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Whats Going Wrong....i'm Sh*t At Trials!

15 posts in this topic

I'm never gonna be great on a bike, I can live with that but the last 2 trials (a week apart) I've been failing to live up to my own low standards.

Bit of background, been an occasional rider for the last 3 years, but now I'm competing every week since December now I'm riding my twinshock SWM.....I've been getting much better, can track stand whilst waiting my turn to my surprise stop mid-section etc but if its a little slippy I'm all over the shop struggling for grip, sort of flopping around like a bag of dirty washing....so 1 step forward 2 steps back.

I'm lucky in that I have my own small practice area with small obsticles and my riding was awful last week when practicing.

Ive a bad habit of running the clutch a lot but have been trying to ween myself off this bad habit letting the bike chuggle along....my SWM is nigh impossible to stall.

....in otherwords my riding is getting worse not better in the section but better out of it...if that makes sense...cos I cant make any sense of it!?!

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This may all be obvious ?

Is it running rich ? Wont grip if it isn't.

Where are your handlebars, to far forward also effect grip.

Too hard shocks won't help.

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Tyre pressures correct? Many riders still run too-high pressures, looking at the lack of sag in their tyres.

Sounds like you've reached the stage of learning low-speed "feel" where grip is achieved by a combination of balance, weight placement and developing the connection between your throttle hand and the blocks on your rear tyre. Any of the popular instruction videos may help, as does lots of practice of course.

Remember, a good trials rider has to be as tough as nails AND as smooth as silk.

Edited by cleanorbust

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Do a bit of observing - watch how the better riders go through the sections,there are many variations on style,but its amazing how much you can pick up from it.You can also watch the bikes closely,see how much the suspension works at certain points.I rode a trial today where most riders were having problems just into the last section on a left hand bend around a hazel bush.The markers gave plenty of room to go right out and back in - setting you up for the next part of the section.By going too close to the hazel they then were too tight to the next tree on the right.Very simple mistake,but many were making it.

Don't give up - Learn !

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i'm very much the same, i'm coming up to 1 year now but i remind myself that this weather for me is much harder to ride in, i renewed my membership today at earl shilton and when you make your self a member, part of it, you have to observe at one of the trial meeting held through the year so i thought il observe today and i was amazed at what tips i picked up, just by watching, my section was quite easy for me to observe but as the day went on, the last part got harder, for the riders as the mud got softer, the good thing for me was i was standing on a bank above the riders so i could see everything that they did, i came home just as happy as i do when i go riding, give it a go, it's better than watching videos of world class riders making it look easy.


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might be stating the obvious but how old is your tyre? a new one is like getting a new bike

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I agree ., when I have a fresh tire on my 240 , it's a different bike . But mud and traction takes practice , alot of it ...

As stated above you will develop a physic connection between your twist grip and the tread on you back tire , and what and where to work each one .

I tend to let momentum be my best friend when it comes to low traction situations , still on the power , but not overwhelming the available traction .

Because once you start to spin and slip , you slow down and make everything harder on yourself .

I have a mentor in his late 60's early 70's that is smooth as silk in every situation and I always learn just watching him ride the tricky stuff . Observing a BRUTAL section can be quite the learning experience for any rider . It is better than any video :)

Have fun and don't give up ! It will come to you ...

Glenn

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I have no real advice but there are two things you can do to get a better trainings effect. When you have clears an obstacle in training do something else which also should be something new an difficult. Riding obstacles you can is just for warming up the first ten minutes. Second try to train with a friend so you see how he rides and he can see how you are riding. You might too swap bikes in between helps too. As more training and trials you ride as better you get... normally... I sadly should have more time for riding...

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Cheers guys some good ideas there.

tyre pressure today was 5psi to start 3 at end after bleeding a tad more out, tyre condition seems fine....not that old either.

Thinking it thru some more, its more a case of off camber grip....you know running along a muddy gully and having to climb out at 45' off camber....between sections. there were some steep climbs over roots and she gripped real well.....I experimented in 1, 2 and 3rd just off idle and didnt make too much difference, she pulls like steamtrain but softly as a feather duster if needed and could wish for.

.....as I'm writing this its just dawned on me that I haven't any mud in my practice area, its all loose soft leafy loam which although having its own problems isnt mud...could just be a case of more riding in the soft stuff and beating myself up a little less after dropping points? The observing idea sounds very interesting, last week I followed a erm more mature winny Bultaco rider around and was amazed at how smooooooooth he was, clutch rarely engaged, looking way ahead....next muddy trial I'll follow Richard around again!

Bloody frustrating sport at times....but super sweet when it all comes together.

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Should you be using the clutch (other than to change gear) on a bike from the SWM era?

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Should you be using the clutch (other than to change gear) on a bike from the SWM era?

Why would the era of bike matter? When the section calls for clutch work use it! Tune your clutch and brakes so they work with minimum effort,it's labor that pays off.

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Tire is 5 knobs wide. You may use momentum through a slick off camber, but you cannot accelerate until you square up and get at least 3 in good contact with the ground. :wall:

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Maybe stating the obvious but have weather conditions been a fair bit different lately?

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True trials riding is the hardest to do of the two wheeled sports , I gather from the above you've been riding for maybe 4 years ? I'm 54 and had my first trials bike at about 12 ... a little enduro bike before that ... and a mini bike before that ... and yes my great grandpa worked at the indian factory in mass. and had one of his own in the early days, so bikes have always been accepted in my family . MOM had no problem with it , and Dad financed them . Going fast on a bike is basically easy , going real fast and smooth isn't . Most of the best motocrosser's , roadracers , and enduro riders all ride trials when they are not being paid to practice ... Riding trials you become one with your bike . IT TAKES TIME ! Why was Ryan young the best in his day ? 'cause of his dad ! ryan grew up on a trials bike , along with his brother ... Why is Bou the best now ? most likely 'cause he was riding trials bicycles from a very young age , and I bet his family has along trials/motorcycle history that should should be explored . patience and practice ...

See what works for you and what doesn't . EVERY rider is different , get comfortable on your bike and know what it will do or will not do in any given situation . PEG TIME WORKS ! and ride with some bud's if possible. Teasing can go a long way ! :) But most of all , become friends with your bike , it'll do things for you, you never thought you could do ....

HAVE FUN !!!!

Rant over ... :)

Glenn

Edited by axulsuv

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But aren't most of the extreme enduro riders trials folks ??? in one form or another ?

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