The Breakdown: L.A. SX Technique

The Breakdown L.A. SX Technique

January 27, 2012 9:50am

By: Matt Walker

This week in The Breakdown, I want to start by talking about a few things from LA.

First, my heart goes out to Trey Canard and Ryan Morais. Man, I had to look away on that one. I’ve also had my jaw wired shut and my back broken simultaneously. I know the pain and the rough road that lies ahead. Get well soon, guys.

A lot of  people have asked, "Could it have been avoided?" Well, not this crash. Things come at you fast, really fast, in the opening stages of any SX race. But in the 450 class it's rare that a rider doesn't jump the triples in a main event race because of the abundance of power. Had Canard not had the tuff block cover he too would have jumped the triple and we would not even be talking about this. He backed out at the last minute and Morais had no idea until he was going off the lip of jump. A very scary thing to have happen to a rider. It makes you wonder, why we can't find a cover that's built into the tuff block?

The other big news from L.A. was James Stewart’s take out on Jake Weimer. Let me give you a few different scenarios and you can decide for yourself what you think happened.

1) James was tired and frustrated cause Weimer had led him for five laps. He didn't want to deal with him anymore so he knocked him down.

2) James made a basic block pass but Jake didn't let up so he fell down.

3) (And this one is my pick) James doesn't have the confidence still with the front end of his bike, so instead of making the block pass then turning down (like it’s normally done) he follows through by going up high, taking Weimer down in the process. Remember most of James's crashes come from tucking the front end.

Now let’s get into a few photos:



Cudby photos

Each week I'm more and more impressed with Eli Tomac. You see how in this first picture he is sitting down with perfect form, except his head is a little forward. Through the sequence you will notice that he adjusts how far forward his head is.

When you’re cornering you don't want the mouth guard of your helmet to be over the crossbar pad. If your mouth guard is over the pad, you’re putting a lot of weight on the front end and the bike will have a tendency to want to tuck or wash out.

Also look at his right toe. You see how he is using the rear brake with toe pointing down with heel pointing up. You do this with your toe as opposed to your heel so you can get a better feel for how much rear brake pressure you’re applying. When you’re doing a start like Eli and you have the holeshot, you want to make sure your form is perfect when you’re on the binders.

Cudby photo

In this heat race, RV has it dialed. It’s patented RV style. His feet are on the pegs early, he's standing up, and his elbows are down so he doesn't lock bars with anyone. Notice how his throttle hand is lower than the clutch hand. This isn't necessarily a good thing, but that's a common occurrence with any pro rider because so many of them have broken their right wrist—it seems to get injured the most. Also note the gate Villopoto chose here: it is middle to inside. Normally that gate is do or die. But if you have a lot of confidence in your starts and you know you’re going to get a good start, that's the best place to be. Notice how Windham chose the safe route on the inside. That's generally the safe line, but if you get a bad jump the riders it can easily shut you down. Notice how Villopoto is still on the throttle while Windham is already braking. Look at K-Dubs front fender and see how it touches the tire. That's how you know he is hard on the binders, while Villopoto is still accelerating.

Matt Walker is a former professional motocross racer that now owns and operates the newly-formed Moto X Compound. One of the country's largest MX training facilities, Moto X Compound is located one hour south of Atlanta in Forsyth, Georgia. For more updates, follow Walker on Twitter #mattwalke122 or head to