Jumping questions from a newbie...

start on a small ones. and practice lots.

i aint a freestyle jumper but i can jump a bit. for what its worth heres my tips,

stand up with enough speed to clear the jump

be in a good attack position elbows out knees bent.

the throttle control will effect the attitude of the bike in the air

- shutting the throttle off in the air will drop the front wheel [nose dive]this can also be done with the back brake

- opening the throttle up will drop the back wheel

[ its handy to be able to remember these if things go a bit pear shapped while ur in the air]

if it does go a bit haywire dont bail off, its best to have suspension and a foam seat inbetween you and the ground.

remember to have a little gas on as u land or you will discover the joys of engine braking. by crunching your nuts on the tank and kissing the front mudguard [ unless ofcourse you like that kinda thing ]

get good at the basics first and just build up slowly,,,best of luck

IMHO tho the best advice tho is ''buy some good knee braces''

Thanks for the help and suggestions. I guess my biggest fears are comming up too short or too long.

Is there anyway to know (other than just doing it) how far one will jump if you are 3/4 throttle in 2nd gear? 3rd gear?

I have been to a riding area where people have built their own jumps and I have tried to watch their speed. They are all 2-strokes and say they jump in 2nd gear..

Anyway, thanks for the suggestions.


just take your time and work your way up slowly. its one of thos things u will get a feel for

I am living proof that you can start from scratch and learn. After not riding for 20+ years, I bought an XR 200 then graduated to a 2000 426 a few months later. I started out jumping little foot-and-a-half jumps I built in the woods, then ventured onto the track for the first time in my life at age 34. At first I rolled all the jumps and really felt like a fish out of water on the track. I was fortunate enough that the track closest to where I live (but still 1 1/2 hours away) was not overly technical. Most of the jumps are tabletops rather than doubles, triples, etc. Tabletops are the best jumps to learn on because you don't case it if you come up short, you just land on top. This allows you to gain experience in how far you will go off of a particular sized jump. Quickly you get a feel for it and I now can catch the downside of the small and medium size tabletops (not the 60 footers yet). My best advice is to try to find a track that best suits your ability. I can now look at a jump and pretty much know if it lies within my ability . Confidence comes with practice.

Rod, also don't be shy about asking what you think are stupid questions. It took me 7 months to find out that people don't use the clutch every time they shift. I just assumed you had to just like a car... I've asked many VERY ROOKIE questions on this site and find the experienced riders more that accomodating. Guys at the track that I've met are the same way- they welcomed me to the sport and have been very helpful. Also through this site I was able to pick up a riding buddy, Boit. You'll see his posts all over this site. He is extremely informative, and is my new "mentor." The best way to get good is to ride with guys better than you. I started out only getting on the track late after the races when no one else is riding-which is fine to get your feet wet initially- but I have learned so much more getting in there with the pack and watching what they do.

All this above is good advise. Probably your best bet to success on doubles, would be to go there with, or find someone that at least looks like they know what they are doing. Watch someone do the jump a few times, follow them and then turn off before the jump to get the speed down. The good thing about this sport is that there are tons of decient hearted guys out there that will be happy to help you. Remember that everyone had to start somewhere. Unfortunatley my riding buddies look up to me to try the new jumps, so this is the technique I use..... First of all, do all the "easy jumps first" Like what has been mentioned above, table tops are very forgiving. The first time you land on the front face of a big landing ramp, you will remember. Likewise the first time you land on the landing side the right way, you will also remember. Before hitting it, size it up. If it has a relitivly large, rounded top to the landing ramp, take a look and see what could happen if you come up short. If it looks too scarry for you, skip it and go on. There should be no pride lost if you do not feel comfortable with a jump. I don't want to scare you here but it could really get dangerous if something went wrong doing a 50 ft+ jump. Guys have been paralized, and broken very big bones. Have fun. That should be the bottom line. Don't try to be the hero and do "the big one" if you are not ready for it. I hope this helps. I will try to attach a picture of one of the biggest jumps I have attempted. I hit it at 4th gear wide open on my 426. I hope it turns out.


Looks like it did not work, I will email it to you.

[This message has been edited by Tim (edited 01-24-2001).]

I was in the same situation as YZthumpa - 20+ years without riding at all. It took a couple of months to get my wheels off the ground, and I can still remember that first three feet of air time.

My first trip to the motocross track was intimidating - either the bike jumped and I didn't or I jumped and the bike didn't.

When I got the 426 last year, I was able to try jumps that I wouldn't consider on a 250 two stroke (being the novice type rider that I am). The 426 is heavy on the front and has a long, flat powerband, which is ideal for straight line jumping (not intentional pancakes :) )

The 426 will jump a lonnnnng way in second gear. If you move your weight ahead (and keep it ahead) and twist the throttle so it doesn't turn any more, you can go 60+ feet (depending on the ramp). A steep ramp with a short approach has proven a bit too difficult for me up to this point, but I'll keep trying because old dogs can learn new tricks. Make sure you have plenty of run before trying a challenging jump for the first time - you don't want to loop it. Start a distance off the track to get a better run, and when the coast is clear - go for it. I usually do it the novice, lazy man's way, by sitting (not standing) ahead near the tank, and then standing when airborne.

Oh ya, just because I said the 426 will jump 60 feet in second gear, that doesn't mean that I've actually done it. :D

OK, these are novice comments - any other expert comments out there? You know who you are.

On my 426, I routinely used second gear for 60-70' jumps, and third for anything bigger.

Rod, to expand on what Tim said, when you are ready to do a jump that you consider "big", find a friend who will "pull" you over it. You want to ride right on his rear tire, then when he accelerates on the approach, you have to accelerate just as hard. To guarantee that you will clear it, charge at the jump as if you are trying to pass your friend. If you are heavier, you will need more boost to jump the same distance. Good luck and gradually work your way up. You have to build experience, and it can take years before you huck it over a 90 footer.

Ok, I hope not to sound like too much of a dork but here goes...

I recently bought a 426 and have been having fun play riding with it. I would like to start doing some jumps, kinda like what's on the MX tracks.

Is there a way that a 'newbie' can break into this gently??? I'm not sure about grabbing a handful of throttle and launching off some double jump for my first time (might be last time too...).

Any suggestions on how to start building confidence with jumps?

Thanks in advance,


Hey, Thumpa, his brother, and I have tons of fun practicing and riding together. We're too old to worry about how we look during a motocross race. We put more emphasis on building speed gradually and safely. I always thought this was about having fun anyway. You can't have fun if you are hurt and your bike is bent up. Go at your own speed and don't worry about whether you look like a beginner. We were ALL beginners at one point. I'm just happy to see so many new riders in our sport. Profits insure better bikes in the future. Now, if we could just do something about those damn pit riders/racers!

Scott F,

About going over 90+ft jumps it isnt that hard (you must do it in your mind first)...the first time I did a 110 ft tabletop I just said to myself "ahhh screw it I gotta do this jump" so I just pinned it wide in 3rd gear and successfully cleared it! Just be careful that your "head doesnt get to big" cause I got to thinking that... and went to fast on the 110 footer and overcleared it by 15-20ft (landed in the flat) and my suspension soaked it up, I couldn't believe that (If I would have been on my XR I would have for sure wrecked sooo bad I dont even want to think about it!)



I get my kicks on a 2001' YZ426!

Friendswood, TX

Perhaps you misunderstood. I have been doing the big 'uns for years. To the guys working their way up: take your time and gradually increase your distance as your skills improve.

Any relation to Travis Whitlock?

Yes. He is my cousin. We grew up riding bikes together. He is the 'no fear' type and wins everything. I was always more cautious, therfore, did not win hardly at all.

Do you know him?


I thought so, cuz on the WR side you said you did some hillclimbing, but I have seen Travis ride and like you said he has no fear. No I don't know him, but watched him hillclimb several times in Washington State. I am sure he could give you the hands on teaching that you might be looking for? I am in the same shoes as you, but I guess we just have to get out there and practice! Take care, Marco

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