Difficult Downsides

Looking at the picture, you can tell he getting ready for a rough downside.Getting to see James Stewart this past weekend was pretty incredible.  I was able to see his style and how he works the bike, up close and personal.  The “Ride Day” was at Dade City, which can get notoriously rough.  I had a quick chat with Troy Adams and he even said it was rough!  The soft soil had the riders navigating through deep ruts, huge braking bumps and chewed up landings on the jumps.  You could tell that the fast guys had a much better way to get through the dips on the downsides and it saved them a lot of time and energy.

One thing I noticed, especially from Stewart, that you NEED to be able to clear the jump.  The slower guys would hit lip, or the very edge of the downside and come up short.  When this happens, two things occur.  First, you don’t get that rear wheel on the downside to get you driving forward effectively.  Second, when bounce from the case, you get yourself out of rhythm for the next section.  So, make sure you can clear the jump easily.

Okay, so you can clear the jump.  The next part is about mid-air control.  If you have ever watched the nationals on TV, the riders always try to get the rear wheel on the ground when things get rough.  This applies to jumps as well.  When the downside has dips and random craters in it, you want the shock and rear wheel to soak it up for you.  As most of you know, when you rev the bike in the air, you will notice that the front end comes up.  In this situation, this is what you need to do.

Instead of landing even with the downside, you want the rear wheel to touch the ground first.  And, most importantly, you want to be on the gas, hard.  You need to get the rear to hit right in the middle of the crater/dip in the landing.  As soon as you feel the rear hit the ground, get on the gas and shift your weight back slightly.  If you time it right, your shock will be able to absorb the dip without any rebound.  It will feel a lot smoother and you will have more momentum coming off a rough downside.

The key points to remember are a slightly higher front end when landing, getting on the gas hard and weight shifted back.  Once, you get the timing down, you will notice a big different in the speed you can carry off of the jump and into the next section.  It takes some time to get used, but once you do, it’ll be another weapon to use in race situations.

MotoSport, Inc.


Posted on Sep 21 2009, under Riding Techniques | 2 Comments »


2 Responses to “Difficult Downsides”

  1. Nice article, one of your best.

  2. Thanks D, I’ll call you later.

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