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Old 07-10-2017, 08:23 AM   #1
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Default General off roading questions

So I finally found some really decent trails hidden away in New Jersey. 3-8 foot sand whoops, clay and rock 60 degree climbs with some ledges up to a foot high, and some narrow trails for bikes.

I kind of ignored the small trails because dirt wasn't new or much of a challenge, but I really felt myself wrestling the bike on the sand. I'd be doing 30 and had to punt the ground a lot to keep the bike from high siding me. Is this normal? Could it be my tire?

Also crossing from soft or hard pack to loose sand seemed hard. I choose to lower speed by torquing through it. It seemed to work. Slowing down by braking was obviously a no. My rear tire nearly swung sideways the first time I tried that. Would more speed at high rpm work too?

I was also confused about crossing water. I did it very lightly, but it seemed too easy. I didn't go too deep. But what is a challenge on the KLR? I want to try going deeper.

Lastly, hill climbing seemed really difficult. The TKC 70 is no knobby but it is a good tire. It was clay and rock. Is that just something I need to gain speed for? I thought about it but rolling backwards five times dissuaded me.

Also cheers, I didn't dump the bike my first time gunning the trails Although I came within inches of many helmet seeking branches
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Old 07-24-2017, 05:15 PM   #2
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Default Re: General off roading questions

You need a more aggressive tire, TKC's are good for very light offroading such as fire roads and such. There are a bunch of different tires that you can choose from. I'm a cheapskate, and bought shinko 244's
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Old 07-30-2017, 11:17 AM   #3
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Default Re: General off roading questions

Carry a small pump with you and air down your tires, how much you can air down depends on how much you weigh ect.
22PSI in the front and 28 rear is a good range unless you're a really big guy.

When riding sand get your butt up off the seat, move your body position slightly more toward the rear of the seat. Loosen your grip on the handlebars very slightly. This will allow the front end to float and prevent you from working against it, lowering your center of gravity by applying your weight on the pegs instead of the seat.

Look where you want to go.
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Old 08-15-2017, 06:44 AM   #4
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Default Re: General off roading questions

As per the tires, it's my commuter. I run it sideways and fast (FAST) so the 70's are the best I can do unless there is a better 60/40 recommendation. Maybe find me some cheap aftermarket rims and wrench before I go instead.

As per tire pressure: I already keep my tires around there for the road. Should it be higher? I have to dampen death wobble constantly at 85-90+ which may be related. I do spontaneously investigate trails too so is it a good balance?

As per standing on the pegs: I'll try that asap. That sounds like a great idea actually. Come to think of it, on the whoops I somewhat did that and miraculously my handling went very smooth.
What if I have to make an emergency adjustment? Drop to the seat and kick still?
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Old 08-15-2017, 02:57 PM   #5
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Default Re: General off roading questions

be sure to be on the balls of your feet, knees bent to absorb bumps and elbows out in an attach position. Staying fluid is the key.

Cheers
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Old 08-16-2017, 11:21 AM   #6
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Default Re: General off roading questions

Don't worry.. New Jersey potholes truly have beaten that into me . Before that my back hurt terribly for a month
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Old Yesterday, 02:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: General off roading questions

it would take a novel to explain it all but generally; set up the bike properly, wear proper gear, stand up and go.....speed and momentum are your friends in almost any challenging offroad situation....but be careful and don't ride too far over your abilities (and perhaps not alone).

Skid plate, bark busters and some sort of rad protection. Decent tires: I like my D606 rear, MT21 front combo and run them at 22psi front and rear, on and offroad (too lazy to bother adjusting up and down every time)

Cheers,
Dave
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Old Today, 07:57 AM   #8
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Default Re: General off roading questions

I'm definitely looking into better gear. I got my first set cheap as cheap can get. It works but also works against me. And the skid plate is on the list. I swear I bottomed out on a road of all things and cracked two of the mounting points. I fixed them with a cheap epoxy job but yeah, that thing was a one and done. Also my hand guards have hit everything. They look like hell. I'm keeping them for that KLR feel
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Old Today, 10:40 AM   #9
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Default Re: General off roading questions

In the gnarly stuff and especially soft deep sand or gravel, go only as fast as you want to be going when the dirt nap ensues.

Seriously, in deep soft stuff you just want to keep the bike moving with the back wheel churning the sand and not throwing a big roost. Light on the bars and let the bike dance around a bit steering it with peg weighting. and most importantly, keep your eyes up and way out in front of you - not looking at the ground you're about to plow.

Ditto on the D606, MT-21 combo. It's worked well for me for the last 7,000 miles of off-road and I'm putting on a fresh set for my ride in a couple of weeks that's going to include about 500 miles of soft sand in south Alabama, the panhandle of Florida, and south Georgia.
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