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Off road riding tips for fast trials.

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Hey guys I have been having issues when riding faster trials. When I am standing when I come up to a tighter corner I am having trouble getting the bike to turn and end up going straight or taking the corner really wide. I have tried moving around the bike and shift my weight around on the pegs but still dont feel comfortable. Some times I end up sitting to turn the tighter corners. I could use some advice so I feel better riding faster trails.

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Also, do you use the front brake?  I always use it even off-road.  It REALLY helps.  Practice to see where it changes from beneficial to dangerous, though!

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Who said you shouldn't sit when cornering? Stand while braking into the corner to absorb the chop, then, in a smooth motion, as you enter the corner, slide down onto the front of the seat while bringing your inside leg forward and under the bar (does two things, keeps your foot out of any cornering rut, and gets more weight out front). Elbows up and out, nothing tense, rail the corner, and as you exit, bring your inside leg back to the peg and get on the gas while getting back into the standing position.

 

I always recommend Paul Clipper's The Art of Trairiding (Kindle book on Amazon) to anyone who wants to improve their riding.

 

P.S. You can see what I'm talking about in the first 30 seconds of this video:

 

Edited by Old Plonker
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Sharp turns when standing?  Brake slide, then power on over-steer to finish whipping the rear around.  Keep yourself upright and centered over the bike, weighing the front a little.  Lean the bike underneath you, grip with your knees and steer with your hips.  You have to twist your hips a lot, really stick your butt out there!

 

Also use the terrain to your advantage.  Brake slide into a berm if present, or you can use big ruts and any off camber to get the rear to start the turn quickly and predictably, even if it's just a small part of the turn.

 

Be careful to not stall the bike when locking up the rear tire.  Make sure you pull the clutch.

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Trail the front brake into the corner. This will keep your forks compressed a bit, which decreases your trail (and wheelbase) slightly, which helps you turn sharper. Then just weight the inside peg. As you hit the apex and start exiting the corner, get on the gas.

The best place I've found to practice/learn this is some double-track (quad) trails that are constantly twisting and turning through the woods in tight 'S' turns, but otherwise not very technical. It's a lot of work to go through those sitting, you're moving around on the bike a lot, and turning the bars a lot. But if you can do it standing, you can flow though it faster with a lot less effort.

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If you are talking about riding a Trials Competition Motorcycle at speed, then of course, you have to stand. With that out of the way, there was a tip above: 

Keep yourself upright and centered over the bikeicon1.png, weighing the front a little.  Lean the bike underneath you, grip with your knees and steer with your hips.  You have to twist your hips a lot, really stick your butt out there!

 

The first part up until the quote below was correct.

grip with your knees and steer with your hips.

 

but everything including that last quote and everything AFTER that was wrong for your bike and riding stance.   Turn with your FEET. snap the bike over with your legs open to give more room to lay the bike over without leaning over with it.  Stay loose on the handle bars.  A tight grip will force your upper body to lean over with the bike.  It's a lot like snow skiing in that the tires are working like the edges of your skis.  Your hands mostly just follow what the bars are doing.  but if your hands are tight or you are gripping the bike with boots or legs, you're going to have control problems and slow response from the bike in direction changes.

 

Again, snap the bike from side to side with foot pressure and with legs open. Let your hands follow what the bars need to do and keep your elbows out and unlocked.  Your hands can then be ready to apply pressure or lifting as needed, but NOT for hanging on!!  Lay the bike over until it rests against the inside leg but keep the outside leg OUT and away from the bike so that you can stay centered over your ground track.  You find that you'll then stand more on the outside peg after you set the turning angle and will be ready to stab that peg down for the opposite turn.

 

See how that works.  It takes time to perfect it as it's going against a long time habit and survival instinct to clamp yourself to the bike. :thumbsup:

Edited by 2PLY
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I assumed the OP made a type-o and meant trails, not trials.  My bad - good catch 2-ply! :)

 

Can you even grip a trials bike with your knees!?

Edited by Colorado^

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I assumed the OP made a type-o and meant trails, not trials.  My bad - good catch 2-ply! :)

 

Can you even grip a trials bike with your knees!?

LOL..   You would look pretty funny trying to grip the tank with your knees on most modern Trials Bikes..  You would look knock-knee'd or look like your really needed to pee badly..  :D

 

Come to think of it, when on flat ground and not in a steep vertical climb, the tank is below your knees, so even if you tried to grip the tank, your knees would come together ABOVE the tank.  However, that doesn't stop newbie Trials Riders from clamping their boots tight to the frame which is another very serious error and a habit that takes years to break if not corrected early...  ask me how I know..   errrr..  On second thought, DON'T ask. :blush:

Edited by 2PLY
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Another way of getting the point across about NOT relying on the bars for support is to focus on transferring any acceleration or braking forces of the bike to your body through your feet when standing.  Adjust the angle of your boot soles with ankle and knee flex so that you are not left behind the bike upon acceleration nor driving the front suspension down upon hard braking with your hands.  The foot pegs should be driving your body forward or holding your body back...  NOT the handle bars.

 

It's difficult at first, but gets easier the more you work at it and it helps to keep your head and shoulders steady and up.  If you lock your boots and knees to the bike, you'll have to then bend over at the waist to compensate for changes in speed with your head bobbing up and down and side to side...  Not Good !!!  You'll have trouble keeping the front end down on the ground for maximum acceleration.  It's very easy to keep the front end down if all of your body effect on the bike is at the foot peg level and NOT high up on the handle bars.  And it works just as well for preventing front end dive upon hard braking...  which also means your rear brakes can be more useful for better stopping power.

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What's funny is that the OP never responded so we don't know if he was actually talking about trail riding or really did mean trials riding.

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We might never know I guess, however, that last tip about how to keep your upper body and head over your intended line is valid for all bikes..   If you can watch any of the top riders using a camera on their helmets, you might notice how little their head moves around while the bike dances in and out of the video..  There is a Cody Webb video that might be a good example..   Your head can't be this smooth if you are clamping yourself to the bike.. :thumbsup:

 

Oh yes, Cody Webb is a former USA National Trials Champion...   And so are many other top Enduro riders..  Trials Basics DO play an important role in becoming FAST..  http://video.search.yahoo.com/video/play;_ylt=A2KIo9jNtfdTCzcAFmD7w8QF;_ylu=X3oDMTB2cXFsc3B0BHNlYwNzcgRzbGsDdmlkBHZ0aWQDVjE3MwRncG9zAzQ-?p=cody+webb+tennessee&vid=92066a9d178c3765c49687236a9ddffe&l=3%3A05&turl=http%3A%2F%2Fts1.mm.bing.net%2Fth%3Fid%3DVN.608030188124507480%26pid%3D15.1&rurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DsP95n13FTGE&tit=%3Cb%3ECody+Webb+%3C%2Fb%3EKenda+%3Cb%3ETennessee+%3C%2Fb%3EKnockout+Hot+Lap+GoPro&c=3&sigr=11as3l5vr&sigt=11ujljg6l&age=70833967718&&tt=b

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