Racing under the lights

The lights are hard enough, but add in ruts and braking bumps, racing at night is tough!Supercross is coming up and the Nationals are officially over.  The U.S. Open marks the beginning of the night time riding for the pros.  Racing under the lights can be really fun, especially in front of a crowd.  However, there is a big difference between riding at night and during the day.  And it’s not just the sunlight!

Actually, that is a big factor.  The sunlight heats up the Earth, obviously.  But, it is the way in which the sunlight dries the Earth that you should be concerned about.  In the morning, fog is everywhere.  The moisture from the dirt rises up above the ground and condenses, resulting in a “thick mist.”  When the sun hits the mist, it evaporates and the moisture is dried up and the track slowing gets dried as well.  When the sun goes down, the process starts up all over again.

So what does this have to do with riding?  When the sun goes down and the lights come on, the moisture collects on the track.  This results in softer conditions or slippery if its clay (or possibly hard packed).  So, you need to be prepared on and off the bike to make these adjustments.  It would be a lot like riding in the morning because it is still early and the fog is still somewhat over the track; plus your track probably waters the track as well.

Another thing to remember is the lighting.  Shadows are created by the gaps in the lights, so ruts and braking bumps may appear differently in the day than the night.  A good idea is to make sure that you have clear lenses on your goggles.  There are enough distorted hues from the lights, you can do with the red, yellow or mirrored lenses at night.  Just go to a few night practices if you can, it will make you appreciate the day time ride and make you a better rider.

MotoSport, Inc.

Posted on Oct 11 2009, under Riding Techniques | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “Racing under the lights”

  1. good article!! 🙂

  2. Thanks! I always had a rough time riding at night lol

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