Cole Kirkpatrick, AA Enduro Racer, helps Woody with a few tips so he can ride his dirt bike faster.
Tip 1: Bike Setup
Cole expressed how important having a balanced bike is for him when it comes to riding fast. If the front end is too soft, it’ll dive under heaving braking. If the rear end is too soft, it’ll ride back under heavy throttle. As riders, we need to get to a point where we know what our bike is going to do under most conditions. To do this, we have to learn what too stiff and too soft feels like, and how utilizing our clickers affects what we feel. All of this experience and setup allows us to focus on the trail and obstacles up ahead, instead of worrying if our bike to going to spit us off into the woods.
Tip 2: Turn Track
I love what Cole says about hitting as many turns as many times as you can so you’re not surprised when in a race. It’s certainly hard to have a “slot car, rutty turn track” at your disposal when you’re paying to ride somewhere every weekend. But, I think we could make little moments like practicing turns part of a warm up routine. Once the bike is warmed up, and your gear is on, create a figure 8 or session a close piece of single track. That way you have something that’s familiar to practice on, but it’s also a nice warmup for the body.
Tip 3: Accelerate Through Obstacles
As you can see in the video, the crash that I had is a direct effect from the “pumping” I am doing on the trail. I wasn’t committed to riding the rut forming in the sand whoops, and when I pumped the face of the whoop while edging my way to the inside of the turn, the tire caught the edge of the rut and flung me sideways. This is where Cole suggests I spend some time on a Motocross track so I can practice accelerating into, and through obstacles on the course.
Tip 4: Trail Aggression
If we’re trying to ride as fast as possible, we need to leverage every part of the trail for maximum speed. Cole noticed I had a tendency to let off the throttle about half-way down a straight away as I was coming up on the next turn. Though this is fine for trail riding, if we’re looking for a faster race pace, we need to learn how to carry more speed further down the trail. From there, we can start to be more aggressive with our braking into the turns. As we start to add all these puzzle pieces together, we’ll be carrying more speed, braking harder, and moving through test sections at a much more aggressive pace. As all this comes into place for you, make sure you start looking further down the trail. Obstacles, and the ground, will be coming at you faster!