Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Grinding - Off-Road Riding Technique

Shane Watts

Grinding is our second Advanced fundamental skill, and just like precise wheel placement which we discussed last month, we use this skill to avoid and conquer so many nasty trail obstacles such as long, deep ruts. This skill is also a big help in us being able to maintain control and forward motion of the bike if you or the bike get off balance. It is preferable to do this skill while in the standing position for increased upper body movement to help maintain control and balance. You should also practice this skill in the seated position as there will some times on the trail that you will only be able to be in this position while grinding.

Start off with trying this skill on a dirt bank/ledge or railroad ties with your front wheel up on the high side and the rear wheel sliding/grinding along the lower edge of the obstacle. Take it easy but you do need to have an adequate amount of speed to make performing this skill possible by making it a little easier for that wheel rear to actually slip along the edge. To control the bike you need to adjust not only your body position for balance but also the throttle position and steering so as to keep your bike sliding at the appropriate angle. Too much throttle and not enough counter steering will result in sliding out. Not enough throttle and too much counter steering could end up in a trip over the hangers from a highside crash. You also need to be very precise with your wheel placement to master this fundamental skill.

We give instruction and show actual demonstrations of this in Volume 1 of our new series of Advanced Instructional DVDs, that is now on sale through our on-line store. You can view some examples of this skill in the promo teaser for Volume 1 at http://www.shanewatts.com Make sure you check it out!


Learn the “Why” behind the “What” in this new series of “Dirt Wise with Shane Watts” Advanced Instructional DVDs. Volume 1 covers and in depth analysis of techniques required to conquer Mud, Sand, and Rough Ground conditions you will find out on the trail. Other topics included in the DVD are segments on bike and suspension set-up, along with other essentials to prepare yourself for these nasty conditions. Available from www.shanewatts.com for $24.95. Get free shipping and a signed poster if ordered before March 15.:p

Sign in to follow this  

User Feedback

Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

This is now closed for further comments

  • Similar Content

    • By Bturner
      I've seen alot or debating about this and been told both ways are better. I was hoping once and for all we can come up with a solid answer as to which is the better way to practice/race and why. I watch alot of races and I see the top guys doing both, but we all know we only get to see 5 min clips of GNCC's online so its hard to make an assumption. In the hare scrambles I've done I 've always noticed the A B riders come flying by standing up and hitting berms all the way down the trail standing up, but is this the way they ride the whole race? Some body help me become a better rider and let me know why I'm doing the right way!!
    • By jermag24
      I bought a 2009 KX450 last December and have about 20 hours of riding on it. I've had a few instances where the front end washed out on me, most seriously about a month ago which resulted in a separated shoulder. The bike came with a Dunlop MX51 (Intermediate terrain) on the rear and a Motoz Terrapactor (Soft Terrain) on the front. Both are like new but I've read mixed reviews on the Motoz tire since it has directional tread.
      The first time I was riding trails and wheelied up a long hill with whoops. When I brought the front wheel down it landed on a dry root crossing the trail at an angle and the front end slid out, I safely rolled off.
      The second time I was riding the track at VDR and it seemed I couldn't push my speed in tighter turns without the front end wanting to wash out. I stayed up but was pretty wiped from wrestling the bike around those turns.
      The last time I was going around a slower turn at Watkins and before I knew it, the front end must have caught a rut or washed out and I high-sided. I landed on my shoulder and separated it. Before I get back to riding I want to figure out what the deal is.
      My suspension is sprung and valved correctly for my weight and the clickers are set very close to stock settings. I run both tires at 13psi.
      As far as technique, I'm a pretty low-time MX rider but have years of trail riding under my belt. On the track, turning is probably my weakness. I've watched a few Semics videos and know to lean back when braking into the turn, then get my nuts up by the tank and my leg out when turning and accelerating out. I tend to lean forward when accelerating out of turns too. It seems I'm either fishtailing out or having to back off as the front end wants to slide out.
      Any suggestions on how I can get my skill/confidence up to ride MX with confidence again? Is it the tire or tire pressure to blame? Having a separated shoulder is NOT fun and I miss the hell out of riding. Thanks!
    • By Matriox HD
      I currently have a 250f and am thinking abou getting a 125 or 250 2 stroke. I don't have a lot of experience and I've never ridden a 2 stroke in my life. Thanks
    • By joey_243
      Just wanted some tips on riding ruts im fine with soft single sided ruts but pact double sided ruts just kill me during races any help please thankyou
    • By ukusa
      I'm a older slow rider looking for some technical riding skills advise , I ride a wr250 and the closest please to ride would be Rower fats.