BenjaminPQ

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Jan 4, 2001
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I'm always trying to improve my speed in the tight stuff and I noticed that I can ride, basically two ways.

1. Instead of trying to carry maximum speed through corners and around trees, you use the gas, brake, gas, brake, gas technique. So you would come in to a corner with a lot of speed, slam on the brakes till at a very slow speed, make a short tight turn, then get on the gas hard till the next corner where you do it all again.

2. Instead of tearing around like a mad man you would try to carry as much momentum through corners as posable Your corners would be taken wider and you would be testing traction a little more.

I would guess that a combination would be best but what works best for you guys?


BTW, I couldn't decide if this should have been posted in the riding technique section or the woods section so sorry if I'm wrong.:confused:
 

firecracker22

Sponsoring Member
Oct 23, 2000
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My woods riding technique

Hit tree. Crash.
Hit rock. Crash.
Hit log. Crash.
Loop out on uphill. Crash.
Endo on downhill. Crash.
Grab front brakes in corner. Crash.
Go too slow. Crash.
Look at my front fender. Crash.

:think

In all seriousness, when I am riding well, I tend to use the momentum method. Perhaps that's because I haven't learned throttle control yet, not deliberately however.
 

Lemming

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I think that it really depends upon the turns and terrain. I try to maintain a smooth style (like Watts) when the turns allow for it. When I get into areas of sharp turns (with some straight sections inbetween the turns) then I'll brake slide. This latter method works very well when you have someone on your tail because you can roost the heck out of them coming out of the turn ;)
 

84XRGuy

Member
Mar 7, 2001
133
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I wave been watching (following) faster riders and it seems that all modern bikes are so close in performance in the straights that it's corner speed that allows one rider to be faster than another.

I try to be as smooth as possible and carry as much speed through the corners as I can. Being smooth also conserves energy.
 

jeb

Member
Jul 21, 1999
633
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I agree with Lemming and 84XRGuy. Smooth where I can, slide where I have to or where it makes sense. Pays off over a long ride/race.

84XR, I'm pretty sure I know who you are. I didn't see you at our trailride. Did you make it down last weekend?
 

fatherandson

Mi. Trail Riders
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The method of carrying momentum works well for Watts who rides the GNCC and Qualifier type races. I prefer tighter trail and the gas, brake, gas, brake
method works for me. Roosting a riding buddy is a BONUS!:p
 

Timr

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Jul 26, 1999
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I got my riding technique from the John Cusak movie "Better Off Dead"

Go that way...Really Fast...If something gets in your way...Turn

:confused:
 

WoodsRider

Sponsoring Member<BR>Club Moderator
Damn Yankees
Oct 13, 1999
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Go that way...Really Fast...If something gets in your way...Turn

That's good... Now turn! ;)
 

KTM Mike

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Mi. Trail Riders
Apr 9, 2001
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Whoops in woods? Technique?

I must admit that firecracker's technique is most like mine!:scream:

My real problem area is the endless sandy whoops here in Michigan (Fatherandson - i am sure you know what I mean!). First i simply am not in good enough shape for the pounding the legs take, and secondly, I am not even sure what technique works best! After the Cherry Pit enduro last weekend I sure was sore - of the 75 miles I would say 65 of them were whoops.

So - any suggestions? I see conflicting advice on the techniqe forum - grip with legs, dont grip, weight centered, weight to the rear.... etc. on the technique forum the comments see to typically relate to short sections of whoops like on a track - not the endless stuff I see in the woods. What works for you guys?
 

84XRGuy

Member
Mar 7, 2001
133
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I don't know if it's correct to do this or not but....I stay centered on the bike and I lightly grip the bike with my legs to keep it in a straight line.

I try and keep the front end light, just having the wheel clear the next whoop. I have yet to master the "jumping the whoops" technique, I can't pull myself to try when the trees are so close:eek:
 

BenjaminPQ

Spammer
Jan 4, 2001
105
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Turning is my problem but when there is a straightway, no matter what the terrain is like, I consider myself to be pretty fast.

On the whoopy stuff I find that griping the tank at all just throws me of balance. Before I get to the rough section I prepare by picking a gear high so I don't have to switch gears while my bike is getting thrown around (Keep in mind I ride a KTM300MXC so I can shift up and still have good power, this might be more difficult on a 125). I also stand up and get my body loose on the bike before I hit the first big bump. I actually widen my legs a little so the bike can float around more.

This is what I do and it works for me.;)
 

xr600r

Member
Apr 15, 2001
117
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suspention set-up means alot in the whoops , after i matched the springs
on my xr to my weight , and dialed in the clickers , it handles way better in the whoops . i still find myself thinking as i'm riding ; man , this would be
a great trail.... if it wasnt for these damn whoops !
:think
 

tm-enduro

Member
Mar 7, 2001
254
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Personally, I find that I always ride better and faster when I use momentum and smoothness through all obstacles. For me the key to speed is confidence and concentration, the goal must be to get from point A to point B as fast as possible w/o crashing. Tight woods often require cut-and-thrust style of riding plain and simple. Cut and thrust can be tiring, but sometimes is the only option. I have found that staying centered on the bike in a relaxed position (using the legs as extra suspension and rowing the bike under me as required) helps in long whoop sections. In shorter section you can keep the front end light and attack, but sooner or later you have to turn. You will find that the whoops aren't as deep at the sides of the trail, but unknown obstacles usually hide in the bushes. It takes confidence to ride on the edges of trail, but you can go faster. Currently I ride a 125 which eats up whoops (for short sections), but wears on me trying keep it on the pipe (and keeping from dropping the front end) mile after mile.
 

HiG4s

~SPONSOR~
Mar 7, 2001
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Re: Whoops in woods? Technique?

Originally posted by KTM Mike
I must admit that firecracker's technique is most like mine!:scream:

My real problem area is the endless sandy whoops here in Michigan

Sand whoops, I love sand whoops. And that is a good thing because I use to live in Michigan and I now live in Florida, which has even more sand whoops than Michigan. The technic I always used was stay centered and loose and let the bike move around under me. There seems to be a speed as you are getting faster that becomes very hard to handle, almost uncontrollable. If you go a little faster it smooths out. And if you go just a little faster than that, we're back to Firecracker's method.
What is really getting me is I've been doing some riding on a supercross style MX track and those SX whoops kick my behind.
 

TexKDX

~SPONSOR~
Aug 8, 1999
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Benjamin, two comments -

One, leave the throttle open. Keep the engine spinning when you clutch it and brake. If you wait for the motor to spool up on the exit it is costing you time. Also don't be afraid to brake against the motor to adjust your speed and make the front end bite without make a dramatic switch between the gassing/braking /gassing actions. It does not work everywhere, but has its place more often than the gasnslide technique you descibe. Don't get me wrong, the gasnslide is important too. It really needs the throttle open also BTW.

Two, next time you ride look at the terrain like an MX track and pick out the berms. The REAL fast guys (if you can stick with one long enough to pick up on it) ride the natural berms whether it is tight or more open, not down the middle of the trail. If you ride a deeply rutted out place, like where they run the enduro in OK City, it will make or break you.
JM$.02,
 

azcourt

Member
Apr 29, 2001
122
1
Re: My woods riding technique

This also sums up my riding style with one thing to add.
Be very disgusted when better rider comes by waving with one hand yelling thanks. Hey I did not get out of the way, I just slid off the trail.

Originally posted by firecracker22
Hit tree. Crash.
Hit rock. Crash.
Hit log. Crash.
Loop out on uphill. Crash.
Endo on downhill. Crash.
Grab front brakes in corner. Crash.
Go too slow. Crash.
Look at my front fender. Crash.

 

KTM Mike

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Mi. Trail Riders
Apr 9, 2001
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I did about 40 miles today trying various suggestions posted here and elsewhere. I felt a bit better on the whoops - simply started getting a bit more agressive - would occasionally jump one or two at a time - found it a bit tiring that way, then worked on keeping the front end up and basically wheelieing through, then simply staying on the throttle more trying to keep the front end light, but not necessarily wheeliing. Found I would lapse back and forth between the three depending on the situation and felt much faster and smoother, and burned much less energy. In a bit longer section of whoops I would start out jumping if they were deep and big enough, do that two or three times, then the wheelie thing, then simply staying "on top" of the whoops keeping the front light, and staying on the throttle a bit more. I found not gripping the bike best, weight generally centered, or to the rear.

One time i obviously had to much weight to the rear, right when the ole KTM really hooked up - front end skyward - I was stylin! did that section of whoops in great fashion - would of looked great on film - but was a bit to close to "the edge" for my taste!

the biggest trouble i had really was when my timing would be off particularily when trying to jump the whoops - a couple times slammed into the next whoop with the front end - thats when having the weight to the rear was helpful!

Keep the suggestions comiing!

Oh - btw - TexKDX's comment re leaving the throttle on - even while braking, etc is right on the money - its a techinique i first picked up on a street bike during a road race class I took - the idea is to come into the turn on the brakes, but not totally off the throttle and start rolling on the throttle before the brakes are released - dramatically smooths out that transition between brake and throttle allowing you to brake harder and deeper into the corner and accelerate out sooner and harder on the way out. seems to work the same way in the dirt.
 

endoquest

LIFETIME SPONSOR
Dec 4, 2000
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Back to the original post, IMO the single most helpful technique for woods is to stand up all the time. This allows freedom of movement back and forward AND laterally. It also forces you to smooth out your corners and it is NOT as tiring as sitting in the corners and standing right back up. If you are a "sit-down" rider try adjusting your hangers and controls a little further forward and move your shifter and brake pedal up a notch. Also lean over the front of the bars to keep your arms limber and your legs fresh. Happy trails
 

BenjaminPQ

Spammer
Jan 4, 2001
105
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For me there are two problem with standing.

1. Standing through a sweeping corner is fine, but in a sharp flat corner, there is no weight on the front wheel So it feels like the wheel is going to wash out. This is also amplified in mud.

2. I just plain out can't shift up or down with comfort while standing. I have had people tell me to put my shifter down and some say put it up, anyone else care to comment?
 

KTM Mike

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Mi. Trail Riders
Apr 9, 2001
2,086
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Standing up

I have recently learned the benfits of standing up more - in fact I should likely do it way more than I do. (seems all of the real fast guys I manage to get a couple seconds of glimpse of are standing nearly all the time) Standing in flat, tight corners - I can no do... i sit then... but elsewhere I am learning to stand more - which takes better condition of the ole legs! (conditioning i dont yet have!)

Re: shift lever - I have found it best if it is up a touch higher - which helps keep it out of harms way for rocks, stumps etc as well. I have my clutch and brake levers rotated a bit farther down so it is a more comfortable natural reach to them while standing. When sitting it then forces a bit more of the attack position you should be in anyhow.

The way i adjust my control positions (be it clutch brake or shift levers) is to assume the riding position I am trying to assume with the levers loose and moved out of the way.. then with your hands/feet where you will have them, reach for the lever as if it is "right there" where its easiest and most comfortable - then move the lever/control accordingly. there are limits of course - my bark busters interferred with moving my front brake lever to that perfect spot - but i got it close (er) at least. Doing it this way - who cares what others say - if it works for you!
 

ssuperbike

Member
Dec 5, 2000
70
0
Here is my 2 cents!
Shifter should be high, because you are standing going into a turn and makes it easy to downshift and easy to upshift while setting down coming out (standing back up while still driving hard out of the turn). I load the rear end with the rear brake while on the power while lightly holding pressure on the front brake. Using you brake in this way (espeacialy on grass tracks) really lets your tires hook up. It dosnt take much front brake. It will launch you out of a corner. The main key is flow like a road racer but watch the trouble spots. Smooth, smooth, smooth. Whoops are shallow on the outside but watch out for a root catching a side nob and putting you down. Trail reading skills are a real important part of it. The faster you go in the sand whoops the easier it is and it will get you in shape quick. Go ride the Bull gap outside loop around every other day for a week. you will be the whoopmiester! If you have to get to far back your suspension is out of balance. I can do 5th pinned and chop the throttle, the bike will not get stupid. That will give you the confidence to charge. I hope that communicates what I am trying to say! ---Mike
oh, don't forget bike setup is Everything.
Make it work for you!
 
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MTRIDER

Member
Aug 20, 2000
376
0
standing shifting....

here's my tech for this problem ....and it doesnt matter where your shifter is......try shifting with the side of the boot and on top of the sole....at the apex of the shifter -vs being "under"the shifter ... worked wonders for my standing techinque
 

ssuperbike

Member
Dec 5, 2000
70
0
Keep your feet tucked in, if it is tight! I broke by foot early this year becaues it was hanging out a little. you will only do it once (hopefully)! -----Mike
 
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