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Adventure Riding Skills Part 5 – Hill Stall | How To

Stephen Gall shows us how to get out of a hill stall in Part 5 of out Hardcore Adventure rider tip series.

One of the most difficult situations you can find yourself in is getting stuck on a hill on a big bike. This can be particularly difficult on a loose surface or after hitting a small obstacle before the hill that causes a loss of momentum.

The most common mistake is for riders to stop pointing up the hill, with both feet out and the front brake applied. The bike will simply slide backwards and you will crash. If you are a novice to intermediate rider, always allow your bike to stall to stop you from sliding backwards. This will allow you to relax and assess the situation.


If you can, just before you come to a stop, have the front wheel pointed slightly to the right so your left foot goes down more easily to hold you up and your right foot can reach the rear brake. Operate the clutch lever and rear brake to let the bike slowly move backwards while steering the front tyre around.

You can shuffle the front wheel back and forth by turn the handlebar from right to left which will help slide the front wheel down the hill with the goal of pointing the bike downhill.

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Depending on the terrain and surface grip, you can either restart or clutch start the bike in the correct gear as you roll back down the hill. If you are not sure what is on the downhill then pause for a minute with dead engine or both brakes on to check out what line to use.


Hill climbing either up or down is all about confidence and skill to use the available terrain to help you! It’s very hard to pick up a heavy adventure bike on flat ground let alone a rocky, slippery hill. Before you charge at an unknown hill it pays to stop at the bottom, watch others, ask advice, walk the hill moving logs, rock etc or just go back to find another way! Stephen Gall


Part 1 – Sand Whoops