An Introduction to Monster Energy Supercross 4

As the title says, this is merely an introduction to my experiences so far wetting my beak with this game. I am mostly just going to talk about the new tracks, but also the AI a bit, and the starting gate changes. I will also be showing only one race on each track, with no replays, and just one leg of triple crown races. I've also decided to have the Flow Aid on, which is a vertically arced blue line suggesting best takeoff and landing points of each rhythm section. My reason for this however is as much to demonstrate when it can be exceeded, as well as when it is best adhered to. By this I mean there are places where I get through quicker by different means, or more consistently without losing momentum, whether it be starting with a longer jump than suggested, or a shorter one.

These are all on Medium AI difficulty. I started out learning the tracks on Very Easy, then Easy. It wasn't until my 3rd play through on Medium that I started really getting the feel of what can and can't be done on these tracks. By the 3rd playthrough I also had all the Abilities maxed out, which is a new feature where you have to accrue points to buy them via your successes in career races, training, and training races. New as well to this game is an injury system, whereby crashes can injure you and affect how your acquired Abilities function. They made it very easy however to counter this via healing before the next event via 10,000 credits, and once you max the Resistance Ability, injuries no longer affect Abilities.

The tracks in this game are mostly harder to master than the last game, but some are relatively easy to pick up. This game is also made from the 2020 season, which was the first that was massively affected by COVID. The result was, the last 3 races in the 250 West career, and the last 5 in the 250 East career, are all in Salt Lake. The last 7 races in the 450 career are there as well. The starts are a bit harder to time than the last game, and it's more crucial to get a good one. Even if you time it perfectly, often times the AI will time it well too. This is exacerbated by some start surfaces being slippery, and the effects of contact with AI having more adverse results. You also have to land your jumps more precisely vs the last game, or you will crash.

Other differences are, weight back acceleration on jump takeoffs and landings doesn't give you quite the boost it did in the last game, though I'm sure that is partly due to the difficulty of the jumps, and at times, having to accelerate out of sand. There's also not quite as much difference between 250 and 450 bikes, though again, could be partly due to the tracks. There IS however more difference in how one bike brand feels to another vs the last game, and I am also now ALWAYS tuning the suspension settings, which help with handling more than in the last game.

At first I thought the heavy use of the Salt Lake venue would sour my impression of the game, making it feel too repetitive. It has been quite the opposite though. For one, Dirt Wurx did an incredible job of designing several different tracks for Salt Lake, all of which feel uniquely different. They also lean a bit more toward the fun side, and aren't quite as technically demanding as others. As far as I know they did this specifically to make the riders feel more at ease at the end of the season during the stressful lockdown year. So this game's careers start with a mix of technically challenging tracks, but end with good old fashioned fun.

My favorite two bikes so far are the Yamaha and Honda. The Yamaha tends to have a bit better speed, but the Honda a bit better handling. The following videos are all on the Honda. My fave way to get a bike anymore is to sign a contract with a sponsor on the secondary page for contracts. The reason being, they have MANY more offers from race teams, and show the performance rating. You can't get these contracts easy though. Winning one race season is not enough. You have to have built up a bit of a reputation.

The 250 West races are all done on the Phoenix Racing Honda team.

250 West

Round 1 Anaheim 1

I would describe this as a moderately difficult track. There's no extremely technical features or deep sand, but it has a couple sections that can trip you up if not careful. I kept missing the triple in the 1st rhythm section due to catching my rear tire on the jump after the tabletop. The section after that however is relatively easy to get a triple/triple combo on right off a 180 berm. The crash you see on the 2nd triple there with 2 Laps to Go was purely my not noticing my landing pitch was too steep. I also made the same mistake in the section after it earlier in the race. The only thing I can attest this to is the body positioning, unlike last game, must be done while NOT revving the throttle, something I'm having a hard time getting used to.

Having a best lap time by roughly .4 sec at the end was not bad considering the 2 crashes. You have to do roughly 2 sec better lap time to handle Realistic mode though, or about 1 sec faster per difficulty mode from Medium.

Round 2 St Louis

This one is hard to get a good start if you compete strait off the drop of the gate, I was getting pushed outside a lot even if I got a perfect start and others didn't. This is mostly due to my choosing to not go through all the lap time qualifying and choosing a better gate. Many say that only gets your hopes up, as AI do MUCH faster laps in the race than in qualifying. They also put you in the very outside gate by default if you don't go through qualifying, vs the 3rd spot from very outside in the last game. No worries though, I resulted to my old tactic of letting them go by, then making a bee line for the apex behind them, which is easy enough on this track to even get the holeshot.

It's also handy that the very 1st jump after the holeshot line is med vs the usual small, which makes it easy to hit a triple/triple/double/double combo to complete the first section with a lead (on Medium AI anyway). The only real challenging part of this track is nailing a triple to a tabletop out of a 180 berm on the section after the first whoop section. If you don't it really slows you down. I flubbed it the 1st two laps, but nailed it every lap after that.

A bit better results on this one due to no crashes, but still only a .7 sec faster lap. Clearly to ready yourself for Realistic, it's looking like no crashes are not enough. You also can't afford to miss rhythm section marks. I have a feeling this track will feel easy now that I have the technique down for that triple to tabletop jump though.

Round 3 Anaheim 2

Here we have the first track with some fairly technical features. They are not necessarily super hard features, they can just trip you up badly if you aren't careful how you take them. If you can manage a perfect start here, you can clear the field to the holeshot even from the outside gate, largely due to the first turn being a loose 90 left. A good lead is very helpful though, because after 2 easy and short rhythm sections, there's a 180 right to a short section with 2 tabletops. This is the 1st technical spot I was referring to. You are best off landing the 1st tabletop on it's right side with a subtle hop to the front of it, in order to use the small ramp that is only on the right side to easily jump to the other tabletop. Compounding the complexity of this section, particularly if AI are near, is it is best to hop to the LEFT side of the 2nd tabletop, in order to take the upcoming 90 right wide after hopping over a small jump. This gives you a MUCH better chance to get enough speed out of this turn to land a triple, which in turn allows for a fairly easy triple after that, into a big air triple.

Nailing that section consistently is a game changer, but it is also a section that starts with ONE good line through it, and I've seen how bad it gets when AI are crowding you. The only other tricky spot is a seemingly simple dragon's back climb to a drop off, then the finish line jump. It can produce VERY inconsistent results as to how well you come off that finish line jump, because there's a med jump you need to clear between the dragon's back drop and the finish line jump. It's basically like this, if you manage to bounce off the very last bump of the dragon's back, you'll be able to hit the finish line jump with enough speed to land a big air double. If not, you are considerably slowed down by the very big and steeply faced 2nd jump of that big air double. I'm still working out a line or speed to take this dragon's back drop consistently, and I've even tried both weighting back and forward. Calibrating speed is hard though, as you have to go by feel since the game has no speed indicator on the HUD like the last one did.

Though I went from miserable results to a just over 20 sec lead at last time check and a best lap time by 2.2 sec, even after going off track trying to land that triple off the 90 right once, I can't help but think what problems will arise if I don't nail that dragon's back drop better on Realistic.

Round 4 Glendale

This is a triple crown race that I will only show the 2nd leg of due to it representing the best lines to take. This is also the very first track I got a beat my chest feeling on due to managing a difficult triple out of a 180 berm, which is beyond what the Flow Aid suggests. It also helps immensely as it allows you to seamlessly connect to a double and big air triple after that. What's really odd, is the Flow Aid line shows a landing point in between the 2nd and 3rd large jumps of that big air triple, but the AI often clear the whole big air triple. This is why I knew I'd have to nail that triple off the 180 berm, which I can now do fairly consistently.

There's two other tricky sections of this track. One is a big jump to a large bend with deep sand. If you land this jump well on the very inside of the bend at just the right speed, you can coast through the tight part of the bend, then accelerate out of it with good momentum. This is because the very inside part of the bend has a very subtle, narrow platform you can roll well on, but too much speed will cause you to drop off it into a rut, then bog down and spin coming out of the bend.

The last tricky part is a particularly nasty rhythm section that has 2 tabletops. This section comes after a dogleg left out of a fast, flat strait. The trick is to stay left so you hit a small ramp on the left side of the first tabletop, which allows an easy transition to the next tabletop. If done just right at the proper speed, it also allows you to finish this section with a double/double/double combo. More often than not, I miss both the tabletop to table top connection, as well as the double/double/double combo. I just hope both aren't required consistently on Realistic. I'm thinking my results here might be good enough for Hard mode, but that's just this one leg, the other two I did worse on.

Round 5 Oakland

Here we are DEFINITELY stepping up to a technically hard track. It starts off all cute and enticing with an easy enough triple/triple/double combo, I mean I even managed it fighting through the pack. Then it surrenders with a double/triple/single combo, the triple of which is the 2nd beyond Flow Aid jump I've managed. Then it has you begging for more after an easy short rhythm section ending with a big air double off the finish line jump, then a loose left. The fun continues into a giggly fast section with a fast, flat strait into an AI defying dogleg left jump onto a deep sand section. Now we're slinging into 2 semi big air doubles after a 180 left and a 90 right, both with momentum facilitating berms.

Then you gasp as what you are looking at ahead is something you've never seen before. I don't even know what it's called, but it basically looks like a tabletop placed in a sharp right, with a subtle lip of a berm, and it has a small ramp on it's left side to make connecting to the tabletop just after it accessible. Upon first encounter, no SEVERAL encounters, it can be hard just to master how to land on it without falling off it, let alone make a jump to the next tabletop with fluid momentum.

If you accomplish that, you have an easy enough 180 left berm into a fast whoop section, which you can at times use to catch AI that pass you, then a big air triple into a 180 left berm, easy enough. What follows is perhaps even more perplexing than that crazy tabletop turn. It's basically a rhythm section from hell, with a set of steeply faced jumps, connected to another set of the same, via a dogleg right where there's a small pie shaped tabletop. The only saving grace here is the gaps between these jumps aren't too deep, especially near the tabletop. My main concern is the AI often catch and pass me here, and I always seem to have different, unpredictable results through it. I also often look like I'm about to crash, but I think the shallowness of the jump gaps prevents it mostly.

My only recourse was to catch the AI that had passed me on the strait just after, and give them a subtle nudge to the outside of the track in the left bend going into that 1st rhythm section again. Very surprisingly though, I got best lap time, but only by .3 sec. This track is going to continue to be a work in progress.

Round 6 San Diego

I call this track the sand monster. The start and first section are easy enough, even when battling AI, but there's a lot of sand that bogs you down on certain parts of the track ahead. The main problematic area comes right after 2 whoop sections connected by a 180 left. At the end of the 2nd whoop section, the track splits into an inner and outer lane in a very wide, flat 180 left turn. I found it hard to consistently get enough speed out of this turn due to the sandy soil, to adequately clear the triple/double the Flow Aid suggests in the short rhythm section after. Therefore this is the first place in the game I chose to handle a rhythm section with a shorter starting jump than the Flow Aid suggests, however it results in a single/double/double combo, which is usually a bit slower than a 2 jump sequence.

The other area that is a bit tricky comes just after a fairly easy sharp right, then double/single that follows the aforementioned tough section. You then cross the start chute, and go into a sharp left, immediately into a big air double off the big finish line jump. There's a pretty good berm to use on the sharp left to facilitate momentum going into the big air double, but the sandy soil can cause you to slip, and fall just short of the big air double, which slows you down. It's not nearly as bad as the prior tough section mentioned though.

On a positive note, there is much room for improvement, as I was making silly mistakes I should be able to avoid with more time on this track. I also managed to triple the 2nd to last jump in a section where the Flow Aid suggested a double there, although it doesn't lessen the number of jumps used. I also have to kind of face facts that the AI are pretty consistent and fast on this track. Despite my silly mistakes and inconsistency with that toughest section after the track splits into 2 lanes though, I had a 4.1 sec lead on the final lap just prior to that split track section. There were 2 AI that had faster laps than my best by 2-3 tenths though, so improve I must if I want to conquer Hard and Realistic.

Round 7 Salt Lake

Now for the fun tracks, and hopefully my best chance at beating Realistic. Honestly though, I made some errors here, which I know I can clean up, so the AI nearly beat me, and I didn't get fastest lap time. The only spots that come close to being tricky are a couple of long, fast rhythm sections. These sections have great flow when you hit them, but can slow you down and allow AI to catch up if you don't. The first is the very first rhythm section where you can triple into it off a 180 berm on subsequent laps. This section can also be tripled on it's 2nd to last jump, vs the double the Flow Aid suggests, but it doesn't lessen the number of jumps required to get through the section. The second comes after a whoop section and starts with a double and has 2 tabletops.

Even though I was behind by almost .1 sec at the final time check, and bested on fastest lap by .2 sec, I am looking at the potential here, not the mistakes. It's because tracks like these are much easier to ride with little to no mistakes.

Round 8 Salt Lake

I'm going to call this track Take The Long Way Home. Supertramp was one of my fave bands growing up, but I chose that name as a reminder not to try to shortcut an entry to one of the only two tricky sections on this track, as it doesn't go well I found. These sections come back to back just after a section with a big air triple after the prior section which starts with a big air double off the finish line jump. Following the big air triple, you have a very atypical 180 into a long rhythm section. By this I mean it is completely flat and sort of triangular shaped. This is because it's the bend of the start chute just before the holeshot line. The left side having the Tuff Blocks that line the edge of the start chute, the ride side being the line of Tuff Blocks that block off the first part of the start chute after the riders cross the holeshot line.

Since it feels odd and slow to go all the way into the tip of this triangular 180, in order to get enough run up speed to the next rhythm section to manage a triple/triple/single combo, I tried more than once to take the 180 at it's apex, to see if starting with a single or double would suffice as well, while saving a bit of time using the apex of the 180. I always failed to hit the double, and had a tendency as well of overshooting the single. I may make more attempts at a single jump entry to this section, but for now it feels like I have to Take the Long Way Home.

The section just after that one is the other tricky part, but only if you try to go beyond doubling all the way through it as the Flow Aid suggests. So I no doubt could have and should have had a better lead than the 1.1 sec I had at the final time check, and probably would have had fastest lap time by more than the mere .2 sec I managed to lead with, but at least now I know what works and what doesn't

Round 9 Salt Lake

This is a Salt Lake track that goes beyond fun and easy a bit, and adds a dash of spicy technical features. The start can be tough even with a good lead, as the first left is a tight bend that slows you down and can cause AI to catch up. The first 2 sections are best if taken precisely, but also allow some slop without losing a lot of speed. You're definitely best off hitting a wide entry into the 90 right going into the 3rd section though, as the left side of it's first jump has yet another one of those small ramps. This ramp helps you get adequate transition height and speed to connect 3 doubles on what feels like saddle jumps.

It's also helpful to take the 90 right after that section wide at it's berm, as it makes the start of the next section easier, which is a double to back to back on/offs on tabletops. The only other concern is not getting too overzealous with the end of this section, as you CAN triple vs the double the Flow Aid suggests on the 2nd to last jump, but it's best to come out of it with another controlled 90 right to avoid swinging wide and scraping Tuff Blocks, which can adversely affect the big air triple you need to hit.

The only other slightly tricky parts are the short section after railing a 180 right berm at the bottom of that big air triple, where you need to carefully temper speed while taking a double/double, the first double of which transitions from a small to med jump. Fortunately the 2nd double is two small jumps, making a subtle hop leaned into a 90 left with a downslope landing accessible. This benefits you because the next section is fast whoops if entered with speed.

The last but certainly least of the tracks tricky bits, is a steeply banked 180 left berm into a big air double off the finish line jump. What makes it tricky is there's a hairpin right turn at the bottom of the big air double's 2nd jump. So it's a combination of railing off the180 berm to maintain speed, but then tempering speed just before the big air double to avoid overshooting the hairpin turn.

Once again, I had a very small lead at the final time check, only a few tenths, and I barely got beat on fastest lap time. Sometimes I wonder if I'm delusional thinking these tracks will help me win on Realistic, because honestly, though they are relatively easy to ride, the AI ride them pretty fast.

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The 250 East races are all done on the Chaparral Honda racing team, and I much prefer the bike and outfit look.


250 East

Round 1 Tampa

This track used to be an absolute mother bear for me, and I worry it will become so again on harder difficulty modes. It's not so much that it has very atypical technical features, or that the AI ride it blazingly fast. It just requires you to manage what appear to be a few relatively mundane disciplines, and be consistent with it.

It starts with a pretty hard task of trying to get the holeshot free and clear, which involves carefully handling a relatively sharp left bend with no loss of traction. If you succeed at that, you can then double/triple/triple a tabletop/tabletop/jump sequence. You then must go strait into a precise and quickly railed 180 right berm to nail a triple, that in turn affords 2 more back to back triples.

Even when things start out looking golden, there's a good chance starting from the outside gate like I do, that an AI will catch you by the time you get to that 180 right berm. Well, that is what happened on this race, and even though the AI only caught my rear wheel, he tapped it just enough to make it slide sideways ever so slightly, which made me miss that first triple, and see him go sailing by.

There's really only 3 very small other parts of the track that are tricky, but with dire results if you don't hit them well. The first two are how you jump after right turns at the end of that triple/triple/triple section, and the start of the section after it. In both cases you need to make a subtle and precise double jump, but in both cases the jump faces are also a bit steep, making it especially hard, particularly right after a turn. Nailing or not nailing the first of those two jumps is not nearly as beneficial or consequential as the 2nd. It's because that section is shorter, and the one after it has a big air triple at the end of it with steeply faced jumps.

The 4th and final tricky spot comes after a big air double off the finish line jump, and a diagonal dash across the start chute. You then come to a very sharp right where the track splits into 2 lanes separated by Tuff Blocks. The right lane's entry point comes first, but I find it is FAR better to go deep into the sharp right taking it's berm into the left lane, then getting a weight back acceleration boost off the short stretch of dirt thereafter, before it turns to deep white sand. This allows you to loft a good ways into the sandy section, and float atop it, and the speed you enter it with also allows you to weight back accel each time you plop down in between it's subtle bumps. The final part of this little section is it's most tricky, a hairpin left in even deeper sand. It is imperative you stay far enough away from the apex pole to sustain momentum, but also necessary to stay within close enough proximity of it to make use of a small sand berm lip. It is best to coast into this hairpin, then accel out of it. The one good thing about this tricky section, is AI often bog down in it or even crash if they take the right lane. Some even stupidly stay in the right lane all the way around the hairpin, which is more like a big sight seeing safari than that nifty little inside lane.

The time checks on this track are very misleading, and I'm not sure they're even correct at times. At the 2nd to last time check on the final lap, it showed me as leading by about 16.5 sec, but on the final time check, despite having excellent flow between the 2, it showed me as well under 4 sec ahead. There's just no way the AI could have caught up that far in that short of time, and they were nowhere to be seen on the minimap. Granted, my fastest lap only beat the next best AI by just over .4 sec, but this track is more about consistency than fastest lap, and I had that over them easily.

Round 2 Arlington

This is the 3rd leg of a triple crown, and I chose the inside gate of the outer row after winning the 1st two legs. It's not hard to get a good lead at the drop of the gates if you time it well, but the sharp bend of the 1st turn combined with needing a bit of a run up to clear the1st section fast means at least 1 AI will often beat you to the holeshot. That's what happened here, but he took the jumps high and I skipped across them low, so I was free and clear by the next section. That 2nd section is easy to do with a neutral position drop off a dragon's back, and weight back boost into a big air triple.

There's really only 3 things on this track you need to worry about nailing consistently, a couple of subtle double jumps leading into each of the next 2 sections, and well placed landings in the 2nd of those 2 sections, as it's the only hard rhythm section. The Flow Aid suggests to double all the way through that section, but I find it also works just as well to on/off on the 2nd tabletop to set up for a triple finish if you fall short of doubling onto the downslope of the1st tabletop, as shown in the final lap.

I managed to scrub all the finish line jumps, and an over 8 sec lead at the final time check and best lap time by 1.8 sec has me feeling more confident for higher difficulty modes on this track.

Round 3 Atlanta

This track seemed a bit technical for me at first. It's mainly due to a left turn after the finish line jump big air double, that takes you into a Tuff Block lined split track section with small jumps. The technicality ensues with a 180 right berm into a deep sand section that continues around a right turn which has a small ramp on it's right side. The ramp, though small, takes up at least 2/3 the width of the turn or more.

On the first couple play throughs I was commonly crashing on the Tuff Blocks in the split track section, bogging down on that right side ramp in the deep sand turn, or crashing into Tuff Blocks yet again if I went around the ramp. I am now managing this track pretty well though, and find that it's just a matter of touch coasting that left turn gently after the big air double over the 1st tabletop jump, then coasting again at the right time when approaching that right coming out of the deep sand, which I always take wide around the ramp now.

A 6.3 sec lead at the final time check and a best lap time by .9 sec is an improvement over what I was doing, but a bit more consistency through the split track section and the bridge tunnel will allow for more improvement.

Round 4 Daytona

The layout here is even faster than the one this track used the previous game. The AI are faster too though, so it's very important to get a good start and not just keep a lead, but increase it each lap if training for Hard or Realistic. Fortunately it's not too hard to get a gap off the start, even from the outside gate, but you MUST time it very well, and take the two sharp left turns wisely without sliding. Apologies for what happened just after, it's a 1 sec or so graphic glitch I sometimes get from ShadowPlay (never happens in game).

There's tons of LONG fast straits on this track, so it really comes down to nailing 4 sections in between well. After the big air double on the finish line jump, which I let off gas just before taking to land on the 2nd jump's downslope. You enter a deep sand section after a wide, near flat 180 left, which has a 180 right, med jump, then another 180 right. The sand ends just after as you approach a flat 180 left in dirt, and I find on the 250s it's best to go deep into this turn, carving a gradual vs sharp turn, to build up speed for a massive big air triple off a big jump.

Landing that big air triple well on the downslope of the 3rd jump will give you great speed on the long fast whoop section after (the 1st of those 4 sections to nail). It's also critical to rail the 180 left berm after the whoops fast, which allows a triple/triple/triple combo (the 2nd section to nail). Next is a tricky split track section that I find is FAR better to enter from it's left lane. This is because you can decrease speed more gradually than the right lane, and the right lane is more technical too, as it's entrance is a much tighter right that is ramped vs flat.

Into the left lane to a right turn right I coast, then tap gas lightly, as there's a 180 left just after. You then go into a section with a double/double/double/double combo, the middle 2 of which are on/offs on tabletops. All of that which comes just after the triple/triple/triple combo is the 3rd section to nail, and if done well, yields good speed going into another deep sand section, this time being a strait with subtle bumps I weight back through. The sand then ends as you approach a rise, which I ride neutral position, then weight back momentarily as I plop down gently from lofting just a bit.

The next bit is the final tricky part, which is another split track section I again take via the left lane. You have to brake well in advance of the sharp left going into it, especially after coming down off that rise at full speed. After the sharp left you go over a subtle hump, then have to negotiate a fairly narrow (but flat, the right side again is the one ramped) section of track that bends 180 right. Once clear of that 180, you have MUCH wider track to take up a big ramp which you can use to on/off onto a huge tabletop. It is very important not to hug the left edge of that big ramp, as it can make you hit Tuff Blocks on the left edge of the track when you jump off the tabletop.

I was feeling pretty good with about 13 sec Time Remaining, as at the time check off the finish line jump I had amassed an 11.6 sec lead. However, despite putting in a pretty good lap after that, my lead had dwindled to just 9.1 sec at the finish line jump. It felt like the AI put in a super lap, because at the final screen I noticed at least 4 AI had better fastest lap times than me, one .5 sec faster. That STILL doesn't account for the AI gaining a whole 2.5 sec on me on that one lap. I even looked at my lap time for that lap and it was only 1.5 sec slower than my best lap.

So while I know this result is quite an improvement over what I won by on Easy mode, I worry the AI on this track are a sleeping giant.

I turned into a Ninja in all black at this point, as I'd reached the Chaparral Honda team's contract end, and they switched outfits when I renewed it. If you noticed my rider number style changing, it's not me being indecisive. The game often reverts it to what it was before I changed it, and if I don't remember to reset it to what I had, there's no changing it until after a race.

Round 5 Salt Lake

I decided to stick it out with a mediocre start to test a theory, and train for what's likely to come on harder difficulty modes. The first section is easy and fast enough to follow the Flow Aid, but I had a fair bit of success in the 2nd section figuring out how to triple/triple/triple it, vs the double/double/double/double the Flow Aid suggests. I do this by going deep and high atop the 180 left berm that leads into it, then using it as a ramp to slingshot off it. I'm still working out whether it's faster than the AI though, because the 2 that were just ahead of me happened to take that same approach. So I have to think balderdash regarding this Flow Aid, how can it be a good tip for the player, when the AI can exceed it?

I am also now taking the 90 left after crossing the start chute, which comes after a big air double off the finish line jump, at it's apex vs it's berm when AI are present, which at times is more advantageous than the berm. There's nothing else that's a technical worry on this track, just another ponderance of magical AI abilities as with Daytona. However I'd built up an 8.5 sec lead on the 2nd to last time check of the final lap, and managed fastest lap by .7 sec, so there's hope I think.

Round 6 Salt Lake

The only section I am having a bit of trouble taking consistently well, is the section just before diagonally crossing the length of the start chute. The Flow Aid suggests a double/double/double/double through it, which leaves a single at the end. I can usually manage a double/double/triple/double, which eliminates the single at the end, but it sometimes comes out a bit too sloppy to be very useful, especially the landing at the end to prepare for a hairpin left.

The motivation for me is I built up a 6.7 sec lead at the 2nd to final time check, and managed a best lap time by 1.2 sec.

Round 7 Salt Lake

This track is yet another example of how useless the Flow Aid can be, in fact it's probably the most egregious use of it in the whole game. Right off the bat, even when battling AI, I finished the first rhythm section with a triple, instead of the suggested double, which would leave a steeply faced single no less. In the 2nd section it suggests a double/double/double/double/double, again, leaving a single at the end. Instead, I found it FAR better, and not too difficult, to double/triple/triple/triple, which clears ALL the jumps.

The so called "Aid" further offends in the next rhythm section, after a 90 right, by suggesting a double on 2 of 3 large jumps, when it's pretty easy to get a big air triple on them, especially if you use a landing on the downslope of the small jump at the end of the prior section to maintain good speed into the 90 right. It then suggests in the next section a double/double/double/double/double/double, when it's not hard with the momentum from the big air triple to hit a triple/double/double/double/double.

The one last section that seems inappropriately flow tipped, is the section after crossing the start chute, which comes just after the finish line jump. The number of jumps in the sequence is not the problem, just the placement of them, which again, unnecessarily leaves a single jump at the end.

This is a pretty competitive track, even when consistently going beyond the slow Flow Aid suggestions, the biggest lead I had at any one time was 2.9 sec. It's because any slight mistakes you make, the next fastest AI gains ground on you. I was also bested on fasted lap time by 2 AI, one of them by almost .6 sec. I can only hope this doesn't spell disaster on harder modes.

Round 8 Salt Lake

This is pretty much a variation on the 250 West Round 8 Salt Lake track, with a shorter, easier rhythm section than that "Long Way Home" one, a faster whoop section, and it adds a nice fast big air triple that is fun to scrub. The only problem I saw with the Flow Aid on this one was it suggests taking a double at the end of the whoop section. I could see that if it were the same slower whoops as on the 250 West Round 8 Salt Lake track, but on this track you can easily hit a triple and clear all of them.

This is a MUCH more fun track than it's aforementioned variant counterpart. I was able to build as big as a 12 sec lead on the final lap, and my fastest lap was 1 sec faster, vs just .2 sec faster on the other one.

Round 9 Salt Lake

As is the case with the final race venue of a season, this is the exact same track as the 250 West Round 9 track at Salt Lake. So I'll refer you to the 250 West Round 9 Salt Lake track description above if you need a refresher.

The main difference here is I am getting consistently better results, finishing with a 2 sec vs .3 sec lead at the final time check, and getting fastest lap by .8 sec, vs barely losing lap time to 1 AI.

I have to say though, since I had a 2.5 sec lead at the end of the 2nd to last lap, and flubbed the last rhythm section on the final lap, I know I could have had closer to a 3 sec lead at the end with better consistency.

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I now have 9 of the 17 rounds of the 450 career done, again on the Chaparral Honda team. Since most of these tracks are used in the 250 West and East careers, I'll refer you to the above descriptions for them, and just comment on any differences the 450 bike makes, as well as my progress learning these tracks. However since this was a COVID lockdown season, there are some instances, such as St Louis, which is only used in the 450 career. So for those I will give some description, though only from a first encounter perspective (not every part of it will be detailed, just the hard parts).

450 Career

Round 1 Anaheim 1

Refer to round 1 of the 250 West career above for the track description. Regardless of the more powerful 450 bike, I've definitely become more used to this track, so no silly crashes this time. The 450 does make the rhythm sections far easier to hit though. I was able to still triple in the first rhythm section even when I got a bit out of sync on my marks. There was quite a substantial improvement over the 250 race on this track. I went from a just under ,9 sec lead at the final time check and .4 sec faster lap time, to just over 6.7 sec lead at the final time check and a full 2 sec faster lap time.

Round 2 St Louis

This is a fairly easy track, but it has one rhythm section that's hard to be consistent on, and I wouldn't want to race it on a 250. It's the rhythm section that comes just after the whoops, and you need to carry good speed off the 180 left berm after the whoops to nail a triple to an on/off on a tabletop to get through it well. Despite not handling this section well on a couple laps though, I still managed a just over 19 sec lead at the final time check, with just over 2.4 sec faster lap time.

Round 3 Anaheim 2

Refer to round 3 of the 250 West career above for the track description. I have to admit, I was a bit concerned at first when I went from a just over 20 sec lead at final time check and 2.2 sec faster lap time in the 250 West race, to a just over 13.6 sec lead at final time check and a faster lap time by just .8 sec this time. When I saw the 450 AI were doing 1.5 sec faster lap times than the 250 AI though, I was satisfied with the results. This time I managed to hit the finish line jump well every time, usually with a scrub. The way I do this is moderate my speed coming out of the 180 left berm prior to it. It's not the ideal way, but more consistent.

Round 4 Glendale

Refer to round 4 of the 250 West career above for track description. This is the 3rd leg of a triple crown. This track is much easier to race on the 450, mainly due to it making the last rhythm section easier, which requires a difficult triple out of a 180 left berm. If anything I was more prone to overshooting jumps, and had I not done that at the start of the final rhythm section on the last lap, and gone off track a bit on the one prior, I'd have finished with a much better lead. However I still improved from a just over 2.3 sec lead at final time check and faster lap by just under .9 sec, to a just over 6.6 sec lead at the final time check, and faster lap by just over 1.9 sec.

Round 5 Oakland

Refer to round 5 of the 250 West career above for track description. I'm getting better and more consistent on this very technical track. No crashes or even getting passed this time. My lead at the final time checked improved quite a bit, from just over 1 sec in the 250 West race, to just over 5.4 sec, but lap time slipped from just over .2 sec faster, to just under ,2 sec slower. As I've said before though, this track is more about consistency than fastest lap time.

Round 6 San Diego

Refer to round 6 of the 250 West career above for track description. The power of the 450 helps on this track. I was able to hit a triple /triple on some laps on the rhythm section before the whoops, and usually nailed a triple/double on the one after the whoops, though using the outer track that allows more run up. It's hard to feel like it's an improvement though because I went from a just over 1.2 sec lead at the final time check and just under .2 sec slower lap time in the 250 West race, to a just over 1 sec lead at the final time check and a just under .4 sec slower lap time.

Round 7 Tampa

Refer to round 1 of the 250 East career above for track description. Again, this is a scenario like with Oakland, where I was hitting rhythm sections much more consistently than on the 250, even the light throttle touch required at the start of 2 of them, but got worse results on final lead and comparative lap times. However it was mainly just the lead at the final time check that had a big disparity, just under 3.8 sec in 250 East, and just over .9 sec here. As I've said before though, this track seems to measure lap time differences very erratically from one time checkpoint to another.

Round 8 Arlington

Refer to round 2 of the 250 East career above for track description. This is leg 3 of the triple crown. The lead times were very close here, going to a slightly worse just over 6.3 sec at final time check, from just over 6.7 sec in 250 East, and even worse on lap times at just under .9 sec faster from just under 1.8 sec. This is due to the AI putting about 2 sec faster times per lap on 450 though.

Round 9 Atlanta

Refer to round 3 of the 250 East career above for track description. This track is pretty easy to race on both 250 and 450, but more time spent on it has improved my results. I went from a just under 6.4 sec lead at the final time check with fastest lap by just under .8 sec in the 250 East race, to just over 8.6 sec lead at the final time check with fastest lap by just under 1.5 sec.

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Sorry for the near 1.5 month delay, I was playing some other games, one of which (U: LoTC), cost me over a day of redoing most of the 250 East and 450 careers to get back to round 14, which didn't capture. It was because ShadowPlay, as it sometimes does, was on but not active (no onscreen indicator showing). This usually means it's overdo for a driver update, and I was on a much older one because that game wasn't working well on current ones.

This concludes the introduction of the game, as I've now completed the 450 career. Keep in mind on any tracks where you're referred to the track description being the same as the 250 event at the same venue, it also applies to how my jump sequence tactics compare to the flow aid.

Round 10 Daytona

Refer to Round 4 above of the 250 East career for track description. A struggle with faster 450 AI caused me to try taking the right lane of the 2nd section where the track splits. It's a bit trickier to enter, with a short, steep embankment, then leveling out into a tighter right turn on a narrow ledge that has a steep drop off to the longer left lane, but it saves about 1 sec per lap. The results were much better than on the 250 using this route, being a lead of just over 3.6 sec at the final time check, and a fastest lap time by about .35 sec, vs just over 1.9 sec final lead, and just under .6 sec slower than best lap time on the 250.

Round 11 Salt Lake

Refer to Round 5 above of the 250 East career for track description. The 450 made it much easier to nail the triple/triple/double combo out of the 180 left berm, and also hit a big air double over the finish line out of the 180 right berm on the next section. At the final time check I had a just under 13 sec lead, and a fastest lap time by 2.1 sec, vs just over 3.6 sec final lead and fastest lap by just under .7 sec on the 250.

Round 12 Salt Lake

Refer to Round 6 above of the 250 East career for track description. This came down to being able to more easily hit the triple on the 2nd rhythm section on the 450, which is the one just before diagonally retracing the start chute the reverse direction of the start. At the final time check I had a just under 8 sec lead with a fastest lap by 1.2 sec, vs a final lead of just over 4.5 sec, with the same lap time differential on the 250.

Round 13 Salt Lake

Refer to Round 7 above of the 250 East career for track description. The main difference with the 450 was it was easier to nail the triples in the sections just before and after the big air triple. At the final time check I had a just over 7.3 sec lead and a fastest lap by about 1.1 sec, vs a just under 1.5 sec lead and slower than fastest lap by just under .6 sec on the 250.

Round 14 Salt Lake

Meet Little Boy Blue, AKA Papa Smurf, the new guy that looks like a cartoon character. Refer to Round 7 above of the 250 West career for track description. The main difference the 450 made was nearly being able to hit a quad jump on the section just after the big air triple, however the overall results were hugely different mostly due to costly mistakes on the 250. This time I managed a whopping near 17.9 sec lead at the final time check, and a fastest lap by just over 1.5 sec. The comparative 250 times aren't worth mentioning due to the mistakes made.

Round 15 Salt Lake

Refer to Round 8 above of the 250 West career for track description. Good results on this track are as much if not more about technique as bike power, primarily due to a particular rhythm section and how long a run up you take for it. It's that aforementioned "Long Way Home" track I described above. The 450 isn't really any better on that section, even with a pretty long run up. I managed a just under 1.3 sec lead at the final time check, with a fastest lap by just under .4 sec, vs a just over 1.1 sec final lead and fastest lap by just under .2 sec on the 250. However again, the 250 results were due to bad mistakes, mostly stupidly experimenting with shorter run ups on that tough section.

Round 16 Salt Lake

Refer to Round 8 above of the 250 East career for track description. As with the track used in Round 15, the 450 doesn't help much on this track ether, but I probably did gain a bit of time in the section right after the start chute just by forcing bounce jumps vs less aggressive doubles. At the final time check I had a just under 8 sec lead with a fastest lap by just under 1.6 sec, vs a just under 6 sec final lead and fastest lap by just over 1 sec on the 250.

Round 17 Salt Lake

Refer to Round 9 above of the 250 West career for track description. Once again, the 450 has little benefit vs good tactics, as this is a fairly technical track. That said, I couldn't help but think my results would have been much better had I not had to slog through the 250 East and 450 careers again. I improved my results pretty well from the 250 West to 250 East class on this track, and was doing the same on the 450, but I ended up settling for a lesser result after crashing. At the final time check I had a just under 3 sec lead with a fasted lap by just over .8 sec, vs a final lead of just over 2 sec and fastest lap by just under .9 sec. I know is seems like I'm splitting hairs here, but I was on track to have a final lead of at least 5 sec on the 450 and blew it.


While some of these results are encouraging toward an eventual attempt at Realistic mode, I'm considering trying manual transmission if I can bind keys that are adequately accessible while just managing to navigate these difficult tracks. I can't promise much on that though because in the past when I've tried it, I didn't do too well with it.
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