Motocross Technique

Riding Technique:

When you break down the process of riding motocross, it’s quite a complicated task!  In a single lap, riders are shifting gears, going from sitting to standing, using the clutch, hitting the brakes, jumping. Having proper motocross technique will allow you ride after and faster.  It’s a huge piece of the puzzle.

You may be surprised that the little things have a huge effect. Some of these tips include having your elbows up, gripping with your legs, looking ahead, standing on the balls of your feet, focusing on breathing, and relaxing your grip on the handlebars. Although these tips seem basic in nature, they can help get rid of motocross arm pump.

ELBOWS UP: Having your elbows up will give you increased control of the bike at all times. Which allows you to corner faster and helps you in high-speed situations where you may be susceptible to “headshake”.

GRIPPING WITH YOUR LEGS: Your legs are some of the biggest muscles in your body, which means they can put in much more work before they’re tired when compared to your upper body. Gripping with your legs, standing in rough areas of the track, and standing in kinked, rutted corners will allow you to minimize the energy required of your upper body.  After all, energy is a finite resource, so save it for the parts of the body that can utilize it most effectively and give your arms - and shoulders - a break!

LOOKING AHEAD: You go where you look. If you focus on an obstacle in the track, a rock maybe, you are more likely to hit it. Same with ruts, if the rut has a squiggle coming out, and you look at it, it's likely it will mess you up. Just relax and don’t fight it. Being smooth is crucial. Most motocross riders have a problem looking ahead, even the pros. It’s not something you'll pick up magically, it takes a lot of time. 

Put some little markers on the track on the exit of the corners and highlight the "main" motocross line. Motocross tracks are littered with rocks from people using this technique, each line has its own exit rock at the end. I look at the rocks and I find it helps because you have something to look AT that IS further ahead than your front wheel.

When you train yourself to be comfortable at looking a little further ahead it allows you to have more time to react to things and therefore go faster and you will go faster but it doesn’t seem like you are. Vision, depth perception and peripheral vision are all very important.  These are things that improve with more and more riding. How fast the brain can process all this information and react to it is a talent that is at the top of the importance list. So, open it up and see the entire track out in front of you.

STANDING ON THE BALLS OF YOUR FEET: There are two ways to place your feet on the foot pegs, either on the balls of the feet or on the arches. The most common way is on the arches. Just check the bottoms of your boots. Riding on the balls of your feet takes a lot of practice. But when a rider does become comfortable with this technique there are three benefits to it. You have more body travel through rough terrain. You won't hit the shifter or rear brake by accident. You won't get your feet ripped off the foot pegs from your toe hitting the dirt. The only time you want to be on the arches of your feet is when you’re going to land hard from a jump or case a jump, just so you don’t sprain your ankles.

BREATHE: We all tend to hold our breath when navigating a tricky section of the motocross track. Always telling yourself to breathe can be a huge help in delivering fresh oxygen to those muscles you’re working so hard.  Have your mechanic or friend put on the pit board “breathe” so you can have a visual reminder while riding. If you don’t have a pit board, you can get some duct tape and write “Breathe” for a friendly reminder.  Motocross Riding is hard enough let alone when you’re starving yourself of oxygen. Get a section on the track where you can let loose and always remember to breathe. 

LOOSEN YOUR GRIP: Although this sounds simple, it’s extremely difficult. I try to make a mental note to relax my grip on almost every part of the track including whoops, jumps, rutted corners, choppy corners, and straight aways. You’d be surprised how tight you may be gripping the bars at times,  but similar to breathing, having key areas of the track where you make a mental note and work on your grip will be very helpful over the course of your race or practice session.

 

It takes practice - with practice comes instinct and reflex - it just becomes part of your motocross riding. You’re over the biggest hurdle, you've identified something you need to improve. Now you need to make a conscious effort to make it part of riding. Before you know it, it will be something you do instinctively. There's no magic switch, you need confidence to know that once you've identified what you need to do, you will do it, then you'll quit focusing on what you’re doing NOW and be working on what you need to do NEXT, then before you know it, you'll be setting up for the next thing while you are executing your current task. We’re here to help you achieve your riding and fitness goals.  Learn more about how to get rid of motocross arm pump HERE And please leave your comments down below.