Full Lock Turns and Pivot Turns


These notes from our Youtube vid Full lock turns & pivot turns are subject to our disclaimer.

Basic turns are critical in trials. It’s tempting to learn the flashy looking tricks but you must master the basics first. Figure eights are perfect for not only beginners, but as a warm up routine for experienced riders too.

Put pressure on the inside footpeg and you will find the bike naturally wants to turn – this is very handy in slippery conditions. Also, as the bike leans it can make even tighter turns possible. In effect you are steering with your feet, not the handlebars. More lean is possible by placing the outer foot on the outside of the footpeg.

Throttle and clutch control are very important, especially with full lock turns. Too much speed or jerky throttle response will have the bike trying to go forward and sliding the front tyre.

Don’t get too focused on watching the turn itself, but keep reading the terrain ahead of the corner. At an intuitive level your brain will assume you have already done the corner and you will be more relaxed through the corner.

In a section, use all the space provided to make as wide a turn as possible. Keep in mind where your rear wheel will be going, to avoid it being deflected by obstacles. If the rear wheel can’t avoid a rock or patch of poor traction, back off the throttle to avoid wheel spin.


Keep your shoulders in line with the handlebars.
Keep your legs bent and apart for stability and to soak up bumps.
Constantly move your body position for best balance and traction.


When a turn is too tight, you can sacrifice one point and put your foot down to spin the bike through the corner. This needs careful throttle and clutch control so you don’t throw your bike at spectators!

Find a solid position for your foot ahead of the footpeg. Compress the forks to add some lift as you release the clutch with a blip of the throttle.

Pivot the bike gently and bring the front wheel down in the desired direction. Practice in a figure eight configuration will have this mastered in no time.


Make your turns tighter and tighter as you improve. Mark out a figure eight with two rocks and keep moving them closer.

Try stopping at random points during a full lock turn – this should be easy if you are properly balanced. Progress to turns on rocky, slippery and steep terrain.

Remember to watch the Youtube video Full lock turns & pivot turns on a trials bike.

Copyright B. Morris 2014