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The Starting Line - Volume 2: Issue 7

The Starting Line

The Starting Line is a biweekly column for our Sportsman drag racers brought to you by Schnitz Racing. Every other week we will feature a frequently asked question and have it answered by a panel of experienced sportsman racers, led by Ben Knight. Having questions answered by multiple racers will give our new racers several perspectives on the information they want.

September 28th, 2015

Sprockets - How do you determine what size you need?

Bob Carlson


Every bike is different, best way is to ask someone with same bike, weight, and HP.  Make sure your not shifting at the finish line. I like to be in 5th as close as redline.  I use two different rear sprockets, I call one my good air sprocket and the other my Hot weather sprocket (1 up).

Boo Brown


Depends on the setup of the bike also. You want to have it shift at its peak performance level and go through the finish line at or close to that same level.

Greg Mallett


If it’s a new bike or a new set-up, I always ask other racers with similar combinations what they are using to get me close. After that, I make sprocket adjustments to ensure I am going thru the finish line towards the high side of the gear.



A good starting point on most stock street bikes is 1 down on the front and 2 up on the rear.  Generally, 1 tooth smaller front sprocket equates to 3 teeth larger on the rear.  Different bikes will work best with different combinations and that depends on rider size, wheelbase, rear tire and a whole lot of other variables.  I suggest asking other racers that are riding similar bikes what they are using.  You may need to change gearing as you make modifications to your bike such as longer swingarm, adding nitrous, etc…



Sprocket size is determined about the type of bike, if engine is stock or modified and rider weight. This is something that needs to be tested per your riding style and setup. 

– Good luck and be safe



They way you let your clutch go is mostly personal preference and also depends on what kind of clutch you have in your motorcycle.  I use a stock clutch, no mods at all so I slide or ride the clutch out.  With a slider or lock up you can throw your clutch away or dump it, this normally will give you much better 60′ times than sliding it out.

For a more in depth answer, check out our tech article on gearing.

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