The Power Slide
Ever wonder about the technique flat track racers use to power slide around corners? We did, so we scrounged around for what might be the most helpful insider advice. Hell, you never know when you might need it out on a dirt or street ride!
After sliding through a few sites ourselves, we found the most helpful to be one off of Popular Mechanics. That’s right, the same pub your dad and uncles probably use to cover up those “other” magazines they don’t want the young boys and females of any age in your house to know they’re reading. Not that we’d know anything about that.
We’ll summarize briefly here why learning how to correctly powerslide is important:
Getting through corners without killing or maiming yourself or others means you have to slow down, turn and accelerate.
Sliding, with both wheels still spinning, makes it possible to slow down and turn at the same time. That lets you aim the bike down the next straightaway and go as fast you can out of the corner.
And this skill is just as pertinent for regular street riders to avoid a crash. (Duly noted.)
Now, here’s the meat of it...
Flat-track riders lean the bike over as they go into the corner but remain upright, sitting on the outside corner of the seat. Counter intuitive to sportbike riders who hang off the inside of the bike. This allows the tires to enter and exit a slide more gradually, thus reducing the risk of a highside. (We like that.)
The rider’s inside arm has to be nearly straight and the outside arm bent, with the elbow way up. Professional flat trackers get so good at this, they can corner with both tires sliding sideways while the inside handlebar grips are nearly touching the ground.
Here’s how it breaks down into four steps:
- Drive into the corner. Stay on the gas deeper into the corner.
- Reduce speed. Squeeze the rear brake and push the bike down into the corner.
- Change direction: Maximum lean angle, turn the front tire around the corner,
- Start straightaway: Roll on the throttle, roll the bike up to the center of the tire.
And just like that, you’re now sliding into corners…with some practice. Maybe lots of practice. Check out the video below to see how it’s done.
There you have it. Now you too can do a flat track corner! With practice. To see how it’s done in action, check out the short video below.