You’ve probably paid attention to the motorcycles that take part in demonstration performances. Many of them look peculiar. There are riders who compete on a stock bike, but professional training requires both the driver and the bike itself. The manufacturers did not count on a long ride in an upright position (no matter which wheel), on the need to use the rear brakes with their hands and acrobatics on the tank.
What are the most commonly used motorcycles?
Sports models are usually chosen for stunturing. There are 3 reasons for this:
- Short base
Sports motorcycle models are some of the lightest, and this is a definite plus when a trick requires handling the weight of the bike. Frame structure, ergonomics (“What is motorcycle ergonomics?”), Suspension structure and working base length (“How does the length of a motorcycle affect its handling?”) Have the best maneuverability characteristics in sports motorcycles. Remember that short bikes are capable of sharp and short corners at their limits? That’s the same! They love this in stunt riding!
Regardless of the level of elaboration introduced into the design of the model, you should train or perform only on warm motorcycles! Even if you are just a fan of driving in the rear from a traffic light, on cold tires this is too rash decision!
What changes in a motorcycle?
The more difficult the driver learns the tricks, the more changes the motorcycle undergoes, especially after falls and upcoming repairs. The pilot can modify the motorcycle as his own experience grows, and not rush into an all-out bulkhead from day one. Many give up when they realize how much effort and money this hobby requires.
If you are really seriously thinking about converting a motorcycle for stunt riding, then this will be a large-scale project.
What needs to be changed:
- Removal of all unnecessary – plastic, mirrors, optics
- Replacing the rudder and traverse
- Installation of protective bars and additional steps
- Replacing stars, playing with gear ratios
- Suspension adjustment
- Forced ventilation of the engine
- Oil intake, motorcycle starvation problem
- Crankcase ventilation problem
- Exhaust system
- Seat change – foot hole
- Tank Change – Concave Cap
- Brake system modification
- It is possible to replace the chain with a reinforced one
- Track rubber for better grip on asphalt
- Clutch and idle work
Consider the initial modifications, which are enough for a beginner who learns short wheelies, stoppies and drifts. Short, because it is fraught with the risk of the engine to work in an unnatural position, and the beginner stunt rider will get tricks every ten falls. Riding in a wheelie or stoppie for no more than 10-15 seconds for a beginner should not make the engine starve right away, moreover, the “beginner” is not yet ready for a long performance of tricks.
Plastic and protection
The first thing that any correct stunt rider does is remove excess plastic and put maximum protection. Who among motorcyclists falls more often than a beginner stunt performer? Come on, surprise me? Plastic can be left, used as an area for advertising your blog or as tuning. But after the first couple of hundred falls, you will wonder if you need plastic at all? Mirrors are also in the firebox. The pros train on special sites. Functionally, mirrors are not needed there, and even if they fall, they break with a bang.
A different level of protection is installed on the motorcycle, which saves on repairing the engine and other vulnerable components. At first it seems that such a set of body armor is too wasteful a gift, but when you start calculating the amount of repairs without it, and then transferring it into our wooden rubles … you silently agree with the price of protection. We considered it in the article (“Protective bars, safety cages and sliders on a motorcycle”).
The engine protection cage must dissipate impact force without risk of damage to the frame, so it is best to choose cages with the maximum number of mounts.
Stunt riders choose cages for the engine, as well as an additional frame for the rigidity of the subframe, protection of the tail section of the motorcycle, which is important in tricks with the tail touching the asphalt or when falling on the side. It is not necessary to have everything, but it is worth stopping to combine several solutions.
The subcage is an arcuate tail section that has side steps and is installed as an additional subframe stiffening frame.
The round bar is also an arcuate tail guard that wraps around the tail of the motorcycle and protects it when the tail hits the asphalt. If you see sparks that fly at such moments, then most likely it is not plastic, but a round bar.
The yoke is a frame sometimes called “mop”, “brush” and other associations. It is advantageous to put it not only as a protection for the tail section, but also as an additional support. The yoke allows you to put the motorcycle upright, due to the U-shape, it will be stable. It is also used as a support for the rider’s legs while performing a trick.
Hint: many people completely forget about radiator protection. The bottom line is that due to frequent landings on the front wheel from the top point, the radiator mounts wear out faster. The likelihood that these mounts at one not very beautiful moment will decide to eject and throw the radiator overboard is quite realistic, therefore, in order not to tempt fate and not increase the amount of repairs, it is better to take care of the fasteners in advance.
It is useful for a beginner to set up a chain guard. Just with frequent falls, it is possible for feet or clothes to get into the moving parts of the motorcycle. It seems like a trifle, but the socks of the foot often slip.
Replacing the rudder and traverse
Traditionally, stunt riders choose to replace the handlebars with clip-ons (“Clip-ons on a motorcycle, when are they needed?”) Or a crossbar. There is a strong opinion that it is more convenient to ride with a cross wheel, while performing tricks is more convenient with clippers.
This is another logical consequence. Clip-ons are easier to replace after many falls. By the way, after the same falls, the brilliant idea comes to remove the headlight. It’s a pity to comb the asphalt with it, and there is no need for it if you are not going to show off somersaults on public roads at night.
In stunt riding, as well as on the race track, the grip of the motorcycle is very important to the road surface. Yes, heated rubber improves your chances of success. But the less the pattern and moisture-wicking channels are in the tread, the more comfortable it will be to protrude. Extreme riders have come to the conclusion that the rear tire can be left in a typical urban pattern, and a slick can be placed on the front wheel. We read about motorcycle tires in the article “Types of motorcycle tire protectors. Classifications”. Of course, tires for sports motorcycles wear out at wild speeds, and after drifting literally melt before our eyes, but beauty, sport and craftsmanship require sacrifice.
In the next article, we will look at more advanced innovations that an experienced stunt rider needs.