A car racer guide to bike games
Image credit: Milestone

A Car Racer’s Guide to Bike Games

In recent weeks, many new biking titles have released. With such a big difference between racing on two and four wheels, here’s our guide for any car racer looking to improve in bike games.

In recent weeks, we have seen a plethora of bike racing games hit the shelves. From the madness of TT Isle of Man: Ride on the Edge 3 to the all-new MotoGP 23 title, racing game fans have vast choice when it comes to two-wheel racing.

But with many racing fans focusing to four-wheel simulators, it can be tricky to make the switch. After all, driving a car is a totally different experience from riding a bike. That difference is only accentuated when one drives with a wheel but has to control bike games with a pad. Do not fear, as this is guide is all about helping the car racer excel in bike games. Here are a few tips for you to improve.

Patience is Key

Whilst the obvious difference between a car and a bike is the number of wheels, that isn’t the most glaring one when it comes to controlling the vehicle. The hardest part to wrap one’s head around is the way in which a bike turns.

Where a car simply turns its wheels side to side, the majority of turning on a bike comes from its lean angle. As a result, it takes much longer to get to the desired turning rate. This is especially noticeable in sequences of corners.

When changing direction from a left-turn to a right, it’s important to be patient. One can’t start turning into a corner before the rider has picked the bike up from the previous corner’s lean angle. As a result, it is sometimes worth adapting one’s line on corner exit in order to give yourself time between an exit to the following entry.

It’s also crucial to be patient when hitting the brakes. With the rider’s weight flinging from side-to-side and front to back, applying the brakes has to be a gradual process. Slam on the brakes too hard and you will fall off. The rider’s weight will overwhelm the front tyre causing a low-side. In more spectacular fashion, hitting the brakes too fast with lean angle will send the rear tyre sideways. Once again, this will cause an off but in the form of a high side.

Perfecting bike games require a lot of patience
Perfecting bike games require a lot of patience – Image credit: Raceward Studios

Bike vs Car Games: Early Inputs

Patience is crucial, and that ties in with the next point. For the racer used to car controls, the main idea of this guide is to make inputs earlier in bike games. Bikes lack the grip of cars meaning braking takes longer, cornering speed is lower and power out of turns is harder to find.

In general, one wants to brake far earlier than in a car but also in a more gradual way. This will allow for a stable braking phase before turning in.

When it comes to turning in, the game should help smoothen your inputs, improving stability. But because of that, it can take a while to lean into each turn. To make sure you still hit each apex, turn in as if you’re predicting understeer. Just don’t turn in too early as track limits are extremely harsh in bike games, especially MotoGP 23.

Ducati on-track in MotoGP 23
Ducati on-track in MotoGP 23 – Image credit: Milestone

Finally, you will want to apply the power at some point. This too must be done far later on a bike than in a car. By applying the throttle too early, the bike will automatically rise up, reducing your turning capability. This is why many real-world bike racers adopt a V-shaped line through most corners. Squaring off apexes means you can get on the power far earlier. But in sweeping turns, the only thing one can do is be patient on the throttle and only really apply it until the corner exit.

Start Out on New Tracks

As you can tell, it’s near-enough impossible to transfer any markers from bikes to cars on the same track. Even if you run a track you have thousands of car laps on, you will need to learn it from scratch in bike games.

To prevent yourself from getting confused, it may be a good idea to start out on tracks you have never driven. Circuits like Assen, Sokol and Chang in MotoGP 23 are unlikely to be familiar to most car racers. These have perhaps the best potential of teaching newcomers the challenges of bike games without scrambling their car-focused brains.

What do you struggle with most as a car racer trying to play bike games? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!

Passionate about motorsport, simracing is my perfect escape, a way of forgetting the world around me and pretending to be battling out on-track. Writing has always been a love of mine and when I am sharing my passion with the wider world, I am truly happy.