I have found that being aggressive is your best start. I used to be nervous of hill climbs. Until I had a race that was filled with a lot of them. I got the attitude that Heck with This and I started attacking the accents and hit them perfect. Now I look for more and more challanging one to try... Remember to have the momentum, gearing and up off the seat are some of the best tips I can give.
Some Fear Racing "Cause if you don't have any you ain't going fast enough"
'92 ZX-7R and '97 ZX-7RR
"Doesn't hurt till the bone is exposed"
"When cut do you bleed green? I do!"
You really do need to attack most hill climbs. It's really important to get your momentum built up before you start climbing. Losing momentum half way up a monster hill is about the worst thing that can happen. You definitely need to stay off the seat, although certain really technical climbs may require you to move around the bike more. If there are lots of bad ruts and rocks you need to use a little bit more finesse with the throttle and your position on the bike. If it's just a wide open sandy hill climb, just stay on the throttle until you hit the top!
Your profile is not complete so not knowing what you ride or skill level is etc...All I can offer is some generic tips.
Keep the front end weighted down as much as possible, sometimes your head needs to be forward of the handlebars with elbows out, naturaly this will raise your butt off the seat. Failure to keep front end down will result in looping out. A really skilled rider can pull some wicked wheelies uphill and steer by shifting weight around.
When in loose soil where you need weight in the back for traction to burn through you can sit, but be ready for traction when you do hook up like on a rock or hard pack. With a finger or two on the clutch you need to control power to the ground while staying on the pipe.
On a big bore bike you can go from a dead stop at the bottom in third gear with lots of clutch use.
Smaller bikes you can sometimes start in second but it would be best to stay in a gear that will pull all the way to the top without having to shift which eats up momentem.
When powering out turn sideways to keep from crashing.
Hope this helps, just stay above the bike, don't let it come tumbling down on you in a crash.
Do not ride aggresively, use 2nd gear or 3rd so you always have a gear to shift down to if you need. Don´t blip the throttle, low rpm´s not in the powerband. Your weight should not be on the front wheel, so you can climp over stones and rocks easily.
Husqvarna WR125 -96
Quick turn arounds -- are usually done by accident ;)
Going down a real ugly hill I use everything
I can. Always in gear of course, with motor running compression will only do so much use rear brake until it wants to lock and kill motor, don't be nervous about using front brake.
Dead engine thumb on kill button in gear when wheel starts to go sideways a little clutch action will straighten her out. and a handfull of front brake to scrub off some speed when needed all while standing on pegs leaned way back over rear fender. Let bike float under neath you while squeezzing w/knees.
Going back down monster hill climbs is about 95% psychological because it feels like you are going to endo. Be gentle with the front brake, as you don't want to start a slide. On most climbs there is loose stuff so chances of an endo are slim (at least where I ride). Let the bike kinda float under you while you are slightly up off the seat and all the way back. The motor and rear brake should be sufficient to keep your speed down.
I love the smell of two stroke in the morning.....
Yah,I know what you mean by 95% psychological. I look down a steep
trail with ruts and say a prayer.
I see 2 strokes decending in neutral with brakes, I switch between 1st gear and brakes,
and clutch with brakes, when rear starts locking.
Here's a discussion I had with an older expert rider, who's sons are sponsored pros. What makes a hill any different from a flat road/single track? Gravity. His philosophy is you can go just as fast up or down hills, as you can on the flats, after taking into consideration gravity. I wish I could live up to this simple piece of advise.
Non rocky uphills - WFO. Sandy uphills WFO, and then some. Rocky uphills - pick your path carefully ahead of time if possible and keep momentum. General rule on uphills - speed is you friend.
Downhills: When locking up the rear wheel have the clutch in, and then slowly pump the rear to eliminate the skidding, and light to medium on the front brake. It is very important to pick a good line in rocks, and knowing the run out at the bottom is also beneficial.
Overall try to be very aware of the situation uphills and down. A good line is your best offense/defense.
Strick '99 KTM 300mxc
Blue Ribbon Coalition member
Riding a 4 stroke helps! I can climb stuff on my big XRL that I would never have attempted on my CR250 years ago. I am fairly new back into riding, but I seem to be riding a lot smarter than I was before. I am amazed at how much pressure I can put on that front wheel without it breaking loose on steep downhills. Someone above mentioned confidence.....this is a huge factor in my riding. If I think too long about doing a climb or knarly section of trail I usually screw it up. When I relax and "ride" the bike (stay on top of it) instead of just holding on for dear life the results are much more favorable. I am sure I am climbing nothing like what some of you guys do (I have seen some tracks going up stuff I would only dream about) but if you ride within your ability and push it from time to time to get better, you will.
Scott in KC
"...because I don't get this feeling playing golf!"
For going down hills I use first or second and just rev the bike, never go near my brakes and ride down the hill. :) Small displacement thumpers have advantages. For going uphill. Sand: WFO in fairly high gear Dirt with decent traction and just clear hill: WFO is fun for those hills Rocky/Technical: First or second gear, pick you line carefully, not too much weight on front of bike, if a twostroke, clutch slipping will probably be needed, be careful!!!
Steep, rocky and/or rutted hills are te hardest to tackle. You have to pick your line before you start up, stay standing with your knees bent, grip the bike with your legs to keep your center of gravity low, and stay forward! One of my favorite riding places has a couple of monster hills, 200+ feet high and so steep my face is almost at my front fender to keep my wheelie-happy bike under control when on the gas. Definately keep two fingers on the clutch, if the front end comes up you want to control it with the clutch, not by letting off the gas, as this will kill your momentum. If you do get off, stay on the high side of the bike when picking it up and turning it around to go back down. Never get below the bike when picking it up!
1992 KDX 250-FMF porting,two-stage power reeds, Fatty pipe, Power Core silencer,titanium rod,Wiseco Ultra-lite, Pro-Action suspension...Why didn't I take the blue pill???
Jamsxr, I guess I must take exception to this approach. Perhaps the best traction is acheived with the rear wheel when the front wheel is unweighted and skimming the ground. Weighting the front will cause the rear to break traction.
Understand the desire to not loop out, but rear wheel traction and balance front-to-back are what will ultimately get you up the hill when traction is not unlimited.
I did an extensive write-up on the subject a few months back that you might want to search for. It has a detailed explanation of unweighting for obstacles, steering, etc. based on information gained in two riding clinics I attended.
One thing that I think helps is to know how to make the exit. Practice getting off of the bike and getting away from it in an emergency. If you know how to keep from getting hurt and saving damage to your machine you will gain the confidence to go faster on the clean climbs and stay with it on the messy ones until all hope is lost. Everyone had great suggestions and I always tell new riders to remember "speed is your friend"
Going down on my thumper(XR600) I like to use compresion braking and the front brake, I find it give me the best control. also it's a little scary but if its pretty straight, just steep, I like to carry quite a bit of speed/ even accerate especially towards the bottom.
Re: the orig question of going up. I don't know what bike you have but a common mistake on 125 etc is shifting going up. pinn it and climb. Usually on really knarly hills a small bike cannot pull the next gear unless the ride is pretty good with the timing and clutch.