Navigating rough sweepers

The first corner at Millville is a fast, wider sweeper packed with 40 guys.  Pretty nuts!There’s nothing better than a smooth sweeper.  You can get on the gas hard, break the rear end out and drift like a flat tracker.  It’s one of the best feelings in the world.  However, when you start getting some slower people on there who chop the throttle, things tend to get rough by about mid day.  Plus, the track is getting dried out and the bumps and ruts get bigger and bigger.  There are a few things to remember, but one trick that might make a rough sweeper more enjoyable.

Let’s start with a smooth sweeper.  Normally, when it is freshly groomed, you can pretty much take any line you choose.  A good thing to remember is to not have any pivot points.  You want a smooth arc throughout the corner and keep a steady handful of throttle (if the soil is on the softer side).  You want to keep your head up, elbows up, and weight on the outside foot peg.  I prefer to sit down when it’s not rough, just because it looks cooler to me.

However, when things start to get a little bumpy, your favored line may not be the best option.  The edges are the best place to look.  The inside cuts a lot of distance of the track, but the outside maintains more speed/momentum.  So, the decision is yours to make and decide which line is better.  If you have a big jump after the sweeper, maybe the outside will be better because you can have that speed to huck over the jump.  But if there is another corner after the sweeper, the inside could your best bet.  Like I said, it’s up to you to play around with line selection.  As things get rougher, standing up is a better choice.  You have more control of the bike because your legs have more leverage to grip the bike in the bumps.

Now, when the line you take is just a curved whoop section, there is something that you can do.  You normally would hear a pro recommend squaring up a sweeper, but this is the time you can.  As you approach your line that is covered in moguls, you can aim between them, pivot and square up the sweeper.  It is sort of like squaring up a bowl turn; you want lean the bike and lock the rear brake up.  You want your rear tire to slide between the two bumps so you face the exit of the sweeper.  It sounds weird, but it works if you do it fast.  It takes some practice to get the precise down, but once you do, it will make a difference on how you get through the rough sweeper.  Just remember to look ahead, elbows up, stand up (when it’s rough) and grip with the knees.  Keeping a higher gear to chug through also helps, so keep it smooth and clean!

MotoSport, Inc.

Posted on Oct 14 2009, under Riding Techniques | No Comments »

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