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HOW-TO-RIDE: Make time in whoop turns

July 12, 2016
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Statistically speaking, very few ATV owners choose to race their machines in organized competition. Most don’t care whether any organization officially recognizes them as a “pro.” On the other hand, we all want to be better riders, and pro riders like current GNCC woods racing champion Walker Fowler know how to get over tough terrain quickly. In this case, Fowler is happy to share how he handles tricky corners filled with whoops and square edges. Remember that techniques like this require a level of fitness and machine preparation, so work up to these techniques carefully. Give these tips and tricks a try on your next ride! Enjoy riding and racing. A love for this sport is something I will always have, and I hope you do as well! Be safe and ride on!

Fowler: I’ve carried a lot of speed into this left-hand corner with a large berm. It is possible that I even have more speed than I wanted, but you work with what you have. I am pretty high on the berm, so I have to be careful not to go over the back side. To keep going where I want, I’m looking down the trail 30 to 40 feet to see what obstacles are ahead. Always look where you want to go and not where you are afraid to go. If I were to look over the side of the berm, that would make it more likely that I would go over the top.
Fowler: I’ve carried a lot of speed into this left-hand corner with a large berm. It is possible that I even have more speed than I wanted, but you work with what you have. I am pretty high on the berm, so I have to be careful not to go over the back side. To keep going where I want, I’m looking down the trail 30 to 40 feet to see what obstacles are ahead. Always look where you want to go and not where you are afraid to go. If I were to look over the side of the berm, that would make it more likely that I would go over the top.
The berm held, and now I am accelerating with the outside wheel against the “fluff” or the loose dirt and sand on the outside of a turn. The top of the berm is typically a sweet spot in most corners. Look at my head placement. By looking down the trail rather than right in front of my Yamaha, I see some sand whoops ahead. I keep the front end light by riding in an attack position and shifting my weight to the rear of the machine to manual/wheelie over the next rounded whoop.
The berm held, and now I am accelerating with the outside wheel against the “fluff” or the loose dirt and sand on the outside of a turn. The top of the berm is typically a sweet spot in most corners. Look at my head placement. By looking down the trail rather than right in front of my Yamaha, I see some sand whoops ahead. I keep the front end light by riding in an attack position and shifting my weight to the rear of the machine to manual/wheelie over the next rounded whoop.
I have set the front end down on top of the next large, rolling whoop. I continue looking down the trail to plan for my next move, like chess, but faster and on wheels. Like always, my elbows are up and body in attack position over the center of the machine. Staying in that centered position gives me the best chance of correcting the bike if something weird happens. Also, I am putting a lot of weight on my right foot and the outside footpeg. That is so the machine stays planted against the turn while accelerating. I am getting ready to move my weight towards the back of the ATV again.
I have set the front end down on top of the next large, rolling whoop. I continue looking down the trail to plan for my next move, like chess, but faster and on wheels. Like always, my elbows are up and body in attack position over the center of the machine. Staying in that centered position gives me the best chance of correcting the bike if something weird happens. Also, I am putting a lot of weight on my right foot and the outside footpeg. That is so the machine stays planted against the turn while accelerating. I am getting ready to move my weight towards the back of the ATV again.
My Yamaha has cleared the top of the rounded whoop at this point, and I want the rear tires back on the ground to ready myself for a square-edged hole. My body weight has shifted towards the rear of the machine again, and I am digging my heels into the back side of my footpegs to make sure the rear end gets planted.
My Yamaha has cleared the top of the rounded whoop at this point, and I want the rear tires back on the ground to ready myself for a square-edged hole. My body weight has shifted towards the rear of the machine again, and I am digging my heels into the back side of my footpegs to make sure the rear end gets planted.
I have exited the square-edge whoop and successfully kept the quad glued to the ground. My weight is just behind the center, and I am leaning slightly left, weighting the outside peg once again to follow the outside of the upcoming left corner. In a proper attack position, you are crouched over with a bend in your knees, elbows up and the chin bar of your helmet just slightly over your handlebar pad. Of all the fundamentals I teach the riders, a proper attack position is the most important technique of aggressive riding.
I have exited the square-edge whoop and successfully kept the quad glued to the ground. My weight is just behind the center, and I am leaning slightly left, weighting the outside peg once again to follow the outside of the upcoming left corner. In a proper attack position, you are crouched over with a bend in your knees, elbows up and the chin bar of your helmet just slightly over your handlebar pad. Of all the fundamentals I teach the riders, a proper attack position is the most important technique of aggressive riding.

 

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