Here's How

A Great New Megaphone Scoop

"Hello children, hello.

This month on Here's How, Vince is going to tell us how to be a brain surgeon and Dick's going to explain why accountancy isn't boring. And this edition's special feature is How to do Motorcycle Racing.

Great, over to you Vince."

"Thanks Dick. Now, how to be a brain surgeon. Well children it's simple really. First you go to colleges and be a student for a time, or a few times at least. Go to a medical school and learn all about it, be very clever and get noticed, become a doctor, study how the brain fits and that's it. Go to the theatre with your friends and they will soon sort it out. Easy isn't it!"

"Terrific Vince, thanks.

Now this is what you have been waiting for. As many of you know, fast riding is fun but street racing is dangerous, too dangerous with so many things to contend with as well as actually racing on the street. This prompted us to do a feature on how to break into the sport and get established with all the angles behind the scenes etc. This edition we got Roland Potter to explain the red tape which must be encountered.

Like most things these days, before we can do anything out of the ordinary we must get through a lot of red tape. Roadracing is no exception. Here I've tried to go through the system. Starting with a bike. It doesn't have to be the fastest so long as it is reliable and you can ride it quick. You'll find production racing is by far the cheapest and it is easy to convert your own bike for it. Only small modifications are necessary. More on the bike later. Now to actually get on to the track you have to go through a lot of rigmarole. Here's a list.

  1. Get a competition licence from the ACU.
  2. Join a racing club who organise races for the bike you race and the tracks you want to race on.
  3. Get a medical check from your doctor.
  4. Get leathers, riding gear etc.
  5. Transport for your bike. (Remember production bikes may be ridden to and from the circuit).

Follow the above list and you can't go far wrong.

  1. Write to the ACU 31 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8QQ for an application form for a Motorcycle Roadracing Licence. You will get a form and a Medical Examination form to be signed by your doctor. (I filled mine in and got £2 off!) Don't forget a stamped addressed envelope.
  2. Join a club. There are many clubs, you'll get a list in your ACU Handbook (free with every licence). Some organise more races than others at more tracks than others. It is up to you. It's best to write for details about the club before you join (or ask a Phoenix rider). When you've joined they'll send you a membership card and calendar of events etc. Well before the meeting they will send you supplementary regulations and an entry form for you to fill in (if you wish to race that day) and send back - straight away. Your entry is than processed and you'll be notified by post if it has been accepted or otherwise. (More of that later.) And your passes will arrive for race day.
  3. Medical examination. See 1. Blood group on your ID (Identity disc) is strongly recommended but not essential. If your doctor charges for it why not give a pint of blood, it costs you nothing that way!
  4. Just a word. Any helmet you choose to race in be sure it fits well and has an ACU 'approved' stamp else they won't let you use it. A one piece leather suit is better than any two piece. Be careful it's not nylon lined as nylon melts when it gets hot. You could end up with severe burns as well as bruises. Leather gloves of course and your usual riding boots will do (motorcycle boots) although racing boots are better.
  5. Transport. Again your choice. Van or trailer. Just remember reliability is essential. You don't want to be stranded. Secondly consumption. A light van or car and trailer generally uses less fuel than say an old Thames 15cwt van and is more economical for say going to work every day, although a van is roomier and is better for meals, sleeping etc.

Now that should give you an insight at the beginning. Next edition will be Race Preparations.


Roland Potter aka - Kenny Roberts