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Staging, reaction time vs ET

7740 Views 40 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  30mil
Cam, I dont mean this in a bad way so please dont take it like that. I can tell your not a track racer for sure lol. The reaction time and ET has nothing to do with each other. You could set still for 10 seconds after the light turns green and still run the same ET on paper. As long as you dont break the beams your ET wont change. But if you were bracket racing or heads up racing, then that's where the reaction times would count.

We see many new track racers get that messed up, and it happens to a lot of people. I would rather have a bike that run a little off and nail a perfect light anyday, you'll win more races like that
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But where you stage in the beams effect/change the reaction time & ET.
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But where you stage in the beams effect/change the reaction time & ET.

Yes and no. You can stage deep and launch perfectly and cut a perfect RT, or you can stage shallow and launch "early" and cut a perfect RT too.
Yes and no. You can stage deep and launch perfectly and cut a perfect RT, or you can stage shallow and launch "early" and cut a perfect RT too.

Funny how threads get hijicked, Bubba you started it.

You can run the same ET too!

The basic rule of thumb the deeper you stage the quicker reaction, but a slower ET
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Basic rule of thumb, yeah. Now back to this going really fast thing.

so if i sit at the light for 10 minutes then run i'll still run a 4.5 if the bike runs those numbers? and beat the guy next to me if he runs a 4.9??

the few times i have raced i noticed the faster my reaction time the faster the bike went.

in my understanding a 4 sec light and 400 -405 reac is kick [censored]. i ran a 5 sec light and was hitting 502-550 lights that day and ended up winning the event at the end of the day. if the 60 ft is 1.2 and the reaction is 700 on a 400 light doesnt that mean if the reaction was faster the 60 would be faster? if not then i am completely confused !! and i apologize for my arrogance..

my other track experience i was averageing 1.8- 1.9 60's ( due to wheelies) and around 78-80mph 4.4-4.5 sec runs. my reaction times were horrible also first time on a "pro tree"

bubba hell no!! explain this to me !! i wount get mad at you ever! ( unless you pee on me in my sleep or something>)

i thought reaction time was the time fromt he light turning green till the lights saw movement from the bike. a better reaction time = faster run potential ,, at least thats how i have viewed it from all the race shows i have seen and my few personal track experiences.?
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Basic rule of thumb, yeah. Now back to this going really fast thing.

Race at a high dollar race and see how that basic rule of thumb will lose you a race.
OK, I started this not to hijack the other thread.

As stated before, the actual ET timer begins when the front wheel breaks the beam, or the bike starts moving forward. There is more than one style of starting the timers, so we will stick with this style to keep it simple. The reaction time is simply the amount of time it takes from when the start light (green light) comes on and the front wheel breaks the beam. Most trees are set on a .400 light, being .4 of a second between the yellow bulbs on a bracket tree or .4 between the yellows to the green on a pro tree. I have raced on a .300 tree and a .500 tree which is also what a lot of asphalt tracks use.

Tracks vary on what a perfect light would be. Sometimes a .000 would be considered perfect, and then they may consider a .400 to be perfect on a .400 tree. It's really just how the particular track has it set up. As long as you understand it then it's fine either way.

Once you react and release the clutch, the bike begins to move forward. Once the front wheel breaks the beam, the actual ET timer begins. As said before you can set still after the light turns green as long as you want (or as long as the track lets you) and the ET wont change a bit if you still do the run the same way. So the reaction time is only the breaking of the beam by the front tire in relation to the Christmas tree green light (cause we all know you leave early you get the red eye lol). This is why we say live by the tree, die by the tree because reaction time can cost you .1 or more very easily. Remember your really only racing yourself, it's just who has the better overall package.

On the subject of staging beams, reaction times, and ETs.........

When staging the bike, most importantly lighting the actual stage beam (bottom bulb), how you stage affects both reaction time and ET. If you barely light the second bulb, you will slow reaction time and make a faster ET because of 2 things. It takes longer for the bike to move forward and break the beam hence a slower reaction, but since you get a running start at the lights the bike is already accelerating when the beams are broken and you get a faster ET. The exact reverse happens if you deep stage, or turn off the top bulb. A very fast reaction is the result (a lot of times too fast and red) and the ET will be slower since the bike almost instantly breaks the beams and does not get moving for a split second.

Running on a dirt 300ft track can give challenges, and many times on a whim I would change my staging position and thus change my ET. A person just has to be aware of the changes and compensate for the reaction time difference.

Brian, help me out here as I have wrote so much I am sure I missed something LOL

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You gave a great tutorial and I'm glad you started the subject. I have a few things I would like to add when I have more time in the future.
I have always said you live and die by the light-

Of course most of this applies to bracket racing-

even tho I have been know to outrun a few "big" bikes smiply because I had a great reaction time

to thier so so time.

It is all a number game for sure!
Race at a high dollar race and see how that basic rule of thumb will lose you a race.

How so? I'm not quite sure what you're getting at.

And no Cam, the RT doesn't directly effect the 60 ft. or the ET
just an example of what we call "pulling it off the beam" for qualifying, last year at seneca falls ny (snowmobile grass drags) our twin pro stock 1000 qualified 2nd with a 4.36 et, 1.16 60' and a .600 rt, come to the final we shove the sled 2 inches from beam and it slows down to a 4.44, 1.23 60' but a .410 rt. where you stage makes a big difference.
Where you stage generally just trades e.t. for reaction time. You get to the end of the track the same vs your opponent. In the example above,if you raced your self on those 2 passes, the slower pass would have won.
I am so confuced right now. I need to read this again and again.

I have never been on the track with lights, beams and bulbs, but I will be in a near future.

However I have allways understand that the stage lights (2 white ones?) are there for getting those two racers even on the lane. And when ever the green light shows up, the timer starts to run and your reaction should be fast as you can to save some time out of the ET. This is the only reason that I can understand -> why those drag-racers are in a hurry when the green is there.

...I want to learn more about this.

So during the "green" light those two guys (on a lanes) can get off their bikes and start smoking and drinking beer and have a little chit-chat and when ever they think they are ready to "do it" they can make the best they can. Right??

And the faster ET wins allways?

Why there is red lights? ...before green, and if you let it go too soon.

(don´t take this too seriously, thank you

Pasi S
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Well most of the tracks don't approve of drinking and racing
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During eliminations you want to be as close to the finish line as you can get at the start. If the track rules will allow it without giving you a redlight, go in so deep that the pre-stage light go's off (the top bulb). This will help the reaction time while slowing the finish line ET.

When qualifying its best to go in just deep enough to turn on the stage light (the bottom bulb). This will slow down the reaction time and run a faster finish line ET and faster Mph. This is like a baby roll-on start, the bike is already moving before recording of elapsed time.
Tip#1. Hope the wheel doesn't spin and land on Dana in the quarter or semi finals....

Tip#2. Hope she red lights in the quarter or semi finals...
hahaha, Chris, it seems you have been in that

Pasi, If you ever see "green" you have taken off to late- I acutally leave on the 3rd yellow light, by time ,my brain tells my hand to let go of the clutch and the other hand to gas it, it makes for a good reaction time.

This is an area that I had to have a lot of pratice in, Bubba use to kill me at the lights all the time.

The only way I could beat him is to get better at it.....

P.s last race where he got the 2nd place trophy I had a .004 light..... heheheeee

Also it depends on the bike to where I stage, on my R I shallow stage (other wise it will red light).

on the banshee not so much so, I roll a couple of inches into it.

but All i can say is practice, practice, practice..... this site does have a tree in which you can practice on.

I am still trying to figure out how to hook a clutch lever up to it tho.....lmao!
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Moved the posts from the 3.58 time slip run posts here.
Let me try to say the same thing bubba is saying, but in a different way. Maybe it will help make sense, for those who are still confused.

First, ET is the time you ran, such as people saying I ran a 3.99, or 4.08 or 4.55 or 4.99, ect ect ect. The ET timer doesnt start till either the stage beam re-connects, from your front tire leaving it, or the guard beam breaks, from your front tire entering it.

Reaction time, is the amount of time it takes your front tire to either leave the stage beam, or trip the guard beam. The guard beam is 8" ahead of the stage beam. If for some reason, your front tire is large, or your frame is low to the ground, and it keeps the stage beam disconnected, your going to get a 8" rolling start, which could effect your 60 and ET, in a good way, and your reaction time, in a bad way. Which is one example of a bike running a slower time, but winning the race.
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