MGym® TechTip #7 – Full Lock

Gymkhaners,

It’s been a while I know for an updated MGym® TechTip, but here we go.  We’ve talked about several things through 1-6, but here on #7 we’re going to discuss something that most people who ride tend to avoid or really be afraid of….. Full-Lock Turns

Getting to Full-Lock in motogymkhana is an extremely important skill.  More important then that is being able to get to it and stay at it quickly and with an adequate level of comfort.  As with everything… START SLOWLY and be methodical.  You can start by using two (2) cones set at least 10 meters apart, begin by getting your tires warmed up by starting a wide figure eight w/o using brakes (front/rear) and by modulating the throttle to control your speed.  What the video shows is two 3m circles set about 3m apart then an individual single cone set about 6m or so apart from one of the circles.

There is a difference in your approach to the circles as opposed to the single cone.  The more speed you carry with the 3m circles forces you to have more lean angle, with less bar input… But as you approach the single cone with the mindset of getting around it quickly you must transition from speed w/lean angle to a slower pace with full-lock in quick and smooth progression.  As you slow down for the cone using both front/rear brakes and the speed drops quickly, as you tip the motorcycle on it’s side.  Because you’re speed isn’t high shifting your butt off/knee out doesn’t benefit you as much.

(Motogymkhana courses are set-up in a way that requires quick maneuvering and as a result it’s riders have a tendency to maintain a fairly neutral riding position (thighs/knees firmly gripping the tank, using their core for support and allowing their shoulders/neck/head to look far ahead to obstacles, and allowing their arms/hands to be relaxed on the bars for input).

In order to keep the motorcycle from falling over, you naturally turn “into” the fall… At this point you want to release the front brake in order to allow the front tire to steer the motorcycle through the rotation.  If you do need to slow down further, you can scrub speed by modulating the rear brake. When the motorcycle is at it’s slowest speed, the bars should be at their “lock” position (left/right) in order to force the bike to rotate into and through the turn.  Once the bike has begun to rotate, you should release the rear brake to allow the motorcycle to have forward momentum/motion and continue rotating through pointing to your next obstacle/exit point and out of the turn as you pick up the throttle which will straighten the front tire and stand the motorcycle up.

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