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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 08-18-2017, 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 08-19-2017, 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 08-19-2017, 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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Old 08-20-2017, 09:05 AM   #10
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Default Re: General off roading questions

I find 'when in doubt...gas it' and be sure and close your eyes for the really scary stuff. Works for me...
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Old 08-20-2017, 10:14 AM   #11
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Default Re: General off roading questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck B View Post
I find 'when in doubt...gas it' and be sure and close your eyes for the really scary stuff. Works for me...
That's a very cool photo. There have been a few really steep steps on some of our rides but nothing quite that, ah, impressive.
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Old 08-20-2017, 10:20 AM   #12
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Default Re: General off roading questions

KTM behind me decided to bull dog it down. What was impressive was the KTM that was in front of me...he went down it on his KTM Adv

That was my first ride on my KLR so I didn't know its capability...not much but more than I expected.
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Old 08-20-2017, 11:03 AM   #13
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Default Re: General off roading questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck B View Post
KTM behind me decided to bull dog it down. What was impressive was the KTM that was in front of me...he went down it on his KTM Adv

That was my first ride on my KLR so I didn't know its capability...not much but more than I expected.
In those moments I sometimes say to myself "Just commit to it!"

I think the bike handles it pretty darn well considering the cost of the components that go in to it.
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Old 08-20-2017, 03:48 PM   #14
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Default Re: General off roading questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck B View Post
KTM behind me decided to bull dog it down. What was impressive was the KTM that was in front of me...he went down it on his KTM Adv

That was my first ride on my KLR so I didn't know its capability...not much but more than I expected.
Good god, that second pic is intense.
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Old 08-20-2017, 10:54 PM   #15
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Default Re: General off roading questions

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Good god, that second pic is intense.
I'll assume you are talking about the KTM Super Enduro being bull dogged? I think the camera person wasn't quite 'level' with his camera. It was steep for a KLR but the pic seems to make it steeper. At the time I had no KLR ride experience and on a dirt bike that drop off would barely register a 2nd thought. When I landed the front tire at the bottom the upper triples creaked and groaned in protest. Didn't help that the front forks were already bottomed before I dropped off lol.
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Old 08-23-2017, 09:54 AM   #16
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Default Re: General off roading questions

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Originally Posted by PittsDriver View Post
I think the bike handles it pretty darn well considering the cost of the components that go in to it.
Yep; a few careful upgrades (suspension and brakes) and the KLR surprises alot of people......I had zero issues keeping up with and usually outriding much more expensive bikes on the last event I entered. The KLR's dirt DNA is old and buried under girth and budget components.....but it IS under there if you dig a bit!


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Old 08-23-2017, 09:06 PM   #17
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Default Re: General off roading questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by DPelletier View Post
Yep; a few careful upgrades (suspension and brakes) and the KLR surprises alot of people......I had zero issues keeping up with and usually outriding much more expensive bikes on the last event I entered. The KLR's dirt DNA is old and buried under girth and budget components.....but it IS under there if you dig a bit!


Dave
Perfectly said! Back in early 80's the KLR was quite the DS bike of the time. Nothing came close. Always interesting to read those old reviews and how they raved about the brakes. First time I rode a Gen1 I was in fear of my life at how horrible the front brakes performed. I was riding back in those days and just dont remember how truly bad they were.
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Old 08-24-2017, 11:01 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Chuck B View Post
Perfectly said! Back in early 80's the KLR was quite the DS bike of the time. Nothing came close. Always interesting to read those old reviews and how they raved about the brakes. First time I rode a Gen1 I was in fear of my life at how horrible the front brakes performed. I was riding back in those days and just dont remember how truly bad they were.
I remember thinking the drum brakes on my 1982 RM250Z worked great! ...didn't know any better.


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Old 08-24-2017, 11:14 AM   #19
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Default Re: General off roading questions

Well. I wish we had cool terrain like that. But Jersey does have lots of sand.
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