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hrmad

Riding Style

14 posts in this topic

Hey guys,

I get a lot of different advice from different people at the trials clubs I go to. Watching people at trials I've noticed ways of riding vary a lot.

Just curious, how do you guys generally ride a trial? I know a lot depends on conditions, but some guys only really use 1st gear, some experts I've watched are going round on a 300 in 3rd slipping the clutch. Some guys use no clutch at all, others use it for everything. Some people squat and hang off the bike, some people have a more neutral position. There are fast guys, and slow riders too.

I'm too early on yet to have developed a way of riding, but I think I need to practice in 1st gear more, really try to get a proper hang of throttle control and body positioning. Going slow also gives me more time to think in practice and competition.

So what is your style? How does it change with conditions?

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So are you trying to beat "kenny the rooster " for replies with this one ???

Glenn B)

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All part of the beauty of the sport! Learning to ride using a variety of techniques and knowing which one to use depending on the section/conditions is what sets good riders apart!

I remember as a youngster marvelling at an old timer ride a Francis Barnet up a slippy climb at half the speed of all others, using only the throttle yet finding loads of grip and making it look like a main road! Bike feel, set up and body positioing all play a part, all hard to describe/teach, just what you develop with practice.

Similar if you watch the top riders, seem to get everything just right and make it look very easy. You try the same approach and end up in a right mess!

Personally, I think modern bikes lend themselves to being ridden using the clutch, watch any decent rider and they will ride with one finger hovering the clutch. But again different riders feel confident doing this to different degrees. No right answer.

I also think new riders tend to be a little hesitent in certain situations which leads to trouble. Momentum is your friend in a lot of cases, but again this comes with confidence.

No doubt there'll be a few more replies!

Just remember - every five is a learning point and make sure you're having fun!

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So are you trying to beat "kenny the rooster " for replies with this one ???

Glenn B)

That's only part of the master plan, hehe :popcorn:

All part of the beauty of the sport! Learning to ride using a variety of techniques and knowing which one to use depending on the section/conditions is what sets good riders apart!

I remember as a youngster marvelling at an old timer ride a Francis Barnet up a slippy climb at half the speed of all others, using only the throttle yet finding loads of grip and making it look like a main road! Bike feel, set up and body positioing all play a part, all hard to describe/teach, just what you develop with practice.

Similar if you watch the top riders, seem to get everything just right and make it look very easy. You try the same approach and end up in a right mess!

Personally, I think modern bikes lend themselves to being ridden using the clutch, watch any decent rider and they will ride with one finger hovering the clutch. But again different riders feel confident doing this to different degrees. No right answer.

I also think new riders tend to be a little hesitent in certain situations which leads to trouble. Momentum is your friend in a lot of cases, but again this comes with confidence.

No doubt there'll be a few more replies!

Just remember - every five is a learning point and make sure you're having fun!

What made me think of asking this question is what I've been learning from some twinshock old hands who have taken me under their wing. They are teaching me to leave the clutch alone and use 1st gear for almost everything. This approach has improved my riding, and hopefully will help me improve my score in the lower classes. But it's not the only way, I know riders who use only 2nd and 3rd and are successful in doing so. slow riders, fast riders.

Seems to me like with body positioning you've got to stand on the bike like you're standing on the ground, in balance. weight down the hill on a camber like you would if you were standing on it. Slightly forward but weight still central up hills, squatting to weight the back wheel and lean back going down. The more natural the stance the better, or so it seems to me!

Some guys can hop, it looks cool. Others seem to make things worse for themselves with hopping! It seems to be another technique where you have to do it without thinking.

Modern bikes can be geared down to have old school engine characteristics, the old boys I've been practising with used to have 4rts, geared them down as low as possible and never touched the clutch. Still took them 8 months to get used to the hondas though!

I know there are many variations, but it's just interesting to see what people have to say on the matter :)

Edited by hrmad
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I'm also still to new to have any "style" but what I do find is, whenever I plan out what I am going to do in a section it only takes about 10 ft or so and my whole plan is out the window and I spend the rest of the section just holding on for dear life and trying not to 5.

My only advice is to keep trying every possible thing, you never know what might work for you. It is great you have some people to ride with but what works for them might not work for you and your bike.

I am a little worried that after 7 years riding my 200 when my 250 arrives it will be back to square 1 again (but that is half the fun of it). I did sell the 200 this week and could have got almost what I paid for it 7 years ago (you have to love this sport)!

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http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=14477531625&searchurl=tn%3Dsammy+miller+trials%26sortby%3D20%26fe%3Don

See the above link, this is the book you want. Perhaps some forum member may have a copy and could lend it. Perhaps with the current UK trend towards no stop trials Sammy should republish it.

Kidderminster where the book is is presumably not that far from you.

I would advise to always ride in the highest gear you can for a section. The higher the gear the easier the bike grips.

Edited by dadof2
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http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=14477531625&searchurl=tn%3Dsammy+miller+trials%26sortby%3D20%26fe%3Don

See the above link, this is the book you want. Perhaps some forum member may have a copy and could lend it. Perhaps with the current UK trend towards no stop trials Sammy should republish it.

Kidderminster where the book is is presumably not that far from you.

I would advise to always ride in the highest gear you can for a section. The higher the gear the easier the bike grips.

Ta Dadof2, I'll look into getting a copy of the book.

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Regarding clutch use, modern bikes tend to have little or no flywheel weight which tends to make them easy to stall if the clutch is not used, this does however allow them to accelerate much quicker than the older bikes,

I think that riding style comes down to many factors like what bike you ride your build and whether you are an aggressive rider or you are a more calm precise type,

Gears are something that your style should dictate what you use and more importantly when you use certain gears, I tend to mostly use 2nd gear for most sections leaving 1st for tight stuff and 3rd when some speed is required and will sometimes plan a gear change in a section in a neutral spot if it changes in the middle.

Last weekend we were riding some rock steps and I was using 2nd gear but was advised to try 3rd and found that 3rd was much better an felt a lot smoother.

DSC_2569_zpseem1bebg.jpg

Steve,

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I think I tend to go too slowly.

Although I seem to do better than a lot in my class when it comes to slick hills.

On my Enduro bike I got pretty good at really slow, steep, twisty slick hills

I couldn't go fast, bit figured how to get good traction.

I still struggle a bit standing and getting max traction- other bike I would sit and move my upper body and control throttle.

Getting better though.

If I go faster I don't feel as much in control- although before I changed my style I used to just blast over/ through everything.

But I'm very much a novice. (Been riding 48 years, but still working on doing a proper turn!)

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I ride a Gas Gas JT 95 (327 cc beast).

Heaps of torque / power.

I like to approach slowish, and as late as possible give it heaps using the throttle. My speed twisting the throttle controls the rate of acceleration  I use the clutch to taper off the power I've dialed on to stop over shooting. At least in 1st & 2nd.

This is probably not the correct way but it works for me.

A training video I watched years ago described the twist grip as the power setting, and the clutch as the throttle, i.e. the clutch was used to control the power going to the back wheel, and the "engine throttle" set the maximum power available.

For Third or higher gears, I feed the power in with the clutch as I start twisting the throttle early to avoid stalling (and if I'm in third the obstacle is BIG).

As for weighting, practice, practice, practice.

good luck!

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I ride a Gas Gas JT 95 (327 cc beast).

Heaps of torque / power.

I like to approach slowish, and as late as possible give it heaps using the throttle. My speed twisting the throttle controls the rate of acceleration  I use the clutch to taper off the power I've dialed on to stop over shooting. At least in 1st and 2nd.

This is probably not the correct way but it works for me.

A training video I watched years ago described the twist grip as the power setting, and the clutch as the throttle, i.e. the clutch was used to control the power going to the back wheel, and the "engine throttle" set the maximum power available.

For Third or higher gears, I feed the power in with the clutch as I start twisting the throttle early to avoid stalling (and if I'm in third the obstacle is BIG).

As for weighting, practice, practice, practice.

good luck!

 

THis is also inportant. Not everybody will become like toni or adam. Fun is important. However if you want to progress there should be someone to point out to you how you limitate your further options by having wrong habbits.

 

I find that a lot of wrong things will work, and then the **** hits the fan when trying something extra new. For example one step, quite high, goes really well, but someone states too much power is used. Well you do it a lot of times an no trouble. But then you want to do the step which is 1 meter further, and you will find that they were right. So yes, listen to yourself and make your own style, it should fit you, but also try to listen if you want to progress.

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If you can get someone to video you riding and compare this to what you should be doing is a great help.

Often you think you are have the stance that your after only to find this is not quite so.

But bottom line as mentioned, We do this for fun.

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My style is if in doubt flat out

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