Jumps, conquering them correctly can be the difference between winning and losing on the track. They are exciting for some and intimidating for others. In the cross-country racing world, you can get through an entire race without ever leaving the ground. So in this environment, jumps arenâ€™t a big issue. However, in the Motor Cross world, jumping is the one of the most important aspects of the sport.
It might sound like a broken record, but keep in mind, having the right safety gear is the most import step to learning to jump correctly. Before you leave the ground, always outfit yourself with a full riding suit including helmet, boots, a chest protector, gloves, jersey and long pants, preferably with knee guards.
During a practice session look for the spots on the track that can make up time in. Itâ€™s usually in a tough rhythm section or over bigger jumps. Try to perfect each section instead of riding complete laps. First asses your ability to jump, small start, and then build up to bigger jumps. Learn quad control on smaller jumps first, and then progress to bigger hits when you are comfortable. First roll a jump slowly to check out the take off and landing ramps.
On single jumps or table tabletops, take the jump slowly the first time you hit it. This way you can feel if the ramp is going to shoot you straight or not. When you are in the air, look ahead and make sure the landing is clear. Try to be as loose in the air as possible. If you are stiff you wonâ€™t be able to move the quad around in the air. Use the rear brakes to bring the front end down if needed but be sure to pull the clutch in and keep the motor from stalling and just before the landing let out the clutch and open up the throttle to help shoot the quad forward when it hits the ground.
For doubles, take a small, slow-speed double. Take them slow to feel the transition of the take off before you hit it at full speed. Try jumping to the center of the double a little bit further each time. Get your weight down low before take off. Then as the quad hits the ramp, start to stand up and pull up at the same time.
In the air, pull it up and look at the landing. You will land with the rear tires first so you can get back on throttle for the next one. Lift the low side leg and put a pressure on the bars to bring it straight. By doing this, you will land flat.
Be conscious of your gear and throttle position when you are landing just before the second jump or a little further, so that you can be able to tell how much more throttle to give to. This way when the rear tires lands, you can get back on the throttle. If you land with the front wheels first, the quad would hit the second bump, bottom out and send you back into the air. Always remember that when jumping a double during a race; never follow the rider in front of you. Take a line to one side or another. You never know if the rider in front will land correctly.
By Contributing Writer