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 Post subject: Numbers/Plates
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 1:04 pm 
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I want to open up some discussion about the rules surrounding racing numbers and plates. For ease of getting things going, here are the rules:

5.3. NUMBER DISPLAY REGULATIONS -

5.3.1. Number can be chosen by rider but if conflict occurs will need
to be changed prior to racing. An ‘X’ will not be sufficient if the
number has been retired. See 5.3.9 for retired numbers.

5.3.2. Expert MCRA Riders will use white display areas or plates.
Amateur MCRA Riders will use yellow display areas or plates.
Combined classes can run either white or yellow display areas or
plates.

5.3.3. Number plates, or number display areas, must be of
adequate size, proportionate to the bodywork so that the
number plate is easily distinguishable at speed by officials
and other riders.

5.3.4. PAINTED DISPLAYS OR SEPARATE PLATES -
(1) Front display may be painted only if the front section of the
fairing is of adequate size and the display is clearly
legible. The front display area must be unbroken by air
intakes, and only one number display will be allowed.

A. If the rider chooses to position the front number
display to the side of the air intake, that number
display MUST be on the same side as the scoring
station used during each event.

(2) Side displays may be painted on rear body work only if
that body work presents a basically flat surface of
adequate area. The side plate must be mounted on the
seat or tail section and to the rear of the rider. Mounting
must be high enough to ensure that the number is
clearly visiblewhen the machine is leaned (cornering) without
interference caused by rider extremities or machine parts.

A. If the tail section profile does not allow the machine to
comply with Section 5.3.4.2, a single number display
on the top of the tail section may be installed and
orientated to be read from the rear of the machine. It
is the rider’s responsibility to have the number display
correct before coming to Tech Inspection.

5.3.5. Numbers must be black, of adequate size and spaced
appropriately in order for the number(s) to be clearly visible at
speed. Numbers must be of standard block lettering with no
shading, outlining or serifs. All numbers on any display must
be the same size.

5.3.6. The following samples show the type style required to comply
with these rules:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0

5.3.7. Number plates must be free from any stickers or sponsorship
logos except as required by specific class rules.

5.3.8. Final approval of a non-compliant number display will rest with
the Chief Technical Inspector.

5.3.9. Retired Numbers:
(1) 74 – Chris Knauer

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 Post subject: Re: Numbers/Plates
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 1:13 pm 
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To me, its kind of silly to have SO many rules based around a racing number display when we have an electronic system for timing/scoring. Manually timing/scoring these races seems like a HUGE headache for the people that have to do it and seems like a waste of time, anymore.

"So, what if my transponder quits working?"
Too bad, I say. Its the riders responsibility to make sure that its working and is it really that difficult to check the timing sheets that are posted after each session to make sure your transponder is working? Battery replacement is $17, so there really are no excuses... if yours isnt working, rent one for the weekend. Take some personal responsibility and dont expect the club to do extra work to keep track of your times because you dont keep track of your equipment.

Do we REALLY need to explicitly specify block lettering and black letters? Cant we just leave it at "Number plates, or number display areas, must be of adequate size, proportionate to the bodywork so that the number plate is easily distinguishable at speed by officials and other riders" and specify plate colors for EX/AM racers, where needed, and leave it at that? If someones plate is difficult to read, give them a "warning" for that event and make sure it gets updated when they come through tech at the next event.

I have a lot more to rant on about this subject, but Im at work and dont have time to write up a lot, right now, so Ill leave it here and open for discussion. I strongly feel like its time to make some changes in the rules to eliminate some "gray areas" that causes frustration/confusion, last year. Im only bringing it up, now, because I thought the numbers/plates were more of a "guideline" and kind of loosely followed. Now Im hearing that people are complaining, etc.... so lets make the appropriate changes for the times... its not 1974, anymore.

EDIT:
I also will say that I have kind of limited knowledge about everything that is involved with timing and scoring, so I could definitely be wrong about some of this stuff. This is just the way I see things with the information I have been presented. If I require some learning to get up to speed, please educate me! Thanks! :-)

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 Post subject: Re: Numbers/Plates
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 4:43 pm 
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There is always a chance the laptop can die or the something else happen with the timing loop. There a million ways something could go wrong with the electronic scoring system. Manual scoring will always have to be done as a backup and has to be done accurately. We actually relaxed a couple of the number plate rules this year a little, but certainly if something can be improved it should be improved.

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 Post subject: Re: Numbers/Plates
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:26 pm 
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That makes sense about things going wrong with the system. How many times have we seen that happn over the years we have been using the electronic system? Just curious.

I still maintain my position about simplifying the rules to be simply "Number plates, or number display areas, must be of adequate size, proportionate to the bodywork so that the number plate is easily distinguishable at speed by officials and other riders". That seems to cover the basis, to me.

Specifying a font type, color, etc just makes things tougher on people who are trying to participate and that stuff should have no bearing on the ability to do manual scoring as long as the numbers are deemed to be legible and they have the correct color plate/display area, if required by EX/AM classification.

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 Post subject: Re: Numbers/Plates
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:39 pm 
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I believe they had to go to the manual scorers for the restart order last year at Gateway when there was a red flag, although I'm not sure of the specifics of it. I think the manual scoring is needed at least a couple of times a year and I believe there were a couple of times where like half the field didn't get electronically scored because of some glitch. I know I had a couple of races that it only picked up like the first half of my laps. I believe they also cross reference the manual with the electronic after every race. Drew and Amy would be able to provide a lot more accurate summary of how many of those types of situations we've had the last couple of years. But again, I do know we've discussed the number plate rules a few times in the race committee this past year and I don't think anyone is opposed to improving things or making our rules fit with other orgs as long we numbers can easily be read by not only scorers, but corner workers, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Numbers/Plates
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 8:31 am 
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@Green_Bread


I see that the rules can be lengthy and hard to understand but I don't understand you're reasoning for wanting the rules changed. Is it really just that you want to use a different font and locate the numbers in a different area?


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 Post subject: Re: Numbers/Plates
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:15 am 
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crash wrote:
I believe they had to go to the manual scorers for the restart order last year at Gateway when there was a red flag, although I'm not sure of the specifics of it. I think the manual scoring is needed at least a couple of times a year and I believe there were a couple of times where like half the field didn't get electronically scored because of some glitch. I know I had a couple of races that it only picked up like the first half of my laps. I believe they also cross reference the manual with the electronic after every race. Drew and Amy would be able to provide a lot more accurate summary of how many of those types of situations we've had the last couple of years. But again, I do know we've discussed the number plate rules a few times in the race committee this past year and I don't think anyone is opposed to improving things or making our rules fit with other orgs as long we numbers can easily be read by not only scorers, but corner workers, etc.


In September (Amys Wedding day, she wasn't there for this) when we had to before half way mark red flag, manual scoring was used in conjunction with electronic T&S. Manual scoring was critical because at least 2 racers did not have a working transponder, and another racer had the wrong number associated with this transponder than what he registered for the race under and what was on his bike. If all racers had a working/correct transponder the red flag restart would have been directly after the incident was cleared. But because a few racers did not have working or proper set up transponders, we had to use the manual scoring and verify the discrepancies.

Since I've been around, I haven't seen the T&S computer or system fail during a race. We've had issues first thing in the morning a few times.

Being a club ran by its members only a few of them each season volunteer their time to manually score, if more racers helped manually score they would be making their numbers as large as possible or finding a better solution for manually scoring.


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 Post subject: Re: Numbers/Plates
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:17 am 
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Magruder13 wrote:
@Green_Bread


I see that the rules can be lengthy and hard to understand but I don't understand you're reasoning for wanting the rules changed. Is it really just that you want to use a different font and locate the numbers in a different area?


What we all want our bikes to look like.

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What our bikes really have to look like...

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 Post subject: Re: Numbers/Plates
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:30 am 
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Magruder13 wrote:
@Green_Bread


I see that the rules can be lengthy and hard to understand but I don't understand you're reasoning for wanting the rules changed. Is it really just that you want to use a different font and locate the numbers in a different area?


Partly. The main intent is to eliminate gray areas in the rule book and points that cause confusion. You didnt race last year, but if you had, you would know that there were many discussions around peoples number plates and what was considered legal/what was not. Truth be told, if we had been following the rules, pretty much all of our numbers would have been illegal for most of the season. So, clarification/simplification is needed to avoid situations where people get butt hurt and protest over something stupid like someones number display when it really doesnt make THAT much of a difference in the first place. All it does is make people mad/alienate people when the rules are followed by some and then they see others bending/breaking the rules with no consequence. I am not bringing this up solely for my benefit, but for the benefit of everyone - both racers AND the club. I hope that makes sense...

But yes, I would like to have a nice looking bike, as well. Its already difficult enough to make a Ninja 250 look decent without having to slap mailbox numbers and a giant background for the numbers that doesnt fit on the front of the bike, anyway. Haha.

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 Post subject: Re: Numbers/Plates
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:08 am 
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Although someone could protest the numbers I have not yet seen it, and hope it doesn't happen. Technically the racer should not pass tech and be allowed to race if their numbers do not meet the rules (I believe). There has been some leniency in that regard, and hope that everyone tries to get at least "close" to the rules to make it easier on the scorers, and other racers to be able to tell who they are racing against.

There was an issue last year where one of the Amatuers didn't have a yellow background and ended up dicing for the lead. The person he was racing against thought he was an expert so was just going to let him go. I may have actually been the one tech'ing his bike and let it slip through (whoops).

I know my numbers are also not regulation because the person that made my graphics put their logo on it and I didn't realize that he was going to do that. I cover the logo up with my race entry sticker so I am somewhat more legal. On the other hand, the plates are supposed to be "free of stickers", so not really more legal. :) I could also paint over it, but in the end it's been "close enough". After all, we're all pretty much just in this for the fun of it and we don't want to get too nit picky.

As you mention, if someone doesn't like it there is the protest clause but hopefully it doesn't come to that. I would just hate to see pushing the gray area just to be pushing it, and rather try to get as close to the rule book as possible. Just my opinion.

Also, keep in mind originally all of these rules were copied directly from the CCS rulebook. We've made slight modifications over time but try to stay compatible with other orgs as much as possible.

For comparison, CCS rulebook:
http://www.ccsracing.us/forms/2016/rule ... %20std.pdf

5.3 NUMBER DISPLAY REGULATIONS
5.3.1 Numbers will be assigned by CCS or ASRA.
5.3.2 Expert CCS Sprint Riders will use white display areas or plates.
Amateur CCS Sprint Riders will use yellow display areas or plates.
Electric machines must use green number displays with white
numbers, regardless of licensing status.
5.3.3 All ASRA Expert riders will use white display areas or plates. All ASRA
Amateur riders will use yellow display areas.
5.3.4 Number plates, or number display areas, will be a minimum of 10 by 12
with radiused corners.
5.3.5 Painted displays or separate plates.
A. Front display may be painted only if the front section of the fairing
is of adequate size and display is clearly legible. Otherwise, a 10 by
12 plate must be mounted. The front display area must be unbroken
by air intakes, and only one number display will be allowed.
(1.) If the rider chooses to position the front number display to the
side of the air intake, that number display MUST be on the same
side as the scoring station used during each event. (i.e. if you are
competing at Summit Point, the front display must be on riders
right. If you are competing at Roebling Road, the front display
must be on riders left.) It is the riders responsibility to have the
number display on the correct side before coming to Tech Inspection.
B. Side displays may be painted on rear body work only if that body
work presents a
basically flat surface of adequate area
. Otherwise, a
10 by 12 plate must be mounted. The side plate must be mounted on
the seat or tail section and to the rear of the rider. Mounting must be
high enough to insure that the number is clearly visible when the
machine is leaned (cornering) without interference caused by rider
extremities or machine parts.
(1.) If the tail section profile does not allow the machine to comply with
Section 5.3.5.B, a single number display on the top of the tail section
may be installed and orientated to be read from the rear of the
machine. If this configuration is chosen, the riders competition
number must be also be displayed on each side of the lower
fairing as to be visible by safety crew and officials. It is the rider’s
responsibility to have the number display correct before coming to
Tech Inspection.
5.3.6 Numbers must be black and approximately 6” high and 1” wide, of
29
standard block lettering with no shading, outlining or serifs. Number must
be spaced approximately 1” from each other as well as the edge of the
plate or display area. 6” or 4” numbers may be used on the rear plates as
long as the number is clearly visible at speed.
All numbers on any display
must be the same size.
5.3.7 The following samples show the type style required to comply with these
rules:
l 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0
5.3.8 Number plates must be free from any stickers or sponsorship logos
except as required by specific class rules.
5.3.9 Final approval of non-compliant number display will rest with the Race
Director or Referee.

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 Post subject: Re: Numbers/Plates
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:29 am 
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crash wrote:
I would just hate to see pushing the gray area just to be pushing it, and rather try to get as close to the rule book as possible. Just my opinion.


I think we are kind of saying the same thing, here. So, the question is, "Do we leave the rule book as is and leave the chance for issues to come up, or do we simplify the rule to be easier to follow so there is less chances for issues to come up?". That's really all I am asking.

Personally, I think there are more chances for issues to come up by leaving the rules the way they are, but that's just my opinion and I would love for more people to contribute to the discussion. The only concern Ive heard about simplifying the rule, so far, is that we need to make sure the number is visible for manual scorers. I know I keep going back to it, but the change Ive proposed would cover that concern just fine and make things less restrictive and offer less opportunities for issues to arise. Again, just my opinion.

Are there any other reasons NOT to simplify the rule other than the concern that manual scorers might have a harder time with seeing the numbers? Maybe we could get a description of how manually scoring a race works so we know what they are looking for/dealing with? Maybe we can make some suggestions about simplifying the rules based on that, as well?

Stuff like this is what I do for a living as a Systems Administrator. I focus on being proactive and trying to prevent issues from arising in the first place rather than always being reactive when issues do arise. I know you cant plan for 100% of situations, but taking care of the things you can see and fix easily to cut down on the possibilities of more issues arising in the future is always a smart idea. "If it aint broke, dont fix it" doesnt apply as we are a living organization and always need to be thinking about ways we can do things better, clearer, and be more inclusive to people to build a stronger member base.

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 Post subject: Re: Numbers/Plates
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:40 am 
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crash wrote:
Also, keep in mind originally all of these rules were copied directly from the CCS rulebook. We've made slight modifications over time but try to stay compatible with other orgs as much as possible.


The way I see it, if people race with CCS and follow their guidelines for the numbers/plates, they would still be legal for MCRA races if we simplify our rules, so they wouldnt have to change anything. The only time a person would have to change something would be if they only raced MCRA, made their numbers/plates for more relaxed guidelines, then decided to switch to CCS or another org with more restrictive rules in the future. I dont see it being the clubs responsibility to make sure that rider conforms with other clubs rules. If you are going to participate in multiple clubs/orgs, you should have an understanding of the rules for each. Why tie our own hands on something like that if we dont have to?

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 Post subject: Re: Numbers/Plates
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:44 am 
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If the numbers you have on your avatar are the numbers in question or as a "maybe they should be okay" they should not be legal. It's not only for scoring but for bike identification as well. The flaggers/corner workers can't say "the black bike is smoking". If you say bike "333" is smoking and it is displaying big numbers it's very easy to point it out.

CCS let people's fonts and sizes vary the past few years and now they are cracking down. WERA is just as crazy with legible numbers.

I know it's hard to fit 3 numbers on a plate that meet the rules and look cool but it can be done. If you can't find enough space on the tail you can always put them on the side fairings (in addition to the tail).

By having the rule as specific possible there shouldn't be a grey area. Tech's job is to make sure you bike is safe to race, not legal so it falls on the rider to follow the class rules. While I don't think any one would protest number plates it's in their rights and you should always have your bike legal for this exact reason. It's much easier to show you bike is compliant with explicit rules than somethign vague like "numbers shall be visible".


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 Post subject: Re: Numbers/Plates
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:09 am 
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green_bread wrote:

You didnt race last year, but if you had, you would know that there were many discussions around peoples number plates and what was considered legal/what was not. Truth be told, if we had been following the rules, pretty much all of our numbers would have been illegal for most of the season.


You're right, but in a recent survey given by me, 1/1 people think my opinion is the best opinion ever! :lol:

IMHO I don't think a race bike is a fashion statement, it doesn't need to look pretty, it needs to be functional. Like Some Guy #2 said, clear numbers is a safety factor, we're not professionals and the faster your bike can be identified the better off we all are. I recommend we keep the rules as they are but make them clear to everyone racing and heavily enforce them this upcoming race season. Don't give anyone an excuse to complain, if you don't meet the rules, you don't pass tech, you don't race.


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 Post subject: Re: Numbers/Plates
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 12:10 pm 
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Magruder13 wrote:
green_bread wrote:

You didnt race last year, but if you had, you would know that there were many discussions around peoples number plates and what was considered legal/what was not. Truth be told, if we had been following the rules, pretty much all of our numbers would have been illegal for most of the season.


You're right, but in a recent survey given by me, 1/1 people think my opinion is the best opinion ever! :lol:

IMHO I don't think a race bike is a fashion statement, it doesn't need to look pretty, it needs to be functional. Like Some Guy #2 said, clear numbers is a safety factor, we're not professionals and the faster your bike can be identified the better off we all are. I recommend we keep the rules as they are but make them clear to everyone racing and heavily enforce them this upcoming race season. Don't give anyone an excuse to complain, if you don't meet the rules, you don't pass tech, you don't race.


That's funny!

I try to make my bikes look at nice as possible, usually depends on how often I crash.

I just changed my number to a single digit number from 556 to make things easier on me and everyone that needs to be able to read the number.

I've been relaxed on number plates in the past, I don't want to be a dick about numbers. Have the proper color plate and race is how I've tried to be in the past.


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 Post subject: Re: Numbers/Plates
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 12:18 pm 
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Magruder13 wrote:
....but make them clear to everyone racing and heavily enforce them this upcoming race season. Don't give anyone an excuse to complain, if you don't meet the rules, you don't pass tech, you don't race.


There you go! Now you are getting to the point of what this is all about! :-) Clear cut rules that are easily enforced.

Im just stating my viewpoint in this thread for the sake of the discussion and I welcome/consider everyone else's viewpoints, as well. My opinion is not the only one that needs to be heard, so thank you guys for participating in the discussion.

If you want to use my numbers as an example, thats fine. I was planning on changing them, anyway, after I heard that they were a little difficult to read (though I never heard a single word about this during the season, last year) to make things easier on people. What I wanted to do was make the numbers I had larger and use white numbers on the black background of my bike. We can all agree that there is a very easily seen contrast between big white numbers on a black background, yes? So, if they are large enough to be seen and have enough contrast with the background, why do I also need to display a plate if Im not running a race where there is EX/AM classification?

Part of this is about the way the bike looks but the biggest point, again, is about clear cut rules that are easily enforced.

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 Post subject: Re: Numbers/Plates
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 12:32 pm 
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some guy #2 wrote:
If the numbers you have on your avatar are the numbers in question or as a "maybe they should be okay" they should not be legal. It's not only for scoring but for bike identification as well. The flaggers/corner workers can't say "the black bike is smoking". If you say bike "333" is smoking and it is displaying big numbers it's very easy to point it out.

CCS let people's fonts and sizes vary the past few years and now they are cracking down. WERA is just as crazy with legible numbers.

I know it's hard to fit 3 numbers on a plate that meet the rules and look cool but it can be done. If you can't find enough space on the tail you can always put them on the side fairings (in addition to the tail).

By having the rule as specific possible there shouldn't be a grey area. Tech's job is to make sure you bike is safe to race, not legal so it falls on the rider to follow the class rules. While I don't think any one would protest number plates it's in their rights and you should always have your bike legal for this exact reason. It's much easier to show you bike is compliant with explicit rules than somethign vague like "numbers shall be visible".


By the way.. this is a great response! Thanks for your perspective. I thought tech would make a call if something wasnt legal when they see the bike is supposed to participate in the race. The fact that they dont is kind of news to me.. so thats good info to have!

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 Post subject: Re: Numbers/Plates
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 3:07 pm 
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green_bread wrote:
Magruder13 wrote:
....but make them clear to everyone racing and heavily enforce them this upcoming race season. Don't give anyone an excuse to complain, if you don't meet the rules, you don't pass tech, you don't race.


There you go! Now you are getting to the point of what this is all about! :-) Clear cut rules that are easily enforced.

Im just stating my viewpoint in this thread for the sake of the discussion and I welcome/consider everyone else's viewpoints, as well. My opinion is not the only one that needs to be heard, so thank you guys for participating in the discussion.

If you want to use my numbers as an example, thats fine. I was planning on changing them, anyway, after I heard that they were a little difficult to read (though I never heard a single word about this during the season, last year) to make things easier on people. What I wanted to do was make the numbers I had larger and use white numbers on the black background of my bike. We can all agree that there is a very easily seen contrast between big white numbers on a black background, yes? So, if they are large enough to be seen and have enough contrast with the background, why do I also need to display a plate if Im not running a race where there is EX/AM classification?

Part of this is about the way the bike looks but the biggest point, again, is about clear cut rules that are easily enforced.


Looking at your avatar I would say those numbers are difficult to read. At the least they would need to be filled in completely yellow and much bigger. IMO the purpose of number plates is to desginate an area as where numbers should be. If you see an all black bike with big white splotches on it you would know to look at the white splotches to find the number. The number plate would even cover up crazy paint patterns to once again make the number stand out.

I guess the point would be, not everyone's bike is one single color so you have to make the rules apply to any possible scenario. Number plates make it easy to find and enforce no matter what color you bike is.


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 Post subject: Re: Numbers/Plates
PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2016 7:38 pm 
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Regarding CCS, yes they have cracked down and yes they do verify legality at Tech. Ask me how I know ;) And yes, MCRA did have a protest last year based on number.

For me, is the number legible and does the background have the proper color. And we should accept Red as a background fo Experts as does WERA if the rider has a MotoAmerica license.

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 Post subject: Re: Numbers/Plates
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 6:08 pm 
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All races at every level are manually scored to back up the electronic system. You never know when something will break.

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