• Announcements

    • Bryan Bosch

      JUST IN!   04/24/2018

      HOW TO: 4-STROKE PISTON REPLACEMENT DONE RIGHT!
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

Looking Ahead - Off-Road Riding Technique Tip


Shane Watts

There are some really great benefits to looking ahead as you roost down the trail. As discussed in some of these previous tips, doing this gives a better sense of balance which in turn decreases your chances of getting out of control down the trail and having to get off the gas. The golden rule we like to use is that you should be looking ahead approximately 2-3 bikes lengths per gear that you are in. Being in third with the throttle cracked open means you should be generally focusing your vision on the trail between 6-9 bike lengths ahead. This distance gives you the adequate time to process the trail information (nasty log or rocks, an alternative line, etc) and then to react and implement the appropriate actions to handle the situation. It is best not to continually focus (stare) at a specific trail object. Instead, you want to continue looking forward down the trail while using your peripheral vision to scan back every so often as you approach that obstacle.

The same goes for when you are roosting around a corner. If there is a big rock, stump or tree trunk on the exit of the corner and you continually stare at it as you get on the gas then most likely you will ride right into it. Hands up who’s done that before? Yeah, me too! It’s times like these that you really need to focus on your focus (ha, ha!) and use your mental strength to continue looking and thinking down the trail. In situations like this you briefly look at the object, recognize it for what it is, and then re-focus on the part of the trail that you want to be on. Whether it’s in life’s journey or just out on the trail be sure not to focus on the bad things because where you look is where you will go.

In Volume 1 of our new series of Advanced Instructional DVDs that is now on sale at our online store, we show actual demonstrations that of the above that reinforce the benefits gained. Check out the promo film for Volume 1 at www.shanewatts.com

Shane

About Me:

http://www.shanewatts.com/bio


Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0


User Feedback


There are no comments to display.



Guest
This is now closed for further comments

  • Similar Content

    • By Bryan Bosch
      Here are last 9 tips that have appeared in previous issues of the ThumperTalk Member eNewsletter. Number 10 will be listed in the January newsletter and finally posted here thereafter.
      10 Absolute MX Practice Rules by Gary Semics ( http://www.gsmxs.com )
      In order to improve your race results, you first must improve your practice strategies. Then practice the correct techniques until they become automatic.
      Absolute rule number 1 - There’s a mind to the madness. When you go out to practice have a purpose behind your practice. Don’t just race around the track, making the same mistakes over and over. Always spend some time separating and working at your weak points and techniques.
      Now that we’ve got that right, here’s tip number one of a ten quick tips series on how to become a better racer.
      #1 You need to be able to work the levers and hold onto the grips independently.
      The most common mistake here is to hold onto the grips with all four fingers than grab at the levers only when you really have to use them. This way is so award that the rider doesn’t use the clutch and front brake levers often enough and when they do use the levers they can't hold onto the grips well.
      The thing that takes time and practice to develop is the ability to hold onto the grips and work the levers accurately at the same time, many riders use two fingers on the clutch, and many use one finger. It's best to use one finger on the front brake. Get used to it and make it a habit.Give up a finger or two on the grips in order to work the levers independently from holding onto the grips.
      #2 When you're not using the shifter or brake the ball of your foot should be on the foot peg.
      A general rule to go by is that if you’re not using the shifter or brake you should be on the balls of your feet. When you need to use the shifter or brake simply move up to the arches of your feet, than when you’re not using the shifter or brake move back to the balls of your feet again. While you are riding you should be using this technique frequently changing back and forth. This is true whether sitting or standing.
      The benefits are: it adds another joint to your body's suspension (your ankle joint) for better movement and feel, your feet won't hit the ground in ruts and get ripped off the foot pegs, and you won't hit the shifter or brake by accident. The only exception to this technique is if you are going to land very hard (like casing a jump) then you should be on the arches of your feet so you don’t sprain or break your ankles. This is defiantly one of those techniques that you have to think about and practice separately. Keep checking the bottom of those boots.
      #3 Dragging the rear brake will keep the rear wheel from kicking up as much on certain bumps and obstacles.
      When a beginner rider gets into trouble, like having the rear wheel kick up too high, he usually just freezes and waits to see what happens. One thing you can do to avoid this kicking up affect is to drag the rear brake when you think the rear wheel is going to kick up. This helps hold the rear suspension together and greatly reduces the kick up of the rear wheel.
      The next time you see that you’re going to hit a big bump or a whoop harder than you wanted to, touch or drag that rear brake and you'll see how much it holds the rear end down. This is another good reason you need to be able to use the rear brake from any body position on the motorcycle, because in this case, you will be standing with your weight back.
      #4 You do not need to use the clutch when you down shift.
      Some inexperienced riders use the clutch to downshift and then just hold it in while they brake the rest of the way into the corner. Using the clutch to downshift is not necessary and it brakes up the steadiness of braking with the help of the engine's backpressure.
      It is necessary to use the clutch when you up shift because the transmission has torque on the gears from the power of the engine. But, there is very little torque on the gears when the throttle is off and you’re slowing down. So, leave that low end lever (the clutch) out when you’re down shifting and braking for a corner.
      #5 Overgrip and elbow position. Keep your elbows up and out away from your sides.
      A rider is giving up a lot of control if he or she has a style of grabbing the grips straight on and riding with their forearms parallel to the ground. By doing this they don't have the correct leverage factors between their upper body and the motorcycle. It's also more difficult to open the throttle.
      High over grip and high elbows will enable the rider to have full range of the throttle through their full range of body positions on the motorcycle. This technique also gives you the correct leverage factors between your body and the motorcycle through your full range of movement.
      #6 Body position for accelerating and braking.
      Most of the time when you accelerate you keep your weight forward and when you brake you keep your weight back. When you fail to do this technique correctly you end up with your body weight in the wrong place at the wrong time. This can cause you to be out of control and be working a lot harder than you need to.
      Most of the time when you accelerate you need to lean forward into the force of acceleration and when you brake you need to lean back against the force of braking. This allows your body position to maintain the center of balance. The motorcycle and you become one operating unit and you can better maintain control. Don't be a statue. Get used to moving on that motorcycle.
      # 7 What to do with your inside foot in a corner.
      Put your inside foot out for the part of the turn where you’re going from braking to accelerating (exit dex) and get it back on the footpeg as soon as possible. The common mistake here is to put your foot out for the turn too early. Many riders do this to help them with balance. They are making the mistake of using their leg as a counter balance. Then after they make the corner they keep their foot off the peg too long. This allows most all of their weight to be on the seat, which makes those accelerating bumps beat their ass.
      The correct way is to put your foot out for the least amount of time as possible. This is in the part of the turn where you’re going from braking to accelerating. I call this the exit dex. Keep your weight low, on the footpegs, and use the controls and your upper body movements for balance and control.
      #8 The rowing movement.
      Time the rowing action of your body movement with the compression and rebound of bumps and other obstacles on the track. You need to row back as the rear wheel tries to kick up.
      Many riders just ride the motorcycle across rough ground or whoops and never try to time how they weight and unweight the suspension. Then the motorcycle ends up weighting and unweight their bodies with a mind of it's own. This technique requires good timing and anticipation. You have to anticipate where you’re going to weight and unweight (to help the suspension compress and rebound) the motorcycle in order to make it compress, skip, jump, fly, and land just how and where you want it to. This is not just a straight up and down movement. While you’re helping the suspension compress down and rebound up you have to move back and forth in order to keep the motorcycle somewhat level. Learn to do this right, because I guarantee you, it will feel good and you'll live longer.
      #9 How far to look ahead.
      Look far enough out ahead of you to be ready for what's coming up. If you can't see it (because of an obstacle) remember what's there. The most common mistake is to always look too close in front of you and not look ahead far and soon enough. Don't race the track by every ten feet. Race it one section at a time and blend the sections together with a purpose. When done correctly it's an art form and when you go beyond that, it's magic.
      Your vision should always be scanning the track in front of you, focusing on the most important things, then scanning and focusing on the next most important thing, and so on. You should ride with this main focus and your peripheral vision. Set yourself up so you’re going to be on the right line well in advance. And if you’re trying to past someone, look beyond them, not at them. You can't win races by following people.
      Again, the final tip of this series will appear in the January issue of the ThumperTalk Member eNewsletter. Be on the lookout for it.
    • By Bturner
      I've seen alot or debating about this and been told both ways are better. I was hoping once and for all we can come up with a solid answer as to which is the better way to practice/race and why. I watch alot of races and I see the top guys doing both, but we all know we only get to see 5 min clips of GNCC's online so its hard to make an assumption. In the hare scrambles I've done I 've always noticed the A B riders come flying by standing up and hitting berms all the way down the trail standing up, but is this the way they ride the whole race? Some body help me become a better rider and let me know why I'm doing the right way!!
    • By Eric1231
      I am trying to practice riding standing up more. Do you guys have any tips to make riding while standing almost all the time a habit.
    • By txmxer
      So what was the one riding tip you heard and suddenly clicked with when you went riding and could feel yourself riding better, also bonus for the one tip that made you start whipping better.
       
      Mine was using more front brake and less front brake for cornering when I first started riding track. Really transitioned my cornering and made me corner a lot better.
    • By 7thirtyseven
      Just watched the 92 San Diego SX, all the guys were jumping through the whoops.
      When, and who started blitzing through them??? Just curious.