Tuesday Tip: The Seat Bounce

By Team Honda’s Travis Preston
Photos by Garth Milan

Seat bouncing is a technique used to project you and your bike at a higher trajectory when trying to clear specific obstacles. It’s pretty much the opposite of scrubbing speed. Rather than staying as low to the ground as possible, seat bouncing allows you to get higher when you need to get up and over something.

In general, the need to seat bounce occurs most often when you have an obstacle right after a corner. The takeoff obstacle is usually shorter than the landing, so a steeper entry is required in order to land smoothly without clipping your rear wheel upon touchdown. In addition, when exiting a corner, especially a low speed one, you won’t always have the speed and/or set up time required to get over a tricky section. Seat bouncing allows you to do it.

As I exit this corner I am already eyeing up the obstacle ahead. I know that it’s too long to get over using a standard jumping technique, and I also know that the landing jump to this double is slightly higher than the take off. The seat bounce is on my mind.

I remain seated as I exit the corner, and I approach the jump as straight as possible. At this time I am also starting to transfer my body weight toward the rear fender.

With my weight bias shifted toward the rear (leaning back), I grab a handful of throttle as I head up the face of the take off jump in the seated position. I can feel the load being transferred to the rear shock. With the spring compressed near its max, there is a lot of energy built up just waiting to be unleashed.

As soon as I’ve cleared the face of the take off I can feel the rear end springing back up and into its resting position. Simultaneously I begin standing to avoid being ejected by the force of me seat as it rebounds back up.

Now, just like with any other jump, I am spotting my landing and shifting my weight forward in order to get my front end back down. Sometimes a tap of the rear brake is also needed if you can’t get your front wheel down by simply transferring your weight.

After landing smoothly I am looking forward and preparing myself for the next obstacle…