For a complete novice the answer is simple, a machine that you’re completely happy to see sliding away from you, sparks flying and pieces of it breaking off and tumbling through the air. The old adage “you learn from your mistakes” applies especially to the Art of motorcycle racing, so get ready to allow your hopefully, not too expensive wheels to soak up your less than perfect choices in throttle and braking inputs, your overtaking misadventures, bad tire options, surface anomalies, and lousy handling set up. All these considerations will conspire against you as the inevitable law of gravity will pull you and your motorcycle gear with a friction heat welcome to the road surface. Spend as much if you are able on the machine yes, but above all spend as much as you can on leathers, gloves, boots and of course your skid lid, a crash helmet. Don’t forget the track day fees and the cost of transporting your less than road legal machinery. Any class of motorcycle with the possible exception of cruisers, could be used on the race track. It’s a question of lean angle, how fast you go around the curves is an imperative in racing, the faster you go the more you lean, side stands, low-slung exhaust systems, in fact anything attached to the chassis that makes contact with the ground needs to be removed, or given greater altitude. Any Japanese, European, or British crotch rocket would be a perfect and affordable contender, this way you get the cheapest dollar per horsepower. But let’s be clear you don’t need mega horse power to go fast and have a great deal of fun. The ubiquitous Suzuki SV 650 has long been considered an entry-level racing platform, with its V-twin it automatically makes it a narrow machine and it’s extremely flickable in the corners. Modifications are up to you and your budget. Enhance the forks with suspension improvements, re-mapping the onboard computer, many and varied are the performance options, but, always ride within your capabilities and you will have a ton of fun. Or how about the Kawasaki ZX 650 still two cylinders this time a parallel twin motor. Similar characteristics in terms of handling and power output, this too lends itself, without any fuss to track day pursuits. As already mentioned if it’s just the thrill you’re chasing, racing can be had on the cheap. A quick glimpse at craigslist will reveal an ever-changing grab bag of suitable race bikes “in the waiting”. Super competitive they may not be but in terms of bang for buck and the enormous fun doing your own modifications, nothing else provides a sustainable supply of yet to be racers. I use the filter, enter my maximum spend limit, set another filter for minimum engine capacity and just wait to be delighted at the local choices. If your vanity or ego won’t let you do cheap and you have the financial wherewithal, then obviously you have all kinds of options. There exists a huge stable of 1,000cc bikes, litre super-bikes. These machines look fast, even at a standstill on their side stands. The recognized standard is the Suzuki GSXR 1000 an easy on the eye machine, made for the street but equally at home on the track and able to inspire confidence through all of it six gears. Massive brakes giving the control as the need to slough off excess speed is deemed necessary. But remember whatever you do try not to drop it!