everyone,

Just wanted to say I've always had an interest in motorcyles and espeically racing and this seems to be the place to get some great info. on it.  The thing is I'm 24 going to graduate from college in seven months where I'll have a lot more time and money.  I want to possibly begin racing and riding as a hobby so any info./tips would be appreciated.  I've been scanning the cssracing.us website to learn as much as possible. I live in Clearwater, Fl and there doesn't seem to be any tracks nearby which is pretty unbelievable, but after I graduate who knows where I'll be.  Is it realistic that I could ever win races or at least do well in them never having rode a motorcycle at the age of 24?  Anyways this is a great site and hopefully I can learn about the sport then eventually dive in. 


John
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marcelomotogp

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2008, 12:54:44 am »
Hey,just like you arond this time last year ,decided it was time to have real fun while riding a sport bike and went to daytona and attended Team Hammer school .Completed the school and applied for my ccs license.Then started asking wich class should i start racing and every racer told me the same thing "LIGHTWEIGHT".So i bought a 2006 Ducati 1000 ss totally stock from Ducati Miami and had Chris Boy from Motocorse Performance make it race legal.Registered for my first race in Homestead ( all Lightweight classes) and walked out with a victory in Light formula 40 and a few other trophies. I recomend you to always attend every track day ,school and sign up for every race you can attend,With a lot of track time and no accidents,you will become a good rider and be competitive.And most important have fun .
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CCS FL  Ex # 69

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DakotaCBR

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2008, 01:19:26 am »
Welcome. Check out www.jenningsgp.com, it's pretty much a straight shot up 75 for you. Maybe a few hours to get there but you'll have a blast.
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Jon Hatcher - CCS FL #308


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kl3640

Re: Introduction
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2008, 04:17:38 am »
TrueIce, WELCOME! First, +1 Marcelo's advice above.

Regarding local tracks, you will find that racing involves some travel :) Of course having a "home track" is nice, but generally, racers don't think twice about driving a few hours, so don't let that bother you.  Especially once you start chasing a championship, you will travel a lot - it's the nature of the beast.

Where are you starting from, in terms of experience? Have you done any track days yet?  Do you already have a bike that you're willing to race?  What is your riding experience to date (street, off-road, any other kind of racing, do you even have a motorcycle license, have you ever even ridden one before?)?  I would definitely try out a track day first (Jennings has them all the time and there is one coming up at Homestead on the weekend 26th).  If you've never done one before then you'll have to do the school (which is a good idea anyway) in order to learn the basics.  I will likely be at the Homestead trackday on the 26th.  PM me if you want, I can help you to get started.

You will find that the racing crowd is generally very helpful.  If you can find someone near you who already races or even just does track days, then that person can definitely help you get involved in the sport.  Once you start going, you will meet people and make friends with more experienced riders who will be glad to show you the ropes.  This is only my first full season (I did a few events last year), but people have been so friendly and helpful that I've learned a ton in a very short time.

As the process moves forward for you, you can always log on here or on some other forums to get advice on specific matters.

And finally, Yes, you can do well in your first season, so long as you make a commitment to learning, practicing, going to as many events as you can, and so on.

Best of luck to you!

p.s.  A word of caution: Racing is an EXTREMELY ADDICTIVE thing, and you will find that if you get hooked, you will spend lots of money and your relationships might suffer...we here cannot be held responsible if your every waking moment is consumed with getting ready for your next event...you have been warned :)
« Last Edit: September 17, 2008, 04:24:09 am by kl3640 »
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Super Dave

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2008, 08:14:59 am »
And redefine you ideas of close. 

There are only about fifty or sixty road courses in the United States.  Some of them are completely inappropriate for motorcycles.  Road Courses are expensive to build, maintain, and insure.  It's not like a local MX track. 

And road racing is really, really expensive.  So, it's not like something that you can do every Thursday night in addition to a weekend race.

And, yes, have fun.

When I started road racing, the closest track to me was 440 miles away.  Next ones were further.  So, feel lucky.   :cheers:
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Super Dave

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Cowboy 6

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2008, 09:44:22 am »
Welcome. I would just like to recommend that you buy a bike and ride it for a bit before you go racing. There is a certain comfort level that you will want before endangering yourself and others on the track.
I am basing my recommendation on your words describing yourself as "never having rode a motorcycle." Maybe others missed that part?

Also, give Art Lohman a shout ( chaplainracer220@yahoo.com ). He just moved to FL and would be more than willing to help you out with everything. Just don't let him talk you into buying a GSXR as your first bike! LOL!  Stick with a lightweight as recommended by marcelomotogp.

Be safe and have fun!
« Last Edit: September 17, 2008, 09:48:24 am by Cowboy 6 »
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C6

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TrueIce

Re: Introduction
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2008, 01:14:02 pm »
Thanks everyone for the tips so far.  Cowboy you're correct.  I don't have any experience except riding my friends cbr600 for about ten minutes not on a public road.  So I"m going to be starting from basically nothing which I agree with you that there needs to be a certain amount of comfort level before beginning.  All I have is a lot of experience riding my mountain bike :(  I just know if I do begin to ride I'll definitely have the desire to compete if feasible.  I'll probably be starting on a kawasaki ninja 250 for a while, then so far out of the four major japanese brands the yamaha r6 seems to be my favorite with the cbr600 a close second.  This is after reading the 2008 sportbike comparasion from sportrider.com

KL and Dave that's another thing I assumed compared to most sports this one is probably very expensive which is also something else I was considering.  I'm just in the preliminary stages right now and like I said still have seven months to go till I graduate from college which is when I'll begin to have a lot more time.  I can see how the sport could be addicting as I enjoy competition in general.  Out of my few friends that do ride, I don't think anyone of them do trackdays or race competively.  I'm sure they do know some racers but it's not a guarantee.  Just knowing myself, if I do start riding I'll definitely want to compete.

I've browsed sportbike forums for quite a while but this seems to be the best as far as racing among other things.  Any others that are good would be appreciated.
I normally surf sportbikes.net and tampasportbikes.com just browsing though this is the first I've actually signed up for.
Sportrider.com seems to have a bunch of nice articles on riding tips etc.   
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Super Dave

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2008, 01:25:29 pm »
If I was to plan someone's route into racing, here's what I would recommend.

I base this on over twenty years of active racing and completing fifteen years a teaching new and experienced racers.


First, the SV650 is hard to beat as your first race bike.  Additionally, it's a great bike in between your last race bike or even your middle race bike.  Move into the 600's, and your tire bill increases, a lot.  Not to mention the real and/or perceived need to continually upgrade.

A Buell could be an opportunity too, but there are some things there that makes it a little more unique for tools and stuff, but Buell pays contingency even for amateurs.  Honestly, I don't necessarily agree with it, but I think it's a pretty cool, bold move from a unique manufacturer that really in entrenched in the idea of racing.

Racing and street riding are kind of like comparing shooting bullets vs holding them.  I don't think riding a bike on the street will teach you much for racing.  It's just a completely different ideology.  If you wanted to learn more, buy a dirt bike and go ride it.  It's a different seating position, but it will still quickly teach you skills that you could never learn riding around on the street.

Eventually to race, you'll have to go to a school to get a certification that shows you're safe to race.  I don't know all the people in Florida that are doing that anymore, but they are there.
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Super Dave

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LilJayRR

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2008, 06:05:34 pm »
Here is a topic that hasn't been touched on yet.

There are a few places to save $'s when racing. Protective gear (leathers,helmet,gloves etc..) is not one of them. Buy good quality stuff, knowing your going to tear it up, its not a place to go cheap. Tires (IMO) is the other. They are a big part of the racing budget other than entry fee's. They are also the first thing in between you and the asphalt.

Peaking of the asphalt. Make sure you have health insurance, If your job doesn't offer it, get some. And make sure that it doesn't exclude club racing. Also think about getting Aflac type ins. (Aflac doesn't cover racing injury's as far as I know) but there are others that do. You are going to crash, it is a given fact. And even a short trip to the ER/hospital is $$$$'s!

Just my .02


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Jason Gibbens
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jigs

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2008, 07:28:08 pm »
I may catch a little for this  cuz' back in the day before there were track days,which have gotten much more prevalant the last 10 years or so,you went and got your license and went racing.From the sound of things,you don't have any expierience on a bike going real fast,which of corse can be catostrophic.Who knows,you may have a gob of natural talent,but in my humble opinion,get involved with a track day org.start in novice,study your ass off,ask alot of questions,use the track coaches,do a school or two as well.Work your way up,and who knows,from intermediate you may be ready to try racing,I don't know,but this aint lawn bowling as you know.I can tell you the people you find here are second to none,it's rewarding as hell,it's also really expensive as you progress for sure...but there aint nothin' like it.Do it for sure if you are attracted to it.I just feel as fast as the bikes are these days,and even in Ametuer,there are some really fast riders that there will be a huge closing speed differential.The track is still safer than the street and as Dave mentioned,they are pretty much two different animals,get some seat time in and see how it comes to you....good luck my friend@@
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kl3640

Re: Introduction
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2008, 09:53:24 pm »
I missed that you had no riding experience at all, so +1 what others have said.  Now, that having been stated, I know someone who got on a bike for the first time a few years ago, did track days to get better, and then started racing.  He's now a very fast expert, who's in contention for a regional #1 plate this season...and I think that this is maybe his 4th year riding, and he's almost 30 now.  So don't be discouraged, but don't rush things or get in over your head either.  Find a good learning pace and let your riding match your skill, don't try to go fast and then develop the skill to match it...that's how bad accidents happen, and people wind up hurting not only themselves, but others.

I would recommend that you find out if you even like riding a bike first.  I might recommend one of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation courses where you go to 3 days of classroom instruction and closed-course riding, and then you get your license, as a first step.
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TrueIce

Re: Introduction
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2008, 10:38:44 pm »
Dave I hear what you're saying.  I've read about the sv650 being a solid  first race bike as well as the new Kawasaki ninja 650r being pretty good too.  I've heard of Buell but have no idea about the program you're talking about so I'll have to look into that.  On the Yamaha website they have something that says "win races and we'll pay you."  I'm sure it's something similar but maybe Buell's deal is more lucrative since they're trying to gain market share.  If I skip the dirt bikes can I just practice throwing my mountain bike into hard turns at 30mph?  JK lol.

LilJay I'm with you on the gear.  I value my limbs/skin and definitely wouldn't want to endanger myself anymore than I have to.  I see the people riding on the street with no helmet, sandals, and a tanktop.  Pretty scary IMO even if you do have a lot of experience.  You name it and I'll have no problem wearing it.....solid boots with ankle protection,  heavy protection around the knees, spine protector, gloves and a helmet won't be a problem for me.  Then again maybe all that is required when racing but I'd probably wear all but the spine protector on the street.  I personally wouldn't even want to ride in jeans on the street as they don't do jack to the best of my knowledge. 

Yes the health insurance I definitely need to look into that.  Does anyone have any experience with military health insurance?  I'm thinking you have to be wearing all your gear for them to cover you, but do they totally bar you from racing?  I maybe try to commission through one of the services after I graduate or even do an enlisted tour but it's nothing set in stone.  Hopefully that's not a show stopper if I am accepted into one of the OCS programs and decide to go with it.

Jigs I see what you're saying.  I know this is definitely different than most sports.  I doubt I have any more natural talent than the average guy.  The sports I do play though competitively, soccer and tennis, I generally have a greater technical knowledge than most meaning if someone wants to know the actual breakdown of a stroke or shot I can explain it to them.  So I think I'll do pretty well in that area because I'll want to be the best I can possibly be, so I'll practice the little things needed to get that extra edge such as late breaking into a corner to get out of it with extra speed.  I just read that was one of the main differences between a pro and amateur.  Not sure if it's credible or not but it's about the only tip I know.

KL that sounds like a good story.  You're right I need to find out if I even like it as I'm sure some people are surprised to learn that they really don't.  I'm sure I'll love it though as I doubt the rush can be matched in many ways.     

 
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