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Old 03-17-2014, 12:25 PM   #1
StorckWhip OP
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Crashed in a rut-need some tips

So I need some input: Low speed low risk situation in a field where I was playing after successfully mounting up my first set of TKCs. Was having a blast and feeling increasingly comfortable so I elected to go through a section that is a bit of a small (2-3' ) rolling "whoop" with grass on one side where I had been riding around a set of ruts with muddy puddles at the bottom. I was not fully commited to the rut line and kind of went in 'last minute' and I don't think that I was quite lined up properly. I was standing on the pegs, weight neutral, but perhaps a bit stiff on the bars. Obviously this ended with me on the ground next to a sleeping beast that I had just filled with gas. The good news is that I'm confident that the bike crashes well with the AltRider bars and that 150lb of me can pick up the beast fully fueled when it's on it's side. My intent would have been to just line up in the center of the rut, stay loose, stay on the gas a little, and squirt right out. Is there any reason that that plan should have failed (other than the obvious coming into the rut at a slight angle).

What is the collective wisdom on how to ride in ruts? Or...perhaps...the wisdom is avoid when possible? But clearly there will be times when it's impossible to avoid them. So what then?
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Old 03-17-2014, 12:33 PM   #2
Little Bike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StorckWhip View Post
So I need some input: Low speed low risk situation in a field where I was playing after successfully mounting up my first set of TKCs. Was having a blast and feeling increasingly comfortable so I elected to go through a section that is a bit of a small (2-3' ) rolling "whoop" with grass on one side where I had been riding around a set of ruts with muddy puddles at the bottom. I was not fully commited to the rut line and kind of went in 'last minute' and I don't think that I was quite lined up properly. I was standing on the pegs, weight neutral, but perhaps a bit stiff on the bars. Obviously this ended with me on the ground next to a sleeping beast that I had just filled with gas. The good news is that I'm confident that the bike crashes well with the AltRider bars and that 150lb of me can pick up the beast fully fueled when it's on it's side. My intent would have been to just line up in the center of the rut, stay loose, stay on the gas a little, and squirt right out. Is there any reason that that plan should have failed (other than the obvious coming into the rut at a slight angle).

What is the collective wisdom on how to ride in ruts? Or...perhaps...the wisdom is avoid when possible? But clearly there will be times when it's impossible to avoid them. So what then?
You mostly likely sneaked a peek at the side of the rut and where your eyes go, so goes the bike and you clipped the side. When I'm on stuff like that I only look where the bike needs to go; resist the temptation.
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Old 03-17-2014, 12:35 PM   #3
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be careful with ruts!!! Was going 5mph in a rut and fell down and broke my leg in 2 places, the good ole' tib/fib break.

Guys said afterwards its because my toes weren't fully pointing in towards the bike but out, so when I went down the toes caught on the side of the rut and twisted until snap!

Haven't been on a dirt bike since but will definitely not forget that piece of advice, better pass it along!
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Old 03-17-2014, 02:24 PM   #4
folknride
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Been there - done that - 4 days in hospital with a collapsed lung.
Did you high side? (I did).
If you're on a big bike riding slowly and drop your front wheel into a decent rut at a shallow angle, you're probably goin' down .
I've reviewed my dump many times in my head, and all I've come up with is:
Go faster - the suspension more likely to handle it.
Gas it to lift the front! Don't listen to your gut that says "danger - slow down"
Get a good steering damper.
And as others said - if you're in the rut with both wheels, ride it out and don't look down.
Or you could practice that thing they do in the GS Challenge where you side-slip along a log with the front on one side and the rear on the other
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Old 03-17-2014, 02:27 PM   #5
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I'll disagree with staying loose in a rut, and even say that may have been part of what put you down. When you're loose, the rut controls, and will frequently ping pong the front wheel, to your detriment. Strong arm it, and stay in control. Many time, you can pull the bike back out of the rut.
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Old 03-17-2014, 05:18 PM   #6
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Last week I had a surprise get off. After going over it many times in my head I think figured it out. I was going straight on a sloppy gravel road enjoying the GRP stabilizer I installed before my trip. This was my first ride with a stabilizer and I was shocked as to how well it helped me handle the bike.

Then I hit about a 4" rock that shoved me into a shallow ditch. The bike stayed straight and I thought I was going to get out of it. Traveled about 40-50' and my right fork and crash bar caught a sapling. That's when the bike stopped but I did not.

The toe in is a great suggestion. I would think staying on the throttle would have helped you. Dual sport training teaches to stand up and lean to the outside when taking a turn slow.


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Old 03-17-2014, 07:06 PM   #7
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No two ruts are the same, and every rut can change pending weather, the amount of use it gets, and type of vehicle doing the pounding! I would suggest pay close attention to your line, and the conditions there of. You really need to stay fluid on the bike and follow the front tires lead. That's not to say that the rear tire can't take you out, but you'll often have a chance to react to movement in back... Washing out the front can be really hard to recover from, and unlike when the rear drifts - correcting the front drift can sometimes be a bit counter intuitive. Go ride, and take notes!
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxtrapper View Post
I'll disagree with staying loose in a rut, and even say that may have been part of what put you down. When you're loose, the rut controls, and will frequently ping pong the front wheel, to your detriment. Strong arm it, and stay in control. Many time, you can pull the bike back out of the rut.
I agree with this and also agree with whoever said to just ride it out. Don't try to get out of it once youre in it. Look where you want to go, like someone else said. Everyone is giving good advice, no one is wrong. experience will fix you. It takes time...
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Old 03-18-2014, 01:16 AM   #9
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It's not normally the ruts themselves that drop me. The killer is getting the front on one side of the centre ridge, the rear on the other, if it's at all slick, odds are you are kissing dirt no matter what you try and do.

Survival means correcting the wheel placement as a priority and the few times I've managed it's been brutal and ugly - basically, whatever worked.

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Old 03-18-2014, 03:34 AM   #10
Eddie G
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I spend most of my time at slow speed in fields and seated is better than standing when riding through ruts and loose terrain. Seated seems to connect you to the bike and lets you throw it around a little better when you need to.
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Old 03-18-2014, 06:16 AM   #11
Seth650
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddie G View Post
I spend most of my time at slow speed in fields and seated is better than standing when riding through ruts and loose terrain. Seated seems to connect you to the bike and lets you throw it around a little better when you need to.

I compromise, butt off the seat, knees bent and weight on the pegs, but thighs on the tank allowing some leverage.
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:04 AM   #12
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Stand up weight back, stay loose, head up looking far ahead where you want to go, get ready to dab and pray. works for me most times.
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Old 03-18-2014, 10:05 AM   #13
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What has always worked best for me with ruts is to avoid them. If I can't avoid them then all of the above applies.

Namaste'
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Old 03-18-2014, 03:18 PM   #14
StorckWhip OP
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I'll take this all into account, thanks! I elected to enter the rut just to 'see.' Well, now I feel like I need to go back and get it right! I'm sticking with standing up though as I'm afraid of being crushed under 600lbs of Tenere.
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Old 03-18-2014, 04:29 PM   #15
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Stand up, go with the rut until you're ready, get your weight back, and give it the gas when you want to pop the front end out of it. With the front end unweighted, you can steer right out of it. Don't pussyfoot around with the gas either. GIVE IT THE GAS. Even tug a wheely if you have to. You want the front to pop out of the rut, and not drag along in it.

Don't ride with your toes hanging down or facing outboard. Ride with the balls of your feet on the pegs. Keep your toes pointed straight ahead or slightly inboard when they're on the pegs.
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