A father approached me...

Okay, I've got this shiny RM125 and I live in a teen infested neighborhood. A father (I don't have kids) and his son asked me about my bike, etc;. I felt like an idiot, because he was asking questions that I couldn't answer. But...the kid wants to get a bike, get involved with lessons, training and racing. I don'tknow the first thing so I led them to Thumpertalk to get answers. But, for my own knowledge - what is the process anyway??? How does one get a bike and dial it up for racing? I told him to get a 250F because that's what apparently is being raced and wins (I don't even know if it's true completely)....but....what's involved. You buy a bike at a store. What do you do with it? Do you mod it out? Are there restrictions on what you can and can't do? Where do I send this family to learn about it and get involved. I just bought my bike about a year ago just to get some lesiure riding on it and haven't even hit the track yet so I guess some of this info will be useful to me too. I don't want to compete, but would like to go through proper channels to learn, you know. It's embarassing when they see someone with a bike and I don't know jack really about the sport.

Sounds to me like the kid may not even be able to ride yet wants to race. Best bet woyuld be for them to get a one year old 250F and ride. Experience is a great teacher. If a problem develops, you have to figure out how to ask the correct question then decipher all the varied responses you get. Basically what you really are supposed to learn how to do in school. There are also many books and magazines that by reading, can spark questions and discussions. Eventually, you will have a knowledge base. You'll have an idea about whose advice is often good and who is a bald faced liar. Just like life.

I don't race either but have had bikes for 20 years. When I was 10 I took apart a lawn mower engine and then put it back together and it ran. I was amazed, I was able to do this, even though I did not completely understand what I did or why it worked, but I wanted to know more. READ everything you can get your hands on. As to the race setup, the first step is to buy a bike and learn to ride it, you don't need to do anything to it until you are good enough to find its faults or weak points yourself. Also, if the kid has never even ridden a 250f will probably be waaay too much.

Because you are in another country (Yugoslavia to be exact) it's really hard to say what you need to do to go racing.

Your best bet would be to go to a local race and check it out. See what classes they offer and then try to figure out what one you would best fit into. Pick a couple of them (bike size and age group) so you can get a better idea of the competition.

After the race talk to the riders that look like you would be racing against, and check their bikes over too. They will be able to really clue you in to what needs to be done if you really want to go racing.

I don't race either but have had bikes for 20 years. When I was 10 I took apart a lawn mower engine and then put it back together and it ran. I was amazed, I was able to do this, even though I did not completely understand what I did or why it worked, but I wanted to know more. READ everything you can get your hands on. As to the race setup, the first step is to buy a bike and learn to ride it, you don't need to do anything to it until you are good enough to find its faults or weak points yourself. Also, if the kid has never even ridden a 250f will probably be waaay too much.

A lawn mower engine, when i was 10 i was custom machining race car engines in my closet for race teams :p

For most people, a stock bike is good enough to be competitive, its esier to win with a few little mods like exhaust and cams though. thats what i have in my 04, and my friend has a race engine he paid almost as much for as i paid for my whole bike and he is only a few seconds faster a lap than me (i think it was about 5)... reason being #1 he races every week end and i dont #2 that bike will haul ass on top end! on a side note i got my ass handed to me in that race cause on the second lap i was trying to make up time and pushing really hard into the turs, got about 3 seconds from him and eat dirt comming wayyyy too fast into a turn ... so you dont need to spend thousands of dollars in mods to be fast, one of the fastest kids around here rids a 90% stock KTM144, i cant even touch him. If i were just getting into racing, my set up would be a nice pair of gear, maybe seconds hand cause crashes are going to happen, 2008 CRF250R with a single (hate duals), suspention set up for me.... and get out and race! Stock 250's are pretty fast if you can ride them good, speaking of riding its sunny and warm out so i am gona go and ride :lol:

So, if you're going to "win" you've got to dump a lot of money into upgrades, changes, etc;? So, it's a money pit, isn't - to compete? Why don't they require everyone to race stock so then it's the rider and all things being equal?

its really tough to say... when your first starting out your probably not going to win, no matter what bike you have, or how much you have into it. But unfortunately for us that dont have allot of money, there are people in the same class that will have a few grand in engine and suspention and unless your really fast like chad reed you not going to beat them. But to be competitive in say C class, a stock bike should suffice, B class you might be able to get away with it, but once you move to A class, you better be damn good to be on a stock bike. Im probably going to get told im wrong and its only 10% bike blah blah blah... but this is just what i have found from watching and talking to people. Chad reed could go to any local race and win on a stock 250 in the 450 class... but if chad showed up to a pro event on a stock bike, he isnt going to do too good.

Comments anyone? That's an interesting take.

You'd be surprised how many privateers are racing supercross on basically stock bikes. They have some suspension modifications to set the bike up better for them, and possibly a pipe and that is it. Some of them are running stock exhausts, so you know their engines are not modified.

You don't need to dump money into a bike to succeed in racing, a good rider on a stock bike will still win.

You are confusing the cart and the horse.

You buy the bike. You practice. Maybe you are a better rider than the other guys, maybe not. If you are better, you can ride a well worn stocker and go faster than the rich kid on his tricked out bike. If you are not a good rider, no amount of money, short of bribery, will will you a race.

Think you want to race? Buy a bike, practice. Get a mentor.

its really tough to say... when your first starting out your probably not going to win, no matter what bike you have, or how much you have into it. But unfortunately for us that dont have allot of money, there are people in the same class that will have a few grand in engine and suspention and unless your really fast like chad reed you not going to beat them. But to be competitive in say C class, a stock bike should suffice, B class you might be able to get away with it, but once you move to A class, you better be damn good to be on a stock bike. Im probably going to get told im wrong and its only 10% bike blah blah blah... but this is just what i have found from watching and talking to people. Chad reed could go to any local race and win on a stock 250 in the 450 class... but if chad showed up to a pro event on a stock bike, he isnt going to do too good.

Well CR is a bad example since he's not an MX racer, but I'm sure RV could qualify and finish in top half at a national on my stock(ish) '07 CRF450...

true race bike: tons of suspension and engine mods. as well as mods to make it lightweight and increase power (ie: light weight tires, ceramic bearings, light as hell rims, TI bolt kit, etc...) sometimes simple mods to make riding more comfortable and easy like step seat, nice shifters, brake/clutch levers, etc...

Well CR is a bad example since he's not an MX racer, but I'm sure RV could qualify and finish in top half at a national on my stock(ish) '07 CRF450...

you on crack? :p

imho other than suspension no other mods other than maybe ergo mods (handlebars, grips, pegs etc) will make any difference in lap times or overall speed

you on crack? :p

That's none of your business.

CR races SX, not MX. MX is where it's at. That's what I race, and that's what I'll watch at the pro level (unless I get in an airplane to attend my closest SX race).

CR has raced MX in the US in the past, and he either took last year off or raced MX in australia (cant remember) so yes he does race MX... or maybe im on crack... who knows

So, if you're going to "win" you've got to dump a lot of money into upgrades, changes, etc;? So, it's a money pit, isn't - to compete? Why don't they require everyone to race stock so then it's the rider and all things being equal?

I won all my first place trophies with bone stock bikes (except for handlebars and jetting).

I still say learning to ride is a good first step.

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