Moto Gymkhana of Colorado
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Moto Gymkhana of Colorado MC is partnering with, Iron Buffalo Motorcycle Training to bring this exciting sport to Colorado and the Rocky Mountain Region.
The sport of Moto Gymkhana began over 40 years ago in Japan. The idea was to bring motorcyclists together to enjoy fun and informal competitions between themselves. Through the competitions you the rider are able to not only improve your skill sets, you are also able to learn new skills that you will be able to apply on the street. Moto Gymkhana is not about the size/speed of your bike it is about you the rider and how you handle your machine, from scooters to full dressers...
Moto Gymkhana is a motorcycle time trial sport in which riders compete to maneuver in the shortest time through a paved course restricted by traffic cones or other obstacles. Moto Gymkhana is open to experienced riders and beginners as well, because riders need little equipment and no special license to participate. Events are held at a closed course such as Iron Buffalo Motorcycle Training located at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Colorado. The courses can be unique or set up to follow international competition standards.
Generally riders only use 1st or 2nd gear as moto gymkhana is not all about speed, it is more about you the rider and your skill set. Speeds are low to moderate thus there is a higher probability of falling due to the instability of motorcycles at slow speeds, but injuries and damage to the rider/motorcycle are rare. Because of the tight course layout of gymkhana, smaller lighter motorcycles often have an advantage over larger ones. However some courses may include long, straight sections in addition to tight turns, so various size/styles of motorcycles or scooters are potential contenders.
Moto Gymkhana demands that the rider has technique, ability, knowledge and motorcycle experience. You the rider must be comfortable on your machine to show your skills of acceleration, braking, handling and weight transfer, and also how to tune your machine to maximize performance. An analytical mind to assess the course for the most efficient racing lines is essential.
Motorcycles used in gymkhana must be street legal, insured and follow event organizer guidelines on condition. Each moto gymkhana participant has to submit their machine to a strict tech inspection prior to participation in the event. Full gear is required including a helmet (full face is preferred, no half helmets are allowed), sturdy over the ankle boots, long pants, long sleeve shirt/jacket, motorcycle specific gloves and appropriate eye protection. Elbow protectors are compulsory, and protectors for shoulders, chest and back are strongly recommended. Other choices for protection are a leather jacket or a leather racing suit with built-in protectors. On the lower body, riders must wear knee protectors on pants. Protectors for hips and shins are also recommended. Riders can wear boots without laces, or racing boots.
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Here’s some more motorcycle gymkhana tips from an expat in Japan, “Ni-Kito” who posted on Gaginriders:
Lock your legs onto the bike; squeeze the tank with the length of your legs
Relax your arms and keep your elbows in (so you’ll be able to give precise input to the bars)
Sit forward in the seat, tilt your torso from the hips (into the turns)
Steer with your hips (in a sense) by leaning into the turns [your body weight and position makes a big difference at these lower speeds]
Put your sternum in line with handlebar on the inside of the turn. Some schools tell you to “kiss the mirrors” to get your head where the mirror is. Here, you want to make sure it’s not just your head but your torso that’s in line with the inside grip.
Turn you head and look into the turn
Turn shoulders into the turn also
Lots of rear brake in turns
Fully release brake when rolling on hard
“Let the bike do it’s natural steering. You just turn with the bike.” Once in a turn the bike will naturally follow the arc of the turn – don’t fight it. When you get on the throttle the bike will want to stand up. This tells us something about how to use the throttle.
Now, not all of the above tips are applicable on the road (there’s no real need to hang off the bike on the street) but most of them are skills and techniques you use every time you go for a ride. And those same skills are just as important at high speed as they are at low speed. And think about it – if you can lean your bike way over when plodding along at 10mph, surely that will give you the confidence to do the same in an emergency situation at higher speed?