The growing popularity of smaller motorcycles has caused manufacturers to shift from only making the biggest and badest bikes to making small, inexpensive machines that pack a punch. The most recent batches of 300cc motorcycles are often equipped with ABS, clip-on handle bars, sportbike seating positions, inverted forks all while achieving 60 plus miles to the gallon. These bikes start around $5,000 brand new.
Of course naturally, with the rise in popularity of small sportbikes a new ultra-lightweight racing class has sprung up. For the last few years, Moto-America has had a Factory spec racing class that featured the KTM-390 and World SuperBike has just announced their new small engined racing series.
MotoAmerica's KTM-390 cup series will be the best racing you will ever see. Each bike featured in the races are almost exactly the same, so winning one of these races is 100% the riders responsibility. There is no mechanic, factory team, or amount of money you can spend to give yourself a competitive advantage. Many of these races you will see bikes in packs of 5-10 within inches from each other, all fighting for the win. Some of these races feature less than .5 second gap between the winner and the top pack of riders.
Not only does this racing class require the "rider" mod to be the most important, but it is also by far the most affordable class to race. Take a look at some of the racing forums for a used 300cc race bike. For 3-5k you can buy a full blown race bike that is capable of winning championships. Oh, and once you learn how to make one of these bikes go fast, imagine how fast you will be once you jump on something like an R1. Small bikes are the cheapest way to get into racing and the best bikes to learn on.