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 Advice for an Aspiring Rider?

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Finley Barrass



Number of posts : 22
Age : 19
Localisation : Milton Keynes
Registration date : 2012-09-11

PostSubject: Advice for an Aspiring Rider?   Tue Feb 23, 2016 3:00 am

Hello all,

I am 17 and looking into running Formula Bantam. I currently own a 1962 D1 and so have some experience with Bantams but have never raced in my life, the closest I have gotten is the Ron Haslam Race School at Donnington.

My current plan is to sell my current Bantam which is in good condition and to use the money from the sale along with whatever money I can manage to pool up from other sources to buy a bike for Formula Bantam. In terms of the initial purchase what do you think would be better: To buy a normal 175 and build it into a racer myself or to try and buy a race-ready bike from a current competitor?

In terms of building my own bike I know a few people with good knowledge and workshops and so I may be able to get a hand from them with things that I would otherwise have to pay for and this would help reduce the costs slightly. I'm not looking to do particularly much in my first season as I can't really get the money to constantly buy new tires and other spares etc. My budget for the initial purchase will probably be around £2000 - £3500 and I could probably manage to get around £100 - £150 each weekend. I do not want to rush this and I would not mind having to wait until the 2017 season to actually compete.

What do you guys think is the better decision?
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nigel breeze

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Number of posts : 340
Registration date : 2007-12-23

PostSubject: Re: Advice for an Aspiring Rider?   Tue Feb 23, 2016 5:40 am

hello, the Ron Haslem school was a good move well worth the time and money.. with regards to bikes my advice would be to buy a used racer as most of the donkey work will have been done.. its easy to improve on something which is basically there. Believe me, building from scratch can be very  time consuming and frustrating. best of luck cheers
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adam p



Number of posts : 63
Localisation : fakenham,norfolk
Registration date : 2011-03-23

PostSubject: advise for an aspiring rider   Tue Feb 23, 2016 7:07 am

hi, my son started bantam racing when he was 16, he also attended ron haslam's race school which he thoroughly enjoyed (albeit a bit nerve racking) we fully intended to build a 175 ( and still do) but after getting to know some of the guys a 125 came up and we snapped it up, as time went on another became available and because luke was then working he bought that one as well. we were very lucky and it was being in the right place at the right time. if you're serious you will find a way to get out there. for me it has been a baptism of fire with the mechanics but i've had lots of help from good people to sort me out. mistakes will still be made, but this will only be our 3rd season so we are both still learning. come to some meetings, meet the guys it's good fun. adam Smile
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Finley Barrass



Number of posts : 22
Age : 19
Localisation : Milton Keynes
Registration date : 2012-09-11

PostSubject: Re: Advice for an Aspiring Rider?   Tue Feb 23, 2016 7:56 am

The Ron Haslam Race School was great, it was a monsoon on my day and I'll always remember flying along the back straight on a 500 completely blind from the spray!

I will keep an eye out for racebikes for sale, Adam what do you reckon about the cost difference between the 125s and 175s? I assume the 125s are quite a bit more expensive due to the more relaxed regulations.
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Edward Irving

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Number of posts : 27
Age : 39
Localisation : Bedford
Registration date : 2014-04-16

PostSubject: Re: Advice for an Aspiring Rider?   Fri Feb 26, 2016 10:00 pm

Hi I think all of the previous comments are spot on.

The Haslam race school is great, I go a couple of time a year and I learn so much every time I do.

The only advice I would have for you is to come along and get involved even if you don't have a bike, the dates for the 2016 race season are on www.britishhistoricracingclub.co.uk You will always find lots going on in the pits and everyone will be keen to get you started if you come along to a few races. There is usually a display by Robbie Brown on engine strip down and rebuild every lunch time over the weekend lol.

The cost between 125's and 175's seems to be about the same its more about finding a good bike for sale that's usable (you will find the 175 easier to ride just because of the breath of the power band) . They do come up, keep an eye on the face book page and ebay.

You will find bantam racing is great fun and as so many have told me before "if you can race a bantam you can race anything!" Good luck keep posting and if you get stuck or you want advice then just shout!

Best wishes

Edward
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adam p



Number of posts : 63
Localisation : fakenham,norfolk
Registration date : 2011-03-23

PostSubject: advice for an aspiring rider   Mon Feb 29, 2016 5:42 am

hi all, 125 bike prices in my experience £800-£2000, me and luke won't be at practice day but we will be there for the first race of the season, even though i'm miles behind with the preparation Sad so if you're around please come and say hello Very Happy
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Finley Barrass



Number of posts : 22
Age : 19
Localisation : Milton Keynes
Registration date : 2012-09-11

PostSubject: Re: Advice for an Aspiring Rider?   Tue Mar 08, 2016 12:08 am

So do the Bantams run at every event on the BHR list?
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Finley Barrass



Number of posts : 22
Age : 19
Localisation : Milton Keynes
Registration date : 2012-09-11

PostSubject: Re: Advice for an Aspiring Rider?   Tue Mar 08, 2016 12:12 am

Also I'm afraid Mallory Park is a bit too far away for me in terms of just spectating / visiting, unfortunately the earliest event I reckon I can get to would be Cadwell in June which is a shame.

Also, what is the Facebook page called?
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Finley Barrass



Number of posts : 22
Age : 19
Localisation : Milton Keynes
Registration date : 2012-09-11

PostSubject: Re: Advice for an Aspiring Rider?   Tue Mar 08, 2016 1:17 am

Actually it seems I have overestimated the distance to Mallory, I can't get to the practice day although I may be able to manage the April meeting there.
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dansofield550

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Number of posts : 362
Localisation : gravesend kent
Registration date : 2011-10-23

PostSubject: Re: Advice for an Aspiring Rider?   Tue Mar 08, 2016 1:20 am

good news then, you'll be able to see the bikes and understand a bit about them, and yes bantams are at all the bhr meetings
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Finley Barrass



Number of posts : 22
Age : 19
Localisation : Milton Keynes
Registration date : 2012-09-11

PostSubject: Re: Advice for an Aspiring Rider?   Tue Mar 08, 2016 2:13 am

In terms of the rareness of race-ready Bantams for sale do you guys reckon a 125 would still be ok if one comes up for sale? I can't find any for sale and from what I can tell from the forums they're pretty uncommon so if a 125 comes up do you reckon it would be better to go for that or to wait for a 175. As I have said I'm not really expecting to race until next year so I can wait a bit anyway.
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grahamjnewman

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Registration date : 2013-04-28

PostSubject: Fjhb10   Tue Mar 08, 2016 6:41 am

If you. Can make it to Mallory, come and see me Bantam no. 265 ,as this will be my last season I will either sell the bike or look for a rider ,,you could be just the guy to have a chat with...
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Finley Barrass



Number of posts : 22
Age : 19
Localisation : Milton Keynes
Registration date : 2012-09-11

PostSubject: Re: Advice for an Aspiring Rider?   Wed Mar 09, 2016 2:34 am

grahamjnewman wrote:
If you. Can make it to Mallory, come and see me Bantam no. 265

Will you be there both days Graham?
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grahamjnewman

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PostSubject: Re: Advice for an Aspiring Rider?   Wed Mar 09, 2016 3:49 am

Yes both days ,all being well..
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Edward Irving

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Registration date : 2014-04-16

PostSubject: Re: Advice for an Aspiring Rider?   Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:57 pm

In what part of the country do you live? If there is someone in the club who is local to you it can be helpful when your getting started. Did you manage to find us on facebook?
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Finley Barrass



Number of posts : 22
Age : 19
Localisation : Milton Keynes
Registration date : 2012-09-11

PostSubject: Re: Advice for an Aspiring Rider?   Wed Mar 09, 2016 8:06 pm

I am in Milton Keynes and yes I think I did find the Facebook page.

I reckon I will be coming to Mallory so I will come and see you Graham.
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Edward Irving

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Number of posts : 27
Age : 39
Localisation : Bedford
Registration date : 2014-04-16

PostSubject: Re: Advice for an Aspiring Rider?   Wed Mar 09, 2016 8:11 pm

I will look forward to seeing you at Mallory. I live in Bedford so not very far from you at all.

I am no expert, I only started racing myself last season but I am really happy to help in any way I can. See how you get on at Mallory and if you want to you can come over and have a chat at some time just give me a shout.
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Finley Barrass



Number of posts : 22
Age : 19
Localisation : Milton Keynes
Registration date : 2012-09-11

PostSubject: Re: Advice for an Aspiring Rider?   Wed Mar 09, 2016 8:18 pm

Will do.

Also, as you are in your second season, can you give me a bit of an idea of the average cost per race weekend for a rookie?
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Edward Irving

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PostSubject: Re: Advice for an Aspiring Rider?   Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:27 pm

Ok well the first thing your going to need is a bike I mean a race bike. I know that obvious but you need a bike to do your ACU licence which means you can start racing. I don't know if you have this or not yet but if not its no big deal. I went to Donington Park for a days ACU course which is a bit like the Haslam race school, I really enjoyed the day actually. Have a look at the ACU website and you can get a list of days when the course is on and prices etc.

Once you have your bike and an ACU licence its easy really you just go racing.

There are loads of clubs across the UK which hold meetings but we race with the VMCC which has several Bantam specific races across a weekend meeting. You will have to pay for your entry, I have just sent my entry in for Mallory park and two days racing, probably 5 actual races is £195. We do about 6 meetings a year or something so that gives you an idea.

Then you have to pay for fuel, most of the bikes, probably all are using AV GAS and as you get to know people in the club they can tell you the cheapest way to buy that. Then its what ever you need for the bike, new parts etc, there is no changing tyres every five minuets they last a while and most people will help each other out with spares especially if it means there is another bike on the grid. I think its fare to say you don't need to budget a huge amount of money to pay for replacement parts every meeting, last season I had to buy a new piston and some clutch plates altogether about a £100 I think. I spent some more money on having some work done on the bike but it was carried out by an ex racer at a good price, its not a regular expense and will last me for ages. You could spend a fortune but there is no need.

Finally you have got to get yourself to a race and for that you will need a van or a car with a trailer, the fuel to put in it etc. I rent a van because I don't use one for work. Sometimes you can get a lift if your lucky. Most people sleep in a tent or pretend to be Joe Dunlop and kip in there vans at the meetings. The Bantam racers tend to stick together in the paddock and have a bit of a laugh, its great fun.

You cant run a bantam on a shoe string, its a bit daunting to get started but its actually not too bad and compared with racing the equivalent modern bike there is no comparison in costs Bantam racing is much cheaper.
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Finley Barrass



Number of posts : 22
Age : 19
Localisation : Milton Keynes
Registration date : 2012-09-11

PostSubject: Re: Advice for an Aspiring Rider?   Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:55 pm

Thanks Edward,

I used to have an ACU licence when I was 14 because I was going to try sprinting on my current road-based Bantam but nothing came of it so I'm reasonably familiar with their methods etc and will be fine with that. Don't have a racebike yet but hopefully I can find one by the end of this year. At first £195 seems a bit steep but there is quite a gap in between races so its not that bad. I'm in Sixth Form at the moment so I can't really get a proper job, I have recently arranged a part-time one that should be around £40 per week plus I will have some bonus money off my family every now and then so I should be able to manage alright in terms of money. My father has a van which he will let me borrow once I have my driving licence so that takes off some of the cost. The one thing that I am concerned about is the AVGAS, what advantages dose this have over normal petrol and oil as fuel and what would you say the cost differences are? What I'm pretty much saying is do you reckon I could get away with running normal fuel to save money without being hideously uncompetitive.
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Edward Irving

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Number of posts : 27
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Registration date : 2014-04-16

PostSubject: Re: Advice for an Aspiring Rider?   Wed Mar 09, 2016 10:06 pm

I wouldn't worry too much about that yet, you just need to no that you are going to have to pay to put fuel in the bike. We don't use normal unleaded because it has ethanol in it and if you have a fiberglass tank it will spring a leek. I don't use Avgas so I am not sure how much it costs, I use Panta Race fuel because it gets delivered to the door and makes life easy but it costs more.

Glad to hear you have looked into the ACU. My experience has been if you show interest and you make the time to come along to the meetings and talk to people everything else just slots into place, keep looking at the face book page, have a good look at the tuning manual because the more you know about the mechanical side of things the easier its going to be and keep looking for a bike, you will find one and Grahams is a goodun.
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Finley Barrass



Number of posts : 22
Age : 19
Localisation : Milton Keynes
Registration date : 2012-09-11

PostSubject: Re: Advice for an Aspiring Rider?   Wed Mar 09, 2016 10:08 pm

What type of Panta fuel do you run?


Last edited by Finley Barrass on Wed Mar 09, 2016 11:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Finley Barrass



Number of posts : 22
Age : 19
Localisation : Milton Keynes
Registration date : 2012-09-11

PostSubject: Re: Advice for an Aspiring Rider?   Wed Mar 09, 2016 10:08 pm

That's good, I'll probably run the same fuel as you then Edward.
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dansofield550

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PostSubject: Re: Advice for an Aspiring Rider?   Wed Mar 09, 2016 10:27 pm

avgas costs about 40p more than normal unleaded(per ltr) google local airport to you and you'll get somewhere near I'm sure, then just go along with money and a jerry can ......... easy
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Finley Barrass



Number of posts : 22
Age : 19
Localisation : Milton Keynes
Registration date : 2012-09-11

PostSubject: Re: Advice for an Aspiring Rider?   Wed Mar 09, 2016 11:53 pm

I know this is hard to estimate due to different rider skill / bike speed etc but what do you think the laptime difference between a 125 and a 175 is?
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