I can go fast in the rough but suck at turning?

How do you guys turn hard? I've been riding for a while and can do the difficult trails well strait, but I can't turn fast for beans. My front end washes out all day long. I know about the sitting up front thing... it just doesn't seem to help enough. I'm only 140lbs (all legs).

Today, I road 29 miles of trail (pozo) and at the end I was getting so fustrated with my turning skills that I forced myself to hit a burm hard. You know what happened, I reshaped my handle bars into something more abstract. Luckly, my body is fine.

I have MT21 tires front and back with 14psi in both. The forks are as low as they go. The fork oil is 10mm less than standard. Should I raise my forks? Add oil? (how do you add oil easily?) Adjust the com/reb clickers?

What can I do myself, besides work out, get fat, and sit on the gas tank? I know practice will help.

Thanks, Joe


Don't know if you have done this but, a YZ style seat and tank will allow you to get further forward.


Please tell us you're running the STOCK WR tank?!?

If so, believe it or not, IT'S THE TANK! Get a YZ style tank (used on ebay) and an SDG YZ seat...it's like an entirely different bike. If you MUST run DOT tires then keep the MT21's. If not, dump them for some Michelin M12's or S12's. But, the seat/tank is key here...trust us on this one. :)

Tank and seat for sure. I don't know about your psi. I weigh 210 and run 8 or 9 psi in my front on fairly rocky terrain (heavy duty tubes and slime)

make sure you tires are the right tred for the terrain. I rode my stepfahters kx in sand with intermediate terrain tires on it and wased out constantly. Your pressures are good for hardpack but too high anywhere else. If all else fails and you got 300-400 dollars burnin a hole in you pocket, try some offset tripple clamps.

I forgot to mention the tecnique (at least i can ride better than i can spell). If you are going through a corner without a berm, rut, or some sort of line you need to change the way you are sitting a little. Lean the bike less than you normally would but keep you body at a 90 degree angle to the ground. Dont lean over the bars. You should be almost straight up but not too far. You have to sit on the opposit edge of the seat (opposit the way the bike is leaning). Be sure to weight the outside peg. This is a little tough to explain so let me know if i screwed up.

Oddly enough, it helps to be sure you have the proper preload/sag in the rear suspension as well. If your rear suspension sags too much in a hard turn, you create too much "trail" and too much "rake" (angle of the forks), allowing the front end to wash out in the turn. Just a little thing like that can make a huge difference in this particular motorcycle. That's one reason you need to get your weight forward. It compresses the front suspension instead of the rear, causing less rake and trail. These guys are right, the YZ tank and seat will help you do that.


Moto Madman nailed it! Its more technique than anything. I rode for 15 years...quit for 10 and just started last year again. It took me a good 3 months before I remembered how to turn and moto madman described it perfect: Weight the outside peg, but dont lean over into the turn too much. Slide your butt to the opposite side of the seat and keep your outside elbow up. Dont forget power to the back wheel and stay close to the bars. Oh yeah, the YZ tank (or IMS in my case) and seat helps too, but even with the stocker technique is everything. You will know when you do ot right!


I think a lot of it might be your tires. I use the stock WR seat and tank, and also had trouble with the stock front washing out. I put a Dunlop 756 up front, and it's a major improvement. It sticks really well in the turns. If you must use a DOT tire, I don't know what to recommend. I have a DOT Dunlop 606 in the back, and it works pretty well. I had MT21's on my XT600, and they really washed out compared to a good offroad tire.

To weight the outsided peg....... I try to lift myself off the bike, with the foot I have on the peg, ie push down. This moves the center of gravity lower on the bike, by transferring the weight from your bottom, to your foot.

Man, I sure wished I could do this :)



Try running a D756 or Michelin S12. I've ridden Pozo on both MT21s & D756 & the 756 is a lot better. The YZ seat/tank will help but IMO the biggest improvements came from getting rid of the stock D739 front tire and raising my forks ~8mm in the clamps. Front tires are cheap compared to the seat/tank combo.

You doing the Penguins DS this weekend? I usually ride it - Cal Poly alumni - but won't be there this year.


My front end was constantly washing out, until I learned to do my braking earlier, and then get on the gas earlier.

I used to get pretty deep into the turn before I transitioned from the brake to the throttle. Now, I try to open the throttle as I initiate the turn, no later. Just a bit at first, and as I approach the apex, roll-on.

I still suck, but a bit less.


I'm kind of going through the same thing, only setting up a KTM. The front tire was the first major change for me. It made a huge difference. Second, start backing off the compression on the forks. Once it starts to feel better, slow the rebound down, so the forks don't try to spring back up mid-turn. This should get you feeling pretty good. Next, start playing with the shock. It takes a lot of time to dial this stuff in, at least for me. Comming from a XR 400, that turned on a dime and made change, it challenges me daily. FWIW :)


TomS, Is on the right track. If your front end is washing out then you need to get on the gaspracticing sliding on a flat surface the way dirt trackers do will help and brake sliding to power slide is the best for tight trails. You can practice this also in a big open area with two cones,rocks, or sticks to practice turning around. It will get boring after a while and when it does go and reward yourself with a favorite trail and try to apply what you are practicing there. After that go back to the same flat area and practice turning around the rocks again. Its kind of like barrel racing and is more fun if you can practice with someone making it a friendly competiton. Don't be afraid to get on the gas early. Make the gap from braking to on the gas as small as possible.

Hope This Helps, HUGE

Almost forgot the brake slide thing is a first to second gear affair start slow and work up to WARP 9.

Practice in both directions, this is very important since we don't race Nascar and are name is'nt Mark Martin. Here come the Viagra jokes. :)


Thanks for all the advice! If I apply everything at once I'll never go strait again!

Yes, I have a stock gas tank and seat. I'll switch it and the front tire when I get the money. For now I'll work on the other stuff.

For my bike, I'm going to lower my tire pressure to about 12psi f and r, raise the forks 8mm, and check the rear sag (make sure it's not over 4"). I'm also going to play with lowering the compression and increasing the fork rebound.

For riding technique, I'm going to get on the brake and gas earlier, stay perpendicular to the ground, sit on the outside front corner of the seat with my body close to the handle bars, and put my weight on the outside peg.

I'm going to try all of this tomorrow morning! ..plus, some rear end sliding practice.

I'll keep you posted. Thanks, JOe :)

You get an "A" :)

Things I learned fresh from my 3 day course, and its ALL about technique because I had a screwed front tire, we were practicing in slick mud and I still managed to turn hard without falling over too much, although it did help when I put a new tire on.


Stand stand stand whenever its REASONABLE. This allows the bike to flow and you to manouever the bike by PRESSING on the footpegs as well as move forward/backward to weight the bike correctly. Try moving forward without first standing up!

At the end of braking and the entry to each turn you should do your damndest to be standing so you can move your weight forward just as you enter the turn. If you are ALREADY forward, so much the better, but try lifting your butt when you can.

Do all/most of your hard braking in a straight line. Braking you should be standing with knees bent, with arms out (but NOT straight), pretty low over the bike. Brake with mostly the front but still with BOTH (70/30). If you are leaning the bike AND you brake hard you WILL wash out.

Just as you enter the corner and are finishing your hard braking sit down and FORWARD (like you do when your are with the old lady !) but DONT lean over the handlbars. Your body should be almost upright. This helps a) gives your arms room to manouver without feeling cramped. If you feel cramped you are probably leaning too far forward :) it allows you to lift your head and look at where you want to GO and not where you ARE c) it allows you to lift/stretch your inside leg forward without much difficulty (try lifting your leg forward whilst leaning forward). Cant do

it heh !!

FLATTISH CORNERS (Not berms or steep U turns)

As you enter the corner incline the bike as far as necessary INTO the corner but your body stays UPRIGHT. Weight your outside peg as much as you can. The sharper the corner, the more you incline your bike. The more you incline the more you will turn.

Choose your entry and exit trajectory carefully, LOOK and think about the NEXT corner and the line you will need to go through it.

If you are in a TIGHT corner, let the clutch slip slightly so the engine doesn't carry on and take you off trajectory.

Dont accelerate too SOON. As you get through the corner, get the bike UPRIGHT as soon as possible, (push down on the appropriate footpeg), get both feet on the footpegs and let her rip.

To pratice this choose a small area with a few turns and small straight where you can get up some speed before a sharp corner. For me it took about 1 day for it all to START to come together so dont expect miracle results all at once.

Try and do it step by step. The way the instructor taught us was to 'reveal' the tricks one by one so we weren't trying to do too many new things at once.

One thing that took a while to accept was that (at least in some coners), cornering SLOW is sometimes better then cornering FAST. You can get the bike upright faster and back on the gas quicker. You also dont over shoot your trajectory as much, allowing you to line up better for the next corner. !

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