Sliding through Hardpacked Sweepers

Watch how rally cars drift...they flow with steady throttle.Not all soil is nice. Sometimes, it can be downright frustrating. One type of annoying dirt is hardpacked. You can’t just crack the throttle open all the time like you can in loamy dirt. Instead, you have to be… guessed it, smooth, especially on hard sweepers. A steady throttle will keep you from spinning out and ahead of the pack. It’s just like the old saying, go slow to go fast.

To set up properly, you want to brake before the corner when you are straight and upright. Once you have the braking point down, you want to sit up pretty far up on the seat. As you come down to the seat, you want throw your leg out for the balance…you’re going to need it. Balance is key to hard packed sweepers.

You want to lean in slightly and turn in. When you feel the rear end get light, you can apply some more throttle to get it out. It is just like flat trackers; they find that balance of leaning and drifting. You are more or less steering the bike with the gas. One trick that will help you from spinning out is to drag the rear brake. This adds a load to the shock and the wheel will hug the ground better. This allows you to get on the gas harder and stay more in control.

As always, don’t forget to apply pressure to the outside foot peg. It takes a while to get used to the sliding and balance “act.” You might go through a lot of grips, but the payoff is worth it. Hardpacked sweepers will eventually something you look forward to and you will make up time on your competitors.

Posted on Aug 16 2009, under Riding Techniques | No Comments »

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