December 06, 2019
Q&A: Oliver Fuhrer (NZSBK SS300 Racer 2020)
UB: How long have you been riding and how did get into it?
OF: I got my first bike almost bang on three years ago. I was just about to start studying at University and had recently sold my car, so I decided to buy a bike. It was somewhat of a rushed decision but I in no way regret it, although the bank account sure does. There is no pinpoint influence that made me want a bike. No one in my family rides so I didn’t get it there. I’ve always loved going fast on two wheels so that must be a part of it.
UB: What do you like about riding?
OF: The freedom and the speed! Although racing and riding on the street are very different things. I’m very methodical and like to create plans/goals and act on them. Racing fits very well with that aspect of myself. Working out breaking markers, testing them, trying new lines, figuring out what works and what doesn’t, I love it.
Riding on the street then gives me freedom. There’s no one to beat, no innate goal beyond enjoying myself.
UB: What was first bike?
OF: A Suzuki bandit 250! I thought I was the coolest person out! Still remember the first ride I had. It was out the back roads of Makara and was probably faster than I had skill for. I built a custom fiberglass seat for it and had a friend paint it professionally. Even did the upholstery myself, I was very happy with the work.
UB: How did you end up riding the bike you have now?
OF: Ha! I started doing track days at the end of last year and bought a 1995 ZXR400 to eventually race on. First track day I did three laps as the clutch was stuffed. Next track day the engine smoked its ass off and lost powered, super low compression. I swapped the engine for a spare and that ended up giving out. I sold it cheap as I was sick of seeing it, although I learnt a hell of a lot mechanically. After that I wanted a reliable and easy to run bike as University was going to be starting soon and all my money was about to disappear. So, I got my Ninja 300 which I raced over the winter and will race at the NZSBK this summer.
UB: What do you love about it? Is it your forever bike?
OF: It works, all the time! Studying and racing don’t really go hand in hand so honestly, having a bike that doesn’t cost me much to run is the best thing in the world. No, it's not my forever bike. I’m a little to tall for it and it doesn’t have the best ergonomics for racing. Ultimately it is a commuter bike turned race bike, rather than a sports bike turned race bike. Looking forward to the day I race a 600. But I still have so much to learn, and a small bike is the best place for that.
UB: How did you get into racing? What have you done so far? What class do you ride in?
OF: I set it as a goal for myself at the start of 2019. I had to get the bike, the licence and gear and then compete! The VMCC (Victoria Motorcycle Club) run a winter series which I raced in, such amazing fun. Actually, I did Marshal at a track mid 2018, which definitely sparked an interest in racing. The sound of the big bikes was unreal! It still is.
I race in the Supersport 300 class, which is a production racing class. It has minimal performance upgrades, such as suspension, exhaust and ecu modifications allowed but not much more. I hope, otherwise I’m missing out ae…
UB: What plans and ambitions do you have for racing?
OF: Budget depending I’ll race in the SS300 class this year and next year, and perhaps also pick up a 600cc bike next year too. Otherwise I’ll get a bucket racer as the track is pretty close, in Kaitoke.
This summer season I have the National Championship, it’s my first year so I’m somewhat nervous but mostly just stupidly excited. Then in April next year there is meant to be some street racing happening in Seaview, Lower Hutt. There is also the Cliffhanger Hill Climb. A TT race on a close road out in the Wairarapa. I did it this year and made some great friendships so I’ll be back again to beat Ben and Clive!
UB: Who supports you in your racing?
OF: Arobake provides the van that gets my race bike to and from events. Without the van there would be no racing so thanks Dad!
Garth, Joy and Lee from Independent Motorcycles help with parts and servicing. I really appreciate their help because without it I couldn’t afford to race, quite literally.
UrbanBiker! Mike and Delia have been kind enough to come on board this season to support me with gear. I have an amazing new Bell helmet and Alpinestars Tech-Air suit, which I’m hoping not to test out but let’s be real… I cannot thank them enough for supporting me.
Lastly, my lovely lady, Madison. I’d say I drag her along to race events, but she loves it just as much as me! She wants to go racing next year so watch out people!
UB: Any last words?
OF: Get racing!
Current Ride (original spec)
2015 Kawasaki Ninja EX300
Parallel-twin, four-stroke DOHC
6-speed with slipper clutch, chain drive
Full Titanium Race Exhaust System
Rear shock and fork internals
Clip on handlebars
Sintered Brake Pads
May 03, 2019