Keeping Your Drive on Uphills

I am always saying, keep your momentum up. This is the easiest way to be a faster rider, save energy and save your clutch. Jumps, whoops and turns make this task pretty tough, but when you add an uphill or some type of incline, this can be a daunting job. Put a corner before the uphill and you get acceleration bumps and it can be even tougher! However, it’s not as bad as you think.

Hills like this separate the men from the boys. Basic motocross technique requires you to keep your head up and looking at the next obstacle. If there is a corner before the uphill, you want to go through the turn clean and smooth. This helps you maintain drive and your rear wheel won’t spin as much. Another thing to think about is line selection; you want to choose a line in the corner that will set you up for a smoother part of the uphill. This goes back to looking ahead.

Once you are out of the corner or previous section, you want to keep your rear wheel on that ground as much as possible. This ensures your drive up the hill. A good way to keep your rear wheel driving and on the ground is to ride in a higher gear. Now, I’m not say to lug up the hill, but you want to keep your bike in an RPM range, where your front wheel is just about to come off the ground. If you are in too low of a gear and revving, the suspension is going to load and bounce, not absorb the bumps.

If you are getting to the top of the hill and you start to lug, your best bet is to fan the clutch. Remember; when you fan the clutch, there is no power to the ground. So, keeping the fanning down to a minimum. Also, only down shift as a last resort. Down shifting can put you too high in the RPM range. Most uphills are going to be rough, so grip with your knees. This and the right gear can keep you out of trouble.

With many of my posts, the main idea here is vision and momentum. You need to look ahead so you get a good line and drive. This ensures a faster way up the hill than your competition. Smooth throttle application and the right gear is something that is different for every uphill situation. So, experiment with different lines and gears to get an idea of what the optimal combo is.

MotoSport, Inc.


Posted on Sep 10 2009, under Riding Techniques | No Comments »

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