What launch technique does Brock teach to rookie drag racers?
I teach this technique to new riders/racers, and it usually works well to help them become quicker/faster/safer riders:
- Use 3 fingers on the clutch (pinky finger on the handlebar,) this is because 3 fingers are stronger than 2 and give you plenty of strength to control the clutch. 4 fingers is not recommended as you really need to be holding on to the bike, especially as you learn to launch quicker.
- Pre-load the clutch by letting the clutch out until the bike drags just a bit, then pull it back in until it stops dragging. However, DO NOT allow excessive dragging on the clutch, as damage will occur.
- Keep your right wrist straight and modulate the throttle with your forearm. This provides a smoother/more controlled modulation of today's powerful sportbikes. To assist with keeping your wrist straight, I have suggested that some riders go out and purchase a bowler's wrist brace! Otherwise, they were unable to break the habit of trying to control the gas with their wrist.
- Launch at a low RPM. 2000-2500 RPMs on most large-displacement bikes like Hayabusa's, ZX-14s, etc... This power level is FAR EASIER to control than a higher RPM launch. Let the bike do the work.
- The idea is to slide the clutch and screw on the gas at the same time; if performed correctly, then the bike will sound like a 'slider' clutch.
- Please note that you must have an exaggerated grip level before you start the launch (elbow pointed upward and more towards the windshield,) so that you can reach wide open throttle before running out of 'travel' at your shoulder!
- You must have the clutch all the way released, and the gas fully locked by the end of first gear to achieve a quick ET even if it's just for a split second before you blip the gas to clutchless shift into the next gear. NEVER FAN THE CLUTCH (hold gas wide open and use the clutch to shift) to shift a late-model sportbike. The bike will drive through the clutch and never recover.
See this video example:
As you perfect this technique, perform it quicker
See this video example of 2006 AMA Dragbike SuperSport National Champion, Vince Woska (watch his elbow):
It may take quite a few attempts, and don't be surprised if you stall the bike on your first couple of tries. TRY IT ON YOUR DRY HOP... HELL, TRY TWO. That's what dry hops are for. If it feels and sounds right, then go up to the tree and do the exact same thing when the tree comes down. Remember that being smooth is the key, once you have smooth down, try progressing to letting the clutch out quicker and getting to wide open throttle quicker your ETs will get quicker with them.
Rookies, please remember that the light you cut has NOTHING to do with your ET. Feel free to ignore your reaction time when you are learning to launch properly, as this added variable tends to make everything I have said above fly out the window. Once you are doing everything above BY INSTINCT, cutting a light will be much easier.
Good Luck, and GO FAST
Here are a couple of instructional videos: