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Motor-pacing guidelines

Below are some guidelines for safe use of a motorbike (derney) on the velodrome. There are also Council requirements that need to be adhered to. If you are a derney rider, or planning on being a derney rider, then read and follow this information, to ensure you are driving the way PNP recommends.

Motor-pacing guidelines can be downloaded here.



PNP Cycling Club owns the Honda motorbike and this is available for anyone with a motorcycle license within the club to use. Please contact the Track Convenor to arrange use of this bike. There are spare fuel cans in the shed for you to replace the fuel used – please top these up after use. The Club motorbike is not road registered so please be aware of this. After use of the Honda, please turn off the Fuel switch to reduce leakage onto the shed floor.


As a motor pacing driver, what do I need to know?

Motor-pacing driving is great fun and a huge responsibility. I can’t over emphasise just how much danger a motorbike represents by being on the track with cyclists. There are a few absolute rules to live by.

  1. Pay attention! The riders behind you can only hurt themselves, but the ones in front of you can really muck up the works for everyone. Keep an eye on those two jokers rolling around at the top talking. Look out for that new rider who is nervous. If there is a team pursuit team on the track, they will ALWAYS spread right in front of you.

  2. Ride straight. Sounds simple, but we want bike riders to ride straight and pacers should too. You MUST be predictable for the riders on the track.

  3. each yourself to ride within a 2 kmph range for many laps at a time. At the first of the season, try to get some time alone on the track to get dialed in again

  4. Teach yourself to accelerate very gradually. Try to go up 2.5 kmph per lap, hold for a lap, up 2.5 kmph more, etc.

  5. The hardest skill is to slow down when your riders are being worked too hard. DO NOT shut the throttle down. Sit up into the wind, throw your knees out and let the speed scrub off. Experiment, this is hard.


Endurance Driving
  1. When you are motorpacing with other riders on the track, the blue (stayers) line is the motorpacer’s. You can do most endurance work on the blue. When the pole line is open we’ll use it in order finish an effort.

  2. The biggest problem with endurance driving is “Death Grip” Holding your throttle hand in one position for an extended length of time. Use the toe strap or throttle lock and try to keep a light grip on the throttle. Easier said than done. You will still get the death grip. If you have to, wave off the riders and give your hand a good hard shake.


Sprint Driving
  1. This is where you really have to be good. Now you’re going fast enough to truly hurt yourself and others. We strongly suggest that you always have a clear track for motor sprinting. For an inexperienced rider, a motorcycle going 70 kmph past them can be really scary, and you don’t know how they may react. Even though you are riding predictably, it may be hard for others to figure out what you’re doing.

  2. Practice the workout you’re about to do and have a coach or helper put a watch on you. If you’re working to ride 200 meters in 10.2, find out what it feels like and looks like on your speedo or tach.

  3. Remember, a motorcycle squats down in the turn and slows a bit. On exiting the turn the motor gets launched a bit. The sprinter will climb up on you in the turns and you’ll pull away out of the turns. Once you’re really good you can minimize this, although you should still be prepared to be yelled at.

  4. Motorsprints are really hard to do well. The better and more experienced the sprinters are, the better the feedback you get

  5. Do NOT try to drive faster than you’re comfortable with. If you don’t feel good going 10.4, don’t do it. Work on your own until you’re comfortable. If you are going faster than you want DO NOT back off the throttle. If you do, you’ll get spit straight up the track. Learn to counter steer. Sit on the low side of the bike and push the left grip forward.yeah, I know its counter intuitive, but it works.

  6. Wear a good quality motorcycle helmet for sprinting. This is probably self-explanatory.


General Techniques
  1. Get your communication sorted. Make sure your riders know that you are signaling 2 to finish, 1 to start, 3 to sprint, whatever. Riders should yell “up” or if you want to be Euro, “allez” when they want you to pick it up. “Whoa”, when they want you to slow. Remember; don’t turn the throttle off when you hear whoa; go back easily. Guide to Motorpacing

  2. When you want a rider off you, just give them a flick-wave behind your back.

  3. Remember, you are the biggest, baddest thing out there. Don’t be a jerk, but take control of the situation and be the person in charge. If you’re working with a coach or two, make sure everything is coordinated.


Why motorpacing?

Motor-pacing is one the finest, but most misunderstood tools in track racing. A lot can be accomplished behind the motorbike that can’t really be done by a lone rider or a group. Motorbikes never get tired, they’re speed isn’t limited and they throw up a pretty good draft.


The motorcycle

At altitude, a scooter is pretty weak. At sea level with a very light rider, a scooter may be able to go 60 kmph or so, but that really only makes it useful for long endurance efforts. A Harley is just stupid and impossible to maintain constant speed.

The two most important things in choosing a motorcycle is your ability to ride it at an absolutely constant speed and accelerate and decelerate very smoothly and predictably. As bikes get more powerful, the harder they are to control smoothly. The less powerful they are, the harder it is to truly go fast on them. It really is a matter of finding the right bike for your skill level.


There are few other things to keep in mind.
  1. Try to find a bike with low exhaust. Don’t use 2-stroke bikes (for noise and exhaust problems).

  2. A sport type position will make it easier to ride motor sprints. It’s just better balanced at high G’s having some weight on that front wheel.

  3. Stay away from a lot of bodywork if possible. When you drop it and you WILL DROP IT, it is much less of a pain to replace a mirror and a clutch lever than $600 worth of plastic, plus a mirror and a clutch lever.

  4. Use a throttle lock or a toe strap to counteract the throttle return spring if possible.

  5. You WILL go through lots of tyres. Don’t buy the cheap Chinese tires. If you’re only doing endurance work you can get away with hard tyres. If you are doing motor sprints, buy the best sport tires you can get. It’s not much fun to have a front tyre break loose at 70 kmph. It gets pretty busy in the cockpit.

  6. Use bar-end mirrors to see around your body mass.

  7. Roller: Some riders love ‘em, some hate ‘em, but it is a real safety factor, especially if the driver is less than perfect. Get it as close to rear wheel as possible. Minimum 450mm wide. No higher than 350mm or lower than 300mm off the track when you have the bike loaded

  8. Make sure you’ve got petrol and your tires are the correct pressure!

  9. Use a motocycle helmet for high-speed work, but a biycle helmet at lower speeds can give you better hearing ability for communication.

  10. Ride above the red line on the Wellington Velodrome, at speeds of 40kmph or more, to keep the riders off the bumps. They get extremely uncomfortable and dangerous the faster you go.


Wellington City Council Requirements.
  1. No riding on the grass.

  2. A high-visibility vest must be worn by the derney rider at all times.

  3. It’s okay to thave 2 motorcycles (derney’s) on the track at the same time provided they are a safe distance apart e.g: no pacing, parallel riding or overtaking.

  4. Derney’s should be registered with the Council as a vehicle sanctioned by the Club. Report any other vehicle use observed prior or after our sessions.

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