Riding Tips: Ronnie Mac

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There are plenty of trainers and coaches out there. Some will claim not all of those know what they are doing and this video is a perfect example of that. Ronnie Mac, who has now made a living from being a goon rider, offers up some of his own unique tips in this video. The hilarious thing is that although all of this is a joke, truth can be pulled from some of the quotes. “Riding is an expression” is actually not a bad bit of advice!

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Top Tips: Prevent Blisters

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Painful and tender, blisters pop up like arm pump and often end a riding day just as fast. DRT Kawasaki’s Gustavo Pessoa even withdrew from the previous round of the 2019 FIM Motocross World Championship because of blisters! Blisters result from excessive friction. The more your hand moves back and forth on something whether from swinging a bat or rolling the throttle the greater chance of a blister forming.

In the heat of battle or even just a long trail ride you probably don’t notice the beginning stages. Ultimately, you power through any emerging discomfort and only after stopping to rest when the gloves come off do you realise the damage done. The best thing you can do to prevent blisters is to wear gloves. When your gloves are not good quality or begin to wear down, it’s time to invest in some new gloves. Here are some of our favourites…

Alpinestars Radar MX Gloves Anthracite

Radar is one of Alpinestar’s most comfortable cross gloves. The entire top side of the glove is made of a piece of spandex and the whole palm is a piece of Clarino. Alpinestars Aviator is simply the obvious choice for those who want stylish and comfortable gloves in really good quality.

– Extremely good mobility.
– Rigid velcro.
– Spandex around the wrist.
– Pre-bent fingers for optimal comfort.

Alias AKA Lite MX Gloves

Alias AKA Lite is a glove that matches the Alias clothing. The graphics are printed with a special sublimation technique that prevents the colours from fading with washing. The cuffs are made of lightweight material that’s hardly noticeable when wearing them. This, together with a layer of Clarino in the palm of the hand, makes AKA Lite feel incredibly smooth and comfortable. Silicone print on the fingertips allows you to keep a steady grip on the brake and clutch levers. AKA Lite matches your clothes, has great quality and gives you an unbeatable riding experience. What more could you ask for?

– Awesome fit
– Lightweight material cuffs.
– A layer of Clarino in the palm.
– Silicone print on fingertips.
– Stretch material over the back of the hand.

100% Airmatic MX Gloves

Airmatic from 100% are the gloves that are suitable for all types of driving styles and provide unbeatable comfort!

– Highest comfort.
– Excellent protection.
– High breathability.
– Trek-dry in the finger folds.

If your gloves are currently giving you blisters, here are some of your options: Replace old gloves, change existing gloves, invest in glove liners or try antiperspirant for excessively sweaty hands. Riders gripping too hard often get blisters regardless the type of gloves. If you tend to “hold on for dear life” try using your legs more. This might require taking some lessons to learn the proper way of riding, which actually takes pressure of your hands and arms and puts most of the strength on to your legs to grip the bike with your knees. This also helps with arm pump. Speaking of grips! You might need new grips. You can go to 24MX for your one stop shop all gloves, grips, and much more.

In some cases, regardless of prevention techniques, your skin just might give way to blistering. The best way to toughen up your skin is yard work, building up blisters and also using tape as an added layer to prevent blisters and tears. All in all blisters just come with the territory but you can prevent them by investing in quality product.

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Project Bike: CR250 Rebuild

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The upcoming Red Bull Straight Rhythm is going to be extremely popular. Riders like Ken Roczen, Travis Pastrana and Cooper Webb will be piloting two-strokes for one night only. Cole Seely will also be in attendance – he just doesn’t have a bike to ride yet. The former HRC rider is building a CR250 up at the moment and this video from his YouTube channel documents the process. Perfect for a petrolhead!

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MXGP Academy: Episode One

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Youthstream and the FIM have invested heavily in bringing youth riders up through the ranks in recent years and the MXGP Academy, a training event that takes places at select MXGP rounds throughout the year, is a project aimed at teaching young talented riders from around the world how to become a professional motocross rider. The academy programme has really grown recently and is now a fantastic opportunity for youngsters to forge a pathway into the EMX series. In this video Jan Postema (certified MXGP Academy Trainer) talks us through what it takes to be the best in motocross, from balance and riding technique through to all of the necessary off-track ingredients to be a top athlete.

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Top Tips: Summer Heat

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Proper hydration goes a long way in preventing heat exhaustion or stroke. That cannot be detrimental to your race or race position! What tips would a professional rider provide for staying hydrated prior to a race? We collected seven of those and placed them below for your convenience. Some seem obvious, of course, but then a reminder never hurts…

#1: Start Hydrating Early

By early, we don’t mean the day of. If you are serious about riding, or your safety, you hydrate days in advance. This is not just good practice for riding, but for a healthy lifestyle as well. Water and hydration is such a key component to mental, physical, and overall health. Drink up and aim for light coloured urine as a guide to adequate hydration.

#2: Drink A Lot Of Water

There are many sport drinks and alternatives that insist will boost or supplement hydration. While this may be true, there is nothing that your body needs more than water. In between motos, cold water not only tastes better when thirst hits on a hot day but it helps lower your core body temperature and tends to absorb faster. That said, drink any temperature water available as quickly as possible to get hydrated before the next gate drop. Be prepared by having your water bottles ready for you immediately after your race or riding session. This way your body can recover as soon as possible.

#3: Pedialyte Does Work

Yes, we said water works best, and it does, but we can’t deny the fact that Pedialyte works wonders and many riders drink it to balance their electrolytes and hydrate after a race. Pedialyte contains less sugar than other sports drinks and diluting it with water helps cut back on the sweetness while providing the necessary salts and potassium to get you ready for more.

#4: Always Avoid Alcohol

This seems like an obvious suggestion, but to some they may need a reminder. Alcohol dehydrates and depletes the body of electrolytes. For those reason, it’s safe to say drinking before riding is not suggested.

#5: Always Avoid Caffeine

Maybe a not so obvious refreshment to avoid is caffeine. Caffeine may not deplete your body but it can cause other issues in regards to lavatory stop. For that reason we suggest sticking to mostly water base drinks or just plain old water all around.

#6: Cool Off

Your body continues to sweat until you cool off. Don’t add fuel to the dehydration fire, so strip off all that gear, get out of the sun and in addition to drinking water pour some over your head and down your back. The quicker you stop sweating the sooner you can replenish the fluids lost.

#7: Hydration Pack

Hydration packs easily slip on over or under a jersey and add little weight. Most riders don’t need one for the relatively short duration of a moto. For some of our favourite hydration packs, click here.

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Top Tips: Stop Arm Pump

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Arm pump is a real thing and doesn’t seem as though it is going to go away anytime soon. Even the best riders have experienced their fair share of arm pump, so what are some ways to prevent it? If you cannot prevent it then what are some ways to relieve it? This feature has the answers that all riders, young to old, seek.

Preventing Arm Pump

Use Your Lower Body: It is important to use your lower body when riding a dirtbike… You want to be riding in an athletic position. Riders need to squeeze the bike at the lower point with their legs and feet while keeping their upper body relaxed. With the pressure distributed more evenly, your legs are working and that puts less stress and grip on the arms.

Getting Proper Posture: What is a proper posture for riding? The most proper posture for riding, and best athletic stance, is on your toes with knees slightly bent and hips out so the chest comes forward. Just so that you look ready to drive forward. Understanding how to evenly distribute the pressure so that your whole body is working will not only prevent arm pump, but any other discomfit you may feel while out on the track.

Check Breathing Pattern: Breathing can help relax your body, which then relaxes your grip. Make sure that you are in through your nose and out through your mouth. Learning proper (relaxed) breathing technique goes a long way towards preventing arm pump. If you apply your body correctly, use legs as power and breathe correctly you should not get arm pump.

Stopping Arm Pump

Sometimes we fall into our old patterns, despite our best efforts, and with just five laps to go you suddenly realise arm pump has set in. Your arms get tighter, you grab harder as you stopped breathing and lactic acid builds up. Once you fall into the pattern you are at the mercy of arm pump until you stop. If you feel arm pump coming on the best thing to do is stop riding, which is obviously not ideal when in the middle of a race. Squeeze your legs to reduce the pressure on your arms and check your breathing.

Relieving Arm Pump

The best way to relieve arm pump is to simply stop riding. Massage and stretching help as well, but we all know that if you are in the middle of a race you just have to push through. Practicing a healthy lifestyle daily (like eating right, getting enough sleep and training correctly) all help towards preventing arm pump and, if it should arise, quickly relieving the symptoms to get you back on two wheels. Don’t let arm pump get in your way. Practice good stretching habits, train hard and focus on proper positioning. You’ll beat it every time.

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Top Tips: Better Corners

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“Jump for show, corner for dough” is the saying. Consistent corner speed can be one of the biggest gains you can make in improving your race results and mastering these simple techniques can help you do just that! Cornering technique will depend on the track type and weather conditions. Tracks with deeper ruts may allow you to be more aggressive on the exit of the corner whilst a dry, hard-pack track is likely to have far less grip.

#1: Before The Corner

Pick your line as early and remember that the quickest line isn’t always the shortest, so check for braking bumps. See if you can find a rut that you can use to your advantage to slow you down and allow you to get on the power quicker, as this will allow you to carry more speed on exit. Feathering the front brake when entering a rut or berm can also allow you to maintain more speed on entry whilst ensuring the front wheel stays in the rut, still allowing you to maintain more control and ultimately letting you carry more speed into and through the turn.

#2: Seated Cornering

Think early and prepare for the corner before you enter it. When cornering whilst seated make sure you complete your braking before entering the corner. Stand while braking (with weight back to give the rear wheel grip) and sit down just before the apex of the corner, then this will allow you to transfer your weight to the front of the bike to keep your weight distribution centred.  Don’t be tempted to lean too hard over the bars, this may result in you slumping into the apex of the corner and the bike will simply bog down and therefore lose speed.

Gole_1

Whilst navigating the corner remember to keep your elbows up and head up and pointed toward the direction you are going. If necessary, re-gripping the throttle can help you to maintain higher elbows and will allow you to access to power to pick the bike up after you transition the apex of the corner.

#3: Off-Camber/Flat Corners

Whilst may of the principles above still apply (braking, elbows, look ahead & weight distribution), this insight from Ryan Hughes (RynoGlobal) whilst watching 24MX-supported rider Kevin Strijbos shows you how a smooth transition through a flat corner, whilst placing your weight on the outside peg, can allow you the maintain speed without the need for aggressive throttle or brake action.

It is important to remain smooth on the throttle though, this will maintain traction through the rear tyre and allow you to transition through the corner quicker, the right gear choice will help to maintain smooth throttle control also.

#4: Cornering Whilst Standing

This is a great technique to learn whilst trail riding or on motocross tracks with faster, shallower corners you can carry more speed into and through the apex of the corner. The dynamics and technique are different though. Firstly, it’s important to bend the knees to act as suspension through the corner whilst also lowering the centre of gravity. Remember to lean the bike not the body and to grip the bike with your knees.

When entering the corner place your weight on the inside peg and shift your body slightly to the outside to remain centred, the amount this is needed with depend on the corner. Once through the apex of the corner transfer your weight to the outer peg on exit.

These simple tips may take some time to perfect, but they will help you adapt your skillsets to different track and corner types.  Remember the fundamentals of braking early, looking forward, keeping weight on the outside leg and elbows high and you can’t go far wrong, but trying these additional tips can help take your riding to the next level.

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Top Tips: Train in Europe

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It is that time of year where you start planning that training holiday with your mates to try out your skills on some of the best motocross tracks that Europe has to offer. Check out these top tips and it could help you keep a few more euros in your pocket to spend on motocross gear before you go!

Before You Go:

– Pack a few changes of gear, to save on cleaning costs whilst out there.

– Take a cool box so you can buy food at the supermarket, saving money on roadside service stations and McDonalds and helping to maintain a decent diet whilst training.

– Take a fuel can. Whilst there is no need to fill it up before you go, it is always useful to have a full can whilst at the track.

– Don’t forget to take a race mat, some tracks in Europe require this, and it is good practice anyway! You can pick up a 24MX environmental mat and it’ll fit all of your needs perfectly.

Getting There:

– Fuel is generally cheaper in some of the more remote parts of Europe (away from large motorways) so where possible remember to fill up when you are near the track.

– If you are coming from the UK crossing on the ferry or EuroTunnel later at night is always cheaper.

– Toll roads are inevitable, unfortunately, especially in France. Whilst there are schemes in place that will save you time in queues at the toll, they will likely cost you more money by the time you have paid for the chip and activation fee so we would suggest paying at each toll by either card or cash.

– If money is really tight then use a sat nav and set it to avoid toll roads. Almost every navigation app has an option that ensures you miss tolls and any delays on the road up ahead.

Accommodation:

– B&Bs are generally cheaper than hotels and are more likely to be able to offer you a secure store to lock away bikes at night.

– If going to Belgium there are a number of camping sites close to Lommel, Honda Park and Veldhoven.

– Check if the tracks you are visiting have a website as these will often include advice on local hotels to stay out.

– Speaking to the track owners whilst there is also a good idea as they’ll often have details for best local hotels whatever your budget.

– Check out last-minute hotel search engines online for the best rates.

Brylyakov_1

The Tracks:

– Certain tracks are a hotspot for pros who are training during the season. If you want to test yourself against the best in the world keep an eye on social media to see where they are likely to be training, some of the tracks that regularly feature on their training schedules include: Honda Park (Belgium), Lommel (Belgium) and RedSand MX Park (Spain).

– You’ll need a license to ride in certain countries, This can usually be the license from your country or origin, but if you wish to ride in France for example you may need an FFM license. Single-day licenses are available but buying consecutive days is more cost-effective. It is best to check with the track on the day as certain tracks may allow you to ride with your local license.

– In the Netherlands you will likely need a KNMV district license, these are not available at the track and will need to be applied for beforehand via the JNMV website.

– Most tracks have a jet-wash facility that usually costs around €5, which is very cost effective, and it will save you much needed space in the van by not having to bring your own!

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Scrub Anatomy: Tim Gajser

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The recent MXGP of Germany at Teutschenthal gave us an opportunity to check out the fabled ‘hill’ where Tim Gajser once did this…

We took the opportunity to check out Tim’s scrubbing ourselves so that we could bring you this feature. The premise is simple: Time in the air? Slow. Time on the ground with the throttle open? Quick.  Therefore the scrub is an important technique to harnessing quicker lap times. There are many different ways to scrub a motocross bike and it is primarily dependant on rider size and athleticism, but the fundamentals remain the same. Here they are:

Step #1: The Approach

Instead of jumping, like you would on a traditional jump, the important move is to shift your weight to one side whilst maintaining a straight line approach to the jump. The result is that the rear suspension will deflect out the opposite way rather than ‘up’ as it would on a traditional jump.  Having the suspension rebound ‘out’ rather than ‘up’ allows you to stay lower to the face of the jump and get the bike back onto the landing quicker.

gajser_1

Where Tim differs from many riders, however, is just how early he manages to get air and begin the scrub. You can see the bike is fully airborne two bike lengths before the lip of the jump, allowing him to stay even lower to the apex of the jump.

Step #2: Mid-Air

Right as Tim approaches the lip of the jump, you may notice the bars turn and the front-end turns down. This maintains the giro effect and keeps the bike turning, allowing you to stay closer to the track and get the wheels down on the ground quicker.

Here you can clearly see the bars are nearly fully locked down at the point the bike crosses the lip of the jump. It is important to maintain the bars turned down until the giro effect allows the bike to land correctly, straightening the bars too early can unsettle the bike and result in you ‘swapping out’ upon landing.

gajser_3

You’ll notice at this point Tim’s bike is perfectly horizontal at the exact mid point of the jump. The front-end of the bike is turned down, ready to receive the landing, and Tim’s posture is perfectly aligned to ensure his head is straight and able to judge the landing point… All whilst only 25 inches from the ground. Pretty impressive stuff!

gajser_5

The remainder of the sequence is somewhat for show really as Tim styles out the scrub, he had slightly over-rotated on his turn-down in order to keep low but due to the sharp drop on the face of the landing he has to over compensate slightly and turn the bars in the opposite direction, making sure his contact with the landing is straight and he can then attack the next corner.

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Top Five: Supermoto Tips

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Supermoto is a relatively new style of racing and riding. It is different in a lot of ways, so we thought it would be helpful to give some tips to those who are new to riding supermoto or even looking into it. These are great tips from a experienced racer that help make you faster and more efficient when out on the track.

Point #1: Front-End

Supermoto is definitely different than your average sports-bike and if you are used to a sports-bike then you are used to the feeling of trying to put lots of weight on your front tyre. The tyre is pretty close to you so you feel pretty connected. Not so much in supermoto, however, as that front-end is going to feel like it’s a mile away. If you are feeling a bit uneasy or lacking confidence in your front tyre, you would not be the first. I will tell you that if you want to ride or race supermoto, you are going to have to overcome that fear as soon as possible.

Point #2: Braking

It’s no surprise that this is different as well. In supermoto it is all about late braking. It is best to practice braking later and later, really test your boundaries until you find your sweet spot. You’ll see that most speed on the track comes from how late you can brake, corner speed and how early you can get on the gas rather than from horsepower. If you are coming from dirt, the bike will feel familiar. The biggest adjustment you’ll need to make is shifting your braking to the front brake. You’ll be using almost completely the front brake heading into turns.

Point #3: Gearing

Gearing is something riders tend to shy away from when they are used to a different style of riding. It is important to be patient with yourself and remember that practice makes perfect. Once you go up two teeth on your counter sprocket suddenly the bikes are capable of comfortably cruising at freeway speeds. Sprockets are cheap and make a huge difference in the performance and lifespan of your supermoto bike.

Point #4: Steering

If you look at a supermoto professional mid-turn they are practically sitting on the upper side of the bike and pushing the inside bar down. You have got tons of leverage with those big bars, use it and counter steering to flick the bike from corner to corner. Don’t be afraid of your steering but also give yourself time and practice adjusting to a completely new style of riding.

Point #5: Shifting

The best advice is to remember to get off the gas before you upshift and, as mentioned before, supermoto bikes brake better than most bikes that you are used to riding. Unlike a sports-bike at speed, supermoto bikes can brake much faster.

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