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Thread: The launch.....

  1. #1
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    Default The launch.....

    I am having a tough time making a good launch I think it is fear of going over more than anything so I am tentative. Can the senior racers give me a couple points to focus on at the line? Next race Wednesday....

    1980 GS850G
    1983 GS1100e
    82\83 1100e Frankenbike
    1980 GS1260
    Previous 65 Suzuki 80 Scrambler, 76 KZ900 bought new and survived, 02 GSF1200S, 81 GS1100e will soon fulfill its dream.

  2. #2
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    I keep the rpm steady then release the clutch at the same speed I add the throttle so both are (clutch all the way out and throttle all the way open) at the same time Usually by the 60' mark.
    What rpm you launch at is dependent upon what your chassis set up can handle before it starts coming up. A perfect launch IMO is the front tire 1" to 6" inches off the ground.
    My stable
    84 GSX1100EFG-10.62 @ 125 mph 64'' W/B.
    85 GS1150-9.72@146mph stock W/B.
    87 GSXR750-dragbike 9.18@139.92mph/5.68@118mph.
    98 Bandit 1200-9.38@146mph/6.02@121mph.
    oo Suzuki 1425cc full moly chassis car tire dragbike still testing
    02 Bandit 1200 under construction.
    06 GSXR750
    00 Honda elite 80

  3. #3
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    Mar 2017
    Location
    Monterrey N.L. Mexico
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    Default

    Lots of variables. Here's my $0.02 assuming you're on a street bike with street rubber and bracket racing.

    - No less than 18psi in a tubeless street tire and I wouldn't run more than 24psi
    - Set your shock springs stiffer rather than softer (a little harder to launch, but safer at the end of the track)
    - Drive around the water box and back into it until your rear tire is wet, then roll out of it a few inches and do a short 2nd gear burnout just in front of the water. You don't want your front tire treads dripping water in front of the rear or your rear soaking the inside of the render only to dip down as you stage
    - Ask someone to watch you do a burnout and count how many seconds it takes for the tire to start smoking then add 3 seconds to that as you do a mental count down on future burnouts.
    - Lean forward, lift your feet and drive out of the burnout a few feet as you pull the clutch in and coast to the line. This helps prepare you mentally for the launch
    - Do not do a dry hop. It serves no purpose on a street bike
    - Don't line up in the groove unless you're having trouble with spinning. Even then I'd try a longer burnout if I was spinning before moving into the groove as the grove is usually too sticky for a non-wheelie bar bike
    - Make a note of a distinct mark on the starting line so that you always line up in the same spot
    - Always look as far down the track as you can as you roll up to the beams. It's like shooting a rifle, the straighter you are at the start line the better
    - Try both lanes during time trials, you never know which one you'll have to race in and if your competitors know you have a favorite they will stick you in the other one if they can
    - I always found that having my clutch lever "high" made it easier to control clutch release on a non-wheeler bar bike. On a slick & bar bike I ran it low so that the clutch engaged as soon as I released my grip, but that is too abrupt for a street bike
    - Always launch with your right elbow high enough that when it you are at WOT both your elbows are at the same height. Get's you to WOT faster and makes you go straighter
    - Launch with your left foot on the peg ready to shift to second and you right foot on the ground. Get that right foot on the peg and ready to use the rear brake if necessary.
    - Don't dangle you're legs! Get on the pegs and lean forward as soon as you can. You should be tucked in like a road racer with your elbows tucked in and leaning forward by the 60' mark.
    - Pick a launch RPM that wont stall and won't smoke your clutch, maybe 4000rpm?. Get used to it and know where it is by feel and sound, not what your tach says. You haven't got time to look at a tach on the line. My most consistent 10 second bracket bike didn't have a tach or a shift light, but the light would have been nice
    - Get your right elbow into position before you break the first beam and then get your RPM's to launch level before you break the second beam
    - Always best to shallow stage on a street bike as they tend to creep at times. Slows your reaction time a bit, but gets you a lower ETA if you're after bragging rights
    - Assuming you are running against a second bike watch his stage lights. As soon as they are both on focus on the last yellow bulb on your side of the tree and nothing else
    - As you see the last yellow light coming on start the clutch out, throttle on process. Do not anticipate the last yellow coming one by looking at the second last yellow light or you will be red lighting a lot
    - There is a fine line between a bog and a wheel stand, but because you aren't launching in the groove and you haven't blistered your tire with a 30 second burnout you can expect a bit of wheel spin instead of a bog or a wheelie if all goes well. You don't want to light the tire up, in fact you shouldn't even notice that it happened
    - Put a strip or two of white shoe polish on your rear wheel and ask a friend to video the launch. Watch it later to see how much you did or didn't spin. Half to a full turn is perfect
    - It you do spin out during time trials don't be a hero and stay in it at all costs, just back out of it and try again next time
    - I find it is much easier to slip my clutch, or roll the throttle off for a split second to recover from a spin than it is to do the same things in order to get out of a wheel stand
    - Make sure your clutch is properly set. You can do this on some bikes by removing the oil filler cap and sticking your finger in there (engine off!) to feel the point at which the pressure plate starts to move, or by feeling for free play on the lever that comes out of your clutch cover. At that point your clutch lever should only be slightly closed. I have seen many guys riding around with clutch cables that are way to loose because they like the way it feels on their hand, not too stiff LOL!. Then they wonder why they can't find neutral, their bikes creep when they bring up the revs and their transmissions get chewed up, but worst of all it makes the plates warp prematurely. You want the lever to move only about 1/8" to 1/4" towards the bar before the clutch starts to disengage, but never less as too tight will fry your clutch in one pass
    - Make sure you have a good clutch pack and cable or nothing will work well
    - Watch the guys that make it to the final round most often. These are the guys that have it all figured out. Don't get distracted my the guys that run fastest, but seldom make it to the final round. So are great riders on inconsistent bikes, but usually they are all about going fast and less about going rounds.
    The more you can automate your race procedure from burnout to traps the easier it will be for you to launch your bike as it will be the only thing you bee to worry about as the last yellow light comes on. Once launching becomes second nature you will find yourself staging at a higher RPM and releasing the clutch a little more aggressively, but until then consistency is the most important thing
    - If you can find a patch of deserted street go practice launching. Practice makes perfect

    Let us know how it goes and ask any questions you want.
    Last edited by el Camexican; 05-18-2017 at 03:19 AM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by el Camexican View Post
    Lots of variables. Here's my $0.02 assuming you're on a street bike with street rubber and bracket racing.

    - No less than 18psi in a tubeless street tire and I wouldn't run more than 24psi
    - Set your shock springs stiffer rather than softer (a little harder to launch, but safer at the end of the track)
    - Drive around the water box and back into it until your rear tire is wet, then roll out of it a few inches and do a short 2nd gear burnout just in front of the water. You don't want your front tire treads dripping water in front of the rear or your rear soaking the inside of the render only to dip down as you stage
    - Ask someone to watch you do a burnout and count how many seconds it takes for the tire to start smoking then add 3 seconds to that as you do a mental count down on future burnouts.
    - Lean forward, lift your feet and drive out of the burnout a few feet as you pull the clutch in and coast to the line. This helps prepare you mentally for the launch
    - Do not do a dry hop. It serves no purpose on a street bike
    - Don't line up in the groove unless you're having trouble with spinning. Even then I'd try a longer burnout if I was spinning before moving into the groove as the grove is usually too sticky for a non-wheelie bar bike
    - Make a note of a distinct mark on the starting line so that you always line up in the same spot
    - Always look as far down the track as you can as you roll up to the beams. It's like shooting a rifle, the straighter you are at the start line the better
    - Try both lanes during time trials, you never know which one you'll have to race in and if your competitors know you have a favorite they will stick you in the other one if they can
    - I always found that having my clutch lever "high" made it easier to control clutch release on a non-wheeler bar bike. On a slick & bar bike I ran it low so that the clutch engaged as soon as I released my grip, but that is too abrupt for a street bike
    - Always launch with your right elbow high enough that when it you are at WOT both your elbows are at the same height. Get's you to WOT faster and makes you go straighter
    - Launch with your left foot on the peg ready to shift to second and you right foot on the ground. Get that right foot on the peg and ready to use the rear brake if necessary.
    - Don't dangle you're legs! Get on the pegs and lean forward as soon as you can. You should be tucked in like a road racer with your elbows tucked in and leaning forward by the 60' mark.
    - Pick a launch RPM that wont stall and won't smoke your clutch, maybe 4000rpm?. Get used to it and know where it is by feel and sound, not what your tach says. You haven't got time to look at a tach on the line. My most consistent 10 second bracket bike didn't have a tach or a shift light, but the light would have been nice
    - Get your right elbow into position before you break the first beam and then get your RPM's to launch level before you break the second beam
    - Always best to shallow stage on a street bike as they tend to creep at times. Slows your reaction time a bit, but gets you a lower ETA if you're after bragging rights
    - Assuming you are running against a second bike watch his stage lights. As soon as they are both on focus on the last yellow bulb on your side of the tree and nothing else
    - As you see the last yellow light coming on start the clutch out, throttle on process. Do not anticipate the last yellow coming one by looking at the second last yellow light or you will be red lighting a lot
    - There is a fine line between a bog and a wheel stand, but because you aren't launching in the groove and you haven't blistered your tire with a 30 second burnout you can expect a bit of wheel spin instead of a bog or a wheelie if all goes well. You don't want to light the tire up, in fact you shouldn't even notice that it happened
    - Put a strip or two of white shoe polish on your rear wheel and ask a friend to video the launch. Watch it later to see how much you did or didn't spin. Half to a full turn is perfect
    - It you do spin out during time trials don't be a hero and stay in it at all costs, just back out of it and try again next time
    - I find it is much easier to slip my clutch, or roll the throttle off for a split second to recover from a spin than it is to do the same things in order to get out of a wheel stand
    - Make sure your clutch is properly set. You can do this on some bikes by removing the oil filler cap and sticking your finger in there (engine off!) to feel the point at which the pressure plate starts to move, or by feeling for free play on the lever that comes out of your clutch cover. At that point your clutch lever should only be slightly closed. I have seen many guys riding around with clutch cables that are way to loose because they like the way it feels on their hand, not too stiff LOL!. Then they wonder why they can't find neutral, their bikes creep when they bring up the revs and their transmissions get chewed up, but worst of all it makes the plates warp prematurely. You want the lever to move only about 1/8" to 1/4" towards the bar before the clutch starts to disengage, but never less as too tight will fry your clutch in one pass
    - Make sure you have a good clutch pack and cable or nothing will work well
    - Watch the guys that make it to the final round most often. These are the guys that have it all figured out. Don't get distracted my the guys that run fastest, but seldom make it to the final round. So are great riders on inconsistent bikes, but usually they are all about going fast and less about going rounds.
    The more you can automate your race procedure from burnout to traps the easier it will be for you to launch your bike as it will be the only thing you bee to worry about as the last yellow light comes on. Once launching becomes second nature you will find yourself staging at a higher RPM and releasing the clutch a little more aggressively, but until then consistency is the most important thing
    - If you can find a patch of deserted street go practice launching. Practice makes perfect

    Let us know how it goes and ask any questions you want.


    All great advice. Except for three things that I do different. I do my burnout in 3rd gear as most racers do. I always do a practice launch before pulling up to the line. And I always have both feet on the ground when launching the bike.
    Just because I do it my way does not make it the right way for you. Oh make that 4 things as I am a DEEP staging mofo.
    Here is a video of my first time racing my new to me 84 GS1150

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=XM5C_gmdj-s
    Last edited by stetracer; 05-18-2017 at 10:18 AM.
    My stable
    84 GSX1100EFG-10.62 @ 125 mph 64'' W/B.
    85 GS1150-9.72@146mph stock W/B.
    87 GSXR750-dragbike 9.18@139.92mph/5.68@118mph.
    98 Bandit 1200-9.38@146mph/6.02@121mph.
    oo Suzuki 1425cc full moly chassis car tire dragbike still testing
    02 Bandit 1200 under construction.
    06 GSXR750
    00 Honda elite 80

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Abilene Texas
    Posts
    2,701

    Default

    If your like me and have to wait a long time in the staging lanes to make a few runs I never really get into the "Mind" groove. Now if I'm the first guy ready to go in the staging lane when they say the track is open I can get a few back to back single runs in cause everybody else is still setting up in the pits. I can really focus on my launches and make quick adjustments before the car guys oil down the track and I become a baked potato.

    This is at T&T, I know it's harder on race day cause you only get a few time trails to find that sweet spot.
    Last edited by RacingJake; 05-18-2017 at 02:24 PM.
    1166cc 1/8 ET 6.09@111.88
    1166cc on NOS, 1/8 ET 5.70@122.85
    1395cc 1/8 ET 6.0051@114.39
    1395cc on NOS, 1/8 ET 5.71@113.98 "With a broken wrist pin too"
    01 Sporty 1/8 ET 7.70@92.28, 1/4 ET 12.03@111.82

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Monterrey N.L. Mexico
    Posts
    26

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by stetracer View Post
    All great advice. Except for three things that I do different. I do my burnout in 3rd gear as most racers do. I always do a practice launch before pulling up to the line. And I always have both feet on the ground when launching the bike.
    Just because I do it my way does not make it the right way for you. Oh make that 4 things as I am a DEEP staging mofo.
    Here is a video of my first time racing my new to me 84 GS1150

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=XM5C_gmdj-s
    I guess weíll have to line up and settle this! LOL! What did you run on that pass?

    My glory days were in the late 80ís and early 90ís with just a bit of heads up night time over the past few years, so some things may have changed since then.

    Before expanding on this, let me be clear that my suggestions were strictly for a beginner running street bikes on street rubber as I assume defines the OP . When I was racing my K3 GSXR I would do a 3 second (minimal smoke) burnout, line up in the groove and slip the clutch through second gear if I had to, but Iíd never suggest that to someone learning the game.

    I stopped doing dry hops when a Goodyear rep told me I was removing the best rubber on the tire and Iíve always done my burnouts in 2nd. Never met anyone who didnít beside the new guys using first gear until someone told them not to.

    A dry hop is get that itís a great way to get psyched for a launch, but itís hard on the bike in every sense, almost like making two passes, so I only do it if Iím on a bike Iím not familiar with.

    Lots of guys launch feet down. I always did it on drag bikes with air shifters, but on a street bike I always wanted to be ready for second gear as soon as I launched and got the right foot over the rear brake ASAP reduce the fear factor. I always found that short shifting to second was the key to a quick run, guys that wrung the motors out way past the torque peak while getting ready to shift seemed to always be a little slower on the same bike. A relatively stock GS1100 does not need to be screamed to get the best number.

    Oh, nice bike! Iíve always liked yellow!

    bikepics-2257443-984[1].jpg

  7. #7
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    IMG_0256.JPG
    Quote Originally Posted by el Camexican View Post
    I guess we’ll have to line up and settle this! LOL! What did you run on that pass?

    My glory days were in the late 80’s and early 90’s with just a bit of heads up night time over the past few years, so some things may have changed since then.

    Before expanding on this, let me be clear that my suggestions were strictly for a beginner running street bikes on street rubber as I assume defines the OP . When I was racing my K3 GSXR I would do a 3 second (minimal smoke) burnout, line up in the groove and slip the clutch through second gear if I had to, but I’d never suggest that to someone learning the game.

    I stopped doing dry hops when a Goodyear rep told me I was removing the best rubber on the tire and I’ve always done my burnouts in 2nd. Never met anyone who didn’t beside the new guys using first gear until someone told them not to.

    A dry hop is get that it’s a great way to get psyched for a launch, but it’s hard on the bike in every sense, almost like making two passes, so I only do it if I’m on a bike I’m not familiar with.

    Lots of guys launch feet down. I always did it on drag bikes with air shifters, but on a street bike I always wanted to be ready for second gear as soon as I launched and got the right foot over the rear brake ASAP reduce the fear factor. I always found that short shifting to second was the key to a quick run, guys that wrung the motors out way past the torque peak while getting ready to shift seemed to always be a little slower on the same bike. A relatively stock GS1100 does not need to be screamed to get the best number.

    Oh, nice bike! I’ve always liked yellow!

    bikepics-2257443-984[1].jpg
    The most important thing is to do the same thing every time. What ever your procedure is
    In the video I was dialed in at 10.90.Since then I installed a air shifter and I got it down to low 10.60's its basically a stock motor bike. The Bandit my son was on runs low 9's. He got some wheel hop and didn't get the tire as hot as he should have. He did his burnout in 2nd gear. There is no problem with doing it in 2nd gear you just have to rev the motor to a higher rpm to get enough wheel speed than you do in 3rd gear.
    I won enough that weekend to race for free that weekend.
    I don't know if you want a piece of me. In that pic I put Jermey Teasley on the trailer.
    Last edited by stetracer; 05-20-2017 at 06:41 PM.
    My stable
    84 GSX1100EFG-10.62 @ 125 mph 64'' W/B.
    85 GS1150-9.72@146mph stock W/B.
    87 GSXR750-dragbike 9.18@139.92mph/5.68@118mph.
    98 Bandit 1200-9.38@146mph/6.02@121mph.
    oo Suzuki 1425cc full moly chassis car tire dragbike still testing
    02 Bandit 1200 under construction.
    06 GSXR750
    00 Honda elite 80

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Maple Valley, WA
    Posts
    1,704

    Default

    I tweaked my Lockup springs and 2-step. a LOT better now. Looking for big ET improvements 5/31. Got my CO2 shifter coming as well. Hoping to throw the clutch and go... Also cut 2 fingers worth from the clutch lever, helped a lot.
    Last edited by bobgroger; 05-23-2017 at 01:38 AM.

    1980 GS850G
    1983 GS1100e
    82\83 1100e Frankenbike
    1980 GS1260
    Previous 65 Suzuki 80 Scrambler, 76 KZ900 bought new and survived, 02 GSF1200S, 81 GS1100e will soon fulfill its dream.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Abilene Texas
    Posts
    2,701

    Default

    So, is this a bar bike ?
    1166cc 1/8 ET 6.09@111.88
    1166cc on NOS, 1/8 ET 5.70@122.85
    1395cc 1/8 ET 6.0051@114.39
    1395cc on NOS, 1/8 ET 5.71@113.98 "With a broken wrist pin too"
    01 Sporty 1/8 ET 7.70@92.28, 1/4 ET 12.03@111.82

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Maple Valley, WA
    Posts
    1,704

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RacingJake View Post
    So, is this a bar bike ?
    No, it really is a street bike with a 190 tire. 60" WB.

    1980 GS850G
    1983 GS1100e
    82\83 1100e Frankenbike
    1980 GS1260
    Previous 65 Suzuki 80 Scrambler, 76 KZ900 bought new and survived, 02 GSF1200S, 81 GS1100e will soon fulfill its dream.

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