I have been doing Manuals for years now but, I typically can only do them for 15 to 20 feet or so before I start to drift to one side and have to end it. Based on where I ride, this is sufficient for me. I have seen the videos of people doing them for as long as they choose which appears to be well over 100 feet. A person told me to build a Manual Machine which amounts to an “L” shaped wood beam that you can practice and improve your Manual balance skills without moving. I would like to know if anyone out there has tried using one and if it had a big impact on your Manual skills and the duration of your Manuals.
I haven’t used a manual machine but long manuals are kinda like long wheelies; you have to do small inputs to keep you going straight or to turn. Usually the problem is that when you are comfortable finding the balance point most people just stop there until you slowly come back down. You have to practice taking a gentle turn to learn how to correct unwanted turns. Picking a start and end point is the best way to practice. Sorry I don’t have any experience with the manual machine so I can’t comment on it being helpful or not with your problem but practice on it’s own has worked for me.
It seems to me that manual machines help to practice initiating a manual, and help you to find the sweet spot to stay aloft. Since your rear wheel is fixed between the machines ‘L’ frame, wouldn’t it keep you from leaning side to side without much input (false positive)? I’ve never used one, so I’m just speaking from looking at the design and mechanics of it.