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Old 12-23-2012, 01:49 PM   #1
seavoyage
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Off-road Training

We suspect street riders do not have the opportunity for exposure from this perspective so we've moved this from the ADVenture Riding Club House.

Motorcyclists limited to the street experience cannot appreciate how physically, mentally, and technically demanding dirt riding is. Good dirt riders can easily transfer their skills to the asphalt, the reverse is unlikely. Dirt riders that take up trials will dramatically improve their off road skills.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RSD View Post
Where do you get your practice in? I need to try and get more local seat time. I have the seat, but the time can be an issue.

What kind of skills work do you do in your driveway.
SKILLS:

Here's my current 3x/week workout: I spend only 1-hour on two separate days during the week doing the following 6 drills (10-minutes each) , then ride an OHV area for a few morning hours on the weekend. That's a total of only 2-hours riding during the week and maybe 3-4 hrs. on a weekend.

All of these drills can be done in a very small space/area in 1st and 2nd gear similar to a MSF course. Except for the ADV bike acceleration/deceleration drill or the feet-up brake slide; the drills can be done within a 2-car garage space or an area the size of the CA DMV motorcycle test.

You'll be exhausted with this routine... just ask anyone who's attended Doc Wong's Clear Creek ride; but the payoff in riding skill is tremendous on the monthly ADV/DS trail ride.

BTW - Trials requires finesse and is very humbling. My balance and riding skill suck and I'm trying to unlearn the bad habits I've picked up over the past 4-decades of riding.

Drill #1: Practice balance standing on your pegs (a la track stand) for as long as you can. (Note: I use a heart rate monitor and keep my heart rate at the aerobic range). A proper trials stance and technique will give your quads, back, chest, and arms the anaerobic workout. Don't do this sitting. Standing lowers your center of gravity to your footpeg level.

Do this drill on a slight incline. Balancing with the engine running is easier, but this drill can be done with the engine off. Apply both brakes, and turn handlebars to full lock on one side. Keep knees apart and turn the handlebars and shifting your weight on the pegs to make corrections.


youtu.be/EkF9XodIGxI


Drill #2: Practice tight slow turns/figure 8's working towards full steering lock and exercising the friction zone (steady throttle, clutch modulation and rear brake to control speed); jab the inside footpeg to initiate the turn; lean the bike into the turn as far as you can and counterbalance: foot weighting edge of the outside peg, legs bent and bowed (make like a monkey), inside arm straight, outside arm bent/elbow high, head up looking through the turn. Practice mid-turn stops and balancing while leaned over.

This feet up technique suits ADV bikes much better than the 'stick your leg out', brake slide, point and roost technique used on knobby shod MX bikes. The technique also suits dirt bikes shod with Trials rear tires.


youtu.be/29TrNoq5SKI


Drill #3: Wheelies without power! Loft your front wheel by deweighting using your thighs, back and front suspension; NOT 'gas' power or clutching; then transition to pivot turns (a wheelie type maneuver) with either a foot dab as a pivot point or a 'floating turn' to develop clutch and throttle control, and precision front wheel placement. Slip the clutch don't 'pop' it. Practice shifting weight forward and back.

The proper technique done standing is BEND FORWARD-LEAN BACK-BLIP: shift weight forward by bending knees (not at the waist) to load the front forks; as forks rebound shift weight back by leaning back and straightening legs (do not pull up by bending arms - which shifts you body forward and uses energy); as wheel comes up - very slight throttle to place the front wheel.

Fine tune: Keep your head up, when you look down or 'round' your back you shift weight forward. When you arch your back and look up you shift weight back. When you bend at the waist to load the front you shift too much weight forward, so bend your knees.

Mild uphill inclines makes this technique a bit easier.


youtu.be/iUFVlKF0XXY
youtu.be/MQApmXwoEUY


Here's one practical off-road application when you can't ride perpendicular to a log obstacle:

youtu.be/xmQBj12XAkA


Drill #4: Practice stoppies/endo/nose wheelies by lifting the rear wheel by deweighting using your thighs, chest/arms, and rear suspension; and NOT by forward momentum/speed + hard front brake; and hopping your rear wheel to the side to develop brake and clutch control.

The proper technique is BACK-JAB-PUSH-CLUTCH: shift weight back briefly to load the rear suspension; 'jab' both feet down on footpegs to unweight; push forward on handlebars; squeeze (modulate) hand brake to control height as rear comes up and clutch in to keep from stalling.

Work up to popping the clutch when lifting the rear for more height, and apply rear brake hard when the tire comes down. Mild downhill inclines makes this technique a bit easier.


youtu.be/6VOOYjcnsWQ


Here's the practical off-road application:

youtu.be/5OyRk0HDIiM


For ADV uberbeasts: Substitute Drill #3 and #4 with acceleration/deceleration drills developing forward/backward weight shifts. Work up to locking the front or the rear tire.


youtu.be/q3wNn1RWh4Q


Drill #5: If you have access to ride on slick surfaces, grass, or gravel like a small dirt lot, do feet-up (balance and shifting body weight) brake slide figure 8's to develop rear brake and clutch control. Keep your weight far forward over the bars.


youtu.be/IR3au2Lt-Nc


Drill #6: Practice figure 8 camber turns on the side of a small steep hill/incline. Try to descend downhill as slow as possible using both brakes, use maximum lean in turns; and pivot turns or floating turns on the uphill. Work on clutch/throttle to NOT spin the rear wheel. Leaning the bike, rather than turning the bars reduces the risk of 'ploughing' the front end.


youtu.be/KI-MGanHsa0


If you have an obstacle: rock, log, ditch, concrete pipe, dirt bank, solid block bench, it'll give you variety and a target for practicing front wheel lofts for precision to properly bounce the front tire off the top of the obstacle (Jap Zap), de-weighting, and double blip techniques.

Weekends: My 3rd day workout is when I'm at Carnegie, Metcalf , Hollister, or Prairie City with my kids. I work on de-weighting techniques with a double-blip and Jap Zap over obstacles (logs, pipes, rocks) in the Trials area;


youtu.be/J3ltjpawFEE
youtu.be/oKkhFgAwmZY


or take advantage of the steep hills, rock gardens, whoops (to tune suspension), sand washes, and just play ride laps on the MX track. An important basic skill you can practice on the ATV or Vet MX tracks is using your suspension by practicing the Seat Bounce. Here's the practical off-road application:


youtu.be/H6Ujt4J-Cac


A more advanced drill is making/riding circle ruts in 2nd or 3rd gear: see if you can drag your bar ends.

youtu.be/orFoicnjY9E


Weighting on Rock Gardens and Hill Climbs:


youtu.be/gEMKp5Mrts4
youtu.be/qfUa5UgFcEA


Do you need a basic or refresher course on riding dirt bikes? Attend a MSF Dirt Bike School or Doc Wong clinic.

10-time Paris-Dakar Rally (6-times on a motorcycle) and 2-time World Enduro Champion Stťphane Peterhansel provides this excellent training video:


youtu.be/BAdiCDDLAp0


FITNESS

Riding dirt requires endurance, balance, flexibility and strength.

Here are a few videos that I've found useful and you don't need a gym:

Strength: Pilates and Pylometrics courtesy of 5-time Dakar Champion Cyril Despres:


youtu.be/5F-sMKdQeow


Core, Endurance, and Flexibility:


youtu.be/4uUk7MeYMRk


Balance: Use a balance ball (while on-line or watching the TV):


youtu.be/8gZ12yVAnCI


Endurance: Johnny O'Mara recommends Mountain Biking interval training


youtu.be/IUMMCx4EcDk
If you aren't familiar with the 'O-Show'; Johnny O'Mara road a 125cc to a 2nd place finish against the 500cc bikes in the 1986 Motocross des Nations in Magiorra, Italy; passing even the then 500cc World Champion David Thorpe (UK). David Bailey (USA) came in 1st on a 500cc.

Of course the best training is simply seat time: I focus mostly on Trials balance drills, slow riding, tight turns, and precision drills; and laps on a lightweight dirt bike on a Vet MX track: no need for doubles/triples, etc. just ride 2-lap intervals to 20-min motos.
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Last edited by seavoyage; 12-24-2016 at 02:10 AM..
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Old 12-23-2012, 07:04 PM   #2
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great post
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Old 12-23-2012, 09:24 PM   #3
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Good stuff, Drew. I REALLY need to get back into shape and start working on some of these skills.
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Old 12-24-2012, 01:20 AM   #4
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Brilliant. Thanks for collecting these into one resource.
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Old 12-26-2012, 05:58 AM   #5
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Great info thank you
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Old 12-26-2012, 06:24 AM   #6
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:42 AM   #7
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:52 PM   #8
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What kind of training do you think will be most beneficial to new dirt riders? Taking a class at a MX track or on trails at carnegie/hollister?
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jorbar1551 View Post
What kind of training do you think will be most beneficial to new dirt riders? Taking a class at a MX track or on trails at carnegie/hollister?
Modern MX tracks aren't a good learning ground for beginners. I would recommend just doing the above 6 drills in a flat open area, and Beginner trails in Hollister, Metcalf or better at Prairie City. Carnegie is a bit challenging for beginners that venture into the hills.

If you insist: The Doc Wong Adventure Dual Sport Clinic, or MSF Dirt Bike School are an excellent way to start; followed by a lot of seat time to deprogram you from bad habits exhibited by many street riders: too much front brake/not using the rear brake, not shifting your body weight with acceleration/decelerration, not gripping the bike with your knees, improper elbow position, not relaxing and letting the bike move around, etc.

The transition from street to dirt should be focused on getting the feel of limited traction; the proper riding position and shifting your weight. Street riders learn to not 'lean with the bike into turns'; how to steer with the rear; and let the bike move around under you. Riding dirt will improve your street skills; not necessarily true vice versa.

I recommend learning on small underpowered bikes. Seat time on a 125cc 2-stroke will teach you how to be fast.

Quote:
For riders inexperienced in riding dirt or those new to riding 600 lbs >100HP bikes in dirt: here's a post between Rod and I from last months faceplant on this route: http://advrider.com/forums/showpost....54&postcount=5

rodr,

Glad you're OK; and Banjoboy got FZ6 dirt bike back home OK. I dump my top heavy uberbeast almost everytime I shift or put too much weight bias on my front. Here's what's helping me fix my problem:
  • I'm trying not to let the bars upset the bike when they deflect off the rocks/ruts/loose surface: I keep my elbows up above the bar ends, and let the front bounce around and the handlebars move side to side. Watch video: http://youtu.be/BhCuN9rNyaE
  • Grip the tank with your knees instead of holding on the handlebars. Point your toes inward, and keep the balls of your feet and not the arch on the pegs. You take your foot off the peg to shift/brake. Watch video: http://youtu.be/K7LJdCfLOqg Use your legs to stand up/shift weight and not your arms. I only hold my bars/throttle lightly with my thumb and index finger except when unweighting my front for an obstacle. Use your knees against the tank and not your arms to keep from pitching forward when decelerating or going downhill.
  • Get your weight off the seat and onto the footpegs (lower the center of gravity) Watch video: http://youtu.be/DqivfG8g-gQ
  • Let the bike move around under you.
  • Weight the outside peg on the turns to maximize the tire contact patch by keeping the bike upright. Watch video http://youtu.be/vgkQmiTs-RM and note bike attitude and position of rear end on the bike. Helps to drop your tire pressure to mid or low 20's on a heavier ADV bike. Lifting your foot off the inside peg helps... I'm not too keen about sticking my leg out when turning a 600 lbs. bike in the dirt..Watch video: http://youtu.be/Z1D5_kDDNgM
  • Avoid target fixation (don't spend all of your $10 on the ruts and rocks): Keep your head up and look to where you wan't to go, especially when turning.
  • Maintain steady throttle, and ride friction zone. You don't want to upset the bike with sudden decelerations.
  • Use the rear brake to 'square' the turn. Watch video and listen for the rear brake squeal: http://youtu.be/rijYSLjHOCM
  • Use engine brake and very light (one finger) front brake to control downhill descents.
  • Throttle through obstacles
  • Most important: RELAX!
If I had to start all-over again, it would be on a trials bike - 100%. In a few months you'll quickly out ride your buddies on gnarly trails who have been riding off-road or MX over the years. Warning: Advanced Trials isn't easy. Most quit relatively quickly once they are 'humbled' by trials.

BTW - a trials bike isn't necessarily slow... use 5th/6th gear off-road.

We discovered that a proper Trials bike with additional fuel range is much more capable. In fact, as the Scots, Spaniards, French, and Italians know, a Trials bike is superior to any other bike in very tight and gnarly tracks. Trials bikes regularly outperformed MX based 250cc 2-st/450cc 4-st in Endurocross and were banned after the 2007 season.

Here are a few videos that are quite revealing:

Ivan Cervantes vs. Toni Bou and Pol Tarres:

youtu.be/PZ-BxhxnbI4


Off-road on Trials Bikes:

youtu.be/9dJu91wUOsA

The KTM200 can't keep up.

Hill Climbs on a Trial Bike:

youtu.be/uy8Re64UwbQ


Freeride on Trials bikes:

youtu.be/0g8DX8Uc4sY


We discovered that a KTM Freeride 350 is severely overweight and underpowered in comparison to a proper trials bike. No thanks.
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Last edited by seavoyage; 01-13-2013 at 06:22 PM..
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Old 12-30-2012, 09:12 PM   #10
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Old 01-12-2013, 07:55 PM   #11
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Old 01-13-2013, 12:51 AM   #12
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:39 PM   #13
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:42 AM   #14
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American Supercamp is coming to Calistoga - beginning of February...

I'm signed up for the the Friday session. Heard great things about AS...

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Old 02-18-2013, 07:56 AM   #15
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Riding Carnegie SVRA and Frank Raines OHV Park usually means hill climbs; so I thought these training videos would be helpful:

ADVenture Riding series courtesy of Offroad Fanatic Channel:

Failed Uphill Recovery Part 1 & 2:


youtu.be/5kbE6p1mw98
youtu.be/vGnqQyardfY


Sand Uphill:


youtu.be/98-bgkMLRL4


Since we are on the subject of riding a bike through sand:


youtu.be/jq8sZMPxnTA


It was pretty dry this February, and we had the opportunity to 'find traction' in Carnegie:

Cornering and Sliding:


youtu.be/IR3au2Lt-Nc


CAUTIONARY NOTE:
We DO NOT recommend 'sticking your leg out' on a Big Bike. Ride the Big Bike like a Trials bike.

Riding Tight Areas and Over Loose Rocks:



youtu.be/qrnRAwpIKVA
youtu.be/tR1wK2fsiIc


Riding Rocky Creekbeds: Note foot position on the outside of pegs with toes pointing forward. Reduce handlebar input


youtu.be/Mw1LtQORMYY


Compilation of Adventure Riding techniques:


youtu.be/P97x7Q0n4oA&feature=share&list=PL24FCF0D3B73D5066


Compilation of Extreme Enduro Techniques:


youtu.be/4FILFkHr02g
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The word adventure has just gotten overused. For me, adventure is when everything goes wrong - thatís when the adventure starts -Yvon Chouinard

I see my path, but I don't know where it leads. Not knowing where I'm going is what inspires me to travel it. -Rosalia de Castro

The traveler was active; he went strenuously in search of people, of adventure, of experience. The tourist is passive; he expects interesting things to happen to him. He goes "sight-seeing". - Daniel J. Boorstin

Last edited by seavoyage; 03-02-2013 at 09:18 AM..
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