Corners with Ruts – Reader Request

Turns are where races are won and lost.  The G.O.A.T. has always preached to practice corners.  When you can jump the same stuff as the rest of your class, your only option for faster lap times are corners.  However, throw in some ruts and you have a pretty tricky situation to deal with.  It may seem like a daunting task, but you can actually use the ruts to go faster.

As with any corner, you want to approach the corner at a wide, arcing angle.  This allows you to really lean into the corner so you can lay the bike down and really commit.  If there are multiple ruts in the corner, it is always a good choice to pick on that hasn’t been used as much.  When you get used to the main line, the rut gets chopped out from slower riders and it gets too deep.

Once you have your rut picked out, you want to make sure you have the bike under control.  Squeeze the bike with your legs and keep the elbows up.  When you get closer to the rut, braking becomes more important.  A good balance between both front and rear brake should keep you straight for the rut.  However, the more comfortable you become with the turn, you can use more front brake to get the front end to dive into the rut.  When you transition from standing to sitting, it should all be one motion.  Get off the brakes, sit close to the gas cap, inside leg out and get on the gas….one, smooth motion.

Now that you are in the turn/rut, you want to keep your vision ahead.  Don’t look right in front of the fender or you’re going to start making mistakes.  You want to look further ahead in the turn and at the apex of the corner, you can even look at the end of the turn.  Since ruts can catch your feet and throw you off balance, be sure to keep your inside foot up.  You can dab you foot if needed, but only if you absolutely have to.

If you feel your front tire wandering a bit, drag the front brake SLIGHTLY to keep it in the rut.  This puts more weight on the front tire and keeps it in the rut.  Since you have that guide of the rut, you can get on the gas a little harder than normal.  You shouldn’t stab the clutch and have the throttle wide open, but a good, hearty handful of throttle will do the job.  Don’t forget to put weight on the outside foot peg throughout the corner and you’ll be through the turn before you know it!

Posted on Nov 13 2009, under Riding Techniques | No Comments »

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