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Discussion Starter #1
got up early today and got on the bike, ran up the highway into the lower adirondacks and explored some dirt/gravel/season roads in my hometown.

bike is fantastic on gravel roads. i get a bit of shudder on washboard stuff, less than i expected, and hope to alleviate it with suspension upgrades. handles well, predictable and controllable, even when the rear end brakes loose a bit under harder acceleration, the pucker factor was never there. very relieving.

one dirt road turned into a muddy/rutty/rocky 4x4 path, which i did well with, then it climbed out of the valley steadily and as it dried up it was only steep rock garden. i was slipping the clutch a bit and creeping through the rocks, bouncing back and forth when i let the rpm's drop a bit far and stalled, and dropped. engine gaurds were installed last night and did their job, partially broke right side peg, only damage. no pics because i questioned whether i was sposed to be there and was running solo. got the bike back up and followed the trail as far as i could before DEC sign stated "snowmobiles only". next time i'll take a map.

i'm coming from a zg1000 kawasaki concours (for sale), so this bike naturally feels light and nimble to me. i may be wrong, but i believe the lack of rotating mass when compared to the concours has something to do with it's ability to lay over into corners on the road... it's a real hoot!

i have a progressive 465 rear shock, and .95 racetech springs/ricor valves coming to address the suspension. we'll see...

happy riding,
-jon
 

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Suspension upgrades will help a lot in the dirt; so does lowering air pressure in tires. I used to go as low as 23 lbs, but after bending a few too many rims I'm trying to get use to 28 lbs in the dirt, which is still way better than full highway pressure.
 

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If you have never really ridden in the dirt MSF has a BRC type class for dirt riding. My son wants to ride and I checked it out and it looks pretty good and they supply the bikes too. The main thing to remember is throttle control rear, brake and the clutch are your friends.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
i was without a pump/patch kit, so couldn't air down, and first time in dirt on motorbike. grew up on quads and mountain bikes, but when you put them together it's all so different! my biggest problem was stabilizing myself when i was standing on the pegs so i could control the throttle and clutch enough to slip it appropriately. rocks were twisting the bars back and forth and the bike was trying to jump off the trail... really shouldn't of been there! next time i'll get pics...
 
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