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Xr200r wheelies


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Hello,

As I have advanced in my training I have come across obstacles that cannot be crossed by just running in to them. Like large fallen tree trunks or small dirt walls. I researched what the recommended way to tackle something like this was and it seems that the general consensus was to hit the obstacle in a wheelie so that the back tire engages. This made perfect sense so I tried it. Yet no matter what I try I cannot wheelie an xr200r! From a stand still I have shot it out from under me trying to wheelie but while I'm riding I cannot bring that front wheel up which on my course is a rather important skill. Any advice from others with this bike? Or any wheelie in put for that matter?

Thanks!

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Hitting an obstacle in a wheely is not a safe way over for two reasons; bike speed will be too high from the large wheely, and the wheely sets the bike up for a front wheel landing.

 

In addition to the previous post you can often just lighten the front end and not lift the front wheel off the ground. And on small stuff just crash thru; you'll need to learn what works best for your bike and riding skills for different obstacles so keep practicing.

 

Correct Trials wheel loft is to have the front wheel touch, and roll accross, the top of the obstacle. This allows the rider to then unweight the rear wheel so it can climb over the obstacle. The process requires body energy and careful throttle control.

 

It is difficult to get the front wheel off the ground using only engine power because of the traction limit of knobby tires so you need to use your body as the primary source, with acceleration as a secondary aid.

 

From a standing position crouch, or lunge  forward and down, this compresses the front forks. Then quicky rise up and back, this unweights the front forks and the front of the bike rebounds up. You can even continue the rise and back and use your body's momemtum to pull up on the bars and help rebound the suspension.  Practice this until you get a feel of how your suspension rebounds, you might even be able to get the front wheel off the ground. 

Next add a small short throttle blip as the front suspension rebounds to see how that helps lift the front end.

Always keep your right toe on the brake pedal so you can quickly apply the brake to end a wheely.

 

Lifting the front wheel will be primarily with body movement to cause the front suspension to rebound and the rear suspension to compress, with an assist from the engine.  The throttle should be closed by the time the front wheel touches the obstacle, otherwise bad things can happen when the rear wheel encounters the obstacle.  There is however a possible second blip of the throttle to help the rear wheel climb up over if the bike doesn't have enough momentum for the height of the obstacle.

 

Proper timing coordinated to bike speed is the challenge and it takes a lot of practice.  You can start practicing the timing on a six inch log.  On some of my dirt bikes with long travel suspension most trail obstacles are small enough that I can crash thru if I stand with my body back over the rear wheel until the front wheel climbs the obstacle and then quickly move forward to unweight the rear wheel so it can climb over.

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I went out and tested it. That's scary stuff! I got that front wheel pretty high off the ground. I almost wreck coming down with the handlebars sideways. I don't hink I ever reached the balance point. I can't hold it very long and I now see why that isn't very practical for crossing logs because you are going pretty fast. Any advice on how to learn to hit the balance point and hold it longer just for fun?

Thanks

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You only need to raise the front wheel enough so it contacts the front side of the obstacle and then rolls across the top of the obstacle. That requires a lot of practice to train yourself how to lift the front wheel 6", 12", or 18".  That is why I mentioned learning the limit of obstacle heights for you and your bike for just crashing thru because most trail obstacles are less than about 12".  The next challenge is getting the rear wheel up and over the obstacle.  Practicing on a 6" log is good because the wheel loft will only be 6". On a 6" log you want the front wheel only high enough to run into the top of the log and then roll accross it.  

 

It is all doable but it takes practice to refine the timing and you won't always be as successful as you would like out on the trails. 

I've cleared a 30"+  log on a uphill climb, and fallen on a 18" high log on a side slope, resulting in several cracked several ribs from landing on the end of a handle bar. On the latter I had crossed the log many times and thought I had it nailed, but I knew on the first throttle blip that it was going to be bad, not enough speed so the bike hung up on top of the log and fell to the side, and I landed on the end of a handlebar.  I think I was in too high a gear and didn't get the acceleration needed to get over. So practice, practice, and practice.

 

Visit the Trials forum and search for videos to see how it is done.

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Wow, thanks that sounds rough. I will definitely have to practice. I tried hitting a 12" log in first gear just to see how the wheel reacted. The bike climbed it fine but like you said going that slow I couldn't really stay on it. I was asking about the balance point for fun just because it is an interesting trick to add to the arsenal.

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For safety, for you and the bike, keep your foot on the brake pedal so you at least have a chance to stop a back flip. So proceed with caution. After all you only need the front wheel to come up high enough so it will ride up and over the obstacle.  When you are viewing stuff on the Trials Forum recognise that Trials bikes are very different from offroad/MX bikes; they have equal weight front/rear, the foot pegs are further aft, they have a  lower center of gravity, shorter wheelbase, the radial ply Trials tires have much more traction, and the cockpits are bigger to facilitate a wider range of rider positions. 

 

Balance point for the bike is when the center of gravity is directly over the rear tire patch, and at that point any acceleration or braking will quickly move the tire contact patch relative to the vehicles CG.  The bike's CG is a bit aft of and a few inches above the crankshaft so the balance point for the bike will be close to vertical. You can easily test this by placing (not riding) a bicycle vertical on its rear wheel.

The rider's CG is somewhere near his gut and when you add a rider to a bike the combination create a new CG for the rider/bike that is much higher so the balance point occurs much sooner. But a rider's movement relative to the bike will move the combined CG and thus change the balance point. 

 

So I can't accurately describe where the balance point is, but you will know when you find it.   🤦 

 

At 1:30 is a good picture of the balance point;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaQznm3D8ew

 

also https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PGYmbMJPBM

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To clear little obstacles try to cruise along at a slow steady pace, then burp the throttle and do a bunny hop at the same time.  Do you remember doing bunny hops on your BMX bike?  Same thing.  Pull up on the handlebars, then jump. Hopefully your bike will follow.  With good technique you will be surprised how high you can go off a small log or rock.

Check out this video.  What I'm talking about starts at 2:00 mark.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZP7LXfRZQM

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Thanks. It is easier to write about about the struggle of learning new things than other stuff.

 

With enough time to do the research I have been able to write technical papers. However the tight schedules for articles would drive me crazy as I have really struggled to write contributions for newsletters.  Maybe I need more practice.  🤦

Writing a full article would really be a challenge for someone who has grown accustomed to lots of unstructured time.

Edited by Chuck.
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