25 Start Tips Of December - Day 19

The Mechanics Of The Dead-Engine Start

Photo by Shan Moore

When it comes to doing well in Supercross (or motocross), one of the keys to success is about getting a good start. Some insiders will even go so far as to say it’s 90-95% of the game. Of course, you have to be fast too, but putting yourself at or near the front of the pack after the start of the race certainly increases your chances of getting on the podium.

Dirt Rider recently spent a day with Justin Barcia at his practice compound in Greenville, Florida, working on an upcoming story for the April issue of Dirt Rider magazine called "The Art of the Start". We also spent a day with off-road star Charlie Mullins at his place in Hickory, North Carolina. Barcia was the king of the holeshot in 2015, grabbing 11 Motosport.com Holeshot Awards during this year's Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Series, while Mullins is a former GNCC and national enduro champ who gives us his tips on getting a good dead-engine start.

DR contributor Shan Moore picked the brains of these two powerhouse riders to find out the secrets behind their impressive start techniques. After collecting all the data, we decided we couldn't just sit on this treasure trove of information until release date, so Dirt Rider is leaking part of the info on the web for you to implement into your own start routine.

Here's tip #19:

The Mechanics Of The Dead-Engine Start

We used to have to kick-start the bikes, but the new bikes don’t have kickers, so we use the start button. We run the Super-B lithium battery and that helps a lot because they help the motor turn over faster. KTM Factory Services does our engines and they do a little work internally to help it start easier too. We also have a switch that turns the computer on before the bike is started, which means that it doesn’t have to “think” when you hit the start button.

So basically, I get to my gate, I get the rut packed, and then they wave a flag to tell everyone to shut their engines down. At that point I’ll click my bike into second. Then I’ll hold the clutch in and I’ll kill it with the kill switch. After that, I like to rock the bike back and forth a few times so it breaks the clutch loose. Then I rock the bike back, and I hold my thumb on the kill switch and I bump the starter and I listen to it turn over until it locks on top dead center. So I have my clutch in, it’s on top dead center, and I wait until they say 10 seconds. At that point I count in my head to about four or five seconds and then I turn the computer on. That way the fuel pump and everything’s running. So when the flag drops I just hit the button and it fires right up.