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Motocross Does launch control have a place in MX/SX?

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So Kawasaki is putting a launch control button on their 2012 450's.

It remaps the engine to reduce wheel slip for the first two gears, until you shift into third. Once you click into third gear, it shuts off completely, even if you go back down to first and second. From what I have read, it is now ridiculously easy to start with them. I could deal with the electric start button on the newer KTM's, but this I am not a fan of...

At the pro level, if they really want to use launch control fine, but I mean the best part about local mx races is the chance that at any given day, you can pull a 'butter finger holeshot'.

Not everyone can afford a brand new bike, as I'm sure the other OEM's will create their own launch control and by 2013, every 4 stroke will have it, creating an even larger disparity among those who can't afford a new bike every year, or even three years. I love watching riders hang on for dear life at the start, and seeing who has the best throttle control. The start is one of the most important parts of a motocross race, and dumbing it down just seems so dumb. I'm not saying its unfair, but it just seems so...un-motocross like, if that makes sense. The AMA should be focusing on closing the money/equipment gap at the amateur level, so those with true skill shine, and I feel like this does the opposite.

Anyone else feel like sharing their opinion?

KX450F-LAUNCH-MODE.jpg

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So Kawasaki is putting a launch control button on their 2012 450's.

It remaps the engine to reduce wheel slip for the first two gears, until you shift into third. Once you click into third gear, it shuts off completely, even if you go back down to first and second. From what I have read, it is now ridiculously easy to start with them. I could deal with the electric start button on the newer KTM's, but this I am not a fan of...

At the pro level, if they really want to use launch control fine, but I mean the best part about local mx races is the chance that at any given day, you can pull a 'butter finger holeshot'.

Not everyone can afford a brand new bike, as I'm sure the other OEM's will create their own launch control and by 2013, every 4 stroke will have it, creating an even larger disparity among those who can't afford a new bike every year, or even three years. I love watching riders hang on for dear life at the start, and seeing who has the best throttle control. The start is one of the most important parts of a motocross race, and dumbing it down just seems so dumb. I'm not saying its unfair, but it just seems so...un-motocross like, if that makes sense. The AMA should be focusing on closing the money/equipment gap at the amateur level, so those with true skill shine, and I feel like this does the opposite.

Anyone else feel like sharing their opinion?

KX450F-LAUNCH-MODE.jpg

I like full power on starts, a guy with good reaction and skill will smoke someone that has that gizmo

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I think it is just the progression of technology. Like you said it is only available on the 450's, so I don't think it will have an impact until it trickles down to smaller bikes.

Most racers should have "start skills" by the time they set foot on a 450.

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http://motocrossactionmag.com/Reviews/News/MOTOCROSS-ACTION-PRODUCT-TEST-VORTEX-KX450F-X10-EL-7413.aspx

EFI map selectors have been available for some time now. Kawi simply decided to make it stock and simplified.

Also, this thread is in the pro forum...pro riders have had map selection switches for a long time. This isn't something new for them.

Check out 1:28 on the video and you'll see the same type of button that Kawi put on the 2012 450. Also may be a map selector on the other side of the bars seen at 1:36

http://www.belray.com/blog/behind-scenes-chad-reeds-crf450

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I hate progression, it has no place in the mx world, everyone should race air cooled dual shocked bikes or else its not fair for those that can't afford a new bike(sarcasmmmmmm).

I wouldnt see a reason to buy a new bike if it wasnt upgraded from previous years, the new 2012 kx looks like an awsome bike. They are catering to more than just your standard 175lb 5' 10" person with their adjustable footpegs mounts and bar mounts and sweet new gadgets such as the launch control. Adjustability is one of my favorite features in a bike.

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Haven't the CRF450s been doing something similar for a few years? I know they don't have a toggle to switch maps but I think they do, or used to, have a different map for the first two gears.

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I hate progression, it has no place in the mx world, everyone should race air cooled dual shocked bikes or else its not fair for those that can't afford a new bike(sarcasmmmmmm).

I wouldnt see a reason to buy a new bike if it wasnt upgraded from previous years, the new 2012 kx looks like an awsome bike. They are catering to more than just your standard 175lb 5' 10" person with their adjustable footpegs mounts and bar mounts and sweet new gadgets such as the launch control. Adjustability is one of my favorite features in a bike.

Sorry but if you look realistically at all bikes sold the last 20 yrs or more from all brands, they basically make a base model, refine it for 5 yrs or so, pump up the volume each year in the colorful brochures about the changes each year that are nothing more than slight refinements and bug fixes from the base models... That is the business model...

This is just a gadget that might only be used once a day? If you don't kill the bike, it stays off? lol ... More electronics to break and more colorful brochures stuff ...

I'm not saying whatever this is will not be a benefit to someone but is it really needed ? lol ...

I'll be glad when everyone but my riding buddies stay home and play mx\sx bike video games ... Video games are the ticket right? And on cell phones righter still, right?

Edited by ray_ray

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Sorry but if you look realistically at all bikes sold the last 20 yrs or more from all brands, they basically make a base model, refine it for 5 yrs or so, pump up the volume each year in the colorful brochures about the changes each year that are nothing more than slight refinements and bug fixes from the base models... That is the business model...

yes that is very obvious, and again my statement stands, if you were buying a new bike why wouldn't you want the bike that is refined? If it wasn't there would be no reason to buy that year model.

I'm not saying whatever this is will not be a benefit to someone but is it really needed ? lol ...

Is it needed? no. Is it a benefit to whoever has it? it could be, so it would be nice to have.

I'll be glad when everyone but my riding buddies stay home and play mx\sx bike video games ... Video games are the ticket right? And on cell phones righter still, right?

i have no clue what you are trying to say here...

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It's simply a dual ignition/fuel curve engine management system that switches between two maps. The first one for 1st and 2nd gear (launch) and the second map after you switch to 3rd gear. It's a very simple advancement that takes advantage of existing hardware, requiring only a new switch and some different software. It's not traction control. It's nothing compared to liquid cooling, linkage rear suspension, cartridge style forks, or other previous advancements.

Fortunately, the manufactures don't share the aversion to technological innovation. If they did, we would still be riding rigid frame bikes and pedaling to get them started.

BTW, if innovation is not your thing, go race Vintage MX. It's a blast, I love racing and riding my old bikes. That's about all I ride these days. But, let's not stifle ingenuity and force everyone else to ride under suspended, cranky, sometimes dangerously designed bikes.

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it's simply a dual ignition/fuel curve engine management system that switches between two maps. The first one for 1st and 2nd gear (launch) and the second map after you switch to 3rd gear. It's a very simple advancement that takes advantage of existing hardware, requiring only a new switch and some different software. It's not traction control. It's nothing compared to liquid cooling, linkage rear suspension, cartridge style forks, or other previous advancements.

Fortunately, the manufactures don't share the aversion to technological innovation. If they did, we would still be riding rigid frame bikes and pedaling to get them started.

Btw, if innovation is not your thing, go race vintage mx. It's a blast, i love racing and riding my old bikes. That's about all i ride these days. But, let's not stifle ingenuity and force everyone else to ride under suspended, cranky, sometimes dangerously designed bikes.

+++++1

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It's simply a dual ignition/fuel curve engine management system that switches between two maps. The first one for 1st and 2nd gear (launch) and the second map after you switch to 3rd gear. It's a very simple advancement that takes advantage of existing hardware, requiring only a new switch and some different software. It's not traction control. It's nothing compared to liquid cooling, linkage rear suspension, cartridge style forks, or other previous advancements.

Fortunately, the manufactures don't share the aversion to technological innovation. If they did, we would still be riding rigid frame bikes and pedaling to get them started.

BTW, if innovation is not your thing, go race Vintage MX. It's a blast, I love racing and riding my old bikes. That's about all I ride these days. But, let's not stifle ingenuity and force everyone else to ride under suspended, cranky, sometimes dangerously designed bikes.

You left out disk brakes as this is maybe single most needed advance for any wheeled vehicle (including trains) since the engine itself maybe ... well maybe oil refining or synthetic oil is right there also ...

I'm lucky enough to see many older bikes and the number of different linkage types is really quite large and I'm sure each when unveiled, was the best way to go ... and then was replaced in the short future with the next best linkage setup ... and the beat goes on in this department ... so after yamma-hammers got a monoshock in the early 70s, ~40, 40 yrs later, with each year being a better suspension, how good are the suspensions? I should add that I'm not sure when a single shocked, linkage system arrived in the states but just the simple fact that shocks were mounted in a slanted position and we got off the 4.5" of travel, this was the beginning of making a modern suspension system for a bike and that was the mid 70s also ....

Then we can move to the forks... the forks got turned upside down ... a qtr of a century ago and they are fatter now ... we can jump longer and further if on a track .... on a trail, we try to make them as soft as possible ...

Edited by ray_ray

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Not everybody buys a bike just for the whizbang gismos. I'm buying a new bike to ensure zero wear and tear, the whizbang gismos are just another feature that shows up.

In the end, the bike gets ridden and abused. As things get broke, I bubblegum and duct tape the thing back together - within reason. I've figure out most of the crap and how to remove it, if it isn't really necessary to have for the bike to run and I don't see paying through the nose for a replacement part.

-Kerry

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I'm not sold on it. Like someone else said, I want full power whenever I line up on the gate and if I get out-pulled on the first 20 feet then it was because I made a mistake, not because my bike was detuned to keep the wheel from spinning..

Now if later this year the 2012 Kawis are pulling holeshots every moto, I might give it some credibility. Until then, I'm gonna rely on my own skills to get the job done. I won't be intimidated if the guy next to me pulls up with "launch control."

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I'm not sold on it. Like someone else said, I want full power whenever I line up on the gate and if I get out-pulled on the first 20 feet then it was because I made a mistake, not because my bike was detuned to keep the wheel from spinning..

Now if later this year the 2012 Kawis are pulling holeshots every moto, I might give it some credibility. Until then, I'm gonna rely on my own skills to get the job done. I won't be intimidated if the guy next to me pulls up with "launch control."

RV2 has it on his bike and he usually does pretty darned good on his starts.

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RV2 has it on his bike and he usually does pretty darned good on his starts.

Well Dungey and Reed don't have this gizmo but they seem to get pretty good starts as well... If I remember correctly RV had two bad starts last weekend actually? Someone else may confirm that but if I remember right he struggled with his starts.

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Well Dungey and Reed don't have this gizmo but they seem to get pretty good starts as well... If I remember correctly RV had two bad starts last weekend actually? Someone else may confirm that but if I remember right he struggled with his starts.

He had it during the SX season as well.

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when I was drag racing I was allways trying new stuff and some worked and some didnt , and my dad would see my changing something when the car was running good already and he would ask me if I was trying to Trick Shit myself out of the race .......... what do you do when the holeshot switch malfuntions and you ride the whole race with less power ? for example these bikes never had fuel pump problems until they had fuel pumps :smirk:

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The pro's have been racing with dual map engine control systems for years. This is not new to them. It's only new to us.

McGrath said he had one on his factory Honda 10+ years ago.

If I'm not mistaken, the new honda's have a different map for each gear.

BTW, playing with the fuel and ignition maps isn't necessarily giving up power, they are likely redistributing power. Creating a flatter wider power curve that is less likely to hit hard and generate excess wheel spin. Also you can launch at lower RPMs and get into the power easier.

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It seems like it could definitely be beneficial on a concrete start, but I don't really see the need for it on dirt starts.

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I like hard hitting power when I wack the throttle in every gear , I can roll it on if I want to apply the power smoothly , until the bike has eye's it doesnt know what type of power delivery I need

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