How to do a whip?

35 replies to this topic
  • SMP

Posted November 16, 2001 - 12:11 PM


I am looking to start trying to whip my bike in the air. I ride in the dunes, so any size of jumps are available. I am pretty comfortable in the air (brake/throttle control) and have done 80ft. jumps in 4th gear.

I would like to get some advice on how to whip my 426. How do you get it started and bring it back?

  • thumpy

Posted November 16, 2001 - 04:21 PM


I'm also wondering the same thing. Come on guys let us in on the details....

I've almost gone down a couple times when getting crossed up after the launch (the bike kinda slid up the jump face and launched that way). It would sure be nice to know how to fly it out. Please don't recommend the Gary Semics stuff, it SUCKS!! I've got the jumping video and it's useless.

  • Shawbridge Husky

Posted November 16, 2001 - 04:30 PM


I would also like to improve my jumping, having been away for 20 years! I am having trouble doing the brake tap thing. It dosen't seem like a natural move. I'm lifting my foot off the peg and using my toe while single digit clutching. Is this correct? I will need to have this down before doing any serious air. Have been high but not very far yet.

  • thumpy

Posted November 16, 2001 - 04:42 PM


Ya, if one finger works great, just make sure your clutch cable is adjusted so when you pull the clutch in it engages the clutch enough so when you tap the brake you don't stall it. That could be very bad in a big air situation. Repitition is the key..

  • Chris_Slade

Posted November 17, 2001 - 02:54 PM


I wish I could do the correction in air you all are talking about too.
I have been able to grab clutch and tap the rear, so full success of bringing the front down....BUT, only when I an doing a jump with the INTENTION of doing that. I hit a jump at the last race Sunday, lifted my front farther than it's ever been. this is a 3rd gear jump....I thought I was going over the back. Out of pure instinct, I grabbed FRONT brake, locking the wheel, and stopping my loop out. I still was very nose high, and it hurt like the dickens when I slap landed at that angle. Injured both my wrists and my back, and it's still hurting.
Correction in the air (of bike attitude and direction) is something that is VERY important in my eyes, before I can even THINK about really hammering.
I have been recently able to do a turn in the air, but with the same stipulations as the rear brake tap...I need to WANT to do it, and make a special jump approach to do it. I cannot do it as an error correction yet. I still freeze, and just hang on.
The way I found to do a "mid air turn", was at slow speed (obviously, as the gyroscopics are less, therefore, the bike is easier to maneuver).
In the air, turn the wheel to the side you are most comfortable with. (I am right handed, and like to have the wheel to the left the most). At the same time you are turning the wheel, LEAN slightly forward, and in the opposite direction. (wheel left, body forward and right). The whole thing should be VERY smooth - naturally, as you are following the laws of physics.

I would assume, (obviously I am not sure, as I cannot do one yet), that under the same circumstances, applying all your weight to the RIGHT peg, would cause the rear of the machine to push away, and the whole thing to pivot on the front wheel. (as the front wheel is turned, it's gyroscopics are still in line with the direction of bike travel, therefore the whole mass of you and the bike will want to pivot from that point.) This would perform the motion we call a whip. Slowing of the rear wheel would allow the gyroscopics of the rear to lessen, allowing it to move more freely.

I could be totally wrong, mind you....but this makes sense to me. I have tried to do this, with limited success, as I am not yet completely comfortable with it. This is how I am attempting to do a whip myself.

Can anyone confirm or deny my hypothosis????

  • thumpy

Posted November 17, 2001 - 08:10 PM


Hey I just found the answer to our question here check this out

It's as complicated as you might have imagined...

[ November 17, 2001: Message edited by: thumpy ]

[ November 17, 2001: Message edited by: thumpy ]

  • SMP

Posted November 17, 2001 - 08:54 PM


Thanks Thumpy, that is exactly what I was looking for! I guess I will need to print that out and tape it to my handlebars....I am sure the evolution of my "whip" will involve a little pain and suffering and not to mention looking just plain stupid.

  • BMC1

Posted November 17, 2001 - 10:40 PM


That's a pretty cool page you ref'd. I can't get as flat as Chad Reed but am able to throw a pretty good whip when warmed up. That web page pretty much sums it up. Keep in mind a heavy 4 stroke doesn't like to straighten back out too easy, so be very aggressive! Make sure you are very comfortable on whatever jump you practice on. Table tops are the safest to learn on. It takes allot of nerve at first to lean the bike on takeoff but you need to get the whip going early so you'll have the time to straighten it out to land. If you aren't sure, don't take your chances. It's hard to get better at whips when you're all busted up.

  • thumpy

Posted November 18, 2001 - 02:49 PM


Hey BMC1,

Could you elaborate on "be agressive" with the whip landing. Thanks...

  • motoman393

Posted November 18, 2001 - 04:13 PM


Here is how I whip it:

Lets say you want to whip the rear end out to the right in the air...while on the face of the jump you should be slightly leaning over the left of the bike. Once airborn your use your legs to move the rear end of the bike sideways. The 426 is hard to get "unwhipped" in comparison to 2 strokes (due to weight) but it is not hard once you get used to it. Whipping also helps you clear jumps by gaining trajectory. Once you learn how to whip the tail end out, then you can whip it flat by pushing the bars down, either to the left or the right.
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  • thumpy

Posted November 18, 2001 - 07:05 PM


Thanks Garrett,

We have a lot of input on how to get it started but none on how to bring it back. This is a very crucial piece of the puzzle. Feel free to elaborate on the bringing it back portion.



  • BMC1

Posted November 18, 2001 - 11:04 PM


Actually, you just have to have it set in your mind that YOU WILL BRING IT BACK. It's kinda like looking ahead down the track out of a corner. The bike will go where you intend it to if you really mean it. Man handle it! It's not so much straightening it back out as it is standing it back up with the front tire pointing straight.

Most of the time you probably won't be too straight when landing anyway, so you have to be comfortable being a little out of line. It's confidence from being that way before really... Unfortunately, thats kinda like nobody will give you a credit card until someone else does. You gotta figure on taking a few risky chances. So find a good comfortable jump to start off!

Be in a strong midrange gear for that jump, and give it a good zap all the way off the face. Almost point (but lean in) the bike toward where you would as if you wanted to jump to the side of the track (but intending to land were you would normally). Squeezing the bike tight, a strong twist/push from your hips while leaning and wieghting the underside footpeg, and you are on your way. You will feel the rear wheels cintrifical force from it spinning. Kinda like the gyro a toy top has, the bike actually wants to stand back up straight. If not enough, give a pull on the handlebars with some panic rev thrown in to get it going back.

I hope this kinda makes sense. This is harder to explain than I thought. A good idea is to get right behind someone that has it down and follow him off the jump watching his motions from close behind.

  • Glen_T

Posted November 19, 2001 - 05:49 AM


Bringing a whip back does require a bit of man-handling. I lean a bit forward and "torque" my bars to sort of bring the front end over to the back end. Be careful when getting the bike sideways. Too far and your'e in trouble. No amount of muscle will bring it back if you go too far. I've found that if I get sideways on a jump unintentionally, my whip skills are lost in saving my butt skills.


  • thumpy

Posted November 19, 2001 - 06:09 PM


Great stuff guys thanks. I guess I'll just have to do it. I'm a little freaked out by it as I've launched off jumps before with the bike in kind of a slide up the jump face and performed the whip involuntarily and didn't get it all the way back for the landing which caused the tank slapper with both leggs flapping trying to keep from high siding. So this is my only experience with the whip and it hasn't been friendly. Hopefully when I post agian it won't be from a hospital bed or a body cast!

  • motoman393

Posted November 19, 2001 - 06:46 PM



  • Jerid_Johnson

Posted November 19, 2001 - 08:35 PM


on your approach to the lip apply pressure to your outside peg. As you leave the lip transfer your weight to the inside peg and turn the bars down. Reverse to straighten up. Have your med card handy and someone to stop traffic..

  • BMC1

Posted November 19, 2001 - 10:17 PM


Go easy Thumpy. If the jump face is slick it's not the one to be practicing this on. But the thing your are describing about being thrown sidways by mistake is actually one of those practice/experience things that is in a wierd way good. Over time you will gain foresight as to what needs to be done to save things before it is too late. Most times it takes (luckily) saving it from a bad experience that will add up to good future know how.

Motoing is not the safest sport as we all know (otherwise it wouldn't be as much fun). Things that look like second nature to a pro come from alot of crash and burns. Alot better riders, than we will ever be, are busted up on a regular basis attempting cool stuff. Just take it a little at a time. Overall, being able to just go ride everyweek is the coolest.

(Sheez, sorry for sounding like my dad)

  • SMP

Posted November 19, 2001 - 10:27 PM


During all these weight transfers and body shifting what part does the gas/brake tapping action take place?

I know the clutch is a must when tapping the brakes on a 426, does everyone usually pull the clutch in the air...just in case you need the brake or pull it when you need the brake?

Too many times I have hit the brake without the clutch and have paid the price and if I am lucky, I remember to pull it in on the stalled landing and even luckier if I roll out of it, while laying on the handlebars!

----the previous is a testimony to chest protectors----

  • Glen_T

Posted November 20, 2001 - 05:43 AM


SMP, IMHO if you have to think about all that other stuff, you shouldn't be attempting a whip. I don't whip when my approach isn't just so. I don't touch the brakes in the air. That little trick is only needed when you are nose high and in trouble. (If you watch McGrath, he almost exclusively uses body position and sometimes a little throttle while sailing through the air.) I wouldn't recommend making it a habbit. Practice your take-offs untill you can clear the jump clean without evasive (butt-saving) maneuvers. Only then are you ready to do a more advanced trick. A better plan is to learn how to use body position to change the bike's attitude during a jump than throttle and brakes. Ultimately you will be able to do more and be more comfortable in the air when you master body position techniques. Hope this helps.


  • fenrus_WFO

Posted November 20, 2001 - 06:14 AM


The secret is to approach the jump at a slight
angle say right to left then turn bars back right
it automatically kicks the back out. After you
master this then you use progressive body english.
Can you land sideways, Yes if you have the gas on
and it will feel completely natural. Can you throw a roost sideways off the track, yes indeed.
Start on a nice table top and have someone watch
as it is hard to feel when you land properly.
If you have to think about this when riding you
might have a problem.

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