Thinking about taking up motorbike racing as a career? But how are you supposed to kick-start your career? Over the years, the young people have been really curious to know as to how they can pursue their career in motorcycle racing. In India, motorbike racing is not mainstream and therefore knowledge regarding it is quite limited. Here we've tried to cover most details for all enthusiasts who are looking to pursue professional riding in India as a career and a few tips that would help them achieve their goal. So, let’s get started.
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Learn The Basics Of Racing First
The very step in any field has to be mastering the basics. Unless and until you are aware of the basics, you wouldn’t be able to proceed further. You might be aware of a few things but a few others might be something that you have never heard of. For instance, did you know that you could pursue motorbike racing in India at the age of 13 years? Well, there are plenty of things you should know about if you are planning to build a career, here are a few of them:
- When you are riding a bike, there are high chances that you are going to fall and thereby hurt yourself. It is, therefore, best to remain prepared for that. Crashing and falling is part of the learning process. There are times when you must deliberately fall of to minimize the damage. We've talked about falling off from the bike in detail earlier.
- Racing might seem easy but in reality, it requires a lot of mental and physical strength. Therefore, if you are thinking about making a career in racing, start exercising so as to get fit. You need a lot of stamina and focus to be able to race and get better.
- The racing industry does have an element of glamour in it. But, this isn’t there at the grass-root level where you would be starting from. If you wish to make this as a career just for the glamour, it’s best to avoid it.
- Just like all the other sports activities, professional riding in India does require you to be dedicated and passionate. If you do not feel passionate about the sport, you might have to think about it again.
- Patience is the key to mastering the art of racing. You cannot just expect to win the race with a few days of practice. It takes up years of hard work and patience to be able to succeed.
- Be prepare to unlearn a lot of what you already know. When you get on a race track, the dynamics and approach to ride are completely different. You cannot ride on track with a mindset of street racing.
Racing, in the beginning, is a process of trial, error and falls. Without knowing the basics, you cannot just show up at the racing track and try your hand at racing. If you do so, you would most likely be left disappointed.
Understand the Paperwork for Bike Race in India
As has been discussed earlier, you do not have to be 18 years of age to begin circuit racing. You do not need a driving license either. When it comes to closed-circuit racing, you can directly apply for the ‘Competition Licence’.
This license is issued by the Federation of Motorsport Club of India (FMSCI) for individuals of age 13 years and over who are interested in the bike race in India. However, with this license, you get the permission for a limited number of classes and not the expert and beginner classes.
List of the Documents Required for Professional Racing in India
The most crucial one is the ‘Competition Licence’ that is issued by the FMCI, as mentioned above. Here are the documents that you will need:
- A copy of your driver’s license (This will be possible only if you are of age. However, if you do not have a license, an undertaking from the guardians would be required along with their ID Proofs)
- A medical certificate authorized medical practitioner along with his/her signature, stamp and registration number (This has to be submitted along with the form)
- An indemnity that would be signed by the applicant which means that they have read all the rules and regulations and are well-aware of the hazards of racing. On the case if the applicant is a minor; the guardian would have to sign it.
- Entry form for the classes that the applicant wishes to ride have to be filled in properly
Know About The Motor Sports Authority in India
The central body that is responsible for controlling the Motor Sports in India is the FMSCI (Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India). It is the body that conducts all the motorsports in the country and as discussed above, grants license to people for participating in the bike race in India.
The great thing about the FMSCI is the fact that they are very considerate and encourage the young motor racing aspirants. The rules and regulations of this regulating body are also humane and sensible.
Who can Get the FMSCI Licence and what’s the Process of Obtaining It?
If you are interested in bike racing and have a valid two-wheelers licence, you can easily apply for the FMSCI license. Minors who quite obviously do not have a license but still wish to take up motorsport professionally can also apply for the license. In such cases, an affidavit would be required that has to be duly signed by the parents/guardians which means that they are granting the permission to the child.
The interested candidate would also have to appear for a test in front of the members of FMSCI in order to satisfy them that he/she knows what has to be done with the motorcycle. After receiving the certificate, the applicant would be able to get their certificate. For the people who already have a two-wheelers license, this process is much simpler.
Minors can consider signing up for a racing school and get the requisite certificate from there. This can be produced before the FMSCI and it is quite certain that you would get the license easily.
Rules of Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India
Ride Fast but, Ride Safely
It is quite obvious that when you are participating in a bike race in India, you would have to be riding as fast as you possibly can. This means that you would be going way faster than usual in order to win.
When you are riding fast, there’s one thing that matters the most: your safety. The rules and regulations of FMSCI demand the following equipment and protective clothing:
- Crash helmets of standard construction and design have to be used by the competitors in all the events.
- Leather gloves that are meant for circuit racing must be worn by the racer.
- Leather footwear that is meant for circuit racing must be worn by the racer in order to provide complete protection above the ankles.
- A one or two-piece suit made up of leather and having a thickness of at least 1.2 mm has to be worn by the rider. Other similar material or suitable thickness can also be chosen. If you choose a two-piece leather suit, it must have an interlocking zip mechanism between the upper and the lower suit.
- Shoulders, both sides of the hip joint and the torso, knees, Elbows and the back of the torso would have to be padded with a minimum of double layer of leather or enclosed plastic foam that has a thickness of 8mm.
- Usage of chest protector is recommended. Use of a back protector that is built into the suit or the one available separately is compulsory.
Bike Race Training Schools in India
Not many people are aware of this, but there does exist a few proper academies that provide professional training for motorcycle racing in India. These academies teach and prepare you for the race. Just riding as fast as you can isn’t going to make you win the race. There are a lot of technicalities involved. These academies teach each and everything in right from the very basics to the advanced level of riding bikes on the track. They thereby prepare you for professional racing and ultimately help you build a career in racing if you are apt for it.
Once you are ready, you can take part in races. Of course, motorsport isn’t given as much importance in our country but things are changing slowly. If you perform really well, you may be chosen to participate in the Asian level where some big companies might choose to sponsor you. It's easier said than done, but it's very much possible!
There are many examples of racers who've had very humble beginnings and reached the pinnacle of racing in India. Even with challenges, people have done it, so can you! We had earlier covered story of KP Aravind (India's top Motocross Racer) who shared his journey in motorcycle racing, that will help you get some inspiration.
Training Schools in India
If you wish to race bikes in India, you would be glad to know that South India has the most number of training schools. These schools have the best infrastructure required for the bike race in India along with proper racing tracks. Listed below are the names of a few wherein you can consider getting trained.
- Apex Racing Academy, Kari Motor Speedway, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu
- Honda Ten 10 Racing Academy, Chennai
- Throttle Wide Open (T.W.O) Riding School, Kari Motor Speedway, Coimbatore
- MMSC Racing Academy at the Madras Motorsports track, Chennai
- California Superbikes Schools (CSS)
Motorcycle Racing in India - Important Details
Other than the details mentioned above related to professional riding in India, there are a few other things too that need to be considered (assuming you've done all above and ready to race in an event):
Just as you would for any other sports event, arrive in the city where the race is going to be held well in advance. Spend as much time as possible on the track and practice ahead of the race. Almost all tracks in India have 'track days', make use of them as every track is different and prior experience always helps. This will allow you test your bike on this track and you can monitor your progress as well. Lastly, you would also be able to remember the track closely and also get to meet your fellow racers.
India does have a lot of raw talent all across the country and therefore there should be more racing schools that can cater to the demands of the young racers. It is quite understandable that making a career in motorcycle racing isn’t quite easy. In fact, building a career in racing can be quite expensive and finding sponsors can be challenging.
Added to all of this is the fact that the visibility for racing isn’t too great in India. All of these factors make things very difficult. But, things are improving and with the manufacturers stepping in, things are becoming less expensive than what it was a few years ago. If you are keen on taking up professional riding in India, understand that it’s going to take up a lot of effort and patience to make a name for yourself.
If you are an aspiring rider, we really hope that this article has helped you. If you feel that something is missing or wish to share any valuable thoughts that could help the riders, please feel free to share them in the comments section below.
Riding a bike is like an art, something you do, because you feel something inside - Valentino Rossi