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Feather weight class

#1 User is offline   tall guy Icon

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 08:49 PM

I was just made aware of a feather weight class issue on Facebook.
Why is face book called Facebook when it should be called vaguebook?
If you have issues air them out or stfu.
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#2 User is offline   POE Icon

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 07:56 AM

I saw that, too.

What are the details on this controversy? I know there's concerns about some bikes being built to the moon, but how?

Suggestions to better the class?
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#3 User is offline   Tyykila731 Icon

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 10:26 AM

My issue is I don't have one.
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Posted 17 May 2018 - 12:43 PM

View Posttall guy, on 16 May 2018 - 08:49 PM, said:

I was just made aware of a feather weight class issue on Facebook.
Why is face book called Facebook when it should be called vaguebook?
If you have issues air them out or stfu.


What specific questions do you have?

View PostPOE, on 17 May 2018 - 07:56 AM, said:

I saw that, too.

What are the details on this controversy? I know there's concerns about some bikes being built to the moon, but how?

Suggestions to better the class?


I will provide a summary, the way I see it through my eyes. Others' opinions may be different, but I like to think I have a decent understanding of the overall issue:

To start, I believe the Featherweight class was created to replace the Ninja 250 Spec-class because new bikes within the same "small bike" category were being manufactured (by a variety of manufacturers). The Ninja 250 class was starting to die out, so it made sense to update the class system with something new.

Individuals that prefer to race in these types of classes find it attractive primarily because it offers fun, fair racing at an economy price point. It's no surprise the Ninja 250 spec-class was the most affordable way to race competitively within the entirety of the CRA's class system.

The cause for concern after the May weekend is due to certain bikes appearing to have a large mechanical advantage over others within the Featherweight class. Some speculate these bikes are beyond the rules. Others, including myself, believe these bikes have been built completely legally; however, regardless of one's opinion, it is clear certain bikes have been built in a way that is beyond the vast majority of their competition. This situation is partially a fact of any type of racing - it never is truly "fair" like we may all wish it would be. With that said, the amount of this mechanical advantage is what's upsetting certain Featherweight class participants.

Additionally, it's been confirmed from multiple sources that a pre-season gentlemen's agreement was formed to not perform any "full supersport builds" within the class by a couple existing class participants and certain new faces to the class. After the May weekend, it was reported that these new faces admitted to building their bikes beyond what was originally agreed to. Naturally, the existing class participants are disappointed and upset by what has panned out.

I was not part of any pre-season agreement, nor did I have any knowledge of it prior to the start of the May weekend. For the sake of transparency, all of the above information is hearsay. I feel very well-connected in this class, which is where all of this information is coming from. I am not trying to get in the middle of a "he said, she said" battle here. I am simply trying to lay it out for everyone in a fair, objective way - while still providing some explanation behind what certain FW riders are upset about.


My personal opinion is below:

Personally, I race Featherweight because I cannot afford to run a Middleweight or Unlimited bike competitively. If it wasn't for the Ninja 250 class, I probably wouldn't have joined the CRA family in the first place. That class offered an extremely affordable way to compete for a class championship and learn roadracing in general.

Even last year, Featherweight was considerably more expensive to race than Ninja 250 - mainly due to the price and availability of parts. Also, the base chassis are a little more expensive since the bikes are much newer.

This year, we are finding the costs appear to be going up even further due to FW rules being much looser regarding what modifications are legal (FW isn't a "spec-class" like the Ninja 250 class was; now we are governed by SS, SB, and GP rules). To remain competitive at the Expert level this year, it is near impossible to compete for race wins without using MR12. Additionally, it sounds like other costly modifications are becoming more necessary, such as installing thinner base/head gaskets, performing valve jobs, and modifying timing. All of these items are legal per SS rules; however, the VAST majority of class participants have no desire to spend the time/money on these modifications. For example, I personally run a $300 eBay full exhaust, BMC air filter, generic ECU flash (no custom tune), 415 chain, and 91 pump gas. I have found MOST of my competitors to be in a similar ballpark regarding what they have done to their bikes too.

Once people start to step up the modifications list in search of more power and an additional advantage, it forces the rest of the class to comply or get left behind. This inherent problem is what's driving costs up and ultimately driving people out of the class - like some of you may have recently seen on Facebook.

Personally, my only issue with it all is I genuinely wonder if the people that are building up their Featherweight bikes actually enjoy the class for what it's historically provided - cheap, fun racing. I am skeptical they are entering this class and building up their bikes in attempts to chase some easy overall points that are not relevant to the vast majority of the other participants in this entry-level class.

My suggestion would be to create a division within FW that would be closer to the prior Ninja 250 spec-class requirements. This idea would offer some formal guidelines for everyone to go by while still considerably keeping costs down and offering a "cheap" class to race in. Perhaps it would replace Featherweight SS, SB, or GP - whichever people felt appropriate.

That's my personal $0.02. Please know I am genuinely not trying to offend anyone with these words - I'm just shooting it straight the way I see it.
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#5 User is offline   louiedude Icon

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 01:42 PM

Either the bike fits/meets (follow rules structure) rules or it doesn’t. If a racer suspects someone bike does not fit the rules as they are laid out in the rule book then there is s process in place to ensure fair racing, it is called a protest.


No further action needed to take place when process are in place to ensure fair class racing.

If a racer chooses not to use the process in place then you have no reason to complain
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#6 User is offline   Stettnichs Icon

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 02:18 PM

View Postlouiedude, on 17 May 2018 - 01:42 PM, said:

Either the bike fits/meets (follow rules structure) rules or it doesn’t. If a racer suspects someone bike does not fit the rules as they are laid out in the rule book then there is s process in place to ensure fair racing, it is called a protest.


No further action needed to take place when process are in place to ensure fair class racing.

If a racer chooses not to use the process in place then you have no reason to complain


That's definitely the most black/white and fair perspective of any rules/class situation, including this one. Like I mentioned before, I personally think the bikes in question here are completely legal - per class rules.

To expand on your comment, however, I am suggesting the idea of modifying the rules for future seasons to promote a "spec-class" racing environment similar to the racing that occurred within the Ninja 250 spec-class, which Featherweight has replaced.
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#7 User is offline   Mark.Fisk Icon

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 07:30 AM

Thanks for providing your perspective Sean - for what it's worth, I will share the Fisk Brothers R3 build here:

Graves full system
Power Commander 5 (with Dynojet downloaded map for Hindle full system - running on pump gas all last weekend)
DynoJet quickshifter setup for standard shift (because Brian still prefers it :rolleyes:) :-)
Non-flashed stock ECU (we are sponsored by Bauce Racing so they will do a flash as part of our support so this may change eventually)
Thinner head gasket (this was done as part of rebuilding the top end [new rings] over the off season due to the base gasket issue correction and a scar on one cylinder - if we never had the base gasket issue it would be stock still)
415 chain/sprockets
Ninja 650r rear shock with adapter from our sponsor (yamahaR3racing.com)
TD AR25 Axxion damper kit in the forks with adjustable preload caps
Aftermarket air filter
Woodcraft rearsets
Steel brake line up front
Spears heavier detent spring to clear up some false neutrals between 3 and 4 that some riders (Chase and Brian) were having ($15 - works great!)
FBR chief mechanic Mike Smith did the emissions delete stuff originally and blocked everything - with the top-end rebuild we installed the Graves block-off plate
Rear Brake reservoir delete (a short tube and cap that I happened to have)
cheap clone clip-ons
Shogun sliders
Specific Yamaha R6 throttle tube (poor man's quick-turn. I will find/share this part number if anyone is interested, I think it was like $16.00 or so)
Pirelli tires of course!

The bike has never been on the dyno and the only reason we ran MR12 in it was when Brad Zajic originally got the Power Commander from Graves (preloaded with a map I could never see) with the exhaust the bike had a significant mid-corner hesitation and so we tried MR12 and it cleared that up. As stated above, we are on pump gas now with an internet downloaded map from DynoJet and that is how the bike will stay. This setup is what Brian Hebeisen was dicing with Minster on Saturday for 2nd/3rd in FW Expert.

The plan for this bike is for my daughter to race it in June or July in the novice field. She did her first track day a couple weeks ago. Once she gets through NRS the FBR bike will be running in Novice likely at the back of the pack...for awhile anyway.

This is absolutely still very inexpensive racing (ask me how I know) and anyone looking to build something similar I urge to check out our sponsor yamahaR3racing.com. Jesse Norton will help you set up a podium capable bike for the least amount possible!

if we do get the ECU flashed (by our sponsor Bauce Racing) it then will have to go on the dyno but it will be tuned for pump gas. I will happily share the results with everyone if that day comes.

This post has been edited by Mark.Fisk: 18 May 2018 - 08:39 AM

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#8 User is offline   Stettnichs Icon

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 03:00 PM

View PostMark.Fisk, on 18 May 2018 - 07:30 AM, said:

Thanks for providing your perspective Sean - for what it's worth, I will share the Fisk Brothers R3 build here:

Graves full system
Power Commander 5 (with Dynojet downloaded map for Hindle full system - running on pump gas all last weekend)
DynoJet quickshifter setup for standard shift (because Brian still prefers it :rolleyes:) :-)
Non-flashed stock ECU (we are sponsored by Bauce Racing so they will do a flash as part of our support so this may change eventually)
Thinner head gasket (this was done as part of rebuilding the top end [new rings] over the off season due to the base gasket issue correction and a scar on one cylinder - if we never had the base gasket issue it would be stock still)
415 chain/sprockets
Ninja 650r rear shock with adapter from our sponsor (yamahaR3racing.com)
TD AR25 Axxion damper kit in the forks with adjustable preload caps
Aftermarket air filter
Woodcraft rearsets
Steel brake line up front
Spears heavier detent spring to clear up some false neutrals between 3 and 4 that some riders (Chase and Brian) were having ($15 - works great!)
FBR chief mechanic Mike Smith did the emissions delete stuff originally and blocked everything - with the top-end rebuild we installed the Graves block-off plate
Rear Brake reservoir delete (a short tube and cap that I happened to have)
cheap clone clip-ons
Shogun sliders
Specific Yamaha R6 throttle tube (poor man's quick-turn. I will find/share this part number if anyone is interested, I think it was like $16.00 or so)
Pirelli tires of course!

The bike has never been on the dyno and the only reason we ran MR12 in it was when Brad Zajic originally got the Power Commander from Graves (preloaded with a map I could never see) with the exhaust the bike had a significant mid-corner hesitation and so we tried MR12 and it cleared that up. As stated above, we are on pump gas now with an internet downloaded map from DynoJet and that is how the bike will stay. This setup is what Brian Hebeisen was dicing with Minster on Saturday for 2nd/3rd in FW Expert.

The plan for this bike is for my daughter to race it in June or July in the novice field. She did her first track day a couple weeks ago. Once she gets through NRS the FBR bike will be running in Novice likely at the back of the pack...for awhile anyway.

This is absolutely still very inexpensive racing (ask me how I know) and anyone looking to build something similar I urge to check out our sponsor yamahaR3racing.com. Jesse Norton will help you set up a podium capable bike for the least amount possible!

if we do get the ECU flashed (by our sponsor Bauce Racing) it then will have to go on the dyno but it will be tuned for pump gas. I will happily share the results with everyone if that day comes.


Thank you for the information and transparency, Mark. I think I speak for many in saying it's been fun dicing it up with both Brian and Brad in the "little bike" classes.

I don't see anything in your build list, aside from MR12 and maybe the thinner head gasket, that is too far off from what MOST FW guys run. Even with those potential outliers, I have no reason to believe the recent discussion has been specifically directed toward you, Phil, Brian, Brad, or Fisk Brothers Racing in any way. I certainly hope it doesn't come off that way!
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#9 User is offline   voon Icon

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 05:39 PM

View PostMark.Fisk, on 18 May 2018 - 07:30 AM, said:

Thanks for providing your perspective Sean - for what it's worth, I will share the Fisk Brothers R3 build here:

Graves full system
Power Commander 5 (with Dynojet downloaded map for Hindle full system - running on pump gas all last weekend)
DynoJet quickshifter setup for standard shift (because Brian still prefers it :rolleyes:) :-)
Non-flashed stock ECU (we are sponsored by Bauce Racing so they will do a flash as part of our support so this may change eventually)
Thinner head gasket (this was done as part of rebuilding the top end [new rings] over the off season due to the base gasket issue correction and a scar on one cylinder - if we never had the base gasket issue it would be stock still)
415 chain/sprockets
Ninja 650r rear shock with adapter from our sponsor (yamahaR3racing.com)
TD AR25 Axxion damper kit in the forks with adjustable preload caps
Aftermarket air filter
Woodcraft rearsets
Steel brake line up front
Spears heavier detent spring to clear up some false neutrals between 3 and 4 that some riders (Chase and Brian) were having ($15 - works great!)
FBR chief mechanic Mike Smith did the emissions delete stuff originally and blocked everything - with the top-end rebuild we installed the Graves block-off plate
Rear Brake reservoir delete (a short tube and cap that I happened to have)
cheap clone clip-ons
Shogun sliders
Specific Yamaha R6 throttle tube (poor man's quick-turn. I will find/share this part number if anyone is interested, I think it was like $16.00 or so)
Pirelli tires of course!

The bike has never been on the dyno and the only reason we ran MR12 in it was when Brad Zajic originally got the Power Commander from Graves (preloaded with a map I could never see) with the exhaust the bike had a significant mid-corner hesitation and so we tried MR12 and it cleared that up. As stated above, we are on pump gas now with an internet downloaded map from DynoJet and that is how the bike will stay. This setup is what Brian Hebeisen was dicing with Minster on Saturday for 2nd/3rd in FW Expert.

The plan for this bike is for my daughter to race it in June or July in the novice field. She did her first track day a couple weeks ago. Once she gets through NRS the FBR bike will be running in Novice likely at the back of the pack...for awhile anyway.

This is absolutely still very inexpensive racing (ask me how I know) and anyone looking to build something similar I urge to check out our sponsor yamahaR3racing.com. Jesse Norton will help you set up a podium capable bike for the least amount possible!

if we do get the ECU flashed (by our sponsor Bauce Racing) it then will have to go on the dyno but it will be tuned for pump gas. I will happily share the results with everyone if that day comes.




That is a generous list of information, and I applaud you for providing it. Every class of racing has been like this since forever - some people have the resources and the will to field the best bike possible. And sometimes it's just that the rider is better. Yes, Brian, you experienced old dog - thinking of you.
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