There are several ways you can cross logs on your dirt bike, but it takes practice, patience and skill to build all of them to the pro level. Most of us are hobby enduro riders, weekend racers and just casual dual sport bikers who don’t necessarily have enough time on our hands to develop all these techniques.
One of the most effective techniques of crossing a log is the double blip or the punching technique. There are a lot of videos on YouTube breaking it down. It is basically a two-step technique. During the first step you lift the front wheel and punch with it the log at 2/3 of the log’s height. Then during the fork rebound you give another blip of the throttle to get that extra momentum that will push the bike forward and high enough for the skid plate to clear the log and help the rear wheel over it.
You can see how this double blip technique is performed by one of the top extreme enduro riders in the world Graham Jarvis. Especially, when he jumps the log that hangs in the air. You can see the smoke in the exhaust when those blips of throttle happen.
However, what I found from my personal experience of log hopping is that the double blip technique is great when the log height is not more then 2” ft from the ground. Once it goes beyond that point you really need to be careful, precise and “aggressive” enough with your throttle to perform it well. If you make a mistake, like I did a few times ;-), you may hit the handlebar with your chest or simply fall down. Thus, in this technique lies a bit more risk. Some of us can not afford to get injured, because we have mortgages, we have bills to pay and a family to support. Therefore, we seek alternative ways of jumping logs.
While my goal is still to learn and improve my double blip technique, I discovered that there is a less risky method of crossing logs that stand 2 feet in height or more. It basically boils down to lifting the front wheel over the log (or sometimes I roll it over on top of the log) and moving body forward to help the rear wheel clear the log. This method becomes especially effective when you clearing a log with a flat side that resembles a small wall. When the log side is rounded, the rear wheel gets over it a bit easier, since it gets traction and simply climbs over it. When the side is flat it gets tricky. You may not have enough momentum for the rear wheel to clear the log. Hence you may get stuck and hit your skid plate and play “the scale” game.
You can see the break down of my discovery in the following video:
While I still need to work on making “my safe technique” more effective and precise, I also learned that when the log height is very intimidated using “the skid plate scaling” technique is also safe enough. Yes, there are some disadvantages to it, you may hit the skid plate hard enough, you may not have enough momentum to clear the log, but if you work on it and eventually get much better at clearing large or tall hanging logs you may move to the more advanced double blip method.
On the final note I also would like to point out that when I try to cross logs that hang high enough from the ground, my “leisure-safe” technique becomes “hit or miss” ordeal. Why? Because the rear wheel can’t get traction until it reaches the log. There is nothing except air between the log and it’s distance from the ground. And this log situation will call for the double blip log hop for sure.
Ride Safe & Seek Adventures, my friends!