Usually, uphill turns are pretty easy. After all, gravity automatically helps slow you down, so most of the time you can go into the turn harder than you'd expect.However, when the turn is both hard-packed and off-camber, you must slightly modify your approach to it, as Yamaha's Ty Davis recommends. The WORCS contender and two-time AMA National enduro champion revealed his secrets when we accompanied him to one of his high-desert practice areas.It boils down to body positioning and throttle control—as well as a keen sense of what the bike's going to do. Practice what Davis shares here and you're sure to go faster with more confidence when a similar situation arises.
A. Notice how the hard-packed dirt is littered with small, loose rocks; this is not an easy place to go fast. Also, take note that Davis isn't hugging the inside line in this particular turn, since there is a rain rut with lots of small rocks in it—not good for traction. "When I come up to it, I try not to break the rear wheel loose on the hard spots," Davis begins. "I weight the outside peg and sit on the edge of the seat."B. By the time Davis gets to the apex of this sweeping uphill turn, he's made his way to the outside line because he can then take advantage of the small berm and get back hard on the throttle.C. "Trying to gas it on the hardpack you slide right out," Davis warns. As for body positioning, he prefers being in the middle of the bike, weighting the outside peg. He'll be about half-throttle with a "finger on the clutch; just in case you do slide out, you can pull the clutch in and save yourself."D. "Because it's so slippery and off-camber, I look for the soft stuff at the edge and make my corner all at once instead of making all the way through the turn—I go for one point, almost like squaring it off." You're not always going to wheelie; the reason Davis is doing so here is because he hit a bump while vigorously accelerating uphill, simultaneously loading the rear tire and unweighting the front.E. " allows me to gas it so that when I go back over the hard stuff, I've got momentum; I'm not trying to accelerate on the hard-packed ," Davis says. "If you try to accelerate on hardpack, you're liable to spin out."F. Another key factor worth mentioning is the importance of looking well ahead. If you take a close look at Davis' eyes, you'll notice he's focused on the top of the hill, not 10 feet in front of him. He's also maintained an aggressive posture with his elbows held high.