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The Starting Line: Volume 2 - Issue 4

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.

August 17th, 2015

Should I warm my bike up before making a pass?



I believe yes, yes you should warm up your bike before a pass. I try to roll into the water box each pass at 135 degrees. Sometimes you don’t get the opportunity to cool down, but you can always warm up.  Try to do the same things each pass for consistent runs.



Yes.  Nearly every racer I know will start their bike for at least a couple minutes before making their first pass.  This will ensure oil gets to operating temperatures so engine and clutch are well lubricated.  For consistency, street bikes generally run best at operating temperatures and you would want the same engine temperatures for time runs and qualifying as you would for eliminations.



It’s always good to get your bike to operating temperature before blasting it wide open down the 1/4 mile! It will help the motor live longer to say the least!

-Good Luck, be safe!

Ben Knight


I always try to get my bike to the same temperature for every pass, but sometimes that’s not always possible.  I have a digital temperature gauge so I know exactly what it is and I try to have it within at least 5-10 degrees at all times prior to staging my bike.  So depending on whether or not I’ve been hot lapping or if I’ve been sitting between rounds for an hour will depend on if I warm up my bike or not.  Now when I first get everything unloaded for the day I always start my bikes and let them idle up to temperature to get some heat in the motor.



This depends on how well your motorcycle performs cold versus hot.  You need to have many runs with your motorcycle under you belt to know how your motorcycle performs in different situations, hence why so many people recommend a log book.  If you have kept a log book of all your runs you can record the outside temp along with the motorcycle temp to see if it performs better when its hot or when its cold.  If it likes to be hot by all means warm it up before your pass if not, then wait as long as you can to start it before making your pass, this will also keep the heat out of the clutch and hopefully make it last longer.

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