1. You don’t need a super fast or expensive bike to have fun

T10 Club Racing

As I said at the beginning of this top-10 list, my years racing are among my favorite motorcycling memories. I’ve logged tons of hours on exotic sportbikes on the track, but much of it pales in comparison to the races on my EX500 (or even that ill-handling Grom last year). I’ve never been tempted to race my R6, the entry fee for making it competitive in its class would be too high – and there are kids with dreams (not dads with jobs) racing them. MO contributor Gabe Ets-Hokin wrote a great piece about the joys of riding a slow bike fast, and I have to concur.

Yeah, saying I raced an EX500 was never gonna get me laid, but I’ll never forget spending those days sweating inside my leathers, going bar-to-bar with guys I liked and trusted. The fact that we rarely got over 120 mph doesn’t really matter. We were at our and our bikes’ limits on the track. Of course, off the track we were doing what racers do best. We were swapping stories and reliving the moments of just a few minutes earlier – complete with sound effects and wild hand gestures. What could be better than that?

  • I’m crushed that our first date didn’t make the Top-Ten.

  • Old MOron

    Amen, Evans. Amen.

  • Ben Wingate

    I’ve done a couple track days on my 95 ZX7. It’s an antique and boat-anchor heavy in comparison to the bikes I was out there with but it’s an incredible amount of fun. If I had the money to do one or two per year I would. I enjoy it much more than street riding in Florida.

  • Gruf Rude

    I club raced for a couple of years back in the late 70s. I learned that the tracks clubs raced on back then were ridiculously dangerous for motorcycles and the cost of racing was well beyond what a young married guy with a profession to learn and kids to raise could afford. Learned a lot about limits and came away with some incredible memories but no regrets about giving it up . . .

  • JMDonald

    I’m probably more of a track day guy than a club racing guy. I haven’t done either one. I haven’t had a real sportbike since the 90’s. Club racing sounds a lot like yacht racing.

    • Zack Crowther

      Yes, if yacht racing was more Thunderdome and involved crashing and danger.

      • JMDonald

        Yacht racing is a metaphor for life.

  • Craig Hoffman

    Never club raced, but have done the STAR riding school (paying $20 and riding on the back of Jason’s speeding GSXR 750 about had me crapping in my leathers) and did some track days. It was really fun. My current liter class bike is too big and fast for such duties. Would like to get on a set up SV650 and have at it again. Playing on the track (and riding my dirt bike) makes me feel like a kid again, and that sensation is priceless once one hits middle age…