3 Tips To Get The Holeshot Every Time

Tip #142 from the pages of The Total Motorcycling Manual

holeshot, dirtbikes, motocross, supercross, racing

Ever been to a motocross race? The riders line up 20 or more abreast, all waiting for the start gate to drop. At the end of the starting straightaway there’s only room for one rider at the first turn—and whoever gets there first gets the holeshot. Scoring the holeshot requires three things: clutch control, throttle control, and body positioning.

CLUTCH Your left hand has two jobs—to hold the grip and release the clutch. Use your index and middle fingers on the lever; grip the bar end with your ring and little fingers. Put the transmission in second gear. Let the clutch out almost to engagement. If the bike creeps forward, hold it back with the front brake.

THROTTLE While waiting to take off, hold the throttle at a high idle. At the starter's signal or when the gate drops, release the clutch and roll on the throttle at the same time. Once you've launched, hold the throttle open; if the bike wants to wheelie, slip the clutch only enough to control the front-end lift.

BODY Stand with both feet on the ground, your elbows out, and your body well forward on the bike. Point the bike directly into the first corner. Look ahead to the first turn and watch for the gate drop with your peripheral vision. As the gate drops, lean forward into the bar pad to keep the front end on the ground.