Anatomy of a turn

Joined
Apr 16, 2007
Messages
2
Likes
0
#1
Hey guys, I'm looking for an expert play-by-play breakdown of doing sharp turns on a motocross track. I know to kick my leg out to put weight over the front, and to get up close/over the gas tank.

I also know to use the rear brake coming into a turn. Here's where I'm gonna get technical. Do you use front brake at all? Do you use the clutch while braking? Do you just tap the rear brake or lock the rear wheel up? When do you initiate the turn, before, after, or during braking? Do you downshift before the turn? I see the pros spinning their rear wheels out in turns, but how do I achieve that?

So, in summary, I'm looking for exact instructions on what to do with my brakes, clutch, throttle, and the timing of everything. I know this is asking a lot, but it's timeless information that every novice rider needs to know.

Thanks for your time & help!
 

150rguy

I got fat bars!
Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2006
Messages
655
Likes
0
#2
MtnManiacX said:
Hey guys, I'm looking for an expert play-by-play breakdown of doing sharp turns on a motocross track. I know to kick my leg out to put weight over the front, and to get up close/over the gas tank.

I also know to use the rear brake coming into a turn. Here's where I'm gonna get technical. Do you use front brake at all? Do you use the clutch while braking? Do you just tap the rear brake or lock the rear wheel up? When do you initiate the turn, before, after, or during braking? Do you downshift before the turn? I see the pros spinning their rear wheels out in turns, but how do I achieve that?

So, in summary, I'm looking for exact instructions on what to do with my brakes, clutch, throttle, and the timing of everything. I know this is asking a lot, but it's timeless information that every novice rider needs to know.

Thanks for your time & help!
You have to clutch or the bike will die. Same thing when tapping the rear brake. I have to downshift when I com into a corner so I don't bog to much. I Also use my front brake n corners just to slow down, not to lock it up. Spinning your tire gets your back end around quicker, but if it's slippery it will spin you to far.
 
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Messages
1,011
Likes
0
#4
There are 1,952,837 different turns out there and more than one "right" way to do each one. It's basically impossible to break it all down over the internet, you should seek advice from people you ride with. Goto a track and hang out with guys faster than you, most people are willing the help someone that is willing the learn.

That being said -
  • Use the front brake! It's where almost all of your stopping power is!
  • Locking the back brake really depends on the corner/conditions. I find I lock/pivot on tight corners in sandy conditions. But you don't want to lock and slide like a goon on hardpacked in a wide sweeper.
  • Using the clutch and/or shifting again depends on the conditions/bike/etc. On my KDX I'll pull in the clutch while braking only if I am locking the rear. The YZ has an auto clutch, so it doesn't matter.
  • Many people say to do your braking before the corner, then accelerate through the turn. I'm still trying to apply this to my riding (I brake into the corner, then gas from the apex out, usually)

Again, if you want an exact summary, it's corner specific, and you'll need someone there to help you. Maybe try an MX class, most tracks will have them a few times a year.
 
Joined
Apr 24, 2007
Messages
14
Likes
0
#5
Hello,
In my experience cornering is a crap shoot. For sharp left turns, I down shift to second gear about 5 feet from the crux, hold in the clutch and lock up the rear wheel. On exit, or half way thru turn I accelerate and up shift, giving you nice slingshot action.

For sharp right turns, it's almost impossible to rear brake, since your foot should be down. In this instance, I would again gear down to second, a little sooner, and front brake to control speed. Once in the crux, it's the same process for exit.

For long sweeping turns, I only use the engine as a brake, high speed and brakes can be hazardous to inexperienced riders, so for the time being concentrate on steady acceleration throught the corner.

Hope this helps.

p.s. On some berms, if you accelerate to soon in the rut, the possibility of getting "bucked off" is quite possible. Trust me, the bike goes one way and you go the other, meaning that you should be prepared to land hard. Always wear proper gear, like chest protection, helmet, boots, gloves, for sure.
 
Joined
Jul 4, 2006
Messages
118
Likes
0
#6
If your serious about learning and upping your game to race, I highly suggest you hire a professional instructor. Have them coach you on the tracks you plan to race, believe me you'll get way different advice than what you have gotten here. It may cost you the same as a new set of boots but you'll be a much faster and consistent rider!