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The Starting Line : Some racers do a quick launch after the burnout, why is that?

Motorcycle Drag racing Sportsman

The Starting Line is a biweekly column for our Sportsman drag racers brought to you by Schnitz Racing. Every other week we will feature a frequently asked question and have it answered by a panel of experienced sportsman racers, led by Ben Knight. Having questions answered by multiple racers will give our new racers several perspectives on the information they want. If you have a sportsman related question, submit it to editor@dragbike.com.

Some racers do a quick launch after the burnout, why is that?

Ben Knight

Racers will sometimes do a “launch”/ “dry hop” after doing a burnout to “simulate” their upcoming launch. This is almost always done with a stock style (OEM) clutch since more coordination of your clutch release and throttle twisting is required. This is something that in my opinion is more personal preference. If you feel that doing a short launch after your burnout helps you have a consistent launch at the starting line, by all means go ahead. If it adds too much to your routine or feels unnecessary then don’t do one.

Janie Palm

Racers sometimes want to test their launch, if its a new bike they want to see how the clutch reacts to how they let the lever go.  Its sometimes used as an ice breaker, if a racer is really nervous they will do a test launch to get more comfortable with themselves and the motorcycle.

Brad Gott

Some racers do the quick launch called a “dry hop” after the burnout to test the traction of the track. It can be helpful on tracks that might be lacking in traction. Adjustments in launch rpm’s can be made, thus possibly not wasting a pass on spinning at the line.

Jerry Turner

That’s a great question.  I don’t have a good answer and I’m anxious to read the other answers.  I know several racers that do a quick launch (dry hop) after their burnout and many that don’t.  Personally, I decided that it was another way to break parts unnecessarily.  I typically won’t unless I feel there’s an issue with the bike that I need to test before staging.  But many racers do a dry hop as part of their normal staging routine and they are consistent and win races.  I guess I would have to equate it to taking a practice swing before hitting a golf ball.

Dustin Lee

Every driver or racer has a style. If you feel that a test launch will help you get a feel of the bike or clutch, then I say do it. I am a full believer of doing the same thing every time. This will keep passes smooth and consistent. Another reason a racer may do a test launch is maybe they installed a new part like a clutch pack or maybe a tire and they just want to make sure everything is where it needs to be!

Hope this helps, be safe!

We’ll see you in two weeks for another addition of the Starting Line, in the meantime check out our column sponsor Schnitz Racing.


Volume 1 – Issue 1 : What is the best advice for someone going down the track for the very first time?

Volume 1 – Issue 2 : How do I decide what class to enter? Most tracks have a street class and pro bike class but I sometimes see streetbikes racing in the pro bike class with the bar bikes.

Volume 1 – Issue 3 : What is the difference between a bracket class and an index class?

Volume 1 – Issue 4 : What is the difference between a pro tree and sportsman tree? And what is the best technique for cutting a light?

Volume 1 – Issue 5 : What is rollout and how does it affect my ET??

Volume 1 – Issue 6 : Does a practice tree really help with your reaction time and do you have any tips to how to use it?

Volume 1 – Issue 7 : What is courtesy staging?

Volume 1 – Issue 8 : What does “the race was won on the starting line” mean?

Volume 1 – Issue 9 : How are bye runs determined? If I get the bye, should I make the pass?

Volume 1 – Issue 9 : What is the best technique for a burn out?

Volume 1 – Issue 10 : What is cross over / cross talk?


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