Let it rev higher or lug and slip the clutch out of corners ?

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9/7/2020 11:59 AM

Hey all
New to the track still just started this year.
I was wondering what’s the best thing to do with my bike on outside berms corners. I have a 2020 crf250R. Before this weekend I was pretty well using 3rd gear around the whole track. And when I needed more go out of a corner I would slip the clutch to get it reved up. Now reading and talking to friends of mine no one does this with their 250F’s.
So the track is about average 2.40 a lap. Is a loamy type track not hard pack at all. The outside berms are for the most part packed with some fluff at the exit at times.
My fastest lap staying in 3rd for the most part other then taking the inside ruts. has been a 2.44.8

Yesterday I went out And instead of slipping the clutch in 3rd to get it reved higher I tried shifting into 2nd on a lot of the outside berms. (The bigger sweeping ones I stayed in 3rd still) and I noticed I could rev it way out more and got more drive. Then shift into 3rd just after the exit. Well it must have worked because I clocked a 2.38.

Question is, I’m assuming it’s better to do your breaking bang it into 2nd just before you get to the berm, hit the outside berm let it rev in the power then shift into 3rd instead of slightly lugging it in 3rd and having to slip the clutch to get into the power on the exit ?


To me it just always felt slower because it’s reving so high but I guess it’s faster.

Thanks !

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9/7/2020 12:10 PM

I’m general it’s always better to be in the correct gear for the situation. If you feel like you’re lugging the engine and you have to slip the clutch coming out of corners to get the necessary drive then of course downshift! However, if you feel like 2nd revs out too quickly and 3rd is just slightly too high to pull then you might want to look into changing your final drive gearing to a larger rear sprocket.

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9/7/2020 12:53 PM

Gear higher and carry your momentum. No clutching should be needed. Smooth as possible

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2017 RMZ450
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1998 YZ250
2005 KX250F

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9/7/2020 1:03 PM

It sounds like you need to use 2nd gear more. I have the best balance on my bike through turns when I am accelerating early, and have it revved pretty high. Sometimes that works in 2nd, sometimes 3rd.

Get a LitPro, do half the moto revving, half lugging. You'll see where it works and where it does not.

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9/7/2020 2:14 PM

Ya I’m not that fast yet but I’m trying to carry as much momentum as possible. Like I was saying the longer sweeper berms I’ll stay in 3rd as I’m reving it higher as I’m carrying more speed. But a bunch of the tighter ones or ones where it’s pretty loose after the corner and or soft then I’ll do 2nd so it won’t bog and gets into the power better.

What’s the best thing to do do my breaking then bang it into 2nd then corner ? Or bang it down to 2nd then brake ?

Thanks all

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9/7/2020 2:58 PM

sandtrack315 wrote:

It sounds like you need to use 2nd gear more. I have the best balance on my bike through turns when I am accelerating early, and have it revved pretty high. Sometimes that works in 2nd, sometimes 3rd.

Get a LitPro, do half the moto revving, half lugging. You'll see where it works and where it does not.

Stop watch doesn't lie.

When I shot competitive archery, this or that would sometimes 'feel" better but my scores didn't reflect it. You don't win with "comfort", you win with the fastest time or the best score or whatever. I found out, for instance, that some tension in my bow arm helped me hold steadier and shoot better scores (and we're talking like 1-3 points out 300 possible. One shot difference out of 60 shots).

I've got a LitPro and it's great. Shows me where I could go faster around the track w/out even going faster (better lines), where I could go faster by going faster (I tend to maintain a constant speed on long straights), and where I could go faster by going slower (braking earlier for turns so to go thru smoother and faster).

On your actual Q, on my 250F.... it just depends. Do I need power in a soft corner? Shift down. Harder packed corner? Leave it up. Etc. You gotta play with it and you gotta use the stop watch.... maybe even from a point going into the corner to a point coming out (which the LitPro does).

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2015 Kawasaki KX 250F
2015 GasGas TXT Racing 125
2015 Husqvarna TC 125
2018 KTM 150 XC-W

9/7/2020 4:08 PM

Thanks for all the info. What do I need to use lit pro? Of course the app but do you use a smart watch ? Or just strap your phone to yourself lol ?

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9/7/2020 4:35 PM
Edited Date/Time: 9/7/2020 4:36 PM

zeromarine wrote:

Thanks for all the info. What do I need to use lit pro? Of course the app but do you use a smart watch ? Or just strap your phone to yourself lol ?

I got the Dual XGPS 160: https://www.litprolive.com/hardware

You'll need an i-something. I hate Apple stuff, but I do have an iPad Air that I use with my DJI drone, so I use that. To do other fun stuff like match your heart rate with it, you'll need an appropriate monitor. I don't use that so I don't know. If you wanna match video to the track info, you need a GoPro. But all in all, the basic XGPS 160 and an iPad/iPhone/iFuckingWhatever will give you so much information that it'll probably over-load you. I used to do data analysis for a living so I eat this stuff up.

There is a learning curve, most of it related to the way Apple thinks which is just NOT the way I think. I use Apple stuff and it's like playing Myst again. I don't know what I'm supposed to do, what it'll even do, and I don't know how to get there. I want a damn drop-down menu so I can see what's there.

Go here and see how it all works:

https://www.litprolive.com/videos/litprotraining/411134686

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2015 Kawasaki KX 250F
2015 GasGas TXT Racing 125
2015 Husqvarna TC 125
2018 KTM 150 XC-W

9/7/2020 4:36 PM

sandtrack315 wrote:

It sounds like you need to use 2nd gear more. I have the best balance on my bike through turns when I am accelerating early, and have it revved pretty high. Sometimes that works in 2nd, sometimes 3rd.

Get a LitPro, do half the moto revving, half lugging. You'll see where it works and where it does not.

HighPlainsSquid wrote:

Stop watch doesn't lie.

When I shot competitive archery, this or that would sometimes 'feel" better but my scores didn't reflect it. You don't win with "comfort", you win with the fastest time or the best score or whatever. I found out, for instance, that some tension in my bow arm helped me hold steadier and shoot better scores (and we're talking like 1-3 points out 300 possible. One shot difference out of 60 shots).

I've got a LitPro and it's great. Shows me where I could go faster around the track w/out even going faster (better lines), where I could go faster by going faster (I tend to maintain a constant speed on long straights), and where I could go faster by going slower (braking earlier for turns so to go thru smoother and faster).

On your actual Q, on my 250F.... it just depends. Do I need power in a soft corner? Shift down. Harder packed corner? Leave it up. Etc. You gotta play with it and you gotta use the stop watch.... maybe even from a point going into the corner to a point coming out (which the LitPro does).

Ok I just bought the litpro GPS receiver comes with 1 year premium also so should be pretty cool!
How the heck does this thing know your track. Does it map it out going around it etc? Thanks

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9/7/2020 4:46 PM

I've been doing some training and what I've learned is part of having a smoother corner is keeping the bike stable. So I've been taught to keep the revs the same with the clutch. I've been taught to set you revs before the corner and slip the clutch and feed the power so the chassis doesn't get upset.

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9/7/2020 5:31 PM
Edited Date/Time: 9/8/2020 7:30 AM

zeromarine wrote:

Ok I just bought the litpro GPS receiver comes with 1 year premium also so should be pretty cool!
How the heck does this thing know your track. Does it map it out going around it etc? Thanks

The XGPS is "just" a GPS unit. I'll record whatever you do. It's the MX app that does the work. You'll download it and then for your private little track, you set the starting and ending lines (usually the same spot). From there, you analyze laps.

Here's a sample of my home track.... I used this to link the GoPro video with the LitPro software. A word of advice... if you do a multi-session thing be sure your LitPro and GoPro have the same time. Otherwise, you'll never remember if you rode the Husky or the KX250F on that session and you'll never be able to link the footage. Also, be careful to not enter the track over there and exit over here... if you have to do that, then set your enter point as the "starting" line and your exit as the "finish" line. If you don't, you'll lose two laps of data- one when you enter and one when you exit.

I put the LitPro on my son and compared his data to mine and from that I found out:

1) He's faster on the straights. I get a speed and stay there. He accelerates until he brakes. I wasn't going all-out in this video... just working on smooth lines in corners and getting exercise. He goes all-out, every time.

2) He brakes earlier but softer than I do. He lets off on the brakes earlier and gets on the gas earlier while I'm still braking hard into the corner. You can select "decel" as an option and see this. Because of this, his actual corner speed is 2-6 mph faster than me. He makes massive gains here.

3) I'm actually faster on the exit of the corner, but he goes in much faster and hits a higher max speed on the straights.

4) If you use an outside line, you've got to go a LOT faster to beat the inside line. Using the LitPro on a "real" track showed me w/out a doubt that this line or that line was faster.

5) sometimes a slower line is faster. Inside vs outside again. What this tells me is, without even increasing my actual speed, if I pick the better line, I'll have shorter lap times.

So... what I'm working on is slower braking earlier to get more entrance speed, smoother corners, and hitting a faster speed somewhere on the straight. Unfortunately, I'm 58 and on the downslope and he's 17 and on the upslope, so it's gonna be a tough battle to beat the kid.


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2015 Kawasaki KX 250F
2015 GasGas TXT Racing 125
2015 Husqvarna TC 125
2018 KTM 150 XC-W

9/7/2020 6:22 PM

Never, never slip the clutch on a 4 stroke. Ask Eli. Downshift or re gear your bike to the track.

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9/7/2020 7:47 PM

Thank you all!

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9/7/2020 10:18 PM

As soon as your bike looses forward drive in a corner you begin to wash the front. Use the clutch but don’t abuse the clutch, this is the fine line you need to learn.

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9/8/2020 10:18 AM

Mit12 wrote:

As soon as your bike looses forward drive in a corner you begin to wash the front. Use the clutch but don’t abuse the clutch, this is the fine line you need to learn.

I’m finding this to be imperative on a sand track. As soon as I get off the throttle my bike pushes and the front washes out. Feathering the clutch and better entry speed that can be maintained through the turn up until the apex is what seems to work for me the best. At most feathering clutch will help as well but as soon as the clutch is fully engaged or the throttle is off it’s oh shit time. Sand in itself is another animal when it comes to riding period...

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EriCS1981

9/9/2020 12:08 PM

One more thing. Regarding downshifting. What’s the best? Let’s say im ripping in 3rd and a corner is coming up that I need to slow down and shift for. Would I do my braking then down shift right before the turn. Or down shift first then do my braking ?

I think I normally would brake first then down shift as that wouldn’t upset the bike as much I would think ?
Thanks

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9/9/2020 12:32 PM

zeromarine wrote:

One more thing. Regarding downshifting. What’s the best? Let’s say im ripping in 3rd and a corner is coming up that I need to slow down and shift for. Would I do my braking then down shift right before the turn. Or down shift first then do my braking ?

I think I normally would brake first then down shift as that wouldn’t upset the bike as much I would think ?
Thanks

It might vary on the corner. On some corners, you'll want the power on the entrance so you can power thru. On some corners, you'll stand all the way in, sit down, downshift and power out. On some corners, if you downshift on the entrance, you'll run out of revs before you can get out of the corner and have to shift up in the corner- this happens on the 125 quite a bit. On some- esp hard-pack- you'll stay high and cruise thru.

You'll just have to play with it yourself and experience will guide you later on.

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2015 Kawasaki KX 250F
2015 GasGas TXT Racing 125
2015 Husqvarna TC 125
2018 KTM 150 XC-W

9/9/2020 12:34 PM
Edited Date/Time: 9/9/2020 12:49 PM

Let stopwatch or a legitimate trainer rule. This is an internet forum.

There's literally somebody a few posts up using Eli Tomac (and his clutch technique) as a "bad example" of cornering technique, posted in complete earnestness, as if Eli isn't one of the best guys at negotiating turn in the history of the sport.

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9/9/2020 12:54 PM

I'd say get used to shifting the bike more, so use second gear. I'm willing to bet that as a beginner you're not revving the bike nearly as high as you think you are or should be. I'm a vet intermediate (slow) and still catch myself thinking I'm revving the piss out of the bike, and when I see myself on video it's a different story. When I'm more actively shifting, I find myself going faster and keeping a more consistent pace around the track. Have someone take a video of you hitting the corner in second and third, and it might help you see what you're having trouble feeling.

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