This program is for racers only in order to optimize the motorcycle chassis for each track raced on. Track set up will be based on a brand/size of tires to be used for the entire season to remove the geometry variables created by tire construction and circumference. Cold tire pressures will be monitored for pressure gain and temperature throughout the day to build a database to optimize tire wear.
Prior to any testing to hone the chassis, the rider must acquire adequate gearing so that the motorcycle will not hit the rev limiter in 6th gear on the fastest sections of the track. Without this no true testing can be completed.
The initial set up will include an evaluation of the motorcycle to check for strengths and weaknesses of the chassis in terms of geometry, spring rates and hydraulics. Any weakness must be corrected by re-springing and re-valving as needed, but compromise settings can be used in the interim as a band aid for a maximum of two race weekends.
The initial geometric set up of the chassis will be based on the tires used. Subsequently, rider SAG and hydraulics will be used to manage the chassis to match the riderâ€™s idiosyncrasies of riding style. Once the chassis has been optimized, all settings will be recorded onto the Feel The Track race sheet. Those sheets will be retained for the season, and when returning to the same track the last fastest settings will be installed into the motorcycle
This level of tuning recognizes the difference between a full race set up, gearing and target lap times to the less intense level of track day use where lap times are not so critical. Track tuning may also include street bikes that are coming to the track and then returning to the street.
With motorcycles specifically set aside for track only use, the optimization of the chassis can be made in much the same way as the race tuning program. In most cases, stock components will be used but inadequacies will be highlighted so that the rider can decide whether to upgrade the chassis and suspension to maximize their learning potential. Track tuning will also allow for tire testing and chassis alteration to allow a fair test of brands based on the different circumferences and tire carcass construction.
For street bikes attending track days, the chassis can be temporarily optimized for that day to cope with the demands of track speed, cornering and braking by making as few or as many adjustments as needed to optimize the chassis to the riderâ€™s needs and riding technique. This will include manipulation of tire pressures based on the manufacturer and compound to ensure maximum grip on the track surface. At the end of the day, the street bike can be returned to street settings with a full explanation allowing the rider to understand how to make compression adjustment changes to perfect bump absorption the bike on the street. Tires should also be returned to regular pressure in order to maximize wear on the street.
This program is aimed at street riders only and has no bearing to either track days or race events. The assumption is that these motorcycles will never see the track, so a basic set up will reflect the riderâ€™s weight and the optimization of hydraulics based on the stock springs in the forks and shock.
In most cases this is done in a seminar format, whether at a dealer event or at a predetermined date for riding groups, but there are occasional opportunities for riders to show up at track day events and have their motorcycle set up.
In some cases it will be very evident that there is an inadequacy in components based on the riders weight and the bike in question, so a clear explanation of why that inadequacy exists will be provided so that the individual can make an educated assessment as to what should be corrected and in what sequence based on budgetary concerns.
In very few cases will geometry be altered in this program as the bikes have many and varied uses and may never see the accelerated speeds and turning requirements of the track.
The goal is to ensure that the rider understands what adjustments their motorcycle has, what those adjustment mean and lastly, why the adjustments are necessary.
Once the bike has been set up, you will be amazed not only how much better it handles, but how much safer it is to ride. Riders that have gone through this process become ardent evangelists and we all see it as our mission to find riders that haven’t had their bikes set up go through the process with a reputable suspension professional. This is a global effort, so please make it your goal to find 2 riders a month and put them through the process!