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Discussion Starter #1
Do you stand up?
Do brake with back, front, both?
As you round a curve (no oncoming traffic) you utilize the other lane (less ruts) and you sense the bike wanting to go farther taoward the edge (which is a dropoff). What goes through your mind to keep from going to the edge?

Thanks for sharing; and what Im doing is practicing dirt and gravel roads because a. I like to leave the pavement and b. I should be ready for dirt roads in Coffee growing regions of central america during my trip this november.

Thanks,
John
 

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Sometimes.
Both, always both.
Yes, but ONLY when confident that no vehicle can possibly arrive unexpectedly.
Look where you want to go, and do not lock your wheels. Practice quickly easing off the brake of any wheel that locks. You are almost always NEVER better off with locked wheels.

It is usually best on sloping downhill tracks to stay high as it is always easy to drop down and often difficult to get back up.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Brockie. Staying high seems to be what I need to practice for sure. Ive been nervous a few times wondering how Id regain higher ground through loose stuff. So far Ive always been going slow when caught on the lowside- gives me time to find relatively solid ground to the high side.
 

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I stand up alot on gravel, weight on outside peg, more rear brake than front, drag rear brake at low speed for stability. Roads with no lines, expect somebody in your lane even if you are in your lane, be ready to break or accelerate, go left or right. You might want to borrow a small dirt bike and go fool around, make some mistakes, have some fun. Hope you have a good trip.
 

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One of the best things I can offer is don't be afraid of that front brake off road. Even like being on road, the front still provides you with more of your stopping power, probably even more biased towards the front in off road situations. So learn to use both and find those limits of each and get comfortable with that. You of course don't want to be locking up the front, but learn how hard you can push the front and definitely learn to modulate the rear. When you start locking up the rear in gravel, you can really cause the rear end to start dancing around on you.

Also learn to use the throttle to dig in the rear and get the bike to turn as you are coming out of a turn.

Standing up off road is never a bad thing. You have way more control while you are standing.
 

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More rear brake than front, but don't lock'em up. And I can't stress enough what Brockie said - look where you want to go! Kinda tough when things get outa control, but sooo important not to focus on the hazard that presents itself. Better to focus on the way out!


Escape the cage!
 

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As Stone said "weight the outside peg" This seemed so counter to what I was thinking but once I learned it, riding off-road really became much more fun and much more controlled. I couldn't get the power sliding thing until I learned to weight the outside peg and all of a sudden I was in control of the bike. Now it's Roostefari!

Practice this.
 

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Stand when called for , and use the front brakes. I use the rear some in dirt/gravel , but still get Most of my stopping off the front binders.
 

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Going downhill, on gravel? Gravel is always a biotch - like riding on marbles sometimes, even a pure dirt bike with knobs will have traction issues. Dirt is variable, so will your technique need to be.

I've always stood up and got my butt over the back- - you don't want the front tire to dig in, which on a front tire heavy bike like the strom is something to be mindful of. Front end float is key going straight. Gravel on a downhill corner? If it's tight, I'm getting up on the tank to weight the front end as much as possible while sitting down, keep leaning to a minumum. Push that tire thru the loose gravel to some hard dirt below. You definitely want to mind your speed on downhill, deep gravel turns, because gravel has a mid of it's own - tough on any bike, yet that much tougher on a heavy porker like a strom.
 

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All good information so far.

Human nature dictates that you will go where you look, so don't look at the nasty part of the track right at your front wheel, look ahead and look where you want to go, not where you don't want to go.

Then relax, it is hard to do at first but if you relax the bike will not stand up and head wide, it will go where you look, so all your problems are solved.

Often if you think I'm going to crash you will, if you can change that thought to I can make this you will make it.

It is the same for the road too.

So in short, look, relax and enjoy the experience.
 

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Engage your ABS kill switch.

Don't have one?

Uh-oh.

Hit the motor kill switch and coast down, dragging the rear.
 

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STAND UP!! It works, I promise! The DL is a completely different bike while standing!

EYES!! Put them where you want to go, actually more important than standing! I can't tell you how many times I've narrowly missed something, dirt bike, V-Strom, snow board, MTN bike, because I simply force myself to look at where I want to go!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks all! Knew some of the tips, but not all for sure. Gonna keep practicing on a few steep, curvy, dirt roads nearby with your tips in my head.

Gotta get a tailbag soon too- spare parts and medical kit. You never know.

And man do I wish I had a smaller bike for dirt riding. A friend is selling a honda 250L for $2800. I just cant justify it right now. Ive only had the glee two months and wifey bought a new accord yesterday.
 

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Plenty of good stuff here

What you can get away with will be governed by your choice of tires. The more street oriented they are, the slower you'll need to be.
The front end of my DL keeps trying to wipe its nose in the gravel with street tires. Maybe I need to slow down. :green_lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I hear you solo. Im planning on Tourance tires when the oem wear out.

Also, while its true that Im just getting reacquainted with mc riding, slow riding in my backyard has been great for learning the nuances of my bike. When I ride faster, I know how to handle her better.

Still wish I had better tires though :fineprint:
 

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Thanks all! Knew some of the tips, but not all for sure. Gonna keep practicing on a few steep, curvy, dirt roads nearby with your tips in my head.

Gotta get a tailbag soon too- spare parts and medical kit. You never know.

And man do I wish I had a smaller bike for dirt riding. A friend is selling a honda 250L for $2800. I just cant justify it right now. Ive only had the glee two months and wifey bought a new accord yesterday.
$2800 might be a bit steep for buying on off road motorcycle to practice on, but a couple of hundred should get you a day at an off road riding school.

One near me suggested I take my wee on the trails. I politely declined, but the day spent on a Yamaha WR250 did a world of good for my riding skills otherwise. Google is your friend. See what's available near you.
 

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:jawdrop:
Downhill on gravel on a reverse camber corner:yikes:
Naw, kidding,
Downhill, straight away on gravel, drag the back brake. Uphill on gravel, stop, use the back brake, ask me why after I pick up the bike:furious: I made the mistake of stopping with the front brake, then the bike started sliding back and I couldn't get my foot to the brake fast enough, me and the wife picking up the bike. WE LEARNED:headbang:
 

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2012 with ABS

Hit the rear brake hard, just let the ABS deal with that end, punch the front brake, once it locks, back off try again - repeat. Works well, tested by me, on the steep gravel decent, and on snotty clay, avec cow - it worked both times.

Pete
 

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Do you stand up?
Do brake with back, front, both?
As you round a curve (no oncoming traffic) you utilize the other lane (less ruts) and you sense the bike wanting to go farther taoward the edge (which is a dropoff). What goes through your mind to keep from going to the edge?

Thanks for sharing; and what Im doing is practicing dirt and gravel roads because a. I like to leave the pavement and b. I should be ready for dirt roads in Coffee growing regions of central america during my trip this november.

Thanks,
John
Street or dirt, up hill or down hill, drift is mainly due to:
A. Not looking through the turn
Head and eyes up, look through the turn, not at what you're trying to avoid
B. Excessive speed for ones experience
Slow down, practice proper techniques, increase your speed gradually

The only time you SHOULD jam on your brakes is is to bring the front end down when you're 30 feet in the air, nose up.

Consider taking an off road class if there are any in your area. If not, check local forums, or "meet up" forums. When you are comfortable off road, load all your gear on the bike and give it a go, the extra weight can change things considerably under certain conditions
 
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