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Building and Racing an XT/TT500 Flat Tracker

Jimmy Pascol

My "Notes on Building and Racing a Flat Tracker" using a Yamaha XT/TT500 are available for free, without ads or any strings attached.


Flat Track is America's oldest form of motorcycle racing. It's now enjoying a resurgence in the US and is becoming increasingly popular in Europe and Australia. It needs more racers and fans to keep going so this is my way of helping keep it alive.


These Notes are a quick start to getting involved in the sideways life at minimal cost and preferably with friends. There's amateur classes at most dirt tracks including classes for knobby tires for anyone wanting to run whatever ya got to experience flat track. Print it off and/or share it with everybody interested in FT. It's all either off the internet or personal experience so there's no copyright problems - so pass it around.


The link to my Dropbox is...


"Anything not shared is not of much value".


~ Jimmy Paschall

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    • By Freestyler
      I ride supermoto for some time and this forum was a big help to set it up right, especially the guy from Zucco suspension in Italy gave me great info. 
      Now, I would like to convert a CRF 450 for flattracking.
      I would like to set it up like the bikes used for the "superprestigio". With 17 inch rear and 16,5 front rim.
      I live in Belgium and here is no flattrack. But I made a oval track near my house where I would like to try it and hopefully get other people crazy enough to try it also.
      Can somebody point me in the right directions for a good setup? 
      Tyres: I will use the Michelin SM rain with low pressures because everyone else is using them on these bikes, so I think it will be a good tyre. Does anyone know the right pressures for my 70kg ?
      Suspension: Lower and stiffer but how much and how much peload on the springs?
      Triple clamps setup : I have the Nuovo Faor clamps with adjustable rake and offset, but what would be the best rake and trail?
      Valving and damping setup: Stiffer and slower but what would be a good shimstack setup for the CRF 450 2007 Showa's?
    • By Culdesac Cowboy
      Looking for a few pointers and information regarding something I want to get started in.  I'm from central Illinois and would like to eventually participate in racing.  I've never ridden on dirt track before and have some questions regarding breaking into that style of racing without putting people in danger on the track.  If anyone in the area is interested I'll post some follow up questions if I get any responses.  
    • By Bryan Bosch
      SPRINGFIELD, IL – May 29, 2017 – (Motor Sports Newswire) –  Hayden Gillim registered a virtuoso performance on Saturday night at the Illinois State Fairgrounds as the AFT Singles headlined the opening half of this Memorial Day weekend’s American Flat Track doubleheader with the Springfield TT.

      The entire day’s activities served as one extended TT masterclass session from national champion road racer Hayden. The Kentucky native clocked the fastest time in qualifying, won his heat, owned his semi, and then continued his domination right to the checkered flag in the Main Event.
      In the Main, Hayden won the crucial battle for positioning entering the first turn aboard his No. 95 Cycle World Suzuki RM-Z450 and ripped open an advantage of more than a second before the conclusion of the opening lap. He then proceeded to pad that lead to nearly two seconds over the next few circulations and managed the gap from there for the remainder of the 15-lap contest.
      While there was little outward drama to his victory, Gillim actually controlled the race from the front despite the added difficulty of a loose front brake lever.
      The win is Gillim’s second AFT Singles triumph, backing up last year’s victory in the Peoria TT.
      “Tonight’s been an awesome night,” Gillim said. “My Suzuki 450 was working great all night; I don’t think I touched anything since we pulled it out of the van. I probably should have tightened up the front brake lever… As soon as I went out on track (for the Main), my front brake lever went loose, and it just dropped straight down. I was having to hold it up with my thumb all race. Somehow I was able to manage it although there were a couple of close moments. I don’t know how I was able to do it without these guys passing me.”
      It’s well known to racing fans that Gillim is closely related to racing royalty. It seems only fitting that Gillim stood atop of the podium for the Springfield TT 15 years after his cousins Nicky, Tommy, and Roger Hayden swept the podium in the historic race, particularly in the wake of Nicky’s tragic passing earlier this week.
      Gillim dedicated his victory to both Nicky and his late brother Ethan, who passed away in a racing incident in 2007: “Seeing Nicky, Tommy, and Roger put it up on the podium, all three in one night, that’s always made me want to get here and get this win. Team 95… this one is for my little brother, and it’s for Nicky too. This is for them.”
      Fellow TT ace Jesse Janisch kept Gillim honest throughout the contest aboard the No. 132 West Bend Harley-Davidson-backed Yamaha YZ450F. Janisch lost out in the early shuffle, and by the time he fought his way into second Gillim already boasted a commanding lead. The invisible rubber band connecting the two stretched and contracted lap after lap, but there was just no reeling in Gillim on this night.
      Runner-up Janisch said, “It was a good ride. I actually had the holeshot, but Hayden had the inside. We all went in there pretty deep, and I ended up going all the way to the top of the track. It was a little bit of a struggle (getting back into second). I could catch Hayden a little and then I’d lose it, catch him and then lose it. It was a seesaw battle, but I never got close enough to even show him a wheel or anything like that.”
      Viewed from a macro perspective, Kolby Carlile (No. 36 Parkinson Brothers Racing Honda CRF450R) may have been the biggest winner on the evening. The versatile Carlile continued his season-long run of finishes of seventh or better with a second podium finish in 2017.
      By finishing third, Carlile overtook Shayna Texter (No. 52 Richie Morris Racing Honda CRF450R) for the AFT Singles points lead by a single point (88-87).
      “I’ve never been in the points lead before, so this is pretty cool,” Carlile said. “That race was long. I kept seeing shadows, and I kept pushing. We do a lot of training down in Kentucky with the Team 95 crew, and if it wasn’t for that, there’s no way I would have been able to stick through that Main. Smart, smooth race the entire way – it was great.”
      Texter knew she was facing an uphill climb in the Springfield TT, and that proved to be the case. She was unable to advance past the LCQ, and the title fight tightened up considerably as a result.
      Not only did Carlile surpass her, but the four riders ranked immediately behind her in the AFT Singles championship battle also collected top-10 points hauls in Springfield; 3rd-ranked Brandon Price (No. 92 DPC Racing/Don’s Kawasaki KX450F) finished sixth, 4th-ranked Ben Lowe (No. 20 Bruce Lowe Excavating Honda CRF450R) was eighth, 5th-ranked Cameron Smith (No. 44 Carroll Motor Fuels Honda CRF450R) was fourth, and 6th-ranked Wyatt Anderson (No. 120 Waters Autobody Racing KTM 450 SX-F) was tenth.
      Fortunately for Texter, she’ll have another go Sunday as she’ll take part in the AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines class for the Springfield Mile I on the big track where her particular skillset is significantly more proven.
      Next Up:
      Tomorrow will see the AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines complete the Memorial Day weekend doubleheader with the highly anticipated Harley-Davidson Springfield Mile I. Live coverage can be viewed on beginning on Sunday at 11:00 a.m. ET (8:00 a.m. PT).
      Tickets are on sale and can be purchased at Fans can also keep up-to-date with race day action by following American Flat Track on Facebook (American Flat Track), Twitter (@AmericanFlatTrk) and Instagram (@AmericanFlatTrack).
      Source: American Flat Track

    • By Haybails
      Wow, if you missed it, you missed some excellent racing!
      Three-Wide, Four-Wide, Slingshot passes . . .
      Bryan Smith Scores Seventh Straight Win At The Sacramento Mile - Shayna Texter grabs second win in two weeks!
      American Flat Track results article
      "SACRAMENTO, Calif. (May 20, 2017) – The massive crowd of American Flat Track fans who flooded the Cal Expo Fairgrounds for the Harley-Davidson Sacramento Mile presented by Cycle Gear witnessed both a rider and a manufacturer in action at the height of their powers.
      Once again, Bryan Smith demonstrated his mastery of the Mile with a tactically brilliant victory aboard his No. 1 Indian Motorcycle Racing backed by Allstate Scout FTR750.
      . . . .
      Texter Scores Second Straight AFT Singles Win
      While it took Richie Morris Racing's Shayna Texter almost four seasons to claim her seventh career AFT Singles victory, it took just an additional week to earn her eighth.
      Texter won out in a thrilling battle that saw her and Tristan Avery (No. 16 Ron Ayers Honda CRF450R) run down early leader Kevin Stollings (No. 99 Ben Evans Honda CRF450R), who had built a sizable early advantage.
      Once together on track, the three traded haymakers, including a memorable sequence in which Texter split her rivals as they momentarily ran three abreast before she emerged from third in first with just two laps remaining . . . ."

      (photo credits: & related Facebook account)
    • By Bryan Bosch
      DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 23, 2017) – American Flat Track continues its southeast swing, heading north for the Atlanta Short Track presented by Indian Motorcycle on Saturday, March 25. The best flat track racers in the world will take to the Georgia clay on the 3/8-mile Dixie Speedway in Woodstock in another all-new event.
      The battle for the AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines title resumes at round two between rivals Jared Mees (No. 9 Indian Motorcycle Rogers Racing Scout FTR750) and Bryan Smith (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle Racing backed by Allstate Scout FTR750). Mees fired the first shot at the historic season opener at the Harley-Davidson DAYTONA TT presented by Politis & Matovina and goes into the Atlanta Short Track presented by Indian Motorcycle hopeful to carry his winning momentum. If the three-time Grand National Champion can pull off back-to-back victories, he will not only keep his points advantage rolling, he will score his first Short Track win, the final victory he needs to complete the coveted dirt track Grand Slam.

      “I’m excited to race at a new venue,” said Mees, who gave Indian Motorcycle its first major victory in nearly six decades at Daytona. “I seem to like the unexpected because the team and I can adapt well. I have some laps on the track from last year testing on the Indian so I can at least start with a base line. Winning that opening round was huge for me because I seem to do well once I build momentum and I have never won a race early in the season, let alone round one.  I'm looking forward to Atlanta because it's the only short track on the circuit and now with winning the TT it would be nice to complete the Grand Slam with that Short Track win. If it doesn't happen this weekend, it will have to be next year as there is only one Short Track this season.”
      Smith is also looking forward to Atlanta and the new era of Twins on a Short Track, as the defending champ struggled to find a comfort zone on the 450cc single-cylinder motorcycles used on Short Tracks and TTs in the past. Having scored a runner-up result at the DAYTONA TT on a twin-cylinder machine, the Michigan native was happy to leave Daytona trailing Mees by just five points and looks to close that gap at Dixie Speedway.
      “I’m looking forward to getting back to winning,” Smith said. “People have always looked at me and said, ‘that Smith guy struggles on the Short Tracks,’ but actually I’ve won on a Short Track before. I’ve just struggled on the 450 Motocross bikes, never liked the feel of them. Now that we’re racing on Twins, I like my odds.”
      Brad Baker (No. 6 Indian Motorcycle Racing backed by Allstate Scout FTR750) plans to return to action in Atlanta after being sidelined from a Heat race crash at the season opener. Pending medical clearance to resume racing, the return of the 2013 Grand National Champion will give the Indian “Wrecking Crew” a three-rider threat in Georgia.
      After a rough start at Daytona, Harley-Davidson’s Factory Team will be looking to rebound. Jake Johnson (No. 5 Harley-Davidson Factory Flat Track Team XG750R) had the squad’s best finish, placing fifth in the opener. Johnson is part of a three-rider Factory effort, competing alongside fellow Grand National Champion Kenny Coolbeth Jr. (No. 2 Harley-Davidson Factory Flat Track Team XG750R) and up-and-coming star Brandon Robinson (No. 44 Harley-Davidson Factory Flat Track Team XG750R).
      Sitting third in the standings is TT specialist Henry Wiles (No. 17 DOC Racing Kawasaki Ninja 650). Although Wiles is mostly known for his dominance on the TTs, the Michigan-native is no slouch on the Short Tracks, as evidenced by his Grand National Championship Singles title from 2010. With a new team for 2017, Wiles brings a lot of confidence into the new era of American Flat Track and looks to spoil the factory teams’ party.
      Completing the top-five in the AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines class are Johnson and Bronson Bauman (No. 37 Rod Lake Kawasaki Ninja 650).
      AFT Singles
      Like Mees, Dalton Gauthier (No. 22 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) got his title run in the AFT Singles class off to a good start in Daytona, winning on a sensational pass in the final turn heading to the checkered flag. As one of the sport’s top up-and-coming riders, Gauthier looks to carry that momentum into Atlanta. Sitting second in the points is Wyatt Anderson (No. 120 Waters Autobody Racing KTM 450 SX-F) followed by Kolby Carlile (No. 36 K.C. Cycle Honda CRF450R). Rounding out the top five in the AFT Singles standings are Jesse Janisch (No. 132 West Bend Harley Honda CRF450R) and Brit Oliver Brindley (No. 124 Kawasaki UK KX450F).
      Event Entertainment provided by AFT Events 
      In addition to the action on the racetrack, there are a host of off-track festivities during and leading up to Saturday’s event. Bike nights sponsored by Steel Horse Law will feature display bikes and ticket giveaways throughout the region. On race day, starting at 2:00 p.m. ET (11:00 a.m. PT), fun for all ages will begin at the Strider Adventure Zone, and there will be live bands and an "Old Time Flat Track Racers Reunion" & Vintage Dirt Tracker Race Bike Exhibit in the vendor area. There will also be BMX exhibitions by the Freestyle Connection BMX Stunt Team taking place throughout the day. Headlining the Atlanta Short Track presented by Indian Motorcycle and serving the Grand Marshall will be motorcycle racing legend David Aldana, heralding the sport’s return to the Peach State for the first time since 1974.
      Saturday’s on-track action begins with the AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines and AFT Singles practice at 2:00 p.m. ET (11:00 a.m. PT). Opening Ceremonies will commence the evening’s racing activities at 6:00 p.m. ET (3:00 p.m. PT).
      Tickets for the Atlanta Short Track presented by Indian Motorcycle are now on sale and start at just $30. Kids 12 and under are free, and a special military discount of 50% off is also available as a thank to you to our American heroes. Don’t miss the chance to catch the next edition of the Great American battle between Harley-Davidson and Indian Motorcycle. To purchase tickets, please visit
      High-definition, live streaming coverage of every minute of the action from the Atlanta Short Track presented by Indian Motorcycle can be viewed on at
      Television broadcast coverage of every American Flat Track round will air in a series of one-hour primetime telecasts on NBCSN beginning in July. The complete NBCSN schedule will be announced in the near future.
      Fans can also keep up-to-date with race day action by following American Flat Track on Facebook (American Flat Track), Twitter (@AmericanFlatTrk) and Instagram (@AmericanFlatTrack).
      Source: American Flat Track