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Race Starts, how to improve

Discussion in 'Racing, Motorsports, and Track Days' started by RedNinja, Aug 14, 2008.

  1. Hi All,

    I've been racing a CBR250R in the interclub series and I have been thinking about what lets me down the most in a race (appart from crashing on the last lap :-$ ) and it is my starts.

    Yeah sure I've done some dumb things like try and start in 2nd gear :LOL: But serious, every one seems to just zoom past, then I pass a few in turn 1, then spend 4 laps catching and passing. If I got a better start I am sure I'd be further up the race order by the end...

    Any tips guys/ gals,

    - Should I be countin seconds before the lights change?
    - Should I be reving my bike out and poping the clutch?
    - Should I be riding the clutch and taking off with lots of revs?
    - What sort of revs should i be trying to take off with?
    - What do others who race do?

    Any ideas/ thoughts would be well appeciated. :wink:
  2. Spend some time at the Drags, with someone who knows what they are about. It worked for Adam Fergusson.
  3. Having never raced a bike in my life, I feel I'm not really qualified to offer an opinion.

    But I will anyway! :LOL:

    I would think, having drag raced a car with the same intention of getting off the line as fast as possible, that the technique would be similar. Like a hill start. Brakes on hard and load the clutch until it is grabbing as much as possible without moving you. Then all you need to do is release the brake and acceleration is immediate because clutch is already engaged and throttle just needs to be fed on at the appropriate rate( on a 2fiddy that's peg it immediately! :p ).

    Now all the real racers can tell you how it is really done. :oops: :grin:
  4. :shock:

    So far that's some really good ideas, I am impressed.

    Ta Mark, that's more than what I have been doing to date and I could realy see that as a good place to start....

    :grin: RN
  5. -Try counting the seconds before the lights.= Bad idea

    You will find that everyone who does the lights will extinguish them at different times, and they will always mix up the intervals, so relying on counting will let you down if they are let out before or after you have finished counting.

    I ride a 125 so every bit helps, i use my feet and push off for a but 3 or 4 steps, as said above, get your revs up and start to slip the clutch until it is just moving then hold it, wait for the lights to go out then slip your clutch until its all the way out. Too much and you will bog it and not enough you won't have any drive.

    I also leave it in neutral right up until the point the flaggy points to the lights, if you are already reving it then you will probably burn your clutch out.

  6. Considering you're racing – already done a few races - we can assume that you have the whole race situation sussed. All things being equal & the fact that you pass guys later on in the race maybe gearing your bike down just slightly on the final drive (ie: one tooth up on the rear sproket) will give your bike that little something extra off the line & outa the corners.

    Maybe speed in top gear is sacrificed, but a majority of all racebikes are geared down anyway, it’s just that your riding style might benefit from going that little bit lower than othes.

    Just a suggestion.
  7. RedNinja, I see lots of different techniques get the holeshot, especially on different bikes. I think practicing is the key and working out what is limiting you at the moment. Could you be getting more power to the ground? Is wheelstanding a problem (body position)? Is it getting moving that's the problem (125-2t style start)? Reaction time? Clutch control letting you down?

    I personally use the method described where I click it in gear and load the clutch up against the rear brake as the red flag is dropped, and use the rear brake release as my 1st reaction to the lights going out, then slip more clutch out progressively, still using the rear brake to keep the front down. I have been practicing speedway style starts however, as I think weight over the front is still my limiting factor.
  8. Practice, practice, practice.....

    when I run the junior practice days we spend about 1 hour on starts ie start with the lights, run 2 laps to let the clutches cool, then grid up again...

    its always interesting to see how much most of the kids improve after a couple of goes at it in succession.

    Things you should NEVER do..

    *count the seconds....it is the starters job to vary the time it takes for the lights to go out by up to 5 seconds.

    *sit there revving the bike ie open throttle, close throttle, open throttle....addinfinitum........bet more times than not you'll be on a close throttle moment when the lights go out
  9. Wow this is all such good advice and I am going to try the different techniques of front Vs. rear brake for starts.

    No wonder I have been so slow off the line, I was simply just taking off a one would on the street with more revs.

    I can realy see how this will make a difference.

    Am going to make some notes and go practice straight starts.

    Am actually a bit excited now on what difference this will make overall after I have practice these ideas and seeing what works...

    What a wonderful forum :grin:
  10. Dallas, if you wanna practice at calder one Fri night let me know, I reckon I could be tempted.......
  11. :LOL: :LOL: :LOL:

    You kidding Mark, you'd toast me on that GSXR of yours.

    Sigh it's times like these I wish I still had the Hayabusa ;)
  12. RN, we'll chat about this on Saturday!
  13. :LOL: :LOL: :LOL:

    You kidding Mark, you'd toast me on that GSXR of yours.

    Sigh it's times like these I wish I still had the Hayabusa ;)
  14. Mate, I'm not talking about going head to head for the win, just to have some fun............
  15. You don't need a million horsepower to get over the first 20m quickly, and that's usually what makes it either a good or a bad start in my experience.
  16. [Thread hijack] So both you guys are racing in the Hartwell Round 4 are you? Not sure I'd make the trip this time. Just wondering. [/Thread hijack]
  17. Rod, I will be doing the next round at Winton for the interclub, think it is October sometime.

    Yeah I know, was just having fun And yeah we should go check out the drags one Friday :)
  18. Not sure what it's like for motorcycles, since they're all mid-engined, but I had a lot of fun taking my 1.6L mid-engine sportscar (120hp Toyota MR2 MK1) and hosing 300+ horsepower modified V8 Commodores and Falcons in the 60' and 330' thanks to the MR2's superior launch capability. :LOL: Of course, they'd blow past me at the halfway mark and finish a whole second or two faster than me, but who cares! :grin:

    I'm sure you could still have a lot of fun launching the 250. :)
  19. Would you settle for me telling you what I would do so that you can do the opposite?

    During the warm-up/sighting lap, forget your grid position so that you create the maximum confusion and delay for the other racers. Once on the grid and waiting for the flag marshall start hyperventilating so that your visor fogs up and needs to be cracked open a fraction in the vain hope that you'll be able to see once you start moving. Once the red flag is shown put the bike into 1st and pray that it doesn't jam in neutral which will force you to engange and release the clutch whilst rocking the bike forwards and backwards so that you get a 10sec penalty for a false start. Once the red light's on assume that just because everyone elses bike is revving that yours is too even though you haven't actually used the throttle and when the light goes out release the clutch aggressively on that assumtion only to be surprised when it lurches to just about stall. Then massively overcompensate by reapplying clutch, revving to 10000rpm and rereleasing clutch even more aggressively so that you pop a nasty and unexpected wheelie that simultaneously induces an alarming sphincter oscillation and a high pitched wail that you're glad no one can hear over the engine noise. Back the throttle off a little, front wheel returns to earth abruptly and sends you careening into the rider beside you until you come to your senses and straighten up. Throttle back on, visor starts to clear so you can snap it shut, sphincter retightens, girlie scream forgotten, and you're ok to race! :shock:

    I enjoyed writing that and there are elements of truth to all of it although they've never happened to me all at once. I'm sure everyone racing has had some of it happen?

    If you figure out the recipe for a good start, please let me know :)
  20. :LOL: :LOL: :LOL: :LOL:


    You sure you weren't at the last interclub at PI, when a racer did just that and took out their partner beside them.... very sad. Wish I had it on video....

    Would have wanted to be in that household later that nite...