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  1. With all acceleration bump situations, the key point is that it is much more preferable to be in that standing position than sitting down. You need to grip that motorcycle with your knees to make it more stable, and less chance of deflection. Lean back as you exit the corner and give it the gas so as the front tire become “light” and skims across the top of those bumps. If possible try and go around those bumps if it’s a little bit smoother. On the exit of heaps of corners there are usually some very aggressive acceleration bumps. What we want to do as we come around the corner is be generally in the seated position to maximize our speed as the resulting increased acceleration out of the corner is going to work great for getting smoothly over those bumps. You need to be able to get that front wheel up to easily skim those bumps. We want to utilize the first bump to help kick us up into the standing position, even if it’s just a squat, because in that standing position we can absorb those bumps a lot better, and we don’t get a pounding up the butt which can make your back very sore! You want to be very precise with your front wheel placement (as talked about in a previous article) when tackling bumps, because just moving it a couple of inches to the side on the trail can make a huge difference in the size of the bumps you have to ride over. That why it is very important to practice your Advanced Fundamental skills exercises, and also to look ahead while roosting down the trail so as you can have the most time to make the best line selection. If you are unable to get into the standing position in these bumpy situations, then you use all of the same techniques above (lean back, squeeze the bike, get on the gas) but you will find it better to also aggressively contract your core muscles to somewhat eliminate the rough ride that you are about to experience. Another thing that has recently helped me tremendously in conquering rough trail situations is to have the guys at Stillwell Performance tune my suspension. This investment is well worth it in terms of helping you enjoy those nasty acceleration bumps and trail junk! About me: http://www.shanewatts.com/bio Dirtwise Academy of Off-Road Riding http://www.shanewatts.com/schools Other riding tips from Shane: http://www.thumperta...earchid=9730619
  2. Shane Watts


    Dirt Wise Riding Tip #13 – by Shane Watts In our last column we went through how to un-drown your machine should it get submerged whilst traversing a water crossing. Preferably we don’t want to have to perform this procedure so let’s look at some tricks to help us successfully get through to the other side. First off, try to gauge these following things of each specific water crossing; 1. the depth, 2. the velocity of the water, 3. whether there are any big rocks under the surface and if they are covered with slime, 4. and whether it has a hard or soft base. If it looks really deep you could walk across first to get a better indication of the possibility to ride across. If the water is flowing fast and deep it is best if possible to point your bike slightly upstream before entering as the current will have an effect of pushing your bike in a down stream direction. If there is a lot of force on your bike from the current then it’s probably best that you get off the bike and walk beside it on the down stream side so as you can brace the bike better from being tipped over. Wet boots are better than a wet engine! Standing up is the preferred position to be in when riding through the crossing as it allows for you to have a better chance to maintain your balance especially should there be any boulders or slippery rocks under the surface. Remember to focus ahead with your vision for better balance but use your peripheral vision to scan for obstacles immediately in front of you. The faster you go across a soft base the less chance you will have of sinking down and getting stuck or submerged. However doing this also increases your chances of getting splashed. Sometimes a sandy base can be totally rock hard, as can be found in Florida in a lot of instances so being able to “read” and judge trail conditions well is an essential skill to have. If it’s a fairly smooth base to the water crossing, or if it’s deeper but not too far of a distance to the other side then doing a wheelie across it is a good option. If done correctly this helps keep the engine and carby higher out of the water and allows you to carry much more speed without drenching yourself and getting your gloves saturated. Beware though that when doing this that when the rear tire hits the water it will slow the bike down significantly, causing the front wheel to touch back down much sooner than a wheelie in normal conditions, so plan to loft that front wheel for a higher and longer distance. When riding slowly through some deeper water your bike has a tendency to “load up” and start running really rich, sounding like it’s about to stall out on you. A lot of riders panic in this situation and thus try to rev their bike out which usually makes things worse. The reason the engine loads up is because the ends of carby vent hoses are under the water which prevents the carby from “breathing”, therefore causing the burbling engine. To prevent this you could install some extra vent hoses that run up under the fuel tank on your bike and then tee them into the existing vent hoses. It’s best to keep the throttle at a lower setting when in this situation as this will provide stronger and more predictable power to forge forward. Go stop in a deep pool of water and try this out for yourself. Remember though to have your tool bag with you just incase you have to drown out while doing it!!! Shane About Shane http://www.shanewatts.com/bio Dirtwise Off-Road Riding School http://www.shanewatts.com/schools Off-Road Training Videos http://www.shanewatt.../catalog/20/all
  3. mxracer77

    HELP- Bad head shake on cr 125

    Just got a 2001 cr 125. Everything feels good besides he front end. Btw I'm 120lbs. But i almost went down hard a few time off of jumps cause near top sometimes I'd get really bad head shake and it'd really mess me up. Sometimes going into corners and down straightaways too it felt really unstable in the front end. How can I fix this or make it not as bad because it can get really sketchy and scare me away from some of the bigger jumps and stuff. Lowered the compression of the front forks a lot about halfway through the day and kinda helped but not much.
  4. Shane Watts

    DirtWise Riding Tip - Tree Roots

    Tree roots are a lot like sand whoops and rock gardens - the faster you go the easier they become to conquer but the consequences are much bigger if you get it wrong, especially if you let the front wheel drop down and slam into a big one. With tree roots, it's best to be standing up for a smoother ride and to help better maintain your balance. If possible, you want to try and approach them straight on. Generally, run a gear higher for more tractable power so that you can carry your momentum and lighten the front wheel so it skims and floats over the top. Banking off the sides of the trail can allow you to miss many exposed roots in the main hacked out portion of the trail. If you need to sit down, especially when exiting a corner or climbing a steep hill, use the seat bounce technique of preloading the rear end so as to help the front loft over the roots and the rear tyre glide over. If you do stop or get stuck in the roots, use the slingshot technique to get moving again and get back up to speed. The big thing with roots is to try maintain your momentum and keep moving forward no matter how it is achieved - once you stop it is so much harder to get going again. Keep on Roosting! Shane Watts http://www.shanewatts.com ...discuss this tip
  5. There are some really great benefits to looking ahead as you roost down the trail. As discussed in some of these previous tips, doing this gives a better sense of balance which in turn decreases your chances of getting out of control down the trail and having to get off the gas. The golden rule we like to use is that you should be looking ahead approximately 2-3 bikes lengths per gear that you are in. Being in third with the throttle cracked open means you should be generally focusing your vision on the trail between 6-9 bike lengths ahead. This distance gives you the adequate time to process the trail information (nasty log or rocks, an alternative line, etc) and then to react and implement the appropriate actions to handle the situation. It is best not to continually focus (stare) at a specific trail object. Instead, you want to continue looking forward down the trail while using your peripheral vision to scan back every so often as you approach that obstacle. The same goes for when you are roosting around a corner. If there is a big rock, stump or tree trunk on the exit of the corner and you continually stare at it as you get on the gas then most likely you will ride right into it. Hands up who’s done that before? Yeah, me too! It’s times like these that you really need to focus on your focus (ha, ha!) and use your mental strength to continue looking and thinking down the trail. In situations like this you briefly look at the object, recognize it for what it is, and then re-focus on the part of the trail that you want to be on. Whether it’s in life’s journey or just out on the trail be sure not to focus on the bad things because where you look is where you will go. In Volume 1 of our new series of Advanced Instructional DVDs that is now on sale at our online store, we show actual demonstrations that of the above that reinforce the benefits gained. Check out the promo film for Volume 1 at www.shanewatts.com Shane About Me: http://www.shanewatts.com/bio
  6. Everyone thinks they’re fast out there, but we all make mistakes that slow us down...not you? Well, we beg to differ! We’ve taken the time to talk to some of the sport’s best trainers and racers to get an idea of the top mistakes that slow many riders down, whether on the track or trail. Destry Abbott, Gary Bailey, Donnie Hansen, Ryan Hughes, Millsaps Training Facility and others all have contributed to these tips so take a look to see what’s slowing you down! #1 - YOUR BIKE IS TOO BIG FOR YOUR SKILLS Photo: Destry Abbott training students and DA8 Training Facility Most of our experts noted this as a reason that riders are slower than they should (or could) be as handling a bigger machine requires a lot of skill. “Professor” Gary Bailey, one of the legends of motocross and father of national champion David, has achieved such goals as an Inter-AMA win and two AMA 250cc motocross national victories finishing fourth in the series in 1974. Bailey has trained thousands of accomplished racers at the Gary Bailey MX School. He said: “For sure most riders want too big of a bike to start out. Too much power can get you in big trouble." Ryan Hughes, MX Pro Trainer at Ryno Power Gym and Factory Rider for Kawasaki, Honda and KTM also agreed, saying: “So many times I see a rider riding the same bike that Ryan Dungey rides. That rider knows the bike is capable to handle Ryan's speed, so they then try and mimic how Ryan rides that bike. Unfortunately, it often does not end well because in order to ride at those same speeds, a rider must ride over his head and ability.” So, when picking out your ride, make sure you use your head and not your heart. You can always move up...but it’s seldom that you see riders or racers wanting to move down in size or displacement. #2 - YOUR BIKE ISN’T PROPERLY PREPARED TO RIDE Photo: MTF Technician installs new tires Another common mistake cited by our experts that slows riders down is many don’t properly maintain their rides. From loose chains and bald tires to worn grips, there are many items which need consistent maintenance to perform at their optimal levels. Our panel agreed that they see many riders who have all new gear but worn out machines. Gary Bailey said: “Riders don't check their bike often to see if it is really safe to be on the track or even to ride.” Bryan Johnson, Head Trainer at Millsaps Training Facility, had this to say: "The number one mistake we see all the time is riders who don't properly maintain their practice bike. Their race bike is usually primed but in reality far more hours are put on a practice bike. So many guys end up getting hurt from an avoidable mechanical failure. Worn tires, chain and chain sliders and guides, sprockets and brake pads are just some examples" #3 - YOU AREN’T IN TIP-TOP SHAPE Photo: Ryan Hughes in full-on training mode It goes without saying that motocross and off-road riding are very physically strenuous and challenging activities to participate in. The stress and strain on your body is immense and no amount of new bike goodies is going to make up for being overweight, getting a bad night’s sleep, or a strained muscle. Our panel agreed that many riders are not physically prepared to take on the rigors of riding or racing, but that this could be avoided. Donnie Hansen, Head Trainer at DHMA, Motorcycle Hall of Fame Inductee, Honda Factory Rider, AMA 250cc Supercross Champion, Trophee and Motocross des Nations Champion, AMA Rookie of the Year and father of pro racer Josh, said: “Lack of training before riding or racing prevents riders from getting the most out of their bike and experience.” Ryan Hughes had this to say: When I go to the track I see so many riders, especially vet riders, which are in no shape to be riding a motorcycle even when they do it every weekend. Riders will complain that the track is too rough, spend all their money on making the bike better and hope all the safety equipment they are wearing is going to save them. Hughes continued: It seems no one wants to take the responsibility of being better and safer riders upon themselves. Most would rather point the finger at everything else when they get injured riding. The consequences are they same for every rider, but can actually be even higher for the rider that is unprepared.” #4 - YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE YOU’RE RIDING Photo: Donnie Hansen coaching Ken Roczen and Jake Weimer Many riders will show up at a new track or riding area knowing very little about the terrain or conditions. Specialty terrain requires special equipment and experience and you won’t get that by reading what others say...hands-on practice is where it’s at. Knowing where to brake for that next corner or running the right suspension setting only come from trial and error and remember - when it comes to racing - for some other riders it’s their home track, they’ve ridden it for years, you haven’t so you’re at a disadvantage. Destry Abbott, Head Trainer at DA8 Training Facility, Monster Energy Kawasaki rider with 5 AMA Hare and Hound Championships, 7 Gold Medals at ISDE and 5 time Best In The Desert Championships under his belt among other achievements had this to say: “Make sure you practice for whatever type of terrain you know you'll encounter in your upcoming race. For example if it's a sandy race, you should practice riding in sand as much as possible before the event so that you feel good and confident for that type of terrain.” #5 - YOU DON’T HAVE EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO GO FAST Photo: A welcoming pit with food, drinks (and bored girlfriend) at Southwick This tip may seem a bit less obvious but many riders and racers agreed that part of being fast and going long is having the little things. Maybe a cold drink between laps or a bite to eat like a banana. You wouldn’t believe how many riders don’t bring enough food or water when they ride. Potential issues like dehydration, heat exhaustion, and muscle strain are all compounded when you can’t find relief like a cold drink or a comfy place to sit out of the hot sun.. Destry Abbott: “The little things are big for me as well! Like having your goggles prepared, drinks, pit stop items, etc. I always like to be at the event and not feel rushed. It's nice to enjoy the moment and focus on the race, versus all the things you still need to do." # 6 - YOUR SUSPENSION ISN’T PROPERLY TUNED Photo: Race Tech adjusting suspensions Many riders and racers spend big bucks on suspension and then don’t set them up properly for different terrain types. Riding with suspension that’s too soft or harsh just tires you out and is inherently dangerous! Because the science of adjusting suspensions isn’t as easy as making a ham sandwich, some riders just set it and forget it. This is just stupid...your suspension needs to work for you, not against you. Donnie Hansen: “Front and rear suspension not balanced properly causing the bike not to handle or turn properly and race sag and the shock not measured out properly” are just some of the problems he advises his students to watch out for." Destry Abbott offered this: “If you've ever talked to one of my mechanics, they would all say I'm really picky when it comes to my bike set-up (more suspension than anything). Dialing in suspension for the race terrain prior to getting to the event is huge and will play a major part in your overall race results!” #7 - YOU NEED TO BE SMARTER, FASTER...AND TOUGHER! Photo: Ryan Hughes training AMA Pro Christian Craig Destry Abbott agrees that many riders still have a lot to learn...but don’t know how to “teach themselves” and he offered this: “Have a purpose on what you need to accomplish before each event and what you need to do with your training, and to your bike to make it happen. With this type of structure you'll get a lot better results, and won't be heading into your races unprepared.” When we spoke with Ryan Hughes, he was all about riding technique and when we listened to what he said, we realized many of us have been doing some things wrong. It’s hard to “un-train” yourself and shed those bad habit, so it’s great to have someone else watch you, take videos and for you to review your progress. Ryan offered these thoughts that apply to all riders: “Let me ask you: how do you train, how do you ride, how do you eat, how do you think, how do you stretch, how do you rest? All these points are really important in helping you become a better and safer rider. You must take all these aspects into account.” He continued: “Your body must be able to withstand the ride and withstand the crash because both are part of the sport. Being your own best advocate is important. Only you are responsible for your preparation that may one day save you. Take the responsibility into your own hands and don’t put it into anything or anyone else’s.” Now that you've gotten a taste of what the pro's have to say...want to learn more? Here are some links: Off-Road Riding Technique Forum Motocross Riding Technique Forum What Bike Should I Buy? We'd like to take an opportunity to thank our contributors, who are legends in this sport and can help you attain your goals: Destry Abbott at DA8 Training Facility Gary Bailey at Gary Bailey MX School Donnie Hansen at Donnie Hansen Motocross Academy (highly recommended) Ryan Hughes at The Ryno Institute The Team at Millsaps Training Facility
  7. I'm a older slow rider looking for some technical riding skills advise , I ride a wr250 and the closest please to ride would be Rower fats.
  8. So what say you? Do you shift while standing? I've been riding since I was 4, and I'm 32 now. I am a trail rider only and have never competed motocross. I realized sometime last year that it's not a skill I've ever really developed, and so now I go out of my way to practice, but it still doesn't feel natural to me. I decided to ask my buddies if they do, and was surprised to learn that I was almost the only that didn't, but I manage to keep up with them just fine on the trails. Do you shift while standing?
  9. I was today reminded violently that probably better is to sit not to stand while in mud and don't try to get out of rut in half way Front end washout to the left and I dove into the bushed on right I have no problem with saving this when in sand or dirt but in mud it's so quick you have no chance to react.
  10. Scralatchtica824

    Excessive engine braking?

    I've noticed compared to other bikes I've ridden, both 2 and 4 stroke, my crf250l has a lot of engine braking the second you're off the throttle. I don't remember if it was like that before I went stage 1 with exhaust, intake opening and programmer. Normally this isn't a problem but when you're ridding at very low speeds in 1st gear off-road, immediately after you left off the throttle it kind of upsets the whole balance of the bike as if you tapped the front brakes. I'm in the process of removing the evap and pair crap but I doubt that will have any effect.
  11. I've been doing a pile of trials riding vids & tutorials here, and a lot of guys have been asking for cross training versions - e.g. trials techniques applied to dirt bikes which are not only great for endurocross and extreme enduros, but useful for everyday dirt riding. So I started up a new website all about cross training here. These are only the written tutorials so far, but will start adding vids shortly. A guy in my trials club and took out two seconds and a win in the final of his division in endurocross in our state recently, then won each race the same series interstate. He's happy to be filmed doing these techniques so will start posting them soon. BEFORE YOU START Cross training - an introduction Protective gear Bike setup for cross training Setting up your suspension BASIC CROSS TRAINING TECHNIQUES Develop your balancing skills Full lock turns on a dirt bike Body positioning for cross training Braking Feathering & dropping the clutch Riding across a camber or slope INTERMEDIATE CROSS TRAINING TECHNIQUES Wheelies cross training-style U-turns & tight corners Hill climbs & ascents Downhills & drop offs Riding in soft sand Riding in mud Riding over rocky ground Mid-speed turns & cornering How to jump your enduro bike ADVANCED CROSS TRAINING TECHNIQUES Pivot turns & floater turns Hopping logs & up rock ledges Jumping gaps, ditches & ruts Using a kicker to jump obstacles Riding over whoops These were put together from a wide variety of sources, including tips from the masters of endurocross and extreme enduro riding: Graham Jarvis, Chris Birch, Jonny Walker, David Knight, Taddy Blazusiak, Dougie Lampkin and Andreas Lettenbichler - may their names and bikes be blessed forever, amen. .
  12. I bought a 2009 KX450 last December and have about 20 hours of riding on it. I've had a few instances where the front end washed out on me, most seriously about a month ago which resulted in a separated shoulder. The bike came with a Dunlop MX51 (Intermediate terrain) on the rear and a Motoz Terrapactor (Soft Terrain) on the front. Both are like new but I've read mixed reviews on the Motoz tire since it has directional tread. The first time I was riding trails and wheelied up a long hill with whoops. When I brought the front wheel down it landed on a dry root crossing the trail at an angle and the front end slid out, I safely rolled off. The second time I was riding the track at VDR and it seemed I couldn't push my speed in tighter turns without the front end wanting to wash out. I stayed up but was pretty wiped from wrestling the bike around those turns. The last time I was going around a slower turn at Watkins and before I knew it, the front end must have caught a rut or washed out and I high-sided. I landed on my shoulder and separated it. Before I get back to riding I want to figure out what the deal is. My suspension is sprung and valved correctly for my weight and the clickers are set very close to stock settings. I run both tires at 13psi. As far as technique, I'm a pretty low-time MX rider but have years of trail riding under my belt. On the track, turning is probably my weakness. I've watched a few Semics videos and know to lean back when braking into the turn, then get my nuts up by the tank and my leg out when turning and accelerating out. I tend to lean forward when accelerating out of turns too. It seems I'm either fishtailing out or having to back off as the front end wants to slide out. Any suggestions on how I can get my skill/confidence up to ride MX with confidence again? Is it the tire or tire pressure to blame? Having a separated shoulder is NOT fun and I miss the hell out of riding. Thanks!