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Thread: track questions / suspension

  1. #1
    Neutrino
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    track questions / suspension

    I'm curious why some people complain about the car being hard to handle, as in they need / want to make all sorts of changes to the shocks / springs / anti-roll bars.

    Is it because they are way better drivers than I am and therefore they are exceeding the capabilities of the car, or is it because they don't know how to drive the car and they are assuming the suspension is shit.


    To be specific, I'm NOT referring to anyone who's upgrading parts that is an obviously good driver I'm referring to the random posts I read from people I don't know and they complain they can't drive the car because it always steps out on them. Yes the car did that to me on my first track day...8 times, lol, but since then I just drive it without trying to floor it too early, voila, no more spin outs.

    enlighten me to your thoughts atom peeeeeple.

  2. #2
    Neutrino Norm's Avatar
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    Re: track questions / suspension

    While I do think there is some complaining without regard for fact at times, there are some issues. The cars do make the springs do an anti roll bar's job. The front springs on a Brammo car do bottom out for me under heavy braking causing the lift of a rear tire. Stiffer front spring did get rid of that. It is interesting to note that TMI cars have much heavier springs all the way around, mine does too now. Not confirmed, but, I am not convinced a TMI car's geometry is any different. The cars are not a balanced setup from the factory, thanks to Mark for setting my car up!

    Not an expert here, those are my observations...

  3. #3
    Neutrino
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    Re: track questions / suspension

    I guess I always want to respond....if it kicks out when you're leaving a turn, don't stab the throttle so hard.



    is that so wrong?

  4. #4
    Neutrino Norm's Avatar
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    Re: track questions / suspension

    Maybe you need bigger tyres, maybe you need to unroll steering input a little quicker, ... there is know way to actually know from our desks. It is still fun to speculate

  5. #5
    Electron Karl's Avatar
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    Re: track questions / suspension

    I think a lot of people come from cars that are reasonably powerful, but that are also nicely tuned to be predictable and relatively easy to control. They come to the Atom with the same expectation, that due to its longevity on the market, the bugs have all been sorted out. This couldn't be further from the truth: to this day the Atom 3 still has rod ends in bending, narrow rear tires, the same crappy lights, the same unreliable brake light switch, no anti-roll bar, no fuel tank baffles, thin suspension pushrods, and may even have the regressive bellcrank geometry that the Brammo Atom 2's had (among a host of other issues). The Atom's handling problems are somewhat due to its crazy power to grip ratio, but also due to a host of other design decisions/compromises (e.g. extreme rear weight bias). Some of this you fix behaviorally (learning how to drive the Atom) and some you fix practically. If you try to entirely fix it behaviorally, you end up compromising as a driver and underperforming the car's true potential.
    300hp K20A | "It'll never go, my dears! Not if he's had anything to do with it."

  6. #6
    Positron Gage's Avatar
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    Re: track questions / suspension

    Quote Originally Posted by Karl
    I think a lot of people come from cars that are reasonably powerful, but that are also nicely tuned to be predictable and relatively easy to control. They come to the Atom with the same expectation, that due to its longevity on the market, the bugs have all been sorted out. This couldn't be further from the truth: to this day the Atom 3 still has rod ends in bending, narrow rear tires, the same crappy lights, the same unreliable brake light switch, no anti-roll bar, no fuel tank baffles, thin suspension pushrods, and may even have the regressive bellcrank geometry that the Brammo Atom 2's had (among a host of other issues). The Atom's handling problems are somewhat due to its crazy power to grip ratio, but also due to a host of other design decisions/compromises (e.g. extreme rear weight bias). Some of this you fix behaviorally (learning how to drive the Atom) and some you fix practically. If you try to entirely fix it behaviorally, you end up compromising as a driver and underperforming the car's true potential.
    Well said Karl.
    "Opportunities do not come to those who wait; they are captured by those who attack."

  7. #7
    Proton DarthChicken's Avatar
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    Re: track questions / suspension

    Some cars can make total idiots look like great drivers. My WRX was one of those vehicles. No track experience, and thinking I was a god on the track. Then I get an atom, and spin the car on turn 3 of the very first lap, and I'm wondering "what is wrong with this car".

    Before I did that track day, I attended a drivers clinic. It had a 200ft circle you were supposed to drive around as fast as possible.. the car pushed BAD. I literally could not get it to step out. Then I did the autox, and finally got it to step out.. and it went all the way around.

    The car will not protect you from yourself. You HAVE to be a good driver to drive an atom at any speed. You have to know how to make the car where you want it to go. And then either deal with the limitations, or remedy them.

    I have 24k miles on my car. But only like 15 track days. I've set my car up the way I like it to behave - somebody else may drive my car, and say it's "x" and doesn't have enough "Y".

    The last thing I'd bitch about is folks changing their car Silver.

  8. #8
    Neutrino
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    Re: track questions / suspension

    I'm not bitching.....I'm asking.

    kthxbye

  9. #9
    Neutrino MadMaxAtom's Avatar
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    Re: track questions / suspension

    Wide sticky race tires,heavy springs and Moton shocks...proper track alignment..and most importantly..LOTS of seat time = a car that has no equal.
    The power of an Atom is a terrible thing to waste! Atom owner/operator since 2007. The more you chase perfection,the faster it becomes. John Force for President! (I asked him once in person...he laughed)

  10. #10

    Track Questions/Suspension

    Excellent point.

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