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Thread: Drag racing 101 [ This thread is 4 pages long: 1  2  3  4     Next» ]
smokinZX14


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posted October 03, 2010 12:31 PM        Edited By: smokinZX14 on 3 Oct 2010 20:07
Drag racing 101

I made this post sometime back in the Drag Bike Zone ... It was in answer to a new guy that wanted help with launching a zx14 ... I get PMs weekly on how to launch a zx14 , so t'm going to post it here in the zx14 zone for the zx14 guys ... Mods if you read this could you make this a sticky ?..


Drag Racing 101

..
Gearing ... What works for one does not work for everyone ... You are going to have to spend some money and try a few different gear ratios to find what works for you ...At stock wheel base i use 17/40 .. At 62+ inches i use 16/41 ..

Staging RPMs .. Again what works for one doesn't work for everybody ... As for me at stock wheel base staging at 3500 works for me ... At 62+ inches staging at 5500 works for me ..You will have to do some testing to find what works for your riding style ..

For you guys that are drag racing for the first time forget about reaction times .. Reaction times have nothing to do with your ET or MPH ..Your time doesn't start till you break the staging beams .. For now just go when you see green .. As you get better you can leave on the last yellow and improve your reaction times ..But for now you have many other things to work on ..

It's your race and nobody elses ...Pay no mind to the guy in the other lane .. You have pleanty to do so don't worry about the guy in the other lane ..

Time ... You have very little of it to do all the things you need to do ...In less than 1.5 seconds you have to get the clutch out , pin the throttle and while that is going on you need to think about wheel lift ( wheely ) .. In less than 4 seconds you need to make your first shift and tuck in tight ... 4 seconds is not a lot of time , take a stopwatch and click off 4 seconds and see for yourself.. See if you can even read the 5 things you need to do in 4 seconds muchless do it ..This is why seat time is so important .. With seat time you will be able to do these things without thinking about them .. What ? You think Jimmy Hendix popped out of his mothers belly playing purple haze ?

Leaving the starting line ... To be fast two things need to happen ..One get the clutch out , two pin the throttle ..I have the clutch out before i get to the tree and before i get to the 60 foot mark i have the throttle pinned .. Impossible you say ? Yes it's hard to do but NOT impossible .. I do this at stock wheel base with 60 foot times as low as 1.49 and NO wheelys..It comes down to timing , clutch release and throttle controll ..How do you learn this ? Again the answer is seat time ..You have to crawl before you can walk.. Tricks i use are knowing where you are on the track at any given time ... I use the tree and timmig cones as markers ...I know i have to release the clutch before i pass the tree and i have to have the throttle on on or before i get to the 60 foot cone ..To start off with just ride your bike like leaving a stop light on the street ...Look for the 60 foot cone , as you go by the cone make a note > is you clutch out ? First timers will find they have not released the clutch till way after the 60 foot mark .. I have seen guys not release the clutch till a 200 to 300 feet out ..But if you ask them they will tell you they had it out before the 60 foot mark .. This is why it is so important you know where you are at on the track at any given time .. Same goes for getting to full throttle ..I watch guys that don't twist the throttle on till the 330 cone but will tell me they had it on right out of the hole ..Have a buddy watch you and give you feed back on what you are doing or not doing ..This can be a big help and improve you ETs ..If you can get them to Video your runs , have the zoom in on your throttle hand and clutch hand .. Watch the videos and you will be suprized at what you see ..

Shift points .... For your best MPH you will need to shift just before you hit the RPM limiter .. On your tach that is 11200 .. The factory tach reads higher than what is reall doing .. 11200 is really about 10600 .. For guys just starting out i would get a shift light .. Reason why is you just don't have time to look at the tach in the few two gears .. After a lot of seat time you will not need the shift light , you will be able to shift by the sound and feel of the engine .. As you get better you will have pleanty of time to see your tach and hit your shift points ...

Tuck ..Tuck is very important for two reasons .. One is to get out of the wind and get good MPH .. Two to keep your weight to the front of the bike ..This helps big time for stopping wheelys ..One inch to far back changes the hole game ..You have to work on keeping as far forward as possible and remain there in the first 2 gears ...If you slide back just an inch in first gear you will cause a unwanted wheely ..If you wheely you will chop the throttle or at least have to trim off some of the power ...If you want to go fast you can NOT do that .. Here is the problem most new guys have , if you are pulling on the bars to keep your body forward you will not twist the throttle .. If you are in a wheely you will not twist the throttle .. You have to over come that problem .. Some guys use cut seats so not to slide back and that can help some guys .. I use my legs to pinch the sides of the bike as well as my arms to stay in place .. But you have to train yourself to pull forward and trust yourself to twist the throttle at the same time ..It's not easy but it can be done with seat time ..

Shifting ...Slow shifts will kill MPH ..Bumping the rev limiter will kill MPH and ETs ..Short shifting will kill MPH and ET..Your first shift come in that short first 4 seconds while you are trying to doing 4 other things.. If you are foot shifting you have to get your feet back on the pegs in less than 4 short seconds .. This will also upset the bike if done wrong causing a wheely ..For me what works is to place my feet in front of the pegs at while staging ..That way all i have to do is lift up and set them on the pegs with one smooth move .. If you put your feet on the ground behind the pegs you have to make two moves , one to pick them up and another to move them forward while fighting the pull of the bike leaving the line .. If you use an air shifter you don't have to worry about this ..Myself I rather press a button than foot shift but that is up to you ..

So you think you are done at the finish line ? No you are not .. When you get on the return road go over the run in you head ..What did i do right ? What did i do wrong ? Make a note of it before you get you time ticket ..If you wait to think about it you will forget what you just did and chances are you will repeat what you did right or wrong and you will not no why..

Smooth is fast ...Smooth runs are allways the fastest ... Last week i watched two turbo bikes that made passes one after the other .. One was a pro and we had a small wheely and kind of a jurky run , he was fighting the bike all the way down the track ..It looked fast and everyone was jumping up to get a look .. It was a fast pass of 7.84 .. The next guy was a semi pro rider and his pass looked slow , no wheely , nice and smooth right down the center of the track .. No body jumped up to take a look ...His time ? His time was a jaw dropping 7.42 ... Smooth is fast ....My best runs where so smooth i felt they where slow untill i got a look at the ticket ..
____________

Someone asked about braking at the end of the track , well you do have to stop at some point ..What i do at the end of the pass ( finish line ) is first dump the throttle , then gently add a little rear brake .. This shifts weight to the front of the bike , Now i slowly add front braking ... Once the speed gets below 150 MPH i pop up from my tuck and use my body as air Brakes ... You DON"T want to pop up at speeds over 150 unless you are Super Man or have G.I. Joe kung fu Grip ..

Crashing at the finish line ..
This has happened to a few races , grabbing to much brake at the finish line can cause your front tire to wash out and send you sliding at 150 MPH down the track ..This sometimes happens to Bracket races that are trying not to break out or run under their dail in .. In any case be easly on the front brakes .. Don't jab them on !! Ease into the front brake lever ..


____________
Smokin Performance Cycles..
Tampa Bay , FL .. Brocks Performance Dealer ..
Gen 2 ZX14R Best ET 8.43 , Best MPH 164.95

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zx-14lvr


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posted October 03, 2010 01:02 PM        
damn good write up smoking...and i dont even have a 14 to race
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zixxer14


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posted October 03, 2010 05:17 PM        
I'm going to go practice launches in front of my house now. Should keep the neighbors entertained. Thanks Smokin'.
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Shane661


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posted October 03, 2010 05:51 PM        
Nice, Lee.
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gilberjj


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posted October 03, 2010 06:07 PM        
quote:
I'm going to go practice launches in front of my house now. Should keep the neighbors entertained. Thanks Smokin'.



Nice writeup lee.
I would suggest practicing launches at the track because often times when u feel like u launched well it was actually slow. The track gives u results on every run that helps u improve with each run

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Flyboy


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posted October 03, 2010 09:01 PM        
Thanks Lee. I wish you had posted this prior the the Mojave mile which was last weekend. Got in 15 mile runs but none were smooth and I had trouble at the starting line. The mile ain't Bonneville. Many runs I couldn't figure which gear I was in because the low direct morning sun darken the instrument panel and the numbers couldn't be read. Then I start yelling out loud 2nd, 3th, 4th etc. The mile was over before I knew it. I'm going to print out drag racing 101 and use it when I go back in April. Thanks for helping me and the others--
Bill
____________
'There's more living in five minutes flat-out on a bike than some men have in an entire life'.
"The World's Fastest Indian"

One fast red ZX-14,
Three World and four National Land Speed Records,
One faster red and white Cessna Turbo 210

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smokinZX14


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posted October 03, 2010 09:12 PM        
quote:
Thanks Lee. I wish you had posted this prior the the Mojave mile which was last weekend. Got in 15 mile runs but none were smooth and I had trouble at the starting line. The mile ain't Bonneville. Many runs I couldn't figure which gear I was in because the low direct morning sun darken the instrument panel and the numbers couldn't be read. Then I start yelling out loud 2nd, 3th, 4th etc. The mile was over before I knew it. I'm going to print out drag racing 101 and use it when I go back in April. Thanks for helping me and the others--
Bill
Thank you , and you have a PM Bill ..
____________
Smokin Performance Cycles..
Tampa Bay , FL .. Brocks Performance Dealer ..
Gen 2 ZX14R Best ET 8.43 , Best MPH 164.95

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smokinZX14


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posted October 04, 2010 02:26 PM        
The Mods have made this thread a sticky .. Feel free to ask any questions you have about drag racing ..Also if you have any tips to help new drag racers get started or tips to help lower ETs please post up .. If i can't answer your questions we have other skilled riders that can ... Remember there is no stupid question , so ask away ..
____________
Smokin Performance Cycles..
Tampa Bay , FL .. Brocks Performance Dealer ..
Gen 2 ZX14R Best ET 8.43 , Best MPH 164.95

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biggmoinc


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Posts: 747
posted October 04, 2010 04:24 PM        
Remember there is no stupid question , so ask away ..


Can i borrow ur bike, lol, j/k, awesome right up, I already know my problem is Getting the clutch out, locking the throttle, seat position, no air shifter, poor tuck, what the hell is my shift point rpm, lol, U get the message!
____________
07 ZX14 bmc filter, muzzy m14, 16/44,66",auto shift, 6'3, 204lbs/1.54/3.99/6.03@120/7.8/9.32@147
biggmo@aol.com

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gilberjj


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posted October 04, 2010 05:07 PM        
Oooohhhhhh, the coveted sticky.... very nice Lee
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CrotchRocket


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posted October 04, 2010 07:19 PM        
I hear ya Lee...
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Flyboy


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posted October 04, 2010 08:51 PM        
It was a shame we have some of the best drag* guys in the "World" here on this site and don't have a primer for those that want to learn. Way to go Lee for taking the initiative--

Possibly an addition would be on equipment that might help one go faster on the strip. The item you sent me was great. I've now hear of a PC shifter and a gas shifter. How do they work? Which one is better?

*PS: when I say "drag guys", I mean the guys/girls that race their bikes at the drag strips. Not the other kind--
____________
'There's more living in five minutes flat-out on a bike than some men have in an entire life'.
"The World's Fastest Indian"

One fast red ZX-14,
Three World and four National Land Speed Records,
One faster red and white Cessna Turbo 210

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smokinZX14


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posted October 04, 2010 10:09 PM        Edited By: smokinZX14 on 5 Oct 2010 05:25
Drag racing 102 for the zx14.
Lowering your bike for faster ETs

Lowering will lower the center of gravity of your zx14 , doing so will improve your 60 foot times and lower your over all ETs ... A tenth off your 60 foot ET will as a rule lower your over all ET by 2 tenths ..

Let start with the front end , it's freebee and easy to do .. I use a engine hoist to hold the front end while i loosen one front fork tube at a time .. Run a strap around the upper tripple tree and hook to the engine hoist ... Rase the bike just a bit to releave presurre of the front forks .. One fork at a time loosen all four bolts .. Grab the fork tube with your hands and twist .. As you twist push up .. I set mine at 3/4 of an inch .. The top of the fork tube will be up from the tripple tree 3/4 of an inch Tighten the four bolts and repeat the other side .. Make sure both are set at 3/4 of an inch .. You can go more than 3/4 of an inch but i would not , i'd rather be one the safe side ..

Strapping the front end
Lower the front 3/4 of an inch will let your use a strap and get your bike to its lowest point ... When strapping the front end ( track only ) Pull the strap till the front fender is a 1/4 of an inch off of the upper cowl ..This is as low as you need , any more and you could hit the fender and damage it by hitting the upper cowling ..

Lowering the rear
You can use a set of 3 hole links or adjustable ones .. Either will work just fine ...I like the adjustable ones myself so i can fine tune how low i can go .. Weighing in at 150 pounds i can go much lower than a guy weighing 200 pounds ...Things to watch out for are the tire rubbing the undertail ... If to low it can rub a hole in the under tail and eat your ECU wiring .. Some have found this out the hard way .. I have mine set as low as i can go and it will just barely rubs ... I made a plate to hold the tag and that plate goes about 10 to 12 inches back under the under tail ..This plate will get a shinny spot where my tire rubs under hard launches but my under tail sees no damage.. The steel plate takes the hit ..

Now that you have dropped your bike in the weeds there is one other BIG danger ( your oil pan )...I can't count the number of oil pans busted on the street and drag strip with lowered bikes ..Coming down off a wheely or just hitting a high spot on the road could knock a big hole in your oil pan ..I have never had this problem myself but i have ground off some of my oil pan drain bolt ..My lighter weight keeps me from slamming down hard and wacking the pan and drain bolt ...There are a few ways to fix this problem .. If you are a light guy like me you can get a thinner drain bolt .. If you are a heavy weight you can get a cut down pan that relocates the drain plug to the side or rear of the pan .. I must warn you , if you bust your pan you may find yourself flat on the ground with a rashed up motorcycle ..I have seen 3 people go down because of this and it's never pretty..

Rear shock settings
Set your shock .. Turn in both upper and lower adjuster scews till seated ( clockwise ) ...Now turn counter clockwise out 1/4 of a turn ... This setting will work for guys from 125 pounds to 175 pounds .. I have seen it work for guys up to 190 but it starts getting a little to touchy at that weight .. If you weigh over 190 pounds start thinking about a revalved shock and spring ..


Using your strap as a tunning aid ..
If you have problems hooking your bike you can loosen your strap .. By running the strap looser it will cause the bike to transfer more weight to the rear tire helping you to hook up .. Becarefull because this will cause the bike to wheely more .I'll take a wheely over spinning anyday ..
. If you spin the race is over ... If you wheely you can trim the throttle and ride it out and not blow off a run .


Now that your are strapped and lowered get to the track and work on your 60 foot times .. You will find you can leave harder with less wheelys and in turn you can add more power sooner ..But remember you are not Superman.. Don't go out and wack the throttle full on thinking that lowering and strapping your bike fixed all your problems .. Take it easy till you get used to your new set up , It will take a little seat time with your new mods before you can use them to their fullest ..

____________
Smokin Performance Cycles..
Tampa Bay , FL .. Brocks Performance Dealer ..
Gen 2 ZX14R Best ET 8.43 , Best MPH 164.95

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smokinZX14


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posted October 04, 2010 10:33 PM        
quote:
It was a shame we have some of the best drag* guys in the "World" here on this site and don't have a primer for those that want to learn. Way to go Lee for taking the initiative--

Possibly an addition would be on equipment that might help one go faster on the strip. The item you sent me was great. I've now hear of a PC shifter and a gas shifter. How do they work? Which one is better?

*PS: when I say "drag guys", I mean the guys/girls that race their bikes at the drag strips. Not the other kind--
Thanks Flyboy .. I will work on air shifters shortly as well as a few other items ..
____________
Smokin Performance Cycles..
Tampa Bay , FL .. Brocks Performance Dealer ..
Gen 2 ZX14R Best ET 8.43 , Best MPH 164.95

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01smokes


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posted October 04, 2010 11:16 PM        
hey what do you think a respectable 60' time at SWB just slammed
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smokinZX14


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posted October 05, 2010 12:48 PM        
quote:
hey what do you think a respectable 60' time at SWB just slammed
strapped ? lowered and strapped anything in the mid to low 1.50s is flying ..Not strapped 1.60s maybe a bit better ..
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Smokin Performance Cycles..
Tampa Bay , FL .. Brocks Performance Dealer ..
Gen 2 ZX14R Best ET 8.43 , Best MPH 164.95

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01smokes


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posted October 05, 2010 12:52 PM        
Hell ya so a 1.52 is not to bad lol
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Shane661


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posted October 05, 2010 04:10 PM        Edited By: Shane661 on 5 Oct 2010 23:16
Some tips I'd like to add:

1) Don't fall into the trap of continually raising launch rpm to improve your 60 foots. Remember, you need to get the throttle open quickly. I know quite a few guys who always pin it in on the hit. They use the clutch to modulate the power.

2) Your 330' # is more important to your ET than the 60' is. You can have a great 60', but a lousy 330'...and your ET will suffer.

3) When you leave the line, you need to snap the clutch out (not pop it, just snap it out in the initial hit). Getting the bike moving quickly in the first few feet is important. It takes power to move the bike quickly from a stop, and the clutch is what transmits that power.

4) If you are tall or big and footshifting, watch for wheelies when you go to make the 1-2 shift. As you will have to sit up a bit to shift, you will raise the CG of the bike, and that can quickly lead to a wheelie that you have to back out of. For that reason alone, I suggest an air shifter if you have this issue. It will allow you to keep the bike down, and shifting won't upset the chassis...moving around on the bike can lead to wheelspin.

Shane

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Flyboy


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posted October 05, 2010 07:09 PM        
Thanks guys but maybe you can back up a moment. When is the first measurement? What does that tell you?What is your second measurement and what does that tell you? Third? What gears are used for the quarter mile, 1st, 2nd, 3rd? What are the most common mistakes made by rookies? Does it help one to practice "launches" on a deserted street near your hometown? If you only have a stock bike what class are you in? How many classes are there for the 14 as an example? Can one flip over their 14 on a launch like the Busa picture thats been going around for years?

Thanks
Bill
____________
'There's more living in five minutes flat-out on a bike than some men have in an entire life'.
"The World's Fastest Indian"

One fast red ZX-14,
Three World and four National Land Speed Records,
One faster red and white Cessna Turbo 210

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smokinZX14


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posted October 05, 2010 08:26 PM        Edited By: smokinZX14 on 6 Oct 2010 03:38
quote:
Thanks guys but maybe you can back up a moment. When is the first measurement? What does that tell you?What is your second measurement and what does that tell you? Third? What gears are used for the quarter mile, 1st, 2nd, 3rd? What are the most common mistakes made by rookies? Does it help one to practice "launches" on a deserted street near your hometown? If you only have a stock bike what class are you in? How many classes are there for the 14 as an example? Can one flip over their 14 on a launch like the Busa picture thats been going around for years?

Thanks
Bill
62 inch wheel base i use 16/41 sprockets , i will use 5 gears running the 1/4 mile and 4 gears in the 1/8 mile..

At stock wheel base i use 17/40 sprockets , i will use 4 gears in the 1/4 mile and 3 gears in the 1/8 mile ..

( "Does it help one to practice "launches" on a deserted street near your hometown?")

In a word NO .. The two are totally different .. If you street race practice on the street..
If you race at the drag strip you need to practice on the drag strip .. When you have years of doing both you will be able to do both ..

(" What are the most common mistakes made by rookies? ")

Most common mistake at the drag strip are made by guys that have never been to the strip, They try to launch like the do on the street .. Two things can happen , One they flip the bike right on the starting line , Two they leave to hard on a street type tire with too much air in the tire and spin and then low side . Funny part is you can do number one and number two at the same time ... Like i said above the street is NOT the track ..I have added a video below that shows what can happen with a street tire and a rookie ..If the man had not hit the tree he would have low sided.. He was going down either way .. I added few other videos so you could see what happens is so fast you have little time to deal with the problem ..


(" If you only have a stock bike what class are you in? How many classes are there for the 14 as an example? ")

Stock bike you really only have one class... ET Street ( Bracket racing ) ... A modified zx14 can be made to fit many classes .. SS , Super Street , Prostreet , Street ET , Pro ET , Street fighter.... ect.... Motorcycle Racing classes change from track to track can be very different .. You need to talk to your local track for classes and see if you fit ..


("Can one flip over their 14 on a launch like the Busa picture thats been going around for years?")
Oh hell yes , you can flip a Honda 125 ... Hell you can loop a honda 70 , just ask me ...lol ..













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Smokin Performance Cycles..
Tampa Bay , FL .. Brocks Performance Dealer ..
Gen 2 ZX14R Best ET 8.43 , Best MPH 164.95

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saltwheels east


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Posts: 46
posted October 06, 2010 07:43 AM        
smokin,

great posts. keep up the keystrokes.

i ran a harley kneedragger a couple seasons in
the mid '80s. mostly at firebird.


franey

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franey

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CrotchRocket


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Bracket Racing with Betsy
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posted October 06, 2010 11:51 AM        
quote:
3) When you leave the line, you need to snap the clutch out (not pop it, just snap it out in the initial hit). Getting the bike moving quickly in the first few feet is important. It takes power to move the bike quickly from a stop, and the clutch is what transmits that power.



" The Snap 'N Slide "


Snap the clutch 3/4's of the way out & Slide the rest as you lock the throttle on !!!

____________
Jason Miller StreetBike Seminars

*****DragRacers do it better, because they dont cut Corners*****

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gilberjj


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posted October 09, 2010 04:29 PM        
quote:
quote:
3) When you leave the line, you need to snap the clutch out (not pop it, just snap it out in the initial hit). Getting the bike moving quickly in the first few feet is important. It takes power to move the bike quickly from a stop, and the clutch is what transmits that power.



" The Snap 'N Slide "


Snap the clutch 3/4's of the way out & Slide the rest as you lock the throttle on !!!



Here's some video's I found of the snap and slide




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smokinZX14


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posted October 09, 2010 05:55 PM        
Good find gilberjj , thanks ...

____________
Smokin Performance Cycles..
Tampa Bay , FL .. Brocks Performance Dealer ..
Gen 2 ZX14R Best ET 8.43 , Best MPH 164.95

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say-what-u-want


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posted October 10, 2010 07:39 AM        
nice but want more plz lol
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it's all good(laugh now cry later fools)

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