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Old 02-04-2013, 12:07 PM   #616
Adv Grifter
on the road o'dreams
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Joined: Jan 2010
Location: Passing ADV Stalkers in California
Oddometer: 6,128
Down Hill 101

Originally Posted by Shibby! View Post
I'm playing some massive catch up, but just wanted to point out this is bad advice..

By doing so, you limit the slip of the rear wheel by not locking up, but you cause massive issues by doing this. The bike becomes a moment arm forcing the front of the bike down. Not a huge issue you might think, but it applies varying load on the forks making them harsh, it affects handling, and it's just bad. Try it for yourself and you should instantly see the difference.

Pull the clutch, learn to modulate your brakes and in the end you'll be way, way further ahead. Keeping the bike neutral on downhills is a massive benefit. Many 4-stroke riders don't realise this. 2-strokes don't have nearly the same engine braking so it plays much less of a factor.

You learn where to brake, where to let off, and how to modulate them and things will start clicking.

Good luck. Most newer riders have the most issues with decents.
It's true, steep downhill takes practice and good technique. Pulling the clutch in ... I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND! Engine braking is your friend!

Many novice riders are afraid to use the front brake ... thinking it will lock up and wash out. Most times ... it won't. But a balanced and delicate approach must be used. A mix of engine braking and use of BOTH brakes judiciously is what is required. Rear brakes ... obviously ... lock easily. So best to lightly drag the rear brake without locking. Requires practice and good feel to perfect.

On super steep descents you must pick your braking areas. Some areas ...if you brake you will lock up and lose control. Others, you can hammer the brakes and get slowed down before approaching a truly knarly section. Picking high traction braking zones is critical ... PRACTICE. This involves having good terrain reading skills. Takes a while to get this.

If huge rocky steps are involved (think a "Trials Section) ... best to dismount and "Bull Dog" the bike down the steps .... get help if possible.
Loose rocky scree is especially tricky on a heavy dual sport ... and it's easy to lock up both ends and go careening down the mountain out of control. Been there, done that.

Noobs need to work up to Enduro level challenges. It took me years of AMA
Enduro competition to learn downhills and lose fear of them.

On the DR650 ... or any heavy dual sport, this is a daunting task and even experts have trouble.

Noobs need to learn to use their front brake aggressively and take it right to the edge of lock up. 80% of braking is here. With low pressure (12 to 14 PSI) and a good front knobby (not a 50/50 dual sport tire) you will get traction where you would not think possible. Trust it.

Lower than stock gearing can also can be of help as more engine braking is offered ... giving riders hands & wrists a rest break in flatter sections of the hill.
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