The Starting Line : The Launch – Dump or Ride the Clutch?
The Starting Line is a biweekly column for our Sportsman drag racers. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Launch – Dump or Ride the Clutch?
They way you let your clutch go is mostly personal preference and also depends on what kind of clutch you have in your motorcycle. I use a stock clutch, no mods at all so I slide or ride the clutch out. With a slider or lock up you can throw your clutch away or dump it, this normally will give you much better 60′ times than sliding it out.
This depends on type of setup you are using. I know guys with stock clutch bikes setup so they can throw lever so the bike will pull through quick, and there are some that need to be ridden more.
The key to this is the setup and seat time. Everyone is different.
– Good luck and be safe
On a street bike, somewhere in between. At least that’s my experience with stock clutches. If you dump, then you’ll likely wheelie or spin. If you slip the clutch too much, you’ll eat the clutch, warp steels, etc… I’ve learned to release the clutch at the same speed as I twist the throttle. I try to be wide open at the same time I’ve fully released the clutch. I try to do this by the time I’m passing the tree (at most tracks). Then, if I do wheelie or spin, I control that by tweaking the throttle. Wheelbase, gearing, rear shock, track conditions, etc… all play an important part in how fast you’ll be able to drop the clutch.
Slip the clutch out as fast as possible. Dumping the clutch on my bike does not work. If your running a OEM clutch basket and pressure plate, find the lowest RPM possible that the bike won’t bog and fall out of its power/torque range, and keep practicing that. I feel the lower the rpm, the more consistent the bike and you will be, and less chance of spinning. If the quickest ET is what your looking for, well I’m not the best person to ask. You’ll have to asks or watch guys like Rickey Gadson, Richard Gadson, Jeremy Teasley, and Ryan Schnitz. These riders are some of the best and Rickey & Ryan have schools to teach you how to do this. Money well spent, or you can spend more money and buy a MTC Gen2 Clutch and just dump the clutch. I also recommend to always have a spare complete clutch pack with you at every race.
A smooth progressive clutch engagement is the only way go. No matter what clutch style you use, you never want the clutch to immediately engage.
Depends on the bike setup. Short bike and stock clutch you are more than likely going to ride the clutch. Anything other can be setup to dump the clutch.
We’ll see you in two weeks for another edition of the Starting Line.
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