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Working on your offroad / enduro riding skills keeps you safe and fast, increasing your fun level!

Every time you're out riding, it's practice time! Think of it that way and you'll get better in no time. Read the post on Deliberate Practice++ to understand how to practice.

Every time I'm out for a ride, I take the first 5 minutes to warm up by practicing some of these skills. Burning these basics into your brain and muscle memory does not occur over a night, but over a lifetime!

Slow riding

He who can go the slowest will be the fastest. Fact: many of the fastest enduro riders today come from a trails background!

These slow-riding exercises will develop your balance, feel for the bike, not to mention throtle-clutch control!

Easy rider

Standing position. Just go strait, as slow as you can. Slip the clutch in first gear to keep the bike barely moving. The slower you go, the better you are at this!

You will find that dragging the rear brake will help keep the bike more stable and the slower you are able to go. At the extreme, you'll be standing still on the bike for a long time...

Low circles

Make tight circles at low speed. The point here is to go as slow as possible and put the bike as low as possible.

Sit down. Start turning and lower the bike into the turn. Move your butt on the top of the seat and put weight on the outside/top peg. The inside leg can reach down to dab and support if you loose balance - but be careful with that.

Do the turns tighter and tighter - you can be in in first or second and you will have to constantly slip the clutch and use the brakes to keep the bike in the circle.

Slow figure eights

Standing position. Do slow figure eights, as close to full steering lock as possible, making for a very tight figure eight.

Like before, slip the clutch in first gear and drag the rear brakes. One additional element here is moving your body to the outside and lean the bike inside the turn as much as possible - this is needed to make the figure eights very tight and hit steering lock.


Learn some of the dynamics of riding: weight shifting, sliding etc.

Throttle - brake with weight shifting

Standing position. From slow or still, move body front and accelerate. Don't shift gears. Then move the body rear and pull the brakes until stopping. Do not put your feet down.

Keep doing this for a while. Besides throttle-clucth and balance, it should burn into your brain the need to shift youy weight when you're about to accelerate or brake hard.

Lock the rear

Standing position. Get going quick from still and lock the rear wheel. You'll need to pull in the clutch to keep the engine from stalling. When almost stopped, start again.

Try to not touch down but maintain your balance on the bike.

Lean and skid

Standing position. Give it some gas and then, lean the bike and lock the rear wheel. The rear end will come around. Focus on controlling that slide. This is a very important skill to come around sharp corners. The lean angle controls how much the bike comes around.

Do not stop or put your feet down - as soon as the bike almost stops, start again.

Fast practice

Accelerate and brake

Standing position. Accelerate say to 3rd or 4th gear and then brake to still, with weight transfer and gear shifting. Do this progressively harder and faster.

Learn the limits of traction for both acceleration and braking - these are different according to conditions: sand, mud etc. Repeat this in different conditions.

Lock the rear

Go up to 3rd and then lock the rear. Focus on controlling the rear from coming around. This may save your life on the street.

You will have to pull in the clutch and you can add some Post:Blipping_the_Throttle++ to keep the engine revs reasonable while downshifting. Don't try too many things at once in the beginning though.

Ruts - figure eights

Sit down. Continuous motocross style turns in a figure eight. Work it until you form a rut and that will allow you to go faster and lean the bike more.

Sit down. Lean the bike. Butt on the edge of the seat. Put your inside foot up and out of the way, by the front fender. Weigh the outside peg. As you keep going, start weighing it more by actually lifting your butt 1 inch off the seat.

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By: Razie | 2012-08-23 .. 2014-05-12 | Tags: enduro , training , dirt bike

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