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What's your technique when racing in the tight trees (South Jersey style tight woods)? Unfamiliar? sand, saplings about 30" apart (sometimes less) and 1 - 4' in diameter.

I lug the bike in 2nd gear, sit on the tank and look far ahead while keeping my feet on the pegs. I'm afraid of hitting trees and damaging the bike or myself so I don't ride through them like I should, perhaps. I've seen some rider’s blast through those things and really knock those trees around or mow em down. Some really tight sections even have whoops!

So, what's the trick to mastering the tight stuff?

btw, my bars are 29" including bark busters and I'm riding a te450.

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What's your technique when racing in the tight trees (South Jersey style tight woods)? Unfamiliar? sand, saplings about 30" apart (sometimes less) and 1 - 4' in diameter.

I lug the bike in 2nd gear, sit on the tank and look far ahead while keeping my feet on the pegs. I'm afraid of hitting trees and damaging the bike or myself so I don't ride through them like I should, perhaps. I've seen some rider’s blast through those things and really knock those trees around or mow em down. Some really tight sections even have whoops!

So, what's the trick to mastering the tight stuff?

btw, my bars are 29" including bark busters and I'm riding a te450.

Before I say anything, let me say that you don't need to cut your bars down anymore. 29" including bark busters is plenty narrow, and you have a big bike that you don't want to lose control of in the cutovers between tight sections.

Always look for alternative lines in tight sections...many corners are too tight to lean the bike over and go fast through, and as long as you're not the first group of riders to start, there's a good chance there's a shortcut which is shorter in length than going through the turn. If you can without stalling the bike, stay a gear higher and lug it and use the clutch when needed. This way you'll be faster on teh short jaunts between normal first gear corners, because you won't have to shift. Lastly, if you don't know how to brake slide into a turn, learn. When you come into a tight corner where you can't lean the bike over as much, or carry momentum without slowing down to almost a stop, pull in the clutch, lock up the rear brake, slide the back end into the apex of the turn (or rut or berm if there is one), and give it some gas and let out the clutch. Brake sliding is very useful in tight corners or corners that are muddy or slick where you wouldn't trust your rear tire to stay planted.

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The A-riders running the pine barrens will often smack the small saplings down with their bark busters without turning at all. Look at the marks on the trees after an enduro, you'll often see a scar at bar height and sometimes another at peg height. The best A rider in our club once told me that my "problem" in tight woods was that he saw two wheel tracks between the trees...that is, you should lift the front wheel through the trees and snap the bars sideways to thread them between the trees. I also remember following another club A rider on a tight trail...and while I was wobbling along, I looked ahead to see him with his bar end practically in the dirt...going very fast. Generally speaking the secret to going faster seems to be going faster...and learning faster than the damage piles up. While enduros may be won or lost in the tight stuff, you need to decide your level of risk vs. fun. I have always chosen the fun side, which explains why I'm probably the worst rider in the ECEA (at least since Hertfelder left...I did pass him once).

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I used to hate the tight sections in enduros being a "clutch it and go" MX rider in my younger days. Now I look forward to the tight sections, the longer the better. This came gradulally with lots of seat time. You develop a style much like skiing. I always have one finger on the front brake and try to keep my feet on the pegs at all times. Also use the base of the tree as a berm to keep your front wheel from washing. Sounds crazy but it works. I also agree 29" is fine for bar width.

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Thanks for the tips keep em coming. I'm headed down to Coil Field this weekend for torture, eh I mean practice.

I've also noticed that if you get your head and sholders between the sticks before your hands then the bike should follow because you won't be fixated on the target (ie: the tree smashing you in the side or your hand).

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