technique for starts

What technique do you use for a dead engine race start with the 650r, especially looking for pointers from height impaired guys. Can you use a block or rock or mound? thanx

1. Go to Lowes and get a rubbermaid kitchen stand. I like the model that's about 6 inches off the ground. It is also strong enough so it can be used as a kick stand (when stood on end) for "le mans" starts that we occasionally have. Click on the link and you can see the stand I use:

2. Drill a hole in one of the legs and string a larg zip tie through it. leave it in a large enough loop so you can hang the stand off your bike on the way from pits to the bomb (which can be up to a couple of miles at times and a PIA if you have to hold the stand in your lap).

3. I drop only one tooth in the rear sprocket for D37 races and although I could pull 2nd gear off the start I prefer starting in 1st gear. I've found the most consistant 1 kick starts come from starting in 1st versus 2nd. There may be no actual mechanical proof to this but Henge also says he starts in 1st on the 650R as well.

4. before the banner goes up make sure you warm your bike up. Just let it idle and don't over rev it or rev it a bunch. You will just look like a squid. Let it warm up in neutral and then shut it off and practice a one kick start with it in gear. However, don't shut it off in gear. Always put it in neutral prior to shuting the bike down while you are warming up. (again, there may be no mechanical proof to this).

6. While sitting on the line do one of two things: strike up a conversation with someone next to you, or do positive visualization. The worse mistake you can do is sit and dwell on how scary the bomb run is, or how far you are going to ride today. Either start chatting up your neighbor or imagine yourself having fun, riding smooth, finding good lines. I've had my best results when I talked to somebody about something unrelated to the race all the way up to the banner raise.

7. When the banner goes up and you shut down in neutral, rock the bike forward when you shift it to 1st gear. Rais up on your left leg and rest your right foot on the kick starter. I prefer to slowly cycle my kickstarter through it's cycle timing the final push through with the banner drop. However, most riders find TDC right away and rest their foot there. Find what works for you but I find that if I find TDC and leave my foot there through the whole banner, my leg starts to forget what it's job is...

8. The best piece of advice I've ever got for getting good starts is to never stare at the banner. You know when that banner goes up you've got at least, at least, 30 seconds of time to calmly put on your goggles, get your breathing in check, etc. Once you are up on the stand and waiting for that drop, again, don't look at the banner, search ahead and keep your eyes moving...but keeping the banner in the corner of your eye. This will keep your eyes from watering up and you getting what I call "cobra effect."

9. Don't dump the clutch, stay smooth and gradually apply power keeping your head and eyes up.


Before all of this, make sure you have scouted the bomb run. There are a lot of riders that just do the bomb run cold either because they were too busy partying the day before or they just want to ride for a finisher pin. Scout out a primary line and then start working on alternatives. I've never been able to stay on the same line I scouted once the race actually starts since your nerves are going, people are fighting for your line, and the bomb run can be miles long. So you need to have options.

I've always prefered starting on the farthest outside upwind. I like to have an escape path if something goes wrong. If I get a poor start I can always work farther and farther off the outside edge and it keeps me out of the dust and moving.

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