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How do you keep a streetbike upright on dirt/gravel roads?

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  • How do you keep a streetbike upright on dirt/gravel roads?

    There's a road I'm absolutely in love with - that starts right next to my suburb - that goes a rough 50kms out into the country through hills/forest/etc, then hits Upper Blessington and turns into dirt.

    Now I've google-mapped it, and the next 10kms look to be a hundred times better.

    Now, there's every possibility that there's just an unsealed section that goes on for a km or two, and I wanna find out. (Yeah, I'll probably end up doing it in the car to see if it's worth the effort, but I still want to know the answer to this question)

    First attempt, I got about 100m along the dirt before deciding "fuck this shit" and going home. second shot, I got about about 400, going 30km/h, before seeing a whole heap more dirt ahead, and deciding the same thing.

    The whole way, it felt like the bike was about to slip right out from under me, hence the pussing out.

    I've heard that when riding dirt, you just let the bike do its thing rather than fighting it, and you'll feel far more in control, but that's on a bike that's designed for it, and since I only just repaired the cibby, I didin't wanna risk it.

    Can you (is it wise to) ride a cbf-250 with street tyres on dirt/gravel roads without going tits-up? If so, how? (No dirtbike experience, btw).
    Originally posted by Dragunov-21
    If you want me to answer a question, I want you to ask one that doesn't put words in my mouth that were never there.

  • #2
    Yes. Just dont do anything jerky, like corner, brake or accelerate hard.
    If cleanliness is next to godliness, why was jesus a dirty sandal-wearing beardo?

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    • #3
      - favour the rear brake more than you would on the road
      - keep the bike more upright, move your upper body more to steer
      - going faster might help, you have more momentum and more gyroscopic forces are at play, so you will feel more stable. But this is a confidence thing...
      - relax your grip on the bars, I bet you're white knuckled at the moment
      - if it gets gravelly, riding with your feet down will help to stabilise the bike
      For LAMS information and resources - http://www.perthstreetbikes.com/foru...thread-156358/
      For LAMS discussion and to ask questions - http://www.perthstreetbikes.com/foru...thread-143289/

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      • #4
        Do some skids too.
        If cleanliness is next to godliness, why was jesus a dirty sandal-wearing beardo?

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        • #5
          keep speed down.


          like riding on slippery uneven road surface, just take it easy an you'll be right

          btw i have done 1000k's on dirt with a zx12 without any dramas (plus some on 1098)
          Every one has a story.....

          http://www.perthstreetbikes.com/foru...updates-82338/

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          • #6
            As said, keep speed under control, because slowing down is the tricky part.

            Other than that, they stay upright just fine - rolling burnouts (without the smoke obviously) are easy - just let the bike move about a bit if it wants to and relax.

            Have taken the 600RR through sand, gravel and mud (i.e., gravel road that's been rained on for days) ... just be careful (avoid pot holes if possible, etc) and you'll be right.

            Staying upright is easy - just remember it IS slippery though, so any turning/braking needs a lot more planning and time to happen.

            edit:
            just look up ace's (i think?) "wheelies fuckin sussed" video somewhere on here and see how the bike stays upright by itself well after he comes off the back of it despite hitting curbs, grass, etc (before plowing into the barrier) Bikes are naturally stable, and at any sort of reasonable speed, you need to actually put the bike down through your own actions, rather than inaction...
            “Crashing is shit for you, shit for the bike, shit for the mechanics and shit for the set-up,” Checa told me a while back. “It’s a signal that you are heading in the wrong direction. You want to win but crashing is the opposite. It’s like being in France when you want to go to England and when you crash you go to Spain. That way you’ll never get to England!” -- Carlos Checa

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            • #7
              ^pretty much everything

              Relax on the bars, don't yank the head around
              Try to relax and be at ease on the bike
              Favour the back pads
              Depending on the bike, you'll find it better to kick it up a cog or two
              Keep a steady pace, nothing jerky on the throttle
              Don't try to go to agro on your lean angles if you're skittish on weight placement
              FEADCinc, PSB?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by barfridge View Post
                - favour the rear brake more than you would on the road
                - keep the bike more upright, move your upper body more to steer
                - going faster might help, you have more momentum and more gyroscopic forces are at play, so you will feel more stable. But this is a confidence thing...
                - relax your grip on the bars, I bet you're white knuckled at the moment
                - if it gets gravelly, riding with your feet down will help to stabilise the bike
                Just to elaborate on a couple of points:
                Move upper body to steer helps heaps, move your shoulders across in the direction you want to steer then apply gentle throttle, steering turns to crap while slowing.
                Going faster helps, turns to crap below 40, 60 is about as slow as you want to go except for tighter bends obviously.
                Relax your grip, and your arms. Stiff arms and tense muscles don't help, loosen your elbows and allow the bike to move slightly, as it will. With practice you will get used to the movement.

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                • #9
                  ^^ what st ives said about going faster helping. obviously use discretion, but if you're riding really slow the ruts, etc affect the bike more... counter intuitive maybe... but it works.
                  “Crashing is shit for you, shit for the bike, shit for the mechanics and shit for the set-up,” Checa told me a while back. “It’s a signal that you are heading in the wrong direction. You want to win but crashing is the opposite. It’s like being in France when you want to go to England and when you crash you go to Spain. That way you’ll never get to England!” -- Carlos Checa

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If you haven’t got two wheels drifting you are riding fast enough, well that’s my approach. Off road rider, raced for 10 years & Ex desert racer, I have geared and ran 180km/h plus on the dirt. Riding a lose bike takes experience. It might pay to get a little dirt bike to get familiar/ learn. Depending on the turn push the bike down; don’t hang off like a road bike. Ride to conditions and experience to stay up. Use you front brake, same principles applies for braking road or dirt but you will need to feel the front when pulling up hard.

                    If the back steps out don’t panic, (with respect of how hard you have entered the corner) but push through with a correcting slide. (Power out) High side normally happens if you back off and the rear wheel bites.

                    You need to become one with the bike and remember steer with the rear wheel and point the front where you would like to go.

                    Oh and harden up.
                    I don’t ride to get to the end, I ride for that moment

                    Hop scotch, skip rope, tunnel ball & football, all the same to me
                    If you cant ride it or fuck it, then its not sport

                    http://www.perthstreetbikes.com/foru...photos-100704/

                    Battlefeild 3 name = 5th_Eye

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by thro View Post
                      edit:
                      just look up ace's (i think?) "wheelies fuckin sussed" video somewhere on here and see how the bike stays upright by itself well after he comes off the back of it despite hitting curbs, grass, etc (before plowing into the barrier) Bikes are naturally stable, and at any sort of reasonable speed, you need to actually put the bike down through your own actions, rather than inaction...
                      [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y88zRML5UHU&feature=channel_page]YouTube - Flipper[/ame]

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                      • #12
                        One more thing, keep your weight towards the back wheel if you can.
                        The idea is to keep the front wheel lighter & less likely to dig in, easier to steer. Also keeps the back more planted for delivering power with reduced chance of spinning the wheel.

                        Oh and don't be a panzy



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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by barfridge View Post
                          - favour the rear brake more than you would on the road
                          - keep the bike more upright, move your upper body more to steer
                          - going faster might help, you have more momentum and more gyroscopic forces are at play, so you will feel more stable. But this is a confidence thing...
                          - relax your grip on the bars, I bet you're white knuckled at the moment
                          - if it gets gravelly, riding with your feet down will help to stabilise the bike
                          I agree with most of what Barfy said except lean the bike more and keep your body more upright, keeping weight on the outside footpeg.
                          This is pretty much standard MX riding stuff.

                          Keeping the bike upright and leaning the body is more suited to road riding, not dirt.

                          If you lean your body instead of the bike you can quickly find yourself going one way and the bike going another.

                          It is much easier to control a bike that is moving around if you keep your weight centralised.

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                          • #14
                            Just keep going steady, over time your confidence will improve. Above are all very good points; rear brake bias, smooth on everything...

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                            • #15
                              All very good points, I would just like to add - knees in elbows up. relax your hands on the bars and let them do there thing. Look forward to find the best lines. Constantly vary you speed to suit.

                              If this is the type of riding you want to do with a cbf why don't you change your tyres? it will make a world of difference.
                              sigpic

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