Top 10 Sub-£2,000 track bikes

Get track fast for minimum brass. These machines all have what it takes to get right on the pace

Posted: 7 May 2010
by Visordown

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Most track bikes started life as road bikes. If you’re looking for a bike purely for track use, there’s no shortage of machines which have already been converted. Some are race bikes which may have had hard lives but come with some top extras like quality suspension and useful tuning.

If you’d like the option to use a bike on the road it’s best to get an original, road legal bike. Making a track only bike road legal once it’s missing loads of parts like lights and clocks can take ages and cost loads.

Few people take a good, clean, useable road bike and convert it into a track bike. It’s far more likely they’ll use a damaged machine as the starting point so check for damage and do a data check (see opposite). A daylight only MOT is another  useful option. Track bikes are almost always worth less than road bikes of equivalent age and condition. Prices above are for road going bikes in good, standard condition. Always consider consumables. They’re significant on any bike but extra relevant on a track bike. Brake discs, chains and sprockets need to be good or better because you’ll be giving them a hard time. Decent tyres are a must too but bear in mind if you buy a bike with old or touring rubber you will want to replace them.

Write offs and rip offs

Quite a few track bikes are insurance write-offs. This means they’ve been in an accident (or theft) and were deemed not economic to repair afterwards. Some may make good track bikes, others should be avoided at all costs. Recorded write-offs are grouped into several categories.

  • Category A bikes should be crushed and never used again.
  • Cat B machines shouldn’t be ridden but can be broken for non-structural parts. 
  • Cat C bikes may have suffered some structural damage (which can include a cosmetic mark on a frame) but can be ridden on the road. 
  • Cat D bikes typically only suffered cosmetic damage and can be ridden on the road too. Unlike cars, written off bikes do not require a VIC check before being road legal again.

We’ve heard of quite a few Cat B machines ‘escaping’ from breakers and being used as track bikes with no paperwork. Obviously we’d avoid any Cat A or B bike. Cs and Ds may be good buys but the fact they’re recorded write-offs reduces their value by 10-25% even if they’ve been fully repaired to as new condition. We’d advise doing a data check. MyCarCheck.com do them for £3.95 online or £3 to a mobile phone (text CTC[space][reg number] to 83600). Always check frame and engine numbers!

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Discuss this story

Wow some really poor choices and duff information in this article.

Most track bikes have upgraded suspension, brakes, engine, exhaust and subframes so to say they are cheaper than roadbikes is not strictly true. They also usually come with Wets on Wheels which adds more to the price.

As for the bikes chosen Ducati 900SS?? never been seen on any trackday I have been on so it cant be that good as more would use them. For twins SV650's and SV1000's and even a Ducatic 748 can scrape under the £2K budget. NC30 good for the road but the ZXR400L is a better track weapon. TT600 again very rare to see on a track when you can get a ZX6R G/J for cheaper money which is just as good.

The best track bikes are usually supported by a race series which means parts are available for upgrades even though they stopped building the bikes years ago.


Posted: 08/07/2010 at 15:42

NC29 is good but obviously the NC30 is more popular as people like it on the road.

Posted: 27/01/2013 at 22:19

Not even one two-stroke machine :(

Posted: 05/08/2014 at 17:55

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