The Black Hole some have called it.... kids have been on pocket bikes and Metrakits from an early age, screaming around go-kart tracks showing great promise. They reach 12-years old; they start to outgrow their machines; they want to ride the Big Circuits.
Bemsee can now announce that it's launching a series to enable Licenced 12-year olds to race on the big circuits – exclusive to Bemsee.
The Pre-Teen Ninja Series
The eligible bike for this series will be the tried and trusted Ninja 300 adapted with a restrictor to reduce its power output to 28 bhp and with the option to lower the seat height to suit the smaller rider.
Parents can opt to buy a second-hand race-ready bike (They are still available on the market) or convert a second-hand road-going 300 to race.
With the restrictor removed, the Ninja 300 would then become the bike of choice for the next step at Bemsee - The Team Green Junior Cup Series targeted at 13 to 18-year olds.
At last we have a bike that is sensibly priced second-hand - ranging between £3.5-4k and cost efficient to run. This enables riders and parents alike to sample racing on the big circuits with a bike that can move on to another series. The initial expense is protected – The machines retain good second-hand values or there is the option to continue using the bike going forward.
Bemsee has always felt that this is what entry level into 2-wheel motorsport should be about - making the sport accessible to a wider range of people.
There will be the opportunity for those who can get a bike and rider ready to run out at the Club’s last three rounds this season, within the existing Ninja 300 grid – that’s Cadwell, Snetterton 300 and Brands Indy. This is with a view to running a full Series in 2020 exclusively at all rounds of the Bemsee Championships on long circuits alongside the existing Ninja 300 grid.
Each Rider will receive one on one coaching and mentoring on the Friday test days preceding each meeting.
So why haven't we done this sooner?
Issues have been twofold: The licence restrictions for 12-year olds at ACU Permitted events in the UK and the availability of a cost-efficient bike option.
That is still the case…the recent announcement by Dorna and MSVR that 12-year-olds are to be allowed on a Honda NSR 250 in 2020 as part of the British Talent Cup/Moto3 events at BSB has focused the minds of the regulators in the UK. As of July 2019, a 12-year old can’t ride such a machine at an ACU Permitted event. The rider needs to have a national-level licence and be 13-years old. Those are GP bikes and cost anything around 10 to £12,000 to buy and the service schedule for one of those is significant to keep it running competitively.
So, you can see the problem.
Bemsee established the use of the Ninja 300 as far back as 2012 in its form as the Ninja 250 at that time. Here was a bike that could offered to a parent for around 7,500 new and that would hold its value as it transitioned later into the second-hand market. Right now, these bikes can be converted for as little as £3-4k. These same bikes can then be derestricted to enable the rider when they become 13 to carry on in a series that's designed and built for them.
The Club is again trying to change this sector of the market on two fronts: driving the change on regulation for this age group at ACU events and working with sponsors and suppliers to provide a cost efficient and reliable package for parents – as we have always tried to do. This extends the Club’s partnership with Kawasaki who have supported Bemsee's Junior Cup in the UK since 2012.
Couple this with a series that's established, fair and well-policed and an environment that is as safe as it can be - with full coaching and mentoring and you have a series that’s a perfect entry point for youth two-wheeled Motorsport on the big circuits.
We accept there are some compromises here - the bikes are not brand new and for some 12-year olds they may need height adjustment. But this is a great starting point for most.
Your 12-year old’s next step has to be: affordable – safe – not daunting – reliable 4-stroke – fair – policed – involve coaching & instruction – not intrude on school – maximise tracktime – be easy, affordable & fun.
Persuaded? - What are you waiting for? - Get in touch.
For further info contact Mike Dommett, CEO on 01708 720305 or email firstname.lastname@example.org