Racing: The next step for adrenaline junkies
By Gabe 846
How do you scare yourself on a 250 Ninja? Chase another racer into a corner too hot, countersteer with all your weight, and feel the footpeg bracket dig into the pavement of the off-cambered turn, making the rear tire slide and bounce around. Ease off the countersteering, and then feel the bike snap back onto its line as you give the throttle the last 1/4 inch and the motor bounces off the rev limiter. Slowly you inch past the slower rider in front of you, with 6 inches between the two bikes. You pull in front of him, upshift without rolling off the gas, slam your helmet down onto the tank as you catch your breath, and look through your cracked windscreen for the next racer to pass.
You get a good drive out of the corner and shift up through the gears on the straight as you slowly reel in the next racer in front of you. You inch up alongside, and he glances over. The turn at the end of the straight is a 90 MPH left hand sweeper. Both bikes are revving at 14,000 RPM in 6th gear, the speedometer would read 115 if it wasn't taped up, and he isn't going to let you outbrake him, and you sure as hell won't let him outbrake you. At the same instant, you both downshift and heel the bikes over. He takes the outside line, and you are two feet behind him. Will he apex wide enough to let you by? You hope so, with the throttle on all the way, your kneepuck making a long, audible "skriiiiiiitch" as it drags through the corner, and you dive into the apex right under his bike. He backs off at the last minute and lets you by, but he's right on your ass and that was only the second lap of six.
Scared? Yes. Exhilarated, scared, and so high on adrenaline that the only thought in your mind is how you are going to pass that next rider, and you see the line on the race track with a clarity reserved for crystal-meth trips.
How scared do you need to be? If riding like that doesn't scare you, you are probably too foolish to be riding something capable of more speed.
Of course, there are more suitable and practical streetbikes. Bikes with more comfort, range, capacity and power all have their uses. But the 250 is just as capable of scaring a rider as an R1. And it can be just as much fun.