Starts got you down? Maybe you have the throttle pinned but people still pass you with ease.
You might need a faster bike. You also might need to up your game. Do both by changing the way your bike delivers power. The need for bottom end power or top end power depends on your riding style and the specific track or trail you plan on riding. Power delivery does far less in terms of actual speed rather it affects ride-ability and handling.
Benefits to Changing the Power Delivery
Changes to the power delivery give a rider better control and allows better movement along any given track or trail. So yes, depending on what you plan on riding, you might make some set-up changes to your bike to make it easier to ride. Which equals more speed. If you plan on riding lots of hills you need some torque to get you up and over therefore your set-up would not reflect gearing designed for a much quicker start.
In fact, with 40 riders at the gate you can expect 40 different bikes in terms of power delivery alone. The factory pros tweak power delivery all day trying to find the exact right set-up for their style and track conditions. For example, some riders rev the bike and don't shift as much instead relying on top end power. Others run lower RPMs and shift early. Ken Roczen uses momentum and torque to get through his day while Eli Tomac rides wide open. What works for Roczen doesn't work for Tomac and vice versa.
How Do You Change the Power Delivery?
So how do you change the power delivery and what set-up is right for you? We can't tell you the best set-up because that's individual preference, however, we can tell you how to change the power delivery so you can start experimenting with different set-ups and decide what works best, keeps you on two-wheels and makes you a faster rider. Changes to the following parts will make a big difference in the power delivery on your dirt bike:
So, let's discuss each one, more in depth:
Change the Sprockets
Grab a bite of power with more or less teeth on the sprockets. Use a smaller front sprocket or a larger rear sprocket for faster acceleration (more bottom end). Changing one tooth in the front equals changing three to four teeth on the rear sprocket. This creates a lower gearing ratio making it ideal for tight trails or tracks with lots of long straights.
Add or reduce one to two teeth on the rear sprocket for a subtle change and see how that performs for you.
Upgrade the Clutch
The Rekluse auto clutch system could probably star in a book titled "Dirt Bike Clutching for Dummies" because this clutch practically eliminates stalls and makes changing gears a cinch. If you tend to stall on technical and tight terrain you can probably totally avoid this nuisance by upgrading your clutch. The Rekluse manual clutch also comes with a soft and easy clutch pull and a solid placement of power to the ground. Which means faster starts and better acceleration coming out of a turn.
Upgrade the Flywheel
What in all that is good and holy is a flywheel? From Wikipedia: "A mechanical device specifically designed to efficiently store rotational energy." So what's that have to do with riding a dirt bike? We do not teach lessons on physics so just understand changing the flywheel or adding weight to your existing flywheel (located inside the engine and easily removed and installed with a flywheel puller) creates more inertia so the rear tire hooks up better, but this requires a lot more shifting (so you might really need that Rekluse clutch).
If you ride Motocross, you probably do not need to do anything with your current flywheel setup but riding trails might give you that extra torque to glide around corners and navigate through the trees.
Make changes to the Ignition
Unless you feel comfortable performing brain surgery leave this modification to a professional mechanic. Making changes to the ignition, basically the electrical system or the brains behind your dirt bike, allows for maximum power and quick acceleration which often translates to better starts. Buy an aftermarket ignition system and have it tuned to your individual riding style and conditions. Check these systems out depending on what you ride:
- Big Gun - fits smaller Hondas and most ATVs
- KTM Powerparts - KTM and Husky
- GET Power ECU - The current leader for Ignition upgrades
As mentioned, the best way to make a decision depends on what you want to do. The sprocket change affords the best bang for your buck and something you will notice immediately and might solve all your problems. We find the best approach coincides with you maxing out your riding ability with your current set-up and then make the necessary changes to up your riding game.