MGym® TechTip Wednesday #3 – Avoid Coasting


It’s time for the MGym® Tech Tip!!

As a gymkhana rider you must do your best to be either on the throttle or on the binders (front/rear), coasting is something that should be avoided as much as possible.  Why? Coasting “unloads” both tires.  What you should strive to achieve when riding gymkhana is consistent direct contact with “one” of either tire.  The transition periods between getting on the throttle and shifting weight to the rear and conversely getting on the binders and shifting weight to the front need to be handled as smoothly but as quickly as possible.  It also shaves time.  So keep a finger or two on the brake lever and a foot over the rear brake at all times.

For example if you have a staggered slalom section; blue, red, blue… think of it in terms of getting the front wheel to turn the motorcycle as effectively as possible.  You want the front tire to have the best chance at making the turn quickly which means #1 braking smoothly, but aggressively enough to load the tire (compressing the suspension, shortening the wheel base) making the bike “shorter” giving you an opportunity to rotate the motorcycle around the cone #2 getting on the throttle in order to drive out of the obstacle as quickly as possible (on a lean) but the need to turn is no longer required (which means the need for steering input is almost non-existent) #3 again getting back on the binders, where time is lost would be when you come off the throttle and wait to apply the brakes (either because you’ve gotten lost on course or you’ve taken your finger(s)/foot out of position to apply the brakes.

The trick is to accelerate to the braking point, avoiding “coasting time” once off the throttle before you apply the brakes.  Once at the braking point squeeze on as smoothly and progressively as possible until you can get on the throttle again, rolling on the throttle as you are coming off the brake, dragging the rear brake when necessary in order to rotate the motorcycle when needed.