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How do I climb this hill? **Helmet Cam***

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Okay the first thing I should say is that this was at 12,000+ feet, I was tired, and no bike can perform at top notch at this altitude. I am riding a heavily modified XR200R. It has USD forks, a front disc, 50 tooth sprocket (stock is 47), and it is uncorked as much as it could possibly be.

Okay, so now the scenario. We arrived at the summit of a mountain, where there was a mine shaft. I decided that I didn't want to stop at the summit, and that I wanted to ride to the peak. My brother had the same idea and motored right on up it on his XR4. I tried to follow but didn't have the momentum, because I stopped too close in front of it. The second try, I came at the hill a little faster, but failed to miss the big loose boulders, which bounced my bike 180 degrees around, and sent me flying down the hill (glad I have the front disc now). At this point I took a break and checked out the mine shaft. I tried one more time before we left, and went about 10 feet further, because I missed the boulders, and I was standing up. I was standing up because my front wheel kept wanting to come up before. The problem with standing up was that the rear wheel wasn't biting enough, so I started shifting my weight back, which lead to a big wheelie. I guess I just need to find a balance point between sitting and standing, further up towards the tank and I would've had it. We probably aren't going back up that mountain ever again, but I just wanted to see what you guys thought of this. I added some music to the video and turned down the original volume, because the wind constantly blowing against the mic was pretty obnoxious.

http://s22.photobucket.com/albums/b302/fretslider51/?action=view&current=hillclimb2.flv

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I know what you mean. For me, it seems if I'm trying a hill, and i start out too slow, then i wont make it, and i ususally dont. But if i go at it too fast, i always manage to hit a wrong bump and make a mistake cause im going to fast. So, what i usually do it just find a certain speed and try to keep that speed all the way up. If i find myself slowing down, I'll try and get back up to my speed. I use the clutch alot. If im doing a wheelie (when i dont want to), i usualy dont stand up, instead ill let off of the throttle for a split second, then keep going. But there have been times ive found myself on a hill that i cant seem to keep the front end down, or the back tire with grip. I found myself SOL on those hills. Lol

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what i would do is go further down to a flatter spot, then just holeshot as hard as you can at the hill, go as fast as your comfort level will let you and if you have enough momentum, then you can sit back a little so its easier to ride the boulders.

oh, and whats that set up youve got on your bars? is it for gas? im lookin for a solution for the rm (its a thirsty bike)

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what i would do is go further down to a flatter spot, then just holeshot as hard as you can at the hill, go as fast as your comfort level will let you and if you have enough momentum, then you can sit back a little so its easier to ride the boulders.

oh, and whats that set up youve got on your bars? is it for gas? im lookin for a solution for the rm (its a thirsty bike)

Yeah the area behind me really wasn't a good runout for a holeshot because it was basically the face of a mountain also, and just as rocky. On the second attempt I was only able to get into second gear then I had to shift down pretty quick.

The thing on the bars is a Maier Enduro Jug. I'm pretty sure they are still available from www.maier-mfg.com. It can hold either water or gas. I put water in mine, because I'm usually more thirsty than the bike is...

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I think the biggest hurdles you are facing is the 200cc, combined with 12,000+ ft altitude. I don't know how big a guy you are, but thats an awfully small motor at that elevation. You had very little area to get up to speed, and the boulders are a bitch to manuever. With that small of a bike and the conditions it'd be tough, but when you do master it, you'll be much more confident in your skills.

Remember, there is no replacement for displacement.

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I think the biggest hurdles you are facing is the 200cc, combined with 12,000+ ft altitude. I don't know how big a guy you are, but thats an awfully small motor at that elevation. You had very little area to get up to speed, and the boulders are a bitch to manuever. With that small of a bike and the conditions it'd be tough, but when you do master it, you'll be much more confident in your skills.

Remember, there is no replacement for displacement.

i agree totally, i was going to say my CRF 450 would rip ass up that hill even at that elevation.

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I think the biggest hurdles you are facing is the 200cc, combined with 12,000+ ft altitude. I don't know how big a guy you are, but thats an awfully small motor at that elevation. You had very little area to get up to speed, and the boulders are a bitch to manuever. With that small of a bike and the conditions it'd be tough, but when you do master it, you'll be much more confident in your skills.

Remember, there is no replacement for displacement.

The XR200 has plenty of power to get you up there. I ride crf 230 and my riding areas are 8000ft - 13500ft, mostly mountains. My bike had no problem. If I don't make it to hills that prabably my lack of riding skills not the bike.

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While I'll agree with, and often say myself that "there is no replacement for displacement"; there's no good reason that bike shouldn't go up that hill. I've seen friends go up stuff at least that bad on XR2's...with the added challenge of trees everywhere. Too bad we can't hear the engine in the vid...did you pull your plug to see how the electrode was? I can't help but think first of tuning for altitude.

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get as far back as you can, put it in second and just dump the clutch and go wide up, stay that way... and if the front end is barely on the ground, that seems to be about perfect for traction and control.... atleast for me. I find second is usually about idea unless i can't possibly have enough speed for second. Gives a good trade off between speed and power. Also, be ready to pull in the clutch for a second so u can get a burst of power... can come in handy.

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Nice video! :thumbsup:

I watched it a couple of dozen times, trying to see what you did wrong, if anything. I couldn't be sure. However, it did look like whenever your front wheel went off your line it was preceded by your helmet cam focusing on the front wheel. This might mean that you were looking down too much instead of ahead. Also, it looked like your front end was too light, possibly causing some of the difficulty steering.

What causes too light a front end on a hillclimb? I think usually it is a symptom of pulling yourself up by the handlebars. If you are climbing while sitting down, I believe you need to lean enough forward and hold on with your legs so that your hands are not pulling up on the bars. If you lean too far forward you can lose rear wheel traction--so this is a balancing act.

I agree with what everyone else said--esp. carry more momentum if possible. Just want to add that you don't want to pull up on the handlebars or look directly down at your front wheel .

If you get the chance, try it again when rested/relaxed and you will make it!

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Thanks for all the replies!

I don't think its a problem with the bike, as it is tuned for a base of 10,500 and reaches just about perfect jetting around 12,000 feet. Above 14,000 feet it gets a little bogged down, but it is still plenty sufficient. My brother did make it up this thing on an XR4 by just going balls to the wall on the approach. My bike doesn't get to nearly the speed his could in 2nd gear, so to match his speed up it, I would have to shift up to 3rd or higher on the approach (even though there wasn't room for that) and shift back down to first about mid hill.

I love my bike, and I wouldn't want it to be different in any way. I can crawl around at 2 mph through a somewhat steep rock garden with damn near the precision of a trials rider. If my brother trys to do that on his XR4, hes tired in about 2 minutes, he has to go much faster, just to keep the motor going, and eventually he will make a mistake because he has to go too fast for the particular situation, then he falls. When the XR2 has traction, which I didn't on this hill, it will tractor through just about anything. If I wanted a bike for hillclimbs that have huge boulders surrounded by loose dirt, I would have gotten more CCs.

On this particular hill, I know that I threw all of the techniques that I know to be right to the wind. I was just out there having fun trying to get to a place that I didn't really need to go. I should have goosed it on the approach, I should have had better body positioning, I should have picked a better line, and most importantly, I should have had the determination and the state of mind to stop and think about what I was doing wrong. I will most likely never go back, because there was a rediculous amount of road riding just to get there.

For those saying the hill looks easy....it's not... I don't know if you have ever taken a picture of a nasty trail or anything like that before, but just so you know, everything is steeper and bigger in person.

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Pictures of hills NEVER look as steep as the hill actually is. But there is a way to conquer this stuff.

You need to learn to work with your clutch. This is where the 2 smoke guys have the advantage over us 4 strokers. They get lots of experience with it because they don't have any low end torque. Do it just like you're already doing it, but when you feel your front end coming up, pull in your clutch a bit. Keep your revs up to keep it in the power band, and modulate the power to the back wheel with the clutch. You'll be amazed at how well it works. Practice on a smaller hill, then pull this trick out on the big ones and it'll save your bacon when you need it most. It's not a skill most 4 strokers get familiar with, but it's very useful.

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Pictures of hills NEVER look as steep as the hill actually is. But there is a way to conquer this stuff.

You need to learn to work with your clutch. This is where the 2 smoke guys have the advantage over us 4 strokers. They get lots of experience with it because they don't have any low end torque. Do it just like you're already doing it, but when you feel your front end coming up, pull in your clutch a bit. Keep your revs up to keep it in the power band, and modulate the power to the back wheel with the clutch. You'll be amazed at how well it works. Practice on a smaller hill, then pull this trick out on the big ones and it'll save your bacon when you need it most. It's not a skill most 4 strokers get familiar with, but it's very useful.

Yeah that makes sense. I'm pretty confident that if I went out there tomorrow I could do it. I guess its just harder to have the state of mind to stop and do it right when you are tired at high altitude.

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I would aproach in 2nd as hard as possible, then as momentum burns off and it feels like you need to go into 1st, don't shift, simply start faning or slipping the clutch to help with the revs.I have found that 1st gear just causes me to break traction and then you're done.I prefer faning the clutch in and out versus slipping, it seems to keep kicking you in the but for a boost. Most importantly, try and try again. Stay on the footpegs at all costs, once you've lifted a foot your timing, balance and english will be screwed.

Just my 2cents.

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i used to own a 200, highly modified, didint have usd forks though, and the thing climbed hills better then an xr250, thing im thinking is, maybe the 250 usd forks are to long and seat the bike back a little further then stock, making your front end come up easier?

anywho, 2ng gear on a 200 is your friend, just pin it to win it!

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i used to own a 200, highly modified, didint have usd forks though, and the thing climbed hills better then an xr250, thing im thinking is, maybe the 250 usd forks are to long and seat the bike back a little further then stock, making your front end come up easier?

anywho, 2ng gear on a 200 is your friend, just pin it to win it!

Yeah I have seen your old bike. That thing was sweet... I have the CR forks dropped down enough in the clamps so that the ride height is pretty much exactly like it was with my long travel '81 XR200R forks. It looks pretty level to me...Here's a pic:

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b302/fretslider51/adfg.jpg

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yeah looks level, so scratch that idea,

i guess just stand up, lean forward, and balence yourself with swaying your body around while standing up. and hope for the best, and i see you ahve an 18" wheel on back so i think yoru all set

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I agree with Barton's statement about clutching, and two stroke riders (for the most part) having the advantage of experience with the clutch. Having owned nothing but 'smokers' until last Mem Day Wkend, I can verify his statement from experience. And in the short time that I've had my 450R, I've already been in some situations where other 4stroke riders were having difficulty with stalling out. The years I've spent working the clutch was definitely a huge advantage, because it got me through these situations where others couldn't.

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Initial speed is very important, then holding that speed by getting rear tire traction. Absorb the bumps with your legs, keep the ass out of the seat. Cause the bumps rob you of momentum and traction.

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