The low down on amateur level racing? - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 115 (permalink) Old 09-11-2006, 03:35 PM Thread Starter
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The low down on amateur level racing?

A lot of you might laugh at this but if my job with the border patrol falls through I may quit my job and race full time. I have the support staff (thanks hunny!) to make it happen. My question is... can it really go anywhere and how does that happen?

I've been "above average" at every thing I've ever done in life, still looking for something I'm great at though. I figure give motorcycle racing my 100% effort for one or two seasons and see where it gets me. That way I can at least say I tried.

I'm sure a lot of you will laugh this up but I'm dead serious about this.
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post #2 of 115 (permalink) Old 09-11-2006, 03:36 PM
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hope you got a pile of money read to burn.

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post #3 of 115 (permalink) Old 09-11-2006, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
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Like I said funding isn't a problem. Is there even serious sponsor offers out there in the SV class?
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post #4 of 115 (permalink) Old 09-11-2006, 03:44 PM
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Nick... 600 is your only choice if you want to try to make it a career.
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post #5 of 115 (permalink) Old 09-11-2006, 03:44 PM
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You will be realllllllyyy lucky to even break even unless you manage to get a factory ride, or are travelling around the US winning national races like some of the top privateers. And there is not enough money in lightweight racing at all to even break even as far as I know

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post #6 of 115 (permalink) Old 09-11-2006, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonGu
You will be realllllllyyy lucky to even break even unless you manage to get a factory ride, or are travelling around the US winning national races like some of the top privateers. And there is not enough money in lightweight racing at all to even break even as far as I know

but are there even factory ride offers for the lightweight class?

If the 600 class is the only option I guess I could race the SV part time next season and find a 600 over winter.


Travel isn't a problem either but what do those guys actually get? Are there even money races out there? excuse my ignorance..
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post #7 of 115 (permalink) Old 09-11-2006, 03:46 PM
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Only reason someone would start on a lightweight bike is if they are under 16 years of age as that is the only class they are allowed to race in.
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post #8 of 115 (permalink) Old 09-11-2006, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickIF
but are there even factory ride offers for the lightweight class?
Nope, in the US it's about 600's and 1000's.

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post #9 of 115 (permalink) Old 09-11-2006, 03:48 PM
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I heard of a guy ("lightening") that runs Yamaha and he grinds out about $80k per year I think.

You would have to chase the contingency money.

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post #10 of 115 (permalink) Old 09-11-2006, 03:48 PM
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post #11 of 115 (permalink) Old 09-11-2006, 03:49 PM
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If you're serious. YOu need to come whoop on everyone as an amateur, go to ROC or WERA GNF and smoke everyone. Turn expert, smoke everyone and go AMA racing and finish in the top 10 on your own bike. Then someone might notice you and even then.. the odds of getting a factory ride is slim.
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post #12 of 115 (permalink) Old 09-11-2006, 03:49 PM
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There is some purse races out there. But you are never going to go anywhere in the lightweight class. NOT A CHANCE. You can find sponsors to help with the money problem but it's going to be tough (read near imposible) to make money at an amature level

I'm not short. I'm aerodynamically efficient.

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post #13 of 115 (permalink) Old 09-11-2006, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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lol... so looks like the 600 class is where I want to be.. or I could race the gsxr thou lol

I'm not looking to get rich but if I could get by racing motorcycles.....

well I at least want to give it a try
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post #14 of 115 (permalink) Old 09-11-2006, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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speaking of AMA what all do you have to do to get an AMA license and race?
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post #15 of 115 (permalink) Old 09-11-2006, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrock
I heard of a guy ("lightening") that runs Yamaha and he grinds out about $80k per year I think.

You would have to chase the contingency money.
Have I met this guy?

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post #16 of 115 (permalink) Old 09-11-2006, 03:53 PM
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Keep in mind that most of the career racers started under 10 years old in a racing family...............of course then there's guys like Opie Caylor, who didn't get going until after 20 yrs old...give it a go if you have the chance

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post #17 of 115 (permalink) Old 09-11-2006, 03:54 PM
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Yeah dude, what Rev Rice said. Still I think you should go a season in lightweights, then go 600 racing the following season. There are a bunch of inbetween guys out there; they can't crack the top 10 in AMA but they dominate EX club level so that's what they do; it cuts cost but can't support you. You're not going to know if you can do it unless you try though; go for it.

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post #18 of 115 (permalink) Old 09-11-2006, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickIF
speaking of AMA what all do you have to do to get an AMA license and race?
hahaha almost nothing. Don't believe the rule book about obtaining an AMA license. Turn expert and do a few races and do reasonably well and you'll get one for supersport, superstock, and Formula Extreme. Superbike license isn't as easy though.
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post #19 of 115 (permalink) Old 09-11-2006, 03:55 PM
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Nick, if you have the time & money and break even financially, I'd say give it a shot. You're young and have no kids. If after 2 years it doesn't work out, then get a regular job. At least you can say you tried.

If you don't do it now, you'll never do it.

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post #20 of 115 (permalink) Old 09-11-2006, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bug
Have I met this guy?
Larry Denning? hahahahaha
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post #21 of 115 (permalink) Old 09-11-2006, 03:56 PM
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Also, unless you are the next Biaggi or Bayliss, you are most likely too old to even be considered by most factories. Your only chance to make money is on a privateer bike chasing contingency money. Travel the US, win a lot of national contingency paying races, and you might make 100k? And probably spend 60 or 70k getting there. No doubt that would be awesome though, I would quit if I thought I could end up making 30k a year racing too, but I'd guess that only 75-100 guys in the US are actually making money by road racing. If you got nothing to lose, and the financial backing to do it though, go for it... I probably would too

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post #22 of 115 (permalink) Old 09-11-2006, 03:57 PM
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If you posted some of your lap times from some of the regional tracks Im sure some of these guys could tell you how much further you have to progress to be competitive and then to break even and then make some moolah

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post #23 of 115 (permalink) Old 09-11-2006, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reverend Rice
If you're serious. YOu need to come whoop on everyone as an amateur, go to ROC or WERA GNF and smoke everyone. Turn expert, smoke everyone and go AMA racing and finish in the top 10 on your own bike. Then someone might notice you and even then.. the odds of getting a factory ride is slim.

+1



nick, have fun with it



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post #24 of 115 (permalink) Old 09-11-2006, 03:57 PM
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I think DanO's probably the authority on here these days. From casually reading his posts and watching his progress, it looks um... expensive!

I think racing "full time" would be really difficult. Racing "3/4" of the time and spend the off-season etc. working at a shop might be your best bet. Shops are nice for the exposure, and for a sympathetic boss when you tell them you need to be gone for a week to go try your luck at Daytona.

Shops may or may not be more willing to put some stickers on your bike and some fresh tires in your truck as well. Again, I can't even imagine how competitive it is...but more power to ya if you can live the dream. (even for a year or two!)

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Last edited by Underdog; 09-11-2006 at 04:46 PM.
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post #25 of 115 (permalink) Old 09-11-2006, 03:58 PM
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Short cut - Sell yourself and your personality. Walk around with hot babes and be the funny guy with personality that everyone likes. Make friends with the right people and perfect your skill at raceing. You'll get noticed.

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post #26 of 115 (permalink) Old 09-11-2006, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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excellent info guys, I'll probably try and hit as many races as possible next season on the SV and still work.. then do you think it would be better to race the 600 or 1000 class (competition wise?) I'm extremely comfortable on a gsxr thou it's what I earned all my trackday bumps on. I can't see the 600 class being much cheaper (tire wise) than the 1000 class right?
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post #27 of 115 (permalink) Old 09-11-2006, 03:58 PM
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I'm not laughing. If you can do it go for it man!

Figure 25K a year to race CCS. If you want to win some regional stuff, then go for it. Go for a Midwest Championship and a Great Plains Championship. Winning Championships as an amatuer really doesn't mean too much. If you can go win Championships as an expert and participate in ASRA or WERA as an expert and win and/or score a lot of points now you are getting somewhere. I'm not exactly sure how it works, but to aquire an AMA license you have to score a certain amount of points as an expert racer, but there has to be a certain amount of people in that race to begin with. If the grids are short people, those points don't count towards your AMA license points.

To win and run up front as an expert in WERA or ASRA your pocket book will need to be a bit deaper than 25K a year. You will need to be able to travel alot. You will miss your home. A spare bike is crucial or tons of spare parts. If you want to win or stay in the points chase you can not miss a weekend or a race.

There are people doing this that have been in it for a long long time. Just being a good rider doesn't get it done. You will need a good crew, a good mechanic you can trust, and need support mentally and financially. You won't get rich doing it either. The only way you'll make a profit is if you go pro and get picked up by a factory team which is like finding a needle in hay stack. There are plenty of good riders out there at the pro level. But most don't have the resources or support to run with the factory guys.

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post #28 of 115 (permalink) Old 09-11-2006, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoFactory
Nick, if you have the time & money and break even financially, I'd say give it a shot. You're young and have no kids. If after 2 years it doesn't work out, then get a regular job. At least you can say you tried.

If you don't do it now, you'll never do it.
EXACTLY
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post #29 of 115 (permalink) Old 09-11-2006, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reverend Rice
Larry Denning? hahahahaha
I thought he was refering to a guy we both know who races an R6

And Nick, does this Hunny of your have a sister? I would love some financial backing

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post #30 of 115 (permalink) Old 09-11-2006, 04:02 PM
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Let me tell you a little story from the early 90's. One year when we were at the ROC, a stupid looking kid with blonde hair showed up as an amateur and completely dominated all the amateur races. His name was Jamie Hacking.

A few years before that, a kid from Texas showed up and dominated every race he entered. He got his AMA license and won the 250GP championship the following year. The next year, he found himself riding for Vance&Hines Yamaha. His name was Colin Edwards.
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