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How's the best way down??

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I ride in the Sierra's and deserts out here in CA and we always end up having to get down some really steep loose rock slopes....I get down them, but I'm sure it's not very pretty and am sure I'm on someone's silliest home videos giving them a good laugh!

I always try a combination of front and rear brake, but whew, some of this is crazy!!

I'm thinking about dropping my front sproket from a 14 to 13 or 12 and see if this will help slow things down...any suggestions??

Thanks!!

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sit towards back of the seat. When it's really steep, I sit so far back I'm actually off the seat. Feet on footpegs; steady breaking front and back; and lots of practice! Changing the sprockets wont do much other than to help you with some engine braking. oh, and I always ride with clutch engaged. If you accidently hit your throttle on a steep decent, the bike can simply explode from under you sending you out of control. Just my $.02

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Stand up, with your butt back as far as posible in the "attack position" and keep both feet on the pegs. Use both brakes if you can and sometimes you'll want to be on the gas if things get loose. Use the throttle to keep you headed straight & upright, then get back on the brakes, it can be scarey at first but force yourself to keep your feet on the pegs and use throttle control along with the brakes......as I say "When in doubt Gasit"

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Thanks Guys...you're right it can be scary..I will try and get back even farther on or off the seat!!

I'm riding a 2001 DRZ 400E dual sported.

Thanks again guys!

Ride safe!!

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I am gonna offer some advise that seems completely wrong. But, my brother was having a terrible time coming down a very steep, loose and rutted hill. I told him to use more front brake and he said he couldnt without washing out. So I went to the top of the hill and started down. I was actually able to stop, with BOTH feet off the pegs(just to prove I wasnt using rear brake). It was all front brake. BUT, I was sitting on the TANK. He was truely shocked, he didnt think it was possible to do safely. Most of your stopping power comes from the front brake, but it has to have enough wieght on it to not wash out. I bet you would be surprised how hard it is to endo if you are going down hill slow and in control. The one thing you should know about this is if there is a sharp drop off, like a ledge, you need to get back....fast, or you will endo if the front wheel suddenly drops. Also if you need a sudden change of direction, let off the brake momentarily for your turn, then get back on it while pointed straight down. Give it a try on a hill you are fairly comfortable with, then work you wake up to steeper hills. Good luck. :lol:

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Wow, thanks black and blue thumper...it's worth a try...I can only fall down right...LOL!!

Yep, it goes against what you think and feel, but I get tired of that front end feeling of washing out and the sliding rear tire at times!

I live in Fresno.....

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I am gonna offer some advise that seems completely wrong. But, my brother was having a terrible time coming down a very steep, loose and rutted hill. I told him to use more front brake and he said he couldnt without washing out. So I went to the top of the hill and started down. I was actually able to stop, with BOTH feet off the pegs(just to prove I wasnt using rear brake). It was all front brake. BUT, I was sitting on the TANK. He was truely shocked, he didnt think it was possible to do safely. Most of your stopping power comes from the front brake, but it has to have enough wieght on it to not wash out. I bet you would be surprised how hard it is to endo if you are going down hill slow and in control. The one thing you should know about this is if there is a sharp drop off, like a ledge, you need to get back....fast, or you will endo if the front wheel suddenly drops. Also if you need a sudden change of direction, let off the brake momentarily for your turn, then get back on it while pointed straight down. Give it a try on a hill you are fairly comfortable with, then work you wake up to steeper hills. Good luck. :lol:

No it isn't wrong about using the front brake. Your method of proving the point was a bit extreme maybe even just a little dangerous and brave on your part as sitting on the tank down a hill goes.

Generally what is meant by keeping your butt back over the rear is actually keeping your center of gravity (or call it balance if you like) within 90 degrees to the pull of gravity. It still provides enough weight to the front for your braking traction.

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This is my weakest part in riding and racing and have been doing a lot of reading on the subject. It's hard to filter out the good info from the not so good on boards like this. The following link seemed to be the most informative.

http://www.off-road.com/dirtbike/features/2005/downhill/

After talking to expert riders, the main thing is keep it flowing. DON'T lock up your brakes. Just like a car with its brakes locked up, you will skid out of control or crash. Going down in 3rd gear will give you some ABS style braking without locking up the rear. It's real hard to control your bike on flat ground going real slow, it's even harder on a 60 degree angle. So try to keep it flowing so you have more control. Try to look farther down the trail, than right at your front wheel, which you tend to do when you're frightened. Try to relax your grip and be in the attack position. Against all your insticts, give it a little gas when needed to get through rough sections. They say it helps to think of it as flat ground at an angle. As you get better and more confident, you will pick up more speed.

I went riding today, and it seemed to help a lot to do what was stated, and it improved my confidence. Keep it flowing. :lol:

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that was a great article. I tried to find more technique articles on their site but failed to find any more. Anyone know if they have anything else like that and I just couldn't find it? Are there other good places to look for that kind of stuff?

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I ride trails that are sometimes narrow, steep and full of obstacles. Sometimes you have to pull both feet off the pegs for balance. I found that if you want to go at about a walking pace or little faster, turn the bike off and put it in gear before you go down. That way you can control your speed with the clutch and hand brake and have both feet for balance.

This probably wont work for everybodys bike though.This was with a bike with a keyed ignition so no danger of a inadvertent bump start. My current bike is a yz450 and is practically impossible to bump start in 1st gear.

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The one thing you should know about this is if there is a sharp drop off, like a ledge, you need to get back....fast, or you will endo if the front wheel suddenly drops.
So try to keep it flowing so you have more control. Try to look farther down the trail, than right at your front wheel, which you tend to do when you're frightened. Try to relax your grip and be in the attack position. Against all your insticts, give it a little gas when needed to get through rough sections.

In addition to all the good advice already given...and also going against our human nature...there will be times when it's going to be imperative to gassing it on a steep downhill...mostly it's just a little "blip" of the throttle, but can make all the difference in the world. For instance, that log that's laying across the trail...a lot of times I'll crack the throttle just as I would on flat ground - only easier on the gas, to loft the front end over. Otherwise on a steep downhill, you can find yourself in a world of hurt real fast. And like B&B Thumper mentioned with a drop-away, a little well-timed throttle can help a lot with avoiding those full-on front end landings...

Another thing that helped me with downhills in general was forcing my mind to accept the fact that I can traverse these downhills at a much faster pace than I want to believe...momentum is key in all aspects of riding. Stay on the move to stay in the groove...you stop, you drop.

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I stand up, get back, and try to use the engine braking as little as possible...I prefer to use the brakes. Don't lock up the rear tire, use the front brake as much as possible but let off if you need to make a direction change or if you are going to roll over some rocks. Don't try to go super slow, you'll lose balance! Don't be afraid to get on the gas if needed.

Also, try to look as far ahead as you can to pick a good line and flow like water.

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I stand up, get back, and try to use the engine braking as little as possible...I prefer to use the brakes. Don't lock up the rear tire, use the front brake as much as possible but let off if you need to make a direction change or if you are going to roll over some rocks. Don't try to go super slow, you'll lose balance! Don't be afraid to get on the gas if needed.

Also, try to look as far ahead as you can to pick a good line and flow like water.

Funny, thats what I say about great trail riders. They look like water running down a trail. They are just that smooth. :lol:

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Funny, thats what I say about great trail riders. They look like water running down a trail. They are just that smooth. :confused:

'Great' trail riders look like water running down a hill. I try...but look more like a waterfall. :lol:

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'Great' trail riders look like water running down a hill. I try...but look more like a waterfall. :lol:

Those were my thoughts exactly...at least now neither of us are alone in that boat...

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Thanks DG, that was a good article...I can ride down these things but darn, I know it's 90% mental and just have to keep trying all the ways!!

Thanks again for the link, it was very helpful!

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Thanks guys...add me to that waterfall list too!!

And you guys are right, but sometimes it's soooo hard to think of giving it a blip of throttle but I know it's the same as on the flat...like Sonobob says....if you stop, you drop

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