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Knees won't cooperate!

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Anybody have a good idea for correcting a knees out tendency? I was into road racing a while back and developed a muscle memory that's costing me BIG TIME on a dirt bike. I think about it when I practice, but when I race, the photos tell the ugly truth. My knees are out and I wind up too far back on the bike, bumming with tired hands like a chump.

Anyone, anyone, Buler?

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Your probably sitting down too early! Also, make sure your centered left to right on the bike. Don't pull your shoulders to far to the low side, when you lean. On a road bike you need to slide your butt a bit to get your knee down. Don't slide your rear to the low side either. Stay centered, sit when the bike starts its lean and the forces pull you it the seat. You'll save energy and think less.

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try to ride a little pigeon toed (toes in heals out) or try to feel the frame through your boots at the ankle. with some practic you should be able to grip the tank when racing and cure the bow legged syndrome :cry:

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It's nothing that a couple of bad front end wash outs won't cure.

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I have the same issue, riding sportbikes makes me want to lean into a turn... This helps me a bit.

I use Fastway footpegs that have a "bottom out" bolt. I put three shims under the bolt so that the pegs are highr on the outside than next to the frame. I also run the pegs with removable threaded pins and I run longer pins to the outside edge of the pegs.

Both of those factors tend to roll my feet inward and push my knees into the tank.

I also try to develop some key to remind me to mentally check myself whenever I get the chance. Is my grip right? Outside elbow up? Inside elbow extended? Am I sitting all the way forward? Are my knees in the tank?

When I practice or trail ride, I'll ride a circuit and ask the questions to myself when entering certain corners each time. It eventually translates into the other turns and then becomes reflex.

When I get the other body position factors right, look all the way through the turn (or visualize where the turn is going), and then actually swivel my hips a bit to face the turn, it will shift my weight to the outside of the turn (high edge of the seat, over the COG) and force my outside knee into the tank.

HTH,

--Fillmore

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That's funny... in Trials Riding, you WANT the knees out except you need to make sure the ankles are not locked to the frame so that your feet can roll around front to back, side to side. Leg suspension is handled by the ankles and knees while the waist and upper body remain "quiet". the bike is tipped side to side between the open legs to turn. However, probably the most important Trials tip and bad habit to break is hanging on to the handle bars for support. All forces, power, braking and turning should be transfered through the foot pegs to your body. The hands should never unintentionallly lean nor pull on the bars.

The guy below (posted on leaning your bike but not there now) is showing bacically what I'm talking about.. left leg out, body to the left while bike is to the right, one elbow bent with the other straightened... Looks like good form to me.

perfectmx-turn.jpg

They say Trails Riding helps improve skills on the other bikes, but I keep seeing tips that are contrary to Trials Riding. Makes me wonder how Trails techniques can help when they seem so different... Oh well..

Any cross-training guys out there know?

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Observed TRIALS is definitely a good thing to do, if you have a bike that's halfway suitable. But it's not necessarily good for moto form. It's good for learning/practicing weight transfer, balance, throttle control, traction control, and reaction time. You can develop a real good "6th sense" on two wheels by practicing just simple TRIALS techniques.

One of the most skilled TRAIL riders I know grew up riding OBSERVED TRIALS with his family. He's back into TRIALS again after a detour into TRAIL riding.

Confusing enough?

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Thanks, I was a surfer until 1974... bought a 74 Honda XL350 and started riding. Went from street to fire roads and then single track and switched to a 75 Honda TL 250 in 75 to be able to ride the single track trails that terrorized me on the XL350. Got talked into riding Trials Events, learned a lot and now I'm back to riding the extreme single track trails. But since I never went back to dual purpose or dirt bikes, I can't really tell my non-Trials friends how riding Trials can help. I know I can ride where they can't. And I can usually ride their bikes through the tight stuff when they get stuck. But I don't know how my tricks can help at speed.

I keep hearing how it helps and I get questions all the time but I can only relate to the techniques that took me years to learn and they sometimes conflict with the tips I hear about regular dirt bike riding.

In the Moto-Cross photo above, I can see many of the same elements as in the slow Trials turns. And I can see why it's necessary to stick the right leg out under the bars in that photo.. From what I see, there is no way the rider can keep his boot on the peg in that turn while sitting on the left of the seat so the best place is under the bars and out of harms way. I would imagine this helps a little in balance too. But I cringe when I see kids or novice MX riders putting that leg out there while leaning INTO the turn thinking that they can use it to keep them up.. I see a broken leg if the bike slips and that leg hits the ground at that speed. What do the Moto-Cross experts say about that? I know in flat track, it's ok to slide the foot out there as the ground is smooth and the steel sole will not catch.. But what about in Moto-Cross?

Just trying to understand the differences.. Thanks. :)

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Thanks guys.

I'll take my Fastway pegs off my '02 CRF and put them on the new bike. That sounds like it'll help. The problem didn't seem so bad on that bike. Other than that, I guess I'll just have to slow back down and burn that discipline into muscle memory again. I had pretty much overcome that problem at one point, but being overseas away from the bike for months at a time is allowing too much rust to set in.

I appreciate the feedback and suggestions.

Rage on!

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Thanks, I was a surfer until 1974... bought a 74 Honda XL350 and started riding. Went from street to fire roads and then single track and switched to a 75 Honda TL 250 in 75 to be able to ride the single track trails that terrorized me on the XL350. Got talked into riding Trials Events, learned a lot and now I'm back to riding the extreme single track trails. But since I never went back to dual purpose or dirt bikes, I can't really tell my non-Trials friends how riding Trials can help. I know I can ride where they can't. And I can usually ride their bikes through the tight stuff when they get stuck. But I don't know how my tricks can help at speed.

I keep hearing how it helps and I get questions all the time but I can only relate to the techniques that took me years to learn and they sometimes conflict with the tips I hear about regular dirt bike riding.

In the Moto-Cross photo above, I can see many of the same elements as in the slow Trials turns. And I can see why it's necessary to stick the right leg out under the bars in that photo.. From what I see, there is no way the rider can keep his boot on the peg in that turn while sitting on the left of the seat so the best place is under the bars and out of harms way. I would imagine this helps a little in balance too. But I cringe when I see kids or novice MX riders putting that leg out there while leaning INTO the turn thinking that they can use it to keep them up.. I see a broken leg if the bike slips and that leg hits the ground at that speed. What do the Moto-Cross experts say about that? I know in flat track, it's ok to slide the foot out there as the ground is smooth and the steel sole will not catch.. But what about in Moto-Cross?

Just trying to understand the differences.. Thanks. :)

That inside leg IS out there for a reason, and it's just what you thought. It's there for balance. When you try to drag it along the ground, you only mess up your balance. Watch pro motocrossers closely next time they're in your area. Most never touch that inside boot to the ground.

And yes, when you go down it's vulnerable. That's one reason why long-time mx'ers many times have been through knee surgery at least once.

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That inside leg IS out there for a reason, and it's just what you thought. It's there for balance. When you try to drag it along the ground, you only mess up your balance. Watch pro motocrossers closely next time they're in your area. Most never touch that inside boot to the ground.

And yes, when you go down it's vulnerable. That's one reason why long-time mx'ers many times have been through knee surgery at least once.

Thanks! That's what I thought. I've noticed the Pros look like the photo I shared. And it matches much of what I know about proper Trials riding. But I see many novice MX riders in tight turns with their head and shoulders squarely between the grips, leaning with the bike into the turn. I know you can lay the bike over further if you DON'T lay over with it. That will require one bent elbow and one straight one.. And that is one of the key elements of a correct Trials Turn.. one bent elbow and one straight as the bars move to one side or the other...

This also allows you to recover if the bike tries to slide out. Hanging out there with the bike, there is no chance without slamming that foot into the dirt. Same as in Trials but at a MUCH slower speed. :)

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2ply,

Motocrossers don't lean over as far as the bike does in flat or off camber turns. Why? Gravity is the main force affecting their traction at slower speeds. Think of it as the traction being straight down. In those situations, the rider needs to stay over the top of the bike more to keep optimum traction. Trials riders use similar technique to that because they're moving relatively slowly, and that's the most effective technique for that.

For faster turns with berms, motocrossers lean way over with the bike because their speed keeps their traction pushing sideways, into the berm. Lose the speed OR the berm, and that technique will simply wash you out. Gary Bailey says to look at a turn and remind yourself where the traction will be and ride it accordingly. I still don't fully capitalize on that tip, but I'll keep reminding myself, because it's a key to corner speed. We all know, corner speed lowers the lap times like nothing else. Think about the concept and let it work for you.

Did I make that easy to grasp, or did I screw it up?

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........

Did I make that easy to grasp, or did I screw it up?

Not bad! I can understand that. I've noticed that in Moto-Cross and Trials, the still photo can create a false conclusion. A single frame can look completely contrary to the basic rules of riding. But when viewed in a video or frame by frame, the truth becomes more apparent...

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