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.