“Riding a bike is like an art, something you do because you feel something inside”- Valentino Rossi aka as the Doctor for his clinical style of riding a race bike and setting many a world records.
If you find your self fascinated by motorcycles and are looking for a career that allows you to chase your passion for motorcycles, don’t let your engine cool down, drop a gear and throttle your motivation to go through a variety of options mentioned below:
Most of us who are imbibed with a deep passion for riding have grown up watching professional racing. This sport inspite of being dangerous is equally thrilling. The trend of professional racing in India has started to pick up pace, thanks to plenty of racing schools that provide professional assistance now. Amongst these racing schools are a few which can provide an end to end training course starting from the beginner’s level going straight up to the advance level. To be able to race professionally you will require getting an FMSCI (Federation of the Motor Sports Club of India) license.
There are a total of six academies in India. Namely:
- RACR [Rajini Academy of Competetive Racing] (http://racr.in)
- Apex Racing Academy (http://www.apexracing.in/)
- CSS [California Superbike School] (http://www.superbikeschoolindia.com/)
- Honda Ten 10 Racing Academy (http://www.ten10racing.com/htra/)
- MMSC Racing School [Madras Motor Sports Club] (http://www.madrasmotorsports.in/index.php?current=home)
- T.W.O. [Throttle Wide Open School] (http://indimotard.com/two/)
There are three racing tracks in India which are approved by FMSCI and where training sessions are held. They are:
- Madras Motor Race Track – Chennai
- Kari Motor Speedway – Coimbatore
- BUDDH International circuit – Greater Noida, Delhi (currently suspended as per supreme court order)
Motorcycle races are not limited to the track only. It can range from being on the track to extreme rallies such as Dakar Rally to in Rally Raid competitions which are not as extreme as Dakar.
1. Moto GP
Motorcycle Grand Prix Racing is the oldest Motorsport World Championship. In the early 1900s it was held in various countries and in 1949 it had its first official annual competition. Moto GP has gained global popularity overtime. To be one of the racers, you don’t require any formal education other than the above mentioned FMSCI license which you can get only if you are a member of the FMSCI club. The other option is to clear a test for which you’ll have to have a thorough knowledge of racing and all the signs placed on and off the racing track in order to ensure your and others’ safety. Alternatively, you can complete the certification from one of the schools mentioned above and then pass a test for FMSCI license.
The process starts by joining a Racing Academy, which is followed by completing 3 racing levels and obtaining a valid liscense. Then you need to participate in One Make championship followed by National championship. Then depending on your success you can then move to Higher levels starting with Moto3 class going further to Moto2 class and finally MotoGP. However its always recommended to start off really young to pursue a long and fruitful Moto Gp Career.
2. Rally Raid
Rally Raid is a pure off-road endurance event. In this each rider has to cover a distance of 800-900 km per day and face the dynamics of the terrain everyday ranging from sand dunes to mud to the rocky mountainous regions. The Dakar Rally event that started off in 1978 has gained popularity worldwide and still continues to garner new followers. This professional competition took CS Santosh & India to the International platform . Dakar Rally is the longest of all rally raids and it continues up to 15 days at a stretch. So far, CS Santosh has been India’s most successful Rally raid racer champion. He had won every motorbike racing title in India and continued to rise, establishing his position in the International Rally Raid Races. Nothing stops you from breaking CS Santosh’s record and becoming the next racing superstar of Indian nationality. The route to Dakar is rather long, expensive and tedious. It would require you to ace multiple rally raid events in India and other countries to get an opportunity at the Dakar as a representative of a factory team. Racing at the Dakar as a privateer is also an option if you have deep pockets. Some domestic rally raids events to make your presence felt would be Raid De Himalaya & Desert Storm. A pre-requisite for participating in any of these event would be obtaining a a full rally raid license from FMSCI.
3. Stunt Riding
Stunt Riding in India has been growing in popularity with every passing day. However it is legal in only under controlled conditions and prohibhitedto on public roads as it may endanger someone else’s safety. But how do you make a career out of it? To be a professional stunt rider, one requires great skill, perseverance and fitness. If being a one wheel rider is what you like then this is surely made for you. The career option branch out towards being a professional stuntman in the motorcycling sphere or even consider being a stuntman in the movies. You can always choose to start your stunting events. You can take an example of Rok Bagoros, he is a professional stuntman for KTM and performs at bike festivals, several other events, has his own YouTube channel and the most important aspect is that he does what he loves. However, to be pursue this as a career option be prepared for a lot of bruises, broken bones and ego!
O.E.M. (Original Equipment Manufacturer)
Original equipments manufacturers offer an array of career options for motorcycle enthusiasts. These options can range from someone who is involved in designing of motorbikes to creation, innovation or research and development and even opportunities for individuals who is can test their motorcycles. Studying mechanical and automotive engineering will be a pre requisite to opt for the technical jobs with an OEM. Nothing could be more satisfying than watching your creation come to life and be produced commercially. Learning about the technological advancements that take place everyday can be very helpful to incorporate them in your motorbike models. There are many other spheres to be explored that are lying under the mechanics of an engine.
4. Test Rider
Making a career as a motorcycle prototype test rider can give you the opportunity ride multiple motorcycles even before they hit the road. Whilst the job in its self sounds very glamorous, it requires one to have thorough knowledge of mechanical systems, technological systems and almost every other moving part that brings the whole package together. Beside having knowledge one must have extensive experience in riding motorcycles across a variety of terrains whether it is off road or on a race track. Renown motorcycle companies have research and development divisions responsible for continuous advancements in the technology that can not only make their motorbikes faster but also safer and fun to ride. Every motorcycle before being production ready requires a lot of niggles, these changes are incorporated basis real time feedback from the test rider appointed by the OEM. The test rider’s feedback is extremely crucial for further optimisations. When compared to professional racing and stunting, this is a very insightful specialisation, which can be quite lucrative as well. Ordinarily, for a job like this, professional riding skills are not enough, and you will also need a degree in mechanical or automotive engineering. It will also require you to be aware of your competition and be able to make direct comparisons between your bike and the competitors for the purpose of improvement and achieving refinement in the final product.
5. Vehicle Automotive Engineer (R & D and Product Innovation)
To be able to pursue this as a career option you would be required to have in-depth knowledge of the moving parts of a motorcycle, as it involves developing and designing the machines as well as control and automation of manufacturing systems. The basic pre-requisite would be a degree in mechanical engineering as a minimum, as it is an introduction to vehicle engineering. Essentially you will be required to have a degree in automobile/automotive engineering as its entire focus is on production, development, design, manufacturing, and operation of motorcycles and other automobiles. You can be part of either R & D (research and development) department or the product innovation department. If you consider this job, you should know and comprehend the functioning of the engines to be able to build one. One important aspect for you to know is that mechanical engineering is a broad spectrum and it covers a part portion of vehicles, might overlap aerospace, electrical, chemical, civil, manufacturing, metallurgical, and industrial engineering. On the other hand, automotive engineering focuses on the insights of the vehicle engineering. So choose well before opting.
6. Motorcycle Design
After conquering a degree course in automotive or mechanical engineering, you can always choose to specialise in designing the motorbikes. There are various motorcycle design workshops and online courses available that will give you an outlook into the styling of motorcycles. If motorcycles have always fascinated you and you are capable enough of letting your ideas flow in the form of designs on paper and you want to to turn that into a professional job, then you ought to consider this as a career option. In a designing course you will learn how to design specific parts, systems or the whole new motorbike, but also will have to troubleshoot any ensuing problems.
Travel & Tourism
In our opinion, travel and tourism is one the easiest available career options for all motorcycle enthusiasts, but it takes a lot of perseverance and determination to reach a milestone into it. You should definitely have good communication skills to excel in this career, as one of the most crucial aspects of it is being able to attract clients to you in a highly competitive market. You can extend your opportunities in this sphere by doing one or all of the following:
Blogging is a process of writing an article about an event, experience, situation, topic, etc and later posting it online for individuals to read. A blog is a journal or an informative display of data. It is a platform where a writer or a group of writers share their individual views on a subject.
If your writing skills are good, you should start writing blogs about your bike travel experiences, and if you succeed with a decent number of readers, you will earn by getting good advertisements on your blogs and big companies will invite you to write for them. There is no professional degree required for this career but adequate writing skills and proper knowledge of search engine optimisation and monetizing your blog may help a lot in sustaining as a full time career. Also you can opt for online workshops to uncover the secrets to compose virtuous content and reach out to larger number of readers.
If writing isn’t exactly your calling but facing the camera is, then consider turning your motorcycle escapades into full fledged travel videos. Every time you are going on a ride with your group; try and record your journey using an action camera which can for a good video log for more popularly know as Vlog for your YouTube channel. With time as you being to produce and create better quality of content you can turn it into a full-time career for yourself, offering your services to various companies to make Vlogs with their motorbikes. However, keep in mind, that for big companies to be interested in your services, you first must build a certain subscriber base with an directly relatable engagement with your content. Having a solid presence other platforms such as Instagram, TikTok etc would be added advantage at being approached by brands. Honing your editing skills can enhance the quality of final output and breath a new creative life into your V logs.
If you have an eye for the scenic routes, great landscapes and things which are better seen through your lenses, then you must venture into this adventurous career of travel photography. Ride your motorcycle to undiscovered destinations and captivate the beauty of those places in your photographs. It will be a smart decision to explore new destination if you intend to build a career in photography, as attracting audience to destinations that have been explored by millions will be a tougher task, unless you have a very unique talent.
9. Tour Guide/Captain
If you are a good leader and you know how to keep a group integrated and you crave riding, this career is meant for you. Here, your communication skills will matter the most as you will be interacting with the clients in person. There is no specific degree required for this, but having thorough knowledge of the trip routes and tourist sightseeing places will increase your chances of succeeding.
You can build a profitable business through buying and selling bike-related products and services. Studying Business Management courses can really help to set up a good business. You can further get into:
10. Dealership of motorcycles
Owning a motorcycle dealership is like a dream come true specially if you have been grown up dreaming, living and breathing motorcycles. Being able to puruse it as a career can seem to be nice but it involves a huge amount of investments. There is no formal education required to own a dealership but having a business acumen accompanied by thorough knowledge about the industry and products helps a great deal in having the edge over your competitors. Dealer ships come in many shapes and sizes, starting from something that as small as a tertiary dealership to owning and controlling multiple showrooms and service outlets as a parent dealer. Be sure to research well about the brand of motorcycles you would like to deal in and understand market conditions and consumer behaviour before taking the plunge.
11. Motorcycle Renting
A Motorcycle rental business is a rather upcoming and lucrative career option if you wish to fuel your passion whilst making a living. Motorcycle rental business usually very from country to country and the very ease of operations may be easy or difficult depending upon the motor vehicle laws in your country. However usually a few things to consider before starting out would be to check up on the laws that permit commercial rentals, tourist seasons which are integral to generation of revenue and choice of motorcycles being rented out. You always have to stay updated and maintain a fleet of motorcycles which are not only trouble free but latest. If you have what it takes to provide well maintained motorcycles , great after sales service and other allied benefits to potential customers then this is your go to career option!
Riding, owning and building customised motorcycles isn’t every persons thing. If riding motorcycles required you to be brave then building a customised one requires a sense of creative freedom, ability to break away form the usual and translate that into fully functions mechanical and design statement.
To be able purse customising motorcycles doesn’t require a formal eduction available in universities but rather the knack and willing to get your hands dirty. Some of the biggest and best bike builders in India are self taught and products of trial and error. However prior experience working at a garage, or understanding of moving parts of a motorcycle would only make your journey a lot easier and faster. Another important part to remember is that building custom motorcycles is all about making and incorporating personal design statements. Each motorcycle will be unique and most likely irreplaceable.
13. Motorcycle Journalist
To be a motorcycle journalist you need to ride into certain qualities that will help you get your dream job. The paramount is the attitude and passion you have towards motorbikes, the prolific knowledge about the motorcycle industry, the ability to write wisely with wit, concision and proper jargons to make it interesting for the readers. Also you can first choose to be a racer and subsequently if you make a good career in the motorcycle racing, you can choose to be a motorbike sports journalist after retiring from active racing. For example, James Hunt who was a world champion in F1 Racing later became a television reporter to continue earning in a sphere that still involved his passion, although from behind cameras. This career is not an easy one to get in if you inhibit the above mentioned qualities. Moreover, together with your passion for motorbikes, you also happen to have a degree or experience in journalism, it might open doors easier to you.
So if you are looking for a career to do with your passion for motorcycles, now you know that your passion doesn’t have to be what you do in your free time only, but can become what earns your living as well. With so many options available, and the automobile industry growing faster as never before, bringing to life technologies that we have seen in films only, you can always give it a try to work in one of the fields that deal with motorcycles, and who knows, maybe that’s exactly where you will find your calling.
ALL THE BEST! CHOOSE WISELY!
By Chirag Saluja