Crossing Logs

Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
2,142
Likes
1
#1
I'm just wondering what everybody does to pop their front wheel up to get over logs. Is your butt on the seat when you pop the front wheel up or are you standing? I seem to be more consistent in getting the front wheel up at very low with my butt on the seat, it just doesn't seem to be the right way to do it. I never see the trials guys sit down.

This particular log that is giving me trouble is slightly more than a bike length after an overhead log so I can't approach it with any speed. My first gear is very tall and the bike has no power at its very bottom end. A rev and a clutch dump seems about the only way, but it's hard to control the clutch, throttle, and still hold on to the bars for the clutch dump while standing.
 
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Messages
1,011
Likes
0
#2
Practice practice practice.

I always stand, unless cruising a perfectly smooth section of two track on the way to more single track. Try gripping the bike with your knees to help you control the bike while accelerating and standing.
 

High Lord Gomer

Poked with Sticks
Joined
Sep 26, 1999
Messages
11,789
Likes
33
#3
While you actually have more control if you do this while standing, I find it easier to do from a sitting position (starting out).

First, get used to using just one finger for the clutch. That way you get to hold on to the bars with the other three. I rode MX for 20+ years with two fingers for the clutch until I got a street bike that was (more than) capable of wheelies. I found that the most controllable way to wheelie the street bike was to clutch it up in 2nd with just one finger on the clutch. Since riding on the street is a much more relaxed ride with less things happening, I finally got into the habit of always riding with one finger on the clutch lever and only using that one finger.

Second, out on flat ground practice clutching-up the bike until you are completely comfortable with doing. For quite some time, limit it to merely getting the front 6 inches off the ground and riding it out until you need to shift. At 6" that won't be too far.

Third, when you actually do go to cross the log, don't try to carry the front wheel over it, but rather try to get the front wheel to hit on the top half of the log. If you wheelie the front wheel completely over the log, when the back tire finally hits it, it will throw the front down violently, possibluy even sending you over the bars.

Fourth, once you have hit the log, stand and allow the bike to rock backward then forward under you. If you try to stay sitting, it will throw you off the seat. As you hit it with the front elevated, you stand up and forward. As the front drops and the rear rises, you move rearward to maintain your basic body position (a related to the ground) throughout the process. After the rear comes back down you should move forward and start accelerating.

You don't see trials guys sit down because they don't have anywhere to sit! Well...that and you really do have more control standing. When sitting you stand the chance of still getting thrown over the bars if you don't stand quick enough when you cross something like a log or short, steep kicker jump.

I posted it before, but my clumsy way of log crossing:
http://themxtrack.com/Barrel.wmv
 
Joined
Dec 17, 2006
Messages
128
Likes
0
#4
Ive come across logs in the woods unexpectedly (going to fast) and I normally just crank the throttle and that gently pulls the front end up over the log. Im normally stand when I go over a log. My yz 250 is really light in the front end if you know what i mean. ;)
 
Joined
Mar 25, 2007
Messages
780
Likes
0
#5
preload the front suspension then gas it as the front suspension is returning up.
 
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
2,142
Likes
1
#6
Rotating the bars forward has really helped. I like them laid back for flat tracking and fast/slick surfaces, but it doesn't work so well for slow speed, standing type stuff or high speed standing type stuff for that matter. I can consistently get the front wheel up within about 10-15 feet of running space. It takes a lot of revs to get the front wheel up (14/51 gearing can't help) and the bike spins the tire most of the time, even on pavement. The back does bite eventually and the front pops up.
 
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Messages
1,011
Likes
0
#7
If you have problems spinning instead of wheeling, you need to shift your weight back! Unless you are on snow, ice, or slick as snot mud, then body english should easily get your front tire sky high, regardless of gearing (I run 14-50 and can pull every gear easily).
 
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
2,142
Likes
1
#8
I've always thought my weight was far enough back. I might be moving forward in reaction to the acceleration. I'll have to watch myself more cafefully. The bike doesn't have much bottom end, so I've got to give it a lot of revs and it either bogs or shoots for the moon.
 
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Messages
1,011
Likes
0
#9
A dab of clutch makes all the difference. My KX125 had no low end, but still no problem pulling it up, even in loose rocky 1st gear stuff. A quick weight/unweight of the front end along with a touch of clutch and a blip of the throttle would pull the front up for whatever rock/ledge I was coming to.
 

WoodsRider

Sponsoring Member<BR>Club Moderator
Damn Yankees
Joined
Oct 13, 1999
Messages
2,812
Likes
0
#10
You need to watch a trials video if you want to se how it's supposed to be done.
 
Joined
Mar 26, 2007
Messages
236
Likes
0
#11
I was practicing this the other day behind my cabin. It's not very hard at all on my 250. I don't really like pulling up if I don't have too, waste of energy. I could consistently get 6-12inches in a few feet, with a small clutch dump, no preloading, pulling, leaning back etc.

I would attempt to move that 10-15 foot running start down to like 2-5 feet. Realistically logs pop out of no where and often times you won't have 15 feet to setup.

I would also practice some 1 fingered clutch usage, it really helps with this maneuver. I normally use 2 fingers, but I switch to 1 when I cross logs.

It's really very bike specific, if your low on power you will need to lean back and/or pull up. The key to this is figuring out how much to lean back and how much to pull up.

You want your front wheel to hit the log while the momentum is still going up in the air. Don't pop way up and drop the front wheel down, that will cause you to go all squirly.


I think most newer people overestimate the amount of "up" needed to cross a log. I used to think I had to pop my front wheel all the way over even the tiniest log (probably due to my old bicycling days). If the log is < 10in diameter I pretty much just lean back and give it a bit of gas to unload the front end a bit.
 
Joined
Feb 3, 2005
Messages
475
Likes
0
#12
What gets me is when the log isn't perpendicular, say 30-40 degree slant across my path. Seems the front tire wants to slide down the length of the log unless it's really dry with gnarly bark on it.
 
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
2,142
Likes
1
#13
There isn't much you can do about those, you've just got to square yourself up to it right before you hit it. Sometimes, a little extra speed gets you over but that's always risky.
 
Joined
Dec 17, 2006
Messages
128
Likes
0
#14
I always square up myself. My friend went over a log and on the other side of the log had a Y in it. He hopped the front wheel over then his front tire hit the Y and down he went. It was in tall grass at the edge of a field. Makes one really look over the kind of logs you go over(if you can). Most of the time you just worry about the details later. I guess that depends on how aggressive you ride.