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Dealing with short rapid acceleration

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I've been riding a while now, and I'll be the first to admit. You can always improve your riding. Now, today I went riding on some single track trails and had a blast. The focus was on standing body position, and hillclimb body positioning. I felt good today with standing for 30+ minutes and adjusting body position on the hill climbs really helped. I like to ride "sloppy" and then "clean" on certain sections to get a feel for what the "right" way is. 

But I've got a question, how do you guys handle the quick acceleration sections? By that I mean, when you have maybe 20-40 feet between corners. During a race if you have traction you want to get in and out quickly, but I get alot of forearm exhaustion from "hanging" on. I keep my ankles tight to the bike and apply force with my legs to the side of the bike. I have my body forward so my head is just over the number plate. But quick sections tire me out. I'm in good shape, so I believe this is a body position/style error that I'd like to correct with some tips. 

 

Anyways, thanks for any suggestions!

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What kinda' bike? No matter. I tend to grab with my lower body more and be smooth with the right hand. Riding a 450 tends to snap the crap out of me if I'm not wathcing  my throttle input. Be smooth. Smooth = fast.

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2012 YZ250F. Pretty much all mods except a bore kit. I've got a single track loop I run weekly that I'm trying to knock my time down on. So I've been trying to gas it through smaller sections quickly. Suppose that's not the "best" approach..lol

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The key is being smooth...  Slow down less and you will go faster (duh)

 

I know it sound simple and obvious, but the less you slow down, the less energy is wasted both in slowing and getting back up to speed. Try to carry a little more speed into, through, and out of turns and it will feel like your going slower since your not hammering on the throttle trying to get back up to speed.

 

On my practice loop whenever I ride with faster riders and I try to ride over my head to keep up with them I start brake sliding into corners and hammering out and all it does is tire me out.  As soon as I start focusing on carrying speed in the corneres instead of trying to go whiskey throttle I start to run closer to or at their speed.  If you can shave 1/2 second off every corner and there are 60 turns on your loop you just made up 30 seconds on your lap. Now combine the corner speed with the exit speed getting you back to top speed on the straight earlier and you just shaved another 30 seconds..  When done properly you will feel totally in control of the bike, flow very well, and not all pumped up and tired out.

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The key is being smooth...  Slow down less and you will go faster (duh)

 

I know it sound simple and obvious, but the less you slow down, the less energy is wasted both in slowing and getting back up to speed. Try to carry a little more speed into, through, and out of turns and it will feel like your going slower since your not hammering on the throttle trying to get back up to speed.

 

On my practice loop whenever I ride with faster riders and I try to ride over my head to keep up with them I start brake sliding into corners and hammering out and all it does is tire me out.  As soon as I start focusing on carrying speed in the corneres instead of trying to go whiskey throttle I start to run closer to or at their speed.  If you can shave 1/2 second off every corner and there are 60 turns on your loop you just made up 30 seconds on your lap. Now combine the corner speed with the exit speed getting you back to top speed on the straight earlier and you just shaved another 30 seconds..  When done properly you will feel totally in control of the bike, flow very well, and not all pumped up and tired out.

 

Bunch of good tips.Looking at my footage and reading your comments really does confirm I'm "braking" heavy into my turns. If I correct my speed going into the corner, and out instead of hamming the breaks and punching it on the exit I should be able to get better control. I'll work on that this weekend.

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Yeah, its how most people learn to ride.. Go as fast as you can and come sliding into corners.. It feels cool to blast berms like that, but it takes alot of energy as you have already found.  Short rapid bursts of acceleration dont need to happen if you maintain speed through corners.   All those fast guys that say races are won in the corners are not lying, haha.

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Yeah, its how most people learn to ride.. Go as fast as you can and come sliding into corners.. It feels cool to blast berms like that, but it takes alot of energy as you have already found.  Short rapid bursts of acceleration dont need to happen if you maintain speed through corners.   All those fast guys that say races are won in the corners are not lying, haha.

Coming from a street rider for many years we always said this to new riders at the track. "Every moron can hammer the throttle on the straightaway, but not everyone can maintain control in a corner."

I'm still on my first year of dirt riding, but I'm feeling alot more comfortable on the bike than I was half a year ago when I started..lol I can finally trust my tires to do there job, and not worry consistently about traction.

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Coming from a street rider for many years we always said this to new riders at the track. "Every moron can hammer the throttle on the straightaway, but not everyone can maintain control in a corner."

I'm still on my first year of dirt riding, but I'm feeling alot more comfortable on the bike than I was half a year ago when I started..lol I can finally trust my tires to do there job, and not worry consistently about traction.

Yes, it is certainly a different skill set riding off-road vs on the street. Not a whole lot applies back and forth between the two since street bikes have so much traction and rely on lean angles more than anything for turning.  Its the truth though, at every race I go to everyone pins it down the straights, but you make up your time by holding it pinned a half a second longer than the other guy and braking less into the corner. If there is a nice rut/berm in place its amazing how fast you can actually rail into it and it will just sling the bike around.  Its a little trickier in the singles track woods on rocks and roots where there arent nice berms to pivot off of.  You eventually learn to use anything you can to hook your tire against and to trust that it will grab when there is nothing available to turn against.

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Yes, it is certainly a different skill set riding off-road vs on the street. Not a whole lot applies back and forth between the two since street bikes have so much traction and rely on lean angles more than anything for turning.  Its the truth though, at every race I go to everyone pins it down the straights, but you make up your time by holding it pinned a half a second longer than the other guy and braking less into the corner. If there is a nice rut/berm in place its amazing how fast you can actually rail into it and it will just sling the bike around.  Its a little trickier in the singles track woods on rocks and roots where there arent nice berms to pivot off of.  You eventually learn to use anything you can to hook your tire against and to trust that it will grab when there is nothing available to turn against.

A key element I found that transfers back and forth is, weight transfer. Even though they have there key differences in terms of application understanding the concept, and utilizing it really helps. On a street bike you lean with the turn, however you still need to balance out your center of gravity. Sometimes it's better to counter weight, than leaning with the bike ect. But I found that understanding of balance and transferring my body around the street bikes really helped. Granted I needed to do some minor rewiring of my brain to accept slipping rear tire was suppose to happen, and not do everything in my power to regain it every time it slipped a bit. But now I"m able to throw my weight forward on the tank, put out the inside leg with my toe level with the ground, well depending on the turn weighting the outside leg, or maintaining a equal weight. 

 

Dirt bike balance also helped my street riding. I could always balance on my bike, but now I can do a complete stop, look both directions, and roll off without even touching the ground..lol Heck I've toyed around at red lights an just thrown my weight around to stay stopped without using my legs. It's a fun exercise. 

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Dirt bike balance also helped my street riding. I could always balance on my bike, but now I can do a complete stop, look both directions, and roll off without even touching the ground..lol Heck I've toyed around at red lights an just thrown my weight around to stay stopped without using my legs. It's a fun exercise. 

...this is the reason I had to sell that street bike.Kept dropping a foot at a hundy coming into turns. :jawdrop:

 

Actually I've learned to use a bit of both riding styles mixed with some mountain bike skills. Little lean,little brake,lots of throttle control and a set of balls.

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I roadraced for a lot of years before getting into desert racing. Since no one mentioned it I'll add something that will help. If you need to accelerate hard, sit down and use your but on the seat to hold you on the bike. Standing while accelerating is for when you are trying to maintain or increase speed slightly. But when you need to accelerate hard, sit down and grip with your legs and ass. 

 

It'll keep your arms from blowing up, and untuck your jersey in the back :p

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I agree with ^^ What I usually do, and didn't think of it really till now, is if I am coming out of a corner, I am usually on it hard till up to speed, or as I am going a slower acceleration, then I stand.(so like 2 seconds after the corner really) but if I am standing, I am already going fast, and never really hit the gas hard again.

 

 also doing forearm curls helps, but what I do instead of just curls. I guess they are kind like curls, but I took a stick, about the same thickness of my bars, drill a whole through the middle, in the middle of the stick. Took a piece of string, tide a knot on one end, stuck it through the hole, and tide the other end to a weight(right now I think its 15ibs use to be 25, but I haven't done them In a while, and I want to do a lot of reps) I then hold my arm out, and using my wrist(forearm) to start twisting the stick, and wrapping the rope up around the stick, and pulling the weight up, and when I let it back down, and do just let the stick spend, and turn it slowly down with my wrist.

 I don't know if this is understandable, Explained it to people in person and they didn't get it.

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You don't learn to make time on those straight stretches, you learn to make time coming out and going into those corners.

That momentum will carry you into those straight stretches faster and the added braking will make those straight stretches longer allowing for perfect places to setup passing opportunities...

Everyone goes the same pace through a 40ft stretch...

Edited by originalmonk

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You don't learn to make time on those straight stretches, you learn to make time coming out and going into those corners.

That momentum will carry you into those straight stretches faster and the added braking will make those straight stretches longer allowing for perfect places to setup passing opportunities...

Everyone goes the same pace through a 40ft stretch...

I imagine it takes a lot of practice still, but I want to get the idea down. how the heck do you ride through a turn that is tight, and there is a tree on the inside, I have one of these corners, and I don't see how you can do it without breaking, if you go too fast you will shoot to the far side into trees. do you just steer earlier than normal? I know looking ahead, and where you want to go helps, I feels smoother when I do that.

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I imagine it takes a lot of practice still, but I want to get the idea down. how the heck do you ride through a turn that is tight, and there is a tree on the inside, I have one of these corners, and I don't see how you can do it without breaking, if you go too fast you will shoot to the far side into trees. do you just steer earlier than normal? I know looking ahead, and where you want to go helps, I feels smoother when I do that.

 

Turn later through the corner.....when you are going through the corner get on the throttle to bring the rear-end around......

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I'll add, that you're supposed to go slow in the slow sections and fast in the fast sections. It sounds stupid, but if you're trying to make up time by taking a slow corner fast, you're wasting time and effort. 

 

 

On the tight corner question above... you'd be surprised how quickly you can put a bike into a rut and still have it slow down. Take small steps, one step at a time. If you're turning laps, work on one or two corners at a time. 

 

It's VERY VERY easy to get overwhelmed if you're working on too many things at once.

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One trick I am working on for tight turns, is to use the outside tree as a berm. Actually aim for it and bounce off it. There usually lots of slippery roots in these turns, so you tend to slow down so you don't slide the front tire out. If you turn later, at the tree, on the outside, you miss those roots and can carry more speed. Also you don't have to worry about blowing through the turn since more than likely that tree you just bounced off won't move.

 

Not every turn works this way, but you would be surprised how many can be done like this if you look for it.

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I read this thread last week and over the weekend worked on going fast through the turns while woods riding.  One of my bad habits was touching my inside foot down in the turns.  After practicing keeping my feet on the pegs, even in the very tight turns, I went from riding in first and second gear to second and third gear.  I was also not getting as tired.

One thing that was obvious after breaking this habit was how having my feet on the pegs helped me turn faster and then accerate faster or adapt to changing conditions faster because I was already balanced on the bike.

So, thanks for the help guys.

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Turn later through the corner.....when you are going through the corner get on the throttle to bring the rear-end around... 

 

I see what you are saying, but on this turn, it's not sharp enough, I get more traction than the other turns, so it's seems more like a timing. I hit it pretty good today. 

Edited by LukeBrinkerhoff

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