Pro Riding Tip—Uphill Floating Turn Over a Log

Riding a dirt bike up a hill, over a log, and turning—all at the same time!

In part 4 of hard enduro ace Nick Fahringer’s series on tackling extreme terrain, he demonstrates an uphill floater over a log. Not an easy combination, especially when you throw in the fact that it’s slippery. In this scenario, the FactoryOne Sherco rider is approaching a right-hand, uphill turn with a log right at the apex of it. Here’s how he handles the situation.

“Here in Michigan, the soil only improves with moisture, but the rocks and logs get really slippery. So we have an off-camber approach on a narrow trail, then a swooping right-handed uphill turn to a log that has a camber that goes away from the corner. It’s a steep, narrow chute with some rocks before and after, and then the trail continues to have some zigs and zags after the log, so you have to be precise with how and where you exit this obstacle.”Shan Moore
“I approach the turn slowly. I’m on the pegs, hinged at the knees and the hips. Elbows are fluid. I come around the turn looking ahead, feathering the clutch. Just slipping the clutch lightly to allow instantaneous response. I start cranking the revs up a little to unload the front wheel because if the front tire hits this log, then your front end is going to slide down the log along the camber and you’re not going to make the climb.”Shan Moore
“I’m weighting both pegs because in a situation like this, I’m going to be unloading the front and carrying the front tire off the ground and over this log as I exit the turn, so a lot of the steering is actually happening with the pegs. I’m actually pushing the inside peg down to turn the chassis, while trying to wheelie the chassis. I’m steering the bike with the pegs while rolling back on a light wheelie, where the front tire taps the log, but not hard enough to let the tire chase the log out of the turn.”Shan Moore
“Next, I load the rear tire with a little torque and weight, and then just prior to the rear tire hitting the log, I try to chop the throttle and unload the rear suspension to allow the bike to roll over the log. It’s inevitable that the rear tire is going to try to slide here unless you get a clean bunny-hop. But if you bunny-hop too far, you’ll lose the trail. So you have to get the speed just right to clear the log and then get back on the ground to navigate the rocks that follow. All my momentum is coming while the tire is engaged with the soil and then as I approach the log, I’m all but off the power to allow the tire to just roll over. As soon as it makes contact with the ground, I’m back steering with the pegs to turn the bike to follow the trail up above.”Shan Moore
“As you can see, my rear tire did kick and obviously my foot came out as a consequence because it’s so slippery from the bark being busted off. It’s at an angle that is more tangential to the turn than it is perpendicular. So it did redirect the bike. This is an obstacle that would probably stop any rider that’s not trying to float the tire over. So you want to minimize torque and turning of the rear wheel, [then] redirect the rear wheel once you get there to just pop over and then get back and recompose yourself.”Shan Moore