Rough tracks separate the men from the boys. If you can race a National at race pace for 35 minutes, you are a man. Plain and simple. However, for those of us who just have to worry about 20 minute motos, survival is the only thing going through our minds. Riding smooth tracks are fun, but in order for you to really get better, you need to ride the brutal stuff. Saving time and energy will allow you to ride longer and get more experience than your competition. So, here are a few things to remember if you want to conserve energy and ride longer:
- Riding in a higher gear will make a world of difference. When rev out your motor, it causes the suspension to bind. That revalve you just paid for is useless if your motor is screaming for mercy. You will end up dancing all over braking bumps and your rebound will kick a lot more, causing you to get a death grip, which ultimately leads to arm pump. Another reason to ride a gear higher is because you will have more traction and less wheel spin. You will dig in and be able to get the front wheel light if needed.
- Smoother throttle application helps tremendously, especially on 450s. If you dive into corners, square them up and dump the clutch, that burst of power will eventually wear you out. Flowing through with the track and steadily applying the gas will keep your arms in their sockets and have you in control. The quick bursts of power can get to be a handful when the track is full of acceleration bumps and other obstructions.
- Working the sides of the track will save a lot of energy! The main lines are generally in the middle because they are the fastest and easiest way around the track…early in the day. But when the sun dries out the soil and the main line gets too gnarly, look at the outsides/insides. The sides will have less usage than the middle part, giving you a much smoother track to ride on.
- Last but not least, stand. Sitting down on a rough track kills my back and I get extremely sore the next day. I know it is easy to just sit down when you get tired, but sitting actually results in you getting more tired. Your hips, knees, and ankles provide an extra set of suspension. When you sit down, your back and core take a beating. This leads to poor form over the course of the moto. When your form is off, your whole riding and stamina are off as well.