So many platitudes in the world of Motocross.
And though we often use phrases and verbiage exclusive to those who ride as a way to encourage, look the part or just as a mere cliché, common sayings you hear in and around the track often started during training or practice sessions in order to get a point across.
But should you hold these truths to be self-evident or pass them off simply as words from a Moto geek trying to come across as the grisly old veteran who likes to share his days of bar-banging wisdom? Take heed and ride smart because some of what you hear is actually good advice. So, read on and keep the rubber side down!
Sometimes you have to slow down to go faster
If you have ever taken a Motocross class, you probably heard "Sometimes you have to slow down to go faster" on the first day and for good reason. Take this to mean knowing when to go slow and when to go fast. You can't be on the gas the whole time and expect to reach the checkers unscathed. Figuring out when to lay off the throttle and apply the brakes actually gets you further ahead than the untrained rider going balls-out. Furthermore...
What's the quickest distance between two points? A straight line. Taking the road less traveled and finding better lines might hug you on the inside while traveling at less than top speed but you don't travel as far or consume nearly the amount of energy as someone shredding through the main line at top speed.
When in doubt throttle out
When a bike begins to swap whether from rough terrain or rider inexperience, rolling the throttle and riding faster often helps straighten the bike out and keeps you on two wheels. But sometimes following this rule sends you straight into the ground. Unfortunately, you need to take your licks on this one as experience helps you decide whether to throttle out or power down when your bike begins to rock.
Verdict: Mostly True
Pinned to win
You may have also heard "pin it to win it." When you head down the final stretch and your arch rival sits on your rear-fender you have it pinned to win. But, like the previous two phrases you need to know when to pin it and perhaps when to let off so you can go faster. Again, experience rules.
Verdict: Mostly True
Everything you have trained for lies on that pin that drops the gate
A long way of saying "the start is everything." Because it is. Get a good start, grab the holeshot and lead the rest of the way, right? It's usually not that easy but it's a lot easier to stay upfront after getting a good start than getting up front after a bad start. So, yes a simple little pin can make or break your race.
If You have a $10 head, Buy a $10 helmet
When deciding on protection money usually talks especially when it comes to your head. Of course you can find a quality helmet for under $200 but to get the latest in technology and fitment you generally have to spend a bit more on a helmet and cut costs anywhere else. Thus, if someone asks you for advice on the best helmet to buy and shows you a cut-rate, no-name brand MX helmet, tell them "if you have a $10 head, buy a $10 helmet." That usually gets the point across.
One More Time
Just one more lap. I'll take that jump one more time. If you want to get an edge you need to practice longer and harder than the competition. Actually, that only works for running but when it comes to Motocross, pack it up. We don't believe in superstitions either but for some reason riders who take "one more fill-in-the-blank" tend to regret it. By then fatigue has set in and reaction time has slowed upping your chances of a gnarly get-off. Don't believe us? Check out "Recovering from a Bad Crash on the Motocross Track" about our friend and fellow MotoSport employee who doubled as a lawn dirt on his last lap.
Keep in mind the next time you grip it and rip it after someone yells "Go Big or Go Home" these words didn't become common dirt bike sayings overnight. Somewhere in time they took root, passing from one rider to the next who either triumphantly embraced the advice or challenged the notion to their own peril only to think "this is going to hurt" moments later.