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Whoops on a KDX with a blown shock

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In an effort to place myself in the path of public scorn, I submit these two videos from a Destry Abbott riding clinic www.destryabbott.com in Phoenix two weeks ago.

The first one is of me riding a series of smallish whoops on my modded 2003 KDX 220R (RB carb, head squish, KX forks) which, I later found out by watching the video, had a blown rear shock (for about two months and finally rebuilt last week).

http://good-times.webshots.com/video/3056917060093498191

Note the rear end hopping all over the place when I pass -- no shock damping to speak of. That was about as fast as I could go without the back end fish-tailing on me. I also developed some difficulty with hill climbing as (I thought) the front end would point all over the place. Turns out it wasn't the front end that was responsible for my misalignment, it was the rear end bouncing all over the place. I thought I had lost the ability to climb rocky hills all of a sudden. :ride:

This next one is me on a borrowed 2006 KTM 300XC. I was trying to match speeds with the KDX runs so I could compare the behavior of the rear end. Note that the KTM shock is much calmer than the blown KDX shock -- proving that my lousy riding wasn't fully to blame. :censored:

After that I did some faster runs on the KTM with no problems.

http://good-times.webshots.com/video/3087227060093498191

I look forward to my first ride with a real (rebuilt) shock tomorrow.

Rick

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Faster!!!!!,lean back, keep it up front, and pin the throttle

+1 and loosen up. You look like you have a 2x4 strapped to your back. I would love to take a riding clinic like that though.

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The beatings will continue until morale improves. :applause:

and pin the throttle

There was no pinning the throttle on this one with that back end dancing around. I had one of the B-riders take it down the whoops and it was doing the same thing. I don't think he went much faster.

...you have a 2x4 strapped to your back...

That's kind. Most say I ride like I have a 2x4 shoved up my :censored::lol:

I would love to take a riding clinic like that though.

We benefited quite a bit. Most of the riders in the 10-member class were B-class or C-sandbaggers. Yet Destry was able to accomodate all of our needs.

I had to work to put this class together. I e-mailed Destry saying that I was interested. He said he was trying to put a class together for sometime in the future. I decided not to be passive, so I promoted the class on the web. He said it was the fastest a class had ever filled up. As a ripple effect, he now has his April class filled and most of his next class signed up. Riders on our forum were surprised that so many good riders paid $150 for six hours of lessons and came away with a better understanding. They were bummed that they didn't sign up. :ride:

The cool thing about the class was that it was, to me, an anti-trail ride. For the last nine months I have been riding with faster guys who take me over various obtacles. But I only get one shot at it, and usually nobody sees me to tell me how to do it better. With this format, we went down the sections five or ten times (as much as we wanted until fatigue set in). All under the watchful eye of the instructor, our peers, and luckily, a few video cameras.

And, just like y'all in this forum, Destry was counseling (or yelling from his bike), "Stand up" "lean back..." But he never said, "pin-it." He says he sees too many people "trying to pin their way through an obstacle or out of a problem." Instead, Destry says "throttle control," which *might* mean "pin it" every once in a while, but usually not. :applause:

Here are some more pics...

This one is of a task where he had us racing into a bermed sand turn using proper weight positioning (to the rear).

HPIM2940.jpg

He also took us to his new WORCS training course (two acres of hell). We didn't have to run it, but he did it three flawless times in a row, lofting his KX450 wheel over the nasties, that some just had to discover the difficulty for themselves.

This guy is stalled with his frame stuck on top of the log.

HPIM2934.jpg

He restarted to find a similar problem on top of the earth-mover tires. He's having difficulty not sliding back down. Surely an argument for e-start on a two-stroke if ever there was one.

HPIM2936.jpg

More pics later, if you want.

Rick

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You are correct in most guys say just pin it,get your front in light and float over but if you do that and chicken out half way through you are screwed. Its alot easier to say than do. I agree with the throttle control first until you have enough control. To many poeple see a pro just pin through whoops or tough sections and think it the answer and end up hurt and never try again which is bad for the sport and ones health. Like I tell my son racing in 85cc motorcross if you are riding faster than you are comfortable at you will get hurt. There is always another day to go faster with more time you will get better.

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I don't share the "pin it" mindset, but I will say this... you're at the point in those whoops where a little more throttle will smooth things out. A little, little more throttle and you'll start skipping over the tops (kinda what you want). Get up to 5th and you'll find that it's a real workout and there's whole lot going on! I ride whoops like those to train when I'm taking a break from the track. They're a great way to build some bike handling skills.

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What Rick failed to explain is that section of sand whoops is literally about 3/4 of a mile long, if not longer, of constant whoops including some small turns to cause you to slow down just enough to keep you from just blazing them at the same speed. I believe the point where the video is being taken is near the end of the section, so no doubt he was tired at that point.

I dare anyone to go through those whoops at their fastest and not end up wanting to stop before you actually get to the end.

A buddy and I go there everytime we ride the nearby COP MX Park and go through them twice to work on our timing and conditioning.

Destry's sand course is even more brutal. Tons of switching back and forth turns in deep sand that just swallows your front tire the instant you back off the throttle.

ben

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You are correct on where that section of whoops are. There is a hard 60-degree left-hand turn onto the final two-hundred yards of whoops. At the end was another turn. Part of the task was to ride the whoops as fast as we could and then apply the brakes hard to transition to the next section.

In fact, a lot of what Destry had us do was ride as fast as we could and then brake into the next section of obstacle. I should post a pic of the rock garden. :lol:

I was riding the blown-shocked KDX as fast as I dared. I was much faster and much more comfy on the 2006 KTM 300XC. A linked-suspension Honda or a 2007 KTM probably would have been even better.

If it wasn't for this class and video, I still would be riding on a blown shock. As it was, I took it to the professionals... :ride:

Here are *most* of the parts that Palo Verde Suspension took out of the shock.

HPIM2971.jpg

They said the oil was black and the friction parts were allowing major blow-by. It was *almost* as if I had no shock at all... just a boingy spring.

I think I remember when the shock failed. I was at Sycamore after having replaced my shock spring for my weight. I would normally sit on the bike with my tippy-toes on the ground. We went around and did some fairly simple hill climbs and my front end would rise up in an uncharacteristic manner. When we finally got back to the staging area, I noticed that I was flat-footed. I thought I just goofed setting the sag, or the spring took a set. So I "re-adjusted" it. :censored:

Silly me.

Rick

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I just got back from a 35-mile ride in NW Phoenix. Lots of whoops. My KDX might not be the best suspended bike in the world but it was nice to have my front and rear suspension behaving like they belonged together.

Hill climbs were more predictable as well. Now that my back end no longer dances around and pointing me in random directions, I could more positively pick a line and stay with it.

Lesson learned: get your suspenders serviced regularly.

Rick

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Lol, I was about to say, my 230 tracks better through the whoops than that.

lol, my 1999 Paramount Series 50 Mountain Bike tracks better than your CRF 230!:applause:

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those whoops were nothing if anyone from ct that lives near meriden will tell u about the meriden dup and the sand pit there its all huge im talk huge natral sand whoops with huge bowl turns its crazy john dowed has been there. they ruined it tho and they arrest you for going there now.

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I agree. These whoops were shallow and nicely spaced. But fast or slow, big or small, that wasn't really the purpose of the task.

This was a riding clinic.

The instructor was looking at body position and braking into the turn at the end that is out of camera range.

BTW, the guy who loaned me his KTM 300 XC-W during the class, won the 30B class (and 4th over-all in the B class) in yesterday's "Holy Joe" race down in Mammoth, Arizona (north of Tucson). It was his first race.

The guy who loaned me his KTM 300XC won the 40A class.

That just goes to show you what good Kharma I can impart to those who let me ride their bikes

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