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Thread: Rookie Dirt Adventure

  1. #1
    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! Sorg67's Avatar
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    Rookie Dirt Adventure

    I have a DRZ400S that is a pavement princess. It is at the mechanic now getting some new rubber and some mechanical muffing and buffing. I will pick it up Saturday and drop off my Versys for the same treatment. My mechanic is good, but slow. So I expect he will have my Versys for a while and I will be riding exclusively my DRZ. During that time, I am contemplating trying a dirt road adventure.

    About 45 minutes from me is a national forest with some dirt roads. Thinking about taking a ride up there and riding around on the dirt roads. Planning to be very conservative. Just get a sense for what riding on a loose surface is like. From what I have read, there is more traction than you would think on dirt roads. I will be on new Bridgestone Trailwings.

    So here is my plan:

    Start slow and straight. Practice braking. Try a few rear tire brake skids. Maybe a few front tire skids at slow speed. Corner slowly. Work up to a little more speed. Nothing too dramatic. Just play round a little and get a feel for it.

    Sound like a good plan. Any tips, cautions or words of wisdom.

  2. #2
    Flirting With The Redline 8000 Posts! Trials's Avatar
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    Proceed with some caution Bridgestone Trailwings are fairly hard compound semi-knobby tires and not full on knobby tires, they have some limitations particularly on pea gravel type road surfaces, they do a little better in damp sand and soil where the tread can get some bite. Acceleration slides and rear tire skids are a lot more fun and predictable then front tire skids.

    Have fun, I wish I could join you take pictures of the roughest trails you can find, if you get a chance

    … might be wise to carry a compact bicycle type air pump and a tire pressure gauge with you, then you can experiment with different air pressures. Check you owner manual first to determine the recommended tire pressure hi-low range.

    & maybe pack a small first aid kit and some zip ties just incase you find somebody in the woods that needs those things
    oh, and your swiss army knife that you should always have on you anyway.
    Last edited by Trials; 02-23-2016 at 01:06 PM.

  3. #3
    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! Sorg67's Avatar
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    Thanks - good tips.

    Not sure what is up there, but I plan to stay on dirt roads. Perhaps wide hard packed trails if I find any.

    I got the trailwings since I plan to mostly use the bike on road.

    I will be careful with the front tire skids, if I even try any. I want to gain a little feel for what it is like when the bike does not have perfect traction. I am thinking that I would creep up on the front tire skids with straight front brake stopping with gradual increase in firmness.

    I am sure I would be able to try more on a little 125 full dirt bike, but I will do the best I can with what I have. Nothing too bold...

  4. #4
    Flirting With The Redline Mad Matt's Avatar
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    Trailwings, also known as Deathwings...

  5. #5
    Flirting With The Redline 8000 Posts! Trials's Avatar
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    If you're sliding the front tire make sure the rear is locked up equally well. Arms extended, front wheel straight, feet on pegs with heels down and bum low and rearward as you can get on that tall bike. With a modern Trials bike that would result in a crazy short stopping distance and some serious G force from almost any possible speed.


    now he's trying to figure out how to keep his right heel down and the rear brake locked up simultaneously
    must be one of those little reasons Trials boots have such a flexible sole
    Last edited by Trials; 02-23-2016 at 01:57 PM.

  6. #6
    Flirting With The Redline Mad Matt's Avatar
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    Sliding the front is something I've only ever done by accident while trying to turn sharply in loose gravel, and it has never ended well.

  7. #7
    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! Sorg67's Avatar
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    Hmmmm.... Sounds like experimenting with sliding the front should be saved for another day.

    Could not find anything other than trailwings that would fit my bike and would be suitable for mostly pavement riding.

  8. #8
    Flirting With The Redline 8000 Posts! Trials's Avatar
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    Sounds like a solid plan but if you change your mind we want to see it on video

  9. #9
    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! Sorg67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Matt View Post
    Trailwings, also known as Deathwings...
    Got my DRZ back with adjusted shocks and new "Deathwings". I hope I did not make a mistake with my tire choice. I got them since I ride mostly on road and they were the only road oriented tires I could find for that bike.

    Anyway, the shock adjustment has made a world of difference. It handles soooooo much better. I have the Versys at the mechanic getting new rubber and some muffing and buffing. Will be riding the DRZ exclusively until I get the Versys back. But the way it rides not, I think the DRZ is the better fit for most of my riding.

    Anyway, will not be able to take my dirt adventure this weekend, maybe next.

  10. #10
    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! Sorg67's Avatar
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    Still have not taken my rookie dirt adventure, but I have planned a route. Nothing extreme. Just some dirt roads. They look like they might be a little sandy from Google Earth, but hard to tell.

    Anyway, I plan to just ride slowly and see how it feels to have a little loose ground under me. I am sure it will be a little freaky at first.

    Comments welcome.

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