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Old Mar 03, 2014, 11:42 AM
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Joined May 2006
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FAQ
1/5 <<the Ultimate set-up thread>> on road

Hi racers!
I thought I should start this thread for everyone of us doing on-road bike racing. I'm pretty new at bikes, only been racing cars for the last 30 years...

I'll put up some points and everyone is free to comment and make suggestions based on knowledge or racing experience... I will then update this first post with all valuable info. This will be good info for everyone, experienced or beginner and hopefully make more people comfortable with their bikes and maybe more drivers attending to a race.
So, let's get started:


1 Rake Angle
  • More towards the front: Wider circle and smoother steering.
  • More towards the back: Shorter circle and more aggressive steering.

2 Front spring and damper
  • Softer spring: More sag/Droop, easier to bottom out.
  • Harder spring: Less sag/Droop, harder to bottom out.
  • Softer oil: Faster shock movement. To thin will make bike bouncy in cornern and after bumps.
  • Harder oil: Slower shock movement. To hard will make the wheel bounce instead of the fork working.

3 Rear spring and damper
  • Softer: More weight transfer towards the back, less steering on-power.
  • Harder: Less weight transfer towards back on-power. More weight on the front axle.

4 Fork length and sag
  • Shorter: for more steering? On-power / off-power?
  • Longer: For less steering? On-power / off-power?
  • More sag (droop on car): More stable during acceleration and more weight-transfer during acceleration AND braking.
  • Less sag: Bumpier fork movement, less steering into corner.

5 Rear swing length and sag
  • Longer: For a better braking action. CG moves forward.
  • Shorter: For more grip On-power. CG moves back.
  • More sag (droop on car): More weight-transfer during acceleration AND braking.
  • Less sag: Bumpier shock movement, more steering into corner.

6 Steeringdamper: Spring & Oil
  • Hard spring: quicker reaction left/right but more nervous. More steering mid-corner. Bike stays down longer requirng more throttle to stand the bike. To strong pre-tension will make the bike undrivable.
  • Soft spring: slower reaction left/right but more stable. Less steering mid-corner. More steering input is required to keep bike down, otherwise the bike stands up.
  • Oil harder: ?
  • Oil softer: To soft oil will encourage wobbling of the front wheel.

7 Tyres
  • Softer: more grip, easier up to temperature, easier to overheat, more wear.
  • Harder: more slip, slower to temperature, less prone to overheat, better wear.

8 Side supports
  • Longer: less lean angle, good for poor grip conditions or rain. Less speed carried thrue the corners.
  • Shorter: more lean angle, good for high grip conditions. More speed carried thrue the corners.

9 Side roller/crash-bar position
  • More rearward: More steering.
  • More forward: Less steering.

10 Ride height
  • Higher front: ?
  • Lower front: ?
  • Higher rear: ?
  • Lower rear: ?

11 Brake bias
  • More front: Aggressive brake, easier to low-side. Less good in low-speed corners.
  • More rear: Softer feel, bikes slides out, less good in high-speed corners.

12 Wheel weights
  • Front, more weight: More stable bike in all speeds. Used in low-grip conditions.
  • Front, less weight: More nimble behaviour in all speeds. Used in high-grip conditions.
  • Rear, more weight: Less acceleration and wheelspin. More stable on-power.
  • Rear, less weight: More acceleration and wheelspin. less stable on-power and in low speed.

13 CofG
  • Towards front: More steering into corner. Harder to wheelie during hard acceleration. Better braking-action.
  • Towards rear: More rear grip, less steering during acceleration.

Have I missed anything obvious or made a mistake. Please comment and I shall stand corrected.

**Moderator, please make this thread sticky**


/Marcus
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Last edited by marell01; Mar 18, 2014 at 02:56 PM. Reason: Updated and corrected info!
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Old Mar 03, 2014, 12:58 PM
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dragbikebam's Avatar
Memphis, TN USA
Joined Apr 2009
944 Posts
Wheel/tire weight/type would also be an important factor for tuning because it will determine the tension of your steering springs. First rule for a beginner is heavier wheels heavier steering springs, lighter wheels lighter steering springs.(thanks Lito) To me the rest of it is all speculation depending on track conditions and also what makes a RC bike fun. I suspect if anyone has a secret formula their not going to share... Like real 1:1 racing when comparing bike/car set ups, its 20% driver and 80% car for 4 wheel racing and 80% driver 20% bike for 2 wheels (I feel it is) because driving a bike fast is more technical (forward thinking) and everyone has different technics. I can tell you that every time I run one of my bikes something has been changed on it and if it made a good difference or not I learned something and that's what is important and fun to me, practicing and experimenting with different setting to suite my driving style and how I think the bike should handle. I been all over the board with shock/fork oil wt., spring tensions, rake angles etc. and have come to a general setting for all my bikes that I'm comfortable with but nothing is as important to me as wheel weight and steering spring tension combinations. Bike tuning may be like opening Pandora's box and I would really like to hear what other people have to say about their bike tuning experiences and what they have learned. In the beginning for me I thought I wanted harder steering springs because I could not steer the bike where I wanted to go at high speeds but then ran into having slow speed problems and made the bike feel edgy holding it down with steering input in the curves but as time went on I preferred a softer and softer steering spring and discovered I can have more fun controlling the turn by throttle feel rather than more input from the wheel. My bikes are now set up to where I can practically drive it one handed with throttle and brake input, not fast but doable while going slow and that's the way I like it now...It could change if I get passed around the outside in a heated battle but I wouldn't know anything about that. So there you go
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Last edited by dragbikebam; Mar 08, 2014 at 12:22 AM.
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Old Mar 03, 2014, 05:08 PM
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Sweden
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599 Posts
Great ideas dragbikebam. I've updated point 10 with Wheelweights.
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Last edited by marell01; Mar 04, 2014 at 05:41 AM.
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Old Mar 05, 2014, 05:18 AM
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Alexandria, VA (Washington DC)
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steering spring tension: more tension=bike stays down longer requirng more throttle to stand the bike, see post #16

sider roller position (more rear)= more steering
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Last edited by poochy; Mar 13, 2014 at 08:36 AM.
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Old Mar 06, 2014, 03:37 PM
Kungsangen, Stockholm, Sweden
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Sweden, Upplands-Bro Municipality
Joined Dec 2011
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Nr 8
One obvious effect is that higher overall rideheight gives the bike more lean before dragging the fairing but that's not really a setup issue, is it?
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Old Mar 06, 2014, 08:52 PM
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Old Mar 06, 2014, 10:19 PM
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Joined Jun 2006
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I think you are missing a very important section: Center of Gravity


-rskip
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Last edited by rskip; Mar 06, 2014 at 11:01 PM. Reason: CoG covers the other stuff
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Old Mar 07, 2014, 12:24 AM
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Tirol
Joined Jul 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rskip View Post
I think you are missing a very important section: Center of Gravity


-rskip
yes..... CG position (horizontal, vertical)=Balance and overall weight.
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Old Mar 07, 2014, 04:03 PM
Kungsangen, Stockholm, Sweden
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Sweden, Upplands-Bro Municipality
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rskip View Post
I think you are missing a very important section: Center of Gravity


-rskip
Ofcourse
+1
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Old Mar 07, 2014, 10:27 PM
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dragbikebam's Avatar
Memphis, TN USA
Joined Apr 2009
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Has anyone ever used two of the exact same kind of scales on each wheel in order to see what your weight distribution is? I was thinking about it but just haven't got around to buying another scale like the one I have. Seems it would give you a lot of good info.
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Old Mar 08, 2014, 03:54 AM
MY '75 CZ "FALTA REPLICA" 2010
TopDave's Avatar
Waterford, Michigan
Joined May 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dragbikebam View Post
Has anyone ever used two of the exact same kind of scales on each wheel in order to see what your weight distribution is? I was thinking about it but just haven't got around to buying another scale like the one I have. Seems it would give you a lot of good info.
Hint? I think you can get what you want with a single scale by weighing one end of the bike at a time. just make a block for the opposite end of the bike so the bike sits level on the tires as you weigh each end. (old hot rod racing trick we used until I could afford a full set of 4 scales to make my life much easier! lol) Double check this by weighing each end, add the two weights together, then weigh the complete bike. the total of the two ends should equal the total bikes weight. If they don't equal out, I'm a dumbsh!t and you should forget everything I wrote in the above paragraph
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Last edited by TopDave; Mar 08, 2014 at 04:07 AM.
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Old Mar 08, 2014, 04:14 AM
MY '75 CZ "FALTA REPLICA" 2010
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[double quote - delete
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Old Mar 08, 2014, 11:07 PM
never stop building
dragbikebam's Avatar
Memphis, TN USA
Joined Apr 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TopDave View Post
Hint? I think you can get what you want with a single scale by weighing one end of the bike at a time. just make a block for the opposite end of the bike so the bike sits level on the tires as you weigh each end. (old hot rod racing trick we used until I could afford a full set of 4 scales to make my life much easier! lol) Double check this by weighing each end, add the two weights together, then weigh the complete bike. the total of the two ends should equal the total bikes weight. If they don't equal out, I'm a dumbsh!t and you should forget everything I wrote in the above paragraph
That's a good idea, I thought about it from corner balancing also.
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Old Mar 09, 2014, 01:23 AM
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Alton
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I normally use 2 sets of scales for ease. Also useful to measure the weight distribution with one wheel raised by 50mm or so which gives you everything you need to know the longitudinal and vertical position of the CofG
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Old Mar 09, 2014, 04:59 PM
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Thanks, I'll update the first post in a couple of days :-)
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