and in shallow pits he runs more
to get the tires to knife in and grab
traction. In some cases, he adds
weights to the front end and actually
runs water inside the rear tires. If he
starts to get stuck in a creek crossing,
he’ll shift all of his weight from side to
side to power his way through.
More experienced mud boggers
also get to the pit early and watch
each race to determine the shallowest
spots and see where the best
launches are occurring. The same
goes for Muddo-Cross races; get
there early and see where the underwater obstacles are located and which
side of each obstacle is the better
line. Generally, the center of any mud
hole is deepest and the sides are
more shallow, but several machines
using the same good line can dig ruts
so deep that it becomes the worst
line. Six-time GNCC XC1 Pro ATV
champion Chris Borich instinctively
takes the longer, safe line over the
Many cross-country courses are infamous for forming deep ruts,
and sport quads have the least ground clearance, so they’re the
first to high-center and possibly break your chain. Savvy riders
avoid these deep ruts and ride on the center ridge and sides of the
course. Increasing spring preload to fight mud buildup helps too.
Another benefit of splashing across stream crossings is that spray
helps clean mud off of your ATV, but a downside is that your grips
get wet and slippery, unless you cover the grips with huge mud
mittens like Chris Bithell. In races that don’t use transponders, you
don’t get scored if promoters can’t read your number. Build a tent
on your helmet with your number on each side, and shout out your
number as you complete each lap.
Chris Borich stands for longer mud crossings and works the
machine with his legs to maximize traction and control. He uses
front and rear wheel covers and course foam underneath and
around the engine, shift lever and brake pedal to keep mud from
fouling the controls and adding weight to his LTR450R.
On creek crossings, especially with steep banks, most riders ease
into the creek and then gas it, which digs a hole that can cause an
endo and being pinned under water by the quad. Instead, hit it with
a little speed and wheelie off of the bank, and let momentum carry
you across the submerged hole, just like a frog.
Mud-bog competitors pin the throttle in 4WD low, wheelie into the pit and carry the
wheelie all the way across the bog. Can-Am even builds water-wheelie pegs into its
Outlander MXRs for more control; lean the opposite way you want to turn.