The drought has been devastating. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I dreaded having to clean my bike.
Sadly, after most rides last year the only thing I needed to clean it was a duster. In fact, if I drove fast enough on the way home most of the dust would just blow off. But with rainfall forecast to continue dropping in large quantities for some parts of the country this winter, we thought it was best to remind you how to ride in muddy conditions, in-particular, muddy corners.
1 THE SETUP
Sliding through muddy corners is all about how you set up for it. Come into the corner out of shape and things will only get worse as you hit the apex. The technique isn’t too different from how you would normally corner but it’s important to remember you can’t make adjustments mid-corner like you can in the dry.
2. GET BACK
As you transition to the seated position for the corner [you were standing, right?], make sure you aren’t sudden or erratic on the front brake.
Taking muddy corners is all about controlling the front wheel and not letting it lock up or slide. You may need to move your weight back, just momentarily, if the front begins to tuck.
3. PUSH IT IN
Try to get your weight to the outside of the bike and begin to push the inside knobs of the tyres into the ground as you enter the corner. Keep your weight central and not quite as far forward as you normally would because this will require you to be harder on the front brake and, in doing so, risk tucking the front wheel in the slop.
4. KEEP IT UPRIGHT
When conditions are slippery you won’t be able to crank it over like you can in the dry. This means the bike will have to be a little more upright. If you come flying into a wet corner and try tipping it in like you would in the dry, it will cause the front wheel to push and the bike to lowside. Resist the urge.
5. EASY OUT
Once you have gone past the apex, don’t just wind on a bunch of throttle or you’ll end up performing a perfect 360. If there’s no rut for you to use, roll the throttle on gently as you feel the rear wheel go from gaining traction to stepping out. Remember, while being gentle on the throttle exiting a corner isn’t as much fun, it could be the difference between being passed and holding your position. Editor Mitch Lees
UP ON THE PEGS
In a few issues time we will demonstrate a similar technique, but for when you are standing. Slippery, muddy or rocky off-camber turns are tricky when there’s no berm or rut to bank off and sections like this are often a good place to consider passing people. If you’re following someone who’s a little hard on the front brake, push up against their rear wheel as they enter the corner and try and force them into losing the front. If they hear you coming they’re more likely to make a mistake in a section where the margin for error is small.
Who’s It For?
Riders of all skill levels can train for this. You’ve just gotta wait for it to rain.
It gets muddy in all disciplines but you will find the seated tip-in is more common in motocross.
Set up a bunch of cones in an oval shape and drop some water around them.
STRENGTH & HEIGHT
Taller riders will be able to save it with their legs.
Unless you get caught under the bike and drown, there’s no real danger.
It looks boring and feels slow, because it is. Put the phone camera away.