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How To Pivot Wheelie on Rock Ledges | How To

Spin turns are easy. Wheelie pivot turns are slightly harder, but extreme wheelie pivot turns are the hardest.

They’re rarely needed unless you spend a good portion of your time in extreme enduro, but they can come in real handy if you find yourself teetering on a ledge with nowhere to go.

If you’ve attempted to climb a rocky hill and run out of talent with your front wheel perched higher than your rear wheel on a rock, don’t panic. Balance yourself and the bike and hold onto both brakes. If you can, try and get your left foot on the ground to steady yourself. This leaves your right foot on the rear brake. As you can see in this photo, there is no room to roll back without falling off another ledge so you will need to wheelie pivot.

What makes this trick so hard is the tiny margin for error. With only inches between your rear wheel and another ledge you will need to be accurate when the front wheel comes down.
This is why having that foot on the back brake is crucial. You will need to lift the front using the throttle and clutch. Dragging the front wheel off the ledge is an option but incredibly power sapping (see ’The Newbie’ sidebar). Once the front wheel starts to lift, dab the back brake so you don’t loop out.

This is going to happen all at once. When the weight and balance of the bike is transferred from the front to the back you will be able to pivot the bike to the left using your left leg. You will need to direct everything with your upper body but the inside leg is the pivot point. Once the front wheel is airborne, start to lean to the left and the bike should come with you.

Once you’ve started pivoting your bike using your arms and core you can close the throttle and pull in the clutch. Jam the back brake on so it starts to bring the front-end down as well. Keep your inside leg planted and use it to stabilise the drop.

Be careful not to rotate too far. If you use too much throttle and too much muscle to pirouette the bike you will force the front wheel beyond 90 degrees and that could have you launching off the ledge you’re standing on. If you feel like the pivot is going too far, the back brake will save you.

Once the front wheel is firmly back on the ground you can release your hold and assess how you’re going to get back down the ledges you just climbed up, so you can have another go. Editor Mitch Lees

Quick Tips

If you’re nervous about attempting a pivot wheelie you can get off the bike and do it all manually. Here are some quick and easy steps to muscling your way off the ledge:

1/ Hop off the bike and slide the rear around to the right so you’re not quite 60 degrees. Holding the rear of the bike, wriggle your way around to the inside and hold the handlebar. You can do this from the right side of the bike if your arms are long enough.

2/ Begin to wiggle the front wheel off the edge by snapping the handlebar back and forth. We had a halfway ledge to wiggle it back to.

3/ If you can, slide the rear wheel around further so the bike is almost parallel to the ledge and continue to wriggle the front wheel off it. Just make sure the bike doesn’t fall on you when it lands if you’re standing on the inside.

Who’s It Fot?

Skill set:
Extreme enduro
You’re best practicing this with plenty of room behind you in case it goes pear-shaped. Set up a log or rock in a paddock and try pivoting without going past the 90-degree mark. If you keep looping out, rolling back or spinning past 90 degrees, do not try it on a rock with a ledge behind you.
This technique favours the long and strong big time. The longer your legs are, the bigger the gap between the rock and ledge can be. If you’re short, well you’re pretty much screwed. Get a shorter seat or lowering link.
High. Fall backwards and the bike will crush you.
This looks awesome and will save you time and energy. It looks far harder than it actually is and if you do it with finesse you’ll look like Graham Jarvis. Or maybe not.