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The art of stationary balancing

Posted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 6:52 pm
by Neo
Hello everyone,

I have the honour of making the first post in this new “Section” (excuse the pun!) and I’m going to make it a question on the art of stationary balancing.

I’m looking for some serious tips on how to develop this skill on a slab of concrete at normal tyre pressures.

Yes, I’ve read all about turning the bar all the way to the right or left and sticking your front tyre in a dirt track or small ditch and keeping the breaks on. And I can balance like this easy now. But the real goal is balancing without this kind of assistance (the ditch I mean!). As I’ve noticed that the more I try to achieve this goal the less I “dab” in a section.

So far my son and I have trained for several hours in total. I still can't keep the bike up for more than 3 or 4 seconds :shock:. My 13 year old son, in contrast, can now balance and then kick start the bike. But he still needs to work on putting it into gear and riding off (thank god!!) :wink:
I know that some of this is the 30 years between us. But there must be techniques that some of you have used to develop your balance over the years.

My thanks to Keith, for creating this section at my request. But as I explained in my email to Keith. We owe it to our sport and each other to share this kind of information (Trials Techniques) around as often and as best we can. Only then can we hope to see our sport grow here in Australia because we'll ALL get more skillful and more impressing in the eyes of other potential trials riders.

:idea: Please join me in making this Section a frequently used one. It doesn’t have to be a reply to this post. You can just offer your own best lessons in Trials for all to read and benefit from.



Posted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 12:15 am
by keithj
Glad I could accomodate your request Neo.

On the subject at hand, "practice?" You mean there's more to practice than the 5 minute warm up before a trial? :-s


Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 10:45 pm
by Stu
Neo, although I have not competed in Trials for a number of years due to work getting in the way and the absurd fees, I still take my TY250a out when I can. The only way to get the trials 'pose' is just keep practicing! I can keep my bike stationary for a couple of minutes by keeping the back brake on slightly when stopped. This helps to centre your weight and lets you to concentrate on the job at hand! I have watched the Experts in the sections and they do the same. It will help you with setting up a steep climb easier.

Posted: Sun Feb 13, 2005 7:51 pm
by Neo
Thanks Stu,

I guess at the end of the day it always down to practice, practice, practice!

It just would have been good if someone could given me a new way of approaching this. I’ve taken to wearing boots just for practice now as the cuts and bruises on both shins are still quite painful. :shock:

Anyway, just for the hell of it I’ll ask once again – If anyone has that miracle tip please share it with us all? :idea:

Best of balance.


Posted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 10:25 pm
by Neo
Hi everyone,

Ok just in case any one’s interested, tonight I learnt a few tips from my own 10 year old daughter (who studied gymnastics for 5 years).
The first one was put the bike in front of a vertical pole (a broom does the trick) and focus completely on that. It worked first time, my eyes could see the slight sway well before my body could feel it. And I could counter balance much more quickly and precisely.

The second tip came from watching my daughter go from balancing in a half inch ditch with steering turned and front brake on. But when she was comfortable she then applied the back brake, let the front one go and put both hands on her hips, for well over a minute. That was then followed by waving her arms all around and then dancing on the pegs, while singing and talking to one of her friends. This went on for another minute until a gust of wind blew her off! (thank god!!!)

It’s quite inspirational watching someone that can do this. So I followed her lead and kept myself up, hand off the bars for about 30 or 40 seconds. Victory ! – now I feel I’m getting somewhere.

All that’s left now is to straighten the steering and stay up for that extra minute or so! – phase 2

It’s funny how the answers to your questions can sometimes be closer to home than you’d expect.

I’ll let you know how we get on with phase 2.

Best of balance.



Posted: Tue Feb 15, 2005 5:19 pm
by BJ

Isn't is painful what youngens can do :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: . If only we had learnt to ride trials at the same time we learnt to walk!!!!!

I like the idea of the broom, but it looks much flashier if you do a look back while balancing....... does it still work when it's behind you???? I'm trying to learn look-backs while going over logs, it won't improve my riding any but it beats closing you eyes and hoping for the best.

For balance I use the back brake and slip the clutch to vary the torque twist on the bike. The engine drive can be used to push the bike toward the direction the wheel is turned toward (I think that's what happens). I am not that good at it yet but it keeps my feet up long enough for me to get lined up before I close my eyes!!!

BJShercs :mrgreen:

Posted: Thu Feb 17, 2005 10:23 pm
by Neo
Hi BJ,

I like the "torque twist" technique. I've seen the Japanise guy on the 4RT video do something like this. I can understand how this would roll the bike forward but how does it make the the bike roll back again (like in the video)?

I'll give the "Look back" idea a go. But if I don't post any messages for a while, it because I've broken my neck on the log :o :shock:

Best regards.


Posted: Tue Jun 14, 2005 2:44 pm
by jmclean
I'm still learning too. I've combined elements of what's been said above.

I improved a lot by NOT looking down at the front wheel, but staring a point on a wall or tree ahead of me (ie; don't look down).

Other thing I noticed, is if you've got the engine running, give it a rev when you get uneasy. The gyroscopic force of your engine's flywheel will actually help you stay upright, just like the wheels on your bike when in forward motion. Try it.


Posted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 2:10 pm
by Bad_fruit
Hi all.

Often I find that as I tire I begin to put too much weight on the bars, because with the leverage you get through the bars it is intuitively easer to correct the bike. This is a huge mistake. particularly for practice it is important to really make sure that you are using your feet to move the bike for corrections to the balance. I honestly think this is key.

I myself have found that looking closer makes balanceing easier and that looking at the horizon make me less stable. I think this related to how easy it is to detect small shifts in the bike. (the bike should move about a bit about under you and not set off "alarm bells" in normal riding). It might be that another factor relating to where you look is how the head is held. Maybe when looking down some leaning forward is occuring and weighting the bars, alternatively the head up change may be causeing legs being too straight, which is not the go, either.

Once balanceing well on the flat I recommend balanceing with either wheel up on something I find front wheel up much more difficult than having the back up, is this other peoples experiances?

I am interested in the look-back on a log, what exactly would you be looking at and when in relation to where the bike is (front wheeel just on, bashplating, nearly over..)?

Cheers and please keep up the thought provoking posts.

Posted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 5:11 pm
by BJ
Hi all

I plan to start practice soon. With another 6 weeks at least before Dr says I can even start riding I thought it would be a good time to cheat and do some balalnce work.

Bad Fruit..... the look back has nothing to do with balance or wheel placement. Usually a look back is directed toward anyone watching you. It does pay however to have the back wheel well up the log before ignoring what the bike is doing!!!! Otherwise, instead of looking like you are an ace you may end up looking like an ass!!!

As far as balance goes I like to start off with the frnot wheel nosed into a post or a fence just to provide a bit of steadiness until I am ready to let the feet do most of the work.