Uphill Battles

A grassroots motocross track is long, rough, and has plenty of elevation changes.  Just thinking of Glen Helen brings  monstrous and power robbing hills to mind.  Even if your local track doesn’t have steep uphills, the same technique is needed to efficiently maintain speed.

The foundation of proper motocross technique tells you to keep your head up and vision fixed on the next obstacle.  If there is a corner before the uphill, look for the smoothest line possible that will set you up for your line up the hill.  Remember to flow through the turn clean and smooth as this will maintain drive and the rear wheel provide plenty of traction.

As you exit the corner or previous section, keep your rear wheel on that ground as much as possible.  This will give you constant, linear drive up the hill.  This can be done by riding in a gear high than normal.  This doesn’t mean to chug up the hill, but you want to keep your bike in an RPM range where the power allows the front wheel to lighten up and skim the surface.  If you are in too low of a gear and revving, the suspension is going to load and bounce, not absorb the bumps.

When you are approaching the top of the hill and begin to lose power, your best bet is to fan the clutch.  Remember, when you fan the clutch, there is no power going to the ground.  So, fan the clutch only when necessary and if things slow down too much, shift down.  However, be aware that down shifting may put you too high in the RPM range.  Most uphills are going to be rough, so grip with your knees.  This and the right gear can keep you out of trouble.

Uphills are simply straights with some vertical grade as body position should be just behind the neutral attack position.  It is important to look ahead so you set up for smooth line and start your drive off right. This ensures a faster way up the hill than your competition.  Smooth throttle application and the right gear is something that is different for every uphill situation.  So, experiment with different lines and gears to get an idea of what the optimal combo is.

Posted on May 25 2011, under Riding Techniques | No Comments »

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