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Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming:
"WOW, what a ride !!!"

Racing Tips


The Gate

My racing tip is about the gate, at the gate and leaving the gate. I am no expert but here are my thoughts. Some came from more experienced racer friends, some came from books or DVD’s, some came from just racin’.

A good start is key for many reasons. There are 3 basic kinds of start procedures.

  • Flag start.
  • Rubber band start.
  • Gated start.
  1. Practice the start in practice; Whichever ever type of start you encounter, practice leaving the line a few times during the practice session. Get your weight way forward, stand on your tippy toes and concentrate, but don’t get in a trance. Keep your body mass centered. Relax. Your chin should be over the crossbar. If your front wheel is not in a starter’s trench, try and get a slight roll forward before you launch. You want to break the rear tire loose at first then slide your butt back as you catch 2nd or 3d gear. If you drag a boot or move your head to the side, you’ll drift, bring both feet up at the same time if possible.
  2. Rubber band; I focus on the cord, but my peripheral vision “sees” the other front wheels at the line or if I line up close to the guy pulling the trigger, I sometimes watch his body/hand movement. I usually start toward the center of the field. Within a second or two of leaving the starting line I quit the up and down revving and hold her almost wide-open, ever-so-slightly creeping forward.
  3. Gates; I pick my general spot then look for a gate within a few feet that doesn’t stick up quite as high as the others. I believe this gate will hit the ground sooner and so I will leave sooner.
  4. Flag; Apply all the above but focus on the starter and his arm. He is easy prey to watch. Just don’t get caught sleeping.

Last but not least;
Everyone has there set way to start. These are my basic ways. Get to the gate early, don’t loose out on the “best spot”. Don’t be asleep but also be relaxed. If you have one of those competitors that seems “arrogant and/or aggressive”, and the gate is semi-full, line up right next to him if he’s close to your “spot”. He’ll usually become “unnerved” more than you.

Plan on a crowd in turn one, if you can keep her pinned for a split second longer you’ll likely shoot ahead of the notorious traffic jamb and be in the clear. Use both front and rear brakes at the last second. Trust your tires. Come out of turn one square and pinned. You may surprise yourself. Good luck!

Hollywood 45Q


Tire Sizes and Conversion Chart

There are basically three different systems of tire description: Inch system (You are probably familiar with it as tire size readings like 5.00 - 16 or 4.50/S/18), the Alphanumeric System (for example: MT 90-16) and the Metric System (for example: 130/90 - 16). The last numbers are to describe the rim size. Alphanumeric System and Series 80 are describing low-profile tires, which means the height is small than the width and the proportions to the width is fixed. Only in the Standard Inch-System can we find tires with equal width and height which is then a "square-profile".

Tire Sizes and Conversion Chart

Download this chart as a pdf document (better for printing)
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Submitted by Chris Sunkin

There are many factors to consider when selecting a fuel. Most of them would require a chemist experienced in hydrocarbon fuels to help you decipher In short, there are many ways to formulate a fuel through selection of base product to a whole catalog of additives and processes that enhance certain attributes The easiest way is to select the right fuel is to visit the VP fuels website No other fuel provider has focused more energy on the 2-stroke motorcycle community than VP They have some new, oxygenated fuels that really add performance.

Octane is just one measure of how a fuel will behave Too much octane without adequate compression will definitely hurt performance Octane is the fuel's resistance to combustion. Compression of the fuel/air mixture reduces a fuel's resistance to combustion and given enough pressure, the resultant heat will cause combustion on its own That's the principle behind a Diesel engine as well as the root cause of detonation Detonation is sometimes helped along by deposits in the combustion chamber Anyway, back to octane- if your octane rating is too high, your compressed fuel/air mixture is going to be harder to light via the spark plug That means that your effective ignition timing- that is, the point not where the spark hits but where the mixture ignites, will be retarded Simply advancing the ignition point in a fixed timing engine will compensate at high RPM but will kill the lower RPM power.

As far as changing fuel/air ratios with race gas- you'd probably see a minor change depending on the fuel you used It could go either way, richer or leaner, depending on the fuel It wouldn't be anywhere near as pronounced as if you went from 32:1 pre-mix to 40:1, maybe a couple percent.

In the end, there are only a few choices- make a compromise and use a fuel that's formulated for a high-efficiency 4-stroke that is required to meet your local emissions regulations (local pump gas) or use a fuel specifically formulated for your exact application (VP or other 2-stroke specific fuel. Home-brew fuel blends are likely to do more harm than good It's unlikely you'll get the best results through random experimentation.


Racing Tip #8: Always trim your
toenails before each race to
help avoid this beauty!

Submitted by Randy Smith #24

I have been racing Hodaka's in the Missouri series since 1999 and use combinations of no clutch and clutch. Here are my rules. Clutchless "upshifts" are no problem under full throttle but I try to blip the throttle just a itty bitty while doing so just to be safe. "Downshifts" without the clutch are a no, no. Yes it will shift but the shock on the tranny will cause damage. One of the other MOVMX riders has torn up 3 sets of the hardened "A" gears so far by doing the clutchless downshifts and I have not tore up any gears in my racing so far. Some of my bikes have the hardened "A" gears and others do not and being that I am a heavier rider than the other guy, I am certain that the clutchless downshifts are the killer.

As far as the clutch is concerned. It is the most important control you have so use it. If you are shooting down a straight away, no clutch needed but in the corners, use the clutch to keep your RPM's up and control wheel spin and exit speed. Also a little feather of the clutch right before a jump or obstacle will help you launch over it or wheelie over it and a little feathering will help prevent a bogg after a hard landing or a miscue. I use a lot of clutch out there, but not for upshifting.

I remove the little external cable spring down buy the clutch arm on the right side cover as you don't need it. I also use the stock "long" levers. I keep the cable well oiled and all of this makes for a super easy clutch pull (just ask Phil or Andy). That leads to reduced arm pump which is always a problem for racers.

I use my clutch and use it hard but always, always dump the oil after a race and after every two races pull the clutch cover and flush out the sludge that will be in there. The sludge is from the worn clutch fibers and if you don't get it out, it will damage the right crank bearing that is oiled by the same tranny oil. I can get one whole season out of a clutch doing all of this.

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