Doing Starts Properly

hey guys. i have been looking through this forum and have noticed that a lot of people are confused about how to start properly. so, im going to try my best to explain these things to you all. i hope this helps some of you guys.

Cement Starts

the first thing you do is pick a gate that will give you the straightest shot to the first turn. once you have done that, you need to prepare your gate. first get a broom and sweep off all the dirt. you want a really clean gate for maximum traction. secondly, clean out all of the dirt from underneath the gate bar. if there is any dirt in there it may prevent the gate from falling all the way. before you even go onto the starting pad, make sure you hit your front and back fenders to get all the dirt off of them and get any big chunks off of your tires. then, roll your bike onto your launch pad so that there is a pretty even distance between yourself and the people next to you. once you are on the gate, pull in your front brake and do a slight burn-out (3-5 seconds) just so you get any excess dirt off the wheels. if you need to, get a broom and sweep off the dirt that comes off of the bikes. now you are ready to start. have the front wheel about 4 or 5 inches away from the gate. you will need to have both of your feet flat on the ground. if you are a shorter rider (such as myself) some sort of block or something will be needed to make sure both of your feet are even. DO NOT START WITH ONE FOOT DOWN AND ONE ON THE BIKE! this will cause you to turn to the side where you don't want to go. now that your feet are down and you are lined up on the gate, you will need to be watching the board man. once he turns the board sideways, you need to look down and be ready to go. here are the essentials that will make or break an awsome start. you need to 1) have your finger on the front break pulling it in, but not so the wheel is locked. keep the front break engaged until after you hit the dirt. 2) let out the clutch until you feel the bike grabbing and starting to move forward. this is where you want to keep the bike until the gate drops. 3) do not watch the gate but instead watch the little pin that holds the gate up. as soon as that thing drops you go. 4) do not hold your throttle wide-open but keep it steady at about 3/4 throttle. once you are out of the gate and into the dirt you can pin it.

Dirt Starts

for dirt starts, its best if you have a little rut to start in. this will give you a better jump. the first thing you do is pack the little rut as hard as you can. get out any rocks or particles that will prevent you from having a good start. if you need to, roll your bike back and forth a few times to further pack down the dirt. also, clear out any dirt that will prevent the gate from falling or getting stuck. the procedure for doing a dirt start is exactly the same, except that you need to be as far up on the gas tank as possible. this will prevent you from flipping over backwards.

the biggest thing with starts is practice. instead of going to the track and practicing jumps, go and practice starts. spend maybe 45 minutes to an hour doing nothing but starts. after a week or 2 of practicing, you will see the benefits once you start hole-shotting all of your motos.

as mentioned by 723onyz250f

"u forgot to say for concrete that u should be sitting in the middle of the bike sitting staight up and down with as much wieght on ur butt as possible and as little on your feet but keep the bike steady. it is not neccessarily a bad idea to start with 1 foot up 1 foot down. some riders it works best for them that way. Also your feet should be tucked in front of the footpegs. if they are not they can swing back when u go which pulls your front end up. I always like to do tire chirps on the gate and what I am doing is finding the best body position and throttle level to use where the tire feels like it will grip the best without spinning the tire or bogging the engine. This also gets rid of the need to do a tire spin to clean the tire.

On dirt you do NOT want to pack down the dirt in most cases. If you can scrape the dirt out so that your tires can be on the hard dirt surface. No matter how hard you think you can pack that nice loamy dirt you dirtbike will rip through it like loose dirt and will not hook up."

good luck and safe riding!

stephen f

Another tip for Dirt Start is to roll the bike back and forth a few inches from that you start the engine to the 5 sec board. This helps pack the dirt. Beacuse a vibrating motorcycle will ruin the hardpacked dirt.

My little cheater move i learned is to start back about 6 inches and when the board goes sideways start creeping so that you have somewhat of a rolling start verses everyone else who is stopped completely. Some tracks i learned you can even be a little further back, but other tracks get a bit PO'ed if you're sitting 2 feet back! Hope it helps.

-Erick

do you look at your gate pin? I read that you are supposed to look at the pin of the gate right next to yours. would this be correct?

do you look at your gate pin? I read that you are supposed to look at the pin of the gate right next to yours. would this be correct?

you look at the pin... but your own gate pin

what gear should you be starting in? ive always wondered whats best.

what gear should you be starting in? ive always wondered whats best.

1st on a 125 or smaller and 2nd on anything bigger. On my 450 w/ the Rekluse autoclutch...............it's 3rd gear and a holeshot almost every time! :ride:

ya im on a crf250, and ive been told that me weighing 150 pounds that i could start in 3rd. is that not true.

I did my first race start in 8 years, last one being on a 125. I was not sure how to start on a CRF250R but i chose 2nd and that seemed to work good. Anyone start in first gear?

Depends what gearing you have, too. I use 2nd or 3rd on my yz85.

On a 125 with 5 gear you start in 1st gear. On 125:s with 6 gear light riders can start in 2:nd gear but i start in first gear and click 2:nd when my backwheel is in the air transitioning from the starting gate to the ground.

On a 125 with 5 gear you start in 1st gear. On 125:s with 6 gear light riders can start in 2:nd gear but i start in first gear and click 2:nd when my backwheel is in the air transitioning from the starting gate to the ground.

the problem with first gear is you get a lot of wheel spin then when you hit the dirt you do a big'ol wheelie. do starts in 2nd gear. that is the best for dirt or concrete.

the problem with first gear is you get a lot of wheel spin then when you hit the dirt you do a big'ol wheelie. do starts in 2nd gear. that is the best for dirt or concrete.

No, not for dirt. 90% of the World GP riders started in 1st gear back when there was all 125. And i use 1st gear on concrete + my holeshot device. This is the best way. I was at a training camp ones with a former gp rider and he said when he raced 125 World GP and started on 2:nd gear on the starts he would get smoked but then Harry Everts (Stefan's father) teached him how to start in 1st gear and he started to collecting holeshot.

I use 2nd on my drz as 1st is way to short

I use 2nd on my drz as 1st is way to short

thats usually the case for most bikes :thumbsup:

u forgot to say for concrete that u should be sitting in the middle of the bike sitting staight up and down with as much wieght on ur butt as possible and as little on your feet but keep the bike steady. it is not neccessarily a bad idea to start with 1 foot up 1 foot down. some riders it works best for them that way. Also your feet should be tucked in front of the footpegs. if they are not they can swing back when u go which pulls your front end up. I always like to do tire chirps on the gate and what I am doing is finding the best body position and throttle level to use where the tire feels like it will grip the best without spinning the tire or bogging the engine. This also gets rid of the need to do a tire spin to clean the tire.

On dirt you do NOT want to pack down the dirt in most cases. If you can scrape the dirt out so that your tires can be on the hard dirt surface. No matter how hard you think you can pack that nice loamy dirt you dirtbike will rip through it like loose dirt and will not hook up.

u forgot to say for concrete that u should be sitting in the middle of the bike sitting staight up and down with as much wieght on ur butt as possible and as little on your feet but keep the bike steady. it is not neccessarily a bad idea to start with 1 foot up 1 foot down. some riders it works best for them that way. Also your feet should be tucked in front of the footpegs. if they are not they can swing back when u go which pulls your front end up. I always like to do tire chirps on the gate and what I am doing is finding the best body position and throttle level to use where the tire feels like it will grip the best without spinning the tire or bogging the engine. This also gets rid of the need to do a tire spin to clean the tire.

On dirt you do NOT want to pack down the dirt in most cases. If you can scrape the dirt out so that your tires can be on the hard dirt surface. No matter how hard you think you can pack that nice loamy dirt you dirtbike will rip through it like loose dirt and will not hook up.

thanks. i forgot to add that in there. :thumbsup:

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