Help - Jump Phobia

Hey guys can anyone give me some tips about how to get over jump phobia? I've never been hurt jumping but after I broke my leg (years ago) I've had a terrible time getting the nerve to nail most jumps. I have this involuntary reflex to back off then come back on the throttle which ruins my chances at the big doubles as well as some of the larget table tops. Getting on the 426 has helped me some because of the deceptiveness of the 4 stroke compared to my old 250 but I still am wussing out a lot. It's killing me cause I'm faster than most all around the track, except for the jumping.

I'm not trying to be a Seth or anything but I see kids on 80s doing things I can't muster the hair to do (for no apparently good reason).

Anything that can help with this mental block would be GREATLY appreciated.

Thanks in advance.....

[ November 08, 2001: Message edited by: Bill ]

Rich: I am 41 and just started riding again 3yrs ago. I have finally started doing the big jumps(70 ft. is big for me)last year.A pretty bad concussion this past June did slow me down a bit(I was out cold for 15 min.)Anyway take your time and work up to clearing those table tops a little bit farther each time when you are comfortable with those try keeping pace with a rider who is clearing the doubles. As far as having enough hair I'm sure you do have plenty but they are connected to your brain now.Not a bad thing good luck.

[ November 08, 2001: Message edited by: Bill ]

Some of the folks here recommend finding a long table that you can play ride on and hit it 5% faster each time you go after it. That way it's not a big leap from little jump to 80' double. Once you're comfortable hitting a big table the doubles should be less scary. All that said, I still wuss out on a double that some of the kids on 65s hit. My justification is kids that young have rubber bones. I, on the other hand, have a job and a wife. Good luck and remember it's always better to be slow and on the track than fast but in a cast.

Join the club! I started racing last year and jumps have been a real problem. I've learned not to rush it (after going for a few I wasn't ready for) and I'm slowly hitting larger jumps. Doubles with sharp-edged takeoffs and big cutouts are my problem; I have no problem with large tabletops, step ups, and even decent sized doubles with rounded takeoffs. I think my age has something to do with it (48) as I spend alot more time thinking about consequences now (I can't believe some of the really stupid things I did in the past). Whatever you do - don't let someone push you into something you don't think you're ready for. Then again, there comes a time when you just have to suck it up and do it; you'll know when that is.

My cure was taking up woods riding. I'm 43, have a wife, two kids and a dog, work with my hands all day long and have a mortgage. I absolutely can not afford to be injured.

Funny how one silly little reconstructive surgery will put that fear into you.

Fear is not a bad thing.

As long as you are having fun who cares what you jump. Never let anyone pressure you into doing a jump that you do not feel ready for. I have learned the hard way. Remember there will always be someone who is faster and can jump further than you, so don't let it bug you. Ride at your own pace and have fun, that is what it is all about.

i'm with mxtuner, 40yrs, wife, kids, mortgage, etc. i get pissed off at my fear to jump at mx tracks. i don't race mx, but a lot of harescrambles in the woods. there's nothing like being fast on tight trails. one thing though, trees always win!!!

I had only ridden offroad in the south east (lots of trees, very tight, no hills) until I got my 426. Imagine my surprise when I got to the track and discovered that I could not see over the peak of the jumps while standing on the pegs. Talk about jump fobia! It took me a few months to work up the guts to start going for it. If you're having fun then don't sweat it, no reason to push it if you don't want to.

But if you really want to jump then you may want to make it a real goal. Be patient! Putting too much pressure on yourself will only make it more difficult, just keep in mind that this is what you want to do. The one thing that I have learned is that if you're going to go for it, you cannot go half way. 95% of the near disaster landings that I have from jumps are because I couldn't decide wheather to back off or not and ended up hitting it half way. When you decide that you're going to go for it do it with confidence. Then not only will you be less likely to screw up, but it will also seem easy and next time the fear will be a little less pronounced. Over time it will be all gone. Have fun!

[ November 08, 2001: Message edited by: sirthumpalot ]

Hey MX Tuner,

I agree with you 100% about age, work and family.

I missed a jump once and that was it for me. I have fears each time I jump, so I leave the mx tracks alone and stick to woods and trail riding. Its a blast.

well put #214. that's my philosophy exactly... and i'm only

i am not worried about clearing all of the doubles at my local track, cuz consistency is what wins championships (and having fun while doing it is what makes them worth your time.) i don't do like 3 doubles on the local track that almost everyone in my class does, but i just wrapped up 2nd in the points standings for the year, cuz when one of them messes up a double and is out for a couple weeks, i gain a ton of points on them and they can just sit around at the end of the year and scratch their heads on how that chicken on the 400f beat :)

just have fun... it will come with time, and if it doesn't, it doesn't, who cares, none of us are MC, RC, or #199 anyways. :D


You guys are right, just have fun! I started riding last year after 10 years no motorcycle riding and 40lbs. more bodyweight! Needless to say, one crash ruptured my achilles tendon and changed my goals. I couldn't do anything for months, and had to look at my new 01YZ426 sit in the garage all year. Enduros and woods riding is just as fun now. I did make myself ride the track at Marysville to "get back on the horse", but have more fun knowing I will ride again with enduros.

When I was younger, I would laugh at old men like me now!!!

I would just like to add my to cents to the jumping subject. When it comes to jumping always remember, a good day at the hospital is worse than a bad day at the races!

Hey Rich!

I'm 22, have a 520 cc bike, and I know what you mean!

I can clear an 80+ foot tabletop without even thinking about it, but a 35-40 foot double makes me cringe. It took me a year before I jumped this one 38 I laugh at myself.

My dad is 49, and he does them with me, (except for the 80 foot tables). He has a bit of apprehention, but he has cleared a 40+ foot double. He gets his nerve up by waiting till I do it. He knows my riding style, and knows that if I can do it, he can do it. I usually just let him pace right beside me, and hold a constant throttle. Usually he will back off the first two or three times, which is good...gets you used to the speed. Then he'll just follow right beside me, and we both jump it. Then he can get it no problem.

SO, my reccommendation, ask someone if they will let you follow right behind them, or beside them.... I've asked a few local experts, and the one guy just did circles, jumping the same huge step-up, while I sat on top of it, and watched, to see just how SLOW you can go and make it.

Don't be afraid of casing it either a bit. You've got 13" of travel in that machine, and you can smack the front into the peak a bit, and you won't even know you hit it.

Don't feel bad though, I've been passed by more than my share of 80cc bikes over doubles...... :)

The absolute worst is when you aproach the largest table top on the entire track and you (riding a 426) back off and some little maniac kid on an orange 65 pins it next to you and flys over it no proble. Reminds me of the skating rinks where I would wobble in a strait line and turn by bouncing off of the walls while trying to avoid the little 3' tall kids who were doing spins and skating backwards...

Here is the image, web space courtesy of Chris Slade (Thanks chris!!). I just emailed him the image so it will probably be a bit before it's up.


[ November 08, 2001: Message edited by: sirthumpalot ]

Sir thumpster, I can post it for you if You like. E-mail it to me

I can post it on my AOL FTP space. :)

i can already give you an address for it then to use as a URL for when you want to give it out.

Just send it my way, and I'll do the rest :D


:)xanax, zoloft, prozac, lithium, breath in through your nose, hold, a little more, now....release the bad air.

I know exactly how you guys feel. I got 426 after being off of a bike for 12 years. Seeing all the younger kids at the track clearing the doubles made me envious, after 6 months of riding, I decided I had enough of being "shown up" by kids on 80's and 125's. I went for the double, needless to say I cased it, shattered my ankle in 7 places, got a 6" long metal plate and 12 screws, my bike has been sitting in the garage since July and I'm still walking with a terrible limp. Doctor advised me to stay off the bike until spring, what a dissapointment. I have realized that my wife and daughter or more important than clearing the doubles. I'm heading for the woods in spring. WFO

Well after 2 broken arms (at the same time), 2 concussions, broken collarbone, and many Mondays I felt like I got hit by a Mac truck...I still love to jump big jumps/go fast! Maybe stupidity or maybe the love for the sport? But it sure is fun!

Motocross is like a virus, it gets in your blood and hooks ya for life! Especially when you "get your kicks on a 426" LOL! Later,


[ November 08, 2001: Message edited by: motoman393 ]

RichB, this is how you get over the phobia. I know, because at 39 I went through the same as you at 20-33 after being on motocross bikes since 11yrs. old, & having the crash that almost ended everything on a triple one day at 33. Find either a track that has jumps you are comfortable with, or a particular jump that you feel comfortable on. KEEP JUMPING THIS JUMP! The jump can be small or a double or a tabletop. Keep jumping the same jump from all angles, ei..left/right at different lines etc....Push down or compress your suspension on this jump, if it is of the size to feel comfortable, too see how your bike reacts to the amt. of compression you give the front end & rear end. Do not endo trying too much compression! Try pushing down on the handle bars if the front comes up too high. Get used to giving your 400/426 gas all the way up the face of the jump, depending on the jump length. I always blip the throttle a couple of times in mid air to set up for the landing & make sure the RPM's are up for the landing, which I engage the throttle at or right before the point of rear wheel impact. This will cause the rear suspension to soak up the landing & save your bones & teeth from rough landing. This will build your confidence & assist you in gasing the face of almost every jump in total anti-jump-phobia


....After all of the very good advice. I still hear your question ringing in my ear like a childs request at Santa's beard. "I WANT to jump".

....First go here and read my list of injuries due to a lack of confidence in my self (and making my own decisions), which led to my attempting to gain respect from my onlooking buddies..... ...

...OK, As you can see, I have " Been there, Wrecked that"..I am not trying to brag about my war stories. I am trying to lay the foundation for some sound advice.

....The first 20 years of my riding experience was a responce to pressure. After my last 10 minute dirt-nap (T-Day 1999, Ocotillo Wells), I was done with the big jumping. However, after a few months, I WANTED to start jumping again. This time experience , mixed with a little maturity, has changed my desire from trying to proove, to wanting to experience the personal satisfaction of staying wide open around the track!..Plus to air is human?.. Any how, Make sure that it's your genuine desire to perform to your expectations, and no one elses. After almost 2 years of my life in plaster, I now have a different out look....

THE BIKE: You need to be familiar with how your bike reacts to the take off, flight and the landing. Go out and jump every thing that doesn't intimidate you, over and over, and over. Pretty soon these jumps will be boreing..And your familiarty will increase. Fear is replaced with familiarity... Remember that!! Repeat that in your noodle over and over.

DOUBLES: Try to find doubles that you can jump off the take off, and land to the side of the landing. I do this all the time. It will give you a realistic idea of what it's gonna take. Pretty soon it will be second nature, and you will welcome the smoother landing of the double, once you line it up straight. Ask people what gear they are in on the same machine. You can hear the engine, as far as the amount of throttle input goes. Watch thier bodies to see if they are pre-loading, or sucking up the take off?...

.....NEVER panic on the take off!..Most of my crashes were caused by me thinking too much. You don't want to "think" about every detail as you appraoch the ramp cleared for launch. If you are having to think on the way up, then you need to scale down the jump to a size that will be all natural reaction that gets you up and over safely...For example when I am comfortable with a big triple, I am actually thinking about what's after the landing, cause I've programmed my body to be familiar with how it's supposed to feel. So I don't have to think about it. After working my way up to it of course..

There are a ton of good learning vids out there too.Check this out..>>

Give yourself time..

Give yourself time..

Give yourself time..

It all will take careful studying, practicing, and patients. Nobody wants to pin it, and squeeze thier eyelids hoping for the best... That's how you end up room temp. "Hey, remember when Reed was three dimensional"?

After enough practice, you will know your own learning curve. And therfore, know what it's gonna take to get familiar with whatever jump you have place before you.

Good luck, and keep us posted as to your success.


[ November 08, 2001: Message edited by: spodeboy ]

[ November 08, 2001: Message edited by: spodeboy ]

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