Turning around on narrow trails

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by space, Sep 24, 2009.

  1. space

    space a.k.a. Jake

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    I'm interested in hearing your techniques. I'm not talking hopelessly narrow single track, of course. I'm thinking of two track that isn't much wider than your wheelbase.

    If the side is banked and not too gnarly, I'll try to ride up it a bit, swivel the fork around, then roll back down. Repeat that a couple times.

    If that isn't possible, then I typically get off and walk the bike through a three point turn. Duh. Doesn't exactly win me any style points, though.

    I've seen people put a foot down, give the bike gas, and pivot the bike around where they've planted their foot. I've tried this and can't figure it out for the life of me. And yeah, I was in sand, so the wheels could slip a bit. But still, I couldn't quite get it.

    (And then there was a time in a deep mud hole when I tossed my 1150 on its side and used the cylinder head as a pivot to get it around. Last resort, but it worked.)

    So -- please share your tips and tricks!
    #1
  2. Iwantabikesobad

    Iwantabikesobad Long timer

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    There is a move called Rokon Twist or Flip maybe Pivot. Whatever.
    With these bikes the gearing will allowing for traction to climb straight up as they are 2 wheel drive. The idea is to plant both feet and gas hard while lifting the front wheel and leaning to one side. It will wheelie and spin at the same time. The other method is to climb a tree or rock to gain lift and then spin bike sideways.
    Now onto my reality at 5'8 my 990 ADV with gel seat is still really hard to get turned around sometimes on double track. If I pull up the hill my feet wont touch the ground. I end up doing 4 point turns because 3 isnt enough for me to get all the way around. The foot plant and spin is something I dream of but haven't got figured out yet.
    I have found having a slight downhill sloping road with a bank on the up hill really helps me as its gets the uphill side foot down.
    I need to practice more.
    #2
  3. DirtyOldMan

    DirtyOldMan Long timer

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    I do the foot pivot thing with a dirt bike but no way with a 450+ lb v strom.
    I will however, maybe goose it just a little, slip it sideways just a bit and eliminate one or two of the back and forth motions.
    Yeah, I'll get off and bulldog it back and forwards to get turned around if I have to, mebbe lose a few style points but it's better than burying the big pig somewhere it doesn't belong.
    #3
  4. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

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    Got to agree there. If it's a DL it's pride swallowing time. Get off and inch the thing around.

    It's much easier doing that than getting it stranded half way up a bank with your foot 2" shy of reaching the ground.

    Pete
    #4
  5. ADVJake

    ADVJake ***** dweller

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    I do the foot pivot on my 990 ADV.

    Difference being, you dont use the weight on your leg entirely, but using the momentum of the bike.
    Lean it over slightly, full lock handlebars, get the front wheel rolling enough so not all the weight is on your leg, and gas it around before it comes out too far and roll away...
    sort of hard to explain.
    #5
  6. the Pheasant

    the Pheasant Been here awhile

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    I guess there's a limit to the size of bike you can do it with, but I could turn my old XR600 by standing to the left of it with bent knees, grabbing the frame rail behind the seat on the opposite side, then lifting by straightening the knees and walking/humping the back end of the bike around 180 degrees.
    I did this once when challenged by a couple of walkers having gone down the wrong track on the UK's South Downs. The woman looked mighty impressed, the man slightly unnerved...
    #6
  7. krellheat

    krellheat Milk Crate Challenged

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    Elvis Pelvis!! She was impressed. Her husband was jealous obviously:lol3

    I would have asked them to help me turn the bike around otherwise I am going through. But that is me.
    #7
  8. 1moregravelroad

    1moregravelroad d!rt n00b

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    It's not nearly as impressive as a power slide, but if you are on hard ground or can find something hard and stable like a wide, flat rock, you can put the kick stand down, put your quad against the bike on kickstand side, pull the bike towards you so most of its weight is on the kickstand, then spin the bike around. It's a standard bike night squid move when you need to go home early on your GSZXBR, and you're parked in the middle of a sea of multi-colored plastic clad high revving I4s. But it works.
    #8
  9. cooter69

    cooter69 Smells Bad

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    The kick stand spin is very effective especially on really tight areas.

    Although I did do the dirt bike spin out with my st1100 in the gravel the other day.........wouldn't reccomed that again my pivot leg almost got broke!!!
    #9
  10. BrandonR

    BrandonR Been here awhile

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    On my XL I can just lean it towards me and drag the front wheel around using the handlebars.
    #10
  11. Chuck289

    Chuck289 Air cooled

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    I suck at whipping the rear around, so its walking it through an 8 point turn for me. :lol3
    #11
  12. elroyjetsn

    elroyjetsn Mountain Fan

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    I think to pivot on the foot you need to pin the front brake first. The trick is to NOT support the bike with the inside foot. Keep the bike nearly upright so you can hop the foot and maintain a constant sight lean and use that leg to shove the tail across as the rear tire is spinning.
    #12
  13. Zecatfish

    Zecatfish XTique Rider

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    learn to ride backwards...... :lol3
    Sounds funny I know, but if theres a hill to one side or the other, turn the bars ride up the hill. Let the bike roll backwards and tun the bars.

    Wheelies tend to happen very quick on the XT550 from a standing start and the trials tire doesn't slip like a knobby, or other D/S tires.

    If its muddy step off lean to one side and goose the throttle and turn the bars and let the rear spin and pivot around you. Not exactly treading lightly though.
    #13
  14. T.Low

    T.Low Been here awhile

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    Pivot 180 whenever possible.

    My brother in law likes to step off his Husaberg fe550, wheelie it into a standing position, then turn it around .
    #14
  15. VFR_firefly

    VFR_firefly Buh Bye!

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    Break the back wheel free with the gas and spin around. This is a n00b-level technique.
    #15
  16. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    When on a very tight trail this is the only option. :thumb
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  17. ADVJake

    ADVJake ***** dweller

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    not possible to do a on-the-spot wheelie on a long wheelbase LC8 in the dirt; at a single track dead end, you would have to lay the bike over and drag the front wheel around.
    #17
  18. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    Why not?
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  19. Bill the Bong

    Bill the Bong Supern00ba

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    Tried to do the dirt bike spinning around thing with a fully loaded R1200GS Adv the other day. Just managed to make the chutch smell:D.
    #19
  20. VFR_firefly

    VFR_firefly Buh Bye!

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    Some of these faux-dirtbikes might not be the correct machinery to take out on the trail. A fully loaded GS1100 on a single-track is like trying to drive a semi-tractor around in your backyard MX track.

    Use the right machinery for the right job or suffer inadequate performance....
    #20