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Tight Trail Berms Technique

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Hey fellas,

I'm in serious need of some advice for trail style tight bermed (approx 1 foot high) corners (mostly loamy / soft terrain). Particularly when they are in rapid succession (tight right followed by tight left).

I just don't seem to be able to lay the bike over fast enough. Ultimately I end up overshooting the berm... I'm not flowing through them. Furthermore, I can't seem to keep the bike layed over. Normally I'll make it throught the first half of the berm and then she'll stand up on me!

At the moment I try to get rite forward on the bike and throw my inside leg out from a standing postion approach and subsequently weight the outside peg through the turn.

Most importantly - Do you guys really heave the bike over as you are approaching the turn... do you apply weight to the inside peg to initiate the turn?

Thanx in anticipation!

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normally on tight trail style berms. I keep the bike straight feet on the pegs break slide the apex to point, gas it and repeat. All thats needed is a hard tap on the brake and whip your lower body the direction you need to go. In my part of the country there are normally trees associated with said tight berms.

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The reason you can't lean the bike over fast enough usually is because you're trying to be smooth and not locking up the rear wheel. If you enter the turn slower you can be smooth and use the front brake and keep the rear tracking. Try using your rear brake to slide the back end into the first turn, and do the same on the following turns. If you lose enough speed out of the first turn, you can use your front brake and track the rear smoothly through the following turns. At least this way you can increase your corner entry speed, so your overall time getting through those couple turns will be faster.

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Go slow until you know the area really well, then Dow whats the guys above said, but carry your momentum

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Thanks for the tips guys!!

Initially I wasn't sure if I should be using the rear brake to slide into the berm a little more. It definately makes sense! Previously I have attempted to refrain from brake sliding into corners (because of momentum loss) to avoid getting into bad habits. This is obviously one situation where it definately pays to do it though, unless like you say, I approach the corners with less speed.

That and keeping your feet on the pegs is good advice too. I find it difficult to switch between legs when going from left to right corners really quickly (or vice versa).

Is brake sliding something you guys recommend more often than not, for most tight trail style berms?

On that note, where 1 - 2 feet high berms are concerned, do you try to hit and drive through them at their base, or a little higher up?

Thanks fellas!

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Your first step is to invite me over, so I can um..."teach" you the right way. One key thing is to keep your butt and chest over the seat &tank ONLY AS MUCH ASTHEY HAVE TO BE. YOUR WEIGHT MUST BE LOW. Try brake sliding the turns for hours and your going be replacing a scorched brake caliper.

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OK,

Are you saying that brake sliding is generally not allways the way to go about hitting them? Are you saying that by keeping my body weight as far back as is possible (without losing the front end) I will be able to lean the bike (and keep it leaned) over easier.

Does anyone throw the bike over aggresively as they are making the transition from standing to sitting?

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What kind of bike do you have? Some bikes are more top heavy than others and require a slightly different technique. Myself, keep the feet on the pegs, stand or sit depending on terrain, run a gear high and stay smooth, clutch into the turn like a mtn bike, power out to the next if they are not too close, if they are, carry your speed, coasting thru them.

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Hey gmoss,

I'm riding a 05 WR250F so I guess I don't have any excuse for not being able to lean it over and keep it there! It just seems as if I'm getting half way through the berm before she stands up and sends me over the top of it.

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Hey gmoss,

I'm riding a 05 WR250F so I guess I don't have any excuse for not being able to lean it over and keep it there! It just seems as if I'm getting half way through the berm before she stands up and sends me over the top of it.

I had an 03 WR250F. It is very top heavy. What gear are you going thru the turns with? There may be something else at play causing this. :thumbsup:

Sitting is the best way I found to switch directions with the WR, 3rd gear, coasting in powering out, or coasting all the way thru a tight S turn. Your tires and/or susp may also be contributing to your problems. More info would be good.

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Hey gmoss, thanks for your respone!

I have been shifting down into second on approach with the clutch in and then powering out. I try not to coast too much, I like to be either on the gas or braking. Now that you mention it, I think my compression damping is too soft (the front tends to dive too much). My tires are Dunlop intermediate terrain.

I'd like to blame the bike, but I can't help but think I should be heaving the bike over more on approach. Most people I ask tell me to brake slide into them but I've always tried to avoid this. I want to make sure I'm using good technique rather than getting into any bad habits.

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try going into them in 3rd, 2nd will power on too much, lifting the bike more. If you have the mods done, it has plenty of power. Don't use a lot of brake on these, especially the front. You shouldn't really need to 'heave' the bike, lean it over using your lower body while sitting. I never realized how much more effort it took till I got the 300 I have now. I didn't realize you could turn a bike by leaning on the bars. I end up standing more now also because the bike will change direction easier. Seriously though, try 3rd gear thru the same turn you were in second and let the bike do the work. Good luck and report back. :thumbsup:

I assume you are running stock gearing.?? 13/52

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I had a little trouble along the same lines. I'm very new to trail riding (after 25 years I have forgotten everything). I have an 06 WR 450, and I was having trouble sticking in the turns, whether I was slinging the bike around or just trying to run smooth. When I found my problem, as usual, it wasn't the bike, it was me. I had started looking at the berm instead of where I wanted to go. You go where you look. I also didn't think I was doing it, until a buddy pointed it out. :thumbsup:

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Thanks for the feedback gmoss... its really appreciated.

Yes I am running 13/52 gearing at the moment. I've done all the free mods however I've been experiencing some bad bogging issues from closed throttle lately. I'll get these sorted before the weekend and have another crack at running a gear higher.

RRob13, your spot on! I keep reminding myself to look ahead, not down at whats right in front of me.

Thanks again!

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The "bog" is a whole nuther issue. If it is just happening off idle in neutral, I wouldn't worry about it. If it is affecting you when riding, there is a ton of info in the WR/YZ forum on it. Just do a search on 'bog' in that forum and be prepared to read... :thumbsup:

Remember, feet on the pegs and let her rip... :ride:

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OK,

Are you saying that brake sliding is generally not allways the way to go about hitting them? Are you saying that by keeping my body weight as far back as is possible (without losing the front end) I will be able to lean the bike (and keep it leaned) over easier.

Does anyone throw the bike over aggresively as they are making the transition from standing to sitting?

I think your above post in in response to my post. I mean your helmet should be in a horizontal line with your butt. I'm not too familiar with WR's but this is how i do it on my "ultra top heavy" DRZ. If your sitting, your torso/upperbody is making the center of gravity higher. You want it lower. :thumbsup:

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depending on the terrain I put my foot forward but if I keep both feet on the pegs I will push down with the inside one and it really helps throw the bike over then I put all the pressure on the out side and my inside nee tends to stick out like a super bike racer it kinda helps me

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I have an 05 wr 250 and I must say the bike has always handled exceptionally well. I have never had any problems throwing the bike right left right again etc. it just loves to turn tight sharp turns and I hardly ever use the rear brake only the front. Get up on the tank, elbows up and lean forward into each turn pointing your inside leg at the front wheel. Use the throttle. These techniques are easy to describe but when you go out and attempt them chances are you are stiff or tight. After practicing using the methods described you will become automatic and relaxed, then you will know you have accomplished your goal. Set up a series of cones in a line at equal distances and practice slalom, tightening the spacing as you get better. The only mechanical items I can think of would be fork height in triple clamps. I have tried many different settings and have settled back at stock 5mm clear, not counting cap thickness.

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This is all really good to hear! Can't wait to go out and have another crack at it.

Sounds as if I should be keeping my weight a little lower on the bike (crouching down). I think I'll practice some slalom style drills aswell. Incedentally (and I know this is an open ended question) what sort of compression / rebound settings are you guys using (ballpark figure).

Cheers

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