HomeColumnsStarting LineThe Starting Line : Volume 1 - Issue 3

The Starting Line : Volume 1 – Issue 3

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.

What is the difference between a bracket class and an index class?

Jerry Turner

The goal of both classes is to run as close to a time as possible without going faster than that time.  The difference is that you get to choose your own time (dial-in) after a couple time runs in a bracket class versus a predetermined time (index) that everyone must run in an index class.  The other difference is that you can change your time between runs in a bracket class.  If your bike gets faster as the air gets cooler, then you will be able to change your dial-in time to compensate for running faster (or slower) as weather and track conditions change.  In an index class, regardless of your bike running faster or slower, the index time remains the same.  The important thing to remember about both classes is that if you go faster than your time (breakout), you will lose unless the other racer breaks out by more.  Even if it’s one thousandth (.001) of a second too fast. 

Ben Knight
In both bracket (ET) and Index classes, the goal is to run as close as possible to the predicted ET (without running too fast). The difference is that in a Bracket (ET) class you predict what you are trying to run before the run. In an index class the ET is already predetermined.

Dustin Lee

A bracket class utilizes .500 full tree and you will dial your motorcycle according to your test passes. a index class is a either .400 or .500 pro tree and depending on the class you are given a dial in to run. classes are usually 9.50,8.90,8.88,and 8.20. Index and bracket classes are the same in general you cant go faster than the dial the objective is to run as close to the dial in as possible without going under. if the both racers go under the dial who ever goes under the most loses unless there was a redlight (foul) start. hope this helps good luck and be safe!

Janie Palm

Bracket or Elapsed Time (ET) classes are also known as handicap racing; two motorcycles of varying performance can race on a potentially even basis. The anticipated elapsed times for each motorcycle are compared, and the slower motorcycle receives a head start equal to the difference of the two. With this system, virtually any two vehicles can be paired in a competitive drag race.

The best way to think about Index Racing is as a heads up bracket race, everyone in the class has the same dial-in.  Its key to cut a good light and run as close to the index as possible but taking caution not to run faster than the index as you will break-out.

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.

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