Jul 16, 2001
Any tips for learning to brake tap mid air when it is needed to avoid looping out ?

The "panic rev" is now a reflex for me and has probably saved me from going over the bars once or twice. I don't have to think about it at all. The brake tap is a different story. I can brake tap just fine to lower the front for a better landing but when the bike goes vertical off a jump near looping out I find myself frozen in fear. Any tips to overcome this ?


Apprentice Goon
Mar 16, 2001
Charlestown, IN
I see young guys brake tapping every jump. Instead work on proper body position so you have a good arc. If you are tuned in enough to adjust a brake tap, then you should be tuned in enough to correct the real reason for the problem. My bet is your position (both body and throttle) at take-off need work. Granted it's going to happen, but maybe not as often if you work on it. Lets face it, when we fly wrong...it's sure not on purpose. I say correct something like that using the "seat-of-pants" method, or the "better fix this now or I'm case pudding!" method during the bad jump. THEN work on NOT doing that again, instead of working on the fix for when you do.

LOL, as I re-read this I understand it, but I'm not sure anyone else will! :confused:


Jul 16, 2001
Jaybird you are probably correct about the body position/throttle thing, I do need to work on that but am getting better. My main objective for mastering the brake tap in "panic" situations is to build my confidence. The local track has some big tables directly out of turns and it seems the guys that clear them are on the throttle hard up the jump face. They fly nose high and seem to use everything they have to get the front back down. I can't attempt those jumps because I know I'll panic and maybe loop out.

I thought practicing wheelies might help make me more comfortable using the brakes on a vertical bike but that doesn't seem to work very well on a 2 stroke 125. I've come to the conclusion that few people ride good "balancing wheelies" on a 125 MXer. No facts to back that up, I just have a hunch that more people have mastered jumping 125s than doing wheelies on them.

After a little searching I discovered a post in RMD by a guy that overcome the same obstacle I am facing by brake tapping every jump for like 2 weeks. Then he forced himself to hit jumps with more throttle than needed and correct it with a brake tap. Think I'll give this a try for a couple of weeks and see how it goes.

Another thing I've noticed is that I have it in my mind to pull in the clutch then tap the brake. Instead of a 2 step process this probably needs to be a single action (pull clutch + hit brake at same time). I'll have to work on that also.

High Lord Gomer

Poked with Sticks
Sep 26, 1999
I feel your pain! :scream:

I, too, can easily use the rear brake to adjust in the air...but when things go really bad, I have trouble using it. At that point, I doubt it will help much, anyway.

BTW, I would keep it a 2 step process of clutch first then brake. If you do both at the same time, I think you'll end up doing some dead-stick landings. (and it gets real quiet flying through the air with no motor running :o)

For what my spodely opinion is worth, I agree with Jaybird completely.


Jun 5, 2001
i agree with the above.... proper body positioning is what you should always strive for.
However, as we all know... sometimes things don't work out.

Here's how I learned. I found a small 25' table top in a construction site with a nice steep landing. I started out by just learning to pull the clutch in while in the air. I think this is the hardesst. Then I worked on the combo of the two. It took me about a day to learn how to do it correctly without stalling.

Once I was more confident with how it feels.... I proceeded to power off of the lip a little harder and pulled up on the bars more(bringing the fornt end up) If you jab the brake a tiny moment bit before reaching the highest point in your arc, you'll notice that it brings the rear wheel up in relation to the front. If done at the right time, it seems like it actually makes you get a bit higher than normal, gives a great weightless feeling, and can aid in giving the exact angle to land on the downside.
It was kinda awkward at first.. kinda like trying to pat yourself on the head at the same time you rub your belly. Practice it enough and it will become 2nd nature.
Now that I have gotten used to this technique, I've saved a few scary moments, I can take jumps in 2nd gear that my friend has to take in 3rd, and it has even carried over as a panic reaction to avoiding loop outs while pulling a wheelie..... uhh too bad it didn't work on my 5th gear loop out a 1.5wks ago.... My butt is still purple. :scream:
Did I mention it makes a great party joke?? I got the bitter beer face look out of a few at the bars last night. Girls luv it!!! :p

Bill Purcell

Jan 25, 2000
The agree with the posts above. I started out on easy tables and just pulling in the clutch. I got to where I was doing it on just about every jump. Then, once I was comfortable with that, I started tapping the brake.

Now, I'm ready to pull the clutch on just about every jump, but only go for the tap when I feel that I need to. After a while it becomes almost as easy as the panic rev. However, I agree with Gomer, once things go real bad, I tend to just hold on and hope for the best :scream:


Jun 5, 2001
I have to second all the info from the above threads, we have all started the same way. It's one of those things, gas it and it all works out, usually. I also feel your pain when it gets away from you, and it will from time to time, especially when you get tired. I have also found that now having an 01 bike, it seems easier for me to keep a nice arc on the jumps. My riding position has changed form being over the center of the bike to just sligthly in front of center. It's alot easier to keep the front whell from coming up higher than my head!! Good luck


Mar 22, 2001
i would just advise lifting your leg off of the peg, to tap the brake. also, it helps to stay light, and relaxed on the bike. also, as you learn to jump bigger, and more controlled, you can have more time to work with things. i found that it works even more effectively to tap, let off the brake/clutch, then tap again.


Jun 12, 2001
Rm Dude,
The answer to your post is in the second to last sentence.Don't freeze,just don't do it and keep calm and pull the cluthch in and tap the break.
Most amatures are usually a gear higher and lower rpm over the jumps,if this is the case you can even downshift in the air.When the rear tire hits the ground the front will start comming down due to engine braking(if it's comming down too fast,give it alot of juice or you may fly off the front.
Don't be a panic jumper,what's going to happen when your back gets kicked out?If you stay calm and correct it it's alot less painfull.


Jan 10, 2001
like jaybird said, you can help stop the situation before it happens w/ propper body position. i find that a lot of times at races i'll be nervous during practice and be too far over the back of the bike over jumps, which leads to flying front end high...but once i get into my rythm and get my weight forward on the jumps everything comes together. some ppl use their boot and lift up under the sidepanel to bring the front end down, but ive never really tried that. like other ppl said, i trained myself to use the rear brake in mid air by purposely jumping front end high...but i only use it in panic situations, as proper body position well keep you smooth the whole time...like everything it takes practice, but its all worth it in the end!

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