One of the most common requests in training I get is ‘I want to jump better’. Modern motocross means that you cannot get away from jumps, they come in all shapes and sizes-from Tabletops, doubles, step-ups, step-downs and now even step ons.
Jumps can be the most exciting part of motocross but can also be where some of the worst accidents happen. Everytime I’m at a practice track or racetrack I see riders that unless they learn the correct techniques will seriously injure themselves. More often than not it’s the same issues each time.
The rise of riders like Bubba, Barcia and Roczen recording some amazing videos means that amateur riders are trying to copy these guys as they make it look so easy. I’m always asked on how to whip and scrub, my response is always the same, learn the basics first!
APPROACH: You must give yourself as much time as possible to make sure you are straight and ready. To do this you must always have your head up and looking as far ahead as possible.
You should be stood up in the attack position, head over the bar pad and your bum near the rear of the seat, with a slight bend to the knees and elbows. As the bike is going up the face of the jump you must make sure your gas is smooth OR you are coming at the jump faster so you don’t need to use gas (scrubbing). You must try the best you can never to BLIPP, because by blipping you can really open yourself to a number of problems
– You can get to much grip and the front end comes high
– The ground could be slick and hard and the rear can spin left and right and the front can drop etc
You should be stood as before in the attack position with smooth gas and nice and relaxed. The suspension will compress and you go with it. Grip the bike tight with your legs, feet, and knees as the bike goes further up the ramp start to move your body further forward so when the bike takes to the air the bike will level out IF you don’t move a little forward the bike has a tendency to go front end high and that is not what you want.
In the air the bike should be level or with the front end just a little higher than the back, your eyes should be focusing on the landing and your left hand should now be covering the clutch lever ready for landing.
You should still be standing in the attack position ready to attack the landing.
The landing is just as important as the take-off remember you CAN’T crash in the air so you really need to attack the landing as much as you can.
To do this you cannot freeze in mid-air, you need to relax put your body into the landing by pushing into the ground when the bike lands BUT NOT SITTING DOWN.
As you push with the bike with your body as suspension you must apply the gas through the clutch as this gives you forward momentum so you are not dropping from the sky like a stone and head butting the bars or hands coming of the bars etc.
Applying the gas can also help if the bike goes slightly left or right with the gas it can straighten you up and to carry on, again always looking forward and onwards.
Remember these tips are designed as a guide and only cover the basics. Don’t do things that are beyond your ability. The best advice is to focus on one or two jumps that are quite simple and don’t get carried away following the experts! With practice, some training from JMMX you will have jumps nailed in no time.
A lesson with JMMX will help you gain more practical tips and advanced techniques such as making you quicker in the air, seat bounce etc.
For more information of Justin and his training please visit his site HERE