1. Adventure Rider Print Magazine!
    We're doing a print magazine this November - 128 pages of high quality adventure riding stories, photography and interviews!

    Click here to purchase a copy for $9. Limited copies still available.
    Dismiss Notice

KTM 790 ADV Mad Skillz Riders & Wannabes

Discussion in 'Parallel World (790/890)' started by TrailTrauma, Oct 26, 2019.

  1. TrailTrauma

    TrailTrauma Nemophilist

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Oddometer:
    5,959
    Location:
    Ontario .. Superior
    Figured we could use a thread in our own 790 area which is dedicated to those with mad skillz on the 790 ADV sharing their wisdom with the rest of us wannabes. The hope is guys will chime in with questions like 'How do I become a 790 wheelie God??', on down to 'Why do I keep low siding into ditches on grabel road twisties?!'. Or the classic - 'My POS skid plate is trashed .. is it really possible to log cross without the 'ol skid smash technique??'.

    Lets help a brother out. Got a question about some technique you want to develop on the larger 790, lay it out. If you have some insight, share them with the group.

    It's going to be a long winter .. figure now is a good time to get this going.

    The more we learn, and the more we can share, the less chance we have of our next purchase being a KTM wheelchair. Even if it comes with 10/7 wheels ensuring some cutie is forced to wheel us around all day :-)

    [​IMG]
    #1
    CaseyB likes this.
  2. TrailTrauma

    TrailTrauma Nemophilist

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Oddometer:
    5,959
    Location:
    Ontario .. Superior
    This came to mind today as I rode...Washouts seem to have a way of staying hidden until I'm almost upon them. Maybe it's my vision, and maybe it's the colour of the trail which helps them blend in. In any case I'm not the guy that began riding at 4, and has all the skills in his quiver. I began riding at 45, and still haven't secured a wheelie technique which doesn't end in a cartoon sprint into a flat faced, half scorpion thud.

    So my question is this .. you're charging down a trail, when a washout suddenly appears ahead. It's too close at your speed to stop in time, nor is there time and space to calculate the best angle, or portion to make it over. For argument's sake, lets say the wash is 2 feet across and 10' deep. I'm doing that so there is no debate as to whether or not I need to fly the hell over it.

    Can someone take me through how I go from zipping along, then spotting certain doom, to launching up and over a wash similar to what I describe? Take me through the mechanics of how to take the 790 airborne, both with a lucky kicker, and from just flat trail.

    I can tell one day soon if I don't focus on a proper solution I'm going to launch myself into the rhubarb, because right now all I have is - scoosh my ass back, and extend my arms to fully unload weight off the front, and pray I sail right over. My luck is running out on that lame ass BS.
    #2
    Willsfree likes this.
  3. Some_Dude

    Some_Dude Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2019
    Oddometer:
    806
    Location:
    Thunder Bay
    Chris Birch has a pretty good how to wheelie a big ass bike lesson on YouTube.

    Beyond that, IMO the trick is to practice them a lot so that you can do it instinctively at various speeds.

    One of the guys I ride with totalled his bike last year on a washout in the Rockies. Broke his ankle, used his emergency beacon, was stranded overnight, tried to walk out in the morning, then was met by a helicopter after he’d hobbled a few hundred meters.

    By the time he went back to salvage what he could the vultures had already taken everything.
    #3
  4. macaw1us

    macaw1us Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2013
    Oddometer:
    205
    Down shift one, Rev it up, dump the clutch as you stand up and pull up the front end and ride over it with speed.
    Hesitate and crash is always the rule.
    #4
  5. TrailTrauma

    TrailTrauma Nemophilist

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Oddometer:
    5,959
    Location:
    Ontario .. Superior
    Nope, definitely don't want to crash.

    I thought there would be some sort of way to not only loft the front but unweight the rear so it lightens up, and doesn't do something like slamming down into the hole. Or do you always need a kicker to try and get the entire bike vertical a bit so it launches 'over' the entire wash.

    Puddles, I can understand the straight wheelie approach, but going over a void at speed in a wheelie makes me think, at the very least, the rear tire will slam the square edge of the wash and buck pretty hard.
    #5
  6. chippertheripper

    chippertheripper motorcycle junkie Supporter

    Joined:
    May 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    11,296
    Location:
    s.e. mass
    The trick is to get really good at riding something like a 300 first, and then just do the same shit on a big bike. Easy peasy.
    #6
  7. ibgary

    ibgary Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,857
    Location:
    Colorado
    A good rule is to set your speed based on your line of sight.
    Once upon a time, I rode into what you described. Following a wash between I-8 and Borrego Spring. Deep sand about 30 mph, suddenly I see a the trail drop. I managed to stop. The hole was side to side in the wash about 20' across and 6 or 8 ft. deep.
    #7
  8. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6,697
    Location:
    Star Tannery, VA
    Pretty tough trick to compress the suspension enough on a 460lb bike to unweight the entire bike on flat ground and jump it completely into the air with no kicker I imagine. Well beyond my limited capabilities even in a controlled practice environment much less when taken by surprise.

    I find it almost impossible on my little bike, but I kind of suck so there is that... lol. I reckon the best answer is to slow down enough to have a plan or go really really fast and keep good health care coverage.

    For developing technic I always turn to my little 250. It's much less likely to hurt me and crashes better. There is a pretty good vid somewhere that covers your scenario. I'll see if I can find it. Secret is definitely successfully loading up the entire suspension.

    Edit: Here's one but not the one I was thinking about.


    And another though still not the one I was thinking of but it shows the process well at a standstill a bit into the video.
    #8
    TrailTrauma likes this.
  9. ramirin

    ramirin Ready to push

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,163
    Location:
    FIN
    @TrailTrauma I feel you on noticing these washouts so late that it must come from your spine no time to look from youtube. That Barry's crosstrainingenduro channel is very good and should revisit those training videos every winter.
    I'm not the expert of any sort but my 2c would be to first hit the brakes (both) and if possible compress suspension while jump on break pedal, then immediately hit the gas and blib the clutch if possible. It's a lot easier if you always keep one finger on clutch and one on front brake otherwise there's no time to use those. Same goes on wheelie. Jarvis can hit the throttle in the exact moment when he starts to feel suspension rebounding (I think his world is moving slower than ours) but the rest of us, hit the throttle when pushing the bike down otherwise it's most likely too late and you just spin the back wheel that is barely touching ground.
    Compressing the susp has two functions: give you the best grip available and give you the lift on rebound so no matter how little compres you can make it helps a ton.

    Edit, learn one step at time, first only throttle & suspension, then add rear brake, then both, then clutch. Clutch last since thet can ruin everything or send you to the moon if too heavy on throttle.
    #9
    TrailTrauma likes this.
  10. TrailTrauma

    TrailTrauma Nemophilist

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Oddometer:
    5,959
    Location:
    Ontario .. Superior
    I was hoping someone would touch on preloading the suspension. Without a kicker it's the one way I could think to create some sort of loft to lessen the blow as the rear wheel slams into the far bank. That will definitely take hours, weeks and months to get a feel for. I'll break it down in bite sizes next season and practice my ass off. Timing I realize will be absolutely critical. I remember on my 500 and 300 trying to ride along slowly and then stab the front brake to compress the forks before blipping to bring up the front. Decent results. But boy was it crazy hard to time it right. To be on the blip the second it started to rebound. 98.79% of the time I was too late, which is why I smiled when you suggested blipping AS you're pushing the forks down.

    That in of itself would be an excellent thing to practice - fork compress-blipping. It is a skill which will show up in so many offroad maneuvers from the wheelie, to crossing trees on down to the washout jump we started with. The 790 is a brute, and I would have preferred to have already learned this on the smaller bikes but I can't think of a more capable, dare I say flickable, larger bike to continue my studies on.
    #10
    ramirin likes this.
  11. Subaruvich

    Subaruvich Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2018
    Oddometer:
    347
    Location:
    EU
    Obviously apart from good technique and timing you will need the suspension to be dialed in for your weight to compress and rebound and lift that front wheel. My guessing is - stock springs are too soft for you and will compress but won’t rebound as expected?
    #11
    TrailTrauma likes this.
  12. ramirin

    ramirin Ready to push

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,163
    Location:
    FIN
    tt, you need to compress shock too - for traction. Just push the bike equally down and give throttle same time (aim to throttle when bottom not wait until coming back), it's amazing what happens even in slippery field. I had exactly same issue that I was always late, then noticed that it doesn't really matter if you're bit early. Done wheelies for years, with huge clutchbomb while going higher gear - haven't learned anything. Now that I've been concentrating on this shit it has changed the whole ideology of my driving. I started to think of this when I noticed I can't wheelie on Freeride E since it doesn't have clutch. Slowly learning things bit by bit, I wish I had done this from day one.
    #12
    TrailTrauma likes this.
  13. ramirin

    ramirin Ready to push

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,163
    Location:
    FIN
    Couple vids from my friend who shares the same ideology and trains with 950SE :thumb


    #13
  14. AdvRonski

    AdvRonski They call me......Ronski

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,529
    Location:
    Finally made it to Fruita!
    TT- I run into the washout scenario a lot out here in Western Colorado and Utah. Faced with a literal split-second decision, my response does depend on which bike I’m on. On the 350, there is a fair amount of wiggle room on either side of the 2 choices. Stopping a 350 doesn’t take much room, so that may be the best option much of the time. If I think there isn’t room for that, and the span is at least close to being doable, the way I work it is to pull the front wheel up as high as I can in the space that is left, then chop the throttle as the rear wheel leaves the edge. Then I throw my weight forward, pushing down on the handlebars. This unweights the rear wheel, as the bike rotates around the center of gravity, and if you’re lucky, has reduced the rear wheel’s impact on the far side enough that the suspension can handle it adequately.
    Now, on the 790, the margins are smaller. It takes more distance to stop, and the wheelie/unweighting maneuver will not carry you as far. Still, since doing nothing will most likely end with some level of injury, it’s worth a shot.
    Also, if a washout turns out to be just a little deeper than you thought, dropping the rear wheel into it with a wheelie will save you from slamming the front wheel into the far side.
    I use the wheelie technique quite a bit when I come upon a series of whoops that end up being deeper than I first thought. The key to coming out on the other side of a series of deep whoops is to do whatever it takes to keep the front wheel out of the holes, and try to set it on the top of the next whoop. As with any skill, repetition is key to being able to pull it off effectively in a reflex action when required.
    #14
  15. TrailTrauma

    TrailTrauma Nemophilist

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Oddometer:
    5,959
    Location:
    Ontario .. Superior
    Those are some great pointers @AdvRonski ... lots to unpack.

    I'm reminded of kung-fu movies I watched as a boy, where the student digs a deeper and deeper hole in the ground, hoping to be able to jump out each time it gets deeper but in my case I should be digging a deeper, and wider trench across the trail while I practice, hoping to clear it each time. :lol3

    The great thing is this is something which can be practiced randomly on any ride without there even being anything to jump, building muscle memory along the way until that pesky washout appears around a curve one day.

    Thanks for all your pointers on this one guys :beer
    #15
  16. TrailTrauma

    TrailTrauma Nemophilist

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Oddometer:
    5,959
    Location:
    Ontario .. Superior
    @ramirin tell your friend thats pure inspiration in those videos. Wow!
    #16
    ramirin likes this.
  17. macaw1us

    macaw1us Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2013
    Oddometer:
    205
    Like I said in post number 4...
    Just ride over it.
    You said it was only 2' wide, at speed you won't even feel it.
    I've done exactly what you stated before only it was 6' wide. I was moving pretty fast and had no choice but go for it.
    Do it the 1st time and you won't even blink the next time.
    It's not a big deal.
    BTW..I was on a XT 500 that first time with about 5" of rear travel. These new bikes should just float over it.

    .


    #17
    TheGr8Pumpkin likes this.
  18. ramirin

    ramirin Ready to push

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,163
    Location:
    FIN
    One more thing into washouts & all other obstacles, make a decision and look forward - there might be another..
    #18
    TrailTrauma likes this.
  19. TrailTrauma

    TrailTrauma Nemophilist

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Oddometer:
    5,959
    Location:
    Ontario .. Superior
    Wise words for sure Ramirin. I used to get caught all the time looking right in front of my nose, especially when it got a bit gnarly, but as time went on I found myself doing something different. I try and absorb what I need to get over, through or past and then ignore it, and scan far ahead for the next bit of trail trash trusting that the obstacle I just acknowledged will take care of itself. I'm not saying I do things blind and hope for the best, but the brain can sort things out pretty quick, and deal with it as it begins calculating the next corner or jump or whatever is next. And the idea of 'looking forward' seems to also be key for creating a tractoring effect if that makes any sense. Looking down can somehow kill momentum sometimes but I find when I get that ugggh feeling because I hit a rock wrong on an uphill, for instance, and my gut tells me I just lost crucial momentum, I look up the hill and start making blunt force type moves as I throttle up again. It's like someone throwing you a rope when you're free soloing and muck up a move, and then they winch you up as you quickly provide the broad strokes as you zip up the rock face. It becomes less about nitty gritty moves and more about more throttle, and cruder moves necessary to get to the top.

    Looking well ahead provided my riding growth with one of the biggest leaps forward.
    #19
  20. Velociraptor

    Velociraptor TrackBum Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,185
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    Of course when riding over unknown terrain a good practice is always to slow down because sometimes the washout may be so bad that you are totally gonna get hurt if you can't stop. I did that without fail down in Baja, conciously moderating my speed. Another rider got sucked into a crazy speed on Diablo dry lake then had a bad crash and I thought the guy was going to die right on the spot from head trauma. He hit a washout that he was not ready for. As it was, he survived but had double vision for some years and short term memory loss. So technique is everything so save your ass most of the time, but sometimes you gotta ask yourself if the speed is worth the risk. Looking far ahead is the right thing to do but even then sometimes you just can't see a hazard.
    #20
    TrailTrauma likes this.