From street bikes to two-strokes, 600cc sportsbikes to supermotos, different bikes require different techniques. Whatever you ride, get the best from your bike with the help of the finest riders on the planet
The perfect launch
By Gene Thomason
Pro drag racer Thomason bagged six championships and over 30 event wins working his way up to the V-Rod Destroyer he currently campaigns. Here's how to leave traffic lights
"Getting the perfect launch out of the Destroyer is as much about science as technique," explains Thomason of the V-Rod-based drag monster he races. "I'm always looking at the data from the computer to see how much the clutch is slipping or if the motor's bogged down. The main factors affecting grip are temperature and the condition of the rubber on the track – the less grip there is, the lower rpm you launch at and the lower the spring pressures in the clutch.
"The perfect launch is the right combination of the tyre pressure, clutch set-up and launch rpm – you want to be able to use as many rpm as you can without spinning the tyre. Get it right and the Destroyer will launch twice as hard as any street bike on the market.
"At production level drag racing is about doing the best you can as a rider given the limitations of the bike. The other extreme, top fuel, is getting the bike to go as fast as possible with engineering – the rider has to bring his level up to match the bike. Top fuel bikes use a centrifugal style clutch so there’s no lever; you just whack the throttle open."
Posted: 17/03/2012 at 22:11
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