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Old 03-26-2013, 04:03 PM   #61
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Here's a little hill climb action..what doesn't show real well is the rail road tie step-up about halfway up...

Having street tires on the bikes didn't help much...but it didn't seem to hurt much either


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Old 03-26-2013, 04:27 PM   #62
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Having street tires on the bikes didn't help much...but it didn't seem to hurt much either
So what was the rationale for the street bias tires? They get lots miles? They came on the bike? You need to learn to do it on sucky tires to be a better rider?
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:35 PM   #63
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So what was the rationale for the street bias tires? They get lots miles? They came on the bike? You need to learn to do it on sucky tires to be a better rider?
The main answer I got to that question was that was the tires that came on the bike...in truth, I think the tires actually helped. You had to have your throttle, clutch and body position correct or things just went south. It took me three attempts to make this hillclimb. There was a turn at the bottom where you had to keep your momentum up. If you didn't hit the hill smoothly and keep an even throttle..you went off to one side or the other...I did both. The third time I got it right and sailed right up...




The three riders in the video are our coaches...they made everything look easy
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:55 PM   #64
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Guess it’s time to get on with the after action report…

The 5 of us who took the shuttle from LAX finally arrived after 2 ½ hours of Friday afternoon LA traffic…
Arriving at the RawHyde compound we were warmly welcomed by Stephanie and Barbara. After getting us checked in, Wil (one of the Introduction class coaches) showed me to my assigned bunk and then gave me the grand tour of the grounds conveniently ending at the Dakar Bar for a beverage of choice. The bar had your choice of beers, sodas, water and a few other stronger spirits. There Wil left me to get acquainted with the others and went back to help the others get settled.



In the picture above, the building we checked in at is to the right, it had the lounge and couple’s quarters, In the center was the main building which housed the Dakar Bar, Dining Hall and Kitchen. To the left was where the bunkhouse and rest of the lodging was found.

The Bunkhouse was part building, part tent. The walls were mostly structure and a big tent covered it all. The bunk areas were sectioned off by divider walls. Each bunk had a twin bed with full mattress, sleeping bag, pillow and linens. They also had shelves, lamps and a heating pad located under the sleeping bags…I don’t remember anyone complaining about being cold and it was likely in the low to mid 40’s at night. The first night we had a hell of a wind whipping through. The canvas of the tent was making snapping and popping sounds all night. Most said they didn’t sleep that well, made me glad I brought foamie earplugs with me…
I slept like a baby.





There were also a couple other bunking arrangements. There was the trailer on the left that had a slide out tent assembly with storage lockers underneath. There was also the “condo” trailer on the right, that trailer had upper and lower bunk areas.



In the main building was pretty much where everyone who wasn’t sleeping or riding was hanging out.



In one section was the Dakar Bar. Here Jim Hyde (owner of RawHyde Adventures) welcomed us and explained how things were expected to work over the weekend. Everyone was asked to introduce themselves and tell the others where they were from, what they did, what kind of riding experience they had and what they expected from the classes.







The Dining Hall was part restaurant, part training room and part briefing room. Every meal the place was packed. We had about 40 students between the two classes but there was always more than enough food….







Speaking of food, their chefs can cook…The breakfasts were hearty, lunches were fantastic and dinners were just awesome.

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Old 03-26-2013, 05:19 PM   #65
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I want to do this.

If I ever get out that way I would like to do Base camp Alpha as well, I figure I am already there and made a pretty large investment so what the Hell....all in!
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Old 03-26-2013, 05:23 PM   #66
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On Saturday the fun began, I was going to be using one of their rental bikes and since they only rent BMWs, I went with the F800 since I figured it was closest to the bikes I own. My first bike surprise was the tires…not exactly what I was expecting for an off road riding school. (As I mentioned in an earlier post, looking back I think having those tire actually helped me get more out of the class)





The Next Step class gathered up and headed out. Del (our lead coach) gave us the longest lecture of the entire class as we got started….about a whole 20 minutes worth. His method was to learn by doing so we spent the next two days doing.



After getting the bikes configured to the riders and going through a clutch exercise we headed off on a little ride to get warmed up. The first stop was assessment time. There was a path marked with a wide chalk line that we were to follow. It had twists and turns around rocks and trees, through a narrow gap and around a tight figure 8. The very first turn was a slightly off camber tight right hand turn around a rock. As I rounded the turn and started down I lightly touched the front brake…Bam! Down I went, a quick tuck and roll and I was on my feet. Jason, one of our coaches was right there to help me get the bike picked back up. As we were picking up the bike the only thing he said was “the Russian judge gave you an 8 out of 10…the ending was good, but the dismount could have been better”….What a great way to start
I ended up doing about 5 loops with no other gymnastic scores and was told to go with the “A” group. Of the 20 riders in the class, 6 stayed back with the “B” group. 4 of those ended up thinking it might be better if they went joined the Intro class.

After our assessment exercise, I tweeaked the clutch and brake adjustments. I ended up doing that a few more times during the morning until I got them how I liked them.
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Old 03-26-2013, 05:36 PM   #67
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4 of those ended up thinking it might be better if they went joined the Intro class.
The body is not even cold yet, and there is no love for a turtle group
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Old 03-26-2013, 05:56 PM   #68
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The body is not even cold yet, and there is no love for a turtle group
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:50 PM   #69
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The body is not even cold yet, and there is no love for a turtle group
LOL, gotta start somewhere!
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:53 PM   #70
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So, what were all the exercises you did?
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:59 PM   #71
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So, what were all the exercises you did?
Yep....we need to recreate them here.
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:59 PM   #72
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Working on it....


We are going to need a few more hills
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:04 PM   #73
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Working on it....


We are going to need a few more hills
I still have a pretty good pile of dirt.
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:46 PM   #74
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Del lead the “A” group back to the compound area. The first exercise we were going to do was off camber switchbacks. The track was a sweeping dirt trail that weaved around a few trees on a slight slope. It involved throttle, clutch and brake control as well as selecting the proper entry speed for the turns. Most of the loop we were moving at a whopping 5 mph.







(Photos of Intro Class by Kyle Johnson)

(also seen in the video Joints posted from about 7 – 14 second mark)
We had a couple people drop bikes as they negotiated the switchbacks and I was one of them. I stopped at the peak of one of the turns and was a bit too short to reach the ground…another tuck and roll.
After a dozen or so loops in one direction, they switched things up and we changed direction. The 2 guys from the "B" group who stayed in the Next Step class caught back up with us while we were working on these drills.

When everyone seemed to have that pretty well mastered, the coaches stepped it up a notch and had us start working on pivot turns. While going around the same loop in the downhill direction, we were to lock the rear tire and slide around the turn. Nothing fancy or high speed, just a way of changing direction a bit quicker.

From there, a quick trail ride took us around and over to a straight sloping downhill. The slope was grassy with a slight rut running down the right side with the left side slanting towards the rut. The exercise was simply to come down the hill in a controlled manner, mostly with threshold braking (applying the most brake possible without locking up the wheels).




I generally locked up the rear wheel almost everytime. I would just ski the rear end and brake as needed with the front. I didn’t intentionally lock the rear, but I didn’t sweat it either. I also would release the clutch a bit and attempt to use engine braking. There were a few times I stalled the bike while going down the hill, but I didn’t worry about that either. I had control of the bike and I would just restart at the bottom. This was where I learned one of the major take-aways for me from the class. I forget if it was Jason or Jeff who pointed this out to me, but you cannot use both the rear brake and engine braking at the same time on a loose surface. When you use engine braking and apply the rear brake, the amount a braking power you apply to the rear wheel from the brake pedal is magnified since you are already slowing it with engine compression. If the rear wheel locks while the clutch is released…the engine stalls. He told me to try the hill without using my rear brake at all.. just front brake and slipping the clutch for engine braking. Wow, the rear wheel didn’t lock up and slide, there was just enough drag from the engine braking to keep the bike tracking straight and I had much more control with the front brake. I asked him about the slide turns we had just finished in the previous exercise.. He reminded me that it wasn’t that I couldn’t use the rear brake, just that I shouldn’t use the two methods together. This one bit of knowledge was very important on later trail rides where the hills got steeper, looser and had some fairly sharp turns.


Feeling like I had actually leaned something, we headed back to the compound for lunch

EOD3MC screwed with this post 04-02-2013 at 03:59 PM Reason: added photos
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:38 PM   #75
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So what was the rationale for the street bias tires? They get lots miles? They came on the bike? You need to learn to do it on sucky tires to be a better rider?
i was there this past weekend as well and i had bald-ass street tires on my 1200. it worried me a bit when i first got there, but then became a running joke and now i figure if i did it on them, i can do it on anything else. i think the rationale was purely a financial one, although someone else did complain about their tires and got them changed over lunch one day.

there were several bikes with new or newer heidenau k60's on them though.
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