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'breakthrough' Techniques


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When I do a slow full lock turn I turn my head far enough so I can see my rear fender, this brings around my shoulders and sticks my ass out the other side... the first time I did it I couldn't believe the difference it made, it was a real "aha" moment for me. It is always great when you are riding with a more advanced rider and they give you tips like that to help illustrate what you are doing wrong.

Edited by michael_t
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Enjoyed your post Sammy. I have a few (very basic) "ah-ha" moments that I learned mostly from others. Forgive my brevity.


1.) The pegs/feet steer the bike- not the hands.


2.) Don't force anything in trials. Relax and let it flow.


3.) Look ahead- prolly more than you want to.


4.) Practice with the dead engine too. Go out to the garage and just balance.

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"When I do a slow full lock turn I turn my head far enough so I can see my rear fender, this brings around my shoulders and sticks my ass out the other side... the first time I did it I couldn't believe the difference it made"


Another good one Michael and I agree. Helps a lot.

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Two things I was told to try by a local master on slow tight loose turns to avoid pushing the front wheel.

Move your weight forward over the bars slightly to regain front wheel grip, while doing as others have described on this subject.

Drag the back brake lightly. No explanation for this but works in loose cobbley sections.

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using the rear brake in a turn helps stability and seems to make the bike turn tighter? First gear almost everywhere, you can still go quick in first gear, you just need to rev it more. Give yourself time in the sections, accelerate in that hard bottomed stream, before the muddy climb out of it and give it plenty when you do!


If the bike looses grip on a climb, ease off the throttle and bring it back in again, whilst pushing up and down on the pegs, weight towards the middle/ rear of the bike.


And practice what you're not good at, sounds obvious but we don't always do that. I've had some boulders set up in the garden and a log high enough to catch your sump plate. I've been practicing landing the front wheel on the rocks all week, yesterday at the trial there was a log in section 1 high enough to catch you if you didn't put your front wheel in the right place. Cleaned it every time! 

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The one thing that stands out when I watch those that are early on in their trials carrers is the "wheelie - slam" approach to obstacles.


They've worked out lifting the front up or onto an obstacle and to start with the obstacles are small enough for the rear wheel to climb on it's own.

But as soon as it's too big they slam the rear into it (and usually off it) and wonder what the feck went wrong!


Thinking back I remember working out the blip, timing and weight transfer to lift the rear up over obstacles and counted it a big step forward (over a log!)


There's also been some good points made regarding braking, speed and gear selection.

Riding sections is a confidence game, keeping the feeling of having the bike in check and more often than not it'll go where you want it to.

It'll also give time to put whatever techniques are needed it to action.


It's amazing how often you don't, even if you count yourself a good rider, there's an awful lot of times where you "get through" and not know how!

Edited by goudrons
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  • 2 weeks later...


Drag the back brake lightly. No explanation for this but works in loose cobbley sections.

My experience on this technique is that it seems to smooth out the power impulses of the engine as well as the slightest of throttle changes that can happen during a turn and improves traction when the bike is leaning over.

At least that's my theory. ;)

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Lots of good stuff here!


Another one I figured out recently - if you are trying to hop the rear end around, but it's 50/50 that you'll dab, release the front break a few inches before the rear wheel lands. The bike will move forward a tiny bit allowing you to correct your balance with the front wheel.


Throwing the ouside knee out for balance, especially when making a tigh turn up a hill - like really pointing it out - seems to make a world of difference in the bikes ability to make the turn and for you to avoid a dab. If you are reading this you probably think you are already doing it, but make a concious effort to so and see if it helps!

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Any advice on how to get traction on slippery muddy up-hills?

Edit: just figured out myself.

So momentum is your best friend but when you have limited run up distance I found useful doing this:

-rev the engine up

-start fading in slowly the clutch

-when the bike is moving release the clutch while pushing hard as on the pegs

-if it isn't enough do a few traction hops

Edited by mirko91
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This is a little bit of 'a-ha' moments and a few things I've learnt over my first 12 months of riding.


1. Re-watch all of your old training videos multiple times a year, once you get better you can easily relate to techniques which made no sense before


2. Be careful of some of the training DVDs, the techniques are done differently in the real word vs. showing them as an example. Making a technique more understandable with obvious movements can actually make it harder (just keep this in mind when watching examples)


3. A 125cc is plenty of power for a new rider even for a big male rider, you just have to be prepared to give it gas.


4. Tip from a Ryan Young video - If you cannot close your eyes and walk the course mentally while thinking about all obstacles (no matter how small) and how you would ride them (technique/body position on bike) you're not ready to ride it.


5. Pressures pressures pressures! Don't just check them at home, check them before you start riding, after warming up and after the first lap. They will change, especially on a cold morning which turns hot and when going up and down elevations to get to the event.


6. Replace grips often, the second your grips or gloves start to look worn get new ones. The more worn they are the tighter you need to grip and the more tired you get, they are annoying to replace but worth the effort.


7. Hydration - You should not only be drinking during a trial but you should be fully hydrated at least 12-24 hours before the event and maintain good hydration throughout the event. When consuming liquids do it slowly and let your body catch up and tell you it's had enough. If you just gulp down fluids you can start to feel a little bloated/tired/full.


8. Have a warm up regime before a trial, even if it's just riding around doing full lock turns, a few wheelies. Never allow the first time you ride on the day of a trial to be in the sections, in saying that also don't over do it. I spend somewhere between 10-30 minutes riding around but don't warm up on really tiring stuff, save that for the sections.


9. Practice balance any chance you get. On a rainy terrible day you should be riding but if you can't ride get out, get in the garage and do 15-25 min on the bike. When you start your bike always try to balance and start it without footing. When riding around just in general, always try coming to a balancing stop don't make it a habit of when the bike stops you drop a foot


10. Copy/imitate better riders! Their technique, their equipment and their setup (to a point). I'm definitely not saying you need to buy all of Toni Bou's gear and a new Factory Montesa or go out and buy every trick part for your bike but there are little things good riders do that can be used in your own riding or bike setup. Never discount something until you have tried it and know for sure it doesn't work for you. Almost like a child stay open minded to everything you see. I think most riders stop improving when they close their minds and stop wanting to learn or follow current trends. For example, many riders refuse to wear Trials specific Jerseys because they look "too serious" but the benefits and comfort are greatly improved over just wearing a cotton T-shirt, not to mention reducing sun exposure and helping prevent dehydration. All of these little concessions I believe add up and can make riding harder. 


11. Watch YouTube videos of riding events, slow down the video and try and understand the techniques. From (11.) you can learn a lot from just imitating another riders technique.


12. Check the scores after each lap and as often as you need, it's always good to know how your performance rates compared to the rest. Sometimes I get down thinking I'm going poorly only to look at the scores to see everyone is on par. It's also good to know how much of a buffer you have on your competitors, Based on what you see in the scores you need to adjust your strategy accordingly


13. The trial is never over until the last card is handed in for your class. If you make a silly mistake early on don't let that affect your performance, keep your mind on the goal and keep monitoring the scores. 

Edited by jml
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