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Discussion Starter #1
So I was bored at work last night and I got to thinking. I'm 23 and have allways wanted to race something cars, dirtbikes, motorcycles anything. I have been interested in vintage racing for quite some time as I like the look of the old bikes and it is not as hard on the wallet. Well I finaly have a job that provides me with more than enough money to do what I want so long as I am not stupid with it. What I would like are peoples opinions, thoughts and advice on getting into racing a vintage bike. The main one is, what size bike should I be looking at starting on. I have a line on a 73 CB500 Four that is in need of a rebuild but in good shape, should I pick this up or go for something like a cb350 or find something in the 250 size?

Hey someone pas me the wrench........ Ahh screw it where is the torch
 

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You'll probably get lots of opinions on this. A couple things to consider are; how much mechanical work are you willing and able and competent to do yourself, and what's your working budget.
I race a Yamaha 500 single that I learned how to work on and rebuild as I raced. It's a fairly easy bike to work on.
Some of the twins and multi's are pretty complex to work on, and if you're doing engine work you have to multiply some of the costs - pistons, carbs, exhausts etc.

There's also the personal factor, which bike rocks your world?

And how fast do you want to go...?

And where, meaning what tracks, are you going to race, and what are the popular classes? You probably don't want to build or buy a race bike that doesn't have a class to run with. You don't want to be out there by yourself, or racing with a class that doesn't give you a good sense of how competitive your effort is.

Roadrace or Flattrack...?

FR
 

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First of all do it.
Believe me...if a bunch of us schmos can do it...so can you.

Second. I'd keep it simple to start...four cylinders, four carbs, eight valves, two coils, four plugs...that's a lot to get right your first couple of years. Better off staring with something with a simple engine...concentrate on learning the game without having to worry so much about the machinery.

If you do it, you'll be extremely happy that you did.
JohnnyB
 

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My dad always told me to pick up other people's projects when 90% done and frustrated/no-time/lost interest/etc...

Buy a used racebike. You'll save yourself a ton of hassles and money. Do the normal checks (compression, no metal bits in the oil).

Check the USCRA, VRRA, WERA, and AHRMA websites for bikes.

The CB500 is a decent racebike. Most classes run the CB500 and CB550 together, and the 550 has a better bottom end/transmission and 50 more CCs. The problem with 4s is that when you want to hop it up, you buy 4 of everything instead of 2 of everything for a twin.

If you don't want a used racebike and want to build your own, find a CB350.
 

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buy dave evans cb550f off the uscra website if it is still for sale. that bike is sorted and FAST! here is the ad:

Seven time USCRA class champion. Bike set up with 18" gold aluminum rims, 29mm Keihin CR carbs, CB750F front forks, dual disk brakes with Goodridge lines and Interceptor mastercylinder, MAC race pipe, ported and ground 500 head, 14.25" Progressive shocks, modified pistons with Web Cam race cam, Lockhart oil cooler, and more. Bike also includes a multitude of spares including a race prepped motor, race cam, front end, cylinder, cylinder head, 500 bottom end, gas tank, 500 frame, laced wheels, new clutch, complete new exhaust system, and much more. The bike is ready for 2006 with fresh Spectro oil, adjusted valves and nearly new Avon tyres. Complete race ready package $4,500. Call Dave Evans at 860-228-1554 or e-mail at [email protected]

i'd buy a sorted machine again if i had to do it all over again. i chased my tail for three races before i figured it out. nothing like traveling to florida for three lousy practice laps at parade speed (firing one cylinder badly and the other not at all). that thrip cost something like $200.00/lap!

tex
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys, I am a mechanic so I have no problems at all with any of the mechanical work needed to be done with the bike or engine. I do see your point of having to buy 4 of everything as opposed to 2 if I went with a 350. As for the how fast do I want to go question, I want to go as fast as thw bike will go, but I also want to learn how to control the bike at speed. I would love to buy a race ready bike with all the spare parts but up front that is a bit too much, unless I was willing to save the money for a few months first. I have been checking around for a cb350 before and they are pretty hard to come by here in Ontario. I was looking at racing in poriod 1,2 or middleweight divisions in the VRRA. I would be racing on road courses.

Hey someone pas me the wrench........ Ahh screw it where is the torch
 

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I've watched 4 or 5 of my friends get it together and do it, and sat on the sidelines all along. Now I'm finally getting off my broke/chickenshit/lazy ass and doing it myself.

Costs to consider, in addition to what has already been mentioned:

Prepping a bike - Even running a stocker in a production class, you're gonna need new tires, brakes, shocks, chain, cables, etc. Let's say low end $300-$400, in addition to the cost of the bike itself.

Other costs: Fabrication for shit like number plate mounts, a belly pan (required of ALL race bikes in many clubs), other random unforseen crap...$??????

Leathers, boots, gloves, back protector, good helmet - $750-$1500

Racing school/License - about $500

Club fees/Track fees, etc. - $??? I dunno yet.

Any way you slice it, to do it even close to right, expect to pay at least $1500-$2000 just to get up and running your first season. Probably much cheaper after that (long as you don't blow nuthin' up right away).

I am no authority in this, looks like some of these other guys have been doing this forever. This is just a summary of what I've been reckoning with.

The short answer to your question: To start out go small, cheap and durable - there's gotta be a reason so many guys start on a CB350.







Honda go sideways!
 

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quote

Prepping a bike - Even running a stocker in a production class, you're gonna need new tires, brakes, shocks, chain, cables, etc. Let's say low end $300-$400, in addition to the cost of the bike itself.

Other costs: Fabrication for shit like number plate mounts, a belly pan (required of ALL race bikes in many clubs), other random unforseen crap...$??????

Leathers, boots, gloves, back protector, good helmet - $750-$1500

Racing school/License - about $500
Club fees/Track fees, etc. - $??? I dunno yet.


Being on the track with us and doing what you want to do? PRICELESS
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Damn I love craigslist, just had a guy about 15 mins away from me email me about a 72 cb350 he has that he is loooking to get rid of. I'm probably going to check it out tommorow.

I allready have the required safety equiptment, I picked up a one piece track suit on boxing day for about $750.00 Canadian. The only things I need are a bike and possibly a racing liscence. The stuff like tires and other wear items I can get a decent price on

Hey someone pas me the wrench........ Ahh screw it where is the torch
 

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d'Ju get it or what? We need to know, 'cause we're on a need to know basis...

FR
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Not yet. I was on night shift so I slept all day, then I went to a concert. Hopefully I can take a look at it tommorow. Talking to the guy on the phone though and I think that since it "ran good" when he parked it 3 years ago I will be impressed and willing to fork over a lot of cash for something that is in need of a complete rebuild

Hey someone pas me the wrench........ Ahh screw it where is the torch
 

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Speaking of "Need to know", or just being nosey, what concert?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Looks like I bought the bike. I paid a bit more than I thought I would, but considering as though it only has 15,000 miles on it and was redone a few years ago 700.00 is not a bad price. I can sell whatever I take off of it anyways

Hey someone pas me the wrench........ Ahh screw it where is the torch
 

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Right on dude. You paid what you paid. You'll be wrenchin' and racin' soon...


FR
 

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if you need anything, advice, parts, contacts, drop me a note or post up. now get to work, the season starts in 2 months!

jc
 

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Discussion Starter #18
As much as I would like too I do not think that I will be racing a full season this year. Next year I will race the full season. I guess I could allways sell my current bikes but then what am I going to ride lol. I dunno I will figure something out. maby I could quit drinking.....

Hey someone pas me the wrench........ Ahh screw it where is the torch
 

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Hey oldschool, check out this link http://www.vrra.ca/board/viewtopic.php?t=5621
The VRRA is putting on their own race school and for only $100.00 (Canadian) you get a certificate allowing you to race!
There is a reserve list you could try for (wish I could have told you sooner) but the course allows you to buy a RACE licence and compete in the RACE regionals as well. Hell of a lot cheaper than FAST or RACE Schools

 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hey Bandit, I am definetly down for this if I can still get in. I just registered on the site

Hey someone pas me the wrench........ Ahh screw it where is the torch
 
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