How to turn a speedway bike
The world’s leading professional nutcases, daredevils and racing heroes reveal their expert knowledge on the most ridiculous biking feats you can imagine. Don’t try this at home!
Scunthorpe-born Tai Woffinden was crowned world individual speedway champion for the second time in 2015. Now he speaks to MCN about, how to turn a speedway bike.
Woffinden says: "You start by leaning off the bike to tip it sideways and turning the bars to the left. You've got your left foot down on the steel shoe and because there's some weight off the bike it’s freer underneath you. Then you roll off the throttle and nail it again to get the wheelspin that makes the bike turn.
"When you nail it, because you've already got your bars turned left, the back end will drift around. When the bike turns I sit at the front of the seat and put all the pressure through my right leg. That's when I turn the handlebars the other way to steer into the slide. It's probably about a second for all that to happen and it's second-nature to me because I’ve been doing it since I was 12.
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"Once you're into the corner your throttle hand is on your right hip and you're fully sideways. If you have a strong engine, you probably have to roll off the throttle coming into the corner, in the middle of the turn and then coming off it. But we set my bikes up so that in the middle of the corner the engine bogs to stop the wheelspin and get me set up for the straight.
"When you want it to go straight you stand on the right footpeg, push on the right handlebar and then sit back a little bit to get the weight on the back wheel. Then you're off down the straight and then before you know it the next corner's there."