How do I start?
There’s more details in the FAQs below, but here’s an overview of how to go about it:
(If you can, it's a good idea to come along to a race as a spectator and see what goes on and chat to the competitors. They’re a friendly bunch and will be happy to guide you and answer questions.)
Firstly, decide on where you want to have a go. From there, there are some options:
If it’s a “Give It A Go” event you can get all the necessary licences and entries for one very low price. A one-off offer for first timers!
If not, then you can get a day licence and club membership for that event.
If you’ve decided that you want to do several events, you will need to apply for full membership of the NHCA. This will come with the special code you will need to apply for an ACU licence. When you get that, you can enter events as a regular competitor.
Now, how to enter an event:
When the Regulations and entry forms are available, you can download them from the NHCA website. The Regs will give you all the details of who to send the entries to, how much it’ll cost, etc. If you’re entering on the Give It A Go offer, then put a note in with the entry stating this. If you are going to need a day licence/membership then put a note in to tell the secretary this. Then check that you’ve got envelope addressed to the secretary with an SAE, cheque for the right amount and an entry form filled out and signed. (Please note that we only accept payment for entry fees by cheque or, in exceptional circumstances, cash.)
Now you have licensing and an entry sorted out, next is the bike. You can race practically anything with two wheels, three if it’s a sidecar! There are some rules on preparation, a short version here and the full version here. Basically it has to be safe, not leave oil and fuel all over the track.and have numbers that the timekeepers and marshals can read.
Now the event itself. Most venues provide camping for the night before, sometimes free. Turning up the night before means that you have time to make sure everything is OK and sort out any problems. If you turn up in the morning, it’s best to turn up too early and give yourself time again. You need to walk the track before you ride it. This is vital, and constitutes part of the signing-on regulations. This way, you will get to know where it goes and any things to look out for. Even the most seasoned competitors are expected to do this, as repairs to the track can affect the way it is ridden. Your bike will need to be scrutineered before you compete, so don’t be afraid to ask one of the other competitors about where this is taking place (sometimes the scrutineers are mobile, other times the inspections happen in a designated area). If any problems arise during inspection, there are always plenty of people around to help you get round them and we’re always happy to help a newcomer!
As for the event itself, remember that practice is just that: practice. Don’t try to beat records on your first try. Take it easy, learn the track and make it to the top!
And most importantly: have fun!
What do I need to do to my bike?
What about my racing numbers?
You'll need to have a ACU gold Helmet (with two stripes around the outside of the logo, not one thick one)
Leather gloves, leather boots, and preferably one piece leathers. Two piece are allowed, but only if they zip together securely all the way around
Make yourself three number plates, one for the front, two for either side at the rear (the colours are given on the classes page - they are capacity related).
What do I need to wear?
Who tells me what number to use?
The numbers for each meeting are controlled by the secretary, however we do try to let everybody have their own number so that you don't have to keep changing it. First of all, contact the secretary of the meeting, they will let you have a number that is unallocated.
At what age can I passenger on a sidecar or Trike?
Can I use a Supercharger/Turbo?
The only forced induction allowed is supercharging. No turbo charging.
Can I use nitrous?
No, pressurised gas isn't allowed, and besides if your nitrous cut in half way round a corner, you'd have little chance of exiting the right way up!
What fuel can I use?
ACU rules now say that all petrol bikes must use unleaded petrol from the pump.
The exceptions are:
Pre 1975 bikes can use leaded petrol.
Methanol is allowed, but an orange sticker should be affixed to the tank of the bike.
Any tyres that are in good condition are acceptable. Slicks are permitted, but remember that tyre warmers are not allowed. As you are only on the track for a minute or less, the stickiest tyres you can get are the order of the day. Wets are used, and often in the dry, but a lot of people (myself among them) find they squirm a lot and walk. Agility is the keyword with hill climbs, acceleration, stopping and the ability to change direction quickly whilst trying to hold the bike on a bumpy track! To this end you may find that smaller width tyres actually give you better results. Initially though, I'd just use what you have and get on the hills, talk to others with the same style of machine and see what suits you best.
So I want to get a full ACU licence, how do I do that?
Write to the ACU (address or downloadable application forms are online at acu.org.uk) You will need a Sprint and Hill Climb licence.
At What age can I start?
Well you can start at Thirteen in the 125 class and then the other classes at Sixteen - However - If you are under eighteen you must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. The law are that none of the marshals or other event official, including the first aid/ambulance staff, who have not been specially cleared, can touch a person under eighteen unless either their parents or a legal guardian is present. This means of course that we cannot allow them to race unless either their parents or a legal guardian is present. Sorry folks, but that's the way it is.
What tyres are best and what type can I use?
Do I need a tyre warmer?
Tyre warmers are not allowed, so if you have got one, leave it at home!
All bikes are eligible and race in the Competition/Open class - capacity divided. Alongside this are the Vintage & Classic, Forgotten Era, Junior, Ladies and Road Legal championships which have their own specific rules - so you can race whatever you want under 1300cc.
What class can I race in?
Still need help? Go to our contact page and send us an email.