Former pro motocrosser Lee Hogan doesn't believe in sitting down on the job when it comes to sand. He prefers to stand and deliver a good corner trajectory.
How to: standing through sand corners
Standing through rough, sandy turns can be a tad tricky at first, so here’s a few tips from ADB Motocross Editor Lee Hogan that might make your job a little easier.
1. Preparation is the key
When entering a sandy corner that you plan on standing right the way through you need to look ahead, lock those legs in nice and tight covering the airbox and try your best not to hold on too tight with your hands.
2. Easy on the brakes
Try to avoid jumping on the brakes hard when entering the turn. Just chopping the throttle can be enough to make the front wheel tuck and spit you over the ’bar. Keeping the throttle just above idle, when most people would be hard on the brakes, will keep the weight on the rear of the bike and settle it nicely for the turn.
3. No need to change
Your nice, aggressive standing position that you use when entering the turn is the same standing position we use while going through the turn. There
is no need to squat down and pop your head up high just because you’re turning. This will only unsettle the bike and allow the back to dance around.
4. Stay loose
It is easy to tense up when you’re halfway through the corner but remind yourself to stay loose and fluid in the upper body. Your legs should stay strong and grip tight on the back two thirds of the bike for stability. Personally I like to get back on the balls of my feet while standing through sandy turns as it is quite easy to stab your toe into the sand as the bike G’s out on the face of a big berm.
5. Don’t get off the back
Try to avoid hanging off the back! Yes, even in sandy corners. I know a lot of coaches teach you to swing off the back in sand but how many gun riders do you see doing that? You certainly won’t see Roczen, Dungey or even Villopoto and Carmichael back in the day hanging off the back because as the bike swaps side to side it will take you with it and piff you down the track quicker than you realise.
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
• Practice on a smooth corner before you tackle a rough turn. Learn the basics and perfect you position before you launch into gnarly corners.
• Get a friend or your mechanic to video you while attempting to master this skill. It always helps to be able to look back over what you are doing.
• Recruit a riding partner. Once you have your rough, sandy turns dialed try getting a mate to ride through the turn at the same time. Maybe on the inside line, or maybe trying to take your line off you but either way, if you can keep your technique and speed on point while another rider is in the mix then you are ready to take it to the race track.
• Look ahead at all times. This will help steer you in the right direction.
• Stay loose in the upper body.
• Grip tightly with those legs.
• Get back on the balls of your feet through the turn. This will help you avoid stabbing your toe into the sand.
• Swing off the back. The pros don’t do it, so neither should you.
• Stay loose in the upper body.
• Death-grip the bike with your hands. Holding on too tight will cause bad arm-pump.
• Let those knees come forward and grip the tank instead of the airbox.
• Jump on the brakes hard entering sandy turns.