Pro Riding Tip—Downhill Logs With Nick Fahringer

How to properly ride over a downhill obstacle on a dirt bike.

In part 3 of hard enduro pro Nick Fahringer’s series on tackling extreme terrain, the FactoryOne Sherco rider demonstrates what to do when confronted with a downhill log that has a tight turn after it. In this scenario, Fahringer is riding downhill and comes across a log midway through his descent. To make matters worse, there is a tight turn immediately after.

He doesn’t want to just roll over the log because the skid plate would hit and he needs to ride over it slowly enough to still make the sharp turn immediately after. With that, he’s going to carry his front wheel out a little bit so the skid plate clears and the wheels are back on the ground quickly, allowing him to execute the turn.

“We’ll call this the downhill clearance blip. You’re going downhill, approaching a turn. If you case out on a log going down a hill, you could endo. Or your rear tire could be off the ground for longer than you want and you won’t be able to gain control to make a turn. So there’re many options in these situations, but on this one, there’s really only one and that is to slow nearly to a stop just before the log and then blip the throttle just enough so the front tire wheelies out just far enough to clear the log and the bike can roll beyond it so you don’t case your frame or your linkage.”Shan Moore
“By blipping the throttle and lifting the front end, your front tire gets back on the ground quickly to make the turn after the log and the rear tire is on the ground the entire time to maintain control for braking. Controlled braking and controlled cornering are key, and there’s no drama in the turn or beyond. So you’re saving energy, and being smooth and safe.”Shan Moore
“About the time the front tire makes contact with the ground again, the rear wheel should be in position to roll over the log. You don’t want to hit the log so fast that the rear wheel leaves the ground, but just gently rolls over it.”Shan Moore
“Once over the log and both wheels are back on the ground, you can now easily continue your turn at the bottom.”Shan Moore