Cycle Gear was started by a world class racer, and we are looking to help other racers get to the top step of the podium. As a grass-roots effort we sponsor all types of racers both on and off road, on modern and vintage bikes. If you race motocross, supercross, arenacross, (or any other “cross” for that matter), supermoto, mini bikes, enduro, flat-track, trials, rip the quarter-mile, trek out to the salt flats, or drag knee (and/or elbow) around a road course head over to your local Cycle Gear store to submit your application.
HOLESHOT NEWSLETTER Vol #3
CARRYING CORNER SPEEDCarrying Corner Speed can be broken down into 3 sections; Entry, Direction Change, Exit. All 3 steps are equally crucial to achieving the fastest time through the corner. I could write pages of how to maximize every corner on a track but I'm going to do it in just a few words. Your main components are entry speed, brake pressure, lean angle, bar input, and throttle control. As a disclaimer, this is going to be different from every bike, for example, your braking points and direction changes are going to be different from a lightweight bike and a liter bike.
Finding corner entry speed is your first step, without it, the next steps can't be achieved to the maximum. Once you carry speed into the corner, applying brake pressure relative to your lean angle. For example, if you are carrying 70% of lean angle, you can only apply 30% of brake pressure, any more than 30% will result in loss of traction. Once you get slowed down enough to get turned, your bar input and brake input will dictate how quickly you change direction. When you are pointed where you want to go, accelerate out of the corner, controlling your throttle input. Out of my years of racing, this the best way that I have found to execute taking a corner with more speed.
– Draik Beauchamp [Cycle Gear Racer]
Reading Off-Road TerrainI learned how to ride a dirt bike and started racing desert when I was 44 years old. One of the most thrilling and challenging aspects of learning how to ride a dirt bike safely and correctly, is learning how to read the terrain. My husband (back then boyfriend) spent hours and months teaching me how to ride a dirt bike and practice essential drills - on dirt, in mud, in sand/silt, hill climbs/downhill’s, through/over rocks, and the basics like turning right and left, braking, foot position, clutch control and throttle control. While practicing all of that, he also taught me how to read off road terrain. It definitely is an art! Learning how to read off road terrain isn’t just about what I mentioned above, it’s also about your bike set up (suspension, tires, tire pressure), and your position/stance on the bike, just to name a few.
One of the first things I learned quickly was to keep my head up and look far ahead of the trail into the distance. The farther ahead I looked, the more time I have to react to a difficult or unsafe situation. Because I’ve learned and experienced that if I focus my attention on a rock or bush, I will run directly into it. Whether I ride in the desert or mountains, the terrain changes constantly. So by looking ahead I’m able to see what’s coming next. The color of the terrain plays a major role in how to read the terrain. Darker color terrain normally means upcoming rocks or more dense vegetation, while lighter color terrain normally means a softer surface like sand/sand washes, silt or drop offs. It’s important to be able to read the terrain, because that will determine my speed and position on the bike (sitting/standing, centered/lean back/forward, and my foot position on the pegs). When riding in rocks, I slow down, lean back, but keep up enough momentum to roll over the rocks. When riding in sand, I’ve learned to use more throttle and lean slightly back on the seat with my feet centered on the pegs. It’s hard to ride slow in sand. I’m also looking for rocks, bushes, or anything else that could be buried in the sand. When riding uphill, my position on the bike is standing and leaning way forward. When riding downhill, my position on the bike is standing and leaning back on the bike. Whether I’m play riding or racing in the desert or mountains, I always practice reading the terrain, and I only ride as fast as I can see ahead which will make for a successful ride/race!
– Kimberly Albright [Cycle Gear Racer]
Conquering RutsMany times a rut can ruin your day, but it doesn’t have to. Fighting them will just wear you out and wrapping your head around them will benefit your lap times and not waste energy from struggling. If using a rut is the best option, commit fully and confidently. Body position is very important as well as speed and throttle control. The key is to be smooth with all your actions. Keep your head up looking as far ahead as you can. Body in attack position, elbows up, standing with knees bent. Approach the rut with constant speed and apply power smoothly and consistently. If it’s muddy, try not to spin the tire too much and dig a hole. Remember, the rut you used the last lap may not be the best choice every time around. Be open to changing your line and keep the momentum up as it keeps options open.
– Randy Shepherd [Cycle Gear Racer]
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