Wall of Death

Two years ago was the first the first time I had see any kind of obstacle like this.  The steep mound of dirt at the Atlanta Supercross in 2008 was dubbed the “Wall of Death” and when Josh Grant Collided with Ryan Villopoto on the said wall, its name stuck.  Until last week, riders have not seen the wall for a while.  I guess out of sight, out of mind?  After getting a question about tackling this kind of obstacle, I decided to watch some video and figure out how this can be done.

Now, the average jump on a supercross track is pretty steep.  Much steeper than the jumps you hit on the weekends at your track.  But after looking at pictures of the wall, it literally looks vertical at the top.  But after watching the video of the pros hitting it at speed, it doesn’t look that bad.  However, everything they do looks easy…so don’t take what you see on TV for granted.

The first thing I noticed when riders would the wall is that when the front started coming up, they were standing and had their head over the bars.  The further the front end came up, the further forward they leaned.  This is a pretty simple idea; keep your weight forward to you don’t loop out when on the gas.  As the front wheel reached the end of the lip, the riders began to shift their weight back.  As the rear wheel gets closer to the top, gravity/forward momentum pulls the front wheel down and forward.   Riders would “row” back so their butts were over the fenders.

Most amateur tracks are not going to have this incorporated in the design.  It disrupts the flow of the course and ruts up very easily.  I have ridden something similar a few years ago, but it wasn’t quite as steep.  But I remember that some of the faster riders were approaching it with speed and scrubbing it a little.  This kind of obstacle isn’t something you will probably run into, but if you do, try to approach it straight.  Then if you feel like you can soak it up a bit, try it.  Every situation is different and once things get rutted up, it is a different ball game.  Take it slow and watch the local fast guys hit it to get an idea of a safe and quick way over it.

Skip through until the :35 mark.

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Posted on Feb 18 2010, under Riding Techniques | No Comments »

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