Hello again everyone, and thanks for reading The Breakdown. The positive feedback has been amazing. Chase and Weege search and search for pictures that I may be able to use for this column and some weeks it's just hard to find any shots that work. So this is what we have this week. Read closely!
Let me start by saying this. When I explain my riding tips, I want you, the reader, to see a video or a picture in your head of yourself doing what it is I'm explaining. If you can imagine yourself doing it, it's a lot easier when you’re actually riding! Let's look at our first pick and try it.
I wanted to start with this picture so you guys could see another angle of what we talked about last week, with the head. Look at both riders and their hips. Yes, your head and shoulders dictate how high your leg is, but it’s your hips that really dictate all three.
Let me explain.
Most bikes have a slant in their seats at the front of the seat near the gas tank. Your hips need to point forward against the slant of the seat. Notice how these riders hips are opposite of what I said. Now look at their head, leg and shoulders.
I have riders do this simple exercise and you can too. Here’s how…
Stand up with feet shoulder length apart, arms out like your holding on to imaginary handlebars. Now point your hips forward and lift your leg like your railing a rut. Notice how everything just gels. Notice how high your leg is, and your head is back. Now shift your hips backwards. Notice how the head drops and the leg drops to the ground. Think about where your hips are at next time you’re riding.
This guy does a good job here. If you watched the race on TV you noticed a lot of crashes in this corner. Most of the crashes were because the riders’ front tire would get to high in the berm causing the bike to stick-n-flip—the bike sticks in the sand, rider flips off.
Marvin does an excellent job ensuring his bike doesn't stick-n-flip. The first thing that I see here is his front tire. You ALWAYS need to keep the front tire at the bottom of a sand berm like this. It doesn't matter where the rear tire is at. What makes you crash is where the front tire is. You see, in sand berms the harder dirt is always at the bottom. As the berm forms, it gets "looser" at the top. So I try to turn the front side wall of my tire into the bottom edge of the berm. Notice Marvin is doing exactly that.
Also look at his leg. Notice how the heel is down and toe is up. This is the way to do it! What I teach is when you’re lifting your leg for a turn, try to tighten your quad muscle, like your flexing in the mirror. If your leg is locked like this, it ensures your leg is straight and high. The lower leg is prone to dragging the ground tightening your quad, and pointing your toe to the sky will make it so your knees and ankles won’t get tweaked as much.
This next picture is of Ryan Dungey passing Justin Brayton. What I wanted to touch on here is the way the pass was made. Dungey set him up in the section before so when they came into this section Dungey had the inside, so he was able to shut Brayton down. If you will notice, the 450 class is a cat and mouse game with the top riders. When they’re behind someone they’re constantly trying to put themselves in a position so they can cut underneath and shut a rider down. Just like Dungey did here. RV has seemed to thrive on doing this. If you pay close attention, he makes most of his passes by shutting down a riders line—a very cool thing to see.
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 www.schoolofmotox.com.