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Old 10-19-2006, 11:12 AM   #1
oliver
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I wanna race!

Hi BARF,

The is the first of what will hopefully be quite a few posts, each detailing the ups, downs, and in-betweens of an endeavor that will hopefully last the better part of the next year.

My BARF career began unceremoniously with this post on 11/19/2005, 10 days after I registered. Since that time, I have become more enveloped in the act, sport, and thought of riding my motorcycle than I ever feared I would.

Traveling quickly through my surrounding environment is built into my DNA for some reason. My dad's an attorney and my Mom drives a school bus, so it didn't come from either one of them. None of my family members is something that could be called an enthusiast (except one uncle who owns a sports car). But I, from my very earliest memories, have eaten, slept, and breathed racing.

This manifested itself in a relatively successful 4 years of kart and car racing career that ended in 2001. I won a lot, but pulled the plug for fear of reaching the age of 30 one day and wondering what the hell I had been doing for the last decade. So I moved on into the real world, thankfully without ever ridding myself of the racing demons.

I somehow knew that this would happend when I bought my first bike. Fast bike --> faster bike --> racing. I didn't think it would happen in less than a year though! Until recently, I had been holding off attending a trackday because a) I didn't have a suit, b) I didn'y have a good way to get there and c) I thought I might really like it. But then it happened. A fellow BARFer sent me an instant message one Monday morning, letting me know that there was an empty spot in the trailer for a trip to Reno Fernley Raceway. Three days later, I had bought a suit and was on my way to the track.

Needless to say, those two days awakened that which had been lying dormant inside me for the past few years: a completely insatiable appetite for pushing the limits of a moving vehicle. On the way home from the track, the first phone call I made was to my good friend Kyle in Texas (my kart racing teammate in 1999 and 2000), whose life is motorcycles, and greeted him with:

I wanna race!

So that's what I named this thread. In it, over the coming months, I will hopefully chronicle my transition from "regular dude with a normal job" to 'regular dude with a normal job who races motorcycles." It will begin this weekend with a trip to Buttonwillow to check out the final round of the AFM season.

After talking to people who know more than I do about this type of thing, I believe that I want to race the 650 Twin class with a Suzuki SV650. On the other hand, I already have a very capable Open Twin bike in my Aprilia, but it's expensive to race and probably pretty damn expensive to crash. Plus, it couldn't hang (horsepower-wise anyway) with, say, a 999R. But maybe there aren't any 999Rs and I'd be racing against other Aprilias and TL1000s? I don't know. That's what the trip to the race this weekend will help clarify.

I'm posting this thread on BARF with inadvertent but obvious homage to Liam and his "*Liam's Wild Ride*" thread. We all have followed him in his successful efforts to make it to the top of our sport, MotoGP. My hope is that others on this board, who may know they want to race but not where to start, will be able to learn alongside me as I try to figure it all out. I need a race bike, supplies, transportation, and knowledge--none of which I have yet--so this should be fun!

For those who don't already know, my name is Oliver and I am 27 years old. I have a job, but I also have a boss. Two of them, actually. Money is an object for me, as it is for you. I don't want to be a professional motorcycle rider, as I've gone down that road before and I'm probably not talented enough. I want to win races, but know that it will be quite difficult. But I want to try...so sit back, enjoy, and offer any advice you can!
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Last edited by oliver; 11-02-2007 at 07:08 AM..
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Old 10-19-2006, 11:21 AM   #2
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Let me be the first to say: Congrats!!!

I admire your enthusiasm..

/edit..

Wow! After reading about your car racing history, I retract everything I said. I think you'll do well.


Last edited by stan23; 10-26-2006 at 08:50 PM..
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Old 10-19-2006, 11:30 AM   #3
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Old 10-19-2006, 11:46 AM   #4
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Re: I wanna race!

Quote:
Originally posted by oliver

Fast bike --> faster bike --> racing.

Nah... Fast bike --> faster bike --> stupidity

Quote:
Originally posted by oliver

Money is an object for me, as it is for you.

It does cost an arm and a leg... and credit scores for many.

Quote:
Originally posted by oliver

I don’t want to be a professional motorcycle rider, as I’ve gone down that road before and I’m probably not talented enough. I want to win races, but know that it will be quite difficult.

A bit confused... You were a professional motorcycle rider before? Or do you mean you dreamed about being one? A few AFM guys I know all had first gone through at least a couple of years of trackdays, and nothing but trackdays to burn up their vacation days and bank accounts, before they even talked about the new racer school.

Good luck, man.
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Old 10-19-2006, 11:52 AM   #5
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First lesson: it takes more effort and stength to ride a high hp bike VS a low hp bike.

Second lesson: don't race an exotic bike. There's no parts in the pits when you bin it.

Third lesson: Real men start in 600's, so I hear...

Ever wanted an ex-wife and a kid payment? You just got one!

Good luck. If you can make it past year 3 of the racing, you'll be in good shape.

Oh and you know when those Zoom Zoom, Or Keigwins instructors say "you should race". I don't think alot of them, themselves race...
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Old 10-19-2006, 11:55 AM   #6
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Hey Oliver, very cool.

I know a few people that started out in racing exactly the way that you are proposing.

Real guys. Real lives. Real budgets.

The only difference between them and you is that some of them started out on smaller bikes (250's) and all of them had a fair number of track days under their belts before they gave racing a shot. Both of the classes that you're looking at seem pretty competitive for a relative newb. Even many of the GP guys started out on much more modest bikes before playing with the big boys. Might be something to consider... I'd have to imagine that a get-off on a 250 isn't quite the same thing as a get-off on a 650.
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Old 10-19-2006, 11:58 AM   #7
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Re: I wanna race!

Quote:
Originally posted by oliver
I want to win races
http://www.ccsracing.com/

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Old 10-19-2006, 12:01 PM   #8
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Season is over already. Just kidding, there is always next year! Track days will help, and maybe I'll see you out there. Noone has claimed my old number yet, so I just may get back into it too.
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Old 10-19-2006, 12:16 PM   #9
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good intro, oliver. i'm all ears...

buena suerte, and get out there and gas it!

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Old 10-19-2006, 12:21 PM   #10
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Old 10-19-2006, 12:36 PM   #11
oliver
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Originally posted by NoGall

A bit confused... You were a professional motorcycle rider before?
No, I raced cars professionally.

Quote:
Originally posted by Holeshot
First lesson: it takes more effort and stength to ride a high hp bike VS a low hp bike.

Second lesson: don't race an exotic bike. There's no parts in the pits when you bin it.

Third lesson: Real men start in 600's, so I hear...

Ever wanted an ex-wife and a kid payment? You just got one!

Good luck. If you can make it past year 3 of the racing, you'll be in good shape.

Oh and you know when those Zoom Zoom, Or Keigwins instructors say "you should race". I don't think alot of them, themselves race...
Thanks, I agree with everything you wrote. Nobody has told me I should race; it's a conclusion that I drew on my own.

Quote:
Originally posted by DucatiHoney
The only difference between them and you is that some of them started out on smaller bikes (250's)...
Thanks for the advice. I am open to racing any class. That's why I'm going to the last AFM race this weekend to check it all out. From my current vantage point though, it seems like SVs would be a good choice (keeping mind that they are quite a bit slower than my current bikes).
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Old 10-19-2006, 12:58 PM   #12
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Old 10-19-2006, 01:30 PM   #13
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Old 10-19-2006, 02:07 PM   #14
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If you've raced cars then you already know that most of a racers time is spent in preperation.
If your doing it as a hobby then your rider/mechanic/tech crew/owner and gofer.

I have not raced, but have thought about it and talked to some racers.
some ideas I got:
if you want to race 250s and win, figure 10gs a year. (cost goes up with displacement)
you will crash at least once a year and spend time in the hospital at least once every four years.
during the race season you will not get much sleep.
you will meet and get beat by some of the best people you'll ever meet.
If your lucky there will be someone at your lap time thats getting better at the same rate you are.

maybe asking for advice pointers in racers corner wuld be a good idea.
AFM races are agreat deal for 10bucks you can watch races and wonder around the paddocks for 2 days, most racers are happy to talk and give advice.
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Old 10-19-2006, 02:29 PM   #15
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