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Video: Gary Bailey on Bike Setup

by The "Professor" Gary Bailey


In this video, The "Professor" Gary Bailey talks about bike set up. He covers bars, seat height, tire choice, foot peg positioning, and more.

Please post any questions for Gary in the comment section. Gary loves to answer questions and if there is enough interest in this type of video, he has promised more!

Thank you for checking out this article. Other similar articles can be found in the archive section. I hope all of my articles help you become a better, safer rider no matter what your skill level. Because I am in semi retirement after 43-years teaching full-time, I only do private one-on-one coaching or with a small group of riders. Most of my time is spent in Virginia, however, if you are on the west coast I do spend some of the winter months in California visiting my kids and grandkids. If you are interested in scheduling a coaching session shoot me an email or go to my website. You can come to the mountain or the mountain will come to you!

That's it for now, until next time, good luck with your training and remember, if you have a question, log on to the Virtual Trainer Expert Forum and have your question answered by a panel of experts. In addition, be sure and check out the Racer X Virtual Trainer archive section. Your complete one-stop information zone for motocross fitness. VT Signature

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  1. Gravatar
    ryan August 18, 2011 at 9:24 am

    that was really good real world advice, a little short and to the point but this is what "set up" videos should be like. thanks professor

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    not much info August 18, 2011 at 10:41 am

    I appreciate the effort, but really no tips here. I think everyone knows there are different bar bends, seat heights, pegs and levers. Maybe a episode on... for really fast and rough tracks you might want to adjust the compression and rebound clickers (in or out) on your suspension. Tracks with a lot of jumps one might set his or her bike up like ? Really looking for examples of... if this is the situation then try these things.

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    Racer X Virtual Trainer August 18, 2011 at 11:08 am

    "Not Much Info" - Those are exactly the plans for the future. Thanks for your CONSTRUCTIVE criticism.

    Seriously, if you don't like the video, please tell us in a way that is intelligent and helpful and include what you would like to see. Thanks!

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    Jon Phillips August 18, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Great Video! No it might not be for everyone, but the reality is that most dirtbikers are beginners who don't have a clue. Or maybe they are descent riders and like to hear things that could help them get better! Great job Professor!

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    Very Good August 18, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Excellent video, keep up the good work.

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    mxguy94 August 18, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    The Professor is the best! can we get more?

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    Mark Flaherty August 18, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    More in depth set up changes would be great, as well as technique vids. Like me most people I know are descent riders not national speed riders but still moderately fast and at this for a while now and any bad technique is hard to break but I'd like to see more video from the professor maybe force ourselves to change up techniques try some different setup tips.

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    MotoXdog261 August 18, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Gary, thanks for the vid! This would make a great series by starting off with an overview of a few areas, as you did here, then follow up with a more in depth look at each individual area. Maybe even a little pro/con for using different set-ups and/or when to use them. You can always teach this old DOG new tricks! I will wait to see more vids before I come up with questions I know I will have. Thanks again!

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    Doug Taylor August 18, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Shouldn't bar width versus sweep have something to do with your shoulder width? People with wider shoulders should likely use less sweep and move the bars backward and forward to center the rider's shoulder socket centerline over the top of the bike's nominal axis of rotation (i.e. a line drawn vertical from the bike's CG under accel? This would allow their head movements to be slower going over rough terrain, decreasing reaction times. (Granted, you are the expert and I am the grasshopper here).

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    timi August 18, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    very nice - makes rynos videos look stupid

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    Racer X Virtual Trainer August 19, 2011 at 8:26 am

    Timi - Are you referring to the series of Racer X films videos Ryno did? If so, there is some great training info in those videos.

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    bob August 19, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    If i wanted to know rc's or stewarts bar heights id look it up. I was lookin for better tips. Thats my opinion

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    gazzadownunder August 19, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    I realy like bike set up, riding tecnique and training tips. They are more interesting to me than watching videos on guys riding all the time. I would realy like to see an indepth video on cornering because I think that is where most of us average riders are much much slower than the pro's. Realy like your videos, keep them coming please.

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    Dustin502 August 20, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    I have heard it recommend to pull the bars back so the grips would be behind the center line of the steering stem- true? even for a taller rider? I have also heard that your bar width should be the same width you would do a push up. If I measure that out though my bars are much narrower than 'normal'. Recomendations?

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    Kevin February 06, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    What do you recommend for shorter riders who can't reach the ground comfortably? Would you recommend shaving the seat? Does a smaller sub-frame help?

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    Professor February 06, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Dustin, yes it is good to have the bars behind the steering stem but do not pull them back too far as the more you roll them back the lower they will get and for a taller rider is is not good. Best to find a low flatter bars. I think the RC Pro Taper is the best for most everyone. If you are looking for a good cut. Cut to 31" with grips it is 31 1/2 this will help get your arms out a little more. and help for keeping a better hand grip.

    Kevin, thanks for the read and the question. For sure cutting the seat is a good idea as well as cutting the sub frame. RC did this back in the day so it will help. However there will be a down side if you lower this, it would be like putting higher bars on and that will make it harder to get over the front end in the corners. So you will then need to get the lowest bars you can find. don't cut any more than you need to.

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    Rich Lafferty April 02, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    Pretty cool stuff..........I seen some crazy stuff with bar risers that in my opinion compromise body position and then give most riders issues with turns.
    Your thoughts sir!!!!!!!!!! Helmet cases are cool in the background and of course my jersey hahaha......later

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    Professor April 03, 2012 at 5:37 am

    Yo Rich I have seen the same, As I was saying about RC When lowering the seat that made the bars too high so it was harder to get the bike to corner. It is harder to get weight on the front wheel and to weight the outside bar in the turn if they are high. Sure it may feel a little better when standing but I feel there is more to gain in the turn by having the bars a little lower. The one we need to watch is the little guys and gals because it is so easy if they are smaller than most to have the bars to high. No bar or bar height is perfect for all riders. Another thought, I have never seen a high pair of bars on a mountain bike. Think what that would be like trying to control that. If it feels like a chopper when sitting, it's not going to turn.Take care,be safe and keep the wheels down.

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