Tight turn on steep hill... How?

Discussion in 'Trials' started by sweenrace, Sep 18, 2013.

  1. sweenrace

    sweenrace Adventurer

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    At the bear valley trial at the weekend there was one section which required a very tight turn (close to full lock) on a steep decline. I never got it clean and resorted to a dab and a floater turn over the gate (it wasn't nearly as elegant as that sounds!)

    At the "bottom" of the hill Leaning the bike into the hill and applying lock felt like it was going to drive the bike into the ground and fold the wheel under the bike (going past full lock). In hindsight maybe I should have done the opposite and leaned the bike out (and me in) to have the bike closer to perpendicular to the terrain.

    I'm kinda flummoxed (yes, that's a technical term) as to how to successfully navigate that type of turn. Thoughts?

    Ian
    #1
  2. thegraydog

    thegraydog 2 wheels X 6 ways

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    You have identified the essence of trials.

    I'll be interested to read other replies. But in fact, this is the essence of trials.
    #2
  3. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 44 years

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    Don't lean the bike out. It's more about where your body is and what it is doing, when.

    If you are turning going down hill, that means transitioning out of down hill to level or going back up hill from a descent? Technique-wise, you'll likely trail the needed transition of body centering to more forward. Everybody does this until they learn to transition the outside weight bias more to the front wheel earlier.

    You'll need to counterbalance to the outside of course (I'll have to assume you know how to center no matter hat the incline/decline), but it can be counter-intuitive - and critical - to swing your body center of mass out and forward to anticipate the coming turn/transition. If you don't, you'll get 'behind' the bike and push right through the turn and into oversteer.

    Assuming you have the right body technique, or despite that, if you are folding the front end under a lot, your bike pitch/attitude may be biased toward over steer. That is, butt high and front end low. Try lowering the fork to fork caps level with the top of the triple clamp, and if that does not calm the steering, back off on shock preload. At least experiment, as you can always reverse the changes.

    Hope this makes sense because the simple thing you are asking has a very complex answer :huh
    #3
  4. Gordy

    Gordy Team Listo

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    It is indeed complex, and hard.

    All I can offer is;
    Be patient through the transition.
    Get your weight correct (centered over the contact patch)
    Try to get all weight off the bars and onto the pegs.
    Your weight on the pegs should be about the same as if you were standing on the hill with no bike.
    Try (like we all are) to become a Jedi with the clutch control.

    Great, like GreyDog said, we are describing trials! :rofl
    #4
  5. laser17

    laser17 Been here awhile

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    What the others said. Also try and look up the hill as soon as you can. Its amazing to me how often I improve my score just by looking up! The corollary to this is don't stare at your front tire. (I tend to find mine way too fascinating on steep off cambers)
    #5
  6. AirforceGSRider244

    AirforceGSRider244 Hardcore adventurer

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    you need to COUNTER balance. you need to put weight on outside of turn on the pegs. especially leaning on an offroad track. you counter balance offroad. counter steer on a road. look up rawhide adventures offroad BMW. itll help ALOT!!!!

    http://www.rawhyde-offroad.com/
    So if your turning left your weight will be on the right peg as your leaning into turn. you should be able to go in a circle slowly through like your yard or something with both legs on one side. so turn left circle with weight on right side. and vise versa. youll see how it works. itll blow your mind if youve never done it before:freaky that is the best and most efficient way to understand the physics of counter balance .
    #6
  7. AirforceGSRider244

    AirforceGSRider244 Hardcore adventurer

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    to further add to this, if you stare at the object your trying to avoid instead of looking ahead it not only reduces your reactionary time but your gonna driving into the things your staring at and trying to avoid. look ahead at what your going to need to avoid. not constantly what you need to avoid at that specific spot your in.
    #7
  8. Sting32

    Sting32 Trials Evangelist

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    How do you handle Hard tight turns on FLAT ground? I ask, because that could be the "basic" skill that has a weakness is exposed on this example, were we're adding to the basic skill, with the example you have asked. Other problem is we're all having to "imagine" in our minds, hoping I see what you saw, sort of. Hope I am close.

    SO you come down a steep hill, and have to make a tight right or left hand turn. One of the Biggest difference in technique really "about the TURN" is that your weight is back on the bike, and you are braking hard, unlike flat ground. THe other is a turning technique where you dont throw your shoulder as I call it, with the bars. Most turns you want your shoulders to follow the bars, inside arm is straight, the outside elbow is bent, this keeps your weight counter balancing the bike lean... downhill turns can be handled easier by what I call limp shoulder, or just turning the bars, keeping your torso still, this means your arms try to allow the bike/bars turn, while YOUR FEET do all the balancing.

    What I have had to do in the past, and I continue to do, is when I find something that challenged me, I challenge the hell out of it in "practice". I make myself a section or part of a section so I can play on it.

    More about me guessing what you have to do to make that turn...
    The bike, IMHO, you have to be able to balance at a dead stop on this hill, that is good practice. then you make your tight turn, your knees mush be bent flexible, lower your center of gravity all you can, you MUST do it a little by squatting, knees out. Downhills, I turn the bars without throwing my shoulders out over the bars unlike flat grounds, and uphill turns, it is a different turning technique.

    Most of us riders, are paranoid of "high siding" the bike, falling over the bike down the hill, which is that survivor instinct, you have to work against that, practice helps. Not making your shoulders match the angle of the handlbars, like we usually do on normal turns, helps you keep your balance downhill and keeps you from "vertigo" feeling as you turn... We need a video, as I cannot use enough decriptive words for me to make any sense (as you can probably see by now, reading what I have typed so far).

    Confidence allows you to move in ways you wont normally allow yourself to do, this is why RAGA, BOU and everyone that is FANTASTIC in trials, have the ability to do what they do, it is confidence, which comes from practicing and pushing your envelope.
    #8
  9. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 44 years

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    Righto about this problem. The less skilled the inquirer is, the harder it is to understand text about technique complexities. I wondered if anyone could follow what I said earlier about not getting 'behind' the timing of the bike? You said about the same but with more detail.

    I like your descriptions of various relaxed-or-follow shoulder techniques. I'll be checking them out next ride.
    #9
  10. sweenrace

    sweenrace Adventurer

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    Thanks everyone. This is very helpful. Firstly the scenario was as people assumed, down a gradient, a u-turn on that gradient and back up the hill through a gate.

    A couple of things I've realised in reading the responses and digesting things. - - My basic turns on flat are pretty good but just not tight enough.
    - I'm realising there is a lot more work to be done around counter-balancing. For example, I am nowhere near understanding where my shoulders should be relative to the bars.
    - I'm definitely using the bars rather than the pegs to balance which I need to work on.

    More practice is in order!
    #10
  11. lineaway

    lineaway Long timer

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    Flummoxed of a turn or obstacle is the why of trials. Gotta love that! Not all turns are cleanable by mere mortals. Was anyone getting through it?
    All turns are accomplished with the same technique. And not all riders use the right way to the light. Turns are made with peg pressure. Left to go left. Right to go right. Weight is not on the outside. Weight is on the inside peg. It looks like the weight is on the outside peg if using proper form. But the turn is made with pressure on the peg.
    And yes a hard off camber turn can result in the front end doing things not intended. Over exaggerate every turn you make and it will more natural when needed. (been telling my kid this for years and he still rides legs locked straight up) Conquer turning and the obstacles become smaller.
    Just as you get that turn figured out, some kid will do a long nose wheelie down the hill into a regular wheelie and float right through. So much for technique.
    Good luck.
    #11
  12. Twin-shocker

    Twin-shocker Long timer

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    Very very easy to practice figure 8 turns full lock, on flat ground. When that comes easily try the same thing on a hillside.............without having mastered the basics, its very difficult to come to terms with anything more difficult.
    #12
  13. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 44 years

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    General rules that will help you immensely:

    - Shoulders should follow the bars as the turn. They should be relaxed and not strained and not as a result of bug eyes and body twist from dead legs and ass frozen over the center of the bike. Ass should flow out from bent legs (a squat) so the torso will allow the shoulders to follow bar angle. Otherwise you WILL arm turn, which is a really bad habit and is exhausting. Much of the time, your hands should be relaxed with some down pressure on the palms, and you arms should be more like cables attaching shoulders to bars. Ass and shoulders really work together. If you fail to move one or the other, the other is constrained. When you move your ass out to counterbalance a lean into a turn, it ALLOWS your shoulders to follow the bars. When you have shoulders following bars it allows your ass to move out. The legs should not be hugging the frame or straight. Feet should be out some on the pegs and legs in at least a moderate squat. Otherwise you ass will be locked to centered over the bike and the whole series of fluid movements are constrained.

    - Quick arm movements are for balance and small correction in your line. the shoulders and peg pressure are too slow for micro corrections. for example, rolling over rocks which will push you off balance continually. Quick arm movements are also how you balance in place when you have good front wheel bike

    - Initiate turns with peg pressure. Right for right turn, etc. Once the turn is initiated, you can go back to more even peg pressure and provide yourself the solid base to do what I suggested earlier:

    - As you go around the apex of the turn at the bottom, you should be counterbalanced such that you can stop anywhere and not fall to the inside. This is your static balance. Now here's where it gets tricky:

    - Aspects regarding dynamic balance. Do not get behind the bike in turns that require the change in position of body center of mass to lead the initiation of the turn: transitioning from steep downhill back to uphill. From your base static balance squat, as you pass the apex of the turn you must add a dynamic element of moving your body mass perhaps a bit more out and definitely more forward. It's a slow motion sling that results in you going back up hill sticking instead of blowing the turn. Your upper chest will end up out and up over the number plate, with your outside elbow in more of a bend than the inside. It'll feel like you are having to initiate the slinging of body mass before it's required, but it's right. If you keep your weight back at and beyond the apex you will blow the turn.

    KrazyOSU is learning this. Any comments on this, Krazy. He can't answer. He's on his way out to the ranch right now to ride :clap
    #13
  14. KrAzyOSUcOwBoY

    KrAzyOSUcOwBoY kRaZy

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    Really enjoyed the ride yesterday. Amazing how superior direct individual instruction is to written explanations. Also, I'm not a fan of big hill climbs as is 'bene, but with the practice I'm becoming much more confident. If you get the chance, you should visit the Buffalo Dream Ranch and ride his excellent natural trials terrain. I am sooo grateful to have such a fantastic friend and teacher. Many thanks, can't wait to head off to the Flint Hills CRTA 2-day.
    #14
  15. Undertheoaks

    Undertheoaks Adventurer

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    Where do you practice ? Im in El Sobrante and always looking for new people to ride with. Also a member of PITS but missed last weeks event. I have a few local practice spots always room for more. Sid,
    #15
  16. Sting32

    Sting32 Trials Evangelist

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    I believe the above statement is the reason Trials is addictive, when you meet people that will even practice all weekend with you, even though they want to beat you come Sunday (if you are in same class).
    #16
  17. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 44 years

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    So true!

    I really like the aspect of trials where there is near-complete absence of cut throat and let the air out of the other guy's tires. I think that is because of the ego-busting nature of the sport, where the pit racer or puffed ego types tend to get filtered out way early, or not attracted to the sport to begin with.

    So, I look forward to you kicking my ass in the future, and what I'd give to have you around to practice with! too bad were a whole state apart my friend.
    #17
  18. dhubbard422

    dhubbard422 Adventurer

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    Practice, practice, practice... I recommend figure 8's on the side of a slight hill. Once you master a gentle incline, find a steeper hill... trialsmasters know no limit to steepness for this simple problem.

    There is so much going on at the inflection point of the curve (the point at which you are not going down nor up). Initially, your body is back to put some weight on the rear tire (and to keep you from going over the bars) as you go downhill and then you have to get your weight forward to go back up the hill - all while maintaining proper peg pressure throughout the turn.

    When you are learning, exaggerating your body position (or what feels like too much) may help. Ass way outside. Outside elbow bent. Inside elbow slightly bent, but something that feels more like you're straight-arming a defender in football...

    I've chanted mantras - squat fool... bend the outside elbow... push away (from the inside), weight back, forward... but truly this is all for us amateurs as once mastered it just looks like magic, i.e. nothing at all. Body is simply centered at all times, peg pressure is perfect and most of us just shake our heads at the example of what looks like physics defied.

    Practice.
    #18
  19. Sting32

    Sting32 Trials Evangelist

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    Not sure how Beene did it, but just like the turns we're talking about (and this thread) Beene kills it.
    #19
  20. nevgriff64

    nevgriff64 Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    Hi Motobene,

    The link you are trying to share is really effecting this thread. I've managed to delete it but I'm unable to edit it. Might be best if you could try a different link or maybe leave it out altogether.

    Thanks mate. :thumb
    #20