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.


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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