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Thread: Supermoto Basics

  1. #1
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    This is the first version touching on the basics. Feel free to ask questions and comment.

    Supermoto Basics

    Definitions of Supermoto on the Web:

    *

    Supermoto (also called Supermotard due to its strong foothold in France) is a cross over of motocross and road racing. A big (typically 400cc to 700 cc) motocross or enduro bike with spoked road race wheels on slick tyres, is ridden on a circuit approximately 70% tarmac and 30% dirt. Commonly held on road racing tracks with the off road section in the in field. Riders wear road race leathers (as opposed to off road clothes). ..



    After racing Motocross for almost 30 years, I got interested in Supermoto after seeing a weird looking MX bike in the back of a pickup truck at Connecticut River MX track. The bike had slicks and a big front rotor also the guy was wearing road race gear and a MX helmet. After that I looked into it and it looked pretty cool having a MX bike with slicks and racing on the asphalt. So I was hooked, but things have a way of not working out when you really want something. Flash forward to 2006 finally I ordered a new KTM 560SMR, this bike was “Race Ready” just as KTM claims. I went to the track for the first time and I was all smiles except I was looking for berms in every corner to bounce off of. It comes to you like a lightbulb above your head about what works and what doesn’t and taking Doug Henry’s School didn’t hurt either. I started racing Supermoto in May of 2006 and have steadily improved since then. 2007 April, Loudon, NH I finally do my first road race after about 20 years of thinking about it. For a greenhorn road racer, I didn’t do too bad my first time out. Well enough about me and on with my lame guide to Supermoto.



    · Supermoto really should have a dirt section if it doesn’t that sucks, but if it rains most tracks wont run the dirt. In Europe they run rain or shine. So if you never rode dirt, you better become one with it.

    · Classes are broken up into skill level and displacement c.c.

    · The most economic way to get started racing in the Sportsman class, which consists of a MX bike with stock wheels and a 19” dirt track tire in the back and a 21” in the front. Most also install a MX oversize rotor and hi-temp brake fluid to keep from boiling the fluid. This is a way to try out Supermoto without spending money on 17”wheels. I have seen some guys rip on these setups in California.

    · The next level would be a full blown Supermoto bike. There are 2 ways you can go.

    1. Buy a turnkey Supermoto like a KTM or Husqvarna and Aprilia . These with minimum prep will be good race bikes.

    2. Take a motocross bike and convert it. This can be costly initially, because the cost of wheels and and brakes can be a bit much on top of the cost of a new 450cc MXer. If you already own a MX bike then you are ahead of the game. Ebay is your friend if your careful and check it often. Some great deals are out there on occasion, of course always when I have no jing.

    · Breaking down the components of a Supermoto bike.

    1. Wheels – front 17” and 16.5” x 3.5 wide. Rear 17” x 4.50 to 5.50 wide. Most use spoked wheels with tubes. Also used are aluminum Marchesini wheels and Alpina makes a spoked tubeless wheel.

    2. Tires – tires used in race conditions are either slicks or rain tires depending on conditions. Dunlop, Michelin are the popular tires but there a few more. Rain tires are treaded and channeled to displace water, the compound is very soft and meant to warm up quicker in cooler rainy weather. Riding in the dry will destroy rain tires very quickly.

    3. Brakes – 310 to 320mm front rotors using either radial or offset lug mounted calipers most are 4 and 6 pistons. Rear brakes are generally stock with upgraded pads and fluid. A overly powerful rear brake could get you in trouble. Master cylinders also have to be upgraded from a MX unit in order to power the larger caliper.

    4. Engines – like in any form of motor sports there are many levels of engines. For this guide I think I going to just brush by this as a stock motor is more than any of us really need at this point. Learning to ride it is the first thing to worry about it. Although I do recommend a slipper clutch if you are going to race regularly. It is a pretty good investment ($700 - $1000) In order to “back the bike” into a corner, a rider needs extremely good clutch control. The action must eliminate enough engine braking to stop rear wheel chatter, at the same time maintain some engine braking and stability. You could not for example, disengage the clutch completely, without disastrous consequences. Most, if not all pros use a slipper.

    5. Controls and race prep – Almost every Supermoto I have ever seen has some sort of handguard not really for guarding your hands but to protect your controls. Your clutch and brake levers will snap off like pretty easily even in a small crash., plus your grips would be toast after one crash. Some have replaceable sliders, which I replace quite a bit . Most of you sportbike guys know what frame sliders are and have praised them at least once, I know I have. In Supermoto we use axel sliders, these save your axle nuts and anything else they keep off the asphalt. I have slid my bike down the track 150 ft and ran and picked it up and kept going, they help a lot. Peg sliders are also becoming mandatory for most tracks because the owners don’t like us scraping and gouging their track up., plus your footpeg wears down. As in road racing fluids on the track is a bad thing, so catch cans are used to contain oil, gas and coolant overflow. Safety wiring of drain bolts and radiator caps is mandatory. Suspension and triple clamp offset is a bit beyond this guide, but Supermoto suspension is much stiffer than a MX bike initially in the stroke to keep the bike from diving in heavy braking.

    · Riding gear for Supermoto - For those of you that are looking ride a Supermoto on the street, you can wear the same gear as you ride a sportbike with. A tank top and flip-flops will be fine. For the Supermoto track , some wear full Supermoto specific leathers or Motocross style Supermoto gear with armor underneath. Leather offers more protection but is much hotter, guys coming from a MX background prefer the fit of the MX style gear. Gloves are generally Supermoto specific or roadrace style. Helmets and mostly MX style . Boots worn are MX boots or Supermoto specific with sole sliders and replaceable soles . if you are planning on riding /racing on a road race course Loudon, etc then road race gear prevails.
    Albert Einstein once said that "Insanity is repeating the same actions, over and over, again and again, and expecting different results."
    2006 Kawasaki KX450F MX
    2006 KTM560SMR #67 Supermoto
    Offical Supermoto Recruiter
    Make it idiot-proof, and someone will make a better idiot.


  2. #2
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    Great write up. Especially this part...

    Riding gear for Supermoto - For those of you that are looking ride a Supermoto on the street, you can wear the same gear as you ride a sportbike with. A tank top and flip-flops will be fine.[/b]
    [quote]
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  3. #3
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    sweet article thanks

  4. #4
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    sweet article thanks
    [/b]
    Welcome, I am posting a 2 page exert from the 2007 AMA Supermoto program.
    Albert Einstein once said that "Insanity is repeating the same actions, over and over, again and again, and expecting different results."
    2006 Kawasaki KX450F MX
    2006 KTM560SMR #67 Supermoto
    Offical Supermoto Recruiter
    Make it idiot-proof, and someone will make a better idiot.


  5. #5
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  6. #6
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    very good intro explains everything

  7. #7
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    very good intro explains everything
    [/b]
    Thanks
    Albert Einstein once said that "Insanity is repeating the same actions, over and over, again and again, and expecting different results."
    2006 Kawasaki KX450F MX
    2006 KTM560SMR #67 Supermoto
    Offical Supermoto Recruiter
    Make it idiot-proof, and someone will make a better idiot.


  8. #8
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    Thanks
    [/b]
    im hoping to try a supermoto a buddy of mines got one so i cant wait to rip it

  9. #9
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    Page is back online, most of the links work
    Albert Einstein once said that "Insanity is repeating the same actions, over and over, again and again, and expecting different results."
    2006 Kawasaki KX450F MX
    2006 KTM560SMR #67 Supermoto
    Offical Supermoto Recruiter
    Make it idiot-proof, and someone will make a better idiot.


  10. #10
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    I'm interested in street riding a supermoto bike, could you make any suggestions as to brands and such... one of my concerns is the fact I weigh 240 and feel a 250 might be too small...any thoughts?

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