What adjustments do I need to my gymkhana bike?
This question is very common and sits in every head of gymkhana rider. It’s truly not easy to find out where is the balance between skills and abilities or limitations of your motorcycle. That is why Richard wrote this article some time ago, which we are honored to post for you here and extend with few more notes.
As you know Richard is very experienced gymkhana rider from Netherlands. In 2018 he became a winner of European Gymkhana Championship and Dutch National Cup and also was 2nd at the end of MGymkhana Online Championship. This guy know how to ride fast, so let’s see what he recommends.
Not all at the same time
If you are a beginner, don’t go all-in at once, you will get a bike you cannot handle and you will spend a lot of money on a sport you are maybe still not really sure if it’s something for you. I also really would like to stress out: ‘Fix the rider before you fix the bike!’
You can better spend 100 hours in training, then 100 hours into changing your bike!
Only change your bike when you feel you cannot make more progress and you ride it to the limit. For example, when a beginner gets a MotoGP bike, it doesn’t mean he rides similar track times as Valentino Rossi.
Of course, some changes to the bike can make moto gymkhana easier/faster for you. Depending what level of rider you are, you can make different adjustments.
I will split it up in 4 levels: beginner, intermediate, experienced and pro.
This list is not holy and it is different for every rider and every bike. But it gives an idea of what kind of modifications you can think of!
Level 1: Beginner
You are doing moto gymkhana as a hobby, you have just bought a moto gymkhana dedicated bike.
- Crash cage – just so you can drop the bike, pick it up and continue where you left off.
- Switch clip-ons to high handlebars, clip-ons are made for a forward position, good for track or highway riding, but it limits your movement on a tight gymkhana track (especially in right-hand turns) and puts to much weight on your arms.
- Slightly raise your idle speed just like you did at your driving lessons (1500-2000 rpm, about 30% above factory settings). The motor brake will be less, you will have a less aggressive pick-up when opening throttle and a more steady engine pull.Ви займаєтесь мото джимханою як хобі, нещодавно купили мотоцикл і розкриваєте його можливості
Level 2: Intermediate
You have some experience, and you start to do serious training or maybe even competition.
- Raise idle speed + kill cord switch. A higher rpm makes full-lock rotations easier to control and reduces the on/off effect of closing and opening throttle. If you change it, don’t be like me and crash your motorcycle into a fence, get a kill cord which stops the bike when you fall off.
- Slightly improve your gearing ratio: –1T front and/or +3T rear for better acceleration and a higher rpm at low speeds. With this ratio, you can still drive on normal roads with your bike.
- Use sports tyres: Michelin Pilot Power, Bridgestone S20, Metzeler M7rr would work well
- Braking fluid with a high boiling point can help you with longer practice times before your rear brake fluid starts to boil. However, try to use the rear brake efficiently and keep your foot of the brake pedal when you don’t need it! Whenever braking fluid boils once or twice, the quality will go down and it will boil at a lower temperature. So you will need to refresh it.
Level 3: Experienced
You are doing competitions and you want to get to top level.
- Radically change your gearing. This differs per bike, but generally:
- for a 600cc 4 cilinder bike you want a ratio of about 1:3,5
- for 750cc 4 cilinder, 1:3,2 is enough
- for 1 cylinder supermotards you might not need gearing changes.
- Get a trailer or a van: you don’t want to drive your bike on the highway with an extreme ratio.
- Remove steering stops on the triple clamps.
- Reduce width of the crash cage for maximum ground clearance.
- Raise your footpegs.
- Use racing tyres: Metzeler Racetec RR, Pirelli Diablo SuperCorsa, make sure to get them warm first!
- Get a good brake pump and replace those stock brake lines for steel – braided ones (especially for older bikes).
- Upgrade your suspension. Don’t go for progressive, get stiff racing springs.
- Remove fairing or replace it for lightweight track fairing
- Get a quick-turn-throttle for bikes that requires (or allows) you to fully open the throttle.
- Add some cooling elements to the rear brake caliper.
- If you have overheating issues, put a switch on your radiator fan to be able to start it manually. Maybe change the fan for a bigger one, add an extra fan or upgrade to a bigger radiator.
Level 4: Professional
You are doing great in national and international competitions and you really don’t care about your social life anymore. All your money goes to your moto gymkhana bike.
- Get tyre warmers and a generator, they may not be allowed at your competitions, but it will reduce wear of the tyre and you will get less tired needing to warm up every time, more effective training times!
- Get a rapid bike / power commander and tune the bike for low rpms
- Change your camshaft for more bottom end power
- Do everything to reduce weight:
- carbon wheels (carbon everything)
- remove 1 brake disc in the front
- remove your electric generator (dynamo)
- remove your 2nd to 6th gear
- remove part of the sub-frame that holds the passenger
- get a lithium battery
- change to a lighter 520 chain and aluminium sprockets, etc.
This is a good overview of what the gymkhana riders do with their bikes between trainings and competitions.
In the next article we’ll give a bit more advice on how to get proper gear ration, tune suspension, set your controls, choose tires, select braking pads and master cylinders.
We what to thank Richard for his article and open attitude to spread the knowledge, you can follow him on Instagram and Facebook
All the information about moto gymkhana trainings in Kiev is here: Training Playgrounds
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