What gear to start in?

15 replies to this topic
  • candlkirk

Posted October 20, 2001 - 06:21 AM


I would like to know what gear everyone starts in. I have also heard that alot of people put a 50 tooth rear sprocket on there bike. If you do this, do you still start in the same gear as you did with a 49 rear sprocket? I am learning alot from all of you guys and really thank you for your help.

  • BK14MX

Posted October 22, 2001 - 06:51 AM


I always use 2nd, since you dont have to shift as much, wait a little longer to hit 3rd. Try not to rev to much before leaving the line, starting on a 426 is a little different that on a 2-stroke. The calmer you are the better your starts will be.
I have also started in 3rd on gates that are very sandy. Hinson basket and Hymec clutch help that process tremendously.

almost forgot, i run a 50 rear sprocket.

[This message has been edited by BK14MX (edited October 22, 2001).]

  • MikeOK

Posted October 22, 2001 - 07:20 AM


I always use 2nd. I hear some use 3rd but I just can't seem to get the feathering down right for 3rd. I haven't tried it yet, but I am convinced that a 1st gear start would be better even though I'll be grabbing 2nd in a few feet. The 2 strokers usually get the jump on me right out of the gate but I always blow past them (most of them anyway)as soon as I get a few feet out, so I think I might try 1st and see if it helps. Any of you tried a 1st gear start? I'm still on a 49 tooth but I got a 51 in last week and I'll post as soon as I try it...

  • Itsamre

Posted October 22, 2001 - 07:49 PM


Lacr, concrete, 3rd, gone!
REM, " " "
You just have to practice it and hold on!
That was with stock gearing!

Mark...00 426 w/plates,and $4000.00 of other attachments!

  • BK14MX

Posted October 23, 2001 - 02:22 AM


Starting in first gear will leave you playing catch-up, also your taking the chance of hitting neutral. Your bike will pull the taller gears, give it some practice, and the HOLESHOTS come easily!

  • MikeOK

Posted October 23, 2001 - 04:28 PM


I thought about the hitting nuetral, this would be a problem. I know that last year as a true beginner I was racing a different track than I have this year, and while starting on a concrete pad I almost always got the holeshot starting in 2nd gear, to usually be blown away in the first lap of course. This year I've done lots of practicing and I'm actually winning occasionally, but I'm not doing as good on the starts as I did last year. I'm riding a '00 426, and I'm using all of it's power which I rarely did last year. Makes me wonder if I've really improving that much or if maybe I need to re-build my top end. Have any of you experienced this? I'm really not sure if my abilities have improved to the point that I'm able to open up the big beast or if it's lost some power. Still feels as powerful as it did but this topic has me wondering now...

  • yzernie

Posted October 24, 2001 - 03:03 AM


Starting is like anything else involving this sport, do what works for you.

On some tracks with a short start I use 2nd and on tracks with longer starts I use third. It does take a lot of practice to get the 3rd start down but, once you do, you'll like it.

--Life is too short, work hard...play hard--
Sponsored by Yamaha of Cucamonga, Larry Roeseler's Stroker Fourstroke Speed Equipment and Answer Racing, yzernie@dirtracers.com

  • Roostie_1

Posted October 24, 2001 - 11:47 AM


I used to always start in second and it worked alright, then last winter I went to a school put on by a local pro in the middle of arena-cross season. He raced a 426 in 00' and usually always finishes in the top 3.(just wanted to give some credibility for my story). Anyways, he made me do my starts in first. One eighth throttle, clutch partially engaged, front brake on. When the gate drops simultaniously let go of the front brake, ease out the clutch and roll the throttle on as fast as possible without actually just cranking it. The key here is to make the throttle roll a fast, smooth, fluid movement. Get as far up as possible on the bike and squeeze like crazy with your knees because you won't be able to hold on! Don't doubt this until you try it. It took a few tries to get the hang of it, but once I did I was amazed.

Starting in second and dumping the clutch is for two smokes - IMHO

Anyways, give it a try I was amazed, and I have pulled a lot of holeshots since then. (I just wish that everyone would stop passing me in turn 2 Posted Image)

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  • Roostie_1

Posted October 24, 2001 - 11:50 AM


I forgot to mention that I have never hit nuetral and that starting in first dosn't leave you playing catch up, it actually gives you the jump on everyone else and then as soon as you start grabbing gears it's like a 426 explosion.

Whew - I'm getting all worked up just thinking about it - I think that I need to go riding!

  • MikeOK

Posted October 24, 2001 - 01:06 PM


roostie- I'm trying it saturday night you have me convinced. I'm locked in at 2nd place for this fall series so I really have nothing to lose anyway. I really believe that unless I miss second that I can out holeshot any of the 2 strokes, since I was doing it last year. Right now I'm watching them jump me for the first ten feet or so then blowing by after that, that is unless I'm in the same gate with the open riders and those guys aren't really human so I can't compare to them...

  • motoman393

Posted October 24, 2001 - 03:24 PM


I start in Numero Dos! I know a guy who screwed up his clutch plates by starting in 3rd...and 1st is to high geared to be competitive!


I get my kicks on a 426!
Motoman393's MX Site

  • Roostie_1

Posted October 25, 2001 - 04:01 AM


MikeOK - you'll be very surprised. I'm sure you'll get the holeshot. Just make sure that you practise the technique a few times to get the hang of it.

  • BK14MX

Posted October 25, 2001 - 03:17 PM


Roostie_Practicing starts is one thing, actually not missing a shift next too a few other people is another. I understand the practice thing, but second gear takes hitting neutral completely out of the picture and allows you to outpull a 2stroke with ease. It is actually pretty hard to screw up a second gear start on a 426, it goes back to your "own" comfort zone, but I would still recommed 2nd before 1st.

  • MikeOK

Posted October 27, 2001 - 07:40 PM


Ok so I just got back from the final race of the local fall series, ended up with 1st in the over 30 class wooohooooo. Anyway, last night I slapped on a new back tire, and I could not believe the effect a new tire has on a bike. The old one wasn't all that bad or so I thought. I ended up doing the same old 2nd gear start and had excellent gates, especially in the second moto. I'm still going to try the 1st gear start on my next practice day though. I put on a Dunlop 755 from advice I got here and I can't say enough about the tire. After I got used to it I rode better than I ever have, corners and all which was my weakness before. If you are putting off a new tire I learned tonight that I'll never do it again, makes all the difference in the world. Man, now I need to get to bed cause I gotta go to stinkin' work tomorrow (today?) but I'm too wired from this race to sleep... :)

  • BK14MX

Posted October 30, 2001 - 03:56 PM


Congrats on the series finish. I havent gotten a chance to do a real start with a gate in first gear yet, so for now sticking with 2nd/3rd for now. Im riding mostly in Georgia and run 756's, just put a fresh set on. I go though a set every 4-6 rides, gets a little ridiculous $$ wise, but you can't take it with you.....

  • candlkirk

Posted October 31, 2001 - 04:08 AM


Thanks for everyone's help. I raced this weekend. The first moto I tried 2nd gear and got a mid pack start. The second moto I tried 1st gear and got alot better start, so I have to believe that 1st works better for me.

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