So, you’re thinking about becoming a motorcycle racer? Because we’re getting lots of requests on the topic, we’ve decided to create a basic beginner’s guide for anyone interested in this sport. After reading this post, you’ll be able to tell which step you should take next.
Figure out why you want to start racing
The reason for taking up this sport will tell you what kind of races you should take part to and how much of your time you should dedicate to motorcycle racing. If you want to do it just as a pastime activity, begin with amateur competitions. But if you want to make a living from it, you will need to invest a lot of money in your bike, garments, and training, and also find some sponsors as you grow more successful.
Ask for advice from other racers
This is just a rough guide and advice from a racer can save you hours of online research and prevent you from making beginner’s mistakes. Many racers are very friendly and approachable and will give you valuable insight from an experienced person’s point of view.
Choose your motorcycle racing style
Different racing styles require different types of bikes, different equipment, and different driving styles. Choosing your style carefully; sticking to it will allow you to be more efficient.
Do the paperwork
Go to the ACU Autocycle Union website if you live in the UK, the American Motorcyclist Association website if you live in the US or to any website of regulatory organizations in your area and apply for a competing license. Make sure you complete the required steps in time or you may not be able to take part to approaching competitions. Participating in competitions sanctioned by these regulatory bodies comes with benefits such as following consistent guidelines, taking part to safe and fair races, and having you rights defended on a national level.
Know the technical requirements
As a novice, you may have the unpleasant surprise to be refused at a competition just because your bike doesn’t meet the required rules. There are technical handbooks which tell you exactly what standards you need to follow for each type of competition and you should never be afraid to ask when you’re not sure.
Work with an instructor
What could be so complicated about racing? Well, there are many things that only professionals know, otherwise anyone could take up racing and become famous overnight. Many instructors are also racing or have raced in the past, thus making their help invaluable.
Be a safe driver
Don’t enter motorcycle racing with speed in mind. First of all you need to acquire safe driving skills and learn how to perform emergency maneuvers. This type of knowledge can make the difference between life and death or between a long racing career and not being able to race anymore because of your injuries. Speed only comes later and starting racing because you love speed is not a good reason to take up this activity.
Make sure you have the budget
Motorcycle racing generates various expenses, such as maintenance, repairs, entry fees, clothing, and fuel. The budget you need to allocate depends on the type of bike you own, on how often you go to competitions, and on how careful you are about your vehicle and gear. Maintaining your bike in good condition is more cost-effective than neglecting problems and having to support costly repairs afterwards.
This step is not as difficult as you think once you know the right people in the world of motorcycle racing. Or there’s a simpler way to do it – access a website such as Hookit, where you can find sponsorship no matter what kind of athlete you are. Getting exposure with local media outlets can also help you with sponsorships. The more you advance in the world of motorcycle racing, the more resources you need and sustaining your activity will only be possible through sponsorship. However gaining experience and becoming better-known enables you to obtain sponsorship more easily in time.
Use the power of social media
You don’t necessarily have to hang out with fellow motorcycle racers every weekend just to be aware of the latest news. Consider joining online motorcycle racing groups, which foster easy communication and mutual help. You’ll have access to lots of useful information with minimum effort from your part. What you could do, though, is to be just as helpful when you have useful information for group members.
Have the right attitude
Motorcycle racing should be approached with a fun and open mindset. The values of sportsmanship are just as important in motorcycle racing as they are in any sport: enjoying the sport for its own sake, being fair to fellow competitors, and being gracious both in winning and losing.
Is motorcycle racing a good choice for you after all? What is your next step?