Many fans of motorsports come to Utah to learn and participate in entry-level races. Motorcycle racing is one of the most accessible sports here, with a great community and a range of events that can accommodate beginners and challenge-seeking veterans alike. Here’s what you’ll need to get started as a motorcycle racer in Utah.
To the layperson, it might seem that motorcycle racing requires a certain level of investment in your gear before you can participate. However, for novice racers, you’ll find that entry-level requirements are very accessible, even when it comes to your bike.
You don’t need a specific model, nor should it be brand new or have customization. You can buy used motorcycles from a dealer in Salt Lake City and start racing on a budget. Keep the bike neat and clean, with no leaks, and nothing hanging off. The bike will be checked to make sure that it’s safety wired and compliant in terms of the fluids used.
You’ll also be required to remove accessories and extraneous features, such as luggage racks, passenger footrests, kickstand, lights, mirrors, and the license plate. Frame sliders and toe guards must be installed. If you’re not sure how to perform these modifications, don’t worry – you can always get someone to help at the race track on the day of the race itself.
If you’ve driven your bike around town before, then you know the most important piece of safety gear is your helmet, and that carries over to racing. You’ll need a full-face helmet with DOT, European, or Snell certification. Note that your helmet must be worn as manufactured; any after-market mounts such as accessories or action cameras must be removed.
Also, you should be wearing a one or two-piece body suit with padding at the elbows, knees, and shoulders. The suit should be made of leather or high-quality aramid fiber, along with a commercial back protector and zipper of at least 270 degrees. Gauntlet-style gloves and leather boots of at least 8 inches must be worn overlapping with your suit. All apparel must be in good condition, with no holes or tears.
To compete as a novice racer, you’ll need a valid and current license from recognized organizations. Here in Salt Lake City, the Utah Sport Bike Association (UtahSBA) offers certification classes for new racers, as well as racers whose previous novice or equivalent license has expired.
The classroom instruction covers vital areas such as safety procedures, basic familiarization with the race and track, and rider courtesy. You will also get to spend time on the track where you’ll be able to do practice starts and laps and participate in a mock race.
After the class, you may purchase a novice license from the UtahSBA. You can also contribute four hours of volunteer activities and help the organization grow and achieve success in its efforts. Alternatively, a donation of $100 will be accepted in place of completing the volunteer work. Note that novice racers who don’t complete the volunteer work may only join in up to 7 race weekends.
Now that you’ve passed inspection and have your license, you can register for events, show up at the track and get off your markers. From there, keep improving, and you may want to advance in the ranking, join more challenging events, and add customizations to your bike.