No matter whether you ride street, track or race, your bike needs to be set to your weight. If the springs are not correct for your weight, they need to be changed accordingly to set the correct SAG number. Hydraulic damping then needs to be optimized for your riding: commuting, weekend recreational twisties or track day events.
A substantial number of modern bikes have that capability and you can change from plush to firm within a few moments on the roadside. If you carry a passenger, there are required adjustments that must be made to ensure the geometry of the bike remains unchanged!
- Basic set up Article 1
- Basic set up Article 2
- Setting Sag
- Damping Rod Forks
Track Recording Docs:
For those doing track days, download the record keeping sheet and use it accordingly. Remember that if you change tire brands or tire sizes, you will need alter the bikeâ€™s geometry to compensate for this! Once you pick a tire brand and size, stick with it and spend the time refining the chassis to each track!
Track Day Sheet
The racerâ€™s sheet is much more complex to record all critical information, but feel free to take a look at that. The more information you have, the easier things become. The entire rationale with the racerâ€™s sheet is to ensure that you turn up at the track event with nothing to do but check cold tire pressures. Bear in mind that if you ride slower than your fastest time on an â€œoffâ€ weekend, donâ€™t go backwards with set up to compensate.
Race Day Sheet
When dealing with tires specifically, it is absolutely critical to manage tire pressure to avoid hot or cold tearing the tire and effectively destroying the tire in 20 minutes. The rule of thumb is a cold to hot pressure gain of 5-7 pounds. Anything less, there is too much air in the tire and anything more is too little air pressure.
Ambient air and track temperatures are factors you must manage as are tire compounds and carcasses. Thatâ€™s why you stick with a brand, size and compound for a full season.
Also be aware that water in the tire vendor’s compressor can cause huge hot pressure spikes, so make sure their compressor is emptied every day to minimize water vapor content.
Tire testing is best done in the off season, so that you can manipulate the geometry and hydraulics accordingly to give the brand and compound a fair chance. It takes a lot of time to alter chassis and settings, so plan on only testing 1 brand per day if possible starting with geometry and then hydraulics.