WORDS SHANE BOOTH PHOTOGRAPHY MATT BERNARD
Ruts are one of the most technical obstacles you will come across on a motocross track. To get through a rut well takes great technique, confidence and plenty of practice.
GET YOUR TECHNIQUE RIGHT
Before you go down the repetition route and practice a rut 50 times make sure you sharpen up your technique. That is the first step, get your technique right and then pump out the repetitions.
STEADY IN FAST OUT
Don’t rush the entry into a rut. This is where you can blow the whole turn. This is even more important when you are learning, steady up on entry and give yourself enough time to setup and enter the rut in the correct body position and on the right line. Once you have the bike in the rut and you are seated with your leg out you can thing about building speed for the exit.
LEARN TO LEAN
To ride ruts well you need to learn to trust lean angle. It takes time but the more you do it the more natural it feels. If you watch a good rider through a rut they just lean in with the bike very naturally and everything flows well. If you are too stiff on the bike and try to push it down rather than lean with it you will run into lots of problems. As you become for confident you will lean more and in turn start to carry more speed.
DON’T STOP START
Easier said than done. Try not to charge into a rut that hard that you brake to a stop and then try to gas it out. Not only is it slow but it will make it near impossible to flow through the turn. Rather than maximum speed try to think of it as an average speed through the whole turn. Get your average speed up and you will be faster.
Keep your vision up and looking through the turn. This takes practice and you will have to teach yourself to do it well. The further ahead you can can and look the more likely you are to flow and not get caught off balance in the rut.
Do everything in your power to keep your leg off the ground. As you sit keep it up high and only put your foot to the ground if you need to. If you lean over far enough that it hits the ground try to let it glide along and don’t push off it.