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Shane Watt's Dirtwise Riding Tip: Tackling Long, Soft, Silty Berms


Shane Watts

When tackling long, soft, silty berms you need to gauge the maximum force that you can place on the soft soil, that makes up that trail situation, to support the tyres adequately from blowing through the wall of the berm.

If the berm has already been blown out in a certain section, you will need to turn slightly more aggressively off the banked surface earlier in the berm. Using that initial portion of the berm to pivot slightly sharper will allow you then to "reconnect" with the remaining berm for the rest of the corner.

A more aggressive version of this same technique can be implemented to help you hop out of a rut that doesn’t have a desirable ending or is full of water. Using a variation of the 180 wheelie you maximize the effect by getting hard on the gas and pushing/bouncing your body down into the bike's seat, which magnifies the compression and rebound of the suspension, to achieve the necessary launch of the front wheel out of the rut at the precise moment. It is most critical to get the front wheel up and over the inside edge of the rut so as it doesn’t slide out. Hopefully the rear tyre will also have enough rebound effect to hop over that edge also. If not just stay on the gas anyway and control the bike with your grinding and drifting skills.

Practice makes perfect, so get out there, find a good berm and hit it over and over! :thumbsup:

Shane

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