Whether you’re into freestyle or racing, there is no denying that the whip jump is one stylish move. Captivating audiences since it’s inception, the whip came about as a way to scrub speed when racers were faced with a jump going into a turn or some other section of track that required a sudden loss of momentum. Of course, beyond the practical applications of the trick lies one swank and impressive maneuver that a true MX fan could never tire of seeing.
With new tricks being invented daily, motocross jumping has evolved into an art for all it’s own. This being the case, you would think a simple trick like the whip, which has been around for years would be stale. However, nothing could be further from the truth. When James Stewart tweaks it past flat on the final lap of a race, you can bet that every fan in the house has their eyes on his whip.
Though a stylish whip may not be a skill required to win races, it definitely is something that every rider we know wishes they could do. If you’ve wondered how the pros get their bike so sideways and whished you could do the same read on.
Before you even attempt to whip it, you must first find the right jump to practice the move on. If you’re at a track you should start on something like a tabletop. If there is room to do it, you can use the tabletop like a hip jump; that way you can adjust the distance as needed. Most of the time you can find something that is perfect to learn this jump on. It’s best to have a jump with a pretty steep lip on it. You want to make sure that the lip isn’t all rutted up so you have room to carve as you go up it. As for the landing, make sure it is going the same way you are jumping, so when you land you don’t have to bring the bike all the way back. This way you will know what the bike is going to do in the air.
1. When going up the face of the jump your body should be slightly forward on the bike. Being forward on the bike helps in bringing the back end up and around. Approaching the jump let of on the gas. And begin to preload the suspension. Next, start angling your bike towards the left side of the lip. If you are going to do a right turn your bike is already leaning towards your right foot. When you are at the base of the lip, you’ll want to blip the throttle. This will give you more pop will give you more pop off the lip instead of powering through the lip like you think you would need to do. It is also essential to let off the throttle right before the lip and preload the suspension to give you more lift.
2. Just after you leave the lip of the jump your head and shoulders will dictate where your bike is going to go. As with any trick, your body and bike will follow where your head and shoulders are aimed. You should already be starting to look at your landing. There is no throttling here at all.
3. Your bike should start to lay over easy now. You should not have to muscle a whip. It is more of a finesse thing than a muscle thing. Only your hands should be controlling the whip; it should flow the whole way through. Holding onto the bike with your right foot will help ensure you don’t lose the bike. Still, there is no throttle in this section of the jump.
4. Now you should be focused on your landing. Right when you get ready to land the whip, give it gas to straighten the bike up with the gyroscopic effect of the rear wheel.
The gyro effect on the rear wheel is not a factor inn doing good whips, but it is the way to get your bike straight in a hurry. Twisting the throttle will cause the rear wheel to spin fast when you’re in the air, causing a gyro effect. This will help bring the bike back to the upright position. Remember to always turn your head and shoulders back towards your landing, and your bike will follow. As far as gassing it, you don’t want to have the throttle on when you whip the bike, because the wheel will be spinning fast and it won’t let the bike go sideways. With your body, always remember to underweight the side of the bike you’re turning towards. If you’re turning right, don’t apply pressure on the right peg. With the unweighted leg, put pressure on the area around the front of your number plate. This will bring the bike back around.
As with any new skill, start small and work your way up. This is a relatively safe skill to practice because it’s a low speed maneuver. In addition to looking cool you’ll find many scenarios on a track where this simple skill will shave seconds off your lap times.