Inside Corners with ruts

Kevin Windham shows us perfect form.If you have ever listened to Ricky Carmichael talk about his training, he always says to practice corners.  This makes perfect sense.  If everyone in your class is jumping the same stuff, where do you make up time on them?  Corners.  Throw some ruts in the corner and you have a pretty tricky situation, especially on the inside.  Insides are usually deeper and tougher to get through, but they can save you time from going all the way on the outside, if done correctly. 

To be honest, I look forward to a chewed up, rut filled corner.  It just makes things easier for me.  Maybe, I am used to the soft soil getting trenched out, but it is something that makes corners that much better.  Anyway, the first thing you have to do is pick your rut.  In this case, our rut will be on the inside.  If there are multiple lines to choose on the inside, pick one that has a smooth arc, so you can carry your momentum.  Once I have the rut I like, I usually go out little wide.  When I say go wide, I’m not talking about take the outside, then sweep in.  You just don’t want to be going straight at it. 

When I am coming up to the rut, I DO NOT look at my front fender.  I stand up until I am almost in the rut and then I sit up close the gas tank and throw my leg up.  I look at the apex (the middle of the corner).  I used more of my front brake than my rear.  This is so my front end will force the tire down, into the rut and make sure I am secured in.  As far as what gear to be in, I like the motor to be in the low to mid range.  This is so you get a good amount of traction and you stay smooth.  If you crack the throttle in a lower gear, you’re going throw yourself out of the rut from the surge of power and lose time. 

When you get to the start of the rut, lean in and look ahead.  If its deep, you want to make sure your leg is up and not dragging.  Only dab your foot for balance, that’s it.  Once you feel that you are secured in, apply the gas and keep weighting the outside foot peg.  Another trick that works well is to drag your front bake if you feel the front wheel coming out.  When you drag the brake, it weights the front and keeps you going with the rut. 

Once you get the motion and flow of the ruts, you will eventually look forward to it.  They can make your life so much easier in corners.  However, later in the day, you have to be careful and switch your line selection up, as the main ruts will get trenched out and DEEP.  Keep your speed up and don’t fight through the corner and you’ll be good to go.

Posted on Aug 21 2009, under Riding Techniques | No Comments »

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