What to look for when Buying a Race Bike

buying a race bikeBuying a Race Bike or a track bike in The Uk can be fraught with problems. You only need to look at the problems caused when the police raided Bemsee earlier this season to see the amount of hassle you can be landed in if you haven’t done proper checks prior to buying your bike.

 

Does it have a registration document?

 

If a bike was originally registered for the road then it should have it’s registration documents, check them. If it’s always been a race bike then get the bill of sale, invoice or paperwork that shows it was purchased legally.  One area where people get into problems is that if the bike comes with spare engines or frames.  Ensure you have documentation for them and know where they came from.

 

If the bike seems to have altered or missing frame numbers and engine numbers then walk away . There may be a legitimate reason but do you reallyy want to take the risk.

 

Check for excessive crash damage.

 

Race bikes and track bikes crash, it’s a fact of life but there is a difference between a a few gentle slides into the gravel trap and a bike destroying end over end into the tyre wall (I’ve had both!)  expect some damage but make sure it’s not excessive.

 

Remove all fairings, seats and tanks to check everything is ok where you can’t easily see.

 

I once went to pick up a GSXR1000 race bike and as i was checking it over I found that the frame had been straightened multiple times and there were creases in the frame around the headstock.  I walked away.

 

Spares and Trick Parts

 

Does the bike come with spares? If it does so much the better you will need spares during the season so anything you can get hold of is a bonus. If the bike is being sold as a race winning bike make sure any trick parts are still included. It might have won with Ohlins forks and well tuned engine.. and you might be buying it with the std forks and a standard engine.  Also check that it’s at a spec suitable for what class you’ll be racing.  I’ve seen someone disqualified because he didn’t realize he had a supersport spec engine in a super stock race.

 

I love buying race bikes and track bikes i once had a garage with 11 bikes in in all prepared for race and track days unfortunately I’ve also had numbers headaches and sleepless nights caused by problems that could have been easily avoided if I’d just been sensible when i bought them.

 

Buying a Honda Track Bike – Looking at Track Bikes For Sale?

Track Bikes For Sale - Honda track Bikes  Looking for Track Bikes For sale ? If you are looking for a good solid reliable race or track bike in the UK then you should really consider a  Honda. While in recent years i’ve always raced Suzuki’s or Ducati’s (and KTM’s for supermoto) I’ve used several Honda’s as my Trackday  bike.

 

They have ranged from the sublime 1993 fireblade that I bought for £900 in 2000 and commuted on for 2 years then used on track days for another year,  To the ridiculous a 1998 VTR1000 wobbled like a jelly on a trampoline until i added fireblade forks. I between i had a sweet little NC 30 that i used at tracks like Lydden Hill and 3 sisters.

 

Hondas are generally bullet proof and take a lot of abuse before they fail. If they do happen to fail then parts are readily available. you’ll also never find a shortage of Honda track Bikes for sale due to their popularity.

One of the Honda’s that are often overlooked are the steel framed CBR 600’s also known lovingly as steelies. These can be bough up cheaply  and if you suddenly find yourself passing lots of people and decide to go racing then there is a championship for them.

 

When buying Bikes for track days i always looks at a number of things.

 

Cost: it has to be cheap, there is no point in buying a bike that less than a year old if it’s just for track days  so i tend to look for bikes that are past their Race by date 6-8 year old race bikes can be great bargains.

 

Maintenance. Will i need to rebuild it after a few track days . I used to only rebuild my race bikes every 6-8 races so for a track bikes i’d look for something that needs a refresh every 10 -12 Trackdays (I always change the oil after every race meeting or 2 track days)

 

Availability of Spares: there is no point in buying a bike that wasn’t sold in large numbers. The more bikes sold the more spares available

 

Handling. I love to be able to go around the outside of Johnny Flash Git on his new R1 on my 10 year old bike. the only way I’ll be able to do this is to be able to outride him in the corners as he’ll have the speed on the straight.  Handling will give you the edge.

 

Top Choices for Honda Track Bikes For sale:

 

Honda CBR 600 RR  (2004 -2005)  Look to spend under £2500

Honda CBR 1000 RR (2004 -2005) Look to Spend under £2008

 

If you have a smaller budget don’t forget to look at something like an VTR 1000 (look for fork swap) or the slightly better SP1 or and SP2 they should be available for under £2000 and will surprise many people.

 

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If you want more information about choosing track bikes for sale of racing motorcycles please check our home page

Christmas Gifts For Bikers

Great Gifts For Bikers

Great Gifts For Bikers

If you want to buy a great gift for the motorcyclist in your life or even just for yourself you can’t go far wrong if you choose a book about motocycles or racers. Top of the list this year has to be Jamie Whitams autobiography “What a Good Do” Or maybe even James Toselands account of his first year in MotoGP.

The perennial favorites are always the Motocourse books or Julian Ryders Moto Gp season reviews.

Personally I love the books about motorcycle adventures , reading about people who have toured the world and visited far away places always inspire me.. Maybe next year I’ll give up going round and round on the race tracks of europe and head off for a longer trip!!

There are hundreds of great gifts for motocyclists but if you’d like to view over 300 motorcycle books follow the following link.

Best Motorcycling books

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Gsxr1000 Race Bike

Gsxr1000 Race bikeI have to admit that I have a very soft spot for the GSXR 1000. I bought a Gsxr1000 K1 on the day they arrived in the shops and was instantly turned from an average rider to a good rider. The bike just felt right. 3 weeks after i got it I did a lap of Jerez in 2minutes and 2 seconds,  which was about 30 seconds quicker than i’d previously done it on my ducati 996. The bike was just right!  The bike won races at cadwell , Pembrey and Darley Moor.  Gsxr1000’s also crash very well, at mallory park the front end was completely wiped out and it took a week to get it ready for racing , at oulton it slind in the wet and hit a tyre wall and catapulted over the safety barrier … a quick tweak on a jig and it was straight again.

If you are looking for a great race bike or trackday bike I can’t recommend a GSXR1000 enough

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R1 Race Bike

r1 race bike

As with the GSXR1000 if you are looking for an R1 race or trackday bike you won’t have any lack of choice. Each year Yamaha have added various changes to handling, frame geometry and engine performance. Some years you’ll find that The R1’s are better than the GSXR 1000’s and other years it’s the other way around but the differences are minor and the rider will make the most difference. Do your research and you are sure to find a bike that suits you.

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Zx10R Race Bike

Zx10R race bikeIn the ZX10R kawasaki probably built the sweetest handling bike they have ever built. With a very tractable engine this is probably one of the best bikes for a club racer to ride. With Razor sharp handling and lots of power it will have you diving up the inside of the opposition. The first thing that you’ll notice about the ZX10R is it’s size , pocket rocket is definatly the right description.

If you are over 6ft then you may have issues getting tucked in so I would probably look for another larger bike. However anyone 5 10 or below will find this bike ideal of fast as well as twisty tracks.

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Race Classes: Superstock 600

 

supersport 600You’ll find that one of the most hotly contested classes at every level of racing is the Supersport 600 class.  The class is for homologated 600cc four stroke bikes. The bikes are closely based on widely available models that can be bought in your local dealers.  A small amount of engine tuning is allowed but in general the bikes are as close to road models as possible with the majority of changes being made for safety reasons.

This even extends to the tyres which need to be Road legal, although many manufactures now make a race tyre that is technically road legal. Some organisations will allow you to run wet tyres in the event of wet races.

All Major manufacturers will have a suitable bike available with the most popular being the [nmslink:GSXR600,GSXR 600] and the [nmslink:R6,R6] .One anomaly in the class is that The Triumph 675 is eligible to race as it is a triple.

One of the great things about this class is that any 600cc bike can be competitive in the right hands with a minimum amount of cash being spent.

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Thundersport GB

I have just read the announcement of the creation of Thundersport GB (http://www.thundersportgb.com/) I am in two minds as to the Value of it. Firstly the involvement of Dave Stewart in any form of UK motorcycle sport is a good thing. Dave is the most honest and straight forward guy I’ve met. Not like some of the self serving pricks who seem to dominate motorcycle sport in the UK.

On the other hand we have the MRO series and having spent several seasons at MRO It certainly helps to raise the standard of riding. The question remains Do we need another series?

One other thing that does bother me slightly is the involvement of Motors TV. It’s great to have a televised series BUT how many people are going to watch it on Motors TV especially if the stick to their habit of airing programs at seemingly random times. TV coverage Good..Obscure TV coverage bad.  If i was approaching sponsors for funding telling them that the series was on Motors TV wouldn’t not have much of a pull.  On the other hand The series has to start somewhere.

I really do look forward to what dave has come up with and I hope it does live upto expectations. But i hope it’s not to the detriment of any other series or clubs.

 

Ducati and BSB Come To Their Senses

At last The management of British superbikes and Ducati Have come to their senses and reached an agreement that will allow Airwaves Ducati to compete in next seasons Series. Hot on the heels of that great bit of news comes the news that Airwaves Ducati will be running Shane "Shakey" Byrne and Leon Camier as their riders. I suspect the budget for crah damage will need to be increased significantly. Whatever happend it’s going to be exciting.

HM Plant Honda have also confirmed the signing of Cal Crutchlow as team mate to Leon Haslam once again this should lead to some exceitement. Crutchlows move to Honda has made a space available at Rizla suzuki that will be filled by Tom Sykes, I can’t help thinking that this is a bad move by Tom, i hope i am proved wrong.

Tom’s team mate will be japanese Superbike Champion Atsushi Watanabe, poor guy I can just hear jack Burnicle calling him Sushi Wannabe. (of course James Crackhead will just stick with calling him Leon) Things are shaping up nicely now and with the Honda Satellite ("b") Teams,Yamaha and Kawasaki still to finish naming their squads there could still be a few suprises.

An insider at Red Bull has revealed that following the sucess of the Red Bull Rookies Red Bull are considering starting a Red Bull "Has Beens" team. Look for Emmet and Rutter to be signed although they can expect competition from several sources.

 

Max Biaggi Stays in WSB

Max Biaggi has finally signed a deal to stay in world superbikes.

The press release states:

Italian Max Biaggi signed with the Sterilgarda Ducati team this afternoon, insuring that Biaggi will be in the 08 WSBK championship.

The Sterilgarda team ran Ruben Xaus, Marco Borciani (and for a brief period, Giovanni Bussei) in 2007 and their bikes were among the fastest in terms of top speed at the ultra-fast Monza.

Biaggi says he is happy to finally be on a Ducati and looks forward to testing.

 

It will be interesting to see how things go, Max has maintained all along that he wanted to be on a Ducati  but i suspect he meant he wanted to be on a Xerox factory ductai not a satellite team in the first year of development of a new bike. I predict fireworks and consternation in the Sterilgarda Garage.