Looking for help on jumping/railing berms

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7/27/2020 7:25 PM

Hey all,

So just trying to get some help from you more experienced riders. I have been riding since I was 5 and now am 31. had no fear to jump and stuff when I was younger. Early 20s had a wreck quit for a while and just getting back into it couldnt stay away and got a 2019 yz250f . Last bike was a 2010 Yz250f . Love this bike but not going to lie, getting hurt now days with a job and what not I do have some fear going off jumps. Been watching youtube videos but what is the best thing that has worked for yall. I mean I know body position is important, What I use to have a problem with was I think to much spin on my back tire and I would turn sideways in the air accidently . What should I be doing to keep the bike straight.

Also for berms, growing up my dad use to tell me to never use front brake always back brake (to not endo). I have been trying to use my front brake. What should I be doing into turns? More back or more front or both?

Would appreciate any help or tips! TIA

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7/27/2020 7:59 PM

Get your suspension set up for your weight and riding conditions.

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7/27/2020 8:07 PM

Throttle control, stay smooth up the face. Start slow on small jumps, once you feel confident ( 5th wfo, hit the stairway to heaven!)

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7/27/2020 9:03 PM

maybe get some instructional videos , drill proper technique and body positioning before speed, figure 8's , turn tracks and then just lots of seat time

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7/27/2020 9:50 PM

Do all your braking before the turn

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7/27/2020 10:32 PM
Edited Date/Time: 7/27/2020 11:29 PM

Honestly, just have fun jumping what you're comfortable with at the moment. With time, you will gain back the confidence and knowledge of speed/gap size that you used to know. I know you might feel like a lame for not clearing all the big jumps but you just gotta be okay with that and not beat yourself up over it.

I've seen too many people send one of the big jumps where it looks like they close their eyes and hope for the best and it doesn't paint them in any better light than the guy that can put lap after lap together in control. If you don't feel comfortable doing it yet, then don't do it. It all just takes time to get back into the groove, even if you know you would've done it years ago. I would just focus on carrying speed around the entire track to where you have to start slowing down before the jump. Carrying momentum into the jumps is always going to be better than clumsily working your way through a corner and gassing it up that face hoping to make the big gap.

I don't want to step on your dads toes but most of your braking should come from your front brake.Get comfortable with using your front brake, maybe spin some laps where you only use your front brake so you know the limits and range of it.

What's more fun? Spending a day at the track spinning laps or wadding yourself and getting injured on a big jump you didn't feel comfortable on? It'll come back, just give it time.

EDIT: As an anecdotal note, the first time I got back to riding after about a 10 year break, I felt very similar. I was getting winded putting in solid laps and just wanted to do the jumps because they're fun. It got towards the end of the day and there was this big, stretched out mellow triple. I was doing the double all day but my old mindset came into place saying I could probably clear the entire thing so I decided to go for it, clutching on long lost memories of speed and calculations. Fast forward 10 years and some odd pounds later, I came up short and broke my wrist. Had I cleared it, sure it would've been a cool cap on the day but ultimately it ruined the day and upcoming weeks at work. I should've just been contempt with the good day of riding but I got to excited and wanted to get back to where I was on day 1 and it bit me. Instead of packing up and going home reflecting on a fun day, I was just filled with memories of why I stopped riding and work sucked until I healed up.

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7/27/2020 10:39 PM

Nail on the head 👆

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7/27/2020 10:43 PM

A great thing to do at hour age is find a local riding coach. Maybe a local ex pro who’s taught before. If you can afford it, once a month or every 3 months. It will help you dramatically progress in a safe way.

See if someone in the area can help suggest a coach, you also want someone who can work with your ability and understands the fundamentals.

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7/28/2020 6:18 AM

aeffertz wrote:

Honestly, just have fun jumping what you're comfortable with at the moment. With time, you will gain back the confidence and knowledge of speed/gap size that you used to know. I know you might feel like a lame for not clearing all the big jumps but you just gotta be okay with that and not beat yourself up over it.

I've seen too many people send one of the big jumps where it looks like they close their eyes and hope for the best and it doesn't paint them in any better light than the guy that can put lap after lap together in control. If you don't feel comfortable doing it yet, then don't do it. It all just takes time to get back into the groove, even if you know you would've done it years ago. I would just focus on carrying speed around the entire track to where you have to start slowing down before the jump. Carrying momentum into the jumps is always going to be better than clumsily working your way through a corner and gassing it up that face hoping to make the big gap.

I don't want to step on your dads toes but most of your braking should come from your front brake.Get comfortable with using your front brake, maybe spin some laps where you only use your front brake so you know the limits and range of it.

What's more fun? Spending a day at the track spinning laps or wadding yourself and getting injured on a big jump you didn't feel comfortable on? It'll come back, just give it time.

EDIT: As an anecdotal note, the first time I got back to riding after about a 10 year break, I felt very similar. I was getting winded putting in solid laps and just wanted to do the jumps because they're fun. It got towards the end of the day and there was this big, stretched out mellow triple. I was doing the double all day but my old mindset came into place saying I could probably clear the entire thing so I decided to go for it, clutching on long lost memories of speed and calculations. Fast forward 10 years and some odd pounds later, I came up short and broke my wrist. Had I cleared it, sure it would've been a cool cap on the day but ultimately it ruined the day and upcoming weeks at work. I should've just been contempt with the good day of riding but I got to excited and wanted to get back to where I was on day 1 and it bit me. Instead of packing up and going home reflecting on a fun day, I was just filled with memories of why I stopped riding and work sucked until I healed up.

Some good info!

Thanks man

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7/28/2020 7:10 AM
Edited Date/Time: 7/28/2020 7:13 AM

I'm 58 and have been riding off/on since 13. I took a long break from '11 to '17. Picked it up again in '17 when my younger son wanted to try riding. Turns out he's a natural so our progression was fast as I learned with and then tried to keep up with him. Point is, I've no doubt I'm the best rider today than I've ever been and I am NOT a natural. Here's what I've found....

1) coaches can be good BUT they have to be good coaches. A lot of coaches- and I don't care if it's archery, guitar, or dirt bikes, all of which I do at a high level- have one way. They have a curriculum of things and they can't stop and fix underlying issues very well. It's a very, very rare coach would can find your underlying problems and figure out how to fix them for YOU. What I get the most out of is watching video of myself and I finally got my 16 yr old aware enough to where he'll help me. IMHE... the more "natural" and "gifted" a person is, they worse coach they make. They've never had to struggle with it. You want someone who's had to struggle and has figured out ways to get around hurdles.

2) I spend a LOT of time on turn tracks and small jumps just screwing around- AKA as "practicing bike control". In turns, for instance, I get a comfortable speed and see what happens if I sit way up on the tank, way back on the seat, upright, leaning over, rear brake only, front brake only, no brakes at all, no clutch, lots of clutch, etc. I split the crack hard and I hang off the side like a road racer- how do those two extremes feel? What if you switch from one to the other IN the corner? I set my idle REALLY high, tighten up the throttle cable, and MAKE myself go around the turn track under a steady throttle

From this, I've learned that I can sit amazingly far back on the bike and track it right around that corner. Too far up.... about where I thought I _should_ be sitting... and I knife the front wheel and lose traction. The steady throttle practice MAKES me have good entrance speed and forces me to find a smooth line around the corner. Etc. This kind of practice pays off BIG TIME on the track. I'm soooooooo much more comfortable in corners now.

3) same thing with jumps. Find a tabletop jump you're really comfortable on. Not too big, not too long, not expensive...wait.. that's a shrubbery... and screw around with it. Try sitting down up the face, standing up, steady throttle, accelerating, jumping it in 1st gear/2nd gear/3rd gear, stop at the bottom and see how far you can make it from a standstill. In the air, pull in your clutch and rev the bike, stick a leg off to the side, lean this way/that way, land with no power and under full power, etc. Go up the face at an angle and turn at the top- learn to land sideways. Find a kicker and master it. Land on one foot, land on the other Just mess around with it.

This has also paid off big time. Now when I get a little sideways, it's not a panic situation. I've gone sideways and automatically kicked the bike over. I'm comfortable leaning over the bars or pushing my butt way back. I don't panic when it looks like I'm gonna case or flat-land something.

Back when we started, on my 2nd ride on a new '16 KX 250F, I broke my collarbone on a double that I'd cleared 3x already. No idea what happened... I woke up in the dirt. This year, I faced that jump on my Husky TC 125 and started by jumping into the middle, then building the distance until I was putting the front wheel into the face of the double- WHAM!!!! Big jolt, BUT.... it gave me confidence in my suspension and taught me how to suck that face up. Then I came around the turn, kept the throttle on and cleared that SOB easily and confidently. I've cased it a few times and no big deal.... no panic. It's funny because facing that jump on my '14 KX 250F was almost harder than doing in on the Husky!!! So I just did the same thing a few times... how's it feel to smack into the face?... and POP!!! Because of all my practice leading up to this, I'm 100000x more comfortable than I was in '17.

Well, that's enough "advice". Good luck.

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2019 KTM 150 SX
2015 Yamaha YZ 250

7/28/2020 7:22 AM

Here is a very simple, yet very effective drill for braking, at any skill level

Get two cones (or beer cans, whatever) and set them apart by say about 50 feet.

Go get a running start heading towards cone/can #1, fast as you are able, and when you get to cone #1, brake with back brake only....how far are you from cone #2?

Do the same again, using front brake only.....How far from cone #2? (Gently squeeze the front brake, never GRAB at at)...just like you don't slam on brakes in a car.

Do same with both brakes.

Now how far from cone #2?

Next, start moving cones 1 & 2 closer together, closer, closer and as close as possible until you just can't stop in time.

How far is that now?

Take the cones and move them into a corner now, those are your "marks"
Come at the turn WFO, don't brake til cone 1, you should be off brakes by cone 2
Shift the cones appropriately to the apex/throttle point of the corner

You should now be entering the turn pinned, hitting the brakes at cone 1 (your mark) off the brakes and turning by cone 2, and then throttling through or out just past that.

Now you've established in your mind how far you really can go and how deep you can go before braking.
You've also established how you make "marks" in your head while entering each corner

Then you work on doing it all smoothly....smooth brake, smooth turn, smooth throttle out

This can be a whole day exercise, one you can do anywhere. It will pay off in the long run.

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7/28/2020 7:31 AM

All good responses, I also like to tell people to just focus more on corner speed and then jumps will come easy the more comfortable you become on the bike.

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7/28/2020 4:13 PM

Really appreciate all the info guys! some good stuff. I will definitely keep practicing and try to get better and more comfortable.

If anyone could explain on when to use back vs front. I have been concentrating on body position big time lately and using my front brake a lot more. But when should I be using more front vs more back. Should I be using both??

Thanks again!

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7/28/2020 4:43 PM

Steady throttle throughout the face. I had this problem too when I was younger. Gassing it at the last second on the face will cause wheel spin and the back end to go to the side. Don't gas it at the very end of the lip and problem solved. Body positioning is important but won't cause the back end to come out unless you are really screwing it up. Riding this weekend? Thinking Athens possibly.

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In an infinite universe, anything is possible!

7/28/2020 5:41 PM

I think with jumping, it comes down mostly to experience. Sure, once you get over that big jump for the first time and are clearing it consistently you can learn and play around with technique in the air, brake tap, seat bounce etc. but that feeling you get right before hitting a big jump for the first time with confidence that you’ve got it isn’t really something you can teach it seems. I’d just say, ride within your comfort zone. And also following a buddy or someone similar in speed off of jumps for the first time helps too.

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7/28/2020 8:05 PM

tyler22 wrote:

Really appreciate all the info guys! some good stuff. I will definitely keep practicing and try to get better and more comfortable.

If anyone could explain on when to use back vs front. I have been concentrating on body position big time lately and using my front brake a lot more. But when should I be using more front vs more back. Should I be using both??

Thanks again!

You'll have to figure out what the each do, when. It's hard to lay down a concrete rule and you will probably be constantly adjusting. BUT... in general:

on a straight approaching a turn, both brakes, as much front as you can.

in a turn, just slightly drag the front. It'll help keep the tire planted during the turn.

But... you can also drag the rear, esp on a 2-stroke. It seems to help the bike pivot. A 4-stroke has engine braking and I almost never use the rear after the initial braking before the turn.

You should practice brake-sliding. Come into a turn, stomp on the rear brake, lock up the rear wheel, pivot, get on the gas. You lose momentum, but it can be very useful for making a very tight turn. I use this in enduros all the time and I've made lots of passes this way. Eventually, you get to where you pivot AND keep momentum.

This is all stuff you should be playing with on the turn track to see what it does.

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2019 KTM 150 SX
2015 Yamaha YZ 250