Railing Softer Corners

I do a lot of articles on corners. But, that is only because turns are where you win races. Sure, you could scrub the hell out of every jump, but in order to approach those jumps fast enough, you need to rail the corners. When you ride on your normal soil, you become comfortable with it. However, when the sun dries out the moisture in the dirt, that soil gets to be pretty tricky and turns into momentum killing sand. Sandy turns can either make you faster than everyone else or it can make you slower than everyone else.

One thing that is the most important aspect of a sand turn is momentum. Momentum is important in every corner, but sand literally sucks you down to a stop. A good thing to do is approach this type of corner like you would any other corner. You want a smooth arc-shape line throughout the turn. That way you don’t have to square the corner up and build your RPMs back up. Doing this in the sand is a huge waste of time and you will kill your clutch.

However, instead of using a normal balance between your front and back brake, concentrate more on using the back brake. There are two reasons for this: 1) you conserve your drive and momentum when you don’t use the front brake. You slow down twice as fast in a shorter distance, robbing all your forward drive. 2) If you were to use the front, it would combine with the soft sand and throw your entire weight forward, causing the front end to cut.

So, you have properly braked and are ready to sit down. In the sand, you want more of a neutral spot on the seat because aggressive riding in the sand saps your energy and you have a greater chance of the front wheel cutting and diving. Like most turns, when you sit down, you want to put your inside leg up and get back on the gas. This ideally should be one, smooth motion. If you have enough drive/momentum, you don’t have to get back the gas as hard as you might think. A steady handful will suffice. Sand corners are really pretty simple. You just need to be smooth and have a nice arcing line. The rest will fall into place and you’ll be draggin’ your bars before you know it!


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Posted on Feb 08 2010, under Riding Techniques | No Comments »

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