The Breakdown:  Walker on the Readers

The Breakdown: Walker on the Readers

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Hey, guys! It's been a while but it feels good to be back. The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship is on a two-week break so I thought, "why not Breakdown the readers." There have been a huge amount of photos sent in, so if I’m unable to get to yours I apologize in advance. Instead of focusing on photos where the proper techniques were being used I chose the ones I felt like people can benefit the most from.

I wanted to start with this 85cc rider. When I talk about being perfect, this is what I’m talking about. I can't fix this. His head looks good, his body position looks good, hell, his gear looks good. But if I had to change one thing it would be that his finger isn’t on the front brake. I like to have my finger resting on the brake in case my bike decides to get high in the rut. If that were to happen I would squeeze the brake so the bike would fall back into the rut. Also, if the bike did start to go high your reflexes are not fast enough to go from the throttle to the brake in time. That's why you should rest your index finger on the brake. Because for that split second that you may need it, it will be there.

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I tell my riders all the time: "Does this look like a photo shoot?" I tell them this when they blow out berms. Typically that's what you do when you’re doing a photo shoot. Anyways, in this photo we have a massive sand berm. Always remember in sand berms that the higher you get in the "fluff" the least amount of traction you will get. The tops of the berms are what you want to stay away from because the powdery type sand. This rider is in the powder, hence the dust from the roost.

Just looking at the shot here I think a few feet under where he is would be a better option. Look at the color of the dirt. I'm always teaching about the different colors of dirt. What it means, etc. In sand, obviously, the darker the dirt the more traction you have. The top will always be lighter in color because of the powder.

I also don't like where this riders head is. It's way too far forward. This can make the front end tuck. The head needs to be behind the crossbar pad. You can't see the leg here but my money says it’s dragging the ground. If your head is that far forward the leg has to drag the ground, which is another reason why the head needs to be back.

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I've seen a lot of riders do what this rider is doing and it's hard to break the habit. The bike is leaning one way but the body is leaning another. It's not leaning badly, but it’s worth talking about. Look how choice this dirt is. When the dirt looks like this you can be more aggressive with how much you lean your bike. This riders head and torso should be leaning towards the turn. Instead it's leaning slightly the other way. This ALWAYS makes the outside elbow drop. Always! So stay centered and lean with the turn, not against it.

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Here the rider leans with the turn, but what is he doing wrong? Look how straight up and down his back is. Imagine looking at the angle of your forks. Your spine should be angled just like that. Hips towards the gas tank shoulders towards the back fender, leaving a nice bend in the elbows. If your shoulders are too far back you will lock out your arms and you don’t want that.

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This guy tried to be funny by sending in a cool photo. I'm going to post it, but next time if you want it to be really cool, tilt your head a little more and drop the shoulder a tad. That will really make the bike lean!

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Here is a perfect example of what I've been preaching. This riders leg looks good but you can tell he's excited for the turn. How? Well, his upper body is in front of the bike. Let the turn come to you. You don't need to rush your turns, that's how you get into trouble. Slow down and be patient.

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Okay, that's going do it for this week. I enjoyed it and keep sending in photos because I'm going to do this next week as well. If you have any questions hit me on twitter @MattWalker122

Thanks again,

Matt Walker

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