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Contact the CRA

Competition Riders of America

10230 Duck Creek Road

Salem, Ohio 44460

General CRA Information:

Yog Miller

1-330-466-6070

Points questions:

email the CRA or call

1-888-272-MXHS (6947)

(evenings)

Email Us  (peggy)

racecra@windstream.net

(best way to reach Peggy for Points!!)

Riding Tips

Riding Tips

 

Brake Slide to Power Slide

 

Brake slide to power slide is a great technique to use in order to square off a corner. This quick, set up your line technique is usually performed in second or third gear. It's the fastest way around corners when there is no berm to hook up into. The important part is that you are at least half way around the corner when you go from brake slide to power slide. Most beginners don't enter the corner fast enough and therefore finish their brake slide too early. This causes them to start power sliding too early and that makes them go wide out of the corner. Go in a little deeper and by the time you're ready to get off the brakes and onto the clutch and throttle you'll be pointed more in the right direction for a fast exit. This will allow you to hit your exit line just right. It's a great way to make a past. Set it up and make it happen. For more free riding tips, free Technique DVD Previews, my MX School Schedule and more visit; www.garysemics.com

Shifting Techniques

 

Anyone who rides a motorcycle can shift but not everyone can always be in the right gear at the right time, shift from every body position on the bike, shift before they over rev, up shift and downshift with the clutch and power shift. I've found that having the shifter adjusted about the same height or just a hair higher than the foot peg works best for starters. Then if you're in the forward body position both sitting or standing you'll need to lift your entire leg to shift. That means your foot will come up off the foot peg. But if you're in the middle or back position you can pivot your foot on the foot peg from the arch to shift.

 

Short shifting is a great technique to know because it enables you to shift before you get into the rev limiter. Once the bike hits the rev limiter it stops making power. It may sound like your going fast but you're not. And over revving is very hard on the engine, especially 4 strokes. Using a higher gear and knowing how and when to nip the clutch in order to start the power just how you want will make a huge difference.

 

My 3 newest DVDs just became available. The 2nd DVD (Clutch, Throttle and Shifting Control) will show all the details and how to practice them in order to make them become an automatic reflex reaction ingrained into your nervous system. That's when you know you're good at it. You can see free previews and order online at my new redesigned website at; www.garysemics.com.

 

How to Whip It

 

Before you begin to practice doing the whip find a smooth faced jump with no ruts on the face. The whip can be performed even when there are some small ruts in the face of the jump but it is much easier to do without ruts. Make sure it’s a safe jump (like a tabletop) but has enough hang time to get it sideways and pull it back straight for the landing. Approach the jump at an angle so you can turn the bike off the jump and still hit your intended landing target. As your coming into the jump lean your body (mostly your hips) off the inside of the bike a little. This would be to the side that you are leaning. Just as the bike begins to rebound continue leaning it over and as it starts to rebound let the back end come out to the side. As it leaves the jump you can pull it over more by the handlebars and by leaning more off to the inside or you can straighten it up or let it stay the same. Right after that instant make sure you find the center of balance with your body movement. Then at the top arch of your jump start to reverse the movement that you executed upon takeoff. This will give you enough time to straighten it up for the landing.  To get all the detailed info about jumping and whoops visit www.gsmxs.com for free Jumping Technique DVD Previews and to order online. Currently running 60% discounts.

 



Whoop Techniques

 

 

There are three different techniques for whoops.

A.        Jumping through the troughs of the whoops. 

B.        Front wheel placement.

C.        Skimming the tops of the whoops.

Some key points to practice are;

- When Skimming the whoops our body movements should work from just a little behind the Central Location. When Skimming the Whoops do not use the clutch.

- Clutch and throttle control along with body movements are what gives you control when jumping or doing the Front Wheel Placements techniques. 

- Keep the balls of your feet on the foot-pegs.

- Your handgrip should be in the accelerating position (high over grip). This is so your body movements can work through your whole range of motion over the bike.

- Hold onto the bike with your knees.

- Look far enough out in front of you to be ready for the four or fifth whoop, not just the next one or two.

When the whoops are uneven you most likely will have to use a combination of all three techniques.  Make sure you look far enough ahead so you are ready for what’s coming up. 

 

For all the info about whoops check out my Vo. 1 Techniques DVD # 3 (The Art of Jumping and Whoops) or Vo. 2 Techniques DVD # 3 (All About Jumping and Whoops). 

See free DVD  previews and order online at www.gsmxs.com   Currently on sale for 50% off.  Full downloads for as little as 1.95 at: www.mxraceschool.com

 

Work hard, ride smart and make it fun,

Gary Semics

 

 

 

 

 

Concrete Starts

 

In order to save on maintaining the starting area, a lot of motocross tracks use cement starts.  Cement starts are slippery, so the same adjustments to the techniques for slippery starts are used on cement starts.   If it is very slippery you sit a little farther back on the seat and keep your upper body leaning towards the back more.  You straighten your arms more and make the bike pull you out of the start instead of pushing you out.  In these slippery conditions you deliver less power to the rear wheel in an even smoother fashion.  So don’t open the throttle too much and make sure to slip the clutch very smoothly.  You don’t want to spin the rear wheel too much or you’ll loose a lot of valuable time right out of the gate.  And there are a few other things to know about cement starts in order to get the rubber to hook up better.  Dirt, dust and especially moisture will make that cement even more slippery.  So have a broom to clean it off as well as possible.  Then there is the burning of the rubber.  It seems ashamed to burn a perfectly good tire but that hot super clean rubber will hook up a lot better then cold rubber.  Timing is important so the tire is still warm when you start.  So about one minute before the start, hold the front brake and take your weight off the bike.  Spin the rear tire for at least five seconds, a little longer if you have a surplus of tires. 

 

When you’re practicing this procedure make sure you prepare all the conditions the same as you would in the race.  Clean the cement each time and warm the tire up.  You want to get to know the feeling of the hookup.  If you fail to prepare each practice start properly you would not be used to the hookup when it really counts, in the race. 

 

 

Work hard and ride even harder,

Gary Semics

 

Jumping

The most important part of the jump is where the bike actually leaves the ground, where you have the compression and rebound part of the jump.  What gives you control at this critical part of the jump is your body movements and throttle control.  Along with this body movement and throttle control is timing.  The timing is so critical that the body movement and throttle control has to be an automatic reflex reaction.  This is why it takes so much time and practice to learn to jump well.   Key into the compressing and rebound part of the jump, move your body back a little as the rear wheel kicks up and blip the throttle a little at the same time.  This will cause the front wheel to stay level or come up a little.  If the front wheel is too high don’t move back as much or give it as much throttle.  If you want the front end lower it’s just the opposite; don’t blip the throttle as much and don’t move back as much.  When you want to accelerate after the landing it’s best to land with the throttle on.

 

Check back next month for tip 2.

 

For free MX Technique DVD previews, MX School Schedules and much more visit www.garysemics.com  

Riding on the Balls of the Feet

 

 

I am really surprised how many people are interested about the technique of riding on the balls of the feet or riding on the arches.  I’ll tell you right up front that being comfortable riding on the balls of the feet takes a lot of practice.  But when a rider does become comfortable with this technique there are three benefits to it. # 1 you have more body travel, #2 you won’t hit the shifter or rear brake by accident and #3 you won’t get your feet ripped off the foot pegs from your toe hitting the dirt.  As I said, for this technique to become natural its takes a lot of the correct type of practice.  So don’t throw it out the window if it feels awkward at first.  

 

It’s kind of like down hill skiing.  It’s easier to keep your feet farther apart when you are a beginner but the pros keep their skis closer together.  One place motocross pros are always on the balls of their feet is through the whoops.  If it can be done through the whoops it can be done anywhere on the track.  The only acceptation is if you're going to land hard from a jump or even case a jump.  In this case you would want to be on the arches of your feet so you don't sprain your ankles.  Just make sure you have your toes pointed out a little so you don't hit the shifter or rear brake by accident.  It all comes with knowing the correct techniques and a lot of quality practice time.  For all the correct techniques in an affordable easy to understand format check out my Motocross Practice Manual on the DVD ordering page of my website.    

 

For free MX Technique DVD previews, MX School Schedules, my new DVD release (MX Sand & Grass Techniques) and much more visit www.garysemics.com  

Clutch in or out while braking

The rule of the track here is to leave the clutch out while braking so the engine helps slow you down and helps control the braking process. It’s kind of like anti lock brakes. The best stopping power is just before the rear wheel locks up and that’s just what leaving the clutch out will help you with. This is done when you’re still carrying some speed into the corner. If it’s a tight corner where you’re going to be slowing down to a slow speed in the middle of the corner and/or if you’re going to do a brake slide than you have to pull the clutch in so you don’t kill the engine.

 

I’ve seen this technique of leaving the clutch out while braking misused and abused by a lot of beginner riders. Every time they apply the back brake they put the clutch in. They do this because they don’t have good braking control and by stabbing the rear brake on they would stall the engine. Sometimes making it stall even easier by being in too high of a gear.

 

It’s really the same technique for 2 strokes and 4 strokes. It’s also the same when exiting a corner with 2 or 4 strokes. The 2 stroke does depend on the clutch more than the 4 stroke but if you’re pulling a high gear out of the corner even the torquey 4 strokes can use a little help from the clutch when exiting the corner.

 

A good rider can make his bike drift slide into a corner real pretty like by leaving that low end lever out (the clutch). When a rider pulls the clutch in while braking at speed he’s taking a chance of locking up the rear wheel and sliding out too much, then his automatic reaction is to let up on the rear brake too. This causes the bike to straiten up and then he hits the rear brake again and so on and so on. This is especially the case on a high speed slippery approach to a corner. Learn to feather those controls or lock them up and every thing between. It takes a fine feel to go fast.

 

My All About Cornering DVD has all the important braking and cornering techniques. You can see free previews of all my Technique DVD and everything is 50 and 60% off right now at www.garysemics.com If you want to learn how to get the most out of your practice come to one of my 2 Day Motocross School classes this summer. Get 50.00 off and a free DVD of your choice. Register at http://www.gsmxs.com/schedule.htm  
 

 

Work hard and ride smart,

Gary Semics

Clutch in or out while braking

 

The rule of the track here is to leave the clutch out while braking so the engine helps slow you down and helps control the braking process.  It’s kind of like anti lock brakes.  The best stopping power is just before the rear wheel locks up and that’s just what leaving the clutch out will help you with.  This is done when you’re still carrying some speed into the corner.  If it’s a tight corner where you’re going to be slowing down to a slow speed in the middle of the corner and/or if you’re going to do a brake slide than you have to pull the clutch in so you don’t kill the engine. 

 

I’ve seen this technique of leaving the clutch out while braking misused and abused by a lot of beginner riders.  Every time they apply the back brake they put the clutch in.   They do this because they don’t have good braking control and by stabbing the rear brake on they would stall the engine.  Sometimes making it stall even easier by being in too high of a gear. 

 

It’s really the same technique for 2 strokes and 4 strokes.  It’s also the same when exiting a corner with 2 or 4 strokes.  The 2 stroke does depend on the clutch more than the 4 stroke but if you’re pulling a high gear out of the corner even the torquey 4 strokes can use a little help from the clutch when exiting the corner. 

 

A good rider can make his bike drift slide into a corner real pretty like by leaving that low end lever out (the clutch).  When a rider pulls the clutch in while braking at speed he’s taking a chance of locking up the rear wheel and sliding out too much, then his automatic reaction is to let up on the rear brake too.  This causes the bike to straiten up and then he hits the rear brake again and so on and so on.  This is especially the case on a high speed slippery approach to a corner.  Learn to feather those controls or lock them up and every thing between.  It takes a fine feel to go fast. 

 

My All About Cornering DVD has all the important braking and cornering techniques.  You can see free previews of all my Technique DVD and everything is 50 and 60% off right now at www.garysemics.com If you want to learn how to get the most out of your practice come to one of my 2 Day Motocross School classes this summer.  Get 50.00 off and a free DVD of your choice.  Register at http://www.gsmxs.com/schedule.htm

 

Work hard and ride smart,

Gary Semics

 

 

Fast on the Straights

 

Straights are usually the easiest but because of the speed you can really crash hard.  Of course most of it depends on the soil condition and the room you have for mistakes.  If you’re speeding through the trees over rocks, tree roots, ruts and mud you better keep her under control the entire time.  Another tricky straight away condition may be over big uneven bumps.  Whatever the conditions are following are some key points.

 

  1. Scan the ground as you’re going along and see all the details.  At the same time keep your focus out far enough ahead of you that you are ready for what’s coming up.  This takes the kind of concentration to light a news paper with a magnifying glass in the sun.
  2. If it is at all rough you should be standing on the pegs in the central body position and make the bike go exactly where you want it to go.  Squeeze the bike a little with your knees.  This will make you more connected to the bike for better control.  The thing that is most likely to through you off course is hitting something with your front wheel that you didn’t see. 
  3. Stay in the right gear (in the meat of the power) and if it’s really technical keep your foot on the rear brake, not just to slow down fast but to give you more control.  Think about it; the only control you have over the M/C is body movement and the five controls (front and rear brakes, clutch and throttle and the gear shift).  What else could there be?  But there are 55 Absolute Techniques that go into these two categories.  Check out my Motocross Practice Manual for all of them.  http://www.gsmxs.com/catalog/catalog.asp?CID=176&CI=2920

 

 Going fast on the straights is kind of like jumping doubles.  You don’t jump distances you don’t have control over and you shouldn’t do speeds over rough ground that you don’t have control over.  If the fear is there it’s most likely there for a good reason.  When you get enough seat time and confidence the control will be there and the fear will not.  In the mean time you may consider paying attention to that fear, it’s a survival instinct. 

 

Sign up for one of my 2 Day Group Classes at my Lisbon Ohio track this year and receive a free DVD of your choice and 50.00 off the class. http://www.gsmxs.com/schedule.htm