This is the biggest concern we get from prospective members, what bike should I run and how do I prepare it? Here is some information to help you make that decision:
What kind of bike do you like?
This is a good point to consider, if you like the look of the older machines of yesterday and want to recreate the era of riders like Mike Hailwood and Ago then you’ll probably want to start in our older periods like P1 or P2. If you want to be in the fastest class and like the machines of the late 80’s then P4 is where you will want to be. Another consideration when choosing a period is also your rider ability. If you are an experienced racer any of the periods are a good chioce. If you are new to the sport it may be a good idea to start with a lower displacement bike in an older period such as P1, P2 or P3. A popular starting point for many racers has been the Honda CB350, its an inexpensive way to start and the bikes can be darn fast! The fact the bike is small and easy to handle makes it a great choice for the newbie and experienced riders alike. Come out and watch a few of our races and talk to some of our racers to see what the best choice of bike for you is.
What is your budget?
Your race budget will be a huge influance into what class and bike you choose to race. If you just won a lottery the choices are endless but if you are like most of us mortals the amount of cash you can invest into this hobby is limited. You’ll find pre-prepared race bikes will typically sell for prices starting around $2500.00 and going as high as the cost of a new car. Remember you’ll need to have money aside for things like spare parts, tires, entry fees and your travel and lodging expenses. You will probably spend a few thousand dollars a year to race four events. How much you spend can vary greatly, you’ll see some riders with huge class “A” motorhomes and trailers all the way to guys with compact cars towing a small trailer and sleeping in a tent, it all comes down to how much you wish to invest.
Do you like to work on bikes or are you mechanically challanged?
Riders have a wide range of mechnaical experience, some are like Burt Munroe and can build every part of thier bike and others have problems with what end of the screw driver to use. You need to determine where you fit but some mechanical ability or at least the desire to learn will help you enjoy the sport more. The fact is old bikes break, even the best prepared machine can give you problems and the better you know your steed the better you will do. Our club has some very talented people that are more than will to help you figure out any problem. But, if you’re scared to get your hands greasy stick to the newer classes. Later bikes are more reliable and parts are very easy to find. If you we’re born with grease under your finger nails you will have a blast with the old stuff. There are exceptions to the rule and some Japanese P1 bikes are very reliable and easy to work on. Talk to our members and see what works for you.
Buy a prepared bike or build?
Here’s a good topic and some members don’t figure this out until they made the wrong choice. By far, its better for the newbie to buy a developed prepared bike. The cost for a prepared race bike usually starts around $2500, it will take you almost twice that to build a bike not to mention some frustration in developing the bike.
But, if you love to build stuff and have a desire to build your own race bike there is nothing more satisfying. Building your own race bike gives you intimate knowledge of your bike and a trully unique piece you will charish for years of racing. A bike takes developement time and engineering and its a huge learning experience and is something that will make you a better racer and appreciate what pro teams go through.