Getting started in motorcycle racing


#1

Ok, here goes. Maybe this is just a symptom of my crazy, bored mind but I’ve been thinking about getting into racing here. While I’ve been riding on the streets for about 10 years, I’ve only been on a track once. And while I’ve also been involved in racing, it was never as the guy on the bike. So, I’ve seen people here posting bits about racing at TIS (or whatever it’s called), I’ve seen clips on Youtube and I know some Taiwan guys that are involved in racing (here and in China) but I don’t know how someone would go about getting started.

So, I just want to know what anyone else might know about this. Even if I end up not actually doing this (I’m a poor man now so this all might be totally out of my budget), maybe this thread can be helpful to other people in the future.

The questions I’ve thought of so far are:

  1. What bikes (2 stroke, 4 stroke, 100cc, 400cc, etc.) can be used in the local races?
  2. Where can I purchase one of these bikes?
  3. What is the general price of one of these bikes?
  4. What needs to be done to the bike to make it pass tech?
  5. Where can one purchase the gear (leathers, boots, back protectors, etc.) locally?
  6. How does one get a racing license?
  7. How does one actually join the races?
  8. Is there any information about the races (requirements, schedule, etc.) available in English?

That’s all I can think of for now.


#2

[quote=“44”]Ok, here goes. Maybe this is just a symptom of my crazy, bored mind but I’ve been thinking about getting into racing here. While I’ve been riding on the streets for about 10 years, I’ve only been on a track once. And while I’ve also been involved in racing, it was never as the guy on the bike. So, I’ve seen people here posting bits about racing at TIS (or whatever it’s called), I’ve seen clips on Youtube and I know some Taiwan guys that are involved in racing (here and in China) but I don’t know how someone would go about getting started.

So, I just want to know what anyone else might know about this. Even if I end up not actually doing this (I’m a poor man now so this all might be totally out of my budget), maybe this thread can be helpful to other people in the future.

The questions I’ve thought of so far are:

  1. What bikes (2 stroke, 4 stroke, 100cc, 400cc, etc.) can be used in the local races?
  2. Where can I purchase one of these bikes?
  3. What is the general price of one of these bikes?
  4. What needs to be done to the bike to make it pass tech?
  5. Where can one purchase the gear (leathers, boots, back protectors, etc.) locally?
  6. How does one get a racing license?
  7. How does one actually join the races?
  8. Is there any information about the races (requirements, schedule, etc.) available in English?

That’s all I can think of for now.[/quote]

Hey, I will try to answer your questions as best as I can. I have been racing out at the Longtan track for over 2 years, and before that I was out there a year practicing. Just to be honest with you, if you are low on money then racing is something you don’t want to get into. It is expensive as FUCK!! I love it though. I have a decent job, single, and no children and it’s sometimes still sucks away a lot of my money. It just depends how far you want to go. I like to win, and even though I consider myself a good rider, it isn’t just rider ability; you still need a fast stable bike to go with it. Performance parts and custom labor gets expensive. Racing slicks aren’t cheap either (you don’t need racing slicks though.)

I think the track is closed Monday-Wednesday for private companies and or clubs. It is open to the public Thursday-Sunday, but Sunday’s are race days and sometimes there are races going on. Saturday is the busiest day to practice. If you are serious about stating to get on the track, then you should just start coming out and practicing. After you are comfortable you can join a team. This will come later. Get a bike, a suit, boots, gloves, back protector and a decent helmet and just get on the track and ride.

1. What bikes (2 stroke, 4 stroke, 100cc, 400cc, etc.) can be used in the local races?
Any bike can get on the track, it doesn’t matter what the size or stroke it is (This sounds sexual.). It can be an illegal bike or legal bike. I race a 2 stroke NSR, but they are a dying breed. They are the fastest, but not many people can work on them these days. The most popular small cc bike out there is the FZR or FZ. Riders are riding every single bike out there from, NSR, Quannon, Wolf, CBR 150, illegal 250cc, FZR 400cc, big bikes, SR 150, RS 125, Hardford min’s, CPI’s, Motards, big bikes, and even scooters.

2. Where can I purchase one of these bikes?
Anywhere!! Check the classified on Forumosa, check Tealit, check Yahoo Auctions, or just look around at any of the 100 million motorcycle/scooter shops around your town.

3. What is the general price for one of these bikes?
This question is hard to answer. If you want a full race bike already done you could pay as little as 30,000nt or as much as 100,000nt. If you just want to buy a new small cc motorcycle with no mods you will pay around 60k-130knt. If you want something used you might be able to find a nice bike for about 25-40Knt. I just sold a track ready FZ for $25,000nt. It was ready to get on the track with some a couple of bolt-on’s, but the bike was illegal. It has no papers!!

4. What needs to be done to the bike to make it pass tech?
There is no tech on the track. You can basically have your bike glued together with the engine duck taped to the frame. This is not a joke!

5. Where can one purchase the gear (leathers, boots, back protectors, etc.) locally?
I don’t know where you are located, but there are many shops in Taipei that carry gear. I can’t help you out with this question. There is a shop locally to me in Chongli that has gear. I actually brought my suit over from the States. You can also find gear via Yahoo auction. I order things now through my club. They can get anything for me.

6. How does one get a racing license?
First get out on the track and feel it out. You should practice first for a while. When you are ready to race you can get your license. You just have to take a test (which is in Chinese), but don’t worry they just give you the answers if you cant read Chinese. Don’t worry about this right now. The license is a joke, and since I have gotten mine I have never once had to show it.

7. How does one actually join the races?
Don’t worry about this either. If you start going out there regularly you will meet other riders/racers. I started just going out there and eventually I started meeting other riders. I needed some more work done on my motorcycle and I meet a mechanic that said he would do the work for me. After that we became friends, and I slowly started to hang out with that team. I wanted to race and asked to join their team. There are at least 30 different teams out there. You can race without a team too, but like I said just start going out there.

8. Is there any information about the races (requirements, schedule, etc.) available in English?
Nope! Including myself there are only about 3-4 other foreigners out there that race regularly and 2 of them are now on my team. In the past 3 years I rarely see a new foreigner out there even practicing. Every now and then there is a new guy that comes out but then I never hear of him again. So there is no need for English out there. The track manager is named “Bride” and his English is pretty decent. Many of the riders/racers out there speak some English too. The foreigner crew has been in TW for sometime now, and with a little Chinese and a little English our communication goes a long way. I usually try to post races before to let people know. Our next motorcycle race is Sunday, May 1st. Our races are once every 2 months and always on a Sunday. There are only 6 races in a race season. You have to pay for the races and if you win you get nothing except a trophy. Just bragging rights!! Practicing is $150nt a 20-25 minute session or $500nt for all day. I can usually only do 3 sessions though. I’m getting old!!

If you have more questions feel free to ask, or read through the Track Days Thread!!!

Hope to see ya out there!! We need more foreigners.


#3

rk1951,

Thanks for the thorough response. I was afraid that this all might be too expensive for me right now. I was hoping that maybe I could get my hands on a cheap, little bike and get started that way. But it seems even the little bikes here are expensive. That, or everyone here makes a sh@t-load more money than I do. So, I guess it’s just a matter of waiting to see if I can come across a cheap bike sometime and also figure out where I can get some leathers and boots. I’m kicking myself now because I could have gotten boots and leathers really cheap when I was in China. I didn’t realize everything in Taiwan is so freaking expensive. :ohreally:

44


#4

Actually what RK said was very encouraging… it is very easy to start…
go to a scooter shop or check in tealit or forumosa’s market area and buy a FZ-150 or FZR-150… that could cost you from 25k to 45k depending on the condition of the bike… i presume you have a scooter… well sell it and get the bike… then go to any motorcycle shop that has gear, as RK said there are several in Taipei or even here in Hsinchu where i live, you can buy a jacket for around 3k, boots for around 4k, gloves for around 1.5k, helmet for around 3k and knee protection for around 1.5 ~ 2k… so now you have invested around 30k for the bike and around 13k for gear… and you are ready to go to the track and play around as many times as you want… the main idea is to try it and see how it goes… another option is that you as a friend that is already into it and lends you some gear for a session or 2 only… you may still need to bring your bike… that you can keep even if you didnt like the feeling of racing… in that case you got to try it and still didnt buy the 13k in gear… but i think the gear is a good investment for yourself when u do scooter or motorcycle trips…
give it a try


#5

agreed on what both of them had to say. Get out there first, spend some decent money on safe gear and get a beater for a bike and go at it.


#6

Went to TIS/Longtan Racetrack this morning. Was there to test this GPS/camera dealie but the boss didn’t want to ride on the wet track. Anyway, saw some interesting things while I was there. One, I can’t imagine getting past 2nd gear on a big bike on that track. Two, they ain’t real strict on safety. I saw a guy on a big bike wearing a half-helmet and a scooter guy wearing normal pants with what looked like carpenter’s knee-pads. Three, it was really freaking cold this morning.


#7

That is rather fast :open_mouth: