Choosing A Bike and Class To Race In
So you are licensed to race and a member of a club. Now what?
The next thing to do is choose your class or classes. You may already have a bike, you may be thinking of racing or you might think that you should get a different one, you may be drawn to a class specifically (only you will know that). So what did I do? Well I started doing 600‘s and Open classes as I already had a bike that I was comfortable with, the bike I started with my CBR600RR, was previous racer with NG and so was all good to go, the CBR has no V5 or MOT so that limited my classes to these 2. I didn’t see the point in going a long way and just doing one class.
There are many schools of thought as to which class is best to start on, with some of you out there the rules will dictate as age can be a factor. I was told, as long as you are comfortable with the bike, that’ll do, there is no point jumping off your 1000 to go on a 125 or 250 just because you are new to this lark. I have to say I agree with that, to a point. If you are doing track days and you are not a danger on track then you’ll be fine… You may have your ego dented but you will be fine (There is a world of difference between being fast at a track day and being at the pointy end of the grid). Go have a look at how many people in the classes you are interested in. If there is only a grid of 5 then you may be put on a mixed grid. Are you comfortable on a 600 with 1000’s on the same grid? Oh and be aware, that passing can be hard if you are coming from track days with a “6 foot passing rule”.
I was out of my depth quiet badly in the Open (1000 cc and no rules as to what you can’t do to the bike so there was some trick bikes out there) on my 600, not because the bike wasn’t up to it, but I wasn’t and I still not. So I looked for other classes to do. NG race a class called Street Stock, which is a little less uber competitive, it still is, don’t get me wrong, but it is a mixed grid of both Pre Injection bikes (another 2 classes) and Road Legal classes (up to 700cc and up to 1300cc). As it’s not the premier classes at a meeting there tends to be few entries, and because your bike has to have an MOT and be 98dB or less, there is less bikes that will pass that test along with certain bits having to be standard, like wheels, fork legs and the like. Other clubs have different rules and call their classes different names, EMRA call their version Road Stock, which is much stricter on what can be altered on the bike
Other classes that are worth looking at if you are also looking at getting a bike are things like Mini Twins and Super Twins. These tend to have good full grids with lots of battles all the way through, and are designed, at least in Mini Twins case, to be “cheap” forms of racing. Now there is no such thing as cheap racing, but with a limit on the amount of tuning, parts that can be changed and the like then at least you are not racing against someone that can run an engine in such a high state of tune it gets binned after every meeting. Super Twins (which are not at NGRRC meetings) are 650s like the Mini Twins, but with the scoop to change a load more bits, and so you could have a big parts bill to be competitive.
The best thing to do really is go and watch a few rounds and see which takes your fancy. Take note of what’s racing, and who, then find the rider for a chat around the paddock. Or find the clubs website, most have forums and get chatting. Most if not all clubs have a new comers category as well so you can race against other people in the same sort of experience level as yourself.
Other classes that you might be looking:
- GP45 These are purpose built race bikes, using a motocross bikes as a base, I must admit I love the look of these. A 450cc single or twin motocross with a kit hehehe and it looks likes an Airfix kit 🙂
- 250s : Very competitive class and the bikes are get a bit long in the tooth
- Formual 400: 400cc bikes (also have a Street Stock class)
- Sounds of Thunder: Twins and Triple and as the name suggest it sounds great 😉 A class for Ducatis, KTMs and Triumphs mainly… Would love to have a go at this too.