Motorcycle racing is a thrilling, fun, adrenaline-filled sport. Some riders get into motorcycling with a goal of becoming a racer to compete in road races, off-road races, or both.
Professional racers will tell you that training and practice are key. In fact, the better you get, the more training and practice you will do. And not just on-motorcycle training. The best racers are also top athletes, working out to make sure they are mentally and physically prepared.
One of the great things about motorcycle racing is that there are many opportunities for riders to try, regardless of their background. In fact, we love this story from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation about Miles Engelmann. He started as a second-grader who had never ridden a motorcycle to qualifying for the AMA Amateur National Championships at the Loretta Lynn Ranch. The Engelmanns live in the suburbs of Atlanta, with almost no backyard, and neither of Miles’s parents are riders. But Miles’s father saw an MSF DirtBike School class and thought it would be a fun birthday present for his then-young son. Miles ended up taking the class about 24 times before his family realized it was not a just a passing fancy, so they decided to dedicate a lot more time and money into helping their son realize his dream.
Racing is fun, and the racing community is one big, wonderful family. If you are new to motorcycling, with an eye toward becoming a competitor, do your homework and look for organizations or clubs that can help.
There are many organizations with professionals who help introduce new riders to the world of racing, such as Yamaha Champions Riding School, Fastrack Riders, Moto Anatomy for flat-track or off-road training, and BMW U.S. Rider Academy, just to name a few. Many riders can also get a taste of racing by signing up for a track day at their local tracks, or by getting to know some local off-road riding clubs if they want to try motocross, enduro, or other off-road events.
Another great place to do some research is at your local motorcycle dealership. Many dealer staff are obsessive enthusiasts themselves, and can point you in the right direction. They might even be taking part in a local track day themselves.
It all starts with proper training. And the more you practice, the more fun it gets.
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