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Lolly
26-04-2010, 12:08 AM
Today I rode along some sections of dirt road that was more like a slushy than gravel. My bike kept feeling like both the front and rear were going to wash out - but in opposite directions. Letting the bike just do its thing had me heading towards a water pipe - steering was really tricky.

I had no idea where to position my weight either. As trying all variations (centre, standing, over front, rear) didn't result in better handling. Nor did speeding up or slowing down. Constant pace going down or up hill being tricky to do of course.

Any tips?

taint
26-04-2010, 06:32 AM
Picking a decent line usually helps when you hit the deeper pea gravel. I tend to lean back and ride the bike off the rear wheel. Keep the front a little lighter and you can move your weight around to steer. I use the same style in deep sand as it usually effects the bike the same way. I also try not to chop the throttle too much but can give it some stick to get the arse end to slide to the line I want. You tend to countersteer a whole lot more on the dirtbike. I wouldn't worry where the arse end is aslong as the front is tracking straight

this works for me. Hope it helps

Lolly
26-04-2010, 10:09 AM
Thanks Taint.

When I put my weight towards the back I feel like I am yanking the handlebars up. How do I keep the front grip relaxed or is this feeling of pulling upwards normal?

taint
26-04-2010, 10:19 AM
There shouldn't be too much tension in your arms otherwise you end up forcing the bars around. I try to control the bike with my legs and weighting the pegs. Distribute your weight through your legs so you are not applying too much pressure on the bars otherwise when the front wheels skips to one side you end up pulling it back even further.

out_in_front
26-04-2010, 10:23 AM
Also keep the speed up and try not to turn unless you have to. The aquaplaning effect will keep you from bogging into it, also stay off the brakes if you can, simply rolling of fthe throttle and sinking in a bit will brake the bike to a decent degree.

It will help to some degree, but if you want to ride through that terrain fast what you really need is the correct tyres and suspension setup. An agressive but well washing tread - it should be able to evacuate the mud from between your knobs easily but still bite in well. Suspension - from memory a softer setup works better in mud... sure someone will correct me if I am wrong there though.

My guess what is happening at the moment is your tyres are getting blocked up with mud - meaning nothing really works because you have no grip whatsoever.

Spock
26-04-2010, 11:04 AM
My guess what is happening at the moment is your tyres are getting blocked up with mud - meaning nothing really works because you have no grip whatsoever.
Good advice except there was no mud. It was as dry as a bone and very dusty out there yesterday.

tinytoolmans274
26-04-2010, 11:27 AM
ride loose and grip with your legs , look ahead an dont look down your front guard

filbert
26-04-2010, 11:58 AM
i'll ask a silly question, but since you mention pulling back on the bars when moving your weight back, are you trying to move your whole body back?
I usually just slide my butt back down the seat, keeping shoulders forward and end up in more of a crouched position when standing.
I'm also of the school of thought "sit when you can, stand when you HAVE TO" very rarely find me standing up on smooth or boggy terrain unless there are whoops and bumps to bounce me off the seat, in that case stand just enough to let your legs do some of the suspensions work but not upright.

Lolly
26-04-2010, 12:54 PM
silly question since you mention pulling back on the bars when moving your weight back, are you trying to move your whole body back?


What makes you the arbiter of a good question? Especially when you make the statement and then follow it up with one yourself.

filbert
26-04-2010, 12:58 PM
i should reword that, i meant i felt i was asking a silly question.

and moving your weight back can be done with the hips keeping your shoulders in roughly the same position, i don't know how you ride or how much experience you have offroad, so i felt my question was silly not yours.

Lolly
26-04-2010, 01:01 PM
oh okay - sorry about the misunderstanding then :) I am a noob at offroad. I have done a one day ride with West Coast through Nannup Balingup etc which covered varied terrain - sand, rocks, hills, mud, scree, water, single track.... It was awesome and successful if not exhausting. But then I had a bad tumble in a rut a few months later and have struggled to get my confidence back as I keep remembering how bad my poor leg felt when it crushed into the rut wall - it could have been concrete it was so bloody hard.

Anyway, I think my riding success to that point had been based on lady luck rather than any talent, so now I'm taking it slowly and 'trying' to develop some skills.

filbert
26-04-2010, 01:20 PM
That misunderstanding was definitely my bad when i read it again after your post it sounded downright nasty lol, i raced MX as well as bush riding from 5 years old so very hard for me to explain technique or picture what it is that makes you feel uncomfortable getting your weight back, and for all i knew you could have been at or above the same level i peaked at so i was actually trying to avoid offence.
I've ridden with a lot of friends as new riders and they do seem to try to move their whole body back and end up arms straight pulling the bike up as though trying to wheelie, where if you bend at the hips but keep your arms relaxed and bent, you end up shoulders and head lower down with your butt just off the very back of the seat and it's quite stable and comfortable. If you can find a way to hold the bike upright safely you can practice moving your weight forward and backward on the seat and get a feel for what i mean, if you run a few searches on youtube for mx riders etc you should be able to see it clearer.

Uni
26-04-2010, 01:21 PM
.

Uni
26-04-2010, 01:37 PM
i'll ask a silly question, but since you mention pulling back on the bars when moving your weight back, are you trying to move your whole body back?
I usually just slide my butt back down the seat, keeping shoulders forward and end up in more of a crouched position when standing.

Moving your main mass will have a bigger effect for a smaller movement, but of course, this comes down to personal preference.
A Proper standing position (well, attack position) is kind of a standing crouch as a rule.



I'm also of the school of thought "sit when you can, stand when you HAVE TO" very rarely find me standing up on smooth or boggy terrain unless there are whoops and bumps to bounce me off the seat, in that case stand just enough to let your legs do some of the suspensions work but not upright.

I agree with your school of thought but it's your own riding style that dictates where this occurs. I stand pretty much stand everywhere at speed, it becomes habit. I'll sit for a tight flat corner or a berm and then use the next bump to stand up (a thousand squats in a day gets bloody tiring).

out_in_front
26-04-2010, 01:56 PM
Aaah - when you said 'slushy' i though you meant it was wet / muddy....

If you are talking about sand sections, again tyres could be a problem, also correct stance will help - with your arse hanging over the rear end of the seat to keep weight on your rear wheel and off the front (as Uni said)
Hard sections - If you are having the same problem, i really have no idea what is going wrong.... If it was rutted, chances are your wheels were going in seperate ruts, only experience will help there.

BTW what bike do you have and what tyres (and how much have they worn / what pressures)? would be usefull - if it's a chinese bike I would probably tell you to go and check every nut to see if some parts have come lose. If it's a jap bike it's probably more about the tyres than anything else, still could be a good idea to check wheel bearings / spoke tension etc.

Rodent
26-04-2010, 03:58 PM
too much theory

just ride more

PaulMac
26-04-2010, 04:22 PM
Hey Lolly,

Being a Qlder, the pea gravel takes a bit to get used to but I find in most circumstances, keeping your weight central and standing up in a position that sees your legs bent a little and your arms bent a little allows you to shift weight fore or aft quickly as necessary. Always weight the front when slowing and cornering and then shift weight to the rear on the exit. Dirt bikes are always nervous with a flighty feel. Adam, Jason, Matt and I were discussing this on Sunday. If you have good tyres, just try to keep your speed up as fast as you dare and let the bike find it own way but be ready to take control if you find it getting away from you. Takes practice and confidence and don't focus on the ruts or sure as bugger you will fall into them. Search out the smoothest path around obstacles. Get your suspension tuned for your weight and ability too. Can make a pig of a ride into a magic carpet.

agrid
26-04-2010, 04:33 PM
Keep your feet on the pegs and use body language to keep it pointed where you want.

Jasey
26-04-2010, 04:41 PM
Are you running the tyres that came with the bike? They seem to still be fairly road based and don't take kindly to the deeper gravel. I found that it's just a feeling you need to get used to, just try and work out at what point it becomes too deep. There seem to be more aggressive road legal trail tyres around, ask taint what he was running. If you can't afford new tyres then the obvious solution is tyre pressures. Lower them. Just make sure you don't ride too far on the road without pumping them back up. It still won't feel like a bike that has dirt tyres on it but should still make a hell of a lot of difference.

Lord_Muck
26-04-2010, 04:52 PM
Hey Lolly, i'm probably only just slightly ahead of you in terms of experience, i felt like i couldn't make the thing go in a straight line at first, felt as though the bike was just going to fall over underneath me all the time on deep gravel or sandy sections etc. I started out on a KLR250 which was quite gutless and weighed a ton with saggy suspension, this certainly didn't help matters but it got me in the door, then i upgraded to an old 1998 RMX250 2-stroke, much lighter, much higher seat, much more nimble and had about 4 times the power.
After only a few rides on that bike in the bush, i went on an all sand ride in the dunes, and learnt a HEAP in one day, its tiring, particularly if u keep getting bogged on hillclimbs, but it got to be pretty good fun after the first hour or so.

Just set your own pace, but bear in mind that trying to idle along like miss daisy can make it worse, you'll almost certainly end up in all the bad ruts etc (also coz u have so much time to concentrate on staring at them i think).

What bike do you have, where abouts do you ride and is the bike licensed?

I'll be going on a bit of a shakedown run out the back of Mundaring next week before entering the Honda Rally at the end of May.... yet next weekend will be my first outing on the new DRZ400E! (in the dirt anyway)

Uni
26-04-2010, 06:00 PM
Are you running the tyres that came with the bike? They seem to still be fairly road based and don't take kindly to the deeper gravel. I found that it's just a feeling you need to get used to, just try and work out at what point it becomes too deep. There seem to be more aggressive road legal trail tyres around, ask taint what he was running. If you can't afford new tyres then the obvious solution is tyre pressures. Lower them. Just make sure you don't ride too far on the road without pumping them back up. It still won't feel like a bike that has dirt tyres on it but should still make a hell of a lot of difference.

Bingo, tyres and pressures. Generally, cross terrain tyres struggle in slippery conditions and road going tyre pressures will make gravel feel like ball bearings. Drop pressure if your not getting grip. If your still struggling, it's time to look at different tyres.

Lolly
26-04-2010, 07:46 PM
I'm riding a 2009 Yamaha TT230. Its just right in terms of size and weight (couldn't go heavier thats for sure!!). The tyres are the ones that came with the bike. I will probably change them in time for the Adventure Rally (which by the way has entries opened yet? I check the T&E website everyday but nothing yet....).

The suspension is soft standard and probably right for me.

I think it is a case of getting more kms under me. But just as with road riding, I appreciate that there is a lot of technique to learn and the suggestions - particularly re the riding position - are very helpful. I can't wait to get back out and try riding with my elbows bent as I'm pretty sure they were locked yesterday.

I've got some dvds around - so I'll get them out too.

AZAZL
26-04-2010, 09:01 PM
Lolly get your arse a little off the seat more often than not, the weight onto the pegs, thigh grip tank a little and keep a gentle but firm grip on the bars. Not a death grip. Expose yourself to much dirt, and it will become natural. Full stand up is more for comfort over dirt distance as sitting on the seat is a pain in the back. Over time your leg muscles that need to support you will be there and it becomes easy. With this posture you can move with the bike over different terrain and you needn't freak over what the sliding tyres are doing.

smitto
26-04-2010, 09:19 PM
I know what you mean about the deep pebbly gravel out there at this time of year. It pretty much wrecks most of my fun...

Everyone is right in saying keep your weight back, but try accelerating a bit above cruising speed, then backing off when you can.

Accelerating keeps the front up a bit and leaves it less likely to follow a weird track that you dont want to take

I could ride in that shit 100 more times and not be any better. I try to avoid them if i can.

timmay
27-04-2010, 08:19 AM
Lolly get your arse a little off the seat more often than not, the weight onto the pegs, thigh grip tank a little and keep a gentle but firm grip on the bars. Not a death grip. Expose yourself to much dirt, and it will become natural. Full stand up is more for comfort over dirt distance as sitting on the seat is a pain in the back. Over time your leg muscles that need to support you will be there and it becomes easy. With this posture you can move with the bike over different terrain and you needn't freak over what the sliding tyres are doing.
I need to get better at this too. I assume it takes a bit of confidence to allow the bike to slide without panicking? Everytime i try to allow it, and go with it I get worried it will slide out on me.

taint
27-04-2010, 08:25 AM
I'll be hitting the dirt again this Saturday if anyone is interested in improving their skills...mostly I just want to ride :D

baxter
27-04-2010, 08:38 AM
ride with the exceptation that you are going to fall off and it wont hurt :) youll be able to go much quicker once the whole worrying about busting your self up phase is past

AZAZL
27-04-2010, 09:04 AM
I need to get better at this too. I assume it takes a bit of confidence to allow the bike to slide without panicking? Everytime i try to allow it, and go with it I get worried it will slide out on me.

How about start with fun stuff to get used to surfaces like gravel, not speed? I'm as slow as a DDD and would ne a joke racing but I have fun first. Start with spinning up the back on take-off in gravel, get used to it moving around. No need to WOT, enough to spin it up in a few fears. Next up, rear lockup foot down 180 turns, fishtailing out under heavy throttle. Try left and right hand. Simple fun hoon things to get used to tyres sliding under you. Front wheel sliding movement (which I avoid!) can be started by simple foot power donuts and figure 8's leaning the bike much. If it falls down, stand up. If your aim is race,trhis is silly shit and you need to follow someone practiced in the art. If it is just hooning in the dirt, silly shit is good.

likefry
27-04-2010, 09:08 AM
On a similiar topic, I was riding a mates kx 250 from wedge point back to lancelin along the beach. First time i'd ridden a dirt bike actually offroad.

Was a heap of fun and was getting some small jumps off the washout section in the beach. But it was my mate and I on bikes and everyone else in 4wd's. Going along the beach was fine but in the narrower section the ruts of the cars was scary as i felt i couldn't control what the bike. When in a rut it felt like it was gonna fall over if i tried to get out of it unless i hit it at quite an angle, which was pretty hard in a deep rut.

How do you deal with ruts in soft sand? Similiar thing about moving back so the front wheel can ride up over the rut?

filbert
27-04-2010, 09:12 AM
you raise a very good point azazl sometimes we forget how to just get out there and have fun. Knowing all the techniques in the world doesn't help if you're not enjoying it, if the tracks you're riding are making it a chore find somewhere fun to ride, slide and generally hoon til your confidence is up then try the hard stuff .

Tin Tin
27-04-2010, 09:16 AM
I Generally stand on the pegs, keep knees bent, leaning back and keeping the revs at a steadly rate (read: not too high) in say 2nd/3rd Gear. Let the bike move around underneath you, let the rear wheel do the work, and keep the front wheel as straight as possible

ButtNekid
27-04-2010, 09:21 AM
Hmm this is interesting, into turns I always have my crotch right up hard against the tank, weighting the front wheel down, head over cross bar, elbows high, and push down hard on the outside peg, smooth throttle, steady in fast out of turns, then back into a crouch (attack) position with ass further back, but head still over cross bar. I have been riding MX for 20 years, never done me wrong, if you have your weight back all the time, you wont get the thing to steer at all.

3 more weeks and my hand will be ready to go again (snapped tendons) so the crew will be out at the Lakes again just in time for the rains, Lolly you should come out with us, that way you will get a mixture of terrain to ride on.

Get rid of those tyres and get some decent ones, a soft all terrain front (this will cope with gravel and sand) and a medium sand rear will do the trick, depending on the terrain, run anywhere between 14 and 17psi (harder ground, harder pressures). You may think the suspension is fine, but you need to set front and rear static sags to make sure it is working properly.

Tin Tin
27-04-2010, 09:26 AM
Hmm this is interesting, into turns I always have my crotch right up hard against the tank, weighting the front wheel down, head over cross bar, elbows high, and push down hard on the outside peg, smooth throttle, steady in fast out of turns, then back into a crouch (attack) position with ass further back, but head still over cross bar. I have been riding MX for 20 years, never done me wrong, if you have your weight back all the time, you wont get the thing to steer at all.

.

I Thought we were talking about straight-line stuff through deep sand/gravel.. but yes as far as cornering goes thats right ^^

Cbr1k
27-04-2010, 09:32 AM
Hey if anyone knows how to pilot a fully laden CB1300 road bike though deep gravel with messing up undies let me know :)

Uni
27-04-2010, 09:41 AM
I need to get better at this too. I assume it takes a bit of confidence to allow the bike to slide without panicking? Everytime i try to allow it, and go with it I get worried it will slide out on me.

Your absolutely right, confidence is the key. Oh, and practice.
Generally, front wheel slides are bad, so if this happening it's time to back off (and dab the inside foot on the ground^_^). Body postition is the key to a good rear wheel slide or a power slide. Some like to hang over the front, but I like to remain just forward of neutral. Either way helps you to push down and slightly back on the peg. Weight the out side peg to gain grip and bring the back under control if it starts to get away from you.

If you master body position and weighting the pegs, then it won't take long until your sliding both wheels on purpose. :cool:

filbert
27-04-2010, 09:55 AM
i was assuming the same as tintin but same stance i was trying to describe buttnekid only less racelike for the trail, elbows up definitely helps with armpump and making you move your body to steer. Would have to confirm that lolly's bike has beadlocks before running those low pressures. My klr 250 didn't and used to turn tubes below 20 psi. Did you ever race shrubland park in bunbury?

Uni
27-04-2010, 10:56 AM
How about start with fun stuff to get used to surfaces like gravel, not speed? I'm as slow as a DDD and would ne a joke racing but I have fun first. Start with spinning up the back on take-off in gravel, get used to it moving around. No need to WOT, enough to spin it up in a few fears. Next up, rear lockup foot down 180 turns, fishtailing out under heavy throttle. Try left and right hand. Simple fun hoon things to get used to tyres sliding under you. Front wheel sliding movement (which I avoid!) can be started by simple foot power donuts and figure 8's leaning the bike much. If it falls down, stand up. If your aim is race,trhis is silly shit and you need to follow someone practiced in the art. If it is just hooning in the dirt, silly shit is good.

I'd argue that what you have described is the start of perfecting the art of bike control. Being a hoon-dog like Azazl will make you a better rider, you will get a feel for loss of traction and what to do to either make it more lairy or faster. Careful though, 'lairy' will impress your mates and earn you beers but can lead to friendly sledging when you get it wrong..:lol:

I totally agree with you on the fun part. If I'm not having fun, it must be beer o'clock which means home time.

taint
27-04-2010, 11:00 AM
Hey if anyone knows how to pilot a fully laden CB1300 road bike though deep gravel with messing up undies let me know :)

http://www.perthstreetbikes.com/92198/Dirt-bike-riding-tips/cyL1.jpg

Like this gixxer 1100 :)

http://www.perthstreetbikes.com/92199/Dirt-bike-riding-tips/cyL12.jpg

click for larger photos

St Ives
27-04-2010, 11:34 AM
I think a little more practice is the main thing required, more off road suited tyres will help too but practice to feel comfortable with the movement when on gravel.
My tips:
Don't go too slow, 50-70 is good but once you're down to 30 it gets harder to turn.
Start to turn by moving your weight in the direction you wish to turn (your shoulders rather than your bum), apply gentle throttle to turn. More difficult to turn while decellerating.
Practice drifting the rear by giving it a fist full of throttle when exiting turns.

Spock
27-04-2010, 01:18 PM
I think a little more practice is the main thing required, more off road suited tyres will help too but practice to feel comfortable with the movement when on gravel.

Practice drifting the rear by giving it a fist full of throttle when exiting turns.
I agree that practice is the key, and I have been practising drifting the rear out of turns using the throttle - only thing is, sometimes instead of the rear breaking loose, sometimes the front pushes - and I nearly came a cropper once or twice. What's with that? What am I doing wrong? Is it a technique (or lack of) issue? Or tyres? Or a bit of both?

PS - My DRZ runs standard road-legal Dunlop D903 knobbly tyres with about 17psi and Lolly's TTR runs similar Dunlop enduro D907 knobblys which were actually underinflated at 10psi.

filbert
27-04-2010, 01:27 PM
are you trying it while standing or sitting spock? I have the drz400e and no problems sitting right up against the tank and shoulders forward but standing i pretty much have to have my head over the front guard. If it's a 400s i'd blame the tyres ? Does the tt r have bead locks?

Uni
27-04-2010, 01:28 PM
.

Uni
27-04-2010, 01:42 PM
I agree that practice is the key, and I have been practising drifting the rear out of turns using the throttle - only thing is, sometimes instead of the rear breaking loose, sometimes the front pushes - and I nearly came a cropper once or twice. What's with that? What am I doing wrong? Is it a technique (or lack of) issue? Or tyres? Or a bit of both?

This is due to your weight being over the rear wheel giving it enough traction to lift the front enough to cause it to slide out. Try moving your weight forward more to weight the front end and force it down. This effect is more aggressive on fresh rubber as the sharp nobbies really want to put the power down.



PS - My DRZ runs standard road-legal Dunlop D903 knobbly tyres with about 17psi and Lolly's TTR runs similar Dunlop enduro D907 knobblys which were actually underinflated at 10psi.

Try 12psi as an absolute minimum on gravel. I'd personally use 14 for more puncture and rim protection.

timmay
27-04-2010, 01:42 PM
This is due to too much of your weight over the rear wheel so it grips and lifts the front tyre enough to loose traction and slide. transfer more weight forward, i.e. lean in to the front wheel a bit more. You'll get this more on fresh rubber as the rear really wants to put the power down.

Try a minimum of 12psi for gravel. I'd run 14 for more puncture protection.

This is only on loose gravel though? On soft sand if I try this it seems to bog the front down too much?

agrid
27-04-2010, 01:46 PM
Get your balls on the tank

Uni
27-04-2010, 01:47 PM
This is only on loose gravel though? On soft sand if I try this it seems to bog the front down too much?

ahh yes, my bad. Run 16 to 18 for the really soft and deep stuff.

Spock
27-04-2010, 01:49 PM
ILolly's TTR runs similar Dunlop enduro D907 knobblys which were actually underinflated at 10psi.

Try 12psi as an absolute minimum on gravel. I'd personally use 14 for more puncture and rim protection.
That was just due to my laziness in not checking the tyre pressures before we left home.


are you trying it while standing or sitting spock? I have the drz400e and no problems sitting right up against the tank and shoulders forward but standing i pretty much have to have my head over the front guard. If it's a 400s i'd blame the tyres ? Does the tt r have bead locks?
I was sitting but not right up against the tank. (It's a DRZ250 btw).


Does the tt r have bead locks?Is that the same as rim locks (like an extra tyre valvestem)? If so, yes it does, but my DRZ doesn't.

filbert
27-04-2010, 02:46 PM
yes beadlock or rimlock i 4x4 as well lol. If you're riding 75% offroad check out the bridgestone ed04 closest thing to a proper knobby i've found that's still road legal.i forgot the 250was a drz lol almost identical to my old klr even down to the wheels and tyres keep the pressures up a bit if you don't have rimlocks.

Uni
27-04-2010, 03:03 PM
It's pretty easy to put one in if your interested. Most enduro lads move their rim lock closer to the valve stem to speed up tyre changes, but the mod is the same for installing a new rim lock.

here is a good link if you decide to use a more aggressive rubber. It explains the hows and most importantly, the whys.
Rim Lock / Bead Lock / Bead Stopper Installation on 4Strokes.com (http://www.4strokes.com/tech/rimlock/)

cYcLoNe
27-04-2010, 03:35 PM
My first noob mistake was to use Armourguard on
the vynal seat. On the bright side, I learnt how
to grab on tight with my knees. :D

filbert
27-04-2010, 05:21 PM
It's amazing how much of the weight shifting in dirt riding is done for you once you're confident, you start braking for a corner and let it slide you up the seat and bingo weight is where it needs to be over the front wheel for turn in grip, you start accelerating and go with it a little and again your weight is over the rear for traction, hit a bump and it bounces you up so you stay up and saves the effort of standing up, go fast around a corner and centrifugal force is pushing your body to the outside of the corner put that force into your outside footpeg and you increase your traction.

Like any riding be smooth, and setup for what's coming but look through it, don't stare at it or you'll get stuck in it.

It's only occasionally when you hit something tricky that you actually have to think about weight shift, but always the same rules apply move over the wheel you want to grip and away from the one you want to slip, use the full seat it's padded on the tank and smooth to the back fender for a reason :)

Practice makes perfect, but...... no good practicing something if you're doing it the hard way, watch some videos and ride with people who make it look easy not necessarily fast.

GIXERMAD
27-04-2010, 06:03 PM
This is only on loose gravel though? On soft sand if I try this it seems to bog the front down too much?

When you ride sand try and steer your bike like you would a boat, steer from the rear using power if that makes sense. Your body position should remain forward up near the tank just shift your head back to add weight to the rear wheel. When cornering in sand it's important to keep power on all the way through the corner or your front end will bog down. You dont want tyre pressures to high in the sand about 12psi is good.

Riding sand and riding hardpack are different and specific bike set up will help however this is more for racing. Most of all get out and practice and try to do it with guys/girls who have been riding offrad for a while.

Sprint
27-04-2010, 06:13 PM
Any tips?

Nail it.
Ride frequently.

S.

agrid
27-04-2010, 07:37 PM
Coming from trail and enduro bikes to street bikes I had to get used to looking through corners and not worrying about the surface. On dirt you have to keep and eye out for rocks, ruts, roots, changing gravel types, honky nuts and so on. I remember the first few track days at Wanneroo when I kept obsessing about track surface in the basin. I thought sand had been washed across the track and I was going to lose the front every time. Turns out it was just a white salt stain from the sprinklers. The instructors pointed out that there is little point worrying about the small stuff because its going to come up so fast you can't avoid it anyway so just look through the corner. The point I am trying to make (in a cumbersome way) is that when riding dirt you do need to keep an eye on whats coming up not just the line. Riding sand... go as fast as comfortable to stay on top of the sand, keep a lose grip on the bars and enjoy the feeling of the bike doing its thing.

reggie426
27-04-2010, 08:25 PM
A good tip is to look at where you want to go, alot of people just stare at whats in front of their front tyre. And nothing teaches you better technique than riding with others more experienced than you and working it out by trial and error. You won't get expert at it in the first couple of rides, takes time. Enjoy the dirt :)

Helipos
27-04-2010, 10:08 PM
Another tip I find useful for loose surfaces (deep gravel / sand) is not to pull on the bars but rather push on them. I find that I dont tend to yank on the bars as much when i hit a rut or something similar if I'm pushing on them.
It will feel really wierd when you first try it and it will take some getting used too.

Cam

reddog
28-04-2010, 12:59 PM
Also depends on your bike. My old DT200R was more biased for road so the front would wash out really easy on gravel. My new DRZ400E does it pretty easy in comparison. Just keep practicing and asking questions of seasoned riders, they'll help you out as they have been there and done that so to speak.

timmay
28-04-2010, 01:00 PM
Lots of good tips here for me to try out.
Guess the one main point is practice practice practice

Spock
28-04-2010, 03:00 PM
Another tip I find useful for loose surfaces (deep gravel / sand) is not to pull on the bars but rather push on them.
That's a good tip. I often find myself pulling on the bars and it will be interesting to try do the reverse.

AZAZL
28-04-2010, 04:05 PM
and balls on tank is good for corners. Balls off tank good for jumps. I've seen results of a failed double. Not pretty.

Shady7/8
28-04-2010, 04:28 PM
Lots of good tips here for me to try out.
Guess the one main point is practice practice practice

True that... Now to get my bike back from Gav, and get some more riding happening so I can practise!!!

Lolly
28-04-2010, 06:32 PM
These ride tips are fantastic! Keep them coming - any topic welcome. :thanks:

chew
28-04-2010, 07:59 PM
Now for the obvious! (For some)

Always be aware of the terrain and take a friend.

I had been out riding for about 70kms on new tracks, I had noted that one particular bump I went over was chopped up by 4 x 4's. I made a mental note of watching for it on the way back.

On the way back full of unfounded confidence (and two low sides) I spotted a small track running off to the left and thought "wonder where that goes", as I crested the rise I realised it was a track around the chopped up hill. I'm still good I thought as I landed it, I'm still good I thought as I fought it, I'm still good I thought as the front finally crossed up. I hope I havent totalled my shoulder I thought as I crawled out from under the bike (again thankfull for motocross boots). I ended up on the right near the bottom of the hill in the shrubs.

Going on dusk still 8 kms from home base, it started!

34482

headbolts
28-04-2010, 11:11 PM
michelin ac10's, awesome dot approved road legal tyre, good in wa hills, grips well on road but will not last long on road, i get about 1000km rear and 2000km front from mine (although they get abused). as previously stated, balls on the tank, for loose corners throw your leg out near the front wheel for extra weight over the front increasing grip levels. my 2c worth :)

reggie426
29-04-2010, 09:15 AM
I noticed a few comments about pushing on the bars, I tend to keep my weight off the front in sand etc, keep the front wheel light so it doesn't get bogged down, but upfront in gravel. Your head should be roughly in line with the bars.

The main thing with offroad is you use your rear wheel alot more through turns, whether it's powering out of a berm or flat cornering. Different to road, you want your weight on the outside ie left turn, weight on the right peg. A rough guide would be to get the outside corner of the seat edge in your bum crack, so to speak. Then move your weight back to centre as you exit the turn. Also, try standing as you come into the turn, pivot the bike beneath you while gripping with your knees, and sit down into the right position as you're turning. Of course different corners require different variations to this, which you'll work out.

Sounds complicated but with practice (as with anything) it's becomes natural

taint
29-04-2010, 09:43 AM
for those of you that want/need some practice. There is a ride on this weekend. Check http://www.perthstreetbikes.com/forum/f17/dirtbike-ride-saturday-1st-may-106819/ for details

agrid
29-04-2010, 09:47 AM
^and that's what makes dirt riding so much fun. Sadly another avenue of pleasure snatched away from me by responsibility.

Uni
29-04-2010, 11:06 AM
As previously stated, balls on the tank, for loose corners throw your leg out near the front wheel for extra weight over the front increasing grip levels. my 2c worth :)

Good tip. This works best for flat corners..


Ok Lolly, some general tips you say? How about a full break down?

As I am bored and sitting at home on my arse, I will try to help out and most importantly, kill this day off at the same time. Hmm where to start? Since we're talking about cornering and the specifics of each type... Today we will look at a flat corner and flat cornering techniques. Should be simple enough. ^_^

This is a flat corner:
http://www.perthstreetbikes.com/92471/Dirt-bike-riding-tips/krksinfants096.jpg
(and a tasty one at that)
I will use MX style pictures for ease of demonstration, but it's all relevant out bush too.

Ok, the basic mechanics:
1. Just like the road, setup early. Judge speed, pick line, break early, yadda yadda.
2. Keep your dammed head up!

- look down, fall down.
- look through the corner, assess terrain early.
3. Start the turn by pushing down on the inside peg.

- lean the bike with your feet. Sounds weird but leaning the bike by pushing the bars was
backwards when I converted to roadies.
4. Remain forward of central and shift your bike under YOU, then sit on the EDGE of the seat.

- I can't stress how important it is to sit on the EDGE and not on the face of the seat. This will transfer your weight over the wheels and help them to dig in, rather than help the bike fall over if you had followed the seat face.
5. Chuck your inside leg towards the front wheel.

- aids balance and puts more weight on the front wheel (it helps believe me)
- if it does go pear shaped, you now have a foot out ready to dab the ground and keep you up! cher!
- point your toes so your foot glides over bumps rather than receiving a nasty jarring.
6. Keep your bloody elbows up!

- how are you going to steer with your elbows below the bars? Praying mantis style will not work here..
- dominate the bars, own them. Grip firm but relaxed. White knuckles are sore and tired knuckles at the end of a day.
7. Weight the outside peg.

- I mentioned this in an earlier post and it's bloody important. This is were things will start to
click when you master this.
- more downward pressure on the wheels (mostly the rear) = gripy goodness.
- now you can do power slides at will! Just lift some weight off for Azazl action (hoon) and put more back on when you want to straighten up/save a face plant. Just add throttle for effect.
8. Steer with the bars and increase throttle through the corner.

- as you get more advenced, use the clutch and breaks as well.
9. By now your out of the corner and back on the gas.
10. Don't forget to smile too, it helps to no end when cornering ^_^

Some demonstration?
http://www.perthstreetbikes.com/92472/Dirt-bike-riding-tips/8225_155919926917_633976917_2807266_2456095_n_stam ped.jpg
What's he doing wrong?
Point your toes to avoid injury...
Lift your BLOODY ELBOWS DUMMY!

Ahhh, that's a better one:
http://www.perthstreetbikes.com/92473/Dirt-bike-riding-tips/HeightonFlat(Medium).jpg

Not much to remember hey? Easy as! **dodges books and other hard objects being thrown at him**

My apologies for boring anyone and for any errors or omissions. Azazl, sorry for using you as my hoon bench mark, though I suspect that you would smile at this title no? :lol:

Tin Tin
29-04-2010, 11:29 AM
Some good tips there... just one question.


- I can't stress how important it is to sit on the EDGE and not on the face of the seat. This will transfer your weight over the wheels and help them to dig in, rather than help the bike fall over if you had followed the seat face.

Do you mean the inside edge or outside edge (flat corner) of the seat? Ive been told to get my bum on the outer edge of the seat, to aid traction, but to have the bum on the inside edge of the seat during burms or banked corners?

Uni
29-04-2010, 11:42 AM
Some good tips there... just one question.



Do you mean the inside edge or outside edge (flat corner) of the seat? Ive been told to get my bum on the outer edge of the seat, to aid traction, but to have the bum on the inside edge of the seat during burms or banked corners?


For a flat corner, sit on the outside edge. ie the top of the bike now that it's leant over. Burms and banked corners are a different story again.

AZAZL
29-04-2010, 11:46 AM
My apologies for boring anyone and for any errors or omissions. Azazl, sorry for using you as my hoon bench mark, though I suspect that you would smile at this title no? :lol:

Cant ride for shit, gotta have some badge of honour. Hoon is fine but I'm a bit of a fake. Never had a hoon conviction. B) Only do it on private property and ride in a safe manner.

Nice write up with pics especially for someone starting out.

AZAZL
29-04-2010, 11:52 AM
My take on this is to think centrifigal force for the direction of weight. this is why some road riders may think it strange a dirt rider seems to be leaning the wrong way in a corner. Covered well in the above, ie, move the bike under you. It is about controlled force to modify the level of traction and loss of traction to quickly get through the terrain. Watch riders riding up the wall of death (or whatever they call that thing). Geeze I'd like to (be able to) do that.

filbert
29-04-2010, 11:57 AM
excellent writeup unicycle, i actually have to go for a ride to work out how to explain a technique, been doing it 27 years give or take and stopped thinking about it long ago. But i know what works just never thought about why.

baxter
02-05-2010, 02:21 PM
you just need to look cool

http://www.perthstreetbikes.com/92773/Dirt-bike-riding-tips/mud3.jpg
much like this :D

Decoy
13-07-2010, 08:38 AM
twas a good read :thumbsup:

bump

MattyA
13-07-2010, 08:48 AM
Ride On this weekend peeps!!!! Check in the loop!

Decoy
13-07-2010, 09:06 AM
damn I'm away at work :(

Decoy
13-07-2010, 12:12 PM
3. Start the turn by pushing down on the inside peg.

- lean the bike with your feet. Sounds weird but leaning the bike by pushing the bars was
backwards when I converted to roadies.
4. Remain forward of central and shift your bike under YOU, then sit on the EDGE of the seat.

- I can't stress how important it is to sit on the EDGE and not on the face of the seat. This will transfer your weight over the wheels and help them to dig in, rather than help the bike fall over if you had followed the seat face.
5. Chuck your inside leg towards the front wheel.
[INDENT] - aids balance and puts more weight on the front wheel (it helps believe me)
................

7. Weight the outside peg.


noob question: Does this cornering technique apply to riding the dirt bike on sealed bitumen surfaces as well?

MattyA
13-07-2010, 12:39 PM
depends if your sideways on purpose or not. But usually yes.

thro
13-07-2010, 11:55 PM
Haven't ridden dirt in way too long but used to as a kid a fair bit.

the big two things I found were:

- don't fight the bike. bumps and shit will make it wander around a bit. let it do so a little bit and you'll get tired out less.
- keep throttle open and steer - the back will follow the front. and yeah you steer with your weight a lot more...

kale
21-12-2010, 03:56 PM
What's the go with riding berms then? Keep the speed up, lean with it and let the berm hold you in the corner?

Mr_Mike
21-12-2010, 10:08 PM
depends how big the berm is and how tight the turn is.
Usually tho i will back of the throttle a little and pull the clutch in so it slips. If you reduce the amount of drive going to the back wheel there is less chance of the front understeering and washing out as u tip the bike in. then after the apex line bike up with the exit and already lookin where you want to be twist the throttle and power on.

dazza1968
22-12-2010, 08:29 PM
Haven't ridden dirt in way too long but used to as a kid a fair bit.

the big two things I found were:

- don't fight the bike. bumps and shit will make it wander around a bit. let it do so a little bit and you'll get tired out less.
- keep throttle open and steer - the back will follow the front. and yeah you steer with your weight a lot more...

Steer the bike using your core strength (not arms like alot of people do) arms are great for the finer touch's

Regards Dazza

Marty MOOSE
23-12-2010, 07:40 PM
What's the go with riding berms then? Keep the speed up, lean with it and let the berm hold you in the corner?


Look ahead and keep your elbows high and head over the cross brace, in deep rough sand you may have you weight a bit further back unless you are super aggressive. You can power well before the apex thats the idea of a berm you must keep the power on all the way round. If you back off you will come down the berm wall and risk washing out BE SMOOTH AND RIDE AROUND THE BERM don't try to shorten or cut it. I'd suggest not slipping the clutch at all on the way in! Use it on the exit to control te power if needed. Most newer 4st's you can avoid the clutch most of the time unlike 125 2st's. No clutch is faster and if must use it slip it not dump it so to speak. Ruts are very similar you must stay on the gas or you will run out.

MM

SBD
23-12-2010, 10:46 PM
Off topic, but I'd just like to say that I saw the title of this thread and OP's name at the same time and thought the title was "Moose riding tips".

Kodez
24-12-2010, 12:24 PM
Hey Lolly
I'm not a pro by any means and I guess it comes down to personel preference somewhat but I ride in Kalgoorlie and Esperance predominantly so loose rock/sand is something i've become rather used to. I find myself standing up more often than not as it enables me to quickly shift my wieght to counteract what the bike is doing, generally i'm keeping my wieght towards the back for a bit of pressure on the rear and keeping the wieght off the front so it does bog in and also i've found that steady throttle control was something that eased my learning at the beginning as well, meaning no rapid changes in acceleration so you can focus on other things :) Once I became more confident I started easing up on the throttle control and found I could really give the old girl ('06 YZ450) some gas and still manage to control it. Hope this helps and happy ridings ^^

Kodez
24-12-2010, 12:25 PM
Look ahead and keep your elbows high and head over the cross brace, in deep rough sand you may have you weight a bit further back unless you are super aggressive. You can power well before the apex thats the idea of a berm you must keep the power on all the way round. If you back off you will come down the berm wall and risk washing out BE SMOOTH AND RIDE AROUND THE BERM don't try to shorten or cut it. I'd suggest not slipping the clutch at all on the way in! Use it on the exit to control te power if needed. Most newer 4st's you can avoid the clutch most of the time unlike 125 2st's. No clutch is faster and if must use it slip it not dump it so to speak. Ruts are very similar you must stay on the gas or you will run out.

MM

However excessive clutch is required if you want to punish the joker behind you with some epic roost :lol: