I DON’T think most fans know quite how much it costs to get set up for speedway.
I’ve been busy getting bikes built for the new season and don’t have an awful lot more to do to be honest, but it’s all really expensive.
So far I’ve got two rolling chasis with mud guards, without engines and things like that, and so far I think we’ve spent about £9,500 on that. I’m going to get another engine to add to the two I’ve already got and then all in all I think I don’t have much more to do.
For all the bikes I built this year they cost me about £3,500 each but the fact everything is brand new for these ones means they could cost up between £5,000 and £7,000 which is obviously a lot of money. That’s a pretty common amount to spend I think.
Maybe the top guys would spend a bit more, more on the engines than anything else because they would spend it on tuners and things. The frames just come as standard really. They would also change their clutch plates every meeting which is £30 a time, although I try to get as much use out of them as I can.
You’re always spending so it all adds up and it’s hard work, but it’s what we enjoy doing so we have to do it, it’s our way of bringing in money too.
When I had my crash the damage to the bike was around £2,000, all I had left was the engine really and the back wheel, that was it. That was my fifth lap on a new front wheel which cost me £260, so it was smashed up and chucked. Whenever you crash you always know it’s going to cost you a bit.
It’s not just the bikes either, there’s vans and then all the kit too, that’s expensive. The helmet I was wearing when I crashed cost me about £500 too as it was the best you can get, but it’s lucky I spent that money because it probably saved my life.
There’s body armour and things too which is a few more hundred pounds, I bought some new knee braces too which cost £520 but they don’t feel all that comfortable so I’m trying to sell them now.
Swindon paid for my race suit this season but in the National League you have to wear your own, so with covers and Kevlars it’s another £1,300 so it never takes too long to send some money.
Obviously you want as many sponsors as you can because I wouldn’t cover what I pay out with points money, so every penny counts.
I’m feeling pretty good at the moment and have built up a load of muscle while training for my bike ride next weekend, but I’m in now rush to get back on a speedway bike just yet because I want things to be 100 per cent right.