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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
For all of the racers out there, I know there is quite a bit of time put into gaining the skill sets necessary to race. But how many ceritifed races did it take you before you won your first race? What was that feeling like? I imagine its imcomparable to something like winning a basketball game. I would imagine it's on a whole other level.

Edit: Should have posted in the racing forum /faceplam
 

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Still chasing my first expert win. I won't count the amateur ones because IMO you should compare yourself to everyone that's on similar bikes and starts the race at the same time as you. So even though I was top amateur in a few races in the past, I'm not really counting them, because I look at the overall. Likewise as an expert if you get a podium in class but got beat by a couple of really fast amateurs, I still have a hard time counting that.

The closest I came was actually this July at Road America in a Moto 3 or 500 race. I came in 2nd and was only a few feet behind my friend who won.

On the ZX6R, there is a lot more competition so I expect I'll never even get a podium unless the fast guys crash or it's a wet race. I tend to do decent in the rain.
 

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1982, won the very first race I entered, then won 4 more races that season out of about 37 entered
 

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This year was my first expert season. I’ve been pretty close a few times. Got a few podiums which I was pretty proud of. Had to beat the former multi-time club champion to get em.


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Discussion Starter #7
Still chasing my first expert win. I won't count the amateur ones because IMO you should compare yourself to everyone that's on similar bikes and starts the race at the same time as you. So even though I was top amateur in a few races in the past, I'm not really counting them, because I look at the overall. Likewise as an expert if you get a podium in class but got beat by a couple of really fast amateurs, I still have a hard time counting that.

The closest I came was actually this July at Road America in a Moto 3 or 500 race. I came in 2nd and was only a few feet behind my friend who won.

On the ZX6R, there is a lot more competition so I expect I'll never even get a podium unless the fast guys crash or it's a wet race. I tend to do decent in the rain.

I think this is a good way to look at it. I'm a firm believer in looking at HOW things were accomplished (under what circumstances), not just the outcome. Sheesh, I can't imagine what racing in the rain is like. Do people still run pretty fast then, or would you say 50% or 75% of normal pace?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
1982, won the very first race I entered, then won 4 more races that season out of about 37 entered
Gosh Damn Riverszzr! Thats an awful high bar to set for yourself, I bet you were chasing that high for the rest of your racing career. How many seasons did you race, when was your last race?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
This year was my first expert season. I’ve been pretty close a few times. Got a few podiums which I was pretty proud of. Had to beat the former multi-time club champion to get em.


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That would be a victory in it's own right there. At that stage do you develop friendly rivals with other riders? Do they ever switch from friendly to more passive agressive?
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I'm definitely wanting to get into some track days. I know skill will always be greater than equipment, but I assume you could be competitive on an all stock bike in the novice and intermediate class as long as you had put the seat time in? One other thing that is kind of stopping me from fully committing is the moral dilemma with a race suit. I choose to not consume animal products and try to reduce my use of products which contain them. I'm not judging anyone who does, especially as I don't get to just write off 28 years of animal consumption, thats big time hypocrisy. And the fact that I still make choices that harm animals, just trying to improve as I go. I was exicted to find out Motoport made a syntheic road racing suit that was ceritifed by the AMA. After further research, I realized the gear requirement depends on the track. The ones that I have found that do allow synthetic suits, seem to only allow them in the novice group :/ . Which is obviously where I would start, but I can't get around the fact that I would want to be able to jump when I was ready due to gear restrictions.
 

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I think this is a good way to look at it. I'm a firm believer in looking at HOW things were accomplished (under what circumstances), not just the outcome. Sheesh, I can't imagine what racing in the rain is like. Do people still run pretty fast then, or would you say 50% or 75% of normal pace?
Racing in the rain is like in the dry but slower and wetter :) Pace varies depending on conditions. When it stops raining and the track is still mostly wet but there's no standing water anyway, you can still lap about 7-8 seconds off your pace in the dry. But when it's downpouring with heavy rain and you can barely even see in front of you, then you'll probably be close to 20 seconds slower. I raced in some brutal conditions once at VIR. It was the kind of rain that makes people in cars on highways pull over to the side or wait under bridges for it to die down a bit, but the organizers didn't want to postpone and went through with the race. Half of us crashed in that race (I had a minor highside out of the last turn coming onto the straight), and the pace at that point was around 22-23 seconds slower than my best in the dry if I recall.

That would be a victory in it's own right there. At that stage do you develop friendly rivals with other riders? Do they ever switch from friendly to more passive agressive?
You develop friendly rivals right away as long as you're even 10% social lol All it takes is to have a good race with someone and you go talk to him afterwards in the pits (or he finds you) and then if you have a few more good races, that's how friendly rivalries develop. This is how I've met a good chunk of my racing buddies who I now consider good friends. This is honestly one of the best and easiest ways to make good friends, and the camaraderie, respect, fun and friendships you develop while racing are probably the main reason why many people do this. Keep in mind that you won't always have a good weekend. Some days you might crash in your first practice and everything will seem like it's against you, or your bike has some weird problems that you'll spend all day to troubleshoot and you get frustrated, but at the end of the day you can still have fun hanging out with other racer friends. Drinking, eating and just BSing and then you realize it's still more fun than sitting at home, regardless how bad of a day you had.

This is another reason why I really enjoy racing the little bikes (ninja 400). In my region, there are about 10-11 of us who all know each other and all are capable of lapping within 1-2 seconds of each other, so any one of us is capable of being at the front, or dead last...just depends on who's having a bad day, who's having a good day, who got a good start, etc. So much fun!
 

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Gosh Damn Riverszzr! Thats an awful high bar to set for yourself, I bet you were chasing that high for the rest of your racing career. How many seasons did you race, when was your last race?
20 years........... maybe 50 wins total?, the last 10 years I mostly just did 5 hr endurance races so mostly just a couple races each season, some seasons just 1 race
and I won my very last race I was ever in as well, so I went in a winner and out a winner.....really couldn't ask for much more than that IMO.... well I could have asked for it to cost a whole less.....?!?!?

I loved rain races, atleast once I got to the front and out of the spray, I lapped the entire field in a couple races and lapped all the way up to 2nd place in another......... I think I was simply more willing to take higher risks way back then, but I also ran Metzeler ME99Kcomps and ME33 kcomps front and that front was damn near like a full rain tire, when almost everyone else ran the Michelin Hi-sports which was very tread lacking for any rain or dampness......
 

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That would be a victory in it's own right there. At that stage do you develop friendly rivals with other riders? Do they ever switch from friendly to more passive agressive?
If you ride respectably when you first start to dice it up with other riders, it will be a friendly rivalry. If you start to ride dirty or make extremely aggressive maneuvers, it may turn into a pissing match. You can get away with riding like an ass a few times if you make nice afterwords. Different clubs have different atmospheres. Minnesota CRA riders are very nice. I’ve only experienced one semi questionable move from another rider that almost took me out. CCS, on the other hand, will let you experience plenty of bumping and grinding every weekend.


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Discussion Starter #14
20 years........... maybe 50 wins total?, the last 10 years I mostly just did 5 hr endurance races so mostly just a couple races each season, some seasons just 1 race
and I won my very last race I was ever in as well, so I went in a winner and out a winner.....really couldn't ask for much more than that IMO.... well I could have asked for it to cost a whole less.....?!?!?

I loved rain races, atleast once I got to the front and out of the spray, I lapped the entire field in a couple races and lapped all the way up to 2nd place in another......... I think I was simply more willing to take higher risks way back then, but I also ran Metzeler ME99Kcomps and ME33 kcomps front and that front was damn near like a full rain tire, when almost everyone else ran the Michelin Hi-sports which was very tread lacking for any rain or dampness......
Thats a heck of a career, were you pursuing a professional career in the early stages? I assume you still go for track days from time to time? I need to look up footage of some rain races now!
 

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Thats a heck of a career, were you pursuing a professional career in the early stages? I assume you still go for track days from time to time? I need to look up footage of some rain races now!
I was pursuing customers... I never had any plans of it being more than a business expense to show customers what I could build....

I have worked on motorcycles and owned the business since just before I started racing, and yes I do rent the local tracks occassionally and host some trackday events and I have attended far too many trackday events, most I do not really enjoy...

too much sit around and wait then ride for 20 minutes and sit around and wait some more and if lucky by the end of the day you got about 80 minutes on the track
I would far rather go ride on the street in hill country where very few houses are for 500 miles than go to any trackday, and it costs about 1/4-1/6 as much too.........

more fun, less cost, more memories and see way more of the country is the winner for me...........
 
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Discussion Starter #16
I was pursuing customers... I never had any plans of it being more than a business expense to show customers what I could build....

I have worked on motorcycles and owned the business since just before I started racing, and yes I do rent the local tracks occassionally and host some trackday events and I have attended far too many trackday events, most I do not really enjoy...

too much sit around and wait then ride for 20 minutes and sit around and wait some more and if lucky by the end of the day you got about 80 minutes on the track
I would far rather go ride on the street in hill country where very few houses are for 500 miles than go to any trackday, and it costs about 1/4-1/6 as much too.........

more fun, less cost, more memories and see way more of the country is the winner for me...........
What kind of bike do you ride on these 500 mile trips? Have any cool pictures of the bikes from your racing days?
 

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That 86 250 ninja was turned into a 5 hr endurance racer, had it until about 2010, finally sold it off to some guy who cleaned house at BIR and won the N250 championship that year on it........... total cheater bike 285cc with cams, big valves and ex500 carbs

the other bikes pictured on this post.....just a few of the very many street bikes I have owned
 

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a few more of the many street bikes of my past
 

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a few more of my past bikes......

and the (red with red tree) ZZR is the bike I take on all these 400-500 mile Sunday rides..... 99,878 miles currently
 

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a few more of the old girls......

lets see;
in 82 I started racing on a 82 gpz550
continued that bike and a 750 interceptor in 1983
in 85 moved to the Ninja 600
86 went with another Ninja 600 (the rx), so 2 differently set up 600 Ninjas and that 250 ninja
ran those same bikes until the 87 Honda hurricane came out, but also ran a FZ600 for the yamaha bucks
89 was an FZR600. (there was also an FZR400, for one season) ......... tons of yamaha monies won on that bike, paid for the entire bike, mods and race season easily
cbr600 F-2 was the next bike of choice for about 3 or 4 years
then the last 9 or 10 years I only rode that 250 ninja in endurance race events



there are way more bikes than pictured, but those are the only ones I have pictures of on the computer
 

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