Originally Posted by Feyala
...In desperation, I tried the obvious advice everybody gives novice dirt riders and which none of them listen to: ease up on the brakes and let the engine slow you down. I didn't want to go that fast down this hill, so I still tapped on the brakes, but I stopped sliding, which made me feel more in control. Eventually I made it past the worst of this.
I'm playing some massive catch up, but just wanted to point out this is bad advice..
By doing so, you limit the slip of the rear wheel by not locking up, but you cause massive issues by doing this. The bike becomes a moment arm forcing the front of the bike down. Not a huge issue you might think, but it applies varying load on the forks making them harsh, it affects handling, and it's just bad. Try it for yourself and you should instantly see the difference.
Pull the clutch, learn to modulate your brakes and in the end you'll be way, way further ahead. Keeping the bike neutral on downhills is a massive benefit. Many 4-stroke riders don't realise this. 2-strokes don't have nearly the same engine braking so it plays much less of a factor.
You learn where to brake, where to let off, and how to modulate them and things will start clicking.
Good luck. Most newer riders have the most issues with decents.