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New to dirt biking, how do I go fast?

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Title says it all!  lol...  I will elaborate though.

I have road racing experience and almost none with dirt bikes.  Feels like two totally different worlds and I am receiving conflicting information as to proper technique with taking corners in the dirt.  I see fast dirt bikers ripping around corners as if they aren't even touching the brakes, just steering with the rear wheel, full throttle through the entire turn.  If I try to take a corner too fast I've had the front wash out on me, then both tires wash out on me same time and then the rear slide out and high side me.  Best part about dirt biking though is I can crash 5 times a day and barely feel it!.  However I can't seem to go any faster without losing traction but I know I'm not going that fast at all.  my buddies and I have a dirt track setup similar to a road race course.  A lot of varying turns, some tight and quick and some long sweepers.

So, tire pressure and suspension setup aside, what techniques between body position, throttle and brakes should I be using for different types of corners and at different sections of each corner?  Where should body weight be entering a corner vs exit.  How much front brake/rear brake should I use when entering a corner?  Will the front wash out faster with weight on it or with weight off of it?  The more details the better.  Or if anyone has a  legit resource to read I'm all for that.  I appreciate any input. 
 

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Lots to discuss. I strongly suggest picking up some good riding videos. Gary Semics has made a career training riders and producing technique videos. They’re not expensive and will help you build a solid foundation. Shane Watts also has great videos for purchase.

Either should improve your speed/crashing ratio. Have fun!

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Ill check him out. 

I know all about how intricate this stuff can get. Problem is that I don't know if my road racing techniques help or interfere.  On asphalt we load the front up hard on brakes for a faster tip in and more grip/speed up to the apex and then exit you want to transfer weight to the back for grip on the way out of a turn.  This method doesn't seem to be working too well in the dirt.  lol

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I never road raced, but did a LOT of track days on a CBR600RR, including California Superbike School many times.

Without question, the cornering techniques used on the CBR totally screwed me up on the motocross track :banghead:.  

The biggest differences for sure revolve around body position and how you lean with the bike.  Braking, throttle control, vision, line selection, etc - those are fairly similar (at least in the beginning), but body position and how to lean the bike are different for sure and WILL screw you up.  Ruts were even more of a challenge for me initially because of it.

I no longer do the track days, so those habits are almost gone, but they still creep in occasionally...

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3 minutes ago, BLSJDS said:

I never road raced, but did a LOT of track days on a CBR600RR, including California Superbike School many times.

Without question, the cornering techniques used on the CBR totally screwed me up on the motocross track :banghead:.  

The biggest differences for sure revolve around body position and how you lean with the bike.  Braking, throttle control, vision, line selection, etc - those are fairly similar (at least in the beginning), but body position and how to lean the bike are different for sure and WILL screw you up.  Ruts were even more of a challenge for me initially because of it.

I no longer do the track days, so those habits are almost gone, but they still creep in occasionally...

yeah man ruts kill me!  It's so weird going from a completely smooth environment to a chaotic one.  600rr is what I ride too.

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I'm watching a video made by gary semics right now and already finding a ton of things that I do wrong. 

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Oh yeah - a lot of great info out there to get you sorted out.

One of my biggest "ah ha!" moments was when my then 16 year old son (who I used to be faster than :foul:) told me how he corners the bike by "pushing his bars down" into the corner while keeping his back aligned with the lean angle of the dirt bike.  I had been leading into the corner with my upper body leaned way in (just like on the CBR) and kept screwing up any and all corners.

It's really fun when you get it right, though!

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All braking should be done before the turn standing up. When you enter the turn usually sit down with balls on rank but standing is sometimes good in corners too. Weight outside peg and stick inside leg out/forward (LEG NOT LOCKED). Earlier on the gas the better obviously but it takes a lot of practice to get on early. Look up oz drz cross training he has a ton of really good videos from basic to advanced, I can’t recommend his videos enough I learned a ton from them

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Techniques mentioned and bike setup is important and all, but everybody forgets this critical must do: Get yourself a smoking hot girlfriend or wife. All the fast guys seem to have ‘em...

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I never road raced, but did a LOT of track days on a CBR600RR, including California Superbike School many times.
Without question, the cornering techniques used on the CBR totally screwed me up on the motocross track :banghead:.  

I wish I knew about this long ago. For some reason, my Motocross turning technique is all messed up. Maybe I’d be good at Road Racing!
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18 minutes ago, motrock93b said:


I wish I knew about this long ago. For some reason, my Motocross turning technique is all messed up. Maybe I’d be good at Road Racing!

If you ever do decide to take up road racing, I highly recommend the California Superbike School.  Not cheap by any means, but VERY safe, very structured, and you WILL get faster each time out.  https://superbikeschool.com/

I still can't corner any bike for the life of me lol :)

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Don't worry crashing will hurt if you get faster , Try standing more and do figure 8's for while ☺ gotta stand entering corners unlike road. Find people your speed and little faster when at practice tracks . Talk to faster guys nothing better than in person,  Goodluck 👍👍

Edited by Motox367
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In short....

very neutral body position, stand 2x more than you sit, try to stay loose, grip with your legs, ride on the balls of your feet.

Brakes should be 60% front 40% rear per technique. Of course this varies sometimes

 

Throttle control you kinda have to get a feel for. Varies bike to bike. Always look ahead, don’t stare at the front fender.

SET UP YOUR SAG (better traction)

 

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I didn´t really real all of the entries above so perhaps its already been said, but if your trying to go fast, my suggestion is to go slow!.

Yes, go slow. Placing an emphasis on following your selected line through the track, riding in the standing position, getting the feeling for cornering in ruts and flat, having that throttle control, and balancing your braking are things that you will learn more quickly if you take them bit by bit. If you just rip that throttle open you will surely go fast, but not far!

Ultimately, every time you go riding try to pay attention to these things and soon enough you´ll be blasting through the track/woods/desert like a bat outta hell.

Enjoy the ride!

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^ This

You have to go slow to go fast - Graham Jarvis 

OK, so maybe some one else said it first and that might not be exact but that is the long and short of it. Learn technique, then add speed.

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4 hours ago, KaToomTime said:

^ This

You have to go slow to go fast - Graham Jarvis 

OK, so maybe some one else said it first and that might not be exact but that is the long and short of it. Learn technique, then add speed.

I get that much.  I'm no stranger to race track riding and how to make progress.  It's just that i'm so used to road bikes that I feel like many of the techniques used there are not the right ones for dirt.  One is high grip and smooth, the other is low grip and wild.  Totally opposite. 

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Here’s a tidbit. Think of your footpegs as ailerons on a plane. Place more of your weight on your right peg as you reduce your weight on the left peg while standing. You’ll quickly see how effective this is at controlling lean angles. Lead with your upper body and counter steer to make your bike very nimble. Once in the turn, remember to weight the outside peg for traction and control.

Two important techniques.

1. Ride with a loose grip. When standing, this forces you to be correctly balanced front to back. It puts your weight right where it belongs for proper handling. Of course, there are times you’ll momentarily use a firm grip, like when pulling hard to unweight the front wheel. Then go right back to a loose grip.

2. When possible, place all your weight on the footpegs. This allows your bike to handle properly. Think of every control and surface as a leverage point. Think of your wheels as gyros. Look up gyroscopic precession and you’ll quickly understand how to better control your bike on the ground and in the air. Lots to think about, but simply being aware of this helps you make small inputs to control the bike. When descending steep hills, stand with all your weight on the pegs, and as little as possible on the bars even during hard front braking. This will put your body where it needs to be intuitively and dramatically reduce your chances of an endo.

Much more to discuss. Have a “Skill of the Day” when you ride to systematically improve one technique at a time.

Videos and drills.

Even Kevin Windham say’s he’ll never stop learning to ride better. I think that’s part of the fun.

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