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Dirt Bike Riding Tips: Flat S-Turns

You would think that a flat turn would be the easiest to master, but more commonly you’ll experience turns on a slope, turns with drops, or rutted turns. It may seem trivial, but there is precise technique needed to master the flat s-turn.

Speed

The first thing to pay attention to is your speed. You don’t want to take a flat turn at too high of a speed because your bike will want to fly out from under you. It’s ideal to find a good cruising speed, and try to make your acceleration as smooth as possible coming through the turn. You want a lower speed than you would with a rutted turn or other kind of turn, and you want to make sure your power is controlled all the way through.

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Controlling the Bike

When you’re making a flat s-turn, or any turn at a moderate to high speed, you are not controlling the direction of your dirt bike with the handlebars. Instead you are controlling it with the lean of the bike.

For some turns you want to lean with the bike, however with a flat turn you want to lean the bike while keeping your body upright. To do this, push the bike to the side with your legs while positioning your butt on the side of the seat. This will help you align the tires properly.

Tire Position

As you lean the bike maintaining an upright body position, you will want to get used to the feeling of riding on the inside edge of the tire. This is a good thing to practice before you take on the whole course for speed. If you keep the tire too upright your bike will want to go straight, but if you roll too far to the side you will lose traction and your bike will come out from under you.

Once you master riding on the edge of your tire, try taking it with a slightly increased speed. Even the pros won’t be taking flat turns at full speed, but leaning the bike properly and riding on the edge of the tire will allow you to maximize your time through these turns. As always, when you’re exiting the turn, look where you want your dirt bike to go and it will follow. This is also the easiest way to spot new obstacles. Flat turns should be the easiest to figure out, but to get through them quickly and smoothly you have to practice proper technique.

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