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Preventing front end wash out...

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This is something i am unable to do at this time of year in the wet, when hacking through woods and coming around turns i sometimes loose the front wheel to soft patches of leaves, or wet tree roots.

I sometimes manage to save them by putting my leg down, but that cant always be done at high speed.

The back is pretty simple but i haven't yet mastered full control of the front. I'm sometimes apprehensive when entering a corner, so i slow off and loose time! :thumbsup:

So what do i need to do, keep powering on? Move my weight to the back? All easier said then done though! :bonk:

Anyone with any good advice? :thumbsup:

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Surely that would push the front end down more, causing it to slide more? The more weight on the front end the more it would silde isnt it? :thumbsup:

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1) weight on the front

2) gentle and increasing front brake pressure from the beginning of the turn up to the apex will help the front tire stick like glue most of the time. as soon as you get off the front brake, you should be on the gas exiting the corner.

3) use the rear brake rather than relying on engine braking (if you're not already doing this). if you use engine braking as a crutch, it is not uncommon to get into the corner and find that the engine revs have dropped down near idle as you slow down. at this point, it's not braking anymore, it's actually pushing you, and overpowering your excellent front brake technique, causing a washout.

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Surely that would push the front end down more, causing it to slide more? The more weight on the front end the more it would silde isnt it? :thumbsup:

umm. no. maybe try some figure 8 drills if you have a dirt lot or something where you can set up 2 cones or rocks or small children or something. put them 20-30' apart and practicing getting your weight forward and using the front brake gently in the first half of the turn.

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umm. no. maybe try some figure 8 drills if you have a dirt lot or something where you can set up 2 cones or rocks or small children or something. put them 20-30' apart and practicing getting your weight forward and using the front brake gently in the first half of the turn.

+1 on the small children :thumbsup:

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I'm not qualified to give advice on technique, but since nobody mentioned the obvious little stuff... Make sure your front tire isn't overfilled. Softening up your rebound on the front might help a little too.

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I'm not qualified to give advice on technique, but since nobody mentioned the obvious little stuff... Make sure your front tire isn't overfilled. Softening up your rebound on the front might help a little too.

What he said, and, what kind of front tire are you using? If it's loamy terrain most soft terrain front tires work really well. I changed fom the stock Bridgestone Intermediate terrain front to a Dunlop 756 front and I never washed out, where as before it was every other turn.

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What he said, and, what kind of front tire are you using? If it's loamy terrain most soft terrain front tires work really well. I changed fom the stock Bridgestone Intermediate terrain front to a Dunlop 756 front and I never washed out, where as before it was every other turn.

imho, a skilled rider can ride any tire in any terrain w/o washing out. you might go slightly slower in some conditions, but washing out is ALWAYS a mistake on the part of the rider.

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imho, a skilled rider can ride any tire in any terrain w/o washing out. you might go slightly slower in some conditions, but washing out is ALWAYS a mistake on the part of the rider.

True, but a less than perfect rider can usually benefit some from a more suitable tire. Not disagreeing with you, just adding.

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Velosapiens is right with squeezing the front brake gradually. When you first touch the front brake, weight starts to transfer forward, as more wieght transfers onto the front, the tire grip increases and you can brake harder. If you brake to quickly, the power of the calipers will easily lock the tire before there is enough weight pushing on the front to keep the wheel turning under pressure, especially on slippery surface like leaves. That is also why panic braking usually results in a washout. An adrenaline grab at the brakes is too quick and powerful for the traction at the moment. A softer touch at first starts the weight transfer to the front, then squeeze harder and harder as grip increases until the limit is reached.

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Ok, greeat adive coming through, but alot of it is how to prevent it.

What can i do when im in the process of washing out, how can i recover it?

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Front wheel washouts are hard to save. They happen quickly. The best bet is to get off the front brake instantly so that the front wheel starts turning again. That can save you if your quick enough. If it keeps sliding locked up, you'll go down. Hope that helps. In this case, prevention is the best medicine :thumbsup:

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Velosapiens is mostly right, a front washout is a rider mistake. Sometimes ya get a little help, though: on an XR600R, I was running a set of IRC's of some flavor, got a few $ ahead and slapped a pair of soft terrain Michelins on it. Man, it was GREAT! Rode it in two enduros, then suddenly during the second one I couldn't keep the damn thing from washing out in the front. I must have fallen ten times in one day, and I got where I didn't trust the bike. I changed everything I could think of: fork height, rear sag, compression damping, tire pressures, sticking my head PAST the forks, you name it. The front tire looked like new still. Then a buddy with the same tire (on a KTM) started complaining about the same problem. So I bought another set of IRCs, and no more washout. I gave the old Michelins to a guy who was in dire need of tires, and damn if he didn't complain of the same thing.

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Yeah, I used to wash out a lot more with the stock Dunlop that comes on the XR, compared to after I put a Michelin M-12 on it...

And I'm only a slightly less crappy rider now than I was then.

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Ok, greeat adive coming through, but alot of it is how to prevent it.

What can i do when im in the process of washing out, how can i recover it?

Get off the binders and on the gas, it goes against self preservation, however, since learning this technique, I've been able to make some good recoveries.

I'll also second what others have said: weight FORWARD, some front break, proper bike set-up, (tire pressure, rebound, fresh tires, etc.)

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