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Bike squirrly under braking... wants to lay over. I'm a N00B.

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So, I've had this 2001 YZ250 for about two weeks. I've ridden a total of about 10 laps around my 1 acre yard. I got brave today, and opened her up a couple times and wound out first, and briefly hit second. Then I had to get on the binders pretty hard to make my turns.... I could feel the backend fishtail, and then it wanted to lay over and the rear wanted to washout from under me. Either by accident or luck, I managed to give it enough throttle to pull it out of the "slide" and straighten up and go on. This "phenomenon" happened again the next time I tried this. I'm wondering what I'm doing wrong? Too much rear brake? Grass slick? etc.

If you haven't figured it out, I'm a total newbie. I'm 34, and this is my first dirtbike. I've done thousands of miles of mountain biking... but this is my first heavy, wildly powered bike.

Thanks for any tips, pointers, etc.

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you just gotta get used to the power, practice, practice and more gas never hurts :)

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Sounds to me like you're locking the rear brake.

Start at slower speeds, and without using any front brake slowly apply the rear brake until you feel it start to lock, then release just enough to unlock, then reaply until lock. Do this drill a few times until you get used to the lock up point. Then you can go to higher speeds doing the same thing.

Now go to the front brake only and do the same thing. You'll find that you can very quickly stop the bike with only the front brake from very high speeds without the fear many have of flipping over the bars (too much front brake too quickly and yes, you may do a face plant, so be carefull)

Once you figure out your front and rear brakes, start using them together to find the shortest stopping distance from different speeds.

Practice.

Have fun riding!

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when your that new to riding you just gotta go ride the dang thing. Have fun! You'll figure out a lot of obvious things and then it is a good time to get advice from forums such as this. Have fun bro.

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when your that new to riding you just gotta go ride the dang thing. Have fun! You'll figure out a lot of obvious things and then it is a good time to get advice from forums such as this. Have fun bro.

+1... there's nothin anyone can tell you here, but rider yer bike, have some fun and maybe fall down a bit. You'll sort it out.

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pull in the lcutch when you brake so you dont lock up the tire,

if your sitting completely straight and you stop the back brakes youll skid STRAIGHT if you lean to much your back end will come out from behind you. a

your definately using to much brake though

front brake is 80% stopping power

rear brake is for control and steering (rear steer)

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pull in the lcutch when you brake so you dont lock up the tire,

I think you have that backwards - if you disengage the clutch (pull it in) you will absolutely lock the back wheel under braking - you just won't stall the motor... but that's NOT the way to maintain steering control.

if your sitting completely straight and you stop the back brakes youll skid STRAIGHT if you lean to much your back end will come out from behind you. a

This is true - even locked up, the rear will track straight (on level ground) if you aren't leaning the bike - but this provides the least possible braking.

your definately using to much brake though

Maybe not - maybe just surprised by the weight stepping out - if the rider sits as close as possible to the gas cap, elbows bent and loose, then his own weight moves very little as the rear steps out, and everything is easier to control. But if the rider is sitting back on the seat, a little slide moves his weight around a lot, making things harder to control.

front brake is 80% stopping power

rear brake is for control and steering (rear steer)

dylans503 is right about the proportions of stopping power... in a straight line. But very light rear braking with the clutch engaged into a fast turn scrubs off MUCH more speed than rear braking in a straight line - this is why the fastest bikes on dirt (mile dirt track) use almost no front brake, if they even have a front brake installed.

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There are a ton of variables involved here. Tire pressure makes a huge difference in traction, and what type of ground changes what is optimum. If it is soft, as low as 10-12 psi, hard probably never over 15 psi.

Body position plays a huge part. Riding in a large open area try this drill. Sit fwd at the junction of the seat and gas tank. The corner of the seat opposite the direction you want to turn is going to ride in the crack of you but or with the opposite cheeck on the outside part of the seat. Take the inside leg and hold it fwd, like you are try to rest it on an imaginary bar extending from the front axle. At a comfortable speed start doing turns. The bike should lean, your body not so much. In fact you should remain more or less upright. Try making 180 then 360 turns in both directions. when you can do full circles then try figure eights. (When I am riding offroad I don't put my leg out that much due to the possibility of catching it on a root or something and hurting it. Some situations where I do, sweeping turns, burms, or if I need to dab to save the bike from washing out.) At first it may feel very unnatural but it will get easier. These drills will help you figure out exactly how far you can lean the bike. If the bike washes out in a turn it is better to low side(fall to the inside ) than high side ( fall to the outside). If the rear regains traction aggresively it can flip you and the bike right over and slam you right into the ground. Just be careful not to chop the throttle when the rear steps out. Throttle control is keys. An old rule (still seems unatural to me...too much street riding) is when in doubt - throttle it. The tires especially the rear is supposed to spin and move around quite a bit.

It also will help you develope much faster if you find some experienced friends to ride with. Just don't hurt yourself trying to keep up with them.

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Wow. This is some great advice guys. Much more than I expected. I need to do a couple things to the bike before I ride it too much... I just haven't had time. I haven't yet set the sag, and I have a front fork seal leaking. Once I get those two things buttoned up, I'll start putting some hours on the bike.

Thanks a million!

Andy

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Wow. This is some great advice guys. Much more than I expected. I need to do a couple things to the bike before I ride it too much... I just haven't had time. I haven't yet set the sag, and I have a front fork seal leaking. Once I get those two things buttoned up, I'll start putting some hours on the bike.

Thanks a million!

Andy

There is a tool (just alittle flat piece of plastic, film negative works really well) for cleaning out the dirt from fork seals. You remove the ring from the bottom of the fork, then gently pry the wiper down and out, that should give you access to the actual seal. Hold the cleaner to the fork long ways and work it carefully between the fork and seal. then pull it back out, repeat around the whole surface. If trash is the cause of the leakage this will remove it, if not new seals are in order.

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I was gonna ask if your sag is set proper for you--that helps a lot with corners. Also like others have said(BANDA), sitting up forward on the tank makes any fishtailing of the back end much less alarming, and you'll get a lot more comfortable with it.

You sound like your'e doing what my son does on purpose :D tho he boils his back brake :)

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Also, as you are braking hard, make sure you are not putting too much pressure on the handlebars. You should be pinching the tank/bike with your legs and maintaining only light pressure on the bar. If you brake hard and you are leaning into the bars, this will steer the bike and cause the back end to come around in combination with locking the rear wheel.

Like people said before, start doing lots of drills to practice each aspect of braking: Braking while sitting/standing/front/back etc.

Eric

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I think you have that backwards - if you disengage the clutch (pull it in) you will absolutely lock the back wheel under braking - you just won't stall the motor... but that's NOT the way to maintain steering control.

hmmmm, i could be wrong but...

when you pull the clutch the tire can move freely, so braking will just BRAKE and not lock up... when you have the clutch out and your still in gear and you brake, the braking and the force of the bike still in gear will LOCK up the tire...

but i could be wrong

(please correct me if iam, i dont want any future accidents!!!)

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I need to do a couple things to the bike before I ride it too much... I just haven't had time. I haven't yet set the sag, and I have a front fork seal leaking. Once I get those two things buttoned up, I'll start putting some hours on the bike.

I wouldn't let those minor things prevent you from riding your bike...

unless the fork tubes are down at a shop being replaced.

I need to do the same things to my bike, yet I've put 1000+ miles on it (fork seal started leaking only 500 miles ago or so, never set sag). Have two more weekends of riding planned before I take the bike apart to get them done.

More seat time, as it sounds like you have virtually none...

I don't usually repeat the same retoric with the "seat time" :) ...

but, that is exactly what you need. Just ride, sliding is normal...

Rear for steer... Front for stopping, and controlling frt end through corners and down hills (will load the frt susp.).

With a lot of mountainbiking experiance... you should be killing your riding buddies down hills...

just think of it as a 250lb mountain bike with 11+inches of suspension.

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Braking for the purpose of slowing the bike should be completed before the turn if possible, braking in the corner can be used for steering correction, this application will generally be done with the rear to increase the turning angle. This one is a little more advanced and sometimes touchy, but if you find yourself turning too sharp some front brake will usually stand the bike up, careful not to wash out though.

P.S. there is only so muach traction, turning requires it and so does braking. If you are doing both at once they have to share whatever is available.

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P.S. there is only so muach traction, turning requires it and so does braking. If you are doing both at once they have to share whatever is available.

Thanks again for all the great information and tips. The statement above really makes sense and hits home.

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replace your fork seals, never ride with bad fork seals. I can't believe someone actually said not to worry about " a minor thing" like fork seals! The idea of a off-road riding technique forum is to help people who know less than you. Fork seals are not minor at all!

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replace your fork seals, never ride with bad fork seals. I can't believe someone actually said not to worry about " a minor thing" like fork seals! The idea of a off-road riding technique forum is to help people who know less than you. Fork seals are not minor at all!

I rode a couple hundred miles on bad ones. I agree they're far from minor, but so is the work to replace them, especially for a newbie. He shouldn't let it prevent him riding was what ORrooster said.

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replace your fork seals, never ride with bad fork seals. I can't believe someone actually said not to worry about " a minor thing" like fork seals! The idea of a off-road riding technique forum is to help people who know less than you. Fork seals are not minor at all!

If they aren't puking out oil, you still have oil in the forks, and oil isn't getting onto your brake assemblies... then I wouldn't let them keep me from riding. Especailly for a brand new rider, he will not be pushing the bike, airing it out, or hitting rough terrain at high speeds.

I do not consider them a major issue. Not safety related, aren't going to leave you stranded... I ride.

I wouldn't let those minor things prevent you from riding your bike...

Believe it... I ride!

Guess I really should have said that, "I wouldn't let those minor things prevent me from riding my bike..."

And, you should get them fixed... not saying not to, just saying that I'd ride until I did get them done.

:)

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And riding in the dirt and locking up the back is a blast! I do it all the time when I'm f'n around but maybe that's just me.

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