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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-05-2005, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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Old Guy Needs More Advice...Bike Choices

OK talk me out of this. I’m 41 years old, married with a 7 year old daughter. I make a good living. I consider myself a complete newbie. I road dirt bikes as a kid and for years only looked at motorcycles. I few years ago I bought my first streetbike, a Suzuki Katana. It felt too top heavy and tippy so I quickly traded it for a Ducati Monster 600. I didn’t put a lot of miles on it and sold it. I now have an Exile custom which I’m trying to sell, because as much as I love ‘em, riding choppers just ain’t my thing. I’ve long been a fan of FIM & AMA Roadracing. For a couple of year I’ve been reading about track day events and even amateur roadracing and I’d really like to give it a try. Several things are holding me back. 1) Wife and friends saying “too dangerous” “too expensive” and “too old”. 2) Lack of basic skills 3) Lack of confidence i.e. concerns that I really am too old, lack of skills and worries that its just plain irresponsible with a Mortgage and a 7 year old in private school. So am I and all of these other people right and I should just grab a bag of chips and watch the Speed Channel? If not, how do I start? Get a Ninja 250 or 500? Will I get laughed off the track on one of those? I’ve also considered buying a cheap late model salvage bike like a CBR600RR and putting race skins on it. I need or feel like I need something with a low seat height like a Ducati 749 (30.7in.) or the 2006 Suzuki GSXR 600 (31.9in.). VIR is about 3hrs away so I figured I could do some track days and the Cornerspeed school. I don’t know..what do you think.? I’m interested in hearing from the younger guys and the older guys.

Last edited by mgar64; 10-06-2005 at 08:08 AM.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-05-2005, 08:41 PM
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I can't seem to conclude from your post, if you wanna race, or do track days, or both..???

Racing is EXSPENSIVE...especially on a 600 or bigger cuzz you'll go through tires so fast...at about 350.00 a set..plus fees, lodging, food, gas ect, ect, ect...and that's if you buy a race preppedbike...and yup there are dangers..

track days is a tad more relaxed, not as dangerous, and cerianly not as exspensive, though it is ADDICTING..

Normally at most rack days, 125cc twin is the smallest bike allowed, and whthere your racing, or doin track days, no one will be laughing....you should see the 2 stroke 125's hat regularly pass 600's, 750's, and yup, even the 1k's, in the turns...

I've seen some fugly bikes at the track, but if you ridie he ride, ain't no one gonna laugh...


While I'd suggest at least doing some track days before even thinking about racing, to ge the feel of higher speeds, riding a close quarters, and gettin passed and passing at close quarters, some people freak out when they ge passed in a turn..

At 57...I sill get SOOOOOOOOO much enjoyment out of riding on the track...I don't race anymore, haven't for about 20 years, but I plan on geting my race license in Nov..and racing a few times each year..I'm self employeed, and can't afford to be laid up for any length of time.....or take off work too much..

There's always some inexpesive race / track bikes for sale on the various MC sites...which can aid in keepin he cost down..i.e., I picked up a race prepped 02 gixxer 600 for 3k with extras...

So...NO your not to old, hell at 41, life has jus begun for you..enjoy it while you can....get out there and have FUN..

Here, show this to your doubters...this OLD geezer is 57 and still draggin knees..
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-05-2005, 08:56 PM
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Oh c'mon Hammer, you're still a young gun compared to Smitty.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-05-2005, 09:15 PM
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I will agree with Hammer, in that you should try a track day first. You can rent a bike at some of the track schools. I have seen plenty of race-prepped R6's for 2500-3500 (usually without a title), so the problem here is once you get a cheap race-ready bike, you can only use it at trackdays and club racing.

My problem is I got a nice street bike, and now im looking for race skins and other spares because I don't want to mess it up too bad (you will eventually go down).

I ve seen guys in their 40's and 50's at the track. Some just starting out at the novice level, and some experts that would woop my ass. Age doesn't have anything to do with it, but money sure does.

try these sites for used bikes
www.superbikeplanet.com
www.ridesafely.com
www.craigslist.com

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-05-2005, 09:46 PM
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And being that he's in NC...the heart of WERA country...have a look here http://forums.13x.com/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=48

Keep us posted on what happens...

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-05-2005, 09:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Z_Fanatic
Oh c'mon Hammer, you're still a young gun compared to Smitty.
Haha...ya think so..?

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-06-2005, 07:19 AM Thread Starter
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More questions

I would never enter a race without doing track days and riding classes for a good while. I'm unsure of a bike to start with with. Is a 600 too much bike? Also what do you think of a repairable salvage thats straight and runs. I can get an '03 CBR600RR for $2,700. It needs a subframe and skins, not sure what else, but thought it might be a good bike to start with. I've also considered a used RS or TZ 125. I think I'd be too worried about crashing a new street bike.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-06-2005, 09:27 AM
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Mgar- No organization would allow a rider into a race without a certified racing license from another club. If you don't have a license then you would be put in a novice school, which is basically a train of riders following an expert around the track. After a couple days of following and practice on your own, then you would compete in novice races. You will be in the novice races until your lap times meet a standard. Ohh, this is for club racing, not trackdays.

The CBR sounds like a good starter at a good price. You would want to make certain the bike rides straight. A tweaked frame or fork can cause big handling problems at high speeds or when leaned over.

I personally would not get a 2-stroke. They are too small for my frame, and I've heard you need to rebuild the motor often. A modern four-stroke will not require any maintenance besides changing the oil/lubing the chain. If you still want a smaller bike, try a FZR400. These bikes sell for around 2500 race prepped.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-20-2005, 02:59 AM
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MGAR,
forget about racing for a while, & do track days for a season. an SV650 is a great cheap bike to start on and is very forgiving. i wouldn't recommend anythng more than a 600/4.
track days are by far, the most fun i've ever had! it is relatively safe, you ride in a controlled enviornment, with instructors, under more or less ideal conditions. no little old ladies, sunday-drivers, cell-phone-talking-teens, gravel, oil spills, trees, cops/speed limits, etc. to worry about; Just you, your bike and the track. there's a strong arguement to be made that a trackday is a lot safer than the streets. pay attention to the instructors, ask a lot of questions and it will pay off big dividends. most of all, have fun and remember: Track rhymes with Crack!
cheers,
Lance

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-21-2005, 10:54 AM
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I started track days at 42. I have six kids... probably why I need to get out of the house...('')


SV650 is a great starter bike.

NESBA gives you two 20 minute track session for free.

Is it irresponsible... Probably... but you could also get killed crossing the street.

Before you do a track day I would suggest you're comfortable doing heavy braking, hitting speeds of 100+ mph, and countersteering.

Ves
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Still don't know what I want to do.
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