How much cheaper is racing a small bike really?

Discussion in 'General' started by aftriathlete, Apr 10, 2020.

  1. Dave Wolfe

    Dave Wolfe banned club

    Perfect. So i will expect peak performance from my tires sometime in 2022
    aftriathlete likes this.
  2. nick_b_507

    nick_b_507 Member

    I can speak to running an SV. Mine is an SS spec run in LWT SS, LWT SB, and F2. Back of the pack pace for most of them.

    Race fees will be the biggest expense, a little over $500 for a weekend. That should get you 2 practices and 3 races each day. If you need more practice, most weekends have a trackday the Friday before, which should be between $200 and $250 depending on venue and the org running the day.

    I ran 5 weekends on one set of tires, which were less than $400.

    Add in a set of brake pads and fluid at the start of the season just so you feel better for $100. Add another $100 for a few oil changes as well. $25 worth of fuel for the bike should get you thru a weekend.

    Travel costs and crashing costs will be the remaining variables, both can add up quickly.
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  3. aftriathlete

    aftriathlete Well-Known Member

    Lots of great inputs here, and frankly, I love the discussion considering how starved I am for racing content right now, it’s fun even just to think about these details. Whatever I decide on I feel pretty confident I will stay with pump gas. The wrenching and fiddling has never been part of the enjoyment of racing to me. I might enjoy it if I was a single guy or retired, but I just don’t have that kind of spare time nowadays, it’s always been asking a lot of my family to run away for a weekend to race in the first place. so one big plus to moving down from big bikes is not doing multiple wheel removals and refitments every weekend for tire flips and swaps, and my last two bikes both were tuned for race gas which creates more of a headache than I care to deal with if it’s my choice. Coordinating ahead of time to find a local supplier with the fuel I’m sure can be easier in some places and at some tracks, but it was always a question mark racing in NM and Chuck if I was going to get the specific type and amount of the race gas I needed for my bike, and then there’s the siphoning after the weekend is done and the storage of race gas in your garage. All problems that I’m sure can be overcome, but still, more distractions than absolutely necessary.

    Cutting back on the futz’ing around with all that is all something I’d look forward to about moving down to a smaller bike.
  4. DmanSlam

    DmanSlam Well-Known Member

    +1 on your first sentence.

    Sounds like time and money are your primary decision criteria and everything else is details that provide more justification. Check out minimoto if that's an available option. For me, I can ride 4 days a week on a kart track with other guys/gals. It can be a family affair, where many have kids that also ride/race. And most of us still do 'big bike' track days. Spread the love around. And the money. :)
    aftriathlete and Boman Forklift like this.
  5. DmanSlam

    DmanSlam Well-Known Member

    That's pretty cost-effective. More so than I thought it could. Appreciate the input!
  6. Tristan

    Tristan Well-Known Member

    A CBR250 is a far cry from an SV (I've raced both), but yeah- 2 full seasons under a fast kid is pushing it.
  7. Newsshooter

    Newsshooter Well-Known Member

    I'd say Hp isn't your issue, I raced little bikes, FZR's and then a ZXR400 for many years. While my bike handled really well many of my competitors thought I had a lot more Hp than they did. I didn't, it was at best equal to many of the other guys at the front and less than most. I was also 20-50 lbs heavier than most of the guys I raced against. That being said, except for a couple guys that were always at the front I was on the throttle way earlier than most and that made a big difference between corners. It either kept me ahead or allowed me to get inside before the next corner for the pass. I had more than a few people at track days tell me it was a strong 600, even in A group. It made about 72 HP :)
    DmanSlam likes this.
  8. 90kacoupe

    90kacoupe Novice seeking Help

    My bike is a V1 bike which really doesn't have a great home with WERA anymore after the vintage consolidation. (Which I am not mad about. It made sense for WERA to do that, and I'll still gladly come race is in V3.) I have raced it in Clubman when I first started and got smoked, by everybody. But I was very new and green at the time. I race it with AHRMA mainly. My expenses with that bike are very low. I come with 15 Gal of race fuel but normally leave with 5 Gal. I have had the same front tire on it for 2 seasons and the rear for 1.5 season. (I usually try to race 4 to 5 weekends a year and do Friday practice.) Those tires still have some life too them, but I will probably change them before being on the track again. I do a piston over the winter and the one I pull out usually looks new, and I'm 3 season on the crank. I run at the front of Formula 250 with AHRMA. I can't quite catch the 2 custom frames bikes, but I get closer and closer every weekend.

    The RZ is a different story. It require pistons more frequently and tires every 3 weekends if I'm pushing hard. It is very thirsty for race fuel. and should probably replace the crank every year if you ride it hard.

    The SV is a rear tire every weekend (If you do all the practices including Friday) but cheap everywhere else. It takes pump gas and oil changes to keep it going. Its obviously not as fun as the RZ but the SV is a great bike!

    I know most people won't consider vintage, but there is something very fun about riding a very crude small bike. You feel everything and you get to ride it really really hard!
  9. Boman Forklift

    Boman Forklift Well-Known Member

    I agree with all of this and one of the reasons I was happy when my son graduated from RS125's up to SV's and then 600's. RS125 2 strokes, while easy on the tire budget are not easy on the work needed or parts budget.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2020
    aftriathlete likes this.
  10. Bruce

    Bruce Tuck & Roll

    I get what you're saying. At the track I race at the most, Summit, I could be 2-3 bike lengths behind somebody by turn 1, even though I started better than them and initially pulled a gap. The last straw was losing 4th place for an ASRA race passing the guy into turn 5 every lap only to be blasted by on the straight. Could Melka hop on that bike and still win? Probably. But it seems silly to have such a disadvantage to guys that are already faster AND running built motors.
  11. Pneumatico Delle Vittorie

    Pneumatico Delle Vittorie Retired "Tire" Guy

    Or buy a set of 3 year old take offs from some cheap dad and go race at the pointy end :D
  12. Boman Forklift

    Boman Forklift Well-Known Member

    So how many races at the pointy end did those 3 year old takeoffs have on them?
  13. Pneumatico Delle Vittorie

    Pneumatico Delle Vittorie Retired "Tire" Guy

    I spend a lot of quality time in the garage working on the TZ while listening to great music instead of watching the wife watch the Real Housewives of Orange County, Jersey Shore, or Fixer Upper, LOL. So the draw for me was always the fun of working on a true GP bike, but I like this kind of stuff
  14. Boman Forklift

    Boman Forklift Well-Known Member

    I agree that kind of time is great with them and they are so well designed for working on.

    However, when trying to race and practice a couple times a month, plus run my business it got very tiring. The good news is I taught Tyler about wrenching and he did the last 5-6 top ends all by himself. He even checked the squish with solder, like I was taught.

    He and Lex Hartl even took Lex's 125 totally apart (except engine) and put it back together after cleaning, greasing, and re-torquing everything.
  15. Pneumatico Delle Vittorie

    Pneumatico Delle Vittorie Retired "Tire" Guy

    Rob, fast forward to this week and I've got a 73 Yamaha 175 with 5 pounds of dirt and grease on the bench with a stuck piston. So I'm remembering the good old days when I was roadracing and working on my own shit, while I plug away on this POS
    Boman Forklift likes this.
  16. aftriathlete

    aftriathlete Well-Known Member

    I will buckle down and find some time soon hopefully to get all the bits put on the Grom I’ve had sitting in a box for a few months now. I need to scratch the itch, but my current job is about the busiest I have ever been in my career.

    I give my daughter a ride around the neighborhood once in a while on it and she freaking loves it, we zigzag around a parking lot and she holds onto the mirrors and thinks she’s steering it, so I know she would love to get a little bike of her own when we get back. She’s crushing a strider bike now, so she’s learning the balance and control skills!
  17. aftriathlete

    aftriathlete Well-Known Member

    My mind has wanderlust about exotic bikes that I’m trying to get passed. It has kinda driven my motorcycle ownership history. And man, being here in Okinawa til next summer I can’t help but think about trying to get my hands on one of the yet-to-be-released ZX-25Rs that are going to be sold in this part of the world to bring back to the States with me. I know it’s an awful idea for a ton of reasons.
  18. noles19

    noles19 Well-Known Member

    Around here we generally support awful ideas that entertain us, so let not rule out the kawi yet...
  19. fastedyamaha

    fastedyamaha Well-Known Member

    It’s not an awful idea, it’s been done many times to get a bike from that area into America. Do it!
  20. aftriathlete

    aftriathlete Well-Known Member

    Since I found out there is some mini racing here in Okinawa I’ve been energized to find some time to get after mods to the Grom. Changed out the rubber swingarm bushings for bronze, new Ohlins cartridges and YSS shock. Have a few things still to finish it up, but hopefully the covid restrictions ease up by June when the next round is scheduled. That’s peak monsoon season here though, but I only have the wheel set that’s on the bike, so I don’t think I can worry about rain tires.

    I’m still refreshing the google search every day to see if there is any news about that ZX-25R...

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