Invisible speed: find it on your motorcycle
The title of this post is not casual, has a real sense. Invisible speed exists!
If you are one of those who spend some of your weekends on track days I have something for you. I guess you want to be faster. Faster than your mates, faster than yourself the last lap. Simply faster.
There are two ways of improving your lap times on the racetrack.
I’m sorry to tell you that the old sentence “no guts, no glory” doesn’t apply to motorsports.
Second one is to improve the set-up of your bike.
I’m not speaking about spending your money on some hop-up parts, but speaking about how to strugle your bike, the one you do already have, to go further on your lap times.
One of the things that I use to hear on track days is something like “how fast would I be with a new model”.
My answer is always the same: maybe one second, maybe nothing, maybe slower.
And this has a reason.
Imagine you spend 20, 24 thousand euros, dollars, pounds or wathever you have in your pocket, on that smart and shiny new model.
After that, for sure you will remove the original muffler or complete exhaust line and install a race one. This will demand more fuel from your FI system, and with actual sport bikes for sure you’ll have to spend more money on a programmable ECU, or an add-on system such as a Bazzazz, o simply take the risk of reflashing your OEM ECU.
After that you have to sum fiberglass fairings, adjustable rearsets, maybe handlebars…. And whatever your are used to use for racetrack riding.
Well, now you have 30 hundred euros less on your pocket and a brand new beast.
Ok, you enter into the track and… guess what… you are not going much faster… in case you do.
This example is just to show you that, if you don’t improve your riding skills you will be doing exactly the same things.
And if you are not adjusting suspensions and geometry for your special needs, you won’t go anywhere further.
You can’t get a different result if you are always doing the same things.
And that’s the thing.
That’s the invisible speed.
By improving those two things, for sure you can improve, imagine, one tenth of a second on every corner.
Wow! Not that much, isn’t it?
Well, it’s just a sum. If you improve one tenth of a second on every corner, by improving corner speed for example, on a 13th corner racetrack you are improving 1,3 seconds per lap.
In ten laps, and if you are consistent enough, you will be 13 seconds faster.
More than enough just for adjusting some clickers, the ride height, and your final gear ratio.
The downside of this is that you need to know what to adjust depending on your needs.
There are thousands of set-up sheets on the internet, so, why don’t copy them?
Why not using the same set-up of that fast local guy?
Well, I’ll tell you a secret.
Every lap time has a set-up, and every set-up is ideal for a lap time.
On the other side, what do you expect from copying a set-up found on a website? Probably using a different tire set, a different suspension system, and a different size rider?
The key of it all is to know the basics from motorcycle dynamics, and what to adjust depending on your needs.
In other words: set the bike for yourself. Because you will need to re-adjust it as you improve your lap times. (remember the secret?).
Don’t panic, it’s easy.
We have adjusted hundreds of bikes by following a method, a way of doing, a step by step process.
Luckily you don’t have to inmerse yourself into the quantity of books and tests we have been reading and doing during the last 20 years.
We have prepared an ebook, specially for you, to help you to improve your lap times and knowledge about motorcycle suspension and geometry set-up.
That’s the way to find your own invisible speed by just an insignificant part of the price of a couple of tires.