Holding a line…?

popeyethewelder.com/facebook questions



  • PTW – Holding a line….? We hear this phrase a lot, “oh it holds a HARD line”…..what’s a soft line? It either holds a line or it doesn’t, right?…. if you have say four different makes of buggy, they are all dimensionally the same overall, width and length, you will always hear one person say, “but this buggy holds a better line”

I have never heard so much rubbish. If one of the four buggies is running straighter than the other three, there are a lot of different factors it could be, but one thing for sure is, it will not be the buggy….it could be

(If all the buggies had the same set up with tyres ect)

  • 1. Position of the seat
  • 2. Less powerful kite than the others are flying
  • 3. The tow point is in the wrong position
  • 4. Pilot utilising own weight in the buggy more efficiently
  • 5. Balancing weight has been added/not added correctly
  • 6. Other factors.

What’s your opinions?

  • Wayne Carkeek –  to me that phrase means it loses less ground down wind on a reach.  comes down to a buggy that has maximum traction. all tyres have even load  and grip , and the tyres stay on the ground longer
  • Al Noblet –  tow point/COG is by far the most important thing to tune, a few cm either way will change the handling and ability to “hold a line” smaller buggies moreso than heavier ones….these two factors are so exclusevly linked that to get them perf…actly ballanced AND have the buggy set up to your body dimentions that it is in my opinon the art of buggy tuning and can take a long time to sort out…..after this is tyre choice and pressure, but we could have thousand pound wheels nd a bad towpoing and the poor buggy couldnt hold a line for shit.
  • PTW – Yes I agree Wayne, so should we not then hear…the set up of this buggy holds a good line….the buggy could be anywhere in its naked form, and once everything is correctly fitted and adjusted into the correct position for THAT buggy it will hold a better line…..its more about set up than the buggy is what I am saying
  • Wayne Carkeek –  I have a carbon wing axle, alloy suspension axle and solid 4mm wall ss axle and they are totally different in the way they hold a line despite all the other factors  so chassis is important too, not i said the samel oad not weight as the kite loads the wheels too i agree with Al above and its a great learning cure finding all this out
  • PTW – Yes most racing buggy chassis are the same nowadays, and the point you are making about your different axles and their effects in holding a straighter line comes down to tow point again because of the different weights of your axles, for in…stance your heavier axle will have to be compensated at the front of your buggy….or move your seat, right or if your buggy was designed with the heavier axle in the first place the compensation will have to be made when you use your carbon wing
  • KiteBuggy BagMan –  Some out of box buggies do hold better lines than others. i jumped in an apex a couple of weeks ago and it was really really good, impressively good to be honest,… but lots of work has gone into the design of this, plus if you are paying 2k for a buggy you expect it to work!  i am currently running sub 24kg buggy at the mo and this holds a really good line, even though it should not according to the text book.  Every one thats had a go is also surprised, its foot print has been extended which is compensating i think, but i am not into all the techinical stuff.  if we start talking tyre pressures i wont be posting any more! lol   Photo
  • PTW – Yes Jon, I agree, its not about weight and size of a buggy, we have agreed the tow point is the most important factor with holding a line. Look at a Flexi buggy, when traveling at speed the pilot has to lean forward to compensate him almost sitting on the axle, because they were designed for something different…..note no tyre pressures mentioned
  • KiteBuggy BagMan –  will be using the above when i am racing in future, dont care if i come last either, but there is a very good chance i wont! lol
  • Al Noblet –  its all physics, tyre pressure included….buggies that are heavy are less affected by rider weight and towpoint, so you can jump in one and ride it and it will feel great, but it is not tuned specificaly to you, it just so happens that you fall into its (good) ballance criteria, meaning their is still room for improvement….some buggys do ballance better than others, i built a ballancing stand once and to date, only one buggy has ever ballanced perfectly both with, and without its pilot sat in the seat…..its a very good test an now is the only way i will ballance a buggy.
  • Andrew Etherington –  Holding a tight line is a phrase I have used myself especially when I upgraded my Pogona to a Tornado 2. The Pog flexed due the materials it was constructed from the T2 was a lot stiffer and comparing the two when fully powered up the stiffer T2 could hold a better line when aiming for a mark in a race. So from experience a stiffer chassis provides a buggy that will point in the direction you want it to go and hold a better line. I suppose that goes for most wheeled vehicles just look at F1 and how they have strived for stiffer chassis. Having said that due to surfaces we go over some flex say in axle construction or the types of wheels/tyres we use also aids how the buggy performs.
  • KiteBuggy BagMan – a couple of years ago i was out in the Wet on a perfectly smooth beach down aber, i was nicely balanced doing about 35 odd, i could actually see the difference of moving the kite forward and backwards in the window as the back axle was kick…ing out etc or front end was washing away, as the beach was so slippery it was easy to bring on the different characteristics, really interesting as well, well i thought it was anyways ! yawn
  • Al Noblet – i can see why your yawning, that was a riveting story
  • Andrew AutoBuddy Jones – So is it mores about where the kite sits in the window?? Rather than the buggy itself. I jumped in a few buggies the weekend.. and felt really overpowered in them.. back ends sliding out and lots of sideways pull… Same kite.. trimed in the same etc… But when I jumped back to one of my kitebikes I felt i wasn’t overpowered with back ends wanting to pull or slide out? What’s that all about then ?
  • Al Noblet –  thats the ballance thing, the towpoint is to far back, imagine riding around with your mainlines attached to your rear axle, everytime a gust comes through, the kite is gonna pull the rear axle around, same if you attached them to the front axle, the front would just skip out all the time….so you want it in the middle, then all 3 wheels will slide at the same time.
  • Andrew AutoBuddy Jones –  Ok… So why don’t we feel this on the kitebikes ? Why do I feel over powered with sliding etc on a buggy and feel fine or underpowered on a bike…
  • Kitezone Muriwai – Do we really have to tell the buggy world all the secrets of a kite bike 🙂 Ok, when the power comes on in a kite bike you just lean away from the kite this lowers you COG, + the 45 deg angle of the wheels to the ground is giving the bike maximin traction, and lastly you only have two wheels so there is more weight to hold the traction per wheel. Oh, one more thing you’re just a very good kite bike pilot 🙂
  • Andrew AutoBuddy Jones – Thanks lol… Was just wondering why it happens on a buggy and not the bike.. and why we don’t feel as powered up.
  • Ken Shaw –  For me and my way of thinking, the whole thing comes down to side bite; effective contact patch of the tire and how it works on or in the surface under heavy lateral forces.  As in Saturday night circle track racing, proper chassis loading is critical but I think we overlook the importance of tire and wheel combinations, air pressure, tire sidewall flex and tread pattern as it relates to the surface we are working with at the time.  The physics of chassis dynamics can only squeeze so much from the tension in the kite lines. However, just as with the Kite Bike, modulating the contact patch of the tire in relationship to the side load is critical to increasing side bite in this business.  That’s where I’m spending most of my time these days, investigating bringing the active, dynamic, intuitive camber adjustments of the Kite Bike to a 4 wheel platform…   and keeping it under 150 kilo of course.