Rough Straights after corners

Other than jumps, straights are so much fun.  They give you an opportunity to pin it and experience the best feeling in the world.  However, this experience becomes a little bit tougher to achieve when the track gets tore up and you’ve got a corner right before the said straight.  Most people have an idea of how to get through it, but there is always one key ingredient that robs them of precious speed.  This section of the track can really separate the men from the boys as finesse and body movement are tested.

If the straight is rough, then most likely the corner will be rough.  If there are big enough rollers, then it may be necessary to stand through the corner to keep your speed up.  If you don’t have to stand up, remember not to chop the throttle and keep your outside elbow up with weight applied to the outside foot peg.  This will give you traction and help maintain a straight drive.  One thing that is very important to remember is to keep your RPMs slightly lower than normal.  This allows your suspension to function properly and go through the stroke smoothly.

The lower RPMs not only help you flow through the corner easier, but they help you gain traction for the rough straight ahead of you.  As you exit the corner, you want to start to apply the throttle to get the motor in the meat in the power-band.  Standing and shifting your weight back as soon as possible helps you get the front end light for the rough straight.  When you start to get to the rollers, bumps, etc, you have to maintain your throttle and get the front end up off the ground.  You can use the first bump as a little “ramp” to start the wheelie.

This wheelie allows the rear shock to roll over the bumps a lot smoother than having to bounce over them.  Trying plow through them with both wheels on the ground only results in your engine in a higher RPM, which doesn’t allow your suspension to function properly.  In addition, you don’t have to worry about the rear wheel coming off the ground when your front forks buck the rear end up.  When the rear wheel is only on the ground, it doesn’t have to leave the ground and flows over the rough stuff.  Your body weight should be shifted back throughout this whole process, but you have to be able to find a balance between the front and rear to keep the front wheel up.

You have to remember, this requires a lot of strict throttle control.  Whenever you get on the gas in the corner, you have to keep on the gas throughout the whole section.  If you let off, you lose RPMs, traction and drive.  Once you have the front end up, just balance your way through the straight.  It helps to have someone watch you through the section because you need to know if you are letting off.  You may not think you are, but your buddy might catch you doing this.  It takes practice, but it will pay off big time.

In the video, you can see the first rider coming out of the corner and getting that front end light enough to where the rear end soaks up that acceleration chop.  If you didn’t, that monster jump would blow your knees out when you case it.

Posted on Feb 11 2010, under Riding Techniques | No Comments »

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