Starts tips and tricks

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1/7/2021 11:34 AM

Looking for some advice at the gate, any tips and tricks? Currently riding a 18 yz250f, what’s everybodies general technique?

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EriCS1981

1/7/2021 11:52 AM
Edited Date/Time: 1/7/2021 7:31 PM

EriCS1991 wrote:

Looking for some advice at the gate, any tips and tricks? Currently riding a 18 yz250f, what’s everybodies general technique? ...more

Get a holeshot device. I like the works connection set up.

I like to choose my gate based on condition. I like to be towards the far outside or far inside. I make the final choice based on finding the best gate. Things like the rut after the gate, if the dirt is deeper or drier on one side or the other, how the dirt is before and after the gate etc. The first 5 feet seems the most important to me, if you nail the first 5 feet the rest takes care of itself. But if you make any mistake initially it doesn’t matter the rest of the start.

Practice practice practice.

2nd gear, sit middle of the seat, lean forward slightly, both feet down and be as balanced as possible. Once the 30 board goes sideways let the clutch out to where it’s barely engaging and hold it there with medium throttle. Hold yourself in place with the front brake, this loads the rear wheel, chain etc and puts it under pressure. As you go to release the clutch and leave it won’t break loose as easily since it was under tension already.

When the gate drops release the front brake, feed out the clutch smoothly and immediately feed in more throttle.

Practice nailing the shift to third. That’s where I struggle the most to be honest. I manage to miss the shift to 3rd and watch good starts go to shift fairly often.

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1/7/2021 12:00 PM

I like all the advice above, but I use my calves in front of the pegs instead of the rear brake. When the gate drops, I lift my toes to "release" the brakes.

I'll add that I definitely consider the difference between concrete and dirt. Get off the concrete cleanly and smoothly, then hammer it when you reach the dirt.

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Braaapin' aint easy.

1/7/2021 12:41 PM

Are you guys feeding the clutch out or pretty much dumping it with full throttle?

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EriCS1981

1/7/2021 1:31 PM

Head above the handlebar, eyes on the gate, elbows up, feet in front of the pegs, squeeze with inner thighs. board goes side ways, throttle goes to 3/4, start to disengage the clutch to where the bike is wanting to roll or the tranny is getting twitchy, gate drops, disengage clutch completely, twist to full throttle, maintain body position keeping head at handlebar, let the bar come to you, tight squeeze until time to shift up, (learn your way of shifting up the fastest), slide back as you shift to put weight on the rear tire. if you can shift faster or on par with sliding back then you shouldn't have any problems with the front coming up to high to where you have to let off.

Practice and repeat until you can launch the bike with out having to let off to put the front wheel down.

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1/7/2021 1:33 PM
Edited Date/Time: 1/7/2021 1:46 PM

Preston412 wrote:

Head above the handlebar, eyes on the gate, elbows up, feet in front of the pegs, squeeze with inner thighs. board goes side ...more

My left elbow should be up a little more than it is. I will clarify my completely disengage the clutch, DO NOT DUMP the clutch if you are not at least starting to roll. Letting the clutch out and and full throttle should be synchronized.

Photo

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Thanks for your Support
100%, Mobius, Sunstar, Pirelli, Odi, Acerbis, Beck's Tech Suspension and Tuning, Arma Sport, Works Connection, Mojo Motorsports, Ride Engineering

1/7/2021 1:39 PM

Best advice I could give you is to watch Eli Tomac on the gate. Whatever he is doing on his starts, just try and not do that.

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1/7/2021 1:40 PM

* unless you’re capable of “beast mode”

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1/7/2021 1:50 PM

How aggressive you are with the throttle depends on which bike you are on. On a 125 or 250f I'm 3/4 throttle and almost dumping the clutch. On a 450 I'm 1/3 throttle and feeding the clutch out whilst adding more throttle in one motion. Definitely both feet down in front of pegs to keep balance

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UK Vet rider - 2020 KX450

1/7/2021 2:14 PM

I try to do pretty much all of the above, but serious question...what kind of age group and class are you racing in? I race in middle age vet classes, typically novice-intermediate. Not to sound like a dick but a lot of guys in that type of bracket don't give it 100% throttle nor do they brake as late as possible into the first corner, meaning their starts are a bit lazy. Using the advice above should get you out of the gate well. But regardless of how you come out of the gate, give it everything it has to the first corner. Even if your jump out of the gate is mediocre you can still make up ground going into the first corner.

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1/7/2021 5:13 PM

You have to beat the 2 guys on each side of you before you can beat the rest of the field to the first turn. Watch the starts of other motos.What gate picks are the holeshots coming from ?is the guy dropping the gate consistent ?

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1/7/2021 5:53 PM

When the gate drops, go.

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1/7/2021 5:54 PM

Practice Practice Practice.

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1/7/2021 6:09 PM

I have a reaction time tip, actually not mine, I learned this from a class with David Bailey. He said try to stay calm and wait as long as possible to stare at the gate You can only maintain that state of “Super concentration” for a few seconds, if you start staring at the gate too early your mind will wander ever so slightly, nothing you can do about it, it’s just how we’re wired. Then of course explode out of the gate and put all the other traction / shifting tips into play. Also visualize yourself not just first into the first turn, but out of the first turn

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1/7/2021 7:01 PM

I agree with a lot of the tips above. You have to ask yourself -are you going for the holeshot, or just a "good" top 5 start? It is a different mindset. You need to be confident and visualize yourself getting off the line perfectly. The first "race" is to a point 20 ft past the gate-execute this perfectly and you will probably be in front of everyone else enough that you can control the first turn (except for that Kamakazi guy coming up the inside, out of control!) Pick the straightest line to the first turn, angle your bike towards where you want to be coming into the first turn and exiting. It is a big difference starting on concrete vs. dirt. The biggest problem on concrete is if you start spinning the rear tire, you are screwed - it is suprising how little throttle you need on concrete. get off the concrete without spinning much, then nail it when you hit the dirt-you will literally leap out in front of everyone else if done right. You have to be calm under the pressure and do what you know you can do ! Practice starts are good, but nothing takes the place of real race gate drops...Sumdood is right - you can only maintain that "super-concentration" for a few seconds. Watch other starts ahead of you to try to see a pattern, but be ready for anything. Good luck

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1/7/2021 7:18 PM

mxracer666 wrote:

I agree with a lot of the tips above. You have to ask yourself -are you going for the holeshot, or just a "good" top 5 start? ...more

And there is always that kamikazi guy!!😂😂😂

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1/7/2021 7:30 PM

Every red light is a chance to test and hone hand eye coordination

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Make sure you downvote!

1/7/2021 7:32 PM

EriCS1991 wrote:

Looking for some advice at the gate, any tips and tricks? Currently riding a 18 yz250f, what’s everybodies general technique? ...more

Instagram - Mikealessi_800

Ask him
He'll probably reply

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Make sure you downvote!

1/7/2021 8:03 PM

I learned to start left foot up so I could shift quicker. Also, and it sounds crazy I know but, I learned to juggle. I believe it helped my hand/eye reaction.

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1/7/2021 8:15 PM

You guys don’t hold the front break? I’m a hold the front break and load the clutch

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1/7/2021 9:37 PM
Edited Date/Time: 1/7/2021 9:39 PM

EriCS1991 wrote:

Looking for some advice at the gate, any tips and tricks? Currently riding a 18 yz250f, what’s everybodies general technique? ...more

I always started with 1 leg down, this allowed me to grab a gear quicker but for some this throws their balance off


sit centered. lean forward slightly, grip the bike with your legs, when you launch power through the gate, a lot of people teeter out the gate bounce over it and lose ground.

also however you do it, you need to practice a lot.

when i was racing i did 20 at the end of every practice. I got to the point of regularly starting in the top ten and the occasional holeshot in fact one weekend racing two classes i nailed 4 for 4.


*** forget to add, you have to visualize getting to the corner first. and you have to commit. a lot of people start letting off as elbows start getting close or they let off early

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"If you feel in control, you're not going fast enough" ~Mario Andretti

1/7/2021 10:54 PM

sumdood wrote:

I have a reaction time tip, actually not mine, I learned this from a class with David Bailey. He said try to stay calm and ...more

Agree, way to many people put the bike in gear to early and start looking at the gate to soon.

When 30 goes sideways, put bike in gear, tense up the whole body and then focus on gate around 4sec from 30 board goes sideways.

You have a second or two until your mind starts to wander and also muscles and nerves becomes slow to response.

This is why you see some people being late to the gate from bike problems or similar, get great starts.

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1/8/2021 12:18 AM
Edited Date/Time: 1/8/2021 12:19 AM

One thing I rarely see mentioned is gate prep. You want to fill in the rut behind the gate so it's level with the gate or or as close to level as possible. Having a level pad helps keep the front end down, starting in a deep rut behind the gate creates a tendency to wheelie out of the gate

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1/8/2021 2:25 AM

I usually have to have a line on the inside of the gate towards the first corner. I always ride smaller displacement bikes and do not want to be on the outside of the first turn since most go to fast into corner and run people off track. I have booth feet down with the back of my calves pressed against the pegs. I am in second gear with clutch just barely wanting to be released. I watch the peg on the gate to my left or right. When I see that move I know gate is dropping. Just try to remember not to throw the whole race away on the first corner. If you go down in a amateur race its not long enough to make all the places back.

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1/8/2021 2:59 AM
Edited Date/Time: 1/8/2021 2:59 AM

We have some amateur races and i just qaulified for the A class in the second race. I had to start in the second row as there were a lot of people riding. If you are starting in the second row dont look at him when he goes riding. Look at the gate and when the gate drop hope he is faster than you.
We had 20 gates and there were 35 people. I started in the second row and was in the top 10 out of the first corner.

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1/8/2021 3:28 AM

Engage your core and legs, stay up on the bars, keep your body tight through shifting and you will propel forward and straight, loose is a disaster and tend to sway left to right which does not help you go forward, hold the gas a little longer then you competition and you should be up front nonproblem

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1/8/2021 4:11 AM

Shift as fast as you can after the gate.

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1/8/2021 4:57 AM

If you're short, get some starting blocks. Even blocks of wood will work.

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1/8/2021 5:28 AM

Think of the first turn as a game of chicken.

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1/8/2021 5:30 AM

A lot of solid advice above. I love the start and feel coupled with the above advice and a strong mental game starts can somewhat be mastered a lot of the time. If you go to the line confident and utilize correct technique a good start will come. Envision yourself getting the holeshot the week leading up to your race. Get excited about it and have fun. Just like a lot of things in life , the mental aspect is HUGE!

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