Part Six – Brakes

Modern sport bikes show up now with pretty decent stock brake components such as radial master cylinders and radial mount brake calipers. On the now-ubiquitous upside-down forks with gigantic front axles (to compensate for the lack of an old-school fork brace), radial mount calipers are aligned along the rear radius of the brake rotor and bolt onto the rear of the lower fork, as opposed to the previous iteration of front brake calipers which bolt to the side of the fork.

Powerful but linear brakes, a taunt chassis and Michelin tires allow Chris
Peris to trail brake to the apex on his knee. Lawson's superbike FZ750
used to spread the frame rails under hard braking so much that he could
feel it in his knees. They had to install a bolt in support between the
frame rails to prevent the flex.

Part Seven – Chains, Sprockets and Electrical Modification

What drives you? Chain and sprocket considerations:

The first few laps of practice at a track are for familiarization and information gathering. You take mental notes, perhaps log some data and maybe even shoot some video to help determine brake markers, shift and turn-in points, safe passing zones, potential hazards, and which way the track goes past any blind rises.  

Once you’ve figured out the basic line and track flow and started dropping your lap times, the next step is to refine the picture by adjusting gearing choices. The two things you'll need to consider for determining the proper gearing are mid-corner rpm and straightaway rpm. Your drive out of corners depends on your ability to keep the motor on the boil at the top part of the rev range. However, you also want to avoid running out of acceleration by hitting the rev-limiter on key straightaways as well as any short chutes between turns.

This would not be a good moment for an errant chain. Blair Hartsfield Photography

Part Eight – Work That Body: A Practical Guide To Installing Bodywork (NOT a buyer's guide)

DISCLAIMER Part II: This is not a bodywork review. Roadracing World has already published at least two comprehensive bodywork reviews which are probably out of date by now but the January 1998 issue featured an article by Sam Fleming which detailed the different kinds of materials that can be used in bodywork construction and their relative merits, and included a breakdown of different resins and weights by manufacturer. The February 2003 issue featured a buyer's guide by Scott Morse which included a comprehensive analysis by manufacturer of different bodies based on criteria one normally considers in deciding which body to buy. Roadracing World would be tickled pink to sell you those back issues if you want a bodywork review. On a personal note we (AOD) are happy enough with the Armour Bodies quality/durability vs. price that we have used Armour bodywork for the past several years but you should read the reviews and talk to your friends or consult your astrologer and decide what kind of body you want.

Overall win at Roebling Road brought to you by the bodywork not
falling off during the race. Photo by Kazumi Yoshida

Part Ten – Clutches

In the bad old days of motorcycle racing clutches were a pretty simple affair. A racer typically only used it, in anger, once per race when the green flag dropped and only touched the lever for downshifts. The often meant clutches would last an entire season or more with nary a second thought. Long ago, when "racing on a budget" wasn't a punch line, thrifty rider/tuners would simply fit an extra set of washers under the clutch springs to get extra life out of worn plates.

Ben Walters uses a well adjusted and properly maintained slipper clutch
to optimize a corner entrance at Hallet Motorsports park on his way to
an AOD victory. Photo by Tim Turner.