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Hi, I was wondering how realistic it would be for me to start racing in a few years. I am currently 14 and have been riding for a few years and love it! If I was to race I would have to fund myself, as I do for all my bike things. But I will have a truck that my parents will get me if I get As. So I was wondering if it would be possible for me to race. Are sponsors easy to get? How much does gear cost? How profitable is it? Is a newer Yamaha better then an older Honda (2 stroke of course). Where do I start? What are the rules for local races? Any help would be great. 

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You start as a club racer. For the first few years, you pay for everything. Bike, tires, spare parts, truck, entry fees, gas and oil, repairs, motels, food, etc.
If you are very very good and pretty lucky, you will start winning races. You start out in class C. If you win a bunch, you get promoted to class B. If you win class B a lot, you get promoted to class A. Above that is AA or Pro. Once you win some, you can usually get product sponsorships. Which means you get a few parts for free in exchange for decals and saying good things. At this point, you are expected to podium the events in Class A. If you do that, you are still an amateur. This means you get zero prize money. You are still paying for everything.

There might be 100 MX racers in the country that actually net any profit. I may be over-estimating this. There are top pros in MX, flat track, road racing, hard enduro, and probably a few classes that I don't know about. I'd be stunned if there were 500 motorcycle racers making over (net profit) $10,000 a year in the US.

It is very hard and very competitive. Yes, the top racers earn a decent living. If you are an international star, you might even make enough to get rich over a 20+ year career.

There are no salaries in motor cycle racing that look like NBA salaries. I hope that a few top pros make $100,000 a year, but I don't know.

The vast majority of folks who race motorcycles do it for fun.

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Do a couple of local races to see if you like it. It’s fun but like any other sports it’s pay to play. Once you start racing AMA it’s a money pit. 
to get sponsors that will give you products you have to start winning but to get rider support is pretty easy. They will sponsor you but all you get is discounted prices on their products and you have to represent them. 
good luck hope to see you at gate. 
here is my race day money spent. 
$45 race entry , $20-50 track entry fee,$ fuel cost for local races $40. Of course there is many other costs like food, water, tools, parts etc. if your in SoCal you can do a swapmoto race for around that cost. 
 

Edited by Four square T
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8 minutes ago, Four square T said:

Do a couple of local races to see if you like it. It’s fun but like any other sports it’s pay to play. Once you start racing AMA it’s a money pit. 
to get sponsors that will give you products you have to start winning but to get rider support is pretty easy. They will sponsor you but all you get is discounted prices on their products and you have to represent them. 
good luck hope to see you at gate. 
here is my race day money spent. 
$45 race entry , $20-50 track entry fee,$ fuel cost for local races $40. Of course there is many other costs like food, water, tools, parts etc. if your in SoCal you can do a swapmoto race for around that cost. 
 

I would think it would cost less here in good ole Iowa just because I don’t think people are going to spent $135 to race around here. 

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2 minutes ago, Mr.Vroom said:

 because I don’t think people are going to spent $135 to race around here. 

Go to some races, talk to racers. Maybe the entry fee is a bit smaller, but I expect that the costs (insurance, security, etc.) is the same in the boondocks and in a place like Daytona. The gas, tires, parts, etc that you burn through in the weekend costs the same. The cost of  your truck, and food is the same nationwide.

Club racing is expensive. We do it for fun. Professional racing is hard and the fast guys are so much better than the fast club racers that you can't believe it.
I was a regular podium finisher in club road races. I got a pro license. I never got into the top 20. I entered the same races, but I wasn't in the same universe.

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10 minutes ago, pat22043 said:

Go to some races, talk to racers. Maybe the entry fee is a bit smaller, but I expect that the costs (insurance, security, etc.) is the same in the boondocks and in a place like Daytona. The gas, tires, parts, etc that you burn through in the weekend costs the same. The cost of  your truck, and food is the same nationwide.

Club racing is expensive. We do it for fun. Professional racing is hard and the fast guys are so much better than the fast club racers that you can't believe it.
I was a regular podium finisher in club road races. I got a pro license. I never got into the top 20. I entered the same races, but I wasn't in the same universe.

That is true around here it’s $30 a race and $15 for the open class. The track has a entry fee of $10 a person. 

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Get a job, and just enjoy racing like most of us do. Very few can make a living from it. I'd say a lot of us had that dream when young though, but it just isn't reality for most.

I bumped into twice runner up in the world open class MX championships Daryll King a few months ago, the guy works a regular job these days like the rest of us. No retiring in a big mansion or anything.

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At 14 the world is literally your oyster. All of your big life decisions are in front of you still. If you want to race pro, then go earn it. No one on this board knows how good you are or will be.

Put in the work, at times it'll suck and other times you'll feel like you're walking on clouds. Chasing dreams is a big part of living a happy life. Maybe you'll make it, maybe you won't, but the journey will be AMAZING either way. 

Don't let fear of not making enough money stop you from doing what you want to do. 

Go to races, talk to racers, start racing and go from there. 

 

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49 minutes ago, X-Wrestler said:

At 14 the world is literally your oyster. All of your big life decisions are in front of you still. If you want to race pro, then go earn it. No one on this board knows how good you are or will be.

Put in the work, at times it'll suck and other times you'll feel like you're walking on clouds. Chasing dreams is a big part of living a happy life. Maybe you'll make it, maybe you won't, but the journey will be AMAZING either way. 

Don't let fear of not making enough money stop you from doing what you want to do. 

Go to races, talk to racers, start racing and go from there. 

 

But do you know the requirements for racing? I heard if your under 18 you need a parent with you to race. Is this true? 

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10 hours ago, Mr.Vroom said:

I would think it would cost less here in good ole Iowa just because I don’t think people are going to spent $135 to race around here. 

This guy tracked his maintenance expenses while racing hare scrambles in the Midwest. Basically, it cost him $35/hour (in 2007 dollars) to operate his machine. Not included is the purchase price of the bike, gate and entry fees, and transportation costs.

http://www.john-stichnoth.com/KTMlog.html

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Make sure you have a budget for dealing with injuries, either a pile of cash or coverage of an insurance policy. 

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15 hours ago, Mr.Vroom said:

I would think it would cost less here in good ole Iowa just because I don’t think people are going to spent $135 to race around here. 

i started racing moto in iowa in the 70's  good luck.  my parents helped me though.  took me to the track and all.

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4 hours ago, Mr.Vroom said:

I heard if your under 18 you need a parent with you to race. Is this true? 

Yes, motorcycle racing is inherently dangerous. You can get seriously hurt. You can get killed. The promoter/sponsor/organizer needs every rider to sign a liability release that says you can't sue them for a bagillion bucks when you get paralyzed.  For the release to be legal, it has to be signed by an adult. If you are under 18 you are not an adult.

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Not sure where you're from, but you could race some harescrambles and/or enduros.  I know you're more into moto, but fast is fast and you'll know pretty quick whether you might have the skills to pay the bills. Those are much cheaper to do and safer too.  I'm sure there's flaws to my advice, but it's what I would do. 🙃

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3 minutes ago, dhdrider said:

Not sure where you're from, but you could race some harescrambles and/or enduros.  I know you're more into moto, but fast is fast and you'll know pretty quick whether you might have the skills to pay the bills. Those are much cheaper to do and safer too.  I'm sure there's flaws to my advice, but it's what I would do. 🙃

What exactly are harescrambles I’ve heard of them but never seen them before. Are they like flat track? 

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, Mr.Vroom said:

What exactly are harescrambles I’ve heard of them but never seen them before. Are they like flat track? 

Nope, Harescrambles are woods/trail races. You start in mass with a holeshot like moto and then all file down and ride trail loops for a certain amount of time. An example could be a 7 mile wood loop you ride over and over for 2 hours.  Winner is the one who makes the most laps in 2 hour, and if multiple riders are on the same lap when time expires, then it's the one across the finish first on that last lap after time expires (multiple classes race on the same course at the same time, but you're only racing against your class.

Enduro is a unique course - you don't double-up trail, probably 75 miles or so depends on the venue/club putting on the race and you start in a group of 4 riders every minute.  Again, you're racing people in your class (example would be 30-B that is riders 30-39 years of age that are classified as B riders). The entire course is sectioned up in to test sections followed by transfer sections. As an example when you start, you may start with a short 1 mile transfer section that is untimed, but you still have to make it to the next test section by your corresponding start time, then you may have a 12 mile test section that you ride as fast as you can, then followed by a transfer section, followed by a test section, etc until you've completed all sections. 

Enduros are super fun because you can sign up with your buddies on the same row or consecutive rows and you get to see them throughout the day and talk shit and tell lies between sections. You don't have to be in the same class to be on the same row.  You might be an A rider, and your buddies can be B or C riders, but you can still start together on the same rows. 

Edit/Update: the enduro I am referring to is also referred to as a "restart" format enduro.  The old style enduros that required paper logs and/or computers really aren't that prevalent anymore.

Edited by dhdrider

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On 4/5/2021 at 8:58 PM, pat22043 said:

Go to some races, talk to racers. Maybe the entry fee is a bit smaller, but I expect that the costs (insurance, security, etc.) is the same in the boondocks and in a place like Daytona. The gas, tires, parts, etc that you burn through in the weekend costs the same. The cost of  your truck, and food is the same nationwide.

Club racing is expensive. We do it for fun. Professional racing is hard and the fast guys are so much better than the fast club racers that you can't believe it.
I was a regular podium finisher in club road races. I got a pro license. I never got into the top 20. I entered the same races, but I wasn't in the same universe.

Your roadracing is/was a different level than local motocross... One set of tires will last several weeks.

Stop scaring the kid!

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14 hours ago, Mr.Vroom said:

But do you know the requirements for racing? I heard if your under 18 you need a parent with you to race. Is this true? 

The local track has it's rules, call them and ask. You aren't going to race AMA yet...

Use google, find local track phone numbers (most will be someone that has a day job, so don't expect an immediate answer), and figure it out. Most of us aren't where you are.

 Go to your regional forum in here and ask these same questions.

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