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Cornering technique for hard packed, silty track?

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Hey guys, total noob to motocross. Just started this summer. 

The local MX track is cursed with bad dirt. The corners are all hard packed clay with a thin layer of silt on the top and it's slippery as &%$#@!. All the cornering tutorial videos I can find have much better shaped berms you can actually rail off of or have some good ruts you can drop your tires into and lean the bike over.

What techniques do you use to get through corners like this quickly? Also, any bike set up tips for this kind of terrain?

Thanks. 

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  • That kind of corner is where a 4T will outshine a 2T at getting better traction.
  • The next most important thing will be getting hard terrain tires; they can make quite a difference for traction and especially for predictability.
  • Try to ride a smooth arc and accelerate out from the apex rather than charge in hard and tight, brake hard, then square it off to exit fast.
  • Definitely countersteer.
  • Try to be up over the front of the bike.  Reduce your sag a bit and/or raise your fork tubes a bit in the triple clamp if the bike will still handle the rest of the track well enough that way.
  • Practice a lot and always do a slower first practice lap after going to that track after a loamy or sandy track or one with good berms or ruts.

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Slightly drag the front brake while exaggerating your weight on the outside peg as you slip the clutch (if necessary) to maintain traction. Oh, and don't overbrake and slow down too much when entering the turn.

You'll know when you went in too fast when you overshoot the turn. Use a track marker to know when to brake harder but go into the turn hotter than you feel comfortable. You will surprise yourself more often than not and still execute the turn perfectly.

Gradually increase your speed into/through and exiting the turn. Don't try it all at once... PRACTICE makes perfect!

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have all the riders tell the track owner his track is turning into a piece of crap because he isn't tilling the dirt and grooming the track with the proper implements.  

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a couple clicks less compression and less PSI in your front tire(e.g. 13 instead of 14, etc.)

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Low RPM and keep the bike more upright... A bigger rear tire such as a 120 or a 90 front can offer better traction too... The terrain you mention sounds very similar to what I practice on... 

 

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It helps to be either on the gas, or on the brakes. The idea is to rely less on the front tire for traction. As Hans mentioned earlier, weight the outside of the bike so body weight is pressing down into the slippery dirt rather than adding outward force to the tires if you have your body aligned with the tires. Also, being on top of the bike allows you to stay on top as the bike slides outward, rather than falling to the inside and low siding. Apply as much force as possible to the outside peg. Not only ALL your body weight, but actually adding more by doing a single leg squat by lifting your body when possible. For example. Go step on a bathroom scale. Now, squat on the scale and quickly lift your body upward, noticing the additional weight registered as you stand. This is the effect you’re looking for with the outside peg. Obviously, this only works momentarily. Load the rear tire into the terrain with throttle and body position. The best way I can describe it is to imagine actually riding a slight wheelie through the corner. This adds a lot of rear wheel traction. As you exit the corner and stand the bike up, continue this “wheelie” technique as you gradually add body weight to the rear wheel. Do this by allowing your upper body to simplify pivot back appropriately as you extend your arms, or moving your body back on the seat (or both). Being pulled by the bars is effective at this point since it adds traction to the rear wheel.

 

Load the tires with outside pressure, and rely very little on the front tire for traction. On the gas or on the brakes. Coasting leads to crashes. This technique also works great on off chambers. Try all this very slowly at first.

 

Edit: Also, the front tire will have a lot of added traction as you enter the corner with hard braking. Deceleration forces add a lot of downward pressure to the front tire, allowing it to bite harder. If you’re “backing it in” whether standing or seated, the front tire is far less prone to wash out and your steering angle is steepened as the fork compresses under deceleration forces. This is why it’s so important to really load the tires as you transition from braking to accelerating. If not, then front tire looses a tremendous amount of traction with no other forces to help it maintain position. You’re not generally seeking to “add” front wheel traction at this transition point since the weight is being shifted rearward during this phase of the corner. Load the outside hard as you seamlessly go from braking to accelerating, knowing your traction potential is shifting rearward.

 

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On 9/3/2019 at 10:38 AM, motrock93b said:

It helps to be either on the gas, or on the brakes. The idea is to rely less on the front tire for traction. As Hans mentioned earlier, weight the outside of the bike so body weight is pressing down into the slippery dirt rather than adding outward force to the tires if you have your body aligned with the tires. Also, being on top of the bike allows you to stay on top as the bike slides outward, rather than falling to the inside and low siding. Apply as much force as possible to the outside peg. Not only ALL your body weight, but actually adding more by doing a single leg squat by lifting your body when possible. For example. Go step on a bathroom scale. Now, squat on the scale and quickly lift your body upward, noticing the additional weight registered as you stand. This is the effect you’re looking for with the outside peg. Obviously, this only works momentarily. Load the rear tire into the terrain with throttle and body position. The best way I can describe it is to imagine actually riding a slight wheelie through the corner. This adds a lot of rear wheel traction. As you exit the corner and stand the bike up, continue this “wheelie” technique as you gradually add body weight to the rear wheel. Do this by allowing your upper body to simplify pivot back appropriately as you extend your arms, or moving your body back on the seat (or both). Being pulled by the bars is effective at this point since it adds traction to the rear wheel.

 

Load the tires with outside pressure, and rely very little on the front tire for traction. On the gas or on the brakes. Coasting leads to crashes. This technique also works great on off chambers. Try all this very slowly at first.

 

Edit: Also, the front tire will have a lot of added traction as you enter the corner with hard braking. Deceleration forces add a lot of downward pressure to the front tire, allowing it to bite harder. If you’re “backing it in” whether standing or seated, the front tire is far less prone to wash out and your steering angle is steepened as the fork compresses under deceleration forces. This is why it’s so important to really load the tires as you transition from braking to accelerating. If not, then front tire looses a tremendous amount of traction with no other forces to help it maintain position. You’re not generally seeking to “add” front wheel traction at this transition point since the weight is being shifted rearward during this phase of the corner. Load the outside hard as you seamlessly go from braking to accelerating, knowing your traction potential is shifting rearward.

 

Lots of interesting ideas...good food for thought. Thanks.

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I didn't read every single word on her so I apologize in advanced if this was already said.  I ride a really hard packed track at times and it's a good skill to learn.  One of the biggest things that me is proper throttle control.  Don't try to hammer out of the turns.  Roll the throttle to keep your rear end from slidding out and weight that outside peg.  Good luck!    

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I've struck a bit of this type of surface here over this summer, the best thing I found is to steer from the rear of the bike rather than the front, slide her in a bit on the brake, then hit the gas early and slide the back around speedway style, then (as above) roll on the rest of the throttle gently as you get pointed up the next straight.

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