by Vince Castellanos, Winter X Games Snocross researcher
Here is a glossary of Snocross terms:
BERM - The wall of snow built up in a corner. "He rode high up on the berm."
BUMPS - Moguls. Snocross courses are filled with these, and a good snocross racer is called a good bumps racer.
CAN-CAN - An aerial trick where one foot is thrown high into the air. In a "no-footed can-can" the racer throws both legs high into the air on one side of the machine.
CENTER OF GRAVITY (CG) - Where the concentration of weight should be to provide maximum stability. In snocross, the lower the better.
CARBIDE - A sharp edge attached to the underside of a ski to improve forward tracking.
CASED THE JUMP - Crashed.
CHECKERED - The checkered flag; the end of the race. "Morgan captured the checkered."
CLUTCHING - Encompasses the drive and driven clutches, helix and gears. Perfect clutching allows a snowmobile to be faster off the starting line and out of corners. Maybe the most important mechanical aspect in snocross.
CRISP - Quick throttle response. Blair Morgan likes to describe his machine as being "really crisp."
CORNER - To turn. "That sled corners really well."
DIALED-IN - Tuned to perfection. "His clutching was really dialed-in."
DISPLACEMENT - Piston volume, commonly thought of as engine size, measured in cubic centimeters (cc). Engines are often described by their displacement, number of cylinders and number of exhaust pipes. "600 triple-triple."
DRIVER - A snocross racer.
DRY WEIGHT - The weight of a machine without oil, gas or coolant.
DOUBLE - A series of two jumps placed close enough together so a rider can make both with one jump.
FLATLANDER - Someone who lives where there are no mountains, particularly those in the Midwest and East. Often used as an insult by those who live in mountain states to describe inept Eastern riders.
HEEL-CLICKER - Aerial trick where the driver throws his legs forward off the running boards, wraps them around his windshield and touches, or clicks, his heels together.
HOLESHOT - Grabbing the lead at the start of the race. Because snocross courses can be so narrow, the holeshot sometimes decides who wins the race.
LINE - A way around the track. Because snocross tracks are narrow, they have few lines. Racers are constantly searching for the best lines.
LUGS - Track tread; varies in inches according to how much and what type of traction is needed.
MILL - Another term for engine. "He's got a really strong mill."
OPEN - A racing class where the rules allow for heavy modifications.
PIPE - An exhaust pipe.
POWER TO WEIGHT RATIO - The amount of horsepower a sled delivers as compared to the total weight of the sled.
SETUP - The manner in which the sled is prepared. "Good sled setup is key."
SKIS - The two forward runners which lift the sled over the snow and provide steering capabilities.
SLED - Another term for snowmobile.
SLEDHEAD - A person for whom snowmobiling is a passion.
SPOT-ON - Perfect. His clutching was spot-on.
STOCK - A sled that has not been modified.
STUDS - Metal protrusions attached to a snowmobile track to improve traction.
TECH - The inspection a sled must go through after a race to be determined legal. "That guy's sled will never pass tech."
TRACK - The flexible rotating belt that provides snowmobile propulsion.
TRAVEL - The vertical distance a sled's suspension covers and recovers when bouncing over rough terrain. Described in inches for both front and rear systems.
TRICK - Cool technology. "His suspension setup is really trick."
TWO-STROKE - The type of engine used in all current snowmobiles. Refers to piston action, in contrast to the four-stroke of a typical car engine.
WEIGHT TRANSFER - When power shifts to the track. Good weight transfer is crucial to getting off the start quickly. "Spot-on clutching provides excellent weight transfer."
WHOOPS - A series of moguls on a snocross course.
WRENCHING - Working on a sled.