low speed technical practice -- how to go about it?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by malignity, Aug 17, 2017.

  1. malignity

    malignity Wonton

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    I've come to realize that though I have been riding nearly my whole life, there are certain things I just down right suck at. Anything on the pegs creeping in low first gear, or anything really technical that requires almost stopping balance (picture trials like) I'm absolutely horrid at.

    I'm wondering how I can go about getting better at this with minimal damage to my bike. I have 4 acres of land that is largely unused other than for hunting and long range rifle shooting and could likely make myself a small one acre endurocross track. I'm wondering how beneficial that'll be for skill building? I figured I'd have a section of various sized log crossings, small section of tires, small section of broken rocks and concrete, etc.

    Is this something even worth putting time into? I don't think it would take a ton of time to build a track, however getting a ton of stone or rip-rap/crushed concrete might be a little more difficult. I'm not sure how well simulated obstacles compare to obstacles out in the "wild".
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  2. VX Rider

    VX Rider Long timer

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    Yes....
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  3. d.c.

    d.c. funyun farmer

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    :stupid
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  4. SRG

    SRG SRG

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    Get on a trials bike if possible
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  5. Andyvh1959

    Andyvh1959 Cheesehead Klompen

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    I practice very slow skills while riding whenever I can (being a MSF instructor helps me focus on keeping in practice). But largely a few things: Looking well ahead (until you develop the feel of very slow speed balance), try loading the footpegs to keep your weight central on the bike, small handlebar movements to adjust the bike balance center to your body center, move your body position fore/aft until you find where the bike balance point matches your body position, apply throttle against rear brake application to keep the "flywheel" effect of the engine working for balance.

    I've gotten to the point on my R1200RT that I can come to a complete stop, feet up and hold it for a few seconds. Hope to develop that to more than a few seconds.
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  6. rob30

    rob30 Adventurer

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    Time to get yourself a bicycle... I came from road biking, and transitioned into a motorcycle. When your clipped in on a road bike and need to stop for a short duration, you shift your body weight to balance and use your brakes. You dont need to be clipped in on road bike to feel balance. Any pedal bike works...
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  7. DirtBikeMike07

    DirtBikeMike07 Adventurer

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    Slow speed practice is a great thing. One that not many of us do enough of. Once a person has a firm grip on riding, that's what we do and tend to never go back and work on the basics again. I was just like that, I rode MX, Enduro and single track at high speeds like most folks. Always working on improving speed. Then a buddy of mine talked me into taking a Shane Watts riding class. I went into it thinking it might not be worth it to spend that kind of cash to have a guy tell me how to ride. I have 40 years off road riding under my belt and figured I had a pretty good idea of how to properly ride a bike. Well, Shane made it very clear that everyone in the class had a LOT to work on. We took his "In Depth" 2 day school and the slow stuff is where all of us needed the most work. I know it's where I do most of my crashing. He then told us the slow speed control is the basis for becoming a better rider. He had us do all sorts of slow speed stuff. What he showed us has really improved my riding and safety. We did drills like riding in a straight line as slow as possible, riding or attempting to ride straight with the front brake locked up so you know how to react when it happens on the trail! Riding slowly in long ruts, slow wheelies, front brake stoppies, log grinding and a ton of other stuff. Mostly reinforcing the basics. I have never seen so many crashes in 2 days in my whole life! Mostly because none of us could ride slowly in control. And like mentioned before, if you really want to take your balance, throttle and clutch control to another level, get a trials bike. I did that and no video or class can teach you what a trials bike will. And it's crazy fun too!
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  8. 9Realms

    9Realms Drawn in by the complex plot

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    Even practice riding at a snail's pace in parking lots of malls or schools and such that are closed or businesses after hours. Pick imaginary obstacles to avoid, stand on your pegs, slalom around yellow lines, etc.
    Practice making u-turns at slow speeds without putting your foot down. Build from the small, basic tactics, the rest (confidence) will follow. Don't rush it, and if you ride off road with others-- don't let their pace dictate YOURS.
    #8
  9. Salzig

    Salzig Been here awhile

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    Another trick you can do anytime, is put your feet down after the bike is stopped, and put them on the pegs before starting to move.
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  10. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Long timer

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    You could just ride around your place very slowly. Pick two points, practice going between them slower and slower. Practice turning sharply and slowly.

    The whole basis of the likes of Ride Like a Pro and other slow speed training is dragging the rear brake, slipping the clutch, and using a little throttle. It works.

    The basic key to slowly turning darn sharp and slow it to look at where you want to end up, not where you're turning through.

    Once, long ago an unknown but skilled rider somewhere showed me his trick of looking at his rear tire. Tried it and it works. Look down at my rear as I turn and I can drop the front end right to the steering lock, without falling over.
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  11. malignity

    malignity Wonton

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    This has pretty much summed up my whole riding career. I've always been focused on becoming faster and in more control at speed, but hit a super snotty single track the other day that had dozens of fallen trees, uneven ground, ruts, roots and rocks, and I immediately realized that this is something I severely lack Most single I can navigate easily given that it has some "flow" but this had zero. Most everyone associates riding and skill to be above say, 5mph. To be fair, no one else riding with me at the time was enjoying this particular trail either, but I don't think any of the riders I ride with have practiced much low speed creeping.
    #11
  12. mountaincadre

    mountaincadre Long timer

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    Track stand, fecking great when you pull it off.
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  13. daveinva

    daveinva Been here awhile

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    The good news? Even the best riders can admit that slow speed riding sucks if you're not good at it (and, often, even when you are):

    http://www.cycleworld.com/do-you-struggle-with-slower-speeds-on-your-motorcycle

    Me? I'm not good at it. Oh, I'm fine riding my bike slooooow through obstacles and traffic, I pick up my feet and get moving better than plenty of riders with 20 years of experience on me. It's the whole u-turn, figure 8 sort of transitions that have always discombobulated me. Failed the figure 8 in ever single MSF-style course I've ever taken, and to this day, I still don't care.

    FWIW, this is what's helped me:

    1. I keep a couple of flat traffic cones in my tailbag. Every so often I'll toss out the cones in an empty parking lot and practice tight maneuvers.

    2. For u-turns, I'll arrange a line of cones on my left side, and then have a single cone on the right side, behind me and to the right. I'll pull up in the right track to the end of the left cones, then turn my head alllll the way left until I spot that single cone behind me as I make my left u-turn. Do this enough times, and it conditions you to turn your head far enough to make u-turns easy.

    3. I generally only practice left-hand u-turns, because that's 90% of my sharp turns that I'll ever need to make in daily life. That said, I'll practice right-hand u-turns every so often just to maintain *some* sort of skill at that. Unfortunately for me, right-hand u-turns are my least favorite maneuver in all of riding (well, technically, the uphill right-hand switchback is my worst, as a recent week in the Dolomites taught me!).

    4. Last piece of advice: if you ever practice slow speed maneuvers, do it AFTER you've installed crash bars/sliders/bar ends etc. Because odds are you *will* goof and drop the bike if you're practicing as hard as you should be.
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  14. Eddie G

    Eddie G Adventurer

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    I'm a crop consultant and ride daily checking field crops. Most of my riding is up and down field rows and around fields in first and second gear. For the last 40000 miles this has been the case. I need more practice on the highway, especially on curvy roads.
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  15. dkazzed

    dkazzed Been here awhile

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    Good on you for going after this. My riding instructor told us it's really more difficult to ride a motorcycle slow than fast. Two items on the skills test were slow speed riding (ie. you can't go faster than the walking examiner) and a tight left u-turn, no more than 1.5x the full lock turning diameter of a bike. We weren't allowed on the road until we completed the skills test.
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  16. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    Don't know if anyone said...

    lightly drag your rear brake in slow maneuvers to keep some tension on the drive line - take out the drive line lash so it doesn't start bucking back and forth. Maybe slip the clutch a bit if needed.

    Try it, you'll like it.
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  17. MrBob

    MrBob Curiouser and curiouser

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    Nothing helped my low speed skills more than watching motor officers train, and they used a similar technique to get those Harleys to basically turn on a dime.
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  18. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    About half the time in cars/trucks with manual transmissions as well as motorcycles, slow speeds get to the point where drive line lash (clearances on gears in transmissions and final drive, along with chain slack) can cause the vehicle to buck back and forth. Sometimes it's called drive line snatch. All it takes is a bit of throttle to smooth it out, but if you are trying to maintain the slower speed, that's not going to work alone. So by lightly dragging the brake against the throttle, there is no longer any free play allowed to snatch back and forth.

    Drag racers do a similar thing with line lock, allowing them to hold the car at a stop on the line while being able to pre-load the drive line, taking out the shock in the drive line when launching.
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  19. Crisis management

    Crisis management Latte riders FTW!

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    Have a look at these training videos
    http://crosstrainingenduro.com/index.htm

    There is a huge amount of information here that address' exactly your issue. the Author Barry, posts on here at B1, look at his crosstraining and enduro skills thread in this forum, alternatively have a look at the Trials forum here there is a lot of back yard training information there. I am i the same boat as you and am starting to convert a part of our paddock for a public display of how not to ride a bike, I have three neighbors overlooking the field so I am assured of a lot of "helpfull" suggestions.
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  20. lnewqban

    lnewqban Ninjetter

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    I would say work on your balance first, before adding obstacles to your training.

    One important thing to eliminate is the input from the engine yanking the chain and trying to stall.
    As advised above, keep the rpm's of the engine as high and constant as practical, making it work against the rear brake.

    Some additional tips:
    http://www.ridinginthezone.com/how-...nthezone.com/how-to-ride-a-motorcycle-slowly/



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