Training: Ride a 350 like Tye Simmonds //
POSTED: 15 Jun 2010 | SECTION: Rider Training | POSTED BY:Alex Gobert
JDR Motorex KTM's Tye Simmonds tells us how to make the most of the all-new 350 SX-F.
It’s the question that everybody wants to know in the lead-up to KTM’s 2011 model 350 SX-F motocross release: is it more similar to a 250cc or a 450cc when in the pilot’s seat?
Well, to get to the bottom of the whole 350 deal, MotoOnline.com.au cornered JDR Motorex KTM’s factory 350 rider Tye Simmonds at the 2011 media launch of the bike to find out exactly how to make the most of the middleweight missile.
Simmonds has been in title contention for the Pro Open class as a rookie in this year’s MX Nationals against a pack of 450s, learning exactly what it takes to take adantage of the 350’s strengths.
Here are the 18-year-old wonder kid’s thoughts and advice on the ride:
The thing that caught my attention the most was the fuel injection. We started it in the shed and then rode down to my supercross track for a photo shoot, and the throttle was just ridiculously light – just unreal. I was blown away on my first day at how light the bike is, how good it all worked, and once again the fuel injection. It was a really cool feeling.
MAKING THE MOST OF THE 350cc ENGINE
It definitely loves to be revved, you have to be right on the limiter to find the best power – the just love to be revved! It was a bit hard at first because I was used to riding to 450 and chugging it around in a higher gear everywhere, it took me a good week to learn just to swing off the thing!
They’ve been getting great starts all around the world, I mean look at Glen Helen when the World Motocross was there, Tony Cairoli and Mike Alessi were 1-2 off the start in one of the longest start straights in the world. The power isn’t an issue, the 350 is fast. It’s like any other bike really, you need to focus on the gate, give it the right amount of revs and then hold the thing pinned into the first turn. Get it right and you’ll hole shot for sure – they are that good. Because the 350 has less power I think it’s a little bit of an advantage out of the gates, because if you’re not giving the 450 the right amount of revs it’ll just spin. With the 350 it’s easier to get traction instead of spinning, so it’s a good thing.
FLOW LIKE A 450 OR RIDE AGGRESSIVE LIKE A 250?
You kind of combine both the style that you would use on a 450 and also how you would ride a 250. You really try to ride the wheels off the thing, but when it gets rough you do have to be a little be careful when you hit braking bumps, jump into corners and stuff like that. A perfect example was Raymond Terrace at the Nationals, it was a narrow track and got rough toward the end of the day, which was good and I enjoyed it even though I rode terrible, but the 350 really suited those conditions and definitely handled the rough conditions well during the motos.
BEST TRACK CONDITIONS – HARD PACK OR SOFT?
I would say that a really nice loamy, rutted track is the best for it. I haven’t ridden sand on it yet and I can’t wait for that because I love the sand. I think the 350 would be unreal because of its weight and also with that power being so smooth, a 30-minute moto would be pretty easy compared to a 450 I think.
I’ve been having a hard time whipping the thing because it’s so light! You know, with the 450 you just throw it out there, hold it wide and it will bring itself back. But with the 350, it’s so light that you have to be careful. It’s good to jump, and I just can’t wait for Super X, I think it will be unreal.
First of all I’d really like to say thanks to KTM Australia and JDR Motorsports for giving me the opportunity to ride one. Also to anybody out there who is interested in buying one, go and do it, because it’s the best bike that I have ever ridden!