ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > The perfect line and other riding myths
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 06-12-2012, 11:40 AM   #31
viverrid
not dead yet
 
Joined: Jan 2004
Location: Western Mass
Oddometer: 30,482
Adventure bike gearing

One of the problems with riding the big, highway-cruising adventure bikes in the rough stuff is that they are geared pretty stiff.

On my old DRZ whuch was geared way, way down, I could engine brake at idle down a steep hill, not touching either brake, and the bike would unreel down the hill in the 3 to 6 MPH range. If I was brave, I could stand on the pegs, keep it up, and not try to stop. No brakes involved. If I braked, I'd have to clutch, and then that messed up everything.

Not something I could do on my V-Strom 1000.
__________________
Advanced pancreatic cancer found 04/2010. Have outlived +/- 97% of patients with this diagnosis, but 08/2013 cancer now in liver, vascular system and lungs with 20+ lung tumors. Sick/weak sometimes, not riding much. No more treatments & now under Hospice care.
viverrid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2012, 11:42 AM   #32
DAKEZ
Beastly Adventurer
 
DAKEZ's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2007
Location: OR
Oddometer: 19,490
........................
__________________
“Watch out for everything bigger than you, they have the "right of weight"
Bib
DAKEZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2012, 11:45 AM   #33
Uncle Pollo
happy cachiporra
 
Uncle Pollo's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2006
Location: Albuquerque, Neue Messico
Oddometer: 47,355
Quote:
Originally Posted by DAKEZ View Post
........................
what?

Slide with the rear tire ... on and off.
Uncle Pollo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2012, 12:02 PM   #34
baloneyskin daddy
bikaholic
 
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: southcentral PA.
Oddometer: 1,943
Hop off one side and wrestle it down like a steer in a rodeo.
baloneyskin daddy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2012, 12:27 PM   #35
LittleRedToyota
Yinzer
 
LittleRedToyota's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Pittsburgh
Oddometer: 2,148
Quote:
Originally Posted by baloneyskin daddy View Post
Hop off one side and wrestle it down like a steer in a rodeo.
i actually did that once...unintentionally, but it worked like a charm.

i got about halfway up a hill and started looping the bike. i came off the back and was trying to turn the bike sideways in the process so it would land on its side and slide back down the hill instead of tumbling down trying to land on me and break all its parts off.

somehow, i ended up sitting on my butt with my feet facing downhill with the gas tank on my lap and still holding onto the bars. both the bike and i started sliding like that and it was too steep to stop the slide.

slid a good 50 feet like that until we got to the bottom and stopped. didn't even break off a turn signal.

i patted the DRZ on the side of the tank, crawled out from under her, stood her back up, started her, and hit the hill again with more momentum...
LittleRedToyota is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2012, 03:50 PM   #36
ibafran
villagidiot
 
Joined: Apr 2007
Location: chicagoland
Oddometer: 1,241
Not an expert but will add my 2 cents. Mucho good advice. But the OP has mentioned 'switchbacks' and many posts do not address this part. My scenario involves my loaded Trident coming down Pikes Peak before it was paved. Getting the bike to corner downhill on gravel with street tires requires planning and some experience.

As posted by many, use both brakes and be hard on the front IN A STRAIGHT LINE before the turn. I like to guesstimate how fast I can stand to come out of the switchback without crashing. Then a guess how quickly I will pick up speed rolling down and around the switchback without exiting with too much speed. All this guessing gives me an idea of how much switchback entrance speed I might be able to tolerate. So I brake early and hard on the straight before the switchback and HALVE my guestimated entrance speed for the switchback.

At turn-in for the switchback, I get off the front brake. I may squeeze the clutch as drive is not the problem here. Rather than let the bike freewheel around the switchback, I may drag the rear brake a little just so the bike does not pick up all the speed it might if I was off the rear brake all the way around. (Some bikes have enough engine compression that the rear brake might not be needed here.) If I am going to lock a wheel mid-turn, it is going to be the rear. As soon as my exit line from the switchback widens (vanishing point recedes), I can release any remaining rear brake and let out the clutch if I have squeezed it. As soon as the bike is verticle and straight, I can apply hard braking as needed for the next switchback.

The above technique allows me to roll pretty fast on the gravel straights and still slow enough to make the downhill switchbacks. My budds on the same trip were a lot slower. And I caught up to a lot of riders that were ahead of me. Because passing in those conditions is too risky for me, I pulled off at waysides to let leading riders get ahead and allow my budds to catch up. Everyone had fun and it was a great trip.
__________________
"beware the grease mud. for therein lies the skid demon."-memory from an old Honda safety pamphlet
ibafran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2012, 04:22 PM   #37
viverrid
not dead yet
 
Joined: Jan 2004
Location: Western Mass
Oddometer: 30,482
Quote:
Originally Posted by ibafran View Post
...As posted by many, use both brakes and be hard on the front IN A STRAIGHT LINE before the turn.
You CAN trailbrake, but it is certainly EASIER to straight line brake before the turn.

People who trailbrake properly can pass you while you're braking, but people who trailbrake improperly will be on their asses in the weeds outside the turn as you pass them.

If you don't have the experience or equipment to routinely and comfortable trailbrake (on or off pavement), then don't do it; straight line brake instead.
__________________
Advanced pancreatic cancer found 04/2010. Have outlived +/- 97% of patients with this diagnosis, but 08/2013 cancer now in liver, vascular system and lungs with 20+ lung tumors. Sick/weak sometimes, not riding much. No more treatments & now under Hospice care.
viverrid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2012, 05:11 PM   #38
CafeRacer99 OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Apr 2012
Location: Las Vegas
Oddometer: 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by ibafran View Post
Not an expert but will add my 2 cents. Mucho good advice. But the OP has mentioned 'switchbacks' and many posts do not address this part.

Yes, thanks for this. There is a lot of good info in this thread. I appreciate everyone's responses. I feel very much like I'm on the right track. Most of what has been suggested is right in line with my instincts, along with some things I'll try later after I get a better feel for the loose stuff.

One thing that seems to come up in every thread about big bikes on this forum is the suggestion to get a small dirtbike to learn on. I guess I see some logic in that, and if I was completely new to motorcycles I would probably agree 100%. But I don't want to ride a small dirtbike, I want to ride my bike in new ways and on new terrain.

I mean, once a person understands the concept that locking up the front wheel is to be avoided, how does it help to learn where the lock up point on dirt is on a 250, when the goal is to learn where the lock up point is on a 1200? What I'm getting at is, isn't this apples to oranges almost?

I don't want to "steer with my rear wheel" or flat track around curves, you know? Just explore some easy backcountry.
__________________
Ride to Coffee
Coffee to Ride
CafeRacer99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2012, 05:58 PM   #39
Harvey Krumpet
Studly Adventurer
 
Joined: Dec 2011
Location: The Shaky Isles
Oddometer: 858
Quote:
Originally Posted by CafeRacer99 View Post
Yes, thanks for this. There is a lot of good info in this thread. I appreciate everyone's responses. I feel very much like I'm on the right track. Most of what has been suggested is right in line with my instincts, along with some things I'll try later after I get a better feel for the loose stuff.

One thing that seems to come up in every thread about big bikes on this forum is the suggestion to get a small dirtbike to learn on. I guess I see some logic in that, and if I was completely new to motorcycles I would probably agree 100%. But I don't want to ride a small dirtbike, I want to ride my bike in new ways and on new terrain.

I mean, once a person understands the concept that locking up the front wheel is to be avoided, how does it help to learn where the lock up point on dirt is on a 250, when the goal is to learn where the lock up point is on a 1200?
What I'm getting at is, isn't this apples to oranges almost?

I don't want to "steer with my rear wheel" or flat track around curves, you know? Just explore some easy backcountry.
I would suggest finding the lock up point is moot, it's about getting the feel of the front locking up & having the presence of mind to back off the brake before a tumble or maintaining your steering . Much easier on a light bike but the technique & feel is the same regardless of bike size or tires.

If you want to enjoy back country riding the more skills you learn the more pleasure you will have. Rear wheel steering, sliding the back a little to point the bike in the right direction rather than leaning & running out of grip is fun & very helpful, not a "look at me" heroic. Coming into a downhill curve on the loose I brake with the bike upright to correct my speed, both brakes & use the throttle to get the bike through the corner. A bit ass puckering to begin with, your instincts don't like it, but it that is the way to do it.

I've been on the same path with my TDM, it's a bit portly, but I'm now comfortable fully loaded, two up, on some of our steep, slippery, gnarly forest roads. The biggest thing by far is looking well ahead & braking in lots of time with the bike upright where you have grip so your entry speed is correct. They are unforgiving if you have to brake late & hard... Start gently & practice, the bikes are very capable.
Harvey Krumpet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2012, 07:49 PM   #40
AlsoRan
Lone Trail Of Dust
 
AlsoRan's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2007
Location: West Coast
Oddometer: 384
Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleRedToyota View Post
still use the front brake.

on lighter bikes, i like to lock up the rear and make it plow sometimes. not sure that would be good on a big bike, though.

but, still the front brake is very important. definitely use it a lot when going straight and not over obstacles. release it to allow the front tire to roll over any obstacle and then get back on it after the obstacle. release it as much as you need to while turning.

you can actually use the front brake a lot more than you might think in gravel and loose dirt...even while turning. i suggest getting a feel for your particular bike by experimenting on flat gavel roads or the like at first. start out slowly and applying just a little front brake in a straight line. gradually increase how much brake you use...and then how fast you start off. until you start to skid the front. once you are comfortable braking just to the point of skidding the front in a straight line, repeat the whole exercise except while turning. that way, you will develop a feel for how much front brake you can use on your particular bike in different situations.

but, the two keys, imho, to stopping going downhill or going very slowly downhill are:

1. do use your front brake.

2. let off the front brake when the front tire is going over an obstacle. release the brake before the obstacle...roll over the obstacle...then reapply the front brake.

however...

the real key to riding downhills in dirt and gravel is...don't try to stop. just keep riding as though you are on flat ground. it seems scary and counterintuitive at first, but it is way easier, uses a lot less energy, makes you *less* likely to crash, and you ride faster to boot. use the brakes to keep yourself from picking up too much speed and getting too out of control (especially if there are switchbacks), but, go ahead and ride down the hill...don't try to stop the whole way down. you can stop amazingly quickly once you get to the bottom (you don't even need a long run out at the bottom). the day that i really got that was, for me, one of those "aha!" moments that made riding much easier and more enjoyable from that day out.
+1...this is really good advise from Little Red Toyota.

Just a few thoughts as well...the Super T's ABS is not like any other. It works very well on gravel and downhills. I turned it off only once when I first got the bike because of a steep downhill and knowing that gravity would take over, I would have to ride it all the way down to the bottom without being able to slow it down. So I went to old school technique because I did not know the ABS enough yet. Next time I'm there I will go with ABS though. As mentioned above, keep riding like its flat ground (it's just tilted a little), but at first never ride past your vision. For the Super T try ABS ON and TC OFF. Use the middle finger to apply front brake (ok to apply heavy braking once you get used to how the bike behaves). With the linked brakes there will be some assist, but apply as mush as you need to keep your track. Do not select too low of a gear, keep compression braking to a minimum, instead use brakes.

One thing with the big bike is to try and visualize the "fall line" or where gravity is going to want to take you (usually to the lower side if off-camber, or towards the rut etc.), and be prepared to counter this if this is where you do not want to go. Especially if there are switchbacks. It will take more effort. The Super T does not flex so it will respond well to your inputs. Also try and read the base of the dirt, if 1" of gravel or 3" of gravel on top of the base. At first go where there is less depth. Sometimes more is better but thats another story! Also it will be more difficult when you are riding with street tire pressures. This likely will be the case most of the time, but if you can lower the pressure this will help quite a bit. The main thing is to have fun, take time building up to it and have an out with these big bikes and enjoy!
__________________
2012 Yamaha Super Ténéré
AlsoRan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2012, 08:12 PM   #41
Idle
Studly Adventurer
 
Joined: Jun 2011
Location: Northern California
Oddometer: 586
Let some of the air out of your tires and relax and enjoy the newfound traction. Spend some time pumping your tires back up when you get back to the pavement.

Or if you're stubborn, and know it won't make a difference, just go faster and faster down the hill. Eventually you will come to a stop.
Idle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2012, 03:47 AM   #42
B.Curvin
Feral Chia tamer
 
B.Curvin's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2004
Location: Left of the dial. Canton, NC
Oddometer: 2,694
Quote:
Originally Posted by Idle View Post
Let some of the air out of your tires
+40

I totally forgot that part. I've been riding light weight dual sports off road for ages so I don't think about it. On the DR350 I just sold I never ran more than 20 psi, even if I would be on pavement all day. 12 psi if it was all day dirt. I just bought an 09 KLR650 and run the tires at 35psi in the interest of mpg and tire life (it's my commuter).

The first time I hit a gravel road I almost ate it. Good lord that thing was squirrely. I aired them down to 16 or 18 psi and BAM, I was late breaking and sliding (in a good way) all over the place.
__________________
Mutt'n the custard.

Porsche Audi VW
B.Curvin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2012, 07:15 AM   #43
markk53
jack of all trades...
 
markk53's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2007
Location: Delaware Ohio
Oddometer: 7,611
Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleRedToyota View Post
i actually did that once...unintentionally, but it worked like a charm.

i got about halfway up a hill and started looping the bike. i came off the back and was trying to turn the bike sideways in the process so it would land on its side and slide back down the hill instead of tumbling down trying to land on me and break all its parts off.

somehow, i ended up sitting on my butt with my feet facing downhill with the gas tank on my lap and still holding onto the bars. both the bike and i started sliding like that and it was too steep to stop the slide.

slid a good 50 feet like that until we got to the bottom and stopped. didn't even break off a turn signal.

i patted the DRZ on the side of the tank, crawled out from under her, stood her back up, started her, and hit the hill again with more momentum...
Like I said, some top level desert racers used that technique all the time when the downhill was really rough rocky stuff. It is called "bulldoging" in rodeo as well as in this case.
__________________
Ever get lost? You know, that good kind of lost - come to a dirt road intersection and you have no idea where you are or which way to turn? I like when that happens!

Mark - klx678
95 KLX650C w/Vulcan piston bigbore, Now an 09 KLX250S, selling my 90 Zephyr 550
markk53 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2012, 07:21 AM   #44
CafeRacer99 OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Apr 2012
Location: Las Vegas
Oddometer: 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by Idle View Post
Let some of the air out of your tires and relax and enjoy the newfound traction. Spend some time pumping your tires back up when you get back to the pavement.

Or if you're stubborn, and know it won't make a difference, just go faster and faster down the hill. Eventually you will come to a stop.
What is a safe psi to set for tubeless tires? I took 10 psi out on my first foray down a dirt road the other day. So I was at 24 front and 28 rear. (And I felt the difference.)
Could I have gone further?
__________________
Ride to Coffee
Coffee to Ride
CafeRacer99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2012, 09:53 AM   #45
Alleycatdad
Unbunch yer panties!
 
Alleycatdad's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2008
Location: True Norcal, not that Bay Area/Sacto Crap...
Oddometer: 1,385
The best thing I did to increase confidence on steep dirt downhills of all kinds was to learn to stop on them.

What?

Yep. Find a not-very steep hill -that you are already comfortable on- with decent traction and practice using both brakes to stop-or nearly stop- the bike until you feel like you could do it in your sleep and that it's a stupid thing to keep practicing.

Then add more steep or less traction and do it again.

and again.

and again.

Keep adding loose and steep until you're comfortable with the capabilities of your bike on the surfaces on which you ride. Done right, with both brakes and in progressive steps, you should end up pretty amazed with what the big girl will do on those loose steep downhills.

Funny thing is, though, once you've done all that, you won't feel the need to ride as slowly down the hills, which will help with bike control more than any amount of braking. It's much, much harder to control the bike in loose stuff and with weird weight transfer riding as slowly as you can than it is with some speed on 'er. This is why "slow races" are such tests of bike handling skill, and that's on the FLAT. As you begin to add some speed, start experimenting with keeping your body in the "neutral attack" position, not with your butt on the rear fender. You'll find that as you add speed, becoming more neutral on the bike makes it handle better, even on the steep loose downhills.

Like most else, TITS helps. That's, "Time In The Saddle..."

The confidence of knowing you CAN slow down and/or stop in the steep loose stuff often removes the need to actually DO it.

Both brakes, stopping, progressively steeper and looser. You can slow to the balance point instead of stopping if it's hard to get a foot down with a full stop.

This exercise is boring if done right, but results in a HUGE confidence boost in the dirt if you stick with it.

Steve
__________________
When in doubt, PIN IT! It may not help, but it'll sure end the suspense...
Wretched Exce$$ See ADVr's around the world-ADV spotwalla page
Riding Wretched Wretched Passes
Bad decisions make good stories.
Alleycatdad is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 01:44 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014