Tuesday Tip Riding The Rails

Intro And Photos: Garth Milan

If you¿re a regular reader of TransWorld Motocross Magazine and have been paying attention to our monthly how-to specials, by now you should be able to fly through just about any type of tricky terrain or turn imaginable. Throughout the last half-decade we¿ve covered them all; from deep ruts and slippery off-cambers to flat power slides. But what about when the conditions are ideal? You may think you know everything about railing through a soft, powdery berm that¿s in impeccable shape, but Team Yamaha¿s David Vuillemin is here to tell you differently.

During a recent scheduled photo shoot with DV12, the conditions on the Yamaha test track were way too wet, so instead of skipping puddles on the SX course David instead decided to take us down the road to his top-secret outdoor track in the hills. While there, Vuilly railed this loamy corner with perfection time after time, stirring both our envy and curiosity as to how he did it with such exact consistency and speed. We sat down with the Cobra afterwards to find out his sandy secrets, and this is what he had to say¿

KEEP YOUR SPEED

¿This turn looks easy because of its soft sand and long, flowing radius, but it¿s actually pretty tough to gain time through because it¿s equally easy for everyone else on the track. As you can see by how far I¿m leaned over in the photos, I enter very fast; I get my braking done prior to the start of the turn, and it¿s so soft and loamy that by the time I begin my apex I¿m already back on the gas and using a combination of throttle and weight placement to slide my rear end around.

¿Momentum is very important in this turn. You never want to come in and lock up your brakes in soft dirt because it will kill your speed, so that¿s why I get my braking done early.

¿Around the apex I remain very aggressive, sticking out my leg for balance and stability and keeping my finger on the clutch. I¿m on the gas hard by this point, and am relaxed about leaning the bike over because I know that as long as I keep my speed, the soft dirt will support me and allow me to lay the bike down pretty far without falling. This is why it¿s called railing!

SQUARING OFF

¿So far things are fairly simple, but my big secret for gaining time here is to square this corner off and dart to the inside of the next straight. Everybody else swings way too wide here, and the direction of the existing line proves it. By squaring off, I¿m able to still rail this turn but also stay to the inside. This approach is not only smoother, it also covers a lot less distance, which makes it faster. Another benefit of turning hard like this is that it leaves more room for outward sliding if you do start to spin, plus it¿s a great line for passing.¿