Since we are already underway with the Sportbike Freestyle Riding (SFR) as a proper motorsport, this time we are here to discuss the cosmetic functional meds which a bike has to go through to prep it for a crowd exciting experience during a show.
These modifications listed here are not just aesthetic but more of functional amends to the stock bike. Most mods are functional to the Sportbike Freestyle Rider just as a handle of a bat is functional to a batsman in cricket. These mods are bottom line basics which need to be put into place for safety too.
The consensus of each is explained below in detail:
1. Crash Cage: Proper metallic cages which are custom made as per bike specifications. These are a set of tubes welded together or fastened to either side of the motorcycle frame near the engine. In cases, it can be a single perpendicular tube which will protrude to a certain length out of the bike. The main purpose of these crash cages is to protect the rider’s legs in case the bike topples to either the left or the right side as well as helps the bike from considerable damages.
2. Wheelie Bar: This is a small custom piece of metal which is welded to either the grab rail bracket or rearmost point of the chassis of the bike. The rider uses this to keep his step at various points during the performance. It is incorporated a lot during the basics as it acts as a fulcrum on which the weight of the rider and bike shifts from one side to the other. The primary function is to lend support to the rider during the front wheel being raised.
3. Foot Pegs: These custom foot pegs are placed towards the rear pillion side on both ends of the bike. These act as add-ons to assist during various acrobatic feats. Generally made out of steel with a gripped tread on the top of it.
4. Tank Dent: Though this compromises a bit on the fuel capacity there are many tricks (not stunts!) like high chair wheelie (watch the upcoming types of wheelies article for more understanding) where the rider has to sit on the tank with his legs resting on the front of the handlebar. This dent is laden with a sheet of foam which helps cushion and pedestal during many tricks.
5. Handlebar: This is a very important modification which if not properly tailored to rider specs and comfort can end up in a crash. The weight, offset angle, size, stiffness, and height of the handlebar are very tedious parameters.
It is also to be noted that most of the riders don’t just have one bike which means individual calibrations to each bike for each rider. It also would mean that one kind of setting according to the mean sitting position and strength of one rider will not equate to another rider if the rider is switched.
For shows and performance which range anything between 5 minutes to 5 hours, it is crucial that the handlebar comfort level per rider per bike is apt. An improper setting of a handlebar can spend a bike spinning after one tries to land a wheelie. It can even result in sudden wobbling. Stoppies can be a big risk if the handlebars are not adjusted as per mean requirement of the rider as the whole weight of the bike and the rider itself shifts on the handlebar and the front wheel.
6. Stepped up Pillion Seat: This adjustment needs a hunter’s eye to be recognized. A stock bike and an SFR bike can be easily differentiated by the concentrated and compact stance on the latter one. The rear raised pillion seat
functions to give rider’s abdomen and lower back some extra support while the wheelie is being popped in from the saddle itself. The best example of the same can be properly seen in a twelve o clock wheelie.
The above-listed alterations are more necessary for getting involved with the sport of Sportbike Freestyle Riding. A set of these modifications are not road legal which in turn makes the bikes illegal. Anyone following these as potential steps to understand the sport and modify their bike likewise should also understand the future and road usage shortcomings. Just like the track day cars and bikes which are meant to attack a track in monitored conditions, this is a sport which employs discipline and has a specific format to follow.
Being in a saddle is always fun, exciting, nerve tingling and of course, raising a bike will always grab some eyes. Saying so one always has to respect road laws and does not have the right to endanger host and adjacent lives. The sport is to be practiced amongst controlled and permitted conditions.
The safety gear is a mandatory here and so for regular bike commuters. Game on!
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