Tim Don’s off-road masterclass: Cornering
Eighth at the Xterra Worlds shows The Don is as handy off-road as on it. In part one of three, he shows you his cornering tricks…
Get all your braking done while you’re travelling in a straight line before you reach the turn. This way, you can brake hard and late while reducing the risk of skidding and losing control. “This is key,” says Tim. “You don’t want to lose too much speed but you do want to stay upright.” Approach from the outside and look through the corner to the exit or, if you can’t see that, the apex.
Lean the bike, not your body, into the turn. You can do this by pushing the bars nearest the inside of the corner while pulling the bars nearest the outside. Keep your head up but move your upper body down towards the bars. This lowers your centre of gravity for added stability and puts extra weight over the front wheel to improve grip. Come in from the outside towards the corner’s apex.
Start accelerating out of the corner once you reach the apex. Keep your knees a little wider than usual to allow for the bike’s lean and pedal smoothly to reduce the risk of your rear wheel losing traction. Follow a widening arc to the outside of the corner. The nearer you get to the exit the more you can straighten up the bike, gradually reducing its lean and moving your upper body back away from the bars.