What causes unintentional tail-whip

47 replies to this topic
  • Yak

Posted June 05, 2002 - 07:00 AM


What causes unintentional tail whip off of jumps. The last 2 time I rode I went down hard because of coming up short in a whipped out landing. Everything on the bike has been checked and is straight, wheels are straight. It must be something that im doing on the jump itself. Does anyone here have any experience with this and know what might be the cause of it, as far as technique goes.

  • yznvegas

Posted June 05, 2002 - 07:02 AM


If you are hitting the lip at an angle and then try to straigten up in the air that might throw you off center.

Is one of your legs longer than the other one?? :)

  • Shawn_Mc

Posted June 05, 2002 - 07:04 AM


Loose connections between the grips and the pegs!

Grip the sucker with your legs!

  • John_Lorenz

Posted June 05, 2002 - 07:05 AM


When you say whip are you saying the tail Kicks to one side or the other?

Whip in my mind whip says kicks out or ?

Not sure how to answer this.

My 00 is having a spongy type feel in turns and off jumps causing the tail end to have a bounce.

Adjusting to compression one click or two Clockwise stopped it for me.

Casue was the compression was to soft in the tail causing the but to feel spongy.

This was also causing my bike to slide hook up slide hook up

  • Yak

Posted June 05, 2002 - 07:17 AM


Yes, it seems to me like im going up the the jump perfectly straight, however, sometimes the rear end will start to come around, not only is it hard to land whipped, it makes me come up short. If you can picture this - Coming up short on the apex of a table and being bounced and whipped in the oposite direction. Pretty dangerous.

  • sirthumpalot

Posted June 05, 2002 - 07:18 AM


Is the takeoff rutted? Catch a rut with your rear wheel on takeoff and you can get a nasty surprise whip. Leaving the takeoff while turning (or at an angle) can do it too if you're not expecting it.

Are you leaning the bike over when you take off? Also from what I can tell, having your rear rebound set too fast (too many clicks out) doesn't cause a whip, but it can sure make what would be a small whip into a bigger one. Sorry this is all that I'm good for...

As far as landing sideways, I've found my survival rate to be higher if I land on the gas and with my weight forward and the front wheel turned into the rear (as if you were flat tracking). Maybe the faster guys will have better ideas.

  • John_Lorenz

Posted June 05, 2002 - 07:19 AM



May I call You YAK
I am not sure what is goig on in your case. It could just be that you tail is whipping becouse the tire is just spining when it lifts off the top of the jump

If thats the case
Its a matter of learning how to compinsate and land the beast..

If your crashing then Maybe some experiance is at hand

  • bassr_#186

Posted June 05, 2002 - 09:13 PM


Incorrect race sag settings can also contribute to the rear end kicking one way or the other, especially if it is too soft.

  • Boit

Posted June 05, 2002 - 01:58 PM


If you find that the rear end is kicking to one side or another on certain jump faces, you might try slowing down the rebound on the shock(clockwise on the clicker). Try two clicks and then test. If you don't feel a difference, go back to your original setting and try something else as mentioned in some of the posts above.

  • BFLee

Posted June 05, 2002 - 02:16 PM


Originally posted by Yak:
What causes unintentional tail whip?

Being Naughty?

geez, somebody had to say it.

Ego - All straight answers? whaasupp??

I got one of these religous experiences last weekend. Landed very sideways on a medium table and then swapped hard the other way. I know why it happened to me, I was not straight up the jump face and my rear tire was spinning. Scary :)

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  • moorespeed426

Posted June 05, 2002 - 02:27 PM


the same thing was happening to me and I found it was because of the way I was weighting the pegs. I have size 12 feet, and if my foot was to far forward then the bike would whip, so I started keeping my foot back on the ball part of my foot, also I try and keep my right foot lite on the peg and actually lift it off the peg when I jump, this helps a bunch, if you watch Travis Pastana he is always unloading his right foot for jumps to keep his bike straight.

  • DethWshBkr

Posted June 05, 2002 - 04:09 PM


Footpeg weighting differences, YOU not being perfectly centered on the bike (especially on g-out jumps), pulling on a bar side, the slightest margin of wheelspin, or any little thing can cause what you described. Have you always gone off to the same side?
I find my rear always goes to the right. Usually, I can correct for the rear kicking out very quickly, causing my body to go even more off to the left. Turn the front wheel into the same direction as the rear is moving to stop the rear from kicking out. Usually, I end up freezing in this position then, landing with a turned wheel. never crashed yet from that.
If you're really smooth, and quick, you turn the wheel to the opposite side as the rear is swinging (if the wheel is going to your right, you turn the front wheel to the left, keeping a straight bike.) You should be able to re-align yourself on the bike then, and forcefully PULL it back into straight shape. I can't even come close to doing this though. lol.
Correction is the toughest thing. I'm still working on doing intentional tail whips, so I can learn how to get it back. I have been able to get the bike to the stop, and pretty sideways a few times, and only be able to pull it back about 1/2 way. Staying on the gas straightens me out the rest of the way on landing....but doing it in an emergency is the toughest part.

I had a guy go down in front of me last weekend, he got sideways in the air, landed VERY sideways, and just started sliding. I barely missed him, as I was in the air already and had, literally, a bird's-eye-view!!! He's lucky he wasn't hurt.

  • DaveJ

Posted June 05, 2002 - 09:17 PM


This is caused when the rear of the bike is moving faster than the front of the bike.

Sounds funny...eh, but think about it.

In this case, it could be sag, but I think Boit nailed it with the not enough rebound piece.

The rear end is simply launching up (err...unloading) before you conclude the face of the jump.


  • DaveJ

Posted June 05, 2002 - 09:20 PM


It's funny too, because sometimes you can stiffen a shock so that it doesn't load up as much.

Take your pick.

  • Mark_Cantrell

Posted June 06, 2002 - 02:05 AM



I would have guessed increasing stiffness in rear shock. But now that you're up there crossed up, land with hard acceleration and it will kick it straight. There's a jump I have to wind out 2nd nearly to the limiter to get, no time to shift out of a turn. Since I was landing without acceleration (already wound out), I got rear tire bounces left and right. With better presence of mind, I hope to be landing in 3rd to solve it.

Good luck,


Posted June 06, 2002 - 04:31 AM


Are you sure the rear wheel is aligined correctly?? The marks on the chain-blocks have been known to be incorrect, eye-ball or measure and make sure the wheel is centered in the swing-arm. jimbo

  • John_Lorenz

Posted June 06, 2002 - 04:48 AM


I was putzing around last night in the hills prior to the fork seals exploding.

I actually was trying to get a feel for the bike launching off camber on jumps. The Bike Characteristically would whip, slide, buck, swap or whatever you would want to call it each and every time. I think "I THINK” this is a basic way the bike handles the given situation.

Now before anyone starts flaming me here lets reason together :)

The Bike handles well in stock form Correct?
The Bike is way Forgiving Correct?
So with that lets look at some obvious reasons why the original post
<ul type="square"> [*] Suspension: Ok Thats a Given [*] Experience: Hummm [*] Approach: Includes Technique [*] Personal Style: Face it we all have our own way
Ok so with that take number 1 Suspension, There are enough replies to answer that one and all are good and legit.
So number 2: Experience given the ability of the bike and its race breed awareness, I think experience Take off, landing and how to and know what to do in between is crucial. Aka off camber jumps.
Next Technique, This may coincide with experience well in my case (See Egos Best Side) :D

Approach, personal style and experience are all partly related. It knows what to do when to do and how to do it.

I honestly think that the bike is doing what its geometry / HP and Weight do in the situation. Its learning to compensate and adjust to that factor is what counts....

[ June 06, 2002: Message edited by: EgoAhole ]

  • Wyatt

Posted June 06, 2002 - 07:59 AM


I second what Rideplate says. One of the most common causes is a mis-aligned rear end. measure it with something other than those cheesy marks.

  • John_Lorenz

Posted June 06, 2002 - 08:08 AM


I always align my rear wheel by the way the spoket runs in the chain.

If you have the butt end in the air, spin the tire your will notice the teach riding in the chain. You can visually see the teeth align as you adjust.

If you chain is appropriatly adjusted you can use this method to align the tire, making sure the teeth of the spoket run center in the chain...

[ June 06, 2002: Message edited by: EgoAhole ]

  • DaveJ

Posted June 07, 2002 - 07:22 AM


Poor rear wheel alignment causing the rear end to whip out??!!


If you put some rebound into that thing that rear wheel will drag off the tip of the jump. You'll go front high, but it won't whip.

And a decrease in rear sag or an increase in the compression setting will also work since it won't allow the shock to load up, as much or as fast.

Find the happy balance between the three. Thank me later.


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