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Advanced Riding Tips

This is where we teach you all the advanced stuff, stoppies, wheelies etc. Its for all those who want the most out of their abilities and bike. So we have put some riding tips in to teach or explain some of the harder skills to master. This is as far as we go though, if you want to learn competition motocross or supercross techniques then we suggest you enrol with one of the offroad schools.

FITNESS

In order to ride a bike to the best of your ability you need to be fit. Even those who compete on a professional level just can't count on their natural ability, the fitter they are, the better they ride. Those that are the fittest also have the best mental toughness, the two go hand in hand. So in order to get the best out of yourself and your bike you need train and eat for it.

There are many ways of training ie practicing on a motocross track, mountain bike riding or working out at the Gym. Of course nutrition goes hand in hand with your exercise routines, if you eat the right foods you will be able to supply your body with energy all day. If you have bacon, eggs, sausage, hash browns, fried mushrooms and grilled tomatoes with cheese on them with well buttered toast, followed by pancakes, cream and coffee you'll be stuffed before you start.

For the best advice we recommend you see a personal trainer and dietician.


REALLY BIG HILLS

Having read the intermediate section you now already know the skills to get up hills. To help you get up really big hills you must practice on smaller ones to build up your confidence and skill set.

Mental toughness and fitness helps, as already discussed, and the next most important thing is gear selection and momentum. The best gear for a nasty up hill sections is second gear as first gear may be too low and could result in loss of traction due to excessive wheel spin. So use second gear, keep the power constant and the momentum up, if you get it right you will scale that monster hill and be a hero to all your friends.

Remember for big hills get as far forward as you can to keep the weight over the front of the bike and the traction to the rear.

If you get stuck on a hill then the best approach is to go down and retry, its much easier than trying to restart where you left off slipping and sliding all over the place. Another indicator is second gear, if you can't restart going up the hill in second gear you're going to have problems.

Tyre pressure also helps, reducing the tyre pressure down to 12 PSI or less (maybe as low as 8 PSI) increases your traction too. Just make sure that when you get up the hill you pump up your tyres to the normal level. We recommend fitting ultra heavy duty tubes to your bike as they are more puncture resistant (although they are not puncture proof you will get a lot less punctures), you can use less pressure and get better traction.


REALLY BIG DOWNHILLS

Pretty much the same as discussed in the Intermediate section except just more of the same but on a higher intensity.Keep focusing on your braking and your line of descent, control your descent by applying the braking as evenly as possible and don't lock the wheels up. Keep your weight baised towards the back of the bike and allow yourself to have some momentum so you can keep balance.

You can practice by finding short but very steep sections of varying terrain and play pretend trials riding. This will help a great deal towards building up your skills. Some very steep downhill sections may include drop offs, leaving yourself and the bike to the forces of gravity can be daunting and does require a leap of faith on your part. Approach the drop off with a little speed so that bottom of your bike clears the ledge, lean back as much as you can when the bike descends and be ready with the controls to slow your descent as soon as you touchdown.

One again don't be afraid to stop and check your line (thats of course if you can), and there is always the option of walking your bike down the hill.


LARGE and HUMONGOUS LOGS

To be honest big logs and rocks are daunting to the average trail rider so option number 1 is to find a way around them. No doubt you have been on a trail ride on a track you know well only to come across a large log that wasn't there last time. Do you go over it? Of course not, you hope and pray that you are not the first person to come across this obstacle and that someone has already made a track around it for you. If there is no track then you do the trailblazing and make one, right?

The other way is to go over the log, the way to do this is as follows: Come to a stop near the base of the log but not touching. Do a mini wheelie to lift the front end up and forwards. Pull the clutch in and let the forwards momentum take the rear wheel over the log. As your front wheel clears the log lean back and keep the weight bias towards the back of the bike. After that the rear of the bike clears the log, you succesfully negotiate the small drop off thats the last bit and all is sweet. easy huh?

The fact is its not easy and requires a lot of practice and you can get awfully hurt if its done incorrectly. So know the limits of your skill set and you can always get someone to help lift the bike over the log or rock if there is no other way.

And don't worry about that girl that just traversed the log as if it wasn't there, shes on the Australian enduro team and has come along to practice with you. Well at least thats what you'll be saying to yourself.


WASHING OFF SPEED

So you're going too fast, theres a corner or a log or just something thats there but shouldn't be and why its there you really don't know. You start seeing pictures of home, maybe a hospital bed or something worse, its time to wash off speed and your not wearing red & blue tights and a cape. What do you do, pray?

No, what you need to do is use the front brakes, rear brakes and clutch to maximum advantage so that your wheels are almost at the point of losing traction. You can then oversteer the front end in the direction of the corner just a little bit and also tap the rear brake just that little bit more, this will cause the front end to come loose and dip into the corner while the rear end flips out and you are now in a two wheel slide going sideways down the road.

If this all done correctly the bike will be perpendicular to the road, both wheels sliding with you at about 35% to the road surface, much like the sliding stops you see snow skiers make at the end of their ski jumps. If you get it right you'll look like a pro, get it wrong and both you and the bike will go sliding down the road. As with all these techniques its not easy and requires a lot of practice and the learning curve can literally be painfull.

WHEELIES

Wheelies look impressive but they are also a usefull skill. They can be used to jump logs, jump puddles & keep you dry, show off, help going downhill, traverse whoops & get over ditches.

The wheelies we learn will be moving ones, however you can still practice them from standing starts, but for now we will start with a constant speed in 2nd gear (you can experiment with different gears later).

Now pull the clutch in, rev the bike a little, lean back slightly & drop the clutch, you will lurch forward & maybe lift the front wheel.

Or (also maintaning a constant speed).

Push the front end down with your arms on the bars, then pullback on the supension rebound, throttle and lean back, again you will lurch forward and maybe lift the front wheel.

Keep trying the method you like until you can regularly lift the front wheel 1 foot in the air. After that keep practicing until you can continuously get the front wheel about 2 feet in the air.

Now we introduce the rear brake, when you lift the front end gently touch the rear brake & the front wheel will immediately come down. Practice this until you can get the front wheel up and down at will.

Next is the balance point, this is where the front wheel will stop coming down but rather go up over your head and flip the bike. So practice bringing up the front wheel and aim at getting a little higher each time confident in the knowledge that you can tap the rear brake & bring the bike down. When you finally reach the balance point you can keep the bike there with minor adjustments to the throttle and rear brake, practice makes perfect.

Also when doing wheelies it helps to sit further back, so practice to find out the best seat position for yourself.

LAST THING. Its absolutely important that you use the rear brake, if you don't then your wheelies wont be well controlled and you can flip your bike, believe me, it hurts and could also result in damage to both you and the bike. 

STOPPIES

As one American once said "the buck stoppies here", well at least this section does. So the question is what skills do they teach, firstly there is brake control which gives you more confidence as a rider to control the front brake, especially when braking from high speed. Secondly its a cool trick to show off with.

So look for the correct surface, doing stoppies dusty sandy ground only results in you doing a front wheel slide (good for counter steering though). You need a surface that has good consistent traction, also be aware that brand new tyres aren't real good for doing them either.

As always start slowly, get a feel for the front brake, look ahead, move to the front bike (somewhere between the handle bars and the front of the seat) and firmly and evenly apply the brakes. As you practice you will soon get a feel for the locking point of the front wheel and where you need to be postioned to lift the back wheel. If you sit to far back you will never do a stoppie but you will consistently produce front wheel slides.

As always practice, practice, practice and be aware of the balance point and don't do endo (crash by flipping over the front end of the bike).

Most important thing to remember is the front brake is your friend, if you get into trouble let the front brake go, especially if you at or near the balance point. Oh by way thats me doing a stoppie.