How the hell do you... Drift a bike into bends?

Published: 05 September 2016

The world’s leading professional nutcases, daredevils and racing heroes reveal their expert knowledge on the most ridiculous biking feats you can imagine in MCN’s 20-part, once a week special. Don’t try this at home!

Here's part 3

Answered by Christian Iddon - Christian currently rides for the Tyco BMW Motorrad BSB team, but he is a former supermoto god with nine British titles to his name

Most people think that backing a bike into a bend involves the rear brake, but it doesn’t. If you just jump on the rear brake you will end up spitting yourself over the highside. You don’t even need a back brake to drift - you just need the front.

If you pull the front brake hard enough the rear wheel will start to lift, add a bit of angle at this point and the bike will want to drift. The more you unweight the rear, the bigger the drift and rather than any back brake, I use engine braking to create the slide.

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When the bike is drifting, I actually use the front brake to control the slide – the more I apply the front the more sideways it goes as the rear is lifting under deceleration, by reducing the brake pressure the rear comes more into line as the back is weighted and the rear tyre grips a bit more.

Backing a bike into a bend is actually very beneficial. It allows you to brake deeper into corners because you aren’t really leaning it over when you slide it, so the front has more grip. If you look at pictures of a bike backing in the front wheel is in a straight line, which makes it far harder to lose the front and if you were to carry that much brake force while turning without a drift you would probably crash. And it’s actually fairly safe, it is quite hard to crash while doing it unless it’s wet. I have to confess, a good drift feels fantastic and even though I’ve been doing it for years, I still love doing it. And it looks cool!

 

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