Dealing with those annoying bumps…

Taken in 2005, Ivan Tedesco skips across braking bumpsBumps.  No matter how you look at them, they are not a good thing to have.  Whether the bumps are on you or on the track, they suck.  Braking bumps can make you or break you in motocross.  In the summer time, Florida gets rain regularly, so the tracks get beat up a lot.  Even if it doesn’t rain, at big nationals, the main line on a track is destroyed within a few motos. 

So where do you go when the fast lines are wrecked?  When this happens, your best bet is to look to the edges of the track.  Even if the fastest line is torn up, still try the smoother line.  This will help keep you from getting tired and arm pump.  The more energy you have throughout the moto, the more consistent your lap times will be and this is crucial on rough tracks.     

If the smoother line is still somewhat rough, remember to grip with your knees on the entrance.  This will keep your bike from swapping out.  This will help in braking too.  When the back end isn’t kicking you around, it’s on the dirt more, resulting in more friction for stopping.  When you are braking, don’t lock up your back brake up, drag it so the wheel “chatters”.  Balance your braking between the front and rear evenly. 

As you approach the corner with even braking and minimal swapping, keep in mind that if there are a lot of bumps before the turn, there might be some in the corner.  If this is the case, ride through it in a gear higher than you normally would.  You almost want to chug.  Momentum is very important here so you can ride in a gear higher.  If it’s a sweeper, then I would suggest standing up and if it is a sharper corner, sit down.  Flow and don’t try to fight your way around.  Your knees should be squeezing the bike in both situations. 

Each corner is different, so practice these techniques before applying them in a race situation.  In order to be successful in any corner, momentum is king.  And this is no different.  Braking bumps are hell at first, but keep at it and remember the fundamentals for corners; head and leg up, weight on the outside foot peg and a steady throttle.

Posted on Jul 27 2009, under Riding Techniques | No Comments »

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