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How To Ride Slippery Off-Camber Hills | How To

Sometimes you can't get up a mountain but you might be able to get around it.

Approach the hill in a standing position with your weight towards the front of the bike. You want to select a tall gear, as this will reduce the chance of the rear wheel breaking traction. Cover the clutch and use any run-up area to gain as much momentum as possible.

As the camber of the hill increases you need to counteract it by leaning the bike into the hill and weighting the outside footpeg. By putting weight through the outside ’peg, you push the side knobs of the tyres into the dirt and increase traction. Keep your head up and look where you want to go; don’t look down the hill otherwise you’ll be headed all the way to the bottom.

Hold the throttle steady and avoid wheel spin. If the rear wheel breaks traction the bike will spin around and you’ll end up facing up the hill. Use the clutch to control the power to the rear wheel.

If the back wheel starts to slide down the hill, keep both feet on the ’pegs for as long as you can and counter steer with the handlebars. Shift your weight over the front-end. This will help bring the rear wheel back into line. Keep the front wheel pointed in the direction you want to go and hang as far over the outside footpeg as possible. If you can hold your balance you should start crabbing (ADB #445) along the side of the hill. 

Remember to keep momentum. If you stop, you will struggle to get going again. You can dab your inside foot on the ground occasionally for balance, but make it quick and get back on the ’pegs as soon as you can. Leave your foot on the ground a little too long and you’ll go into an unintentional pivot turn.

This particular off-camber section transitioned into a steep hillclimb. Momentum is the key here, because you go from riding along the side of a greasy hill to charging straight up it. You need to carry your momentum and turn up the hill. The rear wheel will want to break traction. Keep the power on and, as the bike begins to turn up the hill, shift your weight back slightly over the rear wheel to increase traction. Keep standing on the ’pegs if you can and dab that foot for balance if necessary. Olly Malone

Quick Tips

Weight the outside ‘peg otherwise you will lowside the bike and slide downhill

Do not twist the throttle hard. Hold the throttle steady and use the clutch friction point to maintain momentum

If you need to dab your inside foot for balance do not rest on it otherwise you’ll find the bike pivoting off your planted plank

Do not look down the hill. As is always the case when balancing, where you look is where you go

Who’s It For?

Skill set:
Intermediate – advanced
Trail, Enduro, Adventure, Trials
Start on a gradual, dry hill
Strength & height
Taller riders will be able to dab but shorter riders may have better centre of gravity and balance
Widow potential
Low- medium. Don’t look downhill!
Bragging rights