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Big two-stroke hit and tall rider

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I'm new to the dirt. I'm training on an '07 CR250. My son and I spent a weekend in mid-December with Gary LaPlante and his MotoVentures 2-day off-road boot camp. Since then we've been practicing the same drills pretty religiously here at home.

I see progress in many skill areas, but I still have a hard time managing the big hit of the two-stroke in a standing position. Too often that sudden jolt puts my butt back down on the seat, often with a fear-induced adrenaline rush.

I'm 6' 7", 245 lbs. without gear, ride in the New Mexico desert. I wonder if my size might be working against me. Regardless, I think my progress is hampered by my lack of confidence in managing the powerband.

Suggestions?

--

Mark

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The only advice I have is to hold the bike with your knees.

If your using cheap gear maybe try upgrading to a pair of pants with leather patches on the knees. I'm sure someone else will have better advice but thats all I could think of.

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you may be so tall that a tall seat foam is in order to have something to grab with your knees. I'm quite a bit shorter than you and find a tall seat foam helps me a bunch.

Bryce

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i would say, work on squeezing the bike with your legs, and making sure that your head is over the bars and elbows up, legs bent ect ect. and practice practice. idk if you are already doing that or not. you should watch the shane watts video " dirt wise" there is a ton of good tips in there. good luck.

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Are you use to the power if you sit down. I would try to find a dirt road and try standing up there. It just takes some getting use to. I grip with my knees and stay alittle over the handle bars. This seems to help.just my 2cents

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The faster I ride, the more I find myself forward.

I have been hitting myself in places I have never hit myself because of my forward position.

Too often people try to stay centered over the pegs when accelerating. This is not going to work. Bend your knees and bend at the waist to lower your height, and lean into the the acceleration.

I don't focus on squeezing my knees as much as my body position, but it can't hurt.

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Capt,

I am 6'7" also and I have found a tall seat and the tallest bar bend possible are 2 must haves. I would also recommend lower footpegs. The advice about gripping the bike w/ your legs is spot on and these improvements to the ergonomics of your bike will help greatly. Also get some grip tape (stomp grip is good). Hope this helps.

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You should be riding most of the time in the "powerband", therefore, you don't have too deal with the hit too often.

Now when standing and waiting for the hit, there are couple of things that can help: First, make sure your head is over the handlebars and your weight is forward and squeeze the bike with your legs. It should almost be a natural "attack" position and powerband shouldn't really set you back at all!

I think that your height is an advantage, because you can use your leverage (get up over the front of th bike, etc) to help keep the bike and where you want it.

Keep Practicing and Good Luck! 2Strokes are a Blast to Ride!:busted:

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I am not an expert by any means but I think your height has a lot to do with you feeling uncomfortable. What is your bike setup? I would recommend a taller seat and some bar clamps to raise the bar height. I’m 6’ 2” and raising the bars about ½ in help me tremendously.

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mark96 -- what seat and bars are you using? These mods are next on my list. Do you have a higher set of bar clamps as well? And (dumb question) what is grip tape?

kaw450 -- by "riding in the powerband" do you mean keeping the revs up and managing speed/acceleration (and thereby moderating the hit) with the clutch?

--

Mark

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mark96 -- what seat and bars are you using? These mods are next on my list. Do you have a higher set of bar clamps as well? And (dumb question) what is grip tape?

kaw450 -- by "riding in the powerband" do you mean keeping the revs up and managing speed/acceleration (and thereby moderating the hit) with the clutch?

--

Mark

Capt,

I run a Moose tall Yz seat(I think it's made by SDG), and my bars are Moose ATV tall bends. Grip tape is an adhesive backed vinyl that has almost like sandpaper texture to it to aid in gripping the bike w/ your legs& knees. Usually applied to the frame and gas tank. No I don't have any spacers or bar risers but I am considering them because I'd like a better selection of bar bends. Also, watch how much you lift your bars because the cables aren't real long, you can however get longer cables.

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Hi! I ride a 4 so technically I dont' know what I'm talking about with a 2, but anyways...it sounds like you're topheavy in your body, and you need to soften your angles(your too tense, "holding on"), relax your stabilizing effort on your joints. Your center of gravity should be way low, over your bike(which is like between your feet roughly?), feel you weight sink down into your feet, feel your sense of balance coming from low, not initiating in your chest or head. If you're holding on to the bars, hanging on, your upper body will be stiff and be behind the drive of the bike(same thing with braking, you’ll shoot over the bars). Think of "holding on" with your feet, your knees and boots right up next to the bike, your low CG sticking with the bike’s CG and everything up top will follow as it needs to. I think 2-ply would say your pegs are pushing you :busted: Think about your weight being low, keep your angles relaxed yet responsive(let them open and close with the movement of the bike).

It REALLY helps to have strong flexible core muscles too, these will really help keep your upper body able to stay with what your lower body is doing as it’s connected to the bike. And it will also help relax you because that strength will give you confidence in not having to hold on with arms or knees constantly to balance with the bike.

I learned all this from riding horses, and a good rider is supposed to be able to do all this without stirrups(pegs:0) and bareback(without a gripper seat ;0). When you ride a lot of horses, you get so that you can anticipate, or mind read, kinda, what and how the horse will move when—you are controlling the horse, but you are moving with them as a part of them, not making movements in a reaction, or making attitude(as in airplane talk) adjustments in response to unforeseen circumstances after the fact, you’re just in sync in the now. Course on a motorcycle you are controlling the throttle, but you still have to move with the bike as a whole, when the bike does, and keep with the bike as it moves over the trail. So all that is to say, work to where you can move with the bike, instead of in reaction to what it did 1 second ago(and now it’s doing something different).

HTH, that’s my theory anyway, I “try” to do it!

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Okay, besides the obvious shameless mommy pride, I thought this was a cool balance pic, my son is riding sideways on purpose to make dust, but he's still over the bike's CG, loose and looking forward. If he was gripping tight with his knees he couldn't get his butt over like that.

ty083.jpg

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I rode and trained horses for decades. Spent countless hours riding bareback without stirrups. Riding this monster is harder.

Plushpuppy, I think I understand your point. The challenge is that if I soften angles (less knee bend, a bit more upright from the waist) I'm raising my center of gravity. So far, the only way I've found to manage the hit is to a) anticipate it (slowly getting better) and :worthy: getting into a much more aggressive attack position: knee angle near 90 degrees, upper body almost parallel to the ground.

I don't think fitness, or a lack thereof, is an issue. While I can always improve, I spend a lot of time in the gym working on overall strength, including lower back and core muscles.

Looking at the picture of your son (great shot!), notice that his knee angle (measuring behind the knee) is fairly open; about 150 degrees +/-. His upper body angle, measured with respect to the ground, is also fairly upright; say 75 degrees -- in other words, an almost textbook perfect attack position. When I try to get into a position like this and the big hit comes on, I'm going right back down on the seat -- no choice.

I think what you're proposing is to ride as if your center of gravity were somewhere down between your knees. This is where your "seat" should be, to continue the riding analogy. I'll experiment with this the next time my son and I are training.

I've seen some references to comparative studies of athletes, and some rank motocrossers up in the top three in terms of difficulty. I'm beginning to see why -- and loving every minute of it!:busted:

--

Mark

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your usin a ffw rite? grip with your knees like everyone else says

If by "ffw" you mean flywheel weight, the answer is "no." Bike is stock except for a) rotating the stock handlebars up to get a little more height, :busted: aftermarket springs for shock and forks (Race Tech) to handle my weight, and c) changing jetting to account for our altitude (about 6,000').

--

Mark

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hey, Capt, then horses make this easy...(cool! lucky, lucky YOU!!) think about having a deep seat, how that "glues" you to the horse no matter what that horse might do, or what direction they decide to explode, "most" of the time you go with it. Yes, I think the key is having your center of gravity low, having your sense of your center of gravity low(your gyro), then the rest of the body follows. Think about your "yah!" when you gun a horse from a standstill, or the deep whoa when you do a sliding stop :busted:. You've practiced and you've got that balance down, just take it to the bike. Dirt biking didn't click for me until I thought duh! ride it like a horse, like those nasty mean spoiled ones you have to give full attention and alpha attitude to (and of course reform through careful, disciplined and firm training :worthy:).

Yeah, the CG is between the knees/feet give or take. You know how when people learn to ride(a horse) they try to compensate their lack of balance by moving their torso? or they exaggerate the movement of the upper body to keep with the motion of the horse? and how when you really figure out how to stay with it, your body is "quiet", relaxed and you learn the rhythm, you've got a deep seat.

I'd say standing up on the bike is a two point seat position(like for jumping) :ride:, and you know you gently hold the horse with your knees, you dont' squeeze hard or everything gets stiff and unresponsive. A lot of it is just practice, and you'll get better fast! Just think of being on a horse that likes to bolt(ha, then buck), and how you ride that horse, you are always ready for the hit(but you're also ready to shut him down and teach him to behave :blah:)

ps, when I said soften angles, I meant you bend more, you are not holding your self in a set position rigidly, your joints are springy. I just thought maybe because you are tall maybe it would help to compress more, shorten your profile so you dont' have so much leverage whipping you back? shorten your stirrups, so to speak :blah: I'm much shorter than you, but I naturally lean forward as much standing up as comparable speeds on a horse--seems to translate alright so far. I even keep my heels down :cry:

Sorry to write a book, but a lot of the same stuff is going on, balance wise.

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I'm not a tall man but......

When accelerating or climbing up hill while standing.....

If my bike is pulling out from under me, extending my arms or forcing me rearward, its ALWAYS because I'm out of position. No grip tape or any other type of purchase will help me when my body is out of position. My body weight is simply behind the pegs instead of in front of the pegs.

I would imagine your height is forcing you to bend over so much that your rear and thighs are behind the pegs. The majority of your body weight is behind the bike instead of neutral or in front of the bike.

Somehow, someway you must find a way to keep the majority of your body weight in front of the pegs while accelerating and standing. Let the bike push you. Not pull you.

Sorry if I only told you something you already knew and was of no help. Its been my experience that most seem to over-think their problems and over-look the obvious.

Good luck and keep riding!

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a ffw will make the powerband of the bike EXTREMELY managable 2ts have a violent powerband only way to ride it is to get used to it or put in a ffw

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I'm new to the dirt. I'm training on an '07 CR250. My son and I spent a weekend in mid-December with Gary LaPlante and his MotoVentures 2-day off-road boot camp. Since then we've been practicing the same drills pretty religiously here at home.

I see progress in many skill areas, but I still have a hard time managing the big hit of the two-stroke in a standing position. Too often that sudden jolt puts my butt back down on the seat, often with a fear-induced adrenaline rush.

I'm 6' 7", 245 lbs. without gear, ride in the New Mexico desert. I wonder if my size might be working against me. Regardless, I think my progress is hampered by my lack of confidence in managing the powerband.

Suggestions?

--

Mark

I am a tall rider as well. I'm 6'8, 265, and have a KX 250 and a KTM 450. Regareless of 2 or 4 strokes, the ergos of your bike are keys to riding safely and getting better faster. If the bike doesn't fit you, then you are at a disadvantage from the start. Fit the bike to your size, then use the extra leverage you have to your advantage. Tall seat, bar risers, and a bar with a tall bend are all musts if over 6'2. Your bars will then clear your legs while sitting and turning, and you won't have to bend over in an unnatural position to reach the bars while standing. When you wack the gas while standing, you need to be leaning forward with your chin at least over the bars, if not further forward. This will keep the "hit" more manageable and force you into a controlled and aggressive position. Your long arms and legs naturally push your weight rearward, and the rear weighting bias makes the front end too light. Also, when too far back and the power comes on stronger than expected, you may find it difficult to throttle down, and end up literally hanging on for he ride. Set your bike up, practice your weighting, and throttle control, and have fun!

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