TRIALS TRAINING: FLOATER TURNS ON A TRIALS BIKE
A floater turn is a combined wheelie and turn, usually on an uphill slope. It can be used to ensure the front wheel clears obstacles or spots of poor traction, or when there’s not enough space for a full lock turn.
As with the basic wheelie, compressing the suspension means you need less power to do your floater turn, which keeps your speed down and you’ll have better control and balance. Lean the bike in the direction you are turning, and also push down on the footpeg which will be on the inside of the turn.
For beginners, it is best to start learning this facing up a hill first as it will be easier to lift the front wheel. Remember the wheelie should rely less on throttle and more on you compressing your suspension. If you gain too much speed it will be impossible to do a tight floater turn.
Start with small turns at first, then gradually work your way to spinning the bike through 180 degrees in a tight area.You will probably find yourself more capable in one direction so remember to practice both ways until you are equally at ease with both directions.
Remember to have your rear brake covered in case the front wheel comes up too high. Applying the rear brake if you go past the balance point should be your natural instinct, not jumping off the bike so ensure you have regular practice at this.
Try bouncing off a tree or rock face. Done properly, this can turn the bike in a remarkably tight space. Have the front wheel already pointed in the desired direction before it hits the tree or rock face. This, combined with your weight in the desired direction, will have the bike turning very quickly.
Copyright B. Morris 2014