Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1970's

Cycle News 1979 01 24

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 1 of 39

Just bang your way over rocks and don't get caught on the biggies, Don't be afraid to get your feet wet In an enduro, Championship Enduro g yr oscop ic e ffect o f t he whee ls spi nni ng rapidly sta bilizes you r bike and helps it th rou gh deep ruts and oth er uneven places. Going very slow is the worst thing you can do . It's hard to stay upright , and if it 's a lon g st retc h you'll overwork you r engi ne becau se you'll need a lower gea r to keep moving , Small bikes, particula rly, have a tou gh ti me in sa nd at slow speed. Even o n a fairly easy grade th ey ca n bog down and ge t stu ck. So if the way is clear , th e secret is to shift you r weight to the rear and crank it on! If th er e are whoopdies, those g iant waves of sa nd fo rme d b y bouncing motorcycles and increased in size by every passing ma ch ine, try to avoid them by getting off to th e side where th ey aren 't as big or ha ven 't formed yet. You 'll make better time and p robably lessen .the cha nce of a spill. No room to get by th em ? Stand up for better control and to ab sorb som e of't he im pact with your legs, and gas it. In turns , look for something to use as a berm , but if you don 't find it rem ember your tires will make a small one of their own if the' sa nd is soft. Riding Technique A few general tips Even without the really VICIOUS obstacles most enduros feature at several points along the route, riding an endurance run is a challenge far different from a trail ride on which you can choose your trails, take shortcuts to your destination and proceed at a fairly leisurely pace. In an enduro you're under pressure - the pressure of a time schedule that makes riding skill an important factor in ' you r success or laek of it. It 's obvious the only way 'you're going to get this skill is through experience , your own and that of other r iders who have mastered the techniques already , Intimate familiarity with your motorcycle and all its handling and performance characteristics with you on board is a vital first step in riding strange terrain with confidence. Then you're read y to listen to the advice of others on how to make time in the easier sections and get through the tough ones. Most important for a novice enduro rider to remember is that even if the run is fairly easy , you have a lot of miles to ride and you'll get tired , Keep your feet on the pegs. You'll save energy and go lots faster , Shift your weight on the bike for balance, and if . there are stumps or rocks along the trail put your toes on the pegs to protect them from serious injury, All along the trail you 've got to concentrate on what's immediately ahead, whether it 's a turn or danger arrow or a fallen rider or traffic jam at an obstacle. Be prepared for ouick , • • ff · ~:;: evasive action to avoid a crash , yet try to keep moving as close to schedule as you can without taking ridiculous chances. Remember, it's not a rac e, The riders ahead of you may be on earlier minutes and are having just as tough a time as you ma intaining th e average speed. But if you kn ow th ey're riding slower than you are , and you need to make up time , pass th em where you ca n. Use surprise and if necessary a loud voice to clear th e way, or if that doesn't work too well, p ull up close behind and rev you r engine with th e clutch disengaged . If a fast er rider is behind you , signal with a hand or foot which side you're pulling over to , and then let him. by when th ere's room , If it's dusty, or you r visibili ty is reduced in any way by rain , fog , snow , glare , darkness or dirty goggl es, leave enough room ahead of you so you have time to react to sudden hazards . And take time to think when you com e to tough obstacles, don't just follow the pack blindly into a ·swam p or get blocked by stalled riders halfway up a steep hill . A few seconds of analyzing the situation may save you many minutes. Sand Learning to ride in sand is like learning to win - once you discover how to sta y afloat you wonder why. it scared you so much a t first. Ther e is onl y one way to rid e loose sand successfull y - ride it fast with you r weight shifted to the re ar of th e bike so th e front wheel is ligh t. This way you float near the surface and t he , __ . .. .. ........ ..••....... •.. _.. ~~ . - ~ . _~ . - ~ ~ M ud and snow Both th ese surfaces have some thi ng in com mon - th ey're usually slippery and unpredictable, and you never know what's hid ing underneath , ma ybe a small log angling across the trail , or a rock or hole just waiting to throw you off balance. Both are very tiring to ride in for very long , Wet clay and clay loam are the worst ; they'll dump you without warning , even on a fairly open , level stretch. If you need to use you r feet to keep from falling , get forward on the gas tank so the front end doesn't wash out as easily , and it's easier to catch yourself. On a straight section if th e rear of you r bike starts to swing out to one side, you ca n usually straighten it easi ly by d ragging .the toe of your boot on the opposite side and giving it gas . Yet you ca n't ride for long with you r feet out for balance or foot ing because you'll get too tired. So resist t he. - . . ..) • • ~ : . •... 4 temptation to leg it - your bike's stability will get worse, and before long you'll be running more than you 'r e riding. On a rutted , muddy trail or twotra ck , ke ep so me sp eed up for stabilit y. It's hard to keep from falling while rid ing a rut a t five mph or so. If the edge of th e tr ail is wide enough a nd is more firm , trying ridi ng there . Or use th e high ground in the middle of a two-track if it's not too bumpy or filled with pr otruding boulders. But watch out that on e wheel doesn't slip int the ru t on on e side. The other wheel ma-y go the opposite way, a hairy situation anytime it happens. A layer of mud on top of solid rock , ·like during th e spring thaw in th e Appalachians , won't have a;> many ruts , but it's just as slick . A lot more footing it and bouncing around is required just to keep moving forward , If you' re not a hard-core rider, and you enter for fun , you probably won 't ever encounter snow at an event unless you practically seek it out, because you put your bike awa y for the winter or ride where it's warme r. But if you do you ca n be sure of slipping and sliding, some surprises and some fall ing. Snow hides lots of th ings that make riding d ifficult - ice , for instance, or ruts and holes or sizeable rocks . If the trail has already been opened up by bikes ahead of you these hazards will be more visible , but if you decide to go around one you'll be breaking a new trail and you don't know what's underneath , You've just got to be prepared for anything, River crossings When you come to a river or other fairly deep water crossing. stop and look it over for a few seconds, and if there's a rider right ahead of you see " Championship Enduro," copyright © 1977 by Steve Boo th a nd B rian Palormo, is available direct from the publisher, Paragon P u b li ca tio ns, 3106 Sweetbrier, Lafayette, CA 945-49 for $5.95 postpaid. California residents a~d ~%_sa~c;s.ta~ ., . . . , . ."' ' . J . t J ' .f.J J ~ ... J I ;, .r , i . 1 I ~ ...

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1970's - Cycle News 1979 01 24