Tuesday Tip: Railing Thin Berms

Last week we showed you Grant Langston under hard braking and setting up for a thin inside berm, and this week we’ll show you how he makes the transition into and through the corner.

As Grant says, “A lot of people are very casual when it comes to braking. You don’t always brake in the same place, but I just try to focus on where the bike needs to be. Just like always, you need to look up, and not look at your front fender. As you’re braking and looking ahead, you’ll have a tendency to drift the direction you need to go. If you come in too straight, it’s very easy to blow through the berm. A lot of people come in too straight and think that if they slide the back end around at the last minute it’ll be fine. But what happens is you slide the rear wheel, it hits the rut and wants to kind of high-side the bike.”

“You have to imagine that the rut started as a 180-degree turn, but it really starts where the apex starts. The first part of the corner has to be very controlled. You just want to drop into it, and be lined up with the rut as it starts.”

“As you transition between standing and braking to sitting in a turn like that, you don’t have to be right up on the gas tank. Once you’re in the rut a lot of people have a habit of putting their head forward and grabbing a handful…that’s your natural instinct. But you want to sit more with your upper body almost a little back while you drive out. It’s just like a thin rut, so it’s very easy for your back wheel to not be in the rut and you grab a handful and spin out. Once you sit and get into that rut, you might have your butt on the front of the seat, but you might want to lean your upper body back a bit. It also depends on how the traction is. This track had great traction, so you could be real aggressive on the braking coming in, and come out of the turn and lean back and be more aggressive on the throttle. If there isn’t a lot of traction, I’d say definitely lean as far back as possible and be more controlled with the power.”

“Coming out of a turn you never want to be over the handlebars, especially when it’s choppy. You want the weight on your rear wheel for a couple reasons. One, you want it to track…you don’t want the wheelspin; and it’ll help prevent the rear wheel from hopping out of that little rut. When your front wheel’s light, your front wheel can go out of the rut. It doesn’t matter, as long as that rear wheel’s tracking.”