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Moto Tip | Dominate Downhills



Welcome to the new Answer Racing Moto Tips feature! Answer Racing has been producing the highest-quality motocross and off-road gear since 1976, and this month launched its new line of 2020 apparel. With riders like Alex Martin, Ryan Villopoto, Nick Wey, and Mike Sleeter flying the Answer flag, there is a wealth of knowledge and know-how when it comes to riding a dirt bike efficiently and effectively in the Answer camp. Each week, Answer will bring you some riding tips to help you become better at the sport you love! Have a specific skill you’d like to improve? Comment below and we will cover it in a future post!

Is elevation an element in your local track’s layout? As fun as it is to hold the throttle wide-open on the way climb up, the real challenge comes when it’s time to turn around and descend. “Downhills can be a scary and nerve-racking part of the track, but if you can get down them safely and properly, they are a spot where a lot of time can be made up,” explained Nick Wey. Years ago, NYK shared some speed secrets that we’ve used ever since and asked him to share the knowledge with the masses. “You can’t push it too much, though, because there are a lot of risks if you hit the g-outs that some hills have at a high rate of speed. And as we all know, you gain speed going downhill.” Want to know more? Read on for Wey’s full advice.

“Like any rough section, you need to be strong on the bike and have control. That means you are gripping with your legs, standing on the balls of your feet, and are looking forward. Keep your weight a little further back over the bike, that way you can react in case the bike hits a bump or kicks your weight forward. It’s very important that you have a good grip with your legs because we all know how easy it would be to hit a bump and have your hand fly off the handlebars.”

“If there are banks or edges along the side of the hill, you can get over there to miss some of the bumps. Typically, there were will be a few bumps that develop in the middle of the track that you’ll want to miss, so getting to the edge of the track can help you miss that.”

“I prefer to go in the same line a lot of the time and if I do need to move, I’ll go from there. Unless you are going for a pass on someone, it’s better to stay in the line you know, because you’re already aware of where the bumps are.”

“There are different methods that you can use to get over the braking bumps in a downhill. You could skip over them, turn them into small jumps, or wheelie over them, just as long as you are keeping your momentum up and not just coasting down the hill. Get in a gear that you feel comfortable with. Going down too many gears will make the bike’s chassis feel bound up when you let off the clutch and going up too many will bog the engine down and prevent you from having the instant power you might need.”

“If there are not a lot of ruts in the downhill, you can actually go down diagonally. If you hit a bump straight on and square, it’s going to kick the bike more than if you just glanced off the side of it. Your bike won’t react nearly as much as it would if you were to hit it straight on.”

Michael Antonovich

Michael Antonovich has a wealth of experience with over 10 years of moto-journalism under his belt. A lifelong racing enthusiast and rider, Anton is the Editor of Swapmoto Live and lives to be at the race track.

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