After a very successful career on the 250F, which he capped off with an AMA Supercross and Motocross championship, Ryan Dungey moved up to the 450cc bike full-time. A few weeks after the switch he led Team USA to the 2009 MXoN victory, so we figure he knows a thing or two about making the transition. Ryan advised taking it easy at first to get the feel of the bigger bike. Once you’re comfortable on it, here are some specifics to think about:Corners
Into and through turns, stay smooth on the bike and the throttle. Time is made coming out rather than going in. Ryan warns not to come in too fast, but instead to roll through the whole apex and not get on the gas hard until the bike is securely in the rut.
Use the clutch to smooth out excess power, not to go looking for more. Ryan used to fan the clutch on his 250F to get the RPM up, now he’s slipping the clutch to keep the front end down when the bike starts to wheelie.Revs
The bike will actually handle better when the engine’s not overtaxing the suspension. Ryan lugs the 450 compared to screaming the 250F. Riding low in the RPM range prevents the rear end from binding which lets the bike ride a bit smoother over the bumps.Shifting
There’s power top to bottom on a 450. Try to stay in a higher gear heading into fast sections to save a shift or two. The less you have to do on the bike, the better.Different lines
Speed on a 250F is more about not slowing down. A 450′s acceleration opens up passing lines, smoother lines, or alternate options over obstacles that a 250F would lose too much time recovering from.Form
Think further ahead. A big 450 and its big power is harder to pull out of trouble, so the key is maintaining proper riding form, anticipating what the bike is about do and being ready to correct any mistake early.For more on Ryan, to follow his racing, or even to send him an e-mail, check out www.ryandungey.com.