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Best way to learn Enduro riding techniques?

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I've owned quite a few different motorcycles over the years but if I had to be perfectly honest I've never felt near as comfortable on the dirt as I have on the street. I don't know if it's my size at 6'4 and 250lbs or just that I never learned proper techniques. My last few bikes have been KTM 525 and 530EXC's but that was about 4 years ago. I just recently bought a 2013 KTM 250XC that is an absolute beast. I have a desire to really learn how to ride this bike well but it feels like I need to start over. I feel like I need to just erase all my years of riding and what I have taught myself and just completely start over. I'd like to learn a few Enduro style techniques but every time I go out I just feel so awkward on the bike.

 

I feel like I have never figured out proper body position on the bike and I'm not really sure how or where I'm supposed to be on the bike for a guy my size. Where can I learn proper technique? I've searched YouTube channels but still just don't get it. I'd like to learn to lift the front wheel so I can hop logs or do pivot turns etc but I just can't figure it out. I'd like to figure out how to lift the front wheel coming up to a 3-4ft drop when I'm out riding in the desert but I usually feel like I just spin the rear wheel and get no front wheel lift. It seems to me that a person my size it should be easier but maybe I'm wrong. I feel like every time I go to grab a handful of throttle to either go up something our pop the front wheel I'm going to whiskey throttle and not be able to get the throttle turned back off. It's like I'm to far back that if I twist the throttle it's over, I'm going to whiskey throttle and loop out. I try to hang on with my feet and calves etc squeezing the seat and bike frame but it just doesn't seem good enough to hang on. I watch people on YouTube riding 1 handed wheelies with the bike practically straight up and I just don't get what they are hanging on with. Sometimes they don't even have their knees anywhere even close to the tank so I know they are not hanging on with their legs so how do they do it.

 

If anyone wants to give me some tips or tricks on any riding techniques I'm all ears. I try and stand up as much as possible but at my height it just doesn't seem natural but I know it's needed for technical riding, balance etc.

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In my experience, you must ride ride ride! Watch some videos and pay attention to the advice. Body position, clutch coordination and CONFIDENCE are you friends. Find a difficult single track, take more and more difficult lines. Ride it over and over until you feel comfortable. Move onto another practice course. Just my two cents.

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 The best way to learn Enduro techniques is unquestionably by riding Trials competition. If you choose to do so you will learn things that will make you a better street rider too.

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TBH the best way to learn and improve is to invest in some quality training. I recently did a day's 1 to 1 training with a top level enduro rider (in the UK). Was worth every penny. I learned more in 1 day than I have in all the time I've been riding off road and all the videos I've watched.

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Cardio training plus what arnego2 said have been my biggest improvements. I just ride through the woods (no trails) as slow as I can. Weave around trees, through tight trees, under low branches, up hills, on the side of hills etc. without dabbing a foot while standing. It helps tremendously with balance plus clutch / throttle control. Clay

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Set up some old tires, logs, try and get a little rut track going. Work on the basics. Body position, vision, throttle/clutch control. As silly as it might sound, it's what most of the pros I know still do to this day whenever they begin to struggle.

Another thing you might try is mountain biking. I started mountain biking XC trails, and it actually helped me on my dirt bike. And like everyone said above, just ride ride ride, the more you ride the more comfy you'll get.

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As an above poster said, go for a day of training. I got on my first motorcycle at 5 years old and have ridden all my life, but I keep going to learn.  Just understanding the mechanics will reassure your confidence. 

The simplest way I can put the difference is on the street, your tires are your best friend, on dirt it's your shocks, which your body is a huge part of.

Weight shifting forward/aft, weighting the pegs correctly, not putting your foot down, knowing where traction is at, you controlling the bike instead of it controlling you, etc. can all be picked up over time.  But having someone demonstrate it then doing it yourself and having the instructor correct you (if necessary even) will have you better in an afternoon.

I have a tandem bicycle because my wife is a lousy bicycle rider and she was even riding around by the end of an instruction day.

Also, I equate it to ski instruction in that your friends can teach you, but they don't do it for a living and are likely to give you their bad habits.

Hope this helps.

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After many years of being a "moto dad", I am getting back to ridding (or trying). The basic off-road techniques, that I have to bring myself to remembering are:

1. Ride and control bike by weighing on the pegs and grip the tank with knees, sit forward, and also keeping butt weight off the seat. By gripping and controlling the bike by weighing on the pegs, you also reduce the amount upper body effort and getting arm pump.

2. Scan the terrain constantly by looking up and forward as far away as you can see to anticipate lines and upcoming obstacles, and by looking down to see the terrain closely.  Pick and commit to the selected lines, and try not to hesitate or make sudden changes, specially on steep uphills. Momentum is your best friend when going up hills and over obstacles, being smooth with the throttle and not giving too much gas because that is when trouble occurs.

3. On steep down hills, stand up and use the rear brake and clutch to control the rear wheel slide.

4. As "theBIGnaud" said; ride, ride, ride, that improves the ridding techniques, and most of all, gives you confidence.

Have fun...

 

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On 9/18/2017 at 9:52 PM, lacofdfireman said:

 

I've owned quite a few different motorcycles over the years but if I had to be perfectly honest I've never felt near as comfortable on the dirt as I have on the street. I don't know if it's my size at 6'4 and 250lbs or just that I never learned proper techniques. My last few bikes have been KTM 525 and 530EXC's but that was about 4 years ago. I just recently bought a 2013 KTM 250XC that is an absolute beast. I have a desire to really learn how to ride this bike well but it feels like I need to start over. I feel like I need to just erase all my years of riding and what I have taught myself and just completely start over. I'd like to learn a few Enduro style techniques but every time I go out I just feel so awkward on the bike.

 

I feel like I have never figured out proper body position on the bike and I'm not really sure how or where I'm supposed to be on the bike for a guy my size. Where can I learn proper technique? I've searched YouTube channels but still just don't get it. I'd like to learn to lift the front wheel so I can hop logs or do pivot turns etc but I just can't figure it out. I'd like to figure out how to lift the front wheel coming up to a 3-4ft drop when I'm out riding in the desert but I usually feel like I just spin the rear wheel and get no front wheel lift. It seems to me that a person my size it should be easier but maybe I'm wrong. I feel like every time I go to grab a handful of throttle to either go up something our pop the front wheel I'm going to whiskey throttle and not be able to get the throttle turned back off. It's like I'm to far back that if I twist the throttle it's over, I'm going to whiskey throttle and loop out. I try to hang on with my feet and calves etc squeezing the seat and bike frame but it just doesn't seem good enough to hang on. I watch people on YouTube riding 1 handed wheelies with the bike practically straight up and I just don't get what they are hanging on with. Sometimes they don't even have their knees anywhere even close to the tank so I know they are not hanging on with their legs so how do they do it.

 

If anyone wants to give me some tips or tricks on any riding techniques I'm all ears. I try and stand up as much as possible but at my height it just doesn't seem natural but I know it's needed for technical riding, balance etc.

 

It sounds like you might be hanging on too tight trying to grip the bike which makes you stiff and leads to you cramping up. Looking far ahead when riding is often overlooked. It will help you to anticipate what’s coming and lead to you relaxing more and allow you to flow with the bike. You want to grip the bike but make sure you don’t “death grip” it and get stiff. I put together a little video with some onboard clips that talk about looking ahead. I hope it helps. Please let me know what you think.

 

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I am betting that standing is awkward because your seat to peg height is small relative to your size. Look into raising your seat and lowering your pegs. Raising the seat only helps with transition from sitting to standing. So this matters the least. But, A little goes a long way. Especially the pegs. Go as low as you can without fear of your feet getting knocked off the pegs. Sometimes the brake/gear shifter will not go but so far, limiting your footpegs lowering. This will help you transition from seated to standing better. Instead of knees folded like a horse jokey. It will also lower your head a little, making you feel more confident.... because way higher than the bars has got to be spooky at higher speeds. I lowered mine 1.5 inches. So much better. I'd go farther if I could. Twice in the last year, my feet almost got drug off the pegs. Once going between two rocks and the other was a really deep rut. For me, I can live with that

Edited by 1gr8bldr

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A  few days attending a good off road school will give you a great base line to start riding correctly with no bad habits.

Lafferty and jimmy Lewis schools and there are others,check with your local off road club for dates

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G2 throttle tamer is cheap. Less than $100. It will slow down the whiskey throttle roll distance.... however, it will lessen the throttle resistance..... so the net gain is not great

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My friends and I all have pro MX cards, not really that hard to get. When we ride an Enduro type race it almost like a 3 hour motocross. We ride a fast as we can but still can only seem to break into the top 20.

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