Description of how to back it in. - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-15-2006, 08:46 AM Thread Starter
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Description of how to back it in.

Found a really good how too, and backing it in. Enjoy

Shamelessly stoled from the Husaberg site written by Simon Supermoto instructor best write up I have seen


I've been an instructor for the Supermoto School here in the UK and this is how we teach it based upon how the top European SM riders - those who really know how to do it!

First, lets tackle backing it in, then we'll look at drifting....

1. bike setup - just keep it the same as normal and what you're used to - changing settings will make the bike feel different and therefore how will you know how it feels to start sliding? Making changes adds to the confusion and as with engine development - do one thing at a time!

2. Understand the process first and what we're trying to achieve:

a) It's not just to look good - it's about getting the bike into a better position to get the rider through and out of the corner as fast as possible.

Backing it in is therefore about getting the bike pointing further in the direction you want the bike to go so that you're then able to get on the throttle harder and earlier, and spending less time leaning too far over to get on the throttle properly - if you know what I mean.

This should also answer the question as to when to back it in - only when it's the best thing to do - in other corners, knee down superbike style may be the best and fastest way round - use your judgment - it depends on the corner.

b) It's about preparing for getting out of the corner fastest therefore it is about being set up for getting straight on the gas when you hit the apex or point at which you want to fire out of the corner (whichever is most appropriate).

This should answer your question about what and how many gears you need to knock it down as you back it in - if it is a first gear corner, you knock the gearbox down to first, if it is second, you knock it down to second. And that means even if you're in sixth gear and you approach the corner. It is not as scary as it sounds and we'll build up to that....

c) You never lock the rear wheel - but you do break traction (obviously).

To do this with good control and stability you will use a mixture of the gearbox, clutch and rear brake. Notice that I don't mention the front - that is because as per normal you'll most probably be braking as hard as you can with the front brake - so nothing has changed there then

3. Breaking the traction - which is what we need to do first. This is done with the gearbox - dropping down the required number of gears and the literally dumping the clutch - after you have started leaning the bike over. As the traction breaks, the rear wheel will slight out sideways.

The best way to practice this is in a car park or somewhere similar where you can simply go straight back and forwards, making sharp turns at each end round a cone or something. For the purpose of practice select the place to do it so that you can get up to third gear, going down to first. As you ride towards your corner, make sure you're sat well forwards on your seat and if possible your body position should at the very least be held completely in line with the bike as you leaning but ideally should always be leaning slightly further to the inside even with your inside bum cheek slightly off the seat - do not whatever you do try ti sit on the bike like they do in MX (you'll find out why later). The following steps happen in rather quick succession:

1. You start breaking for the corner with your front brake to transfer weight to the front (that's also one of the reasons you need to sit forwards on the bike).
2. As you begin to brake you will obviously pull in the clutch and now drop down two gears.
2. Begin leaning yourself and bike into the corner - just do this gradually for now
3. Dump the clutch - just let it out suddenly.

You will find out if you have the right amount of lean angle into the corner when the rear begins to break away sideways. To begin with an inch feels like a mile, that is why you gradually increase lean angle. When you get used to it you'll happily do it whatever lean angle you're at.

What you will find when practicing this is that the rear will slide out and very quickly come back into line before the apex - we resolve this with the rear brake.Get used to this breaking away feeling first using only the gearbox and clutch.

The reason the rear brake is used is to maintain a constant but slow rotation of the rear wheel. What you'll have noticed is that if you just use your clutch, the engine revs quickly increase as friction between tyre and tarmac pull the wheel round quicker - that is why you experience the rear coming into line quite quickly. The rear brake is used to add more friction so that engine revs don't rise and the rear wheel maintains its slower rotation. That is all the rear brake is used for! So it is done gently!

So lets add this to the above process:

1. Set yourself up on bike, begin breaking with the front and add a little rear brake
2. Drop down through the gears
3. Lean in
4. Dump clutch

You will notice whether you're getting the rear brake pressure right by how well the bike maintains its slide to the apex. When you practice this you will also know why we only add the rear brake after you've learnt how to initiate the slide.

What you may also notice when doing these exercises is that the rear wheel may begin hop - this is rectified by using the clutch and just pulling it in very slightly.

As you practice the above you will also notice that the degree to which you're sliding varies and that you can vary it yourself, depending on the corner - this is done using the clutch and very slight adjustments on the clutch lever as your backing it in to the corner - this bit is the bit that really requires the practice and skill and marks the difference between those who can slide and those who can sliiiiiiide.!

You may notice that none of this means you have to be absolutely on it or riding aggressively to slide - it's actually a very gentle technique when you get to know it.

That should be enough to get you started........

As for the drifting bit, I think the first thing you need to do is get used to doing it on your sm bike with slicks on loose gravel or something similar and as above doing this between a couple of cones so that you're going round a couple of really tight turns getting on the power so that the bike spins round the corner, if necessary with your inside foot on the ground to give support. The really important thing to remember is that as the bike begins to slide you lean your body to the inside of the bike and also ever so slightly bringing the bike more upright (look at dirttrackers). Once you've got comfortable with this on the loose stuff, then get onto tarmac and begin with learning how to do donuts, first with the bike really leaning over stood still and with one leg on the ground. Then get used to breaking traction and pivoting yourself on you leg round in circles as the rear burns away (it is also quite good to start this on loose stuff to get used to the feel).

One point about drifting and that is really difficult for some riders to get their heads around is that you do not, whatever you do, chop the throttle! If a drift starts going too far you regulate it by holding the throttle and/or by pushing the bike more upright.

As an interesting point Valentino Rossi practices his drifting in a quarry with a bike with an MX front tyre and road rear tyre!

This should also be enough to get you started.

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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-15-2006, 08:52 AM
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cool write-up!

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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-15-2006, 08:52 AM
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awesome find, thank you much. Will try to apply this at my next track day lol...watch out...this should be interesting!

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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-15-2006, 08:56 AM
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Nice write up, there is a thread out there on Backing It In as well...

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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-15-2006, 08:57 AM
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Let me know when and where you're going to try this because I want to watch.

Seriously I'd love to have a motard and a parking lot where I could mess around with stuff like this. Sliding in dirt is easy but something about the pavement, it takes more to get it to break.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-15-2006, 09:08 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovebothkats
Let me know when and where you're going to try this because I want to watch.

Seriously I'd love to have a motard and a parking lot where I could mess around with stuff like this. Sliding in dirt is easy but something about the pavement, it takes more to get it to break.

You saw the results of those attempts already

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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-15-2006, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdrash
You saw the results of those attempts already
Yeah I did, that's kind of why I brought it up.

Don't feel bad though, been there myself plenty of times, and I don't know if that's as bad or worse than looping a wheelie showing off for the kid, when he's right behind you. That was pretty funny too...
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-15-2006, 09:23 AM
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Anyone else searching for vid of Rossi practicing this in a quarry?

Cool writeup!

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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-15-2006, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Underdog
Anyone else searching for vid of Rossi practicing this in a quarry?
Cool writeup!
I read that book
nice find jon.


Last edited by Ohfugit; 08-15-2006 at 09:40 AM.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-15-2006, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohfugit
I read that book
nice find jon.
I just finished reading the book. He is one batshit crazy guy when he gets on a bike.

Underwear. Him and his dad go there and practice until they get kick out.

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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-15-2006, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdrenalinJunkie
awesome find, thank you much. Will try to apply this at my next track day lol...watch out...this should be interesting!

I'll get my camera and the crash truck.

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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-16-2006, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGrouch
I'll get my camera and the crash truck.
Come out to Gingerman, I'll be trying it out on the KTM this weekend. I need some pics of me flying through the air

I figure it might be a (relativley) good idea to master it on a motard before trying to do it on a sportbike.

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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-16-2006, 10:16 PM
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I was thinking about this, and the question that came to mind is what about left handers on a motard? If you're riding dirt style your inside foot would be off the peg, so when or how do you perform the shifting portion? I'm trying to combine a variety of things I'm learning in different areas of riding and some of them seem to conflict. Go figure.
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-16-2006, 11:15 PM
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Either shift before hand, or keep your foot up. You don't NEED your foot down to turn. The foot more or less stops you from falling down, you don't pivot on it.
I was a little reluctant to try all this stuff on my CR, it's a lot tougher to do when you can barely touch the ground on the bike with your feet. I see that dang CRF100 is STILL for sale down the street.

Give it up Dave, just pony up the cash for American Supercamp. It's WAY more fun than you should legally be able to have. Plus, unlike me, you actually remember motorcycle stuff.

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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-17-2006, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovebothkats
I was thinking about this, and the question that came to mind is what about left handers on a motard? If you're riding dirt style your inside foot would be off the peg, so when or how do you perform the shifting portion? I'm trying to combine a variety of things I'm learning in different areas of riding and some of them seem to conflict. Go figure.
I was watching the AMA supermoto race, and most of those guys were putting their foot down after they had already initiated the slide. On right turns, they worked the rear brake a little during the slide, and when they had it where they wanted it, then they put the foot down. It seemed the left handers were actually easier.

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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-17-2006, 08:24 AM
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It mostly has to do with body position. Sitting on the outside of the seat makes the biggest difference in the world. Your butt crack should be on the outside crack of the seat. Full on the gas going into a corner, bap the rear brake to initiate the slide and get rite back on the gas to steer the bike with the rear wheel.

I was practicing doughnuts the other day on the KX250. Dump the clutch to initatiate the slide and modulate the gas to steer the bike round and round with the rear tire. Pretty fun, I did about 15 circles in a row before I got so dizzy I almost fell off. Because I was sitting way to the outside of the bike it helped a lot.

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Last edited by Grasshopper; 08-17-2006 at 08:26 AM.
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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-17-2006, 08:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grasshopper
I was practicing doughnuts the other day on the KX250. Dump the clutch to initatiate the slide and modulate the gas to steer the bike round and round with the rear tire. Pretty fun, I did about 15 circles in a row before I got so dizzy I almost fell off. Because I was sitting way to the outside of the bike it helped a lot.
WTF? You're crazy Nick. That takes way more skill than I have. I'd end up goosing it too hard and end up doing some weird sideways endo
I was able to get the CRF100 to do it at Supercamp. I managed to go around 3 or 4 times before I got dizzy. I wanted to try it at Rocky Glen, but the dirt was hard packed and you need a lot of mid range grunt that my CR doesn't have.

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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-17-2006, 08:44 AM
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I now have a nice big new dent in my expansion champer though from practicing this.

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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-17-2006, 09:42 AM
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That makes sense about using the foot after you initiate the slide. Oh and Grover I know I don't need to but sliding it especially on dirt, makes it easier to play, because when you slide it out too far you can simply tap your foot which stands the bike up just enough to keep it from falling and by that time you're through the turn.
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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-17-2006, 09:45 AM
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wouldnt a slipper clutch make this method much harder to do?

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post #21 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-17-2006, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vcook
wouldnt a slipper clutch make this method much harder to do?
What the hell is a slipper cluctch? What is so hard about blipping the throttle?

The back end slide is initiated by a tap of the rear brake, or sometimes extreme off thottle/engine braking.

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Last edited by Grasshopper; 08-17-2006 at 09:51 AM.
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post #22 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-17-2006, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grasshopper
What the hell is a slipper cluctch? What is so hard about blipping the throttle?
nothing is hard about blipping the throttle. my point is those with slipper clutches(motogp bikes, steves KTM, soon rob's KTM I think) would have a tough time initiating a slide by dumping the clutch.

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post #23 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-17-2006, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vcook
wouldnt a slipper clutch make this method much harder to do?

makes it easier, actually. With the slipper, you don't have to worry about rear wheel hop or messing with the back brake. Just dump the clutch and the slipper keeps the rear from locking but allows the engine braking to slow the back wheel. Slipper clutches shouldn't allow the bike to freewheel. there's still plenty of engine braking. On the 749, it's enough to actually hop the back wheel just a little bit going from 2 to 1 if you slam it down hard enough.


I installed a slipper in my KTM to make backing it in a bit easier. I don't have the brain power or coordination to manually slip while playing w/ the rear brake.

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Last edited by Rob, Esq.; 08-17-2006 at 09:56 AM.
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post #24 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-17-2006, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c5367
makes it easier, actually. With the slipper, you don't have to worry about rear wheel hop or messing with the back brake. Just dump the clutch and the slipper keeps the rear from locking but allows the engine braking to slow the back wheel.
I installed a slipper in my KTM for that reason.
Theres an old timer flat tracker out there shaking his head at you.

"Sonny! I was dirt tracking before you were a glimmer in your daddy's eyes. My 1958 Indian with no brakes was sliding around the dusty fair grounds without a problem at all. Damn thing sometimes only ran on one jug too."

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post #25 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-17-2006, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grasshopper
Theres an old timer flat tracker out there shaking his head at you.

"Sonny! I was dirt tracking before you were a glimmer in your daddy's eyes. My 1958 Indian with no brakes was sliding around the dusty fair grounds without a problem at all. Damn thing sometimes only ran on one jug too."
The KTM only runs on 1 jug

Those flat tracker guys have skills, I don't. I'll take whatever help I can get! If the slipper keeps me from highsiding myself silly, the flat tracker can shake his head all he wants!

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post #26 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-17-2006, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGrouch
I'll get my camera and the crash truck.

Ain't that the truth!

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