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Starts, whats your technique?

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So I've been studing the starts of many pros, and I just wanna know what other peoples techniques are, I usually start in second, I know that rule, I don't have a how shot device and would love to know how much more this can help you and what brands are the best,

I ride a 09 yz250f and was also woundering what can I do to make it alot quicker on the start, I tought about hot cams since I have to check my shims ill just thro those in,

But any advice will help, thanks

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You may think about changing up the sprockets. It would be a cheap upgrade to the bike, and may be what your looking for. I did this to my 07 yz250f (was 13/48, now 12/51), and it made quite the difference. Something to look into though.

How many teeth do you got on your front and rear sprockets?

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A 250 should be able to start in 3rd anyday of the week and lets you go straight to the first turn without shifting.

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I start in 2nd, find the sweet spot in the rpms and keep the clutch release smooth to keep it in the meat of the power, get over the back of the bike to get that power to the ground. Its important that when you shift your weight over the rear tire you stay controlled so you can keep the front end down and keep the bike moving forward.

Hole shot devices help but are not necessary. I dont use one and I can still pull holeshots quite often. Keeping fresh tires on the bike is more important.

The only thing that will really make you a good starter is to practice, practice, and practice some more! When you get sick of it, practice more... just like anything else having to do with motocross, the more seat time you have working on that skill the better you will get at it. It helps to keep your eyes about 10-20ft in front of you so you can stay in your line and not get cross rutted causing wheel spin.

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Hole shot devices do work. If you don’t use one you are at a disadvantage. You won’t ever see a pro without one on their bike. Like anything, you have to practice with it to learn how much harder you can accelerate without getting the front end to high or loosing traction. Newer ones have dual lock points so you can pull the front end down different amounts depending on the traction available.

When you launch, try to make sure you get your front wheel off the ground just high enough so it does not hit the gate. Hitting the gate on the ground causes your front end to pop up quickly which you do not want. Practice with body position to get best traction without getting front wheel to high and sliding back as you go for more traction as needed. Risk Racing has a wireless gate which is light easy to use and not to expensive, use something like that regular and you will improve.

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I don't know about 250f's with gearing but I'm sure 2nd gear starts are the norm like on a 450 I ride.

Obviously clutch control is key out of the gate but reaction time and what you do in that first 20 feet is VERY important!!! My technique is to NOT stare at the gate pin but look about 15 feet in front of the gate and let your peripheral vision see the gate drop. That way you can be focusing on looking towards the corner already when the gate drops. Start fairly forward on the bike and it helps me to squeeze the bike with both legs down to help keep things going straight right out of the gate. Usually I will put a little tension on the clutch at about 1/2 throttle or so and hold the front brake just a touch so I don't roll into the gate before it drops. Once the gate drops it's a smooth clutch release and sometimes a slight quick pull on the clutch again depending on how rough it is going over the gate itself. I never go full throttle right off the gate but rather 1/2 to 3/4 throttle until the bike is pulling good at about that 15 to 20 ft mark. Now if you've managed to get the jump on either guy next to you DEFINATELY crowd thier line some! In lower classes of racing this basically makes them give up on the start giving you a better shot at the first turn. Trust me it works.

Of course, practicing starts not just by yourself but with others makes a huge difference. It can be very difficult to focus on just what YOU are supposed to be doing on a crowded start. Getting the other riders, bikes revving, pre race jitters, etc. out of your head and focusing on just that start procedure takes practice. One of the things I always do before the start is relax with slow breathing and VISUALIZE the start over and over. Keep your head in the moment by not letting pre race jitters mess up your routine! Hopefully that helps you with the start and once you pull the holeshot that's another story.

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Hole shot devices do work. If you don’t use one you are at a disadvantage. You won’t ever see a pro without one on their bike. Like anything, you have to practice with it to learn how much harder you can accelerate without getting the front end to high or loosing traction. Newer ones have dual lock points so you can pull the front end down different amounts depending on the traction available.

When you launch, try to make sure you get your front wheel off the ground just high enough so it does not hit the gate. Hitting the gate on the ground causes your front end to pop up quickly which you do not want. Practice with body position to get best traction without getting front wheel to high and sliding back as you go for more traction as needed. Risk Racing has a wireless gate which is light easy to use and not to expensive, use something like that regular and you will improve.

None of us in this thread are pros, I dont care what they run on thier bikes... since he's asking Im guessing he's not super super experienced. They do work, I admitted that. But they are not necessary for most beginning amateur racers! A hole shot device will do nothing if your timing, clutch control, throttle control and body control are all outta whack! Im a top 3 B class racer at this point so I cant speak of any higher level at this point but I have no problem getting out of the gate and making it to the 1st corner on a consistant basis within that top 3 and 90% of the guys that line up run them, plain and simple I have better control out of the gate. When I move up to A class next season it may be a different story, but when guys arent blazing fast, technique and control will do alot more for your start than a device to compress your forks.

When you get into a class with the best and you have your technique dialed in... they will def. be a huge advantage and likely a must have.

Not saying I totally disagree with your post... I just see it a little differently.:thumbsup:

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I don't know about 250f's with gearing but I'm sure 2nd gear starts are the norm like on a 450 I ride.

Obviously clutch control is key out of the gate but reaction time and what you do in that first 20 feet is VERY important!!! My technique is to NOT stare at the gate pin but look about 15 feet in front of the gate and let your peripheral vision see the gate drop. That way you can be focusing on looking towards the corner already when the gate drops. Start fairly forward on the bike and it helps me to squeeze the bike with both legs down to help keep things going straight right out of the gate. Usually I will put a little tension on the clutch at about 1/2 throttle or so and hold the front brake just a touch so I don't roll into the gate before it drops. Once the gate drops it's a smooth clutch release and sometimes a slight quick pull on the clutch again depending on how rough it is going over the gate itself. I never go full throttle right off the gate but rather 1/2 to 3/4 throttle until the bike is pulling good at about that 15 to 20 ft mark. Now if you've managed to get the jump on either guy next to you DEFINATELY crowd thier line some! In lower classes of racing this basically makes them give up on the start giving you a better shot at the first turn. Trust me it works.

Of course, practicing starts not just by yourself but with others makes a huge difference. It can be very difficult to focus on just what YOU are supposed to be doing on a crowded start. Getting the other riders, bikes revving, pre race jitters, etc. out of your head and focusing on just that start procedure takes practice. One of the things I always do before the start is relax with slow breathing and VISUALIZE the start over and over. Keep your head in the moment by not letting pre race jitters mess up your routine! Hopefully that helps you with the start and once you pull the holeshot that's another story.

Wow man thanks alot, I appreciate the long extravagant details. I will have to give some of this a try, and the pre race jitters are pretty bad, heart Pumps outta my chest, lol gotta get over it some how. And I like your idea of getting out front just a little quicker then a few guys and having them give up, never thought of that, seems pretty obvious, I ride c class so we all no what the first corner looks like, one big pile. Another concern is where should I line up, close tp the inside of the first corner or the way outside to avoid the pile? Thanks again guys

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None of us in this thread are pros, I dont care what they run on thier bikes... since he's asking Im guessing he's not super super experienced. They do work, I admitted that. But they are not necessary for most beginning amateur racers! A hole shot device will do nothing if your timing, clutch control, throttle control and body control are all outta whack! Im a top 3 B class racer at this point so I cant speak of any higher level at this point but I have no problem getting out of the gate and making it to the 1st corner on a consistant basis within that top 3 and 90% of the guys that line up run them, plain and simple I have better control out of the gate. When I move up to A class next season it may be a different story, but when guys arent blazing fast, technique and control will do alot more for your start than a device to compress your forks.

When you get into a class with the best and you have your technique dialed in... they will def. be a huge advantage and likely a must have.

Not saying I totally disagree with your post... I just see it a little differently.:thumbsup:

:ride:

I agree

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None of us in this thread are pros, I dont care what they run on thier bikes... since he's asking Im guessing he's not super super experienced. They do work, I admitted that. But they are not necessary for most beginning amateur racers! A hole shot device will do nothing if your timing, clutch control, throttle control and body control are all outta whack! Im a top 3 B class racer at this point so I cant speak of any higher level at this point but I have no problem getting out of the gate and making it to the 1st corner on a consistant basis within that top 3 and 90% of the guys that line up run them, plain and simple I have better control out of the gate. When I move up to A class next season it may be a different story, but when guys arent blazing fast, technique and control will do alot more for your start than a device to compress your forks.

When you get into a class with the best and you have your technique dialed in... they will def. be a huge advantage and likely a must have.

Not saying I totally disagree with your post... I just see it a little differently.:thumbsup:

The original question on this thread indicated he was watching pro techniques and he specifically asked about hole shot devices. If you want to get better at something it is generally much better to watch and try and emulate a pro than someone much less experienced.

Regarding the hole shot device, to effectively dismiss what pros do and what is considered one of the simplest most effective devices to improve your ability to get better starts makes no sense. Some of the real top B riders are Joey Savatgy, Jeremy Martin, Cole Thompson, Zack Bell, and Thomas Covington. You won’t find them on the gate without a hole shot device. It is a must have at any level if you want to get the best starts you are capable of. A hole shot device will make anyone better at starting if you practice with it because no matter what technique you use or how bad your timing etc., you can launch harder and accelerate faster. It is just plain simple physics.

There are some good responses on here like that of Rynodagreat. Try them especially with the hole shot device and you will become a better starter. If you are always in the top three through the first corner without the hole shot device at your local track, I bet if you get one and practice with it, your percentage of hole shots will increase.

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NEcrf and ftbll90, what gyd is saying about holeshot devices is pretty much true. They do help you launch harder out of the gate simply because of physics. They won't help you for squat if you don't a have good start technique though. You still need to have the clutch control and a good feel for what traction the bike is getting right out of the gate. It takes lots of practice but with time you'll get it. Really they are a fairly inexpensive way to help with your starts compared to all the other things you can spend money on with dirt bikes.

As far as your gate pick there are SEVERAL variables involved with that. It really depends on the first turn and the history in the first turn as well. What I mean by that is watch the motos before you and see where the good/bad starts are coming from? Is there lots of pileups on the inside? Holeshots coming from a particular spot? etc... I like to find the straightest shot to the first turn that doesn't have any squirely ruts right out of the gate with my gate pick. Also, look behind the gate. Is the dirt there good for traction or is it loose. Maybe the straightest pick has a crappy spot behind the gate but a few spots over has great traction? I also like to be right next to the dog house if I can get the pick and it's a straight enough line to the first turn because it gives you a little breathing room if you don't get a jump on the guy next to you. These are some of the things I look at the most but you also probably know some of the guys you race against so maybe there are also certain people you just don't want to line up next to? Maybe somebody that is historically speaking a bit out of control? Stay clear of them if you can.

From what you said earlier about prerace jitters that I believe is the best area you can improve right away. Most (if not all) C class racers are nervous at the gate. Getting the mental edge over them before the race even starts by being focused and relaxed will only help your starts over them. After a while you'll be the guy getting the holeshots and they will all know it which means you'll be in their head before the race even starts! :thumbsup:

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The original question on this thread indicated he was watching pro techniques and he specifically asked about hole shot devices. If you want to get better at something it is generally much better to watch and try and emulate a pro than someone much less experienced.

Regarding the hole shot device, to effectively dismiss what pros do and what is considered one of the simplest most effective devices to improve your ability to get better starts makes no sense. Some of the real top B riders are Joey Savatgy, Jeremy Martin, Cole Thompson, Zack Bell, and Thomas Covington. You won’t find them on the gate without a hole shot device. It is a must have at any level if you want to get the best starts you are capable of. A hole shot device will make anyone better at starting if you practice with it because no matter what technique you use or how bad your timing etc., you can launch harder and accelerate faster. It is just plain simple physics.

There are some good responses on here like that of Rynodagreat. Try them especially with the hole shot device and you will become a better starter. If you are always in the top three through the first corner without the hole shot device at your local track, I bet if you get one and practice with it, your percentage of hole shots will increase.

No I do agree with you,, I do belive in the device, just haven't been able to try one, I've been looking and I really like the looks of the new works connection hole shot device, I do need the practice tho with the starts, I've only lined up to a gate 6 times my whole life lol, im 22 and wish I started sooner, I am a c rider, but I wanna increase my riding ability alot, I would love to try loretta. Lol

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NEcrf and ftbll90, what gyd is saying about holeshot devices is pretty much true. They do help you launch harder out of the gate simply because of physics. They won't help you for squat if you don't a have good start technique though. You still need to have the clutch control and a good feel for what traction the bike is getting right out of the gate. It takes lots of practice but with time you'll get it. Really they are a fairly inexpensive way to help with your starts compared to all the other things you can spend money on with dirt bikes.

As far as your gate pick there are SEVERAL variables involved with that. It really depends on the first turn and the history in the first turn as well. What I mean by that is watch the motos before you and see where the good/bad starts are coming from? Is there lots of pileups on the inside? Holeshots coming from a particular spot? etc... I like to find the straightest shot to the first turn that doesn't have any squirely ruts right out of the gate with my gate pick. Also, look behind the gate. Is the dirt there good for traction or is it loose. Maybe the straightest pick has a crappy spot behind the gate but a few spots over has great traction? I also like to be right next to the dog house if I can get the pick and it's a straight enough line to the first turn because it gives you a little breathing room if you don't get a jump on the guy next to you. These are some of the things I look at the most but you also probably know some of the guys you race against so maybe there are also certain people you just don't want to line up next to? Maybe somebody that is historically speaking a bit out of control? Stay clear of them if you can.

From what you said earlier about prerace jitters that I believe is the best area you can improve right away. Most (if not all) C class racers are nervous at the gate. Getting the mental edge over them before the race even starts by being focused and relaxed will only help your starts over them. After a while you'll be the guy getting the holeshots and they will all know it which means you'll be in their head before the race even starts! :thumbsup:

Wow if the advice couldn't get any better, thank you:thumbsup:

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The original question on this thread indicated he was watching pro techniques and he specifically asked about hole shot devices. If you want to get better at something it is generally much better to watch and try and emulate a pro than someone much less experienced.

Regarding the hole shot device, to effectively dismiss what pros do and what is considered one of the simplest most effective devices to improve your ability to get better starts makes no sense. Some of the real top B riders are Joey Savatgy, Jeremy Martin, Cole Thompson, Zack Bell, and Thomas Covington. You won’t find them on the gate without a hole shot device. It is a must have at any level if you want to get the best starts you are capable of. A hole shot device will make anyone better at starting if you practice with it because no matter what technique you use or how bad your timing etc., you can launch harder and accelerate faster. It is just plain simple physics.

There are some good responses on here like that of Rynodagreat. Try them especially with the hole shot device and you will become a better starter. If you are always in the top three through the first corner without the hole shot device at your local track, I bet if you get one and practice with it, your percentage of hole shots will increase.

I know what the original question was and I agree with you 100%. Dont take what I said the wrong way, I wasnt trying to say you were wrong by any means. Everything you said is 100% true, no denying that! No where in my post did I say they did not work nor that the info you provided was misleading or incorrect.

I just think there are other things that need to be focused on whether you run a HS device or not! I was just implying that just because you run a hole shot device does not mean that you will magically become a great starter. Like I said there will likely be a day that I will need one. Until then I will focus on the other things. I guess what Im attempting to point out is that the pros that are running them didnt become great starters because they run a hole shot device, they became great starters because they put in countless hours practicing, expanding their knowledge and perfecting thier technique. The hole shot device gives them the extra edge they need to make their starts that much better after all the prior skill listed were prefected. Just my opinion, right or wrong thats the way I see it.

I guess I should be a little more careful with my wording, I wasnt trying to take anything away from your post. Just made a feeble attempt to add to it that was taken the wrong way, likely by my own doing (hope that makes sense).:thumbsup:

NEcrf and ftbll90, what gyd is saying about holeshot devices is pretty much true. They do help you launch harder out of the gate simply because of physics. They won't help you for squat if you don't a have good start technique though. You still need to have the clutch control and a good feel for what traction the bike is getting right out of the gate. It takes lots of practice but with time you'll get it. Really they are a fairly inexpensive way to help with your starts compared to all the other things you can spend money on with dirt bikes.

As far as your gate pick there are SEVERAL variables involved with that. It really depends on the first turn and the history in the first turn as well. What I mean by that is watch the motos before you and see where the good/bad starts are coming from? Is there lots of pileups on the inside? Holeshots coming from a particular spot? etc... I like to find the straightest shot to the first turn that doesn't have any squirely ruts right out of the gate with my gate pick. Also, look behind the gate. Is the dirt there good for traction or is it loose. Maybe the straightest pick has a crappy spot behind the gate but a few spots over has great traction? I also like to be right next to the dog house if I can get the pick and it's a straight enough line to the first turn because it gives you a little breathing room if you don't get a jump on the guy next to you. These are some of the things I look at the most but you also probably know some of the guys you race against so maybe there are also certain people you just don't want to line up next to? Maybe somebody that is historically speaking a bit out of control? Stay clear of them if you can.

From what you said earlier about prerace jitters that I believe is the best area you can improve right away. Most (if not all) C class racers are nervous at the gate. Getting the mental edge over them before the race even starts by being focused and relaxed will only help your starts over them. After a while you'll be the guy getting the holeshots and they will all know it which means you'll be in their head before the race even starts! :ride:

Great post!!! Some really good info in here!:worthy:

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Glad to help NEcrf. A little background on myself, I'm a 35 y/o Vet A MX racer. Literally, i've been through hundreds of gate drops. It takes time and practice but like you already know controling your nerves is a big part of the start. Hope you get them dialed and keep us posted on your progress.

Ryno

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I am a 40 year old beginner rider (second year riding)(bike is a YZ 250 two stroke). I went out last winter and bought Gary Siemics DVD series. He has some really good points on Starts and different techniques. I applied some of them my last two moto's and got the holeshot both times. Here are a few things that I did.

1.) feet in front of the pegs.

2.) Front wheel back from the gate ( I used about 12" maybe more)

3.) Clean any dirt off the concrete (if you are on concrete)

4.) Position of clutch and throttle. Gary mentioned finding where the clutch engages and disengages while on the start line. Find the exact spot prior to engagement and hold the clutch at that point. Then open the throttle to your comfort level. For me that is about 1/2 throttle.

5.) Position over the front of the bike. As bike lauches forward transition to the back depending on traction. If you have lots of traction you will want to stay forward to help keep the front down. If the conditions are slick or balding tires like mine, move back to gain traction. One thing Gary did suggest was to practice on similar dirt in the area of the track to learn the traction provided at each track and day.

In my last two cases I also noticed half way that if I just added a bit more gas I would pull out front. I also waited until the other guys started hitting their brakes. Obviously I managed to make the corner, but waiting to long could cause you to blow the corner and loose the holeshot. I am sure that I also "squeezed" guys out as I was more to the outside than some, but just kept aiming for the corner and they obviously backed off. Much of it is nerves and comfort too. I was pretty stoked since it was my first holeshots. Thanks to Gary !

Hope some of this can help.

The Bug

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