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post #1 of 16 Old 02-06-2010, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
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Riding techniques questions

I got my KLR for Christmas and due to snow have only managed asphalt and dirt roads miles until today. Today I found some really nice offroad trails. Now I have quite a few years and miles on street bikes, but limited experience on dirt bikes. ATVs and jeeps but thats it. Anyway I found myself climbing some pretty steep switchbacks, steep enough if you were to stop you wouldnt get going again. Only break was at the 180 turns where the trail reversed direction. Now after quite a ways (Im kinda slow) I thought maybe I should turn around before I got in over my head, ok before I got in WAAAY over my head. Heading down I was having a hell of a time, first gear was a little too fast so I would add some rear brake to slow her down, this resulted in the bike stalling and me in a full lock up until I get get her stopped. I was hesitant to apply much front brake as I figured a locked up front would be bad. So what the heck was I doing wrong and how can I avoid this in the future? Would lower tire pressure help? Do I need to ditch the OEM tires for something else? Should my weight be back farther at this point? Should I read the "How to ride a dual sport" instead of bothering you ?
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post #2 of 16 Old 02-06-2010, 10:28 PM
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It sounds like you have all of the right ideas for downhill...lower tire pressure always helps when you are off road....Stand up and scoot your weight back as far as you can(weight on the pegs lowers your center of gravity)....Use your rear brake to control your engine rpms(listen while braking)...First gear is a little tall but you will get the hang of it...The stock tires are fine. The problem is that the bike is a heavy pig and you will have to plan ahead and don't let it get going too fast. Use your front brake very carefully but use it.
I hope that this was some help.

Good Luck, SWAB
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post #3 of 16 Old 02-06-2010, 10:33 PM
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Don't be afraid to use the front brake when desending hills. Just be smooth in using it and you'll be fine, no panic grabs. You'll be suprised how much front brake you can actually use on the dirt. The steeper the hill the more you need to move your weight to the rear to keep it planted. The rear brake gets kind of scetchy on steep downhills because the weight of the bike is transfering forward to the front wheel and the rear starts to loose traction. Riding with someone with experience who is willing to give you some pointers is the quickest way to bring your skill level up quickly.
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post #4 of 16 Old 02-07-2010, 03:55 PM
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Weighting the rear as mentioned will help with less sliding. And if you need to go even slower to navigate through tight or tricky stuff you may have to pull in the clutch. I have been in some tight down hill stuff that required less than 2 mph and the KLR won't go that slow even in first gear. Keep it in first and be prepared to gas-and-go if you need to pull out of a fix....Al
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post #5 of 16 Old 02-08-2010, 11:35 PM
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Don't be afraid to use the front brakes. It takes a lot of pressure to lock them. Use them to slow down before the corners and let up on them on the corners. The front brakes do most of the work. Using just the back brakes will make them lock up.
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post #6 of 16 Old 02-09-2010, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimklr View Post
Don't be afraid to use the front brakes. It takes a lot of pressure to lock them. Use them to slow down before the corners and let up on them on the corners. The front brakes do most of the work. Using just the back brakes will make them lock up.
I might just have to go back to those hills and use a little more front brake, my normal reaction from street use is to use front but it didnt seem right in this case. Unfortunately we had snow the last two days, so them thar hills will be snow packed for now. Going down them was exciting on dry dirt, covered in snow would be a bit much. Thanks guys..

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post #7 of 16 Old 02-14-2010, 08:39 AM
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I've been riding offroad for several years and have been on alot of rides with people with differing levels of riding skills. What I see most newbes do, my self included is to go too slow. You end up 'fighting' the bike rather then letting it do the work, this holds true for most tight technical terrain. But I don't mean you should go blasting out of control, feet and legs flailing about.

Also, try and keep you feet on the pegs as much as you can. If you take your feet off the pegs you then begin to rely on your arms and hands to to keep your body from sliding forward on the seat, putting more force on the handle bars, and you won't control the handling nearly as well.

Finally, I've gone down many a hill with the clutch pulled in simply because of the problem you mentioned about locking up the rear tire and killing the motor. Just let off the rear brake a tad when you feel it sliding. And don't be afraid to grab a handful of the front brake, I've never gone over the bars because the front tire locked up.

I surely don't want to sound like I know it all when it comes to off-roading cause god knows i've spent my fair share crashing the through the trees, just saw an opportunity to ramble on endlessly.
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post #8 of 16 Old 02-14-2010, 08:56 AM Thread Starter
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Crashing at speed

No apology necessary, I asked for advice and really appreciate it. I used to ride 3 and 4 wheelers alot and can attest to keeping speed up sometimes, so that makes sense. I knew in my head that was probably better, but it didnt translate to that. Guess a little more time in the saddle is necessary. Snowing again as I type this so Im off the mountains for now. Thanks guys..

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post #9 of 16 Old 02-14-2010, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by NoBull View Post
No apology necessary, I asked for advice and really appreciate it. I used to ride 3 and 4 wheelers alot and can attest to keeping speed up sometimes, so that makes sense. I knew in my head that was probably better, but it didnt translate to that. Guess a little more time in the saddle is necessary. Snowing again as I type this so Im off the mountains for now. Thanks guys..
"Snowing again", I hear ya. I just came in from tinkering on my klr but its too dang cold to spend much time out there.

Three wheelers, yuk. Worse riding experiance of my life was on a 3-wheeler, couldn't figure the whole turning thing out.
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post #10 of 16 Old 02-14-2010, 01:33 PM
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Get this DVD. It's pretty good. Now if I can figure out a way to watch and ride .....

http://www.dualsportriding.com/

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