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Old 02-05-2013, 11:59 AM   #617
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Currently - Canada
Oddometer: 1,666
Still don't agree with it. I feel that's covering bad habbits with more bad habbits. Most often then not new riders on 4-stroke dirt bikes have a MAJOR issue with downhill because of engine braking. They continue to use this and act as if it's required. They remain slow. I know life's not about the race, but learning where improvements can be made make big differences.

Go down a hill and engine brake. Now, pull in the clutch. Yes, you pick up speed but skills like brake balance should be learnt. NEVER just use one brake. Always brake with both. Those that don't use front brakes often come from road bikes or harley's. Sport bike riders often don't use their rear brakes. Both are wrong.

Two wheel slides are controllable even while standing. You don't learn if you don't try. Then again, around here you learn to sink or swim real quick.

Learning involves mistakes. Learn from mistakes. Instead of bull dogging down, when safe, givver shit. Roost around corners, lock up your front tire on wet grass going straight. Push the locked tire going straight. Slide into and around corners with the rear locked. Try things. Before long you'll realise you learn to fall. Falling properly is a learnt reaction.

These are all techniques to learn. Know the limits of your bike then learn to control it within those limits. Learn to let off the brakes in a downhill and absorb bumps, then brake hard in sections where braking allows. Play off obstacles. Don't always take the easy line, ESPECIALLY when there are slower riders. Use this opprounity to learn and push skills. ALWAYS LOOK AHEAD. You should know what your next moves are. Don't focus on a rock step. Plan what you are going to do after gasing (yes, gas DOWNHILL, to remain neutral) then where you'll scrub speed, etc.

Downhill's are some of my favourite. They are also times where I catch most people. I've seen countless newer riders have trouble with downhills but also seen those who try make massive improvements, quickly.

Since I'm rambling, learn to wheelie. You don't have to hold a standup wheelie for a mile, but learn to pop the wheel. This is the single biggest skill that can save you HUGE. Not only in panic manuevers, but jumping ruts, root sections, rock sections, step downs, etc. When you don't have a front wheel on the ground, it can't deflect. Most riders panic because the front will skip over, especially in roots, ruts, and downed trees. Once you can pop the front you can also learn to jump trees. Jump multiple trees. It becomes fun!

At the end of the day, you learn by trying. Find out what works for yourself. You don't even have to go for a "ride", just play around staging areas with obstacles. Repetition is one of the best ways to get better.
Tour of Idaho T1 Challenge -
Eat. Sleep. Ride - The Great Divide:
Go, Get Lost - Heading South:
Dirt Donkeys Do Baja:

Shibby! is offline   Reply With Quote