What Do I Need to Get Started?
Whilst motorcycle racing isn’t the cheapest of hobbies to take up, it’s certainly one of the most thrilling, and rest assured you can tailor your choices to suit your budget. Here are some suggestions to give you an idea where the main costs lie and to try and help you make some savings where possible
As to be expected, this is usually the biggest financial outlay when starting racing. You need will need to purchase a track day or road bike, suitable for the class(es) you wish to race in. EMRA offer classes to fit all budgets, with the most common classes for riders new to racing being Pre-Injection, Superstock 600cc, Formula 125cc or Mini Twins (mostly Suzuki SV650s). You can find details of all our classes in the Regulations section.
The cost of tyres will depend on your choice of motorcycle but expect these to be a significant part of your budget. Whilst it is your choice, we recommend you follow manufacturer’s guidelines in relation to wear of tyres. Riders can choose to use part-worn tyres, but in doing so, can put themselves at risk of sliding off, potentially resulting in an expensive repair bill. EMRA have a paddock-based retail outlet with a brilliant reputation at all of Race and Test Events, offering both tyres to purchase and an on-site fitting service, along with a range of other goods.
As your only form of protection if you do take a tumble from your bike, we’d recommend choosing wisely when it comes to your clothing – a helmet, full leathers (including back protector), gloves and boots are essential, and we would advise you spend what you can afford, making sure you don’t skimp on quality.
You must always have a transponder fitted to your bike when you are on the track. Without this, our Timekeeping Team will not be able to record your lap times, and you will not feature in the live timing or results. You will need one transponder for each bike you will be racing. You can purchase transponders from Timing Solutions Ltd, or you can hire one from EMRA for £40 for the day.
Fuel, Tools & Spares
It sounds obvious but is easy to overlook – don’t forget to consider the cost of fuel for your race bike. How much you need will depend on how many classes you are entering. Mallory Park has it’s own on-site petrol station if you do run short during your event. We’d also suggest you bring along tools you might need for quick repairs, along with spares of the most commonly replaced parts. The EMRA Paddock is a friendly and supportive place, with riders often helping each other out where possible if more specialist tools or parts are unexpectedly required.
Box type vans (such a Ford Transit) and bike trailers are the most common site in a paddock during Race Events. Don’t forget to include fuel expense for chosen mode of transport when budgeting, along with maintenance costs too.
Accommodation & Food
Whilst a caravan is ideal, many riders start off with a tent or even a mattress and duvet in the back of their van. If you don’t have your own cooking facilities or fancy a hot dinner cooked for you, you can purchase meals at the circuit’s café. Of course, bringing along and cooking your own food is the cheaper option. It’s so important to keep your energy levels up, so make sure you eat well, making healthy choices where possible and stay hydrated during a race event.
Other Unavoidable Costs• ACU Licence/Membership – currently £52.00 if applying online or £55.00 for paper application. • Race Club Membership – EMRA Club Membership is currently £25.00 per annum. • Race Entry Fees – EMRA Race Entry Fee is currently £160.00 for one class (1 timed practice sessions and 2 races), then £50.00 for each additional class (a further timed practice and 2 more races per class). • Test Days / ACU Practice Days – whilst not essential, we always recommend as much track time as you can get, especially when starting out in motorcycle racing.
If you’re interested in joining EMRA as a Sidecar Rider or Passenger, please contact us directly for more information.
All About EMRA
Starting out in 1983, EMRA have many years of experience in organising and promoting race meetings and events. We are a grass roots club, offering riders of any level a friendly place to start their motorcycle racing adventure. Many top riders competing at both British and World level started racing with EMRA. Mallory Park has always been the home of EMRA, and whilst we have run events at other circuits throughout the country, we always return to “The Friendly Circuit”.
EMRA relies on volunteers to keep the club running, in all areas from marshals to officials’ posts, including staff in Race Office, Race Control and Time Keeping.
The ACU & Your Race Licence
Established in 1903, the Auto Cycle Union (ACU) is the National Governing Body for motorcycle sport in the United Kingdom (excluding Northern Ireland), and a founding member of the World Governing Body, the Federation Internationale Motorcyclisme (FIM). The ACU licenses and permits all motorcycle racing, with every Race Event requiring an ACU Permit and every circuit an annual ACU Track Inspection.
As a rider, you need an ACU Licence from them to be able to race, and you must be a member of an ACU-affiliated club such as EMRA in order to obtain your licence. Applying for and receiving your Road Race Licence from the ACU is usually a very straightforward process. Here is some information to guide you through; if you have any questions or need some support, please do contact us
1. Join an ACU-Affiliated Club
Before applying for your ACU Licence in order to race with EMRA, you need to join the club as a member. You can become a member here. If you request it during the Membership application process, EMRA will then issue you with a unique code which will be required when completing your application form.
2. Complete your ACU Licence Application Form
Once you have your code, you then need to download and complete an ACU Competition Licence Application Form, which you can find here( The form has a number of sections to complete, here are so tips to help you do so:
First Page – enter your personal details (name, address, date of birth, contact details etc). Fix a passport sized photo onto the box in the right-hand corner of the page, not forgetting to write your name and date of birth on the back.
Section 1 – Categories of licence you need• If you do hold a Full Category A DVLA Motorcycle Licence, you should put a tick in the Intermediate Novice Rider box – you will need to include a copy of your DVLA Licence with your application. • If you do not hold a Full Category A DVLA Motorcycle Licence, you should put a tick in the Novice Rider box.
Section 2 – Payment• Simply enter your payment details are required or you can send a cheque. • If paying by cheque, make payable to “ACU Ltd” and write your name and address on the back.
Section 3 – Medical information• Tick the relevant “Yes” or “No” box in answer to the 12 questions provided. • Ensure you answer all questions truthfully, and don’t forget to sign and date where requested.
Section 4 – Eyesight Report• If you are applying for your first ACU Competition Licence, you will need to arrange to have an eye test carried out by your Optician or Doctor. • When you attend your appointment, ask them to complete this section then sign and stamp in the relevant box, once they have completed the test.
Section 5 – Medical ReportYou are only required to complete this section if you are: a) Over 70 years of age OR b) Being treated for diabetes
Section 6 – Declaration & Acknowledgements• This is the most important part, your legal declaration that all the information provided on your form is accurate, that you understand and acknowledge both the FIM Anti-Doping Code and the risks associated with motorcycle racing. • Make sure you read all the paragraphs very carefully and then sign and date to confirm your understanding. • If you are under the age of 18, a parent or person with parental responsibility must also sign this section.
Section 7 – Road Race Course & Assessment• You can leave this section blank for now – this will be filled out when you complete the CTC and BRA, compulsory for first time applicants (details below). • A list of dates, venues and organisations running these courses is available on the ACU website – www.acu.org.uk
3. Complete Classroom Training Course (CTC)• On the day of your CTC, you must take along with completed ACU Licence form including passport sized photo, a copy of your eye test and a copy of your DVLA Licence (if applicable). • This is a classroom-based course including presentations to ensure you have a full understanding of the basic but critical safety and organisational requirements to complete in Road Racing. • Assessment is completed via a multiple-choice test, which is very simple…providing you pay close attention during the course! • Usually the CTC only takes a few hours of your time. • If you’re successful, at the end of the course you will have your licence stamped by the organiser.
4. Complete Basic on Track Riding Assessment (BRA)• On the day of your BRA, you must take along with completed ACU Licence form including passport sized photo, a copy of your eye test and a copy of your DVLA Licence (if applicable). • This practical assessment is designed to evidence your ability to follow instructions given in a briefing scenario, control a motorcycle safely and maintain a reasonable pace on track with a group of other riders. • You will need to provide your own motorcycle for this assessment, which doesn’t have to be ready to race, although must be of a safe standard. You will also need a full set of protective clothing (including boots and gloves) and a helmet with an ACU Gold Stamp. • This assessment can take a little longer due. • If you’re successful, at the end of the assessment you will have your licence stamped by the organiser.
5. Receive your Licence• Providing you have passed the CTC and BRA, your completed form and associated documents will then be sent on to the ACU by the organiser of the course(s). • You can then expect to receive your licence within around 2 weeks. • That’s it – you’re official licensed to race!
What Bike Can I Race & Which Class(es) Should I Enter?
Novice– if you don’t hold a Full Category A DVLA Motorcycle Licence, making you eligible for a Novice ACU Licence, there are restrictions on what bike you can race.
If you are 18 or over, you are not permitted to ride a machine larger than:• 600cc (4 cylinder) • 675cc (3 cylinder) • 750cc (2 cylinder)
If you are under 18, there are further restrictions. You can out more about these here
Intermediate Novice– if you are 18 or over and hold a Full Category A DVLA Motorcycle Licence, therefore making you eligible for an Intermediate Novice ACU Licence, there are no restrictions on what you can race.
If you’re buying a bike with racing in mind, please ensure you check it has both engine and frame numbers, and that these have not been defaced. EMRA’s Scrutineering Team will fail any bike they find to have had these vital numbers tampered with or amended in any way, meaning you will not be able to participate in the event you have entered and you will not be entitled to a refund of any entry fees. Please note, engines and/or frames bought from a manufacturer that are unstamped are not permitted.
Entering your First Race Event
Once you have received your Competition Licence from the ACU and decided which bike you’re going to ride, you’re ready to enter your first race event!
The quickest way to enter an EMRA Race Event is to do so online here. Once your entry is received and processed, you will be contacted by our Race Secretary to confirm your entry and provide more details about the Event. If you would prefer, you can also enter over the phone by calling 01455 360260.
Please make sure when completing your entry, you provide accurate details where requested. This will help EMRA to process your entry as quickly as possible.
On the Day Technical Inspection (Scrutineering)
Before being allowed on track, every machine entered at a race event must undergo a detailed technical inspection by EMRA’s Scrutineers, a team of experienced technical officers who have been trained and licensed by the ACU to undertake these inspections. Your bike, along with your protective clothing and helmet, must pass scrutineering in order for you to sign on with the Race Office staff.
Full details on the requirements that must be met can be found in your ACU Handbook, which will have arrived with your ACU Competition Licence.
If you’re converting a road bike to a race bike, you will need to make the following modifications as a minimum (or check these modifications have already been made if you buy a bike from another racer):• Applying your race numbers – you can request a race number when joining EMRA as a member, however these are allocated on a first come, first serve basis. If you would like a specific race number, please indicate this when joining the club. • Removing any mirrors, lights and stands from your bike. • Making sure only water is in the radiator as no additives (such as antifreeze) are allowed. • To prevent a finger going between the lower chain run and rear sprocket, fitting a finger guard onto the rear of the swinging arm. • Ensuring the rear part of your lower fairing is “dammed” in a way to allow the lower fairing to hold at least half of the bike’s engine/gearbox oil. • Checking that the brake lines to each calliper split no lower than the lower fork yoke (if you have twin front discs). • Lock wiring the oil filter and sump plug.
Your helmet, protective clothing and gloves will also need to be checked by the Scrutineers to ensure they confirm to the Technical Regulations, which you can find more details on in the Road Race section of your ACU Handbook. You’ll also need to be wearing an “dog tag” (identity disc) on an appropriate chain around your neck, which must be inscribed with your name and date of birth.
If your machine and clothing pass the Technical Inspection, your Inspection Card (sent to you along with your final instructions and admission passes no later than one week prior to the event) will be signed off and a sticker affixed to your bike. Please ensure you have 2 signatures on your card before leaving the Scrutineering Bay.
If you fail the Technical Inspection, you will be advised what you have failed on and will have the opportunity to rectify the problem, and you will then need to return to the Scrutineering Bay for re-inspection. Whilst the Scrutineers are not allowed to tell you how to remedy the issue, there are plenty of experienced and friendly riders in the EMRA Paddock who might be able to give you some tips, and maybe a helping hand, if you’re unsure.
Once you’ve passed the Technical Inspection, you will need to take your signed Inspection Card along to the Race Office, along with your ACU Competition Licence, where a member of EMRA’s Team will officially sign you on. You will then receive your Race Programme, detailing the practice and race order for the Event, along with the appropriate Practice Pass(es) to get you out on track.
The EMRA Team are a friendly and approachable bunch, with many years of running Race Events under their collective belt. If you’ve got any questions or concerns, during your first Race Event or at any time you’re in the EMRA Paddock, please don’t hesitate to ask!
Race Event Checklist Could we make this a separate page/print out?
Even the most experienced racer has been there – you’ve arrived in the Paddock and started unpacking, only to realise you’ve forgotten what some might consider the most obvious things, from ACU Licence, to helmet, to the ignition key, we’ve seen it all!
Here’s a handy checklist of those “must haves” to ensure your first Race Event is a success:o Your bike(s)! o Ignition key(s) for your bike(s) o Protective clothing including gloves o Helmet o Identity tag/disc o Spare fuel, transported in a suitable container o A minimum 2kg dry powder Fire Extinguisher (the minimum required by law at a Race Event) o Some basic and common spares o Consumables o Tyres o ACU Competition Licence (you won’t be able to race without it!) o Admission Passes & Inspection Card – these will be sent to you in the post/electronically no less than 1 week before the race event. o Inspection Card o Food, drink and any cash you might need o Novice bib – if you are a first time ACU Competition Licence holder, you will need to wear an orange high visibility Novice bib until you have gained 10 signatures on your licence. You gain 1 signature per race day.