Coming back to the sport

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6/25/2018 6:51 AM

I’m currently in college and am really looking forward to getting back into the mx scene. Iv been off the bike since I was 16 and have just followed the sport while I played baseball my first two years of college and during highschool. Now that I am approaching a career I am trying to figure what I can realistically expect to be able to afford with the expenses that motocross has. I’m not trying to step on any toes discussing what people have in their pockets. I just want to see how people’s riding/racing lifestyles correlate with their careers and financial means. I understand there are endless variables here like location, family, priorities, etc. It appears in my area (north alabama) many of the local series are dying off and several tracks have closed in the last 6 or 7 years. Thanks in advance.

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6/25/2018 9:40 AM

I've been away from riding dirt bikes for about 10 years and i contemplate getting back into it every now and then. I stopped riding because a lot of the people I rode with stopped riding and most of the tracks and free riding spots in my area are gone. I'm possibly relocating in the near future and if the area I end up in has some decent riding areas I might get back into riding. But as it looks right now riding might be a thing of the past.

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6/25/2018 11:26 AM

So what is your actual question? Sand Mtn MX is in Albertville, not far from you. Fun safe track that is never crowded in my experience. It is about an hour and half drive for me, and one I really enjoy. There are several close to there though. I consider less than 2 hours doable generally.

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6/25/2018 11:56 AM

AZRider wrote:

So what is your actual question? Sand Mtn MX is in Albertville, not far from you. Fun safe track that is never crowded in my ...more

My primary question is what kind of career do you use to support your riding/racing and what kind of opportunities does that give you. Do you ride every weekend and have an RV and 2 or 3 bikes? Do you ride your older yz 250 exclusively and just go ride for fun? I’m trying to get a grasp on how I am going to be able to get back on the track and just how expensive it is going to be as my youth riding was all on daddy’s paycheck.

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6/25/2018 12:08 PM

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6/25/2018 12:12 PM

I make 60k$ a year. Bought my first bike of my own two years ago. Paid 9k$ with 0$ qdown so 200$ a month I’m paying for it.

for gear then you’re looking at likely 1500$ for a quality top of the line “kit” so expect another 50$ a month for that if you put it all on a credit card.

With gas and entrance fees to ride track days twice a month you’re probably looking at another $75-100

So then it becomes a $300-400 a month hobby if you have no money up front for anything.

But that’s if you wanna go good ol American and get into debt for everything you can’t yet afford.

Cash is king. Save up and buy a used bike. Used gear if you have to and ride the piss out of it till you’re in a good spot financially.

Then do the good ol American thing.

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6/25/2018 12:20 PM
Edited Date/Time: 6/25/2018 12:22 PM

shirey wrote:

My primary question is what kind of career do you use to support your riding/racing and what kind of opportunities does that ...more

Im a mechanical engineer with a slightly unique skill set that has allowed me to be research faculty for GT. Im fortunate in that i work from home 90% of the time. I have 13 acres and a few small tracks on my property. I have a few bikes and am lucky enough to be able to provide them for my kids as well.

Im 45 and started racing again because my son wants to race finally

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6/25/2018 8:25 PM

snackfedbear wrote:

I make 60k$ a year. Bought my first bike of my own two years ago. Paid 9k$ with 0$ qdown so 200$ a month I’m paying for it.

...more

Sounds pretty right on how I will be headed. When I get out of nursing school I figured a little under 60 is around what I will make to start. Maybe 60 if I play my cards right.

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6/25/2018 8:51 PM

Get a job, get your finances in order and find a nice used bike for under $5,000. Then sometime down the road if you're financially able hit the races. It's extremely expensive to race. Especially to race a full series.

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6/25/2018 9:52 PM

shirey wrote:

Sounds pretty right on how I will be headed. When I get out of nursing school I figured a little under 60 is around what I ...more

Smart move. Nurses will always have a job!

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6/25/2018 10:20 PM

You’re young. Once you get a bike, drop 75 bucks, every ride day, into a “riding account” not to be touched for 2 years. then every 2 years sell your current bike and pull out what you need to cover the cost of your next bike. Do that and you’ll be set for riding for your lifetime.

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6/25/2018 11:13 PM
Edited Date/Time: 6/25/2018 11:19 PM

I can offer perspective from someone doing the backwards track than you. I'm finishing up my active duty commitment and will be starting grad school next fall. Planning for becoming a full time student I made the decision to sell my bike and gear. As someone else bluntly laid out, its not a cheap hobby by any means. I rode the past 5 years while stationed in NJ so take that for what it is with the track fees, riding anywhere in Jersey besides a track, MX is illegal.

Most here will tell you buy a used bike and run that, but here's the issue I see with that. This only works if you go 2 stroke, less risk involved if you need to rebuild. If you want to go 4 stroke used your gambling alot especially outside a 3 year old bike. At that point its a better option to buy new. If you can afford to buy new cash great. If you finance no big deal, I would argue a majority do these days, especially those that have a new bike every other year or year. So assuming you decide to finance a $6000 bike your looking at $120 a month payment, a good $1500 in gear to get set up (helment, knee braces, boots, goggles, bag, bike stand, etc.). Then your looking at tools if you don't have any to wrench on your bike, routine oil changes, maintainance, etc. This could be another few hundred dollars in tools, power washer, etc to take care of your steed. If you decide to ride once a week or every other week your looking at $80-160 in track fees. Add in oil changes, tire changes, the yearly top end rebuild (piston and rings), another $20-40 a month over the year. Then there's the inevitable gear getting ripped up, needing replaced, google tear offs, WD-40, maxima SC4 to keep her shiny, etc.

It easily becomes a $300-500 a month hobby/sport. I loved moto, obviously many here do and am by no means trying to keep you from experiencing such a great hobby/sport but I also wont be one of the many on here that will lie to you and tell you its easily affordable with a used $1500 bike and some $300 gear, etc. etc. that's just not realistic. If it's important to you and you are willing to take that financial plunge then by all means go for it. I know plenty of friends that spend the same on hunting, golfing, etc. But also consider, savings, retirement, future home purchase, etc. For me in the end I let moto consume alot of my finances during my active duty career and I made a ton of great memories, friends, grew as a person, but it was also at the expense of my retirement savings, future house savings, etc. Its been really hard sacrificing something I love so much to be an "adult" now but I'm keeping perspective and remembering that a healthy savings, future education and career goals, etc. are what's most important right now. But everyone is in different situations, if you make $80k a year, or have no debt, etc. and live a modest lifestyle, moto is more than feasible. Also remember the health risk as well, can you remain employed if God forbid you suffer an injury and are out from work for a month or how about your health insurance policy, etc. etc. Just some perspective, and my 2 cents. I'm sure I'll catch shit for being the debbie downer but that's fine. Welcome back and enjoy the ride!

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"Asking this question here is analogous to going to a KrispyKreme store and asking the patrons if you should have a doughnut."-NotCore

6/26/2018 1:45 AM

So am a Student doing an Apprenticeship(19yr old), I earn £8,200 a year, which is around $10,900. Cost me 3k for my bike and 1.3k for my car and another £700 for a trailer. I can afford to go riding most weekends if I want to. You don't need the newest stuff especially if your just starting back up again. On the low side I think you can average 300-400 on racing/riding a month.

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6/26/2018 2:48 AM

Never finance toys.

Get a roommate and at 60k you’ll be set (assuming no student loans or any other debt)

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6/26/2018 2:58 AM

1983YZ125 wrote:

Never finance toys.

Get a roommate and at 60k you’ll be set (assuming no student loans or any other debt)

^^ This. Only reason I could afford MX when I was riding, roommates splitting rent for a house w/garage.

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"Asking this question here is analogous to going to a KrispyKreme store and asking the patrons if you should have a doughnut."-NotCore

6/26/2018 3:22 AM

I raced all through highschool and then took around 10 years off. When I got back into it I was earning 72k with a mortgage, wife and little girl.
I bought last seasons gear and a barely used rm250. Also an open trailer to tow it.
Practice fees are between $25-$35, use around $10 of fuel per day. Tyre wear depends on the track and how sharp you like to keep your tyres. Throw in oil, maintenance, breakages etc and if you ride every weekend you would be looking at around $300 per month.
Nowadays I own a business doing pretty well and my wife works full time as a nurse. Both my kids have ktm 50's, I have a yz250 and my wife rides a yz125. Riding costs me a lot more than $300 per month now. Bikes are worse than drugs, the more you earn the more you will spend and they aren't illegal

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6/26/2018 8:31 AM
Edited Date/Time: 6/26/2018 8:37 AM

If your young and single and got a decent paying job just ride all the time throughout your 20s. Wish I woulda done that. My problem was student loan debt. Consumed my hobby money. At 6-8% interest I wasn’t making a dent in it in their payment plan.

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GP740
Since 1987

6/26/2018 8:35 AM

1983YZ125 wrote:

Never finance toys.

Get a roommate and at 60k you’ll be set (assuming no student loans or any other debt)

I agree for sure. From what iv seen with maintencace cost of four strokes so high it’s not a bad idea to buy a new bike each year and just sell it when the new bikes come out and get a new one. A friend of mine just rebuilt his 250f and it was like 1700 for top and bottom end and some kind of transmission part. If you put 60 hours or so on a bike in a year I would think it at that point is just best to sell it and get a new one.

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6/26/2018 8:53 AM

shirey wrote:

Sounds pretty right on how I will be headed. When I get out of nursing school I figured a little under 60 is around what I ...more

I make about that, but pay a full mortgage on my own. No kids or other crazy expenses. If you buy a new bike and plan to ride and / or race a lot, don't plan on having a nice house and vehicles at that wage. You give up a lot to be involved in this sport with nice equipment. Like one poster said, you can easily spend 400 a month on going riding a hand full of times. Bike and gear cost, maintenance costs, riding fees and fuel, etc. Plus you need a vehicle that gets poor mileage to transport your bike or a moto specific vehicle such as a van that you'd never own otherwise. Then there is always the medical bills and time off work that come with an injury. I'd say start out with a less expensive bike to see what you can afford. If you find that it's affordable and want to upgrade, great. If you decide it's too expensive or too much of a commitment, it won't be as difficult to get out of.

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6/26/2018 9:46 AM

1983YZ125 wrote:

Never finance toys.

Get a roommate and at 60k you’ll be set (assuming no student loans or any other debt)

shirey wrote:

I agree for sure. From what iv seen with maintencace cost of four strokes so high it’s not a bad idea to buy a new bike each ...more

That's complete and utter nonsense. You're losing a lot of money by just pushing a bike off the showroom floor. Take care of your bike and maintain it and there's not reason why you couldn't get a few good years out of it.

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6/26/2018 10:22 AM

Buy used and learn how to work on your own shit, save a lot of money that way. Pull up YouTube, you can do anything. Money spent on specialty tools is never a waste.

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6/26/2018 10:33 AM

I was in your shoes this time last year. I grew up racing with my dad and we got out of it when I was about 15. I finished high school, went to college, and always talked about getting a bike.

I moved to Michigan to be a Mechanical Engineer and after just under two years working I met some guys at work that rode and I ended up getting back into it. I bought a new KTM 150 that I financed half of, the payment is about $100 a month, and the shop I bought the bike from gave me some amazing deals on gear that same day. Maintenance definitely adds up and parts break etc but it is definitely doable.

I usually ride Wednesdays when the weathers good, and ride or race on the weekends. I drive an older Ford Ranger worth half as much as the bike. I used to have a second "fun" car but got rid of that this past spring. Most race weekends are $10 entry fee and $30 a class, ends up being around $100 with gas and all that. A practice day is around $30 to ride for the day.

I've got student loans to pay but I still make those payments every month, I live with a few friends so my rent is pretty cheap and no kids or any of that. Just don't go to the bar as much on weekends and you're not going to be spending that much more money at the end of the day anyway. After being back in the sport for a year i've made some great friends and have an amazing time every time I ride my dirt bike. I'd absolutely do it all over again. Now I need to stop putting money into my bike and buying new sets of gear.

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I'm not an actual kid
Red Bud Vet Fest 2020: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gpxS0KgQFc

District 14
2017 KTM 150

R.I.P. Steel City

6/26/2018 12:21 PM

To the OP and @thatonekid it’s encouraging to see guys in their 20’s into Moto. 20-30 is a time when you’re young but don’t have much money, especially if you get a ball and chain and some kids.
Decisions about saving vs. spending are tough. I’ve read some articles how millennials are obsessive savers, some saving as much as 50% of their income to retire early 40’s. Amazing. I personally never thought much about money as long as I could pay my bills. Not uncommon to blow a couple hundred a weekend at the bars. Seems like the older I get the MORE important money is.
Don’t buy a house...unless you have roommates to pay your mortgage. If you get married make sure your chick knows up front you will always be into Moto. And said chick needs a JOB.

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6/26/2018 1:04 PM

I was in the same boat a couple years ago. Only wanted to spend as much money as I was fast (not very much) and didn't want to finance anything.

Bought a bike in a box - $400
Spread parts and rebuild over 8 months - ~$2k
Discount gear and parts from RM - $500
Small town practice days - $20 ea

I'm still at a point where I could cut ties with everything and break even, but it's been so much fun starting over that I'll never get rid of it. Good enough ROI for me

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"A motorcycle is a bicycle with a pandemonium attachment and is designed for the especial use of mechanical geniuses, daredevils, and lunatics"  George Fitch, 1916

6/26/2018 1:06 PM

RCMXracing wrote:

To the OP and @thatonekid it’s encouraging to see guys in their 20’s into Moto. 20-30 is a time when you’re young but don’t ...more

You should have heard the game of 20 questions my girlfriend wanted to play on the way to and from muddy creek last week. Overall though I think I’m in a pretty good position for the future. I can get into the sport while working and going to grad school and then after when I have a much higher wage I can worry about all the luxuries I want but don’t need to race c class and ride with buddies.

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