Posted September 14, 2004 - 07:29 AM
I am standing with my weight towards the back of the bike. I am using a combination of front and back brake. I just can't seem to get the braking right the whole way down. Too much back break the tire starts sliding out to the side, too much front and I have no steering (handlebars cross up). I found out my bike was running way to rich on the pilot which was causing me to stall the bike pretting quickly. Sometimes I would just kill the bike and pull the clutch in and go down using the brakes.
I know I need to just keep doing it to get better, but if anyone can offer me any tips I would really appreciate it.
This is really the hardest aspect of riding I have encountered. I am usually good at impoving things, but I feel like I should be better at this. I love hill climbs, but I hate having to have to come back down them.
Posted September 14, 2004 - 07:43 AM
practice specific stuff. find a hill that's sorta steep, but not intimidatingly so, and work on just using the rear brake. make it skid, then make it stop skidding. try to get a feel for how hard you can step on the brake without skidding. move your weight back a little (weight the pegs, not your hands) and see how much of a difference that makes. do the same thing with the front. lean back, and see how much front brake it takes before the tire skids. be ready to let off the front brake for rocks and dips, or it may suddenly find enough traction to stop. mtn bikes are famous for endo-ing with inexperienced riders in situations like that.
you might also try some mtn bike descending. i feel like i'm pretty strong on the downhills compared to the guys that are my speed or slightly faster everywhere else. i think it's from racing mtn bikes for 13 years. a dirt bike has SO much more traction and control that it seems pretty easy by comparison.
hopefully some other people will have some good suggestions too, cuz i know mine are only a start.
Posted September 14, 2004 - 07:49 AM
Here's a good long thread from the General TT forum from July.
wow. interesting thread. to me, much of the advice (to rely on engine braking) is totally wrong and dangerous once you're going faster than a crawl (also doesn't apply to mxchic's 2stroke). i found that even under engine braking, there was enough momentum in the engine to push the front wheel and make it skid at really inconvenient times, like when you're trying to slow for a corner or rough section.
now i pull in the clutch on my 4-stroke too, and go down using only the brakes.
maybe the engine braking thing is good for real beginners riding very slowly. not sure. i know i crash alot less (like pretty much never on downhills) since i stopped doing it.
Posted September 14, 2004 - 08:01 AM
On my trials bikes I used to go down very steep sections and lift the rear wheel off with braking and body weight. Sometimes to reposition the wheel, sometimes just for fun. On my CRF or any other dirt bike I will do the same in slow sections just to practice control.
I would recommend finding a fairly mild downhill to practice on. Start very slow at the top and concentrate on controlling the bikes speed with front brake. Keep enough weight over the front so that tire will stick. Your not going to go over the bars! Then move up to a more challenging hill. Take your time!
I will even get on a very steep hill that has sufficient traction and stop the bike completely for a moment before moving on. (kind of a trials technique thing I guess.) If the traction is exceptionally poor, you have to use some descretion and start out very slow.
Posted September 14, 2004 - 10:29 AM
wow. interesting thread.
Yeah, my favorite practice tip out of that thread is to practice downhills with the engine off and in neutral, using only the brakes. That's an eye-opener!
Posted September 14, 2004 - 10:37 AM
Posted September 14, 2004 - 01:41 PM
Posted September 14, 2004 - 01:47 PM
that's pretty much how i do long hills anyway. 2-stroke engines with low-idles have a habit of eventually dying on long bouncy downhills. i often just kill it at the top, even in races, and bump start at the bottom.
I just jetted down one on the pilot, my bike was just loading up so incredibly fast. Lately when I go down a long hill I just kill it at the top, pull in the clutch and use the brakes. I just don't no if there is a benefit to keeping the bike running using the engine when I really don't have much engine braking at all. Do you guys think it is better to use the engine or shut it off and use the clutch?
Posted September 14, 2004 - 02:25 PM
i usually descend with the clutch pulled in, using front and rear brakes (like on a mtn bike, only with better traction and suspension). here are my
I do the same thing on my KLX. I have more control, the suspension is not under a constant load from braking, the front end steers easily around obstacles. None of my friends do this, they think it's strange. We ride a lot of one or two mile switchbacks. Riding with the clutch in, conserves a lot of strength, it doesn't put the weight of the bike on my arms, and I don't fight my weight constantly sliding forward. My suspension works very well, that helps a lot. The tires grip well for the area I ride, and my brakes are strong and predictable. It makes steep downhills a lot easier and safer.
Posted September 14, 2004 - 02:41 PM
When I first started riding, my bro told me to just kill the bike at the top of the hill, put it in neutral & use the brakes - one less thing to think about on steep downhills. You can also stab it into first to help stop if you need to.
This worked for me but we went to the Tennessee Trials Training Center for some lessons and the instructor said it was better to keep the bike running in gear & feather the clutch - gave you better traction. In fact I believe he went so far as to say NEVER coast down a hill.
I'm comfortable either way anymore, coasting in neutral & using the brakes or in gear using the brakes & feathering the clutch. I don't mind a bit of rear wheel slide but if it's getting out of control you have to let off to get traction back.
It's a fine line between too much braking & not enough braking. I always try to remember, it's much easier to ride it than to slide it. On really steep hills, I'll keep it in gear, feather the clutch, drag the rear brake as much as possible without sliding it and use the front brake to control the momentum kinda feathering it on & off. If I see a drop or rock section that could cause the front to dive I lighten up on the front brake and try to pull up on the bars a bit. My CR doesn't have any engine braking either.
Mountain Biking is a great way to learn proper descent technique - they tend to be a bit less forgiving of mistakes than a dirtbike.
Posted September 14, 2004 - 02:52 PM
As far as what to do when you have to slow for a turn, keep your weight back over the edge on the seat, use both brakes with clutch pulled in.
Practice, practice, practice.
Posted September 14, 2004 - 05:57 PM
I was having a lot of problems with my rear tire fish taling on me in the past. I found that 4-strokes made this much worse. It seems like when I started using higher gears and standing more it really helped with this except in deep sand/dust.
I've found that I don't really improve when I trail ride cause I only see things once (or maybe twice). If I want to work on something I goto metcalf or hollister by myself after calling a few people to let them know where I am going and just ride around in circles doing the same area over and over. I find that each time I go over that small section I can learn a better line, different techinque etc. Repetition is key to success in this case.
Posted September 14, 2004 - 06:55 PM
Posted September 14, 2004 - 07:28 PM
Posted September 15, 2004 - 07:33 AM
Posted September 15, 2004 - 07:42 AM
To me the bike feels like its in much more controls when the engines on.
I agree. Maybe it has to do with the flywheel's rotational inertia.
I keep the engine running, clutch in, and use front and rear brake so the rear just barely isn't sliding. I will also momentarily let off the front if I have to dodge a rock or rut, giving maximum traction to the quick turn rather than braking. Also, keeping your speed up so you have better stability helps, too, but don't go so fast that you lose control. As I reach the bottom, I make sure I am in the right gear for my speed, try to match engine RPM with what it will be when I let out the clutch, then accelerate down the last part of the hill if it is straight.
Posted September 15, 2004 - 03:18 PM
Excessive engine braking? by Scralatchtica824