Trials/Dirt

I've really appreciated people who offer trials techniques for dirt bikes, "but" the two are obviously built and balanced and weighted differently, so it's not quite translating the same, quite. sort of. ??? I mean it gets described as happening on a trials bike, but I'm riding a dirt bike, and I'm wondering if understanding the differences/sameness would help me to understand trials technique descriptions better? and use them better?

Like, for instance, it seems dirt bikes depend more on momentum in the rough stuff--they take things a little faster?

Anybody who rides BOTH I would love to hear your opinions on what is the same and what is different between the two?

Differences basically come down to a few things.

-lower weight

-torquey engines somewhat calmed down by a heavy flywheel

-almost no dampening, leading to very springy suspension

-increased room for rider movement

-tougher clutch with much more modulation

-other small geometry differences, including footpegs much closer to the rear wheel

While they are very different, trials manages to teach you two things: effective use of the controls and effective use of your body. Trials depends on very accurate use of all of the controls (gas, clutch, brakes), that is probably closest to riding a slow, 1st gear balance point wheelie on a big bike. Finesse. Even more important than this though, is the use of body. So much of trials comes down to the use of body. Sometimes it's keeping the cumulative weight of you and the bike centered by providing extreme body english, or other times it is quickly "unweighting" the bike to allow the back wheel to travel up an object.

The way I see is that every different sport has something to teach. A lot of off-roaders can learn finesse from trials, and similarly, any trials rider will benifit from riding something as foreign as an enduro bike.

So back to what you said, "it's not quite translating the same". That's true, but I think a lot of it does translate across. Doug Henry said something along the lines of "if you want to learn to go fast, spend a year riding trials". Also check out the leaderboard of the Erzberg enduro. Many of the top finishers were trials riders, or had a trials background.

Well you could say that everything is the same, or you could say everything is different. The main reason that that big bikes depend more on momentum is their weight. Of course powerband and suspension have an effect as well but those things can be adjusted on a big bike. 230 pounds is always gonna be 230 pounds though.

You really can learn a lot about how a motorcycle works, and how to ride it, (even a street bike) by riding trials.

An interesting thing happened at a Trial I rode yesterday. The loop included a section with a WFO 4th gear hillclimb, this is not a regular feature in a Trials course. The only rider who didn't make it up was a young expert who can ride circles around us old guys in the sections. I suspect he was also the only rider who never had a full size dirtbike, so it does pay to be well rounded.

The top 4 finishers were Trials Champions and Dougie Lampkin was in second place when he dropped out sick from heat exhaustion on the last climb to the finish, that would have made it 5... And, they were NOT on Trials Bikes... that's gotta be saying something..

Also. Christian Pfeiffer (sp?) Stunt rider world champ and top finisher in the Rodeos was the German Trials Champion but never quite made it to World Champion status.

The Trials Bike is just specialized to provide the optimum configuration for extreme obstacle riding. It's shape and all is to give the rider the best possible platform to use the body. If you watch Trials, you'll see it's much more body moves than bike. If you stand there like a lump of coal, the bike is not going to do anything for you but leave you behind.

Once you learn these "Body Active" skills, you'll find they do indeed transfer to the other bikes.... but come with the added plus of a bigger smile! :worthy:

:lol: Looky there!! Just like in the real world, Three Trials Riders come out of nowhere when you had no idea there were any in 100 miles. :worthy:

Plushpuppy, you would do well at it and probably kick some serious butt along the way! The current New England Trials Champion is a lady! And Christy Williams regularly comes down from Vancouver, B.C. to kick serious butt too, she rides

Internationally.

You have the advantage of being a horse person too! there's a pretty active club near Portland and at Diamond Mill, the State has even signed some of the trails as "Trials Trails"

the most difficult part is finding buddies that will switch with you, unless you can find new buddies that can support and guide you. Trials Riders LOVE to see other riders do good. we do not compete head to head, it's US against the terrain, US against ourselves... That's why I pop in here from time to time to share. :lol:

Plushpuppy, if you can afford it, why not buy a nice used Trials Bike and play around with it. If it's in good condition, it will be so quiet that you can ride it around in your yard for balance and turning practice and the neighbors will never hear you.

There are a number of people I know that have done that... But Warning! Many of those same people now have big dirt bikes in their garage collecting dust! :worthy:

Hey, thanks everyone for your observations! They are really helpful and helps make things clearer to use/translate it on my wr.

I would love to give trials a whirl, but don't have the extra bucks lying around right now. I DO have the resources here on my property to make lots of stuff to crawl over on a trials bike, nor do the neighbors care how noisy we are(they have bikes too) so I will just have to make do with my wr!

Unfortunately not all the trial technique translate directly to mx-enduro bikes. This can be seen in some vids (on youtube) that shows the same rider on the same obstacles first on trial bike then with an enduro one. Different riders same thing, much easier with the trial bike and sometimes impossible or very hard with enduro bike.

As conclusion, after NZ six-days was an interview with Juha Salminen, he was questioned if for training he rides a lot of enduro riding, the answer was: I do mainly mx and trial

The Trials Bike just makes it easier and far less intimidating so that you learn more and faster. Once you figure out how it's done on the Trials bike and get the feeling, you'll find that it works on the other bikes but with some compromises.

The cross-training gives you a lot more options that you may never try on the big bike because you never thought it was possible.

Slowing down requires more balance and body work and once you get used to using more body, it's only natural to start using it on the other bikes. Pay close attention to how little power is used in a lot of the moves you see in video like I post. Forget about the World Champs, they are WAY out there, but they went through the same hoops to get to where they are.

I traded bikes with a friend that worked for the USFS and was an excellent rider, but he couldn't jump logs that were more than 1/2 the size of his front tire, so we switched bikes. While he was banging into some logs on my Bultaco Trials bike, I was holding his Honda XR-200. After a few minutes, I decided to play with his bike and discovered that the same techniques worked, so I was jumping larger logs on his bike than he could jump on my Bultaco. And I mean jumping them clear with no skid plate hits! Technique!!

The first things I notice when I switch bikes to a typical dirt bike is the lack of flywheel weight so the engine can die quickly if I'm not careful. It has no "follow through" or glide when you hit the power and close the throttle.

Then, they seem to lack a really low gear. First gear is more like 4th on my bike.

The handle bars crowd me when I try to stand and might droop to where I feel I have no leverage for tugging on them.

The last noticeable difference is that the suspension has so much damping that I can't pre-load and use the rebound as I would on my bike.. Oh, and the power or "pull" is lacking until I get the revs up and then it hits pretty hard. Not linear like my bikes.

I would love to have a trials bike but where around Oregon could you ride it regularly and be challenged? You have to stay on the trails in the OHV areas and most all of the trails are quad capable which means no challenging obstacles. It is hard enough to find trails that are challenging on my KX250.

This series of vids for me are very inspirational and also I think you can learn a lot. It’s shown the bad form and technique which ends in crash then after perfecting the result on the same obstacle.

This italian guy it’s very funny in my opinion because he present in an auto ironical way the pathetic beginning and then after lots of training he transforms in a good trial rider.

Please watch the vids in posted order and observe that the initial laugh transforms in admiration (at least on my part) . Enjoy :worthy:

it's good too because lots of techniques in this vids translate to dirt bike

Very good sequence. I believe I know every one of those crashes personally. That would be a good series to study in slow motion and see if you can see what is really making the difference.

And every time I see the Champ riders making something incredible, I can't help but wonder how many times did they fail and why are they still alive? :worthy:

I would love to have a trials bike but where around Oregon could you ride it regularly and be challenged? You have to stay on the trails in the OHV areas and most all of the trails are quad capable which means no challenging obstacles. It is hard enough to find trails that are challenging on my KX250.

I know a few trails at Brown's Camp that would be good for trials, like Little Rubicon. I will go dig up my map and tell you some more. There are some 4wd drive trails they have piled up boulders and rocks on which are quite the fun rock n roll to climb(I've never seen anyone else but us go UP them on a bike, lots of people paddling down, which I would paddle too--but then maybe I'm not there at the right time). Those ones that they dump rock on are usually the triple black diamond ones. There's a bunch of scattered logs at the bottom of Back to Back too.

I know of a super nasty rock chute at Brown's Camp we found that would make you poop your pants. Looking down it was enough for me!

Ask this question in the Northwest forum, I'm sure people have a laundry list of trails for you. I know I've found plenty of stuff everywhere we've been that would qualify!

And if you want to make it harder, just pump up your tires nice n tight and go ride Upper Nestucca in the spring when the snow is almost melted. Ha, that's when I learned about controlling MY OWN t-i-r-e p-r-e-s-s-u-r-e (not letting hub try to keep me from getting pinch flats--which I DON"T because I'm not smacking into things! I float like a butterfly!)

The first things I notice when I switch bikes to a typical dirt bike is the lack of flywheel weight so the engine can die quickly if I'm not careful. It has no "follow through" or glide when you hit the power and close the throttle.

Then, they seem to lack a really low gear. First gear is more like 4th on my bike.

The handle bars crowd me when I try to stand and might droop to where I feel I have no leverage for tugging on them.

The last noticeable difference is that the suspension has so much damping that I can't pre-load and use the rebound as I would on my bike.. Oh, and the power or "pull" is lacking until I get the revs up and then it hits pretty hard. Not linear like my bikes.

see that is good info right there

I would love to have a trials bike but where around Oregon could you ride it regularly and be challenged? You have to stay on the trails in the OHV areas and most all of the trails are quad capable which means no challenging obstacles. It is hard enough to find trails that are challenging on my KX250.

You'd be surprised!!

These people can show you. They have been riding in Oregon even before I started in 1974 and are still holding events and have regular practice riding areas. And a few of the members bought multiple acreage homes and even hold Trials events and practice events on their own land.

They have an upcoming Trials event at Lolo Pass on July 12. Spectators are free and the people are really friendly if you let them know you are interested.

They have a forum, schedule of events, photos and all.

Check them out at:

http://www.observedtrials.com/

I know a few trails at Brown's Camp that would be good for trials, like Little Rubicon........

And if you ride around at Diamond Mill, you might come across this sign, posted by Oregon Department of Forestry:

trialsonly.jpg

That Photo was taken in May of 2006 by me.

I know of a super nasty rock chute at Brown's Camp we found that would make you poop your pants. Looking down it was enough for me!

That rock chute is GREAT practice on a dirtbike! Last time I was there, out of our group there was only one who made it all the way up from the bottom without dabbing his foot, and then he only made it once without multiple dabs. I had one spot where I ended up dabbing every single time. I could make it down without touching down every time, but up kept tripping me up. GREAT PRACTICE!

OKay, this is my list

the Poopy Pants Rock Chute is at the west end of Saddle Up, it's got TWO black diamonds on the map, and if you keep on going it's got more portions altogether as trail 16, but looking at the map it's on the west end of 16a. At the top of the chute there is an awesome viewpoint(naturally), and perfect lunch stop(yeah I think about that stuff:D) At the east end of Saddle Up it's rated just one black diamond(ha, like 2ply's sign j/k is that Keep Left?) and has a bunch of rocks dumped on a pretty flat surface(4wd trail, dont sneer at those, they can get really rutted deeply and get lots of pumpkins dumped on them).

Firebreak Five is a long straight uphil that has a bunch of baby heads and pumkins dumped on it, this was one we went up(and just saw people coming down)

Little Rubicon is a double black diamond, the bottom half has big rocks to thread, the top half is a fun chute with gravel.

Anyways, that should keep you busy. I think the TSF rating system is pretty good, and after riding some stuff in CA and seeing how they rate things, anyplace that has the ratings go detailed into triple black diamond has to have some good stuff :worthy:, eh?

EW if you went up and down my Poopy Pants Rock Chute I'm thinking of, my hat is off to you--it looks like it should be a waterfall. It looked like a dumptruck dumped off loads of rocks off the side of a cliff.

here is part of Firebreak Five, of course it doesn't look as NEAR as steep/rocky/scary as it was(ha,people always say that:D) It looks pretty easy in the picture, but you had to zigzag back and forth, because "someone" placed really big rocks right in the path of the easiest line. A good line to follow is not obvious either there is no worn path, you have to look ahead to plan you route around the big rocks, and also pay attention to not stalling on the rocks you were presently on top of. Doens't look lke it, but it was very mentally challenging, well for me anyways! (sorry my keyboard is hot and the spellign is crap) People always hoot about how hard singletrack is, well, yes, but a wide swath of hard stuff with no obvious smooth line is hard too, because there's so many choices.

IM002112-1.jpg

IM002116.jpg

I don't know Browns Camp very well, but the rock chute I'm talking about takes you up a very steep rocky section with very large rocks where at the top you hit a T and have to go left or right. We watched a few 4x4's show up, look down it, turn around and head back the way they came. I've yet to find a rock climb anywhere else I've ridden that was tougher.

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