THE JOY OF buying, riding and maintaining a £1000 track bike is that you don’t really ever have to worry about dropping it. Which is good. ‘Tracked’ bikes are usually missing all paperwork, including the V4 (log book) and any service history. Check the frame (VIN) number on the headstock hasn’t been filed off. If it has, walk away. If not, check the number by entering it on isitnicked.com They’ll also sport battle scars. Don’t be put off by this, but make sure you check wheel alignment, run the engine and test gearbox action. Ask the owner when it last had a major service (the oil and filter are usually changed after every trackday). If you’re unsure whether they’re being truthful, factor in the cost of a valve clearance check. On the plus side, second-hand track bikes usually come with plenty of track paraphenalia: paddock stands, spare tyres, and sometimes even tyre warmers. This is still true of the odd thousand pounder. It may look like you’re getting a great deal, but there is always an element of risk: you won’t know whether the clutch is slipping until you drive hard through third gear, for example. These bikes work hard, but not harder than they were designed to. Keep on top of maintenance, and give them a regular fairing-off clean. This way you get to know the bike, and can spot issues before they turn into problems. Then you can concentrate on the hilarious task of overtaking that 2018 sportsbike ridden by an owner scared of dropping the thing.
‘These bikes work hard, but not harder than they were designed to’
The fastest bike round Cadwell Park? That’d be a bike with no outstanding nance