MNSBR: Getting More Serious - MNSBR

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Getting More Serious

#1 User is offline   mike4king Icon

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Posted 02 March 2018 - 08:32 AM

I've been doing trackdays on a street bike, and I'm curious at what point I should start evaluating a few of my choices.

BIKE:
Riding a 2012 GSXR 750 with a handful of mods but none of the common track/race stuff. I feel I could be faster but I'm holding myself back because I'm scared of crashing a clean street bike at the track (and have never crashed a motorcycle in my 10 years of riding). I also don't have a trailer or a vehicle to haul one with, so I have to borrow those from separate sources every time I go to the track (unless I ride there, which I've done plenty of times for DCTC).

GEAR:
I bought a cheap used one-piece that works fine.
I bought cheap used boots that are falling apart and almost completely worn through where my feet hit the pegs.
I don't have my own gauntlets, and have been borrowing them every time I go to BIR.
I've never owned/used chest/back/neck protectors, and am not sure how important they are at my speeds/skill level (~1:54 short course at BIR)

ESTIMATED COSTS:
I've thrown around the idea of getting a track bike and upgrading my gear, but I'm trying to get a comprehensive view of the costs.
Bike ~$3k
Boots ~$200
Gloves ~$200
Trailer ~$1500
Hitch for my car ~$170
Trackday costs ~$2k/year? (registration, fuel, hotels/camping, etc)
Bike Maintenance costs ~$1k/year? (tires, brakes, fluids, etc)


Is there anything important that I'm missing for gear or other costs (assuming no major crashes/medical needs)?

I'm considering just being done with sportbikes altogether and going to a cruiser, so I stop spending so much money on trying to have fun on sportbikes :(

PFA
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#2 User is offline   cra_fizzer Icon

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Posted 02 March 2018 - 10:13 AM

Get a damn back protector!
Buy good gloves and boots.

Don't worry so much about the bike. You need to learn how to ride fast before you can even think about serious go fast parts.

YOU WILL CRASH! Get over that fact.

Once you consider the bike as a write off, you will stop worrying about crashing.
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#3 User is offline   cra_fizzer Icon

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Posted 02 March 2018 - 10:14 AM

Oh, and if you don't have insurance, stay off the track. Period.
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#4 User is offline   mike4king Icon

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Posted 02 March 2018 - 10:35 AM

View Postcra_fizzer, on 02 March 2018 - 10:14 AM, said:

Oh, and if you don't have insurance, stay off the track. Period.


Health or auto? I have both, but I've always wondered how much I can trust my auto for an incident on the track.

And I've gotten used to the idea that I will crash eventually, and that riding on the track will only expedite that. That's why I say that I'm holding myself back because of my bike though, because I know I can go faster but I don't push myself out of fear of wrecking my bike. That's why I want a track bike.
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#5 User is offline   Torchsport Icon

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Posted 02 March 2018 - 11:34 AM

I rode my brand new Triumph Daytona 675R on the track many times before a deer took it out. Insurance gave me a nice check for that bike. I had thought about buying it back and making it a track only bike but it had some mysterious issues that I just didn't wanna deal with. Especially since I was disabled for 3 months.

Now I ride my brand new 2016 BMW S1000RR on the track. No worries.

I found deals on boots, back protectors, leathers and gloves here, other forums or Craigslist.
You need a back protector. I would also recommend a chest protector. I crashed my pitbike at Procart years ago and my ribs were sore for weeks. And that was only 10 mph!!!!

I did invest in a nice 6'x 12' enclosed trailer. Now it's also a great winter storage container.

Watch the wera forums for well set up race bikes as well. Guys are always upgrading in race classes.
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Posted 02 March 2018 - 01:28 PM

For gear you can always keep an eye out for gently used gear somebody didn't like. I always go through Mike at Riders Discount for my stuff now and he always has great deals on gear and parts.

Could get a cheap trailer from harbor freight for a lot less than $1,500. I picked up a used enclosed 6x12 for $1,200 but I was looking at craigslist every day for almost a year before I found that kind of deal. If you get a small trailer you could store it in your garage too vs a big trailer having to find space for it.
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#7 User is offline   dsmking Icon

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 02:15 AM

Are you trying to get into racing or just sticking to track days?!? If youíre scared of crashing you are already slowing your self down, spend your money on good gear and tires first in my opinion, ditch the street plastics and throw on race glass , brakes and suspension next, everyone puts it down on track man if you havenít your not pushing your limits, just my opinions! If your scared of scratching your bike sell it and buy something you donít care if it gets yard sailed. Buy a sumo there more fun any how and are stupid cheap to fix after crashing.. if you even break anything lol still have yet to break anything on my sumo after a few track crashes. And there easier to transport
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#8 User is offline   aj_day Icon

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 08:46 AM

Decide whether or not you are serious about getting more serious. If the answer is yes, then just throw in the towel and go racing. That is what you are going to end up doing anyway. You will get faster, faster. The CRA is also a truly awesome and welcoming group. Buy a 450, FW, or LW bike that is already setup for the track, should be @ $2500-3500 +/-. Plan on spending another $1,000 to get it updated and setup just for you. Spend another $2,000 +/- on safety gear. Skimp on bike parts, don't skimp on safety gear. Buy a great helmet, boots, suit, gloves, back protector, and neck brace. You are going to crash. You can always buy new rearsets, exhaust cans, and bodywork. You can't buy a new neck.

I started riding track days in 2012 on my street bike, which was an Aprilia Tuono. I learned very quickly that it was too much bike for me at the track, and the riding position was less than ideal. In 2013, I bought a brand new Daytona 675R for riding on the street and doing track days. It cost $14K. I sold it after three months for $12K, because I could see the writing on the wall when riding street/track with the same bike. I spent $6K on a really well setup Daytona from the WERA classifieds for the track, and $6.5K on a Street Triple for street riding. I crashed the track Daytona a few times and blew the motor badly in less than one season. I parted it out and bought a well set-up R6 for $3500 from another CRA racer. I spent @ $1500 a year making sure that it was in great condition, which does not include repairing crash damage. That was the best track bike I ever owned.

I know everyone is different. I am a slow 40+ year old for reference. I learned a shit ton starting in MW, but in retrospect I would have started racing in FW or LW.

If you are serious about getting more serious, sell your street bike and buy a bike that you are not afraid to crash. Then you can ride it like you mean it. You won't care that much about riding on the street after you start racing anyway. This is a well trodden path on this forum. Also, take all those financial projections you are doing and add 50% for shit you have not figured out you are going to need yet. Pop-up, tire warmers, spares, generator.
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#9 User is offline   mike4king Icon

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 11:41 AM

For bikes, I would much rather crash a $3k trackbike than a clean $7k-ish street bike. I've been keeping my eyes open and almost bought a 2004 600rr with a ton of spares but wasn't ready to pull the trigger on it. I'm NOT interested in track prepping my GSXR (suspension, bodywork, etc.) I did ride a sumo for ~10 minutes once and didn't really get the feel for it. I'm much more comfortable on a sportbike (although maybe that would change if I had more time on a sumo?)

For gear, I have a good helmet and the suit I have works fine for me. I've been searching Craigslist and other places for used boots and gloves but I'm really not finding much in terms of good deals that are my size :( My bigger question for gear was the importance of chest/back protectors and neck brace.

For a trailer, I'm just looking for a flat 5x8 trailer or something like that (with folding ramp, not a snowmobile tilt trailer, not a fan of those for single person loading/unloading).

View Postaj_day, on 03 March 2018 - 08:46 AM, said:

Decide whether or not you are serious about getting more serious. If the answer is yes, then just throw in the towel and go racing.

I don't think I want to start racing yet. I think that's more of a financial and time commitment than I'm prepared for.

View PostTorchsport, on 02 March 2018 - 11:34 AM, said:

Now I ride my brand new 2016 BMW S1000RR on the track. No worries.

Not all of us can afford to operate like you do lol. Don't you have like 5 motorcycles, 2 sports cars, and a big truck?

View Postaj_day, on 03 March 2018 - 08:46 AM, said:

I spent @ $1500 a year making sure that it was in great condition, which does not include repairing crash damage. That was the best track bike I ever owned.

$1500/year on what? Tires/brakes type stuff?

View Postaj_day, on 03 March 2018 - 08:46 AM, said:

Also, take all those financial projections you are doing and add 50% for shit you have not figured out you are going to need yet. Pop-up, tire warmers, spares, generator.

Just for startup costs? I'm not sure that I would run warmers for track days, which means I don't need a generator either. Also, pop-ups are nice for bright sun or rain, but I've found that I don't use them very often when I've borrowed them for track days.
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#10 User is offline   JohnnyCage Icon

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 12:10 PM

I think you'll find that the cost difference between track days and racing isn't much of a difference. It's all in how you approach it. You can make either as expensive or inexpensive as you want.

If you bought a track bike and did track days, you're going to get there, realize it would be awesome to have tire warmers, realize it would be awesome to have a nice popup, then you graduate to race tires, then you want to start dialing suspension, then you start buying suspension. The list goes on, I promise you that.

My point being, whichever way you go, you're going down the rabbit hole - especially if your goal is become a better rider and get faster.

There are ways to do all this cheaper than your planned out budget predicts. For my first couple years all I did was buy used shit. Used leathers, used boots, used parts on eBay and WERA. I never bought anything new. And hell, I even use Voss's old race tires for a couple years just to get by. I even went as far as to rummage through 2K's used tire pile so I could get by for a race. I also always volunteered at Race Reg to get my entry fee paid. You won't really understand this until you get into the thick of it. I promise you'll find ways to cut costs.

Forget the spreadsheet and forget all the minutely calculated details and just do it... because you love motorcycles and want to be a better rider! :)
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#11 User is offline   Champ Icon

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 12:45 PM

View PostJohnnyCage, on 05 March 2018 - 12:10 PM, said:

The list goes on, I promise you that.

Yadda yadda yadda, check out my new toy hauler!
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#12 User is offline   JohnnyCage Icon

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 01:34 PM

View PostChamp, on 05 March 2018 - 12:45 PM, said:

Yadda yadda yadda, check out my new toy hauler!


Oooh la la. It's on my list too! :)
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#13 User is offline   aj_day Icon

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 08:52 AM

View Postmike4king, on 05 March 2018 - 11:41 AM, said:

$1500/year on what? Tires/brakes type stuff?


Not trying to scare you away here. You are going to end up racing anyway, so I am just setting up your expectations. Forks refresh, rear shock refresh, valve clearance checks and adjustments. 5x oil changes a year, wheel bearings, brake pads, cables, hoses, clutch plates, worn out transmission parts. Then there were occasional electronic gremlins too; failed quickshifter sensor, failed neutral sensor, failed stator. There was always some minor thing going on. I considered tires and crash damage a separate category.

A word of suggestion regarding your bike choice; If you are concerned about costs, even if you are not planning to race (saving you from yourself here), buy the most common bike in the category that you are considering. Parts will be cheaper and more abundant, as will trackside spare selection and knowledge base. If you are going MW, buy an R6. If you are going LW, buy an SV650 etc... This will make a huge difference. I wish someone had emphasized this point to me before I bought a Triumph race bike the first time around.
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#14 User is offline   mike4king Icon

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 09:27 AM

View PostJohnnyCage, on 05 March 2018 - 12:10 PM, said:

There are ways to do all this cheaper than your planned out budget predicts. For my first couple years all I did was buy used shit.

I wish it were easier to find used gear in my size!

View Postaj_day, on 06 March 2018 - 08:52 AM, said:

Not trying to scare you away here. You are going to end up racing anyway, so I am just setting up your expectations.

I appreciate that, but the transition from track days to racing will not come easily or be as fluid for me as it will for a lot of other people that ask these questions. I have an 11 month old at home and he won't be an only child forever, so recreational trackdays are 100x's easier to justify to the wife than competitive racing.

View Postaj_day, on 06 March 2018 - 08:52 AM, said:

buy the most common bike in the category that you are considering.

Primarily would be looking at jap inline 4 (in order of personal preference for track: 600rr, R6, GSXR, ZX6), because it's what I'm comfortable with and I don't think I would be as happy on an SV. Even if I were to get into racing in the future, my goal would not be to find the classes with the cheapest bike or least competition, rather the bike that I'm most comfortable on.
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#15 User is offline   dsmking Icon

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 11:30 AM

Iíd stick with an r6 then, seems like most have better luck with them and the Spare parts people have is crazy for them! Track days or racing will always be expensive if you want to get better, bikes can always use something to up your game, Iíve spent almost 3k in upgrading my sumo in the last 2 years and thatís just suspension and brakes, my mind set is you gotta pay to play buddy! I also prefer track days over racing, I have my opinions on the whole CRA thing
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