First time on an MX track today? I need HELP!

12 replies to this topic
  • calvin

Posted April 18, 2002 - 05:07 PM


I've been racing enduro's and hare scrambles for the past four years but never had any desire to hit an MX track. I just thought that it would get old going around the same track over and over again. That's not the case anymore!! A few friends of mine talked me into hitting a local track for a few hours after work tonight and after the first few laps I realized that I am the worst MX rider under the sun. It took me about an hour to get used to my new bike (yz426) and an MX track. I might have been the worst MX rider out there but I know I was having the most fun. Now that I opened my mind to the world of MX, I need a lot of help with jumping. Why is it every time I hit a jump I feel like I land harder than my dodge ram would land. I know it's just going to take a lot of riding and a change in riding style to feel comfortable on a track, but if you guys can help me out I would appreciate it. Thanks

  • nopremix

Posted April 18, 2002 - 05:24 PM


Jumps landings will smooth out when you get more speed/momentum when jumping them, but build up to it gradually unless you like crashing. It also helps when you land to be on the gas in most cases.
Believe it not, getting better on the MX track will make you a better woods rider and visa versa. :)

  • grashoper250

Posted April 18, 2002 - 08:23 PM


I'm fairly new to the track scene myself. I'm 225 pounds and I experienced landings similar to what you described. First, if it's not already, get the bike sprung for your weight. Springs were never important to me until I started riding on a track. Second, you'll probably need to raise the oil level in your forks, it'll help bottoming alot. Things will smooth out once you can land on the transitions, it just sucks that some are so dam far. I got my forks working good before I started messing with my shock and I recomend that for you to. That's the extent of my help. Good luck.

  • Bill

Posted April 19, 2002 - 12:30 AM


Always try to have the rear wheel land first and while the bike is compressing, your legs should be also.

A good suspension tuner can fix your forks and shock. If your 200+ you should have the suspension done. Try John Curea or MX Tuner, they both post on TT and are very knowledgable.


  • sirthumpalot

Posted April 19, 2002 - 12:47 AM


It sounds like you're doing what I did my first time on an MX track. You're not going fast enough to clear the jumps, but you're going plenty fast to get some air and possibly make it almost to the second face of the doubles. If this is the case then try just going a bit slower over the jumps that you're not clearing until you start clearing them. You'll be surprised how soft most of the landings are when you start clearing the jumps and landing on the downward sloping face on the other side of the jump. The suspension tips are a good idea too, but I'm guessing it's mostly because of how/what you're jumping. Hope this helps! :)

  • Merfman

Posted April 19, 2002 - 03:28 AM


The track will smooth out once you start "doing" the jumps. That'll come, but in the meantime:

Unless you're cornering, stand up.
Concentrate on being smooth, not fast.
Dial up your compression settings by a couple clicks.

I'm a woods rider who's found what others here have said, it'll make you faster in the woods.

Merf (the guy at the track with the 426 and handguards, steering damper and Pro Comp)

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  • Hootna

Posted April 19, 2002 - 05:42 AM


Do you have your suspension set up for your weight and riding ability? If it isnt you may want to have some stiffer springs and valving changes done.

Jumping is an art that takes time to develop. Just dont throw care to the wind and go and pound a jump cause you will hurt yourself. You need to find the correct throttle posistion and body posistion which changes dependent on the angles and speed with which you hit the face.

In time you wont even have to think it will be natural. Also make sure to use your legs to absorb the bike up on takeoff and while in the air extend your legs to absorb the landing. But dont lock your knees.

Just have fun and be careful. :)

  • DaveJ

Posted April 19, 2002 - 07:45 AM



I made the transition about a year ago and worked very hard at learning how to ride a track. Here's what I learned.

1. Don't let peer pressure motivate you into doing something you're not ready for. This sport takes a lot more than just having the nerve to hold the gas wide open.

2. During practice, you have the same amount of rights to the track as all the others. Take the space you need to stay in control and let others figure out how to pass you. However, when possible, let faster riders take the faster lines in the corners.

3. Never look behind you, (unless you're stopped). This causes your bike to turn and makes you ride nervous. Hold your line and the faster guys will know when and how to get around you. Be predictable!!!

4. Focus on just one aspect of what you want to learn, and do it on just one portion of the track. The rest of the track is then only used to get you back to "your spot".

5. If the track is tight, with little run up to the jumps, you'll first need to learn how to corner so that your exit speeds are more than fast enough to clear a jump. And of course, you'll always want to be in control before you take to the air.

6. You'll be surprised how many seemingly small transactions a fast rider is doing when moving about the track. Small inputs into the bike can make a big difference, especially at faster speeds and soaring heights. Learn the techniques and then make them a habit.

7. Being fast is the result of being smooth, (as you may already know). Learn to be smooth first, and the speed that you want and need will come.

Lastly, that Pro-Motocross book by Bales and Semics is worth it. You may want to pick up a copy.

Good luck and let us know how things work out.


  • PumpkinHumper

Posted April 19, 2002 - 01:13 PM


Those are some great words of advise. I especially like items 2 & 3. You dont know how many times I have told new riders that I am trying to get on the track the exact same thing.

  • calvin

Posted April 19, 2002 - 01:50 PM


Thanks for the help guys, I appreciate you taking the time to help me out. I have no problems hitting turns or handling the bike when it's on the ground, it's just the landings that are painful and reckless. I also am not comfortable being on the track with guys a hell of a lot faster than me. I hate getting in thier way. Thanks again.

  • John_Lorenz

Posted April 19, 2002 - 03:55 PM


Someone here said MX = Wood = MX = Wood Better all around. If you want to really get the hang of thing Dirt Track. Tell ya what try dirt tracking and controlling a foot on the pegs full lock control slide and mw , woods willall be second nature.


I am saying that learning what the bike does in differant terrains i.e. MX, Woods / Enduro, Desert, Dirt tack makes for an all around better rider.

Get used to the 426 first then the rest will be like barroling down a fire road in twisty sections.....

  • 426thumpers

Posted April 20, 2002 - 01:06 AM


all that info helped me alot too, i thought i was the worst rider ever on a Yz426, was starting to think it was too much bike for me, i'm 195lbs at 5'10"(mostly muscle because of lifting), i'm going ask how much you guys all weigh on another topic

  • sirthumpalot

Posted April 20, 2002 - 08:01 AM


I like the idea of focus on one thing at a time. Some days I decide I need to work on jumping so that's what I focus on. Then after that improves I'll spend a day focusing on cornering, etc.. For me personally it's easier to learn this way and in the long run I think you learn everything faster.

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