Tips to Help You Win Your Next Race
When it comes to racing on Honda dirt bikes, the true key to speed is technique.
Once you’ve mastered your skills, ripping through the track without slowing down becomes easier than ever. This means riding faster and cutting that race time!
Besides finding the right Honda Motocross dirt bikes, you’ll also need the right gear and plenty of practice to improve your technique.
From body positioning to advice on how to handle the track and ensuring your Honda Motocross dirt bike is ready, here are tips to help you win that race.
Practice, Practice, Practice
The best way to improve your racing skills and speed is to ride more. Practice makes perfect, as they say.
The more you ride, the more you will learn what works best for you and how your bike responds. Practice also helps you ride faster in terms of techniques and line choices.
On practice days, include a refresher round of the essentials. And find your weaknesses so you can improve them with practice.
More practice gets you more comfortable with your bike. It also makes you comfortable jumping, cornering, and handling different conditions.
You can master the art of cornering by spinning laps around a turning track.
You should also practice starts. You will finish better if you start better. Getting better starts helps you ride faster since you will be riding with faster riders.
As you ride with faster riders, keep an eye on what they do on the track and try to keep up with them.
To further improve your racing skills, you can take courses at a motocross (MX) school. A coach will assess your weaknesses and help you improve them.
Your coach will help you to improve your body positioning and pick better lines. Your coach will also help you with bike setup and make you do off-the-track drills that will actually help you on the track.
Ensure Your Bike Is Race-Ready
After every ride, perform routine maintenance. This will keep your bike running at optimal performance, and can also help you win races.
Without proper maintenance, your bike could keep you in the last place finish. Or, your bike might experience serious damage that could be very expensive to repair.
Use the Right Accessories & Gear
To race well, you need to be comfortable and protected with the right motocross gear. This includes:
- Pants, and
Always ride with your arms up and your elbows and shoulders square. This positioning gives you better control of your bike, allowing you to bend it with ease.
You must always keep your head up and focus on what’s ahead of you. This allows you to see what’s coming next and gives you enough time to prepare.
The bike also tends to go in the direction you are looking towards, so this helps you maneuver, especially around corners.
Squeeze Your Knees
Whether you’re sitting or standing, always grip the bike with your knees. This grip connects the rider to the bike and the ground, allowing for better control.
This also helps you loosen your grip on the handles and prevents arm pump. Also make sure to ride on the balls of your feet.
Working on Bike Maneuvers
Keep it Smooth
Smooth, consistent throttling allows for much better flow around the track. You can continuously link sections and corners together, use less energy, and reduce your lap times.
Coming into a turn, you want to maintain as much speed as possible without losing control of your bike. Naturally, many riders instinctively want to downshift to maintain control and regulate their speed.
But when you downshift, you interrupt the flow of your run. You’re not just slowing down, you’ve also got to shift again to reach the speed you had coming into the turn, adding further delays. Just use the brake and find the balance you need through practice. You can swing through your turn and maintain your momentum.
If you feel your rear wheel bucking, which is likely on whoops, drag the rear brake so you don’t lose control and get kicked off your bike.
Right when you feel the rear wheel start to kick, drag the brakes. This will help keep the suspension from bouncing, which is what causes you to lose control of your bike.
Tips for Jumps, Corners, Whoops, And Picking Your Line
Jumps aren’t easy, so start slow when practicing jumps.
Since you need to be comfortable launching a 300-pound bike into the air and landing on both tires, you need considerable courage (which comes with practice) and arm and leg strength (which comes with exercise).
To corner properly, you must be in the proper body position and cover the brakes and throttle when you approach the corner, glide through the turn, and exit.
Dropping your foot also helps balance weight distribution as you round a corner. Practice doing at slower speeds to get a handle for it. This will help you master corners and avoid injury.
Put your leg straight out and point your toes up while remaining aware of your surroundings. Think of your heel as a pivot point or a lever to give you a bit more of an edge. At the same time, though, you’re not digging your foot into the dirt of the track! Drag the surface, don’t dig in, and you can avoid an injury.
Many riders wipe out on whoops. To ride whoops, you must ride across the top, touching only the peaks of these bumps along the track.
Since your bike skims the tops of these small mountains at a fast speed, you need good upper arm strength and a tight leg grip to get over the whoops without bucking and losing control.
Pick a Line & Stick to It
While picking the right line is important, if you picked a slower, more difficult route, don’t worry. Always be positive with your line choice and never hesitate or second guess it. Just go with it, hit your marks, and make those corners.
Pick lines that help you:
- Carry momentum on corners;
- Avoid kickers on jump faces; and
- Avoid jacked up ruts.
Also, pick smoother lines whenever possible since these are typically faster and will help you conserve energy.
Study The Pros
To improve your techniques, study the motocross pros. You can watch their how-to videos online along with interviews to help you learn their techniques.
Look at how they approach the start, the first corner, come in and out of turns, and approach everyone.
Watch the videos in slow motion, especially to watch the pros ride through the whoops.
Maintain Good Physical Shape
You need to be in peak physical condition to race well. So take care of your body with regular exercise and a healthy, balanced diet. And make sure you get plenty of rest so you can save your energy for the track.
Along with riding regularly, there are other exercises that will help you improve your motocross fitness:
- Cycling to improve your cardiovascular system and lower-body strength.
- Swimming for an excellent low-impact exercise that improves upper-body strength.
- Cross training—a combination of cycling, swimming, skipping, and running.
- Stretching before and after exercising and riding to prevent injuries and pump arm.
- Breathing correctly—take deeper breaths to relax, clear your mind, and provide more oxygen to your muscles.
- Strength training—lift weights to strengthen your upper body and back muscles.
With a fit body, determination, and plenty of practice, you can improve your racing skills and eventually win that race.