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superfast tire/wheel change at daytona

Discussion in 'Moto Club' started by bdhawk, Mar 21, 2005.

  1. bdhawk


    Mar 18, 2000
    the other day i was watching motorcycle racing from daytona. ya know, the ones where they are going 200 MPH and dragging their shoulder in the turns. pretty exciting stuff. they were good. there is no way i would have the guts to ride that hard.

    anyway, when they pit, they can change the rear tire so fast you think it is magic. they have the axle, the rear brake assembly, and the chain to fool with..... and lord knows what else. i tried to figure out how, but they were too fast and the camera guy wasn't cooperating. how in the dickens do they change the rear tire so fast? BTW, the announcer said it was a rule that the rear sprocket has to be changed with the wheel. the same sprocket cannot remain with the bike and be used with every rear wheel.

    well my wife wanted to change channels before i could figure it out. so i'm clueless how they do it. does anyone have any insight?
  2. chevrofreak

    chevrofreak Senior Member

    Dec 27, 2001
    Billings, Montana
    A lot of race bikes use a single sided swingarm, so they can just zip off lug bolts/nuts and replace the wheel like on a car. Sprocket probably works about the same.

  3. gixxer11

    gixxer11 bbrrraaapppppp!

    Jan 11, 2005
    in the garage
    Single sided arms are old-school. They had to be made too heavy to get the strength. I know it's a special assembly, that holds the disc and caliper in place. As far as how it all goes together I'm as lost as bdhawk. Never seen one close enough to get a look. I've been to superbike races, but couldn't get close enough to the details.
  4. kato4moto


    Sep 3, 2002
    Daytona is the only race in the series that is long enough to need pit stops and tire changes so they had to get a little creative, but most of that quick-change stuff is borrowed from the world endurance bikes. Not literally, but the ideas are the same.

    In essence, you get things built so the chain adjusters and brake calipers and other things remain on the swingarm while the sprocket, brake rotor(s), etc. stay on the wheel.

    The rider comes into the pits and stops, the pit crew jumps around the bike. One guy slips a stand underneath the front and/or back end to lift it and keep it in place. One guy with an air wrench removes the axle nut. Another then slides the axle out, and another can slide the rear wheel out after lifting the chain off the sprocket. He receives a new wheel assembly from someone, then replaces the chain onto the sprocket and slides the wheel in place, making sure not to knock the brake pads out of the caliper. Axle's slid back in, and nut is tightened. Front wheel changes are a little different but still pretty quick. It's a well-choreographed dance when done well, as polished as any NASCAR team. :)
  5. This was the first year that quick change rear wheel assemblies were not allowed in the 200. I guess it was supposed to even out the teams between the haves and have nots.
  6. WERA49


    Jul 26, 2003
    kato4moto is correct, but I'd like to add a few things.

    They also use captive wheel spacers so that the spacers don't fall out. The sprocket assembly stays attached to the swingarm. It has one open side that is indexed to the rear so that the rear wheel can be pulled straight out.

    The older systems used a captive drive sprocket. On the newer ones, the sprocket stays attached.

    The caliper stays attached. The brake pads won't be knocked out when the wheel is reinserted. The edges of the brake pads are beveled to prevent that.

    Does that help to better understand the wheel changes?

    BTW, the front and rear stands are designed to hold the wheel in the correct position as the bike is picked up.
  7. bdhawk


    Mar 18, 2000
    thanks! great info. how do they get the chain tension so fast?
  8. Messer


    Jan 13, 2003
    Central Virginia
    I'll have to go watch the tape of this years Daytuna 200 again - I remember them making a point that the rear wheel setup was changed this year by rule. That the new rules had the sprocket coming off with the wheel.

    Honda even had a "hook" attached to the swingarm so the chain could be held out of the way while the new tire was put in place.

    All in all - no matter how they did it, they sure did it fast ;f

    Safe riding all,