If you don’t know the techniques needed to get over a log, the task can seem pretty daunting. All you can think of is that time your buddy told you to just wheelie over it and you ended up on your head.
Most of us have all been there at some point – I know I have! But, if you follow these steps you may end up getting over those logs cleanly and avoid a concussion or two.
This technique is often referred to as the “The Double Blip”
Step 1– The Set Up
Like any obstacle, your first step is to pick a nice set-up line. Try to avoid tree roots or rocks that are at the lead up to the log as these could really through you off-line. Obviously, to make things easier you should look for the lowest part of the log. Also try to get your line as straight on to the log (i.e., as perpendicular to the log) as possible. As you approach the log you need to be standing on the pegs in a neutral body position with your elbows and knees slightly bent. Make sure that you have one or two fingers over the clutch and that your right foot is covering the rear brake.
Step 2 – The Wheelie
Once you are about two or three feet away from the log you need to pull a little wheelie. You want the front wheel to come up to about three-quarters of the height of the log. To achieve this, wheelie when the traction on the lead-up is good; you should be able to simply give a quick but controlled release of the clutch as you simultaneously give a slight blip of the throttle (first blip) and move your weight back slightly. If the lead-up is wet and slippery, however, you will need to help the front end spring up using a little more of your body weight. This time, you will want to use more of subtle throttle/ clutch flick. To help the front end spring up, load the front end at about six to eight feet away from the log. This is done by keeping your arms in a slightly bent but solid form and throwing your weight down and forward as you bend at the knees.
To get the spring effect, you now need to unload the front. At the four or five foot mark, abruptly straighten your knees, keep your arms solid, and throw your weight up and to the back of the bike. This quick transition in your body weight will get the maximum
spring out of your forks and help you get the front wheel up without using as much throttle/ clutch, meaning there is less chance of wheel spin.
Step 3 – The Impact
As the front wheel impacts the log, your forks are going to compress again. As they start to rebound, the weight of the bike and your body is going to be forced into the rear shock. Remember that a bike’s suspension is like a rocking horse; as the front comes up (or rebounds), the rear goes down. When the shock has the total load of the bike and your body weight, you have maximum traction from the rear wheel. So, this is where you need to give the second blip (throttle/clutch). This time, however, depending on the size of the log, it may have to be a much more aggressive blip.
Step 4 – Over the Log
The sudden burst of power delivered by the second blip will slam the rear wheel into the log. As it hits the log, the shock will compress even more and you will have even more traction. The tire should begin to grip on to the log. Next, the shock will rebound really quickly, so make sure you get your weight back. As the shock rebounds, it is throwing the bike up and over the log but keep in mind that you may also be losing traction. This is where you need to roll off the throttle and maybe even engage the clutch. If the log has good traction, keep just enough throttle to prevent the front wheel from dropping. If the log is too slippery, shut the throttle down and slightly pull in the clutch. Bend at the knees and allow the rear of the bike to come up underneath you. The front wheel will now drop over the other side of the log so make sure to keep your weight well back. As the front wheel touches down, try to keep your balance. Let the clutch out smoothly and try to avoid too much wheel spin on the log.
Step 5 – Roost On!
When the rear wheel touches down, it’s time to get back on the gas.