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Getting Into Motorcycle Racing: A Step-by-Step Guide

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  • Post last modified:June 24, 2024

Getting into motorcycle racing can be an exciting and challenging journey. Whether you’re interested in road racing, track racing, or any other form of motorcycle racing, it’s important to follow a step-by-step guide to ensure a smooth and successful start to your racing career. 

In this guide, we will focus on track racing specifically and provide a comprehensive step-by-step process for getting started in motorcycle racing in the USA.

Your Step-by-Step Guide to Track Racing

Step 1: Choose the Right Motorcycle for Track Racing

Gearing up for motorcycle racing starts with the heart of the action: your bike! Here’s what to consider when selecting the perfect machine for ripping around the track:

  • Budgeting for Speed: Set a realistic budget that includes not just the motorcycle itself, but also essential consumables like tires, brake pads, and filters. Track riding puts a strain on these components, so factor in replacement costs.
  • Experience Matters: Motorcycle choices vary based on your skill level. Beginners can get started on smaller, lighter bikes (125cc-300cc) that are easier to handle and less intimidating. As you gain experience, you can graduate to larger, more powerful machines (450cc-600cc).
  • Performance vs. Maintenance: Higher-performance motorcycles offer exhilarating speed, but often come with more complex maintenance needs. Consider the time and resources you can dedicate to keeping your bike in top shape.
  • Electrifying the Track: Don’t overlook electric motorcycles! These emerging options deliver impressive performance with minimal maintenance compared to traditional gas-powered bikes. They can be a great choice for environmentally conscious riders who want a low-maintenance track experience.

Selecting the right motorcycle sets the foundation for your racing journey. By considering your budget, experience level, and maintenance preferences, you can choose the perfect machine to propel you towards victory (or at least some serious fun) on the track!

Step 2: Become Comfortable With Your Motorcycle

If you’ve chosen your motorcycle – congratulations! Now comes the exciting part: transforming yourself from a rider into a racer. But before hitting the competition track, it’s essential to truly master your machine on a safe and controlled environment. Here’s how:

  • Become One with Your Bike: Dedicate time to practicing basic maneuvers and getting comfortable with your motorcycle’s handling, power delivery, and braking characteristics. Explore empty parking lots or designated practice areas to build confidence and muscle memory.
  • Level Up at Track Days: Take the next step by attending motorcycle track days. These events offer a controlled environment with professional instruction, perfect for honing your racing skills. Here, you’ll gain valuable experience on a real racetrack, free from traffic and distractions.
  • Sharpen Your Skills: Track days allow you to focus on specific techniques crucial for racing success. Experienced instructors will guide you on:
    • Precision Cornering: Mastering smooth and efficient cornering lines ensures speed and control.
    • Optimal Line Selection: Picking the fastest and safest trajectory around the track is key to shaving off milliseconds.
    • Body Positioning: Learn how to shift your weight for better balance and control during cornering and acceleration.
    • Advanced Braking Techniques: Develop precise braking skills for controlled deceleration and quicker corner entry.
    • Seamless Gear Shifting: Perfecting smooth and swift gear changes optimizes power delivery and maintains momentum.

By prioritizing practice and attending track days, you’ll transform your riding from basic maneuvers to a foundation for competitive success.

Step 3: Join a Motorcycle Racing Club

Joining a motorcycle racing club is an essential step to take your passion to the next level. Here’s how:

  • Find Your Tribe: Research and connect with clubs in your area. Look for one that aligns with your racing goals, whether it’s mastering technique or competing in specific race classes.
  • Knowledge is Power: Clubs typically have experienced racers who can mentor and guide you. Familiarize yourself with the club’s rules and race formats. Understand their technical inspection requirements to ensure your bike meets safety standards.
  • Beyond the Racetrack: Joining a club fosters a sense of camaraderie. You’ll connect with other riders, share experiences, and learn from their expertise. They may also host social events or group rides, creating lasting friendships within the racing community.
  • Open Doors to Opportunities: Clubs often participate in various racing events, track days, and practice sessions. This gives you valuable exposure to different tracks and racing formats, expanding your racing experience and network.

By joining a racing club, you gain access to a wealth of knowledge, support, and opportunities – all vital ingredients to succeed in your motorcycle racing journey.

Step 4: Acquire a Racing License

So you’ve caught the racing bug and want to take your skills to the track? Before you unleash your inner champion, obtaining a racing license is crucial. Here’s a breakdown to get you started:

  • License Requirements Vary: No single rulebook applies across all racing organizations. Each has its own specific requirements for obtaining a racing license.
  • Start with the Organizer: First things first, check with the organization you plan to compete with. Their website or officials will detail the exact steps you need to take to become a licensed racer.
  • New Racer School: Most organizations require attending a “new racer school” or similar introductory program. These sessions are designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills for safe and competitive riding on the track.
  • Written Test: Passing a written test is often another hurdle. The test will assess your understanding of racing rules, safety protocols, and flag signals.
  • Follow the Guidelines: By adhering to the specific steps outlined by your chosen racing organization, you’ll ensure a smooth process for obtaining your racing license.

Remember, attending a racing school is more than just a formality. It’s a valuable learning experience that can significantly enhance your skills and safety on the track. So, get ready to learn, practice, and earn your license to experience the thrill of motorcycle racing!

Step 5: Prepare Yourself Mentally and Physically

Motorcycle racing is a thrilling motorsport, but it pushes both your body and mind to their limits. To achieve peak performance, being in top physical and mental shape is crucial. Here’s how to prepare yourself for the challenge:

Physical Fitness:

  • Fuel Your Body: Maintain a healthy diet rich in complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats. This provides sustained energy and keeps you sharp throughout races.
  • Hydration is Key: Dehydration can significantly impact your performance and focus. Regularly consume water throughout the day, especially during training sessions.
  • Build Strength and Endurance: Engage in exercises that target core strength, cardiovascular fitness, and muscle endurance. Consider activities like weight training, running, and cycling.
  • Practice Makes Perfect: Regularly practice riding on the track. This improves your muscle memory, reaction time, and overall comfort with your motorcycle.

Mental Toughness:

  • Sharpen Your Focus: Train your mind to be present on the track. Practice meditation or visualization techniques to improve concentration and block out distractions.
  • Manage Race Day Jitters: Develop strategies to handle pre-race nerves. Deep breathing exercises and positive self-talk can help you stay calm and collected.
  • Learn from Mistakes: Everyone makes mistakes. Analyze your performance after races, identify areas for improvement, and maintain a positive learning mindset.
  • Develop Mental Resilience: Racing can be mentally demanding. Build mental toughness by setting realistic goals and celebrating your accomplishments along the way.

By focusing on both physical and mental preparation, you can create a winning foundation for your motorcycle racing journey. Remember, a healthy body and a focused mind are the keys to unlocking your full racing potential.


Congratulations! You’ve mastered the fundamentals, secured the gear, and prepped your mind and body. Now, it’s time to translate all that hard work into action. Buckle up, because here’s what awaits you on the racetrack:

  • Race Day Reality: Put your skills to the test by participating in events organized by your chosen club. These races offer a safe and controlled environment to gain experience in a competitive setting.
  • Embrace the Learning Curve: Remember, racing is a lifelong journey of constant improvement. Be receptive to feedback from instructors, coaches, or even fellow racers. Analyze your performance, identify areas for improvement, and refine your technique.
  • Seek Veteran Wisdom: Experienced racers are a wealth of knowledge. Don’t hesitate to ask questions, learn from their experiences, and soak up valuable insights that can accelerate your progress.
  • Refine Your Ride: Every lap is an opportunity to improve. Work on perfecting your cornering, throttle control, and body positioning. Consistency is key – focus on delivering smooth, controlled laps for optimal results.
  • Passion Fuels Progress: The love for the sport is your driving force. Never lose sight of the joy of riding. This passion will fuel your dedication and motivate you to push your limits and achieve your racing dreams.

By embracing these principles, you’ll transform from a rookie to a seasoned competitor. Remember, success in racing hinges on a combination of preparation, continuous learning, and a burning desire to excel. So, hit the track with confidence, hone your skills, and enjoy the exhilarating ride!

We recommend focusing on gaining experience and building your skills before fully committing to a professional racing career. Consider checking ASRA Racing for track day racing assistance. Register here.