Maddison has jumped from flat surfaces and from downward angled ramps.
Downward angled launchers get the jump over with sooner, minimizing air time, and are the least scary from the rider's perspective, but let me say that dropoff jumps are far scarier than other forms of straight ramp to ramp jumping.
Gary Wells jumped from flat launchers, and I can't remember if he jumped from downward angled launchers, but he might have.
I actually prefer an upward angled launch surface. It maximizes air time, which is more fun (OK, you could also substitute the word "scary" for "fun"). Another thing I like about an upward angled dropoff ramp is that you can very precisely control your speed and the launch with clutch control. It just feels like magic, it's the most wonderful feeling in the world. The jump lasts much longer when you start by flying up before you go down, and although I would leave the top at walking speed ("bogging first gear speed"), I launched in 2nd gear, slipping the clutch with barely adequate revs so it wouldn't bog. As the front wheel was leaving the ground, I would slightly rev and let the clutch out slightly more to tractor off the lip to set the bike's attitude. The bike would gradually nose down more and more as I flew down, until it just felt like the bike was totally vertical with one axle directly above the other, even though it wasn't quite that vert. My chest was parallel with flat ground.
On the way down, I would upshift to 3rd, then to 4th gear, and when I shifted I didn't want to miss a shift, so after shifting to 3rd I would let the clutch out a little so the tranny could be sure to find the gear, then click 4th, power on and have the rear wheel going as fast or slightly faster than I was actually traveling when I landed.
It's no good to land in a gear that is too low for the speed you're going, it feels like you're landing with the rear brake on, putting more stress on your wrists, whiplashing you forward, and feeling yucky in general. I mean, if you were doing a step-up jump, you'd want to downshift before the landing so you have power to apply to the ground, otherwise the engine will bog. Conversely, on dropoff jumps, you need to upshift for the landing or the engine will over-rev.
There were also dropoff jumps I did where I left the flat top and jumped farther and farther down the hill until I was wide open in 6th gear, then jumped even farther and it felt like I was landing with the rear brake on. The engine was revving farther than max revs! I decided to land with the clutch pulled in as I went faster and faster, farther and farther down the hill. It landed so hard the bike felt like it was bouncing off the ground when I landed. When I called it quits, I thought I was landing 20 miles per hour faster than the bike would even go when it was tapped in 6th gear.
So, in summary, one can jump off of a surface that is angled upward or downward, or even flat. Downward angled is easiest, least scary and the shortest air time, and you can see the landing sooner after you leave the ramp (or even before). Flat is probably safest, only because you aren't going to start rolling forward or backward if the brakes fail before you're ready to go. However, it's a lousy launch that doesn't feel good. The most comfortable and sexy-feeling launch is the upward angle launch ramp, no contest, as long as the rider has excellent pro class clutch control, and from 2nd gear it will save the rider a mid-air shift.
Maddison starts with the bike in 3rd gear, slips clutch off the top, and lands in 3rd. Gary Wells probably went in 2nd gear all the way. I started in 2nd when it was 1st gear speed, then landed in 4th gear. Both Gary Wells and Maddison left the top faster than I did, I probably left the top at half their speed. Maddo's launch angle is probably 5 - 7 degrees downward, mine was probably 5 degrees upward.
: Wonder why RM doesnt ride RMs? Very cool to
: see Robbie being Robbie.JA tell me about the
: angle of the starting point of the drop off.
: --Previous Message--
: Maddison is the kind of guy who keeps
: the bar. Great work, what a nice jumping and
: riding park they've created!
: Believe me, dropoffs are the most fun and
: exciting jumps you can do, I've done them
: plenty and nothing compares. Most of all,
: the visual is just as intimidating as can
: be, which only adds to the amazing feeling
: of free-falling on a motorcycle! There's a
: reason why only Gary Wells, Maddison and I
: have done big dropoffs. They're
: mind-boggling beyond belief! If those guys
: are like me, they have to love dropoff jumps
: like no other form of jumping. Dropoffs are
: my favorite type of jumps of all! I can't
: explain how thrilling it is to leave the
: ground at walking speed and land in 4th gear
: tapped out!
: --Previous Message--
: It's been a while since I've been here.
: it going JA? Check out this video of Robbie