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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Posting for the first time and new to sportbike. I am wondering if there's riders who learn and ride strictly on the track. I have a little experience with high performance driving in the past but just cars. I am still very new to the two wheels machine and would like to eventually take up high performance riding on the track. I am very worry about riding a bike on the street because of all the unsafe drivers on there. I guess my question is, is it possible to learn the art of perfomance riding strictly by taking courses and riding just on the track?

Thanks,
Shane
 

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I would still suggest doing some street riding, and taking a school before going straight to the track. I think it's important to learn the 'real world' and slow speed stuff prior to getting to the funner stuff of trackriding.

...that being said, one of my friends did a bunch of days at Boundary Bay on my super-moto before he ever did a street-riding school. But the two of us use to go dirtbiking together, so I knew he could handle it without slowing the group down too much.
 

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Got Hammer?
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It is possible but I don't recommend it. There's plenty of kids that start out on GP's (not here) years before they'd ever be alowed on a street bike so it can be done. I'd suggest some kind of bike experience before you try sportbike racing as it would be hazardous to go out there and try to learn the very basics of riding a bike on a road course. As Harps said, dirtbikes are a great introduction. It can be done strictly on the road bikes but going through a school would be the sane option.
 

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Unless you are rich and can rent the track for yourself, there is no way to get enough seat time to get good. And you could go to all the trackdays you can (there are enough in Ca & Nevada to ride at least once a week) , but even in the slow group you'd be a hazzard for a long time.
 

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There was a 14 yr old in my class at troys race school who had hardly been on a motorcycle before. He did fine but he was noticeably slower at picking things up, but no so much that he was a safety hazard. Of course he didn't have any driving experience at all, so I'd imagine someone with at least some driving time would do better yet.
 

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There was a 14 yr old in my class at troys race school who had hardly been on a motorcycle before. He did fine but he was noticeably slower at picking things up, but no so much that he was a safety hazard. Of course he didn't have any driving experience at all, so I'd imagine someone with at least some driving time would do better yet.
I would suspect he is the exception rather than the rule. Also, if someone has been riding dirt since they were 5 that is a whole different thing. But someone just getting on a bike, then riding on a track? Maybe if they were the offspring of a union between Rossi and his old bitch Biaggi, but otherwise get 'em outta my way. Any BCSB ride will show you that most people can ride 10,000 KM and still not have any clue what the hell they are doing.

It is interesting to note though, that the WSMC is starting a new series at the "Streets" that is open to 14 year olds instead of the usual 16 at the big track. So maybe put some salt and pepper on my words.
 

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If you don't have any bike riding exp. i would say do a bunch of dirt riding like a lot like burn up 150- 200 gals. then i would say maybe think about road racing . the basics of racing school applies to persons who have a full under standing of the basics,you could still take a course and learn things , alot of those 12-14 year olds have been riding since they where like 5-6 . all good if you think you can handle it just try ,i have been riding for like 32 years and own a 185 mph motor cycle , and am just getting my race papers in the spring.gota feel good about what your doing .seat time seat time seat time please repeat .
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Good info guys. I fully understand seat time. Just like car racing, seat time is extremely important. Someone who has years of driving experience might not be able to handle high performance track driving. I have also met people who has no drivers license but has learned all the basic from go karting. I enjoy racing because of the technical side of things and pushing the limits and being resposible for it. Car racing and motorcycle racing have lots of similarity I think. Little things such as look as far out as possible, being smooth, the racing line, braking point and such. The difference between the two is the tool/machine.

Riding a motorcycle on the street freaks me out. I am a very aggressive driver on the track with cars, not stupid but aggresive. I am a extremely good driver on the street. I don't even speed. Seeing and hearing about all these bike being crashed by other vehicles annoys me a lot. I have little experience with motorcycle and i have taken a riding class. I guess my though was to try to take my motorcycle riding skill to the limit by avoiding riding on the street if possible. Dirt bike sounds like a good option by I think it might be very different from track riding. I am a asphalt fan. I love smooth surface. I guess if I have to ride on the street, I will just have to be extremely careful and maybe try to get involve with other riders and ride in group.

Thanks for the replies,

Shane
 

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Hey Shane, welcome to the sport.

I would suggest that you seriously consider taking a motorcycle rider training course before you get on a bike. Any good course will focus on techniques that will keep you safe(r) on the street. Those techniques should be reinforced all of the time throughout the course. If you do that you should have a better chance of staying safe on the road when you get your licence.

As others have mentioned, I'd try and get some street experience first and then head to the track or get some street experience while you're doing track days ... generally there are "slow street rider" classes at track days.
 

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Have fun with what you do , seem pretty level headed so i would say give the track a go get a bike that is'nt gonna try and kill ya , to get a feel for the contact patch and how it all works and when .just keep it real and you'll be fine .
 

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Ya, whatever.
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I would bet you would do OK with some dirt riding to get familiar with bike controls and the feel. Doing a race liscence course will build you up slowly and if you have any aptitude for it you would do OK. Instructors would not let you get moving too fast if they did not see some skills shown. Start with a light bike and have fun, get a motard and that will keep the power down and corner speed up.
 

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I guess it boils down to this....if there is no way you are going to ride on the street, and you dont have any dirt bike experience at all, but you REALLY want to ride a bike fast, then hit the track and go for it! With no bike experience at all you are going to struggle at first, probably run off the track quite a bit (target fixation and lack of skill/understanding with counter steering send you off the track pretty quick!) But you only live once so why the hell not...I say go for it and have a blast.

I did a similar thing back at the old Westwood track, I started on the track and did 3 races before I got my street licence. Crashed my brains out the first race...and got on the box twice the second race, that was it I was hooked!

Did very little street riding back then cause I was afraid of dying, and sold the bike after a couple of seasons of racing, havent had a street bike since.

But now I am REALLY getting the bug to do some track days, still dont want to ride on the street, but sure miss doing the RZ shuffle. (for those that havent had the pleasure, thats what we called sliding an RZ through a corner, the frame flexing and the rear was grabbing and releasing traction every 2 seconds) ahhhh those were the days........

Just writing this is getting me all worked up....dam....anyone have a cheap 600 they wanna sell an old washed up racer?

Hook me up!!!!!!
 

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I guess it boils down to this....if there is no way you are going to ride on the street, and you dont have any dirt bike experience at all, but you REALLY want to ride a bike fast, then hit the track and go for it! With no bike experience at all you are going to struggle at first, probably run off the track quite a bit (target fixation and lack of skill/understanding with counter steering send you off the track pretty quick!) But you only live once so why the hell not...I say go for it and have a blast.
Well, one of my concerns with having someone that inexperienced (on two wheels) out there would be whether this person would be a safety hazard for me. I mean, it's a justified concern for other people when they're out there with me. ;) But if I were taking a race school with someone who was totally brand new to motorcycles...I know I would try to stay the hell away from them as much as possible.
 

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Twin A
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that's a valid point Harps.
 
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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
HAHAHAHA!

Yes, I was like Dammyneckhurts with cars before. Built the car, put the cage in, max out the power, throw on some sticky tires and get on the track. Nevermind the experience, seat time, and the skills needed. Deal with it later. That was me many years ago.

If fact, I still have the same attitude for a lot of things in life. You only live once and if you want to do it, just do it.

Unfortunately, I am in my 30's.....LOL... Value my assets and life in general. And I do understand what i do on the track will effect others.

I should say something about my experience with motorcycle. I was on a bike for the first time about 16 years ago. Was riding on the street for close to a year until I hit a tree. It was my fault because of the lack of maturity and proper skill. Stayed away from the machine until now. I took a riding course this past summer. Learn a lot about street riding and proper technics and such. I have given this a lot of thoughts and decided I will spend a little time with street riding for now. Again, seat time, seat time, seat time. When the day comes, I will definitely go thru a proper racing school and go from there. I am in no rush to get on the track. No rush to become a MotoGP champion.....lol...just kidding.....

I have to say that it is very unfortunate that our streets are not very safe. For both cars and motorcycles. Some of the statistics that I have seen turn my stomach.

Later,

S
 

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But now I am REALLY getting the bug to do some track days, still dont want to ride on the street, but sure miss doing the RZ shuffle. (for those that havent had the pleasure, thats what we called sliding an RZ through a corner, the frame flexing and the rear was grabbing and releasing traction every 2 seconds) ahhhh those were the days........
So THAT is what it was called... yeah, that was a lot of fun (had a track RZ during the 2005 race year). :)

Just writing this is getting me all worked up....dam....anyone have a cheap 600 they wanna sell an old washed up racer?

Hook me up!!!!!!
There are LOTS of track 600's for sale... what are you looking for?? :devillook
 

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Shiftless clutcher
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I did a similar thing back at the old Westwood track, I started on the track and did 3 races before I got my street licence. Crashed my brains out the first race...and got on the box twice the second race, that was it I was hooked!
Care to post or PM your name (or racing # when you were at Westwood) for us other old fogies who were there and enjoyed the 'Mountain High' racing and might remember you?
 

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SAM, yes it can be done and if you don't want to even take the street riding course it's still possible. But I think you'll go through a couple of "learner" bikes in doing so.

Assuming you can ride a bicycle. Yeah, I know it's pretty basic but sometimes for various reasons some folks never learn. If you're comfy and aggresive at riding a bicycle at both low and higher riding speeds that'll help a lot. The steering and weighting skills you learn are directly transferrable to motorcycle riding. If for some reason you never got a bicycle then start with this and read up on counter steering.

From there go for a smaller dirt bike. Ride the snot out of it. If you get the right one you can join us for mini racing next year and cut your track riding chops on a bike that is less intimidating and yet will teach you about going quickly around a track both in solo form and then with other riders. This is a great way to learn how to ride quickly, as opposed to fast, around a track. And since you already have some car track experience you well understand that quickly on the watch doesn't always mean fast. WIth a second set of wheels for the knobby tires or some quick tire changing skills you can get in some additional dirt riding time and you may even find that trail riding is something you also enjoy. At our mini racing events you can ride by yourself to learn the basic skills in the parking lot out of the way even during events and then hit the actual track at lunch and for a while after the racing. For more info on this type of riding and racing you can go to www.miniracingbc.com .

From there you could graduate to or add a 600 to run at Mission and other PNW tracks.

So that's MY recipe for learning to ride but never doing ANY riding on the public roads. Yes it's possible and I think practical if you go with something like this. There's no real need to take any of the street riding schools if you can pick up the bike handling skills on your own. The street riding schools two main topics are bike handling and street skills. And you're not really interested in the street part.
 

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I agree with you on this one Tee Tee.

Dirt biking then Mini racing would be the way to start. Get a YSR or a Mini-Motard and get out there. A great way to get your head around racing a bike. Just smaller and slower.....
 
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