Resources 22 Feb 2010

How To: Setting up your bike

MX Evolution Rider Training brings Motocross and Off-Road fans’s first dirt bike coaching column on bike set-up.

MX Evolution is a Victorian-based coaching program run by Mark Fagg and Tom Ovens.

MX Evolution is a Victorian-based coaching program run by Mark Fagg and Tom Ovens.

Welcome to the new dirt bike Moto Coach column on, brought to you by MX Evolution Rider Training.

Over the coming months we’ll be looking at various aspects of Motocross riding technique from the very basics to more advanced skills.

For our first column, we’ll be looking at set-up of the motorcycle for Motocross competition.

Your choice of ’bars is a vast one and it’s not easy to pick a bar out from the pack. Here are some things to consider when you are choosing a handlebar – are you short or tall? If you’re a taller guy, a higher set of bars should be a benefit for you, whilst shorter riders will generally like a lower set of bars. Sweep is also a factor. The trend these days is a very shallow sweep bar, not far from straight. It’s a good idea to have a feel of a few different bars before you go ahead and buy a set, so try riding a few laps on some mates’ bikes and see how their bars feel. Taper-style bars will be stronger than the traditional 7/8th style bars. MX Evolution riders use TAG T2 bars, which are top notch quality and as tough as nails.

Lever set up is also a personal choice, but generally speaking it’s a good idea to have your levers a little down from parallel to the ground, so as to have an almost straight line through your arms down to your fingers (with your elbows up while sitting on the motorcycle). Of course there are always exceptions to this rule, just check out James Stewart (levers very low) or Matt Moss (levers extra high). Play around and see what feels best for you.

Always use tyres that are appropriate to the conditions you are riding in – they really do make a world of difference. Running around 13-14psi in the front and rear tyres will ensure maximum grip while also being resistant to punctures. MX Evolution use Dunlop tyres, and there are many other brands out there so try a few out and see what you think.

That’s all we have time for today, but check in next time when we’ll go over the Attack Position.

Until next time ride safe and have fun!

Check out for upcoming dates and more information on MX Evolution Rider Training.