MotoGP 2011 Has Started!

Nicky Hayden
Nicky Hayden, MotoGP Laguna Seca 2010

If you’re new to sportbikes, becoming a MotoGP fan is a great way to learn about bleeding edge motorcycle technology and give yourself something to talk about amongst fellow sportbike enthusiasts. MotoGP is the motorcycle equivalent of Formula 1: the bikes are 100% custom prototypes costing millions of dollars, there are factory (manufacturer-operated) and satellite (manufacturer-supported) teams, the races are held all over the world and the season runs from March through November. The top racers can’t walk down a street in Europe without being mobbed, and the sport’s most visible star, Valentino Rossi, is one of the world’s highest paid athletes.

So how do you become a MotoGP fan? Here’s the startriding.com 3 step plan:

If you missed Sunday’s season opener, Australian rider and 2007 champion Casey Stoner (Honda) won the race while last year’s champion Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) took second. The top American racer is Ben Spies (Yamaha), who got a bad start and finished 6th.

Have fun!




Going to the Races This Weekend

Anyone else heading out to Monterey this coming weekend to soak in some MotoGP action?  In case you’re just getting familiar with motorcycle racing, MotoGP is the motorcycle equivalent of Formula 1 – motorcycle road racing at its highest level.  The MotoGP circus stops in Laguna Seca this weekend and I’m heading out to watch the world’s best go all out, including one Valentino Rossi racing with a broken leg.  It doesn’t hurt that it’s in one of the most beautiful areas in California.  If you’re heading out there too, be on your best behavior – the local police will be in full force.  And oh yeah, bring ear plugs because the bikes are deafening.

Track Day Starter Guide

Trackday
The “streets” track at Willow Springs is 1.8 miles of twisty fun

Updated 4/18/17

One of the best things you can do with your sportbike is take it to the local racetrack for a track day and open that sucker up. Once you’re out there flying down the straights and carving corners without cops, cliffs or SUVs to worry about, you’ll be hooked.

It sounds like a hassle to actually make it out to the track; I certainly thought so even by the time I bought my second bike. The good news is that it’s really not that difficult. It certainly takes some effort, but I had so much fun my first time out that the effort hasn’t mattered that much. Let’s take a look at what it takes.

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Beginner’s Guide to Motorcycle Road Racing

Valentino Rossi
Valentino Rossi

Post updated 10/25/09

One of the best by-products of my motorcycle hobby was becoming a huge motorcycle road racing fan – it gave me a whole new sport to follow and obsess over.  I didn’t have much interest in it until I started riding because I couldn’t relate to how difficult it really is.

It took me a little while to figure out what was what in road racing though, especially since it’s somewhat obscure here in the U.S.  It’s for this reason I decided to post a brief summary of the different road racing series for those of you just getting into it.  Have fun!

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Keith Code’s California Superbike School

Wow, has it really been that long since I posted? Yikes. In any case I wanted to write about my experience with Keith Code’s California Superbike School, which I attended last weekend as a level 1 student. I’ve been riding now for 4 1/2 years and prior to the class had done nine track days (I think). Keith has an impressive list of motorcycle racers that he and his staff have coached, so when some members of my riding club signed up I figured it was a good time to go.

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