Riding dirt bikes and racing is a passion that many of us share. If you don’t have a personal trainer by your side it can be difficult to know what you need to work on and how you can improve your motocross riding.
I have made a list of 10 things that will ultimately make you a better, safer and faster rider. These tips apply to everyone so you can be sure that you will see a solid improvement in your riding by following these tips.
1. Practice Effectively
You know the saying, “practice makes perfect”? That isn’t true if you aren’t practicing effectively.
What do I mean by this? Don’t just go and ride the track as fast as you can as many times as possible. You need to evaluate what you need to work on, and then practice it. It might be technique oriented or maybe it has to do with conditioning. There is no set practice routine that is perfect for everyone because every rider needs to work on different things.
If you can, bring someone with you to help track your progression.
2. Walk the Track
A lot of riders will show up to a track and go around it a few times at a lower speed. This is OK but it will make a much bigger impact on your riding if you actually walk around the track without your bike. If you watch some of the best racers, they will walk around the track to get a feel for conditions and things before they start a race or their practice laps.
3. Work on Your Corners!
Some people really over look the importance of working on taking corners faster. The faster you can take corners the faster your laps will be. Plus, most passing opportunities arise at corners. If you can take corners really well you will be able to pass people easier and you will ride out of them smoother which is important.
4. Warm Up and Stretch
I am not talking about doing warm up laps. You should do some off the bike warm ups before you even start riding. Some things you can do are take a little jog, do some jumping jacks, run in place or do some simple cardio exercises.
You also need to do some stretches. You really need to stretch your whole body because you use your whole body to race. Focus more on ballistic stretching where gravity does most of the work and you are moving. This will help the blood start flowing and allow you to perform better. It will also reduce the risk of injury.
The biggest mistake people make is they simply follow the person in front of them. If you do this, how will you ever pass them? What you need to do is look ahead and try to anticipate what line the person you want to pass is going to take. In order to pass them you will need to be creative on the track and try different line to get ahead.
6. Look Ahead
This is a basic concept. The farther ahead you can look, the faster you can go because you know what is coming. You need to look at where you want to go. If you look at where you don’t want to go and you are concentrating on that, you will end up going there. So look ahead as far as you can and still be comfortable and concentrate on where you want to go.
7. Grip the Bike with Your Legs
You control your bike with your body and you get the most control when you are squeezing the bike with your legs. As you do this you will notice that the bike stays a lot straighter and you will feel like you have more control. This will also relieve some of the stress on your arms and reduce the risk of getting arm pump. This is simple but it helps out a lot.
8. Know Your Limits
Don’t risk going one more practice lap if you feel extremely fatigued and dizzy. It is OK to take a break. You want to push your limits but not to the point of injury. It is usually when you decide to do one more lap (when you know you probably shouldn’t) that you end up getting hurt.
9. Get Your Bike Set Up Perfectly for You
Take some time and really get to know your bike and set it up for you. Some of the things you will want to adjust are your suspension, controls (levers), back brake, shift lever and handle bar position. How your bike is set up makes a huge difference in how it rides. If you set it up right it will improve your performance a lot.
10. Learn From the Professionals!
This is a nice relaxing thing you can do to improve. Sit down on the couch and watch some recent races. Watch the professionals and take notes. Analyze their techniques and watch how they handle things. After all, they are the professionals.