25 Start Tips Of December - Day 7

Clutch And Throttle Control

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 #7:

Justin Barcia:

Clutch And Throttle Control

I try to have a good clutch feed rather than just dumping the clutch when the gate drops, but it depends on the dirt. I think most of the time we hammer our throttle pretty hard, but if the dirt is fairly hard packed you’ve got to have a little more clutch slip and a little more throttle control. If there’s a lot of traction you want to give it more RPM’s to break the wheel loose. There are just so many different scenarios. So when you go to Anaheim, the dirt is really hard so you need to have a lot of throttle control, a lot of clutch slip. And then when we go to Daytona the dirt’s super loose so you just pretty much hammer it. You have unlimited traction so it’s pretty nice there.