|Posted by epswahn on July 1, 2022 at 9:30 AM|
It’s now the second half of 2022. The NHL Playoffs are over, MotoGP is going into their summer break, Supermoto and Roadracing Trackdays are in full swing. This past year has been interesting for me. My business isn’t to the point where I can dedicate my 100% effort to it quite yet, so that means I need to have side jobs / part time to help sustain my business and myself sometimes. I’ve also been laid off in the past and I know how important it is to have multiple streams of income. In September of 2021 I was laid off from my full time 3.5-year job at an Aluminum company. I worked as a Traffic Coordinator, shipping ~875 million pounds of materials in that time frame. I was making good money, but it just wasn’t what I wanted to be doing, pushing paperwork all day. I took this as an opportunity to work more on my business & find some part time work.
ESR – EricSwahnRacing.com & ShopESR.com is an authorized dealer of 35 motorsports brands. The hard part is listing it all for sale online. So far online for sale right now, we have at least 16 brands: M4 Performance Exhaust Systems, REV’IT! Clothing & Gear, Driven Racing USA, Roland Sands Design Gear, Bonamici, Starlane Electronics, Accossato, IRC Components, Spark Exhaust, Moto-D, Eazi-Grip, Motool, DNA Air Filters, Discacciati, Works Racing Parts, Akrapovic Exhausts. We also do sales on eBay and Amazon.
I have just recently gotten over the milestone of 100 published podcast episodes which I’m excited about. I’ve been doing it for over 2 years now, I’ve talked to some pretty high up people and great locals as well. It’s cool to network with others but also, I intend to eventually place ads on the podcast to help generate ad revenue from it. So, if you have a business that is looking for some advertising, send me a message and I can get you our pricing. Our podcast reaches thousands of people per episode for a regular guest, if you share it too it boosts it even higher. We’re also always looking for guests in the motorsports industry, or you could be totally unrelated to it.
I’ve become a certified rider coach with MSF – Motorcycle Safety Foundation this year. You must go through a rigorous coach training program including an online e-course, zoom sessions, several weekends of studying a large binder of material, in person riding, multiple choice tests, riding evaluations, peer teaching, student teaching evaluations, etc. In my group, we started with 10 coach candidates and for whatever reason, only 4 became coaches. For anyone who is a skilled communicator and rider, MSF is always looking for great coaches. For anyone who wants to get licensed or learn how to ride a motorcycle, this is where I learned how to ride 16 years ago. MSF-USA.org
In 2021 I became a track marshal for several organizations. In a little over a year, I have now worked for 10 organizations for motorcycle roadracing, motocross, flat track, sports cars, & open wheel cars, both amateur and professional: AHRMA, AMA, ASRA, CCS, F1, IndyCar, MotoAmerica, MotoGP, NATC, WERA. It’s been cool to see the sport from a whole new angle. Sometimes I can’t afford to be racing out there so this is a way that I can make money at the racetrack depending on which organization that is running it that weekend.
A few months ago, I bought my first street bike in years, a 2021 Kawasaki KLX 300 SM. This bike is basically a dirt bike with street tires on it. It’s street legal, good for on and off road, even without knobby tires. Last year I did a few Supermoto track days with Great Lakes SuperMoto – GLSM and it’s a blast. The smiles to dollar ratio is off the charts. It’s so much cheaper than riding sportbikes at a racetrack. You don’t go through tires, barely use any gas, if you crash, you’re going much slower, and these bikes crash well. It’s common for nothing to break when they crash, it’s quite amazing. We’re talking about $70 dollars for your track time per day, no gate fee, that’s it. Just drive 1-1.5 hours and you’re there. Yes, you’re going under 60 MPH but you still get a lot of the same feelings as you would on a bigger bike. GLSM has started to host races as well. I entered the Motard pavement only race, started 6th, got up to 4th and finished 5th in my first motorcycle race since 2015. It was an open class so my stock 292cc/300 was no match for the race-ready Husqvarna 450s but it was fun! A few weekends ago they had the GLSM Tripple Crown at Jackson Speedway, Michigan. Jackson has a small kart track (~25 second laps), they're allowing Will to design and build his own Motocross dirt section with whoops, berms, jumps, doubles, tabletops, step-ups, etc., and they have a separate dirt flattrack oval. There are three distinct tracks that we loop together to make 1 lap. Start with the kart track, then to MX, then flattrack, then back to pavement. It was a ton of fun.
This holiday I’m doing my first 3-day track day weekend in years. I think it was maybe 2013 or 2014 since I did a 3-day track day weekend, I stopped doing track days as much when I got into racing. The last track day on a 600cc machine was 2018 and that was a half a day on a bike I had just fixed up, looking to sell, and wasn’t trying to crash again so I wasn’t pushing very hard. I’m excited to shake some cobwebs off my riding skills and get back out there on track at Grattan Raceway, leaving in a few hours for Saturday – Monday 07/02-04/22. Yes, the same place I hit the guardrail in 2015. It’s my home track.
I have great friends. I do not own a sportbike currently, so I asked around to see if I could borrow/rent one for this event. I had a few people step up and offer their machines. One fell through but I ended up securing a 2008 Kawasaki ZX6R, race ready. He wasn’t using it anyways this weekend and has another bike, so he’s not very concerned. If I do end up having a crash, I sell a lot of parts, so I get them at cost at least. I asked if I could put some number plates on the bike and he didn’t mind, only if it was #46 he says. Well, I’m only 26 off. I had some spare number plates left over #20. I got a little carried away and put Small, Medium, Large ESR stickers and vendor stickers on it like Motool, Driven, PopShadow Decals, & WERA. I should feel comfortable on this bike, I had the 06 636 and the 09 600 so the 08 600 should fit right in. I don’t expect to be setting any lap records this weekend but riding at the track is something I’ve been watching other people do as a track marshal at 16 events now and it’s time for me to be back on the bike.
The real reason I’m doing this track day weekend is for a job interview. I like coaching MSF but that’s all under 30 MPH in parking lots with beginner riders who’ve maybe never seen a clutch before. I’d also like to do racetrack coaching for more experienced riders and so I’ve already had a good interview with an unnamed motorcycle coaching school. The next step in this interview process is to take their course as a student, then get evaluated on my riding at the end of the day by a senior instructor. So, this trackday weekend is just to get back some confidence and comfort before going into that evaluation day. This is my dream job.
I have 3 podcasts already recorded that I’ll be uploading shortly and 3 more on the schedule to record coming up. We’ll be uploading new products as much as we can. Check back often!
So please, check out the podcast & let me know your feedback.
Head over to the ESR Hub - EricSwahnRacing.com
See you at the racetrack!
Sales – Podcast – Racing – Track Marshal – Rider Coach