Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14

Thread: getting into off-roading

  1. #1
    Flirting With The Redline dpwell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    325

    getting into off-roading

    hi - I've been riding about a decade now and have done a few multi day trips around BC, the Yukon, Alberta and Montana. I'm increasingly curious about going off pavement and exploring the plethora of gravel roads arounds here. Are there any 'must-read' books out there about this? I'm a complete noob in this department, but I have a dream one day to ride to the Arctic ocean, which would involve taking on the Dempster highway from Dawson City, Yukon, to Tuktoyaktuk, NWT.

    I have a honda cb500x, which is a street bike that seems like an adventure bike until you look closely. What do you folks think would be the minimum prep for such a bike? I know someone who does extensive off-roading on this bike and only has a bash plate, engine guard and some reasonable tires. I think he even started with the bike strictly stock, and simply let his tire pressure down a bit.

    thanks.
    2018 Honda CRF250L ('Rhonda')
    2015 Honda CB500X ('Betty')
    Previous bikes:
    2009 Ninja 250 ('Saki')
    2007 Honda CBR125
    http://www.vancouvermusictheory.com

  2. #2
    Miles of smiles We've stopped counting... asp125's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    West siiide
    Posts
    28,335
    Blog Entries
    1
    You can go quite far on gravel with reasonable tires. I got started on my F650GS with just stock ADV tires, not knobbies.
    When life throws you curves, aim for the apex
    [sigpic][/sigpic]
    08 Spyder RS SM5 "big Bird" \ 12 S'TtripleR "stripper" \ 02 VFR800 "big red" \ 09 KLX250-S
    Sold: 97 Ninja 500R / 03 SV650N / 01 Ducati 750SS / 73 CB350-Four / 03 BMWF650GS / 08 Gixxer600 / 09 KLX250S "Gumby" / 06 Thruxton "crumpet" / 91 VFR750 /03 Gixxer6 the bass boat
    my Facebook, SpeedShotsPhotography
    MITGC #22

    "I have seen fat kids on Segways go through corners faster."

  3. #3
    I am a by no means an off road king, nor do I ride particularly fast off road, but I ride and have ridden on gravel and dirt roads a lot. Switch up the tires with something a little better for gravel and dirt. You donít need to go full on off-road tires, but you do need something that is a good 50/50 or 80/20 tire for confidence. Lowering the pressure helps them grip better but unless you have rim locks donít go too low if you have a tube tire. Gravel is scary at first because it makes your rear tire go all squirrelly sometimes, but remember physics will make it line back up. And recognize that you arenít riding a dirt bike and to learn your bikeís abilities and limitations. Spend some time learning the physics involved and it will help out a lot too. Itís a motorcycle and traction is what we care about, but what you do to maintain traction on dirt and gravel are sometimes a little different.

    A good book for getting some of the basics of off-road riding is How To Ride OffRoad Motorcycles. It will give you some basic techniques that will translate well to dualsport riding, but it is for dirt bikes. But itís a good instructional book. Best thing to do though is find a gravel or dirt road and ride. The more you do it the better you will get. Then you can look into doing crazy mods to make your bike a super adventure bike. The Rally Raide kit from Giant Loop gets top reviews for the CB500X.
    2017 Honda CRF250l
    1982 Kawasaki KZ1100 - Sold
    2001 KLR 650 - Sold
    2004 ST1300 - Sold
    2002 Honda Shadow 750 - Sold


  4. #4
    Flirting With The Redline Mad Matt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Eastern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    865
    If you check out the CB500X thread and the Rally Raid CB500X thread over at advrider.com you can see lots of examples of how people are setting up these bikes for off road and gravel road riding.

  5. #5
    Miles of smiles We've stopped counting... asp125's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    West siiide
    Posts
    28,335
    Blog Entries
    1
    One of the better videos I've found is "Dual Sport Riding Techniques" that covers some basic techniques off road. DSR (Dualsportriding.com) doesn't have it on their website anymore but you might hunt down a copy.
    When life throws you curves, aim for the apex
    [sigpic][/sigpic]
    08 Spyder RS SM5 "big Bird" \ 12 S'TtripleR "stripper" \ 02 VFR800 "big red" \ 09 KLX250-S
    Sold: 97 Ninja 500R / 03 SV650N / 01 Ducati 750SS / 73 CB350-Four / 03 BMWF650GS / 08 Gixxer600 / 09 KLX250S "Gumby" / 06 Thruxton "crumpet" / 91 VFR750 /03 Gixxer6 the bass boat
    my Facebook, SpeedShotsPhotography
    MITGC #22

    "I have seen fat kids on Segways go through corners faster."

  6. #6
    Flirting With The Redline alba's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    322
    As well as a bash plate and engine guards I would consider adding hand guards such as BarkBuster. The odds are high you will drop it and hand guards can prevent you snapping your levers off. Off road boots to protect your ankles would also be at the top of my list.

    Like you I have an adventure'esque looking bike (Versys) that is really just a street bike with taller suspension. I'm not sure what the suspension is like on the CB500 but the Versys suspension is more suited to a race track than a rough forest road, so bumps and potholes can be scary. I ended up buying a KLX250S to learn to ride offroad and I've dropped that bike more times than I can count and it doesn't care. Once I gained some skill on the KLX I was much more comfortable taking the Versys places it shouldn't be. In short, while you can learn this stuff on your CB500 you might learn faster if you get a bike more suited to the task.

    Lastly, if it is an option I would try and take a dirt bike class. Personally I always learn so much more from hands on instruction than reading or even YouTube videos.

    Good luck in your travels. You have a world of great roads to explore on your doorstep.

  7. #7
    Flirting With The Redline 8000 Posts! Trials's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    8,713

  8. #8
    Flirting With The Redline Mad Matt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Eastern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    865
    Hand guards will also help protect against breaking levers and/or fingers if you should bump into a tree. Not that such a thing has ever happened to me, of course.

  9. #9
    Flirting With The Redline dpwell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    325
    thanks for the replies. I think I'm gonna start with a rally raid engine guard, new tires and hand guards. I can take it from there.
    2018 Honda CRF250L ('Rhonda')
    2015 Honda CB500X ('Betty')
    Previous bikes:
    2009 Ninja 250 ('Saki')
    2007 Honda CBR125
    http://www.vancouvermusictheory.com

  10. #10
    Flirting With The Redline Mad Matt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Eastern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    865
    You can get the Rally Raid stuff from rmabtc.com here in Canada. Not sure if it's cheaper than ordering from Giant Loop or directly from Rally Raid in the U.K., but at least you don't play the will-they-or-won't-they-charge-me-customs-fees game.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •