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Get to Know Motocross Track Elements, from Berm Turns to the Dragon's Back


Motocross is rapidly increasing in popularity across the United States, and it’s easy to see why—the fast-paced, high-flying excitement is enough to get anyone hyped, especially when you’re able to watch it live.

If you’ve been considering getting into motocross, you’ll find there are a lot of terms you might not be familiar with. For example, the layout of the track features all different types of elements that have their own names and definitions, so when you hear someone discussing the challenges of a track it might sound like they’re speaking a different language.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the most common types of motocross track elements and jumps and what the terms refer to.

  • Berm turns: Berms are extremely common not just in motocross, but also in bike parks and trails. These are banked turns that provide good traction for tires to allow bikers to take the turn faster than at a flat corner. In fact, hitting the berm just right allows bikers to build up speed and come out of the turn fast.
  • Table top: A table top is a flat, raised jump that is performed from the top to the down side.
  • Step off: A step off is a name for a small jump performed off a table top. A step on, then, is a small jump that comes right before a table top.
  • Ski jump: The ski jump is the long drop off an elevated section of the track. You’ve probably seen a ski jump at the Winter Olympics, with the long, extended drop.
  • Rollers: Rollers are sections of the track that look like rolling hills, usually located in a part of the track that’s seeing a rise in elevation.
  • Doubles: Doubles are pairs of large jumps that are performed back-to-back. In a double, the rider will land on the downside of the second jump due to the distance and height provided by the first jump.
  • Whoops: A whoops is a large speed bump, and a part of the track riders will try to get across at a high rate of speed to prevent themselves from getting stuck. If they navigate the whoops correctly, it will help them pick up some momentum.
  • Rhythm section: A rhythm section is a smaller/tamer whoops, with shorter peaks and valleys that aren’t quite as deep. This makes for a jump that isn’t quite intimidating. Riders will often leap over a couple peaks at a time.
  • Dragon’s Back: Also referred to as a “step over,” the Dragon’s Back is frequently found on Supercross tracks and occasionally on motocross tracks. This section of the track has some similarities to a rhythm section, but instead rolls upward in elevation and finishes with a small jump.
  • Triple: A triple is similar to a double, but features three large jumps in a group. Riders will land on the downside of the second jump and then launch off on the third jump. However, some skilled riders might be able to leap over the second jump entirely if they’re able to work up enough momentum on the first jump, thus landing on the downside of the third jump.
  • Quad: As you might expect, a quad is basically a double or triple but with a fourth jump.
  • S-curve: This part of the track is shaped like an “S,” which can be difficult for riders to maneuver through but can also provide some space to build up momentum while leading up to an obstacle.
  • Off camber: An off camber is a corner without a berm. The inside of the corner is set to normal track height but the outside is lower, so it can be difficult to stay inside. This is meant to be a challenging track element.
  • Split lanes: Split lanes are a section of track that provide multiple paths for a rider to take. Ultimately those paths will lead toward the completion of the track, and will likely feature similar elements.

Take this knowledge with you to your first motocross event and enjoy the rush!

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