slo' mo

slower than slow...
May 5, 2000
I'm not much of a serious rider, I ride for the fun. I have been working the past several weeks trying to change my body back into a respectable shape and that's got me to thinking about changing my riding objectives to possibly include some races in the future.
What I find is that when I start pushing myself I have difficulty maintaining my foot position, especially on the right peg. When I am getting tired and still trying to make respectable speed on the turns I find that I am dragging the brake and not really even knowing it. I try adjusting to the balls of my feet which allows me to grip the bike better with my legs and also helps me on the jumps but then I actually have a hard time getting to the back brake fast enough. I use the front brake a lot entering the turns, which may not be the right way either. that sort of makes this a two-fold question...

1) is it easier for you to ride on the balls of your feet or arches?

2) better to use the back brake or front brake for corners?



Mi. Trail Riders
Apr 11, 2001
I'm just a beginner, but I've started to ride on the balls of my feet and I feel that I've got more control in all situations than when I was riding w/ the arch of my foot on the pegs. You've got an additional pivot(your ankle) that helps to absorb impacts instead of just your knee's, and maybe I'm nut's, but I can tell the difference in my legs. As for the brake question, I am still trying to get that one down. It takes more of conscious effort, just like any new undertaking. I suppose the brake thing also depends on what the terrain is, but you should use them in conjunction w/each other. And yes, yes, yes on the last part.:D

High Lord Gomer

Poked with Sticks
Sep 26, 1999
I know people much more knowledgable than I suggest riding on the balls of your feet, but my knees can take hard hits much better than my ankles. (I've broken both ankles, but never damaged my knees).

You can grip the bike better when on the balls of your feet (you don't have to point your toes, and therefore knees, out to keep them away from the brake and shifter).

The only time I really move to the balls of my feet is when going through choppy whoops. It really seems to make a difference in keeping my feet in the same zipcode as the footpegs when I get bounced around.


2005 Lori Nyland Award Winner
Nov 12, 1999
remain loose, ride on the balls of your feet, of course this is hard to do since your natural instinct and position will want to use the arch. main thing is to keep your toes UP, uncle AJ has a nasty habit of point the toes down this can be very painful.

riding on the arch transmits ALL the impact to your body but the balls of your feet will flex and or absorb some movment , hence the attitude that HLG discribed.

You always should us BOTH brakes, it maintains the equilbrium of the bike and makes it "track" much better. just be careful on that front binder not to get a little nasty surprise tuck under.

MX Madman

Oct 7, 2000
My natural position is on the arch,but my bike is much easier on me on the balls of my feet.It is much easier to grip,rip,and go this way!But I find that every now and then I have to make myself repositon to get of my arches as I tend to flaot back to them.


Sponsoring Member
Apr 12, 2001
About this balls of your feet thing I've heard it before but if you stand on the balls of your feet your toes are like 2 inches long max so how do you shift quicky I've tried this technique before but when standing on the balls of my feet I can't reach the shifter. I wear a size ten boot so I don't think my feet are to small.
About the brake thing my dad teaches motorcycle saftey and he says with the on-road bikes the front brake is 70% of your stopping power I assume it's around the same on a dirtbike. So to stop quicker you would want to use your front more just make sure you are slowed down before the turn as you don't want to grab it as your leaning over.


Oct 9, 2000
Ride on the balls of your feet except for when you are braking or shifting. Gary Semics says that it givs more leverage on the bike and gives you a little more suspension. When coming up short or overjumping, move to the arches or you might break your ankles on impact!!! Also, the front brake does provide much more stopping power as a result of weight transfer to the front of the bike, but the rear brake is as important, if not more important that the front. It keeps the rear wheel straight and down in bumps and helps pull the front end back and in while entering a rutted or flat turn. It also keeps the front wheel from washing. Sounds odd, but it works.
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