Although the start is not as crucial in a three-hour off-road race as it is in a motocross, the best way to get to the front of the field is to start there. Six-time National enduro champion and GNCC No. 3 Mike Lafferty offers his tips on dead-engine starts.Lafferty believes in the saying "The fewer guys you have to pass, the easier it is to win." Incidentally, he is on a two-stroke KTM 250 E/XC for the 2004 race season after running a four-stroke for most of the 2003 season. Watching him rip off perfect launch after perfect launch, we have become believers in the advantages of dead-engine starts using a two-stroke.A. "I like to use a starting box under my left foot. I position the front of the box so it's even with my footpeg and keep my foot near the front of the box so I can push off it quickly. I put the bike in gear and the engine at top dead center, make sure the throttle is closed and hold the front brake."B. "As soon as the engine fires, I twist the throttle, drop the clutch and sit in one smooth motion. I keep the power on to the first turn."C. "I get on the throttle the minute the engine fires and keep my body weight forward and elbows up."D. You can see that Lafferty is getting an amazingly quick drive—his foot has not completed the stroke with the kickstarter yet the back tire is already digging.E. "I leave the kickstart lever out until after the first turn. I want all my energy and balance focused on the start, and I feel that little bit needed to knock the lever back shouldn't be used up during the start."