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Tips And Tricks For Low Power Bikes

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I changed the gearing with the hope of getting a higher top speed out of it but haven't been able to test it out yet; if I can get it to top out at 125mph or so I'll be pretty happy and probably will leave the engine stock.


I know for the CRF450R you can purchase a aftermarket Wide Ratio Transmission no idea if someone sells it for the YZ450F.


to get to 125 mph on a 17 inch tire my 450 would need the wide ratio transmission and a final drive of around 16/45, theoretically that is ...




I changed mine to 15/39, which should get me in that range, if the engine has enough power to overcome the wind resistance. There are some limitations on what size sprockets will actually fit on the bike, but I think this combo will work well. I tested it at Streets and it felt good, and hit 110mph in fourth gear - didn't have enough straightaway to hit fifth. (It is a 5 speed, bummer that it doesn't have a sixth gear!) I haven't tried it at big track yet to find actual top speed - I look forward to getting it out to Fontana.

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Here are some thoughts, in no particular order:

1) Shed as much weight as possible, lightweight is one of the bike's advantages; lightweight components allow for quicker acceleration.

2) Learn to pass in the corners and in the parts of the track where big bikes have to slow down more than you.

3) If you are riding in the fastest group at track days, consider riding in the intermediate group - as long as inside passing is allowed in that group - you can rail around riders that overbrake for turns.

4) if you are riding in the slow group and inside passing is not allowed, move up a group. If you are only allowed to pass on straights, you are screwed on a low hp bike.

5) Find friends to ride with, that are on Ninja 250s or other low hp bikes, or consider racing, where you will at least be grouped with similar bikes, so you aren't constantly outgunned on horsepower.

6) Get tires and suspension that make you feel confident in corners - that is where you can kick ass.

7) Get really good at throttle control, if you can get on the gas early in the corners you can pass the big bikes. They may take it back in the next straight section but it's fun as hell to go around them in the turns!!

8) Lots of no-brakes drills - corner speed is paramount and the better you get at judging entry speed the faster you can go.

9) Gearing - make sure you optimize your gearing for the track you ride.


That's pretty much exactly the advice I was looking for. The friend in this case is actually me. :)


My big problem is I'm riding the little 400 like a more powerful bike and It's not really working well.



I race 250's and it's a hoot! Hotfoot's message is spot on. I can't add but a few things;


I believe CSS has a drill called "finding lines". Think about that next time your out there. You have more passing opportunities when you have more line choices.

Railing a low powered bike is much more about "carrying" the speed into the corner because your not just gunna roll on and get it back. It can be a real challenge as a rider and can push your skills near their limits. I think Hotfoot is sort of saying the same thing in #8

Learn about and use drafting, it can make a huge difference. Ask the CBR250 racers. :)

Wind is really not your friend. Be a tidy rider, tuck well and keep your arms, hands and feet inside the vehicle at all times. :)

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You have one hell of a weapon that you are riding. Why are you not using it as designed? You have the knowledge, you have the training.... So what's the problem? Is it you, or is it the bike? You are very well knowledged at the art of sliding, thanks to your Dad. So, once again what is the problem? Do you intend on correcting this in 2014 or are you just going to keep, keeping along?


Personally, I hope you figure it out.... and if my schedule works out we can "Piss Off the Track Coaches" when we are there.....They are marked targets BTW :D



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Wow, This is a long topic already. Going to chime in because I have a thought about this subject matter.

I started out on a NAKED SV650 about six years ago. At first I wasn't impressed. Imagine being the sail of a ship!..

Then I purchase a 04' GSXR 750 and realized the difference in both bikes and loved the power! Also being a full fairing bike was a bonus.

Then I "dropped down" to the 2011 R6... VERY HAPPY Choice... Much safer because it wasn't falling apart and I felt and advantage on a shorter wheel base.

Then last year I decided to buy a Honda CBR 250 to "have fun!". I also thought maybe it would be interesting and could help on the R6.


The final results from the purchase of a 250.... I love LOVE LOVE LOVE it.

I tend to ride that when I control ride local events. Big displacement bikes pass all day in the straights but being 90 degrees to the ground makes that easy and no fun.

By the second corner I can usually catch up. Now if the straight is super super super long then a little harder to catch up. If anything just leaves me an open track.

Also it is a great conversation starter when someone on a big bike comes up and asks a bunch of questions. I usually hear " THAT THING WAS FAST" "What bike is that"....

"Not sure how you do it but COOL!" " Why so slow on the straight but you beat me in the corners?"


Now since the end of the season I made one slight modification. I bought a Kawi 250. Simple reason, in the race the field there was clearly split (Single vs Dual Cylinder). Nothing I could do to stay with them after the first straight.

I also found one for cheap....


But going down to small displacement did something big for me... It brought the fun back! And it made me focus on a few key things.

Basics, Throttle Control, Corner Speed, Body Position.... and much much more..

And it helped me even improve on bigger displacement riding...

I couldn't rely on the extra power.... I just needed to make sure I kept the power!


In just a few weeks I am going to pick up my 1000RR...

Now I really have a range of bikes to pick from. And much better basics.


250 Kawi 250 Honda Yamaha R6 and Now BMW 10000RR...


Just because it is "Slow" or "Small" means nothing!


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