Want to prepare your mind and body to ride like the best in the world? Exercise and get the blood flowing before hitting the road or track. – Yamaha

The theme of these Pre-Ride Drill columns chases mental preparation to ride via physical actions. As your body goes through some of these suggestions, your mind realizes the actions are leading to a ride, a lapping session, or a race. Rather than starting the bike and rolling forward to ignite your focus, we’re hoping to get ahead of the mental game with physical drills that precede any twist of the throttle.


This Week I Mean Physical

Did you know that many top roadracers have a rowing machine or stationary bicycle in their garage or trailer? Rather than the few pre-ride stretches you and I might do now, they want to get their muscles warm and heart rate up through significant physical exertion.

Valentino Rossi

To perform the best mentally and physically, professional riders raise their heart rate to the level they will see in competition just before the race. Valentino Rossi’s famous pre-race stretch next to the bike not only keeps his body limber but also keeps his mind focused on the task ahead. – Monster Energy Yamaha

Chris Peris aims to get his heart rate into the 140 bpm range on his stationary bicycle and does this about 30 minutes before he’s due to race. “It feels good to get everything warm, my heart into the same range it is during parts of the race. I’m not getting on the bike tight and cold,” the five-time WERA Heavyweight Endurance national champion and AMA 600 Supersport winner says (Chris and teammate Ben Walters, also a Champ School instructor, are leading the points again this season on their R1).


On A Real-World Scale

Let’s scale this to amateur enjoyment of motorcycling. No, you don’t need to beat yourself up on a stationary bike or rowing machine prior to riding, but experiment with two minutes of jumping jacks, a fast five-minute walk, or any heart-rate-building physical activity you enjoy. Get your heart rate up, pump some blood into your muscles, and oxygen into your blood a few minutes prior to your ride.


And while your body is warming, your mind becomes fastened on your near future: Riding a motorcycle safely.