How To Fly Around Flat Turns With Shane Watts - Dirt Rider Magazine

A skill that Shane Watts honed to perfection in earning his many championships and racing triumphs all over the world was flying around a flat turn. It's a hallmark of the grass track special test so prevalent in Europe, but there are plenty of times that dirt riders out for a trail ride will encounter something similar (a fire road, for example), and of course, not every corner on a motocross track has a berm or rut to use. "One of the keys to flat-turn speed is maintaining momentum. Proper line selection is a critical component here; you want to enter the turn wide, drop down to the inside at the apex of the turn, then drift wide upon exiting."Whether the entrance is smooth or rough, Watts recommends standing as you approach the turn. The line you'll take should be a smooth, wide arc as this permits maximum maintained momentum so remember to enter high, drop down to the inside when you see the apex and let momentum carry you wide upon exiting.As Watts finishes maximum braking, he drops down onto the front of the seat and throws his inside foot forward. Both moves weight the front tire to maximize traction and aid steering.Pressing down on the outside footpeg helps both tires grab all the traction they're able to when the bike is leaned, as Watts demonstrates.Momentum carries you naturally to the outside upon exiting the turn. In order to maintain maximum traction, resist the temptation to fan the clutch. Doing so only breaks the rear tire loose, meaning you've lost traction and, thus, are actually going slower. Done correctly, you'll be on the limits of traction so keeping the power flowing smoothly is best.For more information on Watts's Dirt Wise classes, go to and click on Riding Schools.