Getting Started in Motogymkhana

You will need a few things to compete, here is the list:

  • Its a motorcycle competition so you are definitely going to need a bike. You can use any bike to ride gymkhana. At the entry level modifications aren't necessary. Although crash protection is advised, especially if you are out to win.

  • You are riding your bike please be sensible and protect your body. If you ride within your limits then falling off should be rare. Push hard and low speed tumbles can happen, but with reasonable gear you won't feel them.

  • You are going to need a car park. It should be as flat as possible with a clean area of at least 30m2.

  • 20 Pylons (aka Cones). The standard size is 450mm.

  • Something to measure with. A 20m tape or measuring wheel.

  • Phone, go-pro or camera to video your ride. If it isn't on video it didn't happen! You need to be seen to start, go around all of the cones and come to a stop within the box.

  • A timer - a friend with a stopwatch will give instant feedback. You can also buy inexpensive IR timers online which are more accurate. Timing can be verified on the video.

  • The English and Dutch speaking Motogymkhana communities are starting to build knowledge online. This lives mostly in Facebook groups. YouTube is still a great source for inspiration.

Bike Modifications

In MotoGymkhana small bikes and large bikes compete in the same space. Great Japanese MotoGymkhana Masters will tell you "Fix the rider then the bike". The Honda 125 Grom racing neck and neck with a CBR600rr shows this well. Having said that there are some common modifications you can do:

  • Crash bars - sturdy ones usually 3 points. Stunt bars will work but try not to get ones that stick out too much (1 second penalty if you hit a cone). Touratech / Hepco Becker etc are single use to not really reliable. Frame sliders can also be used but make sure they don't bend your frame.

  • Gearing change - Go down a tooth or two on the front. This gives more, much needed, acceleration. Your bike will still be great on the street, many cases better! You can also increase the rear sprocket but then you may need a longer chain.

  • Braided Lines - The Faster you go, the quicker you will need to stop.

  • Alter Geometry - Moving the triple clamps up or down a bit on the forks can help you turn faster.

  • Increase steering lock - grinding away the tab stops to increase the angle to full lock. You will know when you are ready to do this.

Your Gear

We all enjoy riding so having your day / week / summer spoiled because you didn't have the gear on is a bit of a pain (literally).

  • Dress for the fall.

  • Boots with sliders are great. Most riders don't need to touch toes down even though it is sometimes tempting.

  • Leather pants with knee & thigh armour are easily the best. Knee sliders can also be helpful but not essential.

  • Leather jacket, again with armour. Or a kevlar top over a body armour suit works really well and gives a lot of movement.

  • Leather gloves

  • Helmet should be Full face or at least jet style (cheeks extending to chin).

Your Practice Space

What makes a good space and how to keep it:

  • Its flat and clean (no bits of gravel),

  • There is a time when its empty. look out for shop closing times and work your sessions around then. (I find 2 hours is more than enough in one go).

  • Be respectful - no stunts, just keep to the cones and always give way if there are others using it,

  • Don't worry too much if it gets wet you will still have a lot of traction.

  • Say "Hi "to the security guards and hope they don't see their CCTV footage when you are really going hard.

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