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Discussion Starter #1
Out exploring last Sunday and scouting out a mountain I'm prepping to climb, I got into an un-familiar situation and came off the worse for it.



I'm still new to this aspect, but was doing fine on gravel, going by what you guys had said - hold the grips loosely, keep moderate speed, (20 - 30 mph) and let the bike find its own way. It worked good and I was feeling good about it. Then I hit bull rock.



This wasn't so good. Going in, uphill, was sorta fine but pretty shaky. When I finally got turned around (and dumped it while doing so) I found that going downhill was a whole 'nuther story and dumped it several more times. I was done....wore plumb out. If it had gone down again it would've laid there while I hiked out several miles. That sucker is heavy, the rock was deep, there was no traction.....

Any secrets of riding in this awful stuff that you could share with me ?? I'm too damned old for that sh*t.

The last ¼ mile I straddled the bike with my feet down and rode down a rut at a slow walking speed so that my feet could reach the center hump and side berm. It were a long quarter mile and I was completely thrashed.

............Lar.
 

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That's tough riding, man. Done it. Don't enjoy it. How's your bike?
 

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That's tough riding, man. Done it. Don't enjoy it. How's your bike?
Thanks. Bike is OK, paint on right fairing scratched some - went down on that side every time. I did learn a lesson - next time down there, I'll take the quad. Back is still a little tender.
 

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Yeah, man. Remember, it's supposed to be fun. :)
 

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What you call bull rock I call baby heads. I got nothing there on technique other than lowering tire pressure and standing on the pegs with my clenched butt pointing rearward to anticipate (falling over) as you have already demonstrated...haha. That is the most difficult riding scenario for me what you have described. Glad you are OK.

The only other thing I can suggest is to ride with a buddy in terrain like that or at least carry a Spot http://www.findmespot.com/en/ so that someone can come and carry my broken body and bike out.
 

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At least in my book, that doesn't qualify as "gravel." Them's straight-up "rocks." Glad to hear the bike is okay and you're okay and you are to be commended for taking the time to snap a pic of your KLR taking a nap and sharing it with us. I hate riding (or trying to ride) on that stuff and really don't mind that there's none around here where I live now.

Were I forced to ride on that stuff, I would have been incorporating the "egress method" you described in your last sentence. It definitely calls for MX-type boots to keep from injuring an ankle.

I'm with you, man. Were I going back there and didn't have a smaller, lighter bike, I'd be on an ATV.
 

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Flash makes a good call. That's a dangerous place to ride alone, man. If you go back, make sure people know where you are or bring a buddy to laugh at. ;)

And yeah, that's about the only time I put my feet down while the bike is moving...when I'm cursing those GD baby heads.
 

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This wasn't so good. Going in, uphill, was sorta fine but pretty shaky. When I finally got turned around (and dumped it while doing so) I found that going downhill was a whole 'nuther story and dumped it several more times. I was done....wore plumb out. If it had gone down again it would've laid there while I hiked out several miles. That sucker is heavy, the rock was deep, there was no traction.....

Any secrets of riding in this awful stuff that you could share with me ?? I'm too damned old for that sh*t.

The last ¼ mile I straddled the bike with my feet down and rode down a rut at a slow walking speed so that my feet could reach the center hump and side berm. It were a long quarter mile and I was completely thrashed.

............Lar.

1st rule of off-road riding look where you want your front tire to go! Look through the section and plan a route don't just roll into and hope for the best. Sometimes that's unavoidable but you should be looking for an escape.

Downhills with loose rock is about the worst. Leave the bike in low gear and modulate speed with the front brake not the back. The back wheel will just lock up on hills like that. Stand and put your butt over the back fender also. Don't let your speed get away from you, kill the motor if you have to but leave it in gear don't pull in the clutch unless you want instant acceleration!

Stay out of ruts going downhill they tend to get bigger on the way down! Riding off to the side of the trail usually is better also, not as chewed up.

You have less traction on loose surfaces so weighting the pegs is even more important. On off-camber type turns you want to the weight the downhill peg more and keep the bike leaned away from the hill.

1 last thing when you really can't ride down the hill bulldog the bike down. Get off the bike and stand on the side so you can hold the bars. Leave it in gear motor off use the front brake and slip and slide to the bottom. Not gracefull but if the bike gets away you can let it go instead of going for a ride!

Wait another last thing, get crash bars. The radiator costs $700!
 

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Been there, done that, now avoid it.

Had a similar experience. After going down a few times turned around and went back the direction I came. Scratcher the "road" off of my to do list.
 

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Great advice to bring someone with you if you need help or get hurt. I crashed about two years ago in the hills behind my house. Been riding them for almost 35 years. That day, my son was with me, after the first crash, I was hurting and lost a lot of my normal concentration, I crashed two more times on such simple stuff that it was embarrassing. What happened was I became so concerned about crashing that it happened due to my fear. Relaxing and riding is much safer, getting tense and fearful is causation for more problems.

Glad you got out of there safe. I have a kawasaki klx250s and it is much easier to pick up.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
1st rule of off-road riding look where you want your front tire to go! Look through the section and plan a route don't just roll into and hope for the best. Sometimes that's unavoidable but you should be looking for an escape.

Downhills with loose rock is about the worst. Leave the bike in low gear and modulate speed with the front brake not the back. The back wheel will just lock up on hills like that. Stand and put your butt over the back fender also. Don't let your speed get away from you, kill the motor if you have to but leave it in gear don't pull in the clutch unless you want instant acceleration!
I hear you and thanks. Question, tho' - every time I've used the front brake - even lightly - in gravel or on that particular ride, the front wheel has skidded sideways and dumped me. What am I doing wrong ??

Something I forgot to mention - I have the Kawi +4 windshield and a Laminar Lip with the top nearly level with the +4. That double top gives a refraction right where my eyes were looking to see the road right in front of the bike. That didn't help at all. I don't notice it on the highway 'cause I'm looking over them.

Thanks.........Lar.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Great advice to bring someone with you if you need help or get hurt. I crashed about two years ago in the hills behind my house. Been riding them for almost 35 years. That day, my son was with me, after the first crash, I was hurting and lost a lot of my normal concentration, I crashed two more times on such simple stuff that it was embarrassing. What happened was I became so concerned about crashing that it happened due to my fear. Relaxing and riding is much safer, getting tense and fearful is causation for more problems.

Glad you got out of there safe. I have a kawasaki klx250s and it is much easier to pick up.
Exactly the same for me. After the 2nd dump I was tensed up, hurting, pissed off and rattled. Not a good combination and down I went 3 more times.
 

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Something I forgot to mention - I have the Kawi +4 windshield and a Laminar Lip with the top nearly level with the +4. That double top gives a refraction right where my eyes were looking to see the road right in front of the bike. That didn't help at all. I don't notice it on the highway 'cause I'm looking over them.

Thanks.........Lar.
Can't speak for your windshield, but I have an AFX-37 helmet and know what you're talking about. The face shield is less than optically perfect and gives the illusion that the side of the road slants down to the right far more than it really does. I don't get this illusion on pavement.

I'll be riding down a gravel or dirt road with a crown in the midde and thinking "I know damned good and well this road is flat" and flip up the face shield and sure enough, it's flat even though it doesn't appear to be with the face shield down.

It wouldn't surprise me if looking through your windshield in terrain like that makes the surface appear different than it actually is.
 

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I hear you and thanks. Question, tho' - every time I've used the front brake - even lightly - in gravel or on that particular ride, the front wheel has skidded sideways and dumped me. What am I doing wrong ??

...

Thanks.........Lar.
We've got a couple of problems with the KLR in those situations. It's front end heavy and unless you have a knobby on the front not much front wheel traction.

When it's loose don't use the front brake and turn at the same time. Release the brake get the front wheel turned and then back on the brake. You can't stab at the brake either, modulate the lever. Ride with a finger or two on the lever.

Keeping weight over the wheels is important off-road. Body position should be more upright when turning, especially on off-camber situations. Deliberately weight the outside peg if you don't you'll wash out to the inside of the hill.
 

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Came across this article and thought of this thread. What caught my eye was the "Medical Emergencies" part of it.

http://www.soundrider.com/current/1209/Good_Rider-12.htm

Certainly not picking on you biglar but I also do the major portion of my riding solo and I thought worthy of passing along.
I hear ya, but if I don't ride alone I don't ride. No one to go with me, so I take some precautions.......
1. Email a buddy in ABQ and tell him where I'm going - usually with GPS co-ordinates, for how long and any other plans I may have. Same with a lady friend. If I haven't contacted them by 4 hours after plan, they call the Grant County sheriff.
2. I "always" carry a SPOT II locater, and it's useful for interest value - many friends enjoy following my adventures, but the thing is extremely un-reliable in anything other than wide open country. In canyons and/or forest, forget it. My older Spot I was almost worthless....it'd only send about 60% or 70% of the time.

I do wish Spot would up-grade - my Garmin GPS will hold a lock thru almost anything, so I know the technology is there.

3. Always carry a cell phone, but many (most) places I go there isn't any service.
4. If you want to see some of the places I go, check out - http://www.gogittum.com/blog I try to go somewhere different every week and often 2 or 3 times. Spent 4 hours with Suzy (for Suzuki) the quad down in Bear Creek Canyon today. Nice.
5. Altho' I enjoy perfect health and am extremely fit, I'm still 70 years old and I do keep it in mind. (not counting picking a KLR off the ground 5 times)

Thanks..............Lar.
 

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Just looking over the thread again after reading your painting thread. I'm surprised that there wasn't more damage to the fairings for being dropped on the rocks. I guess they're tougher than I thought! I don't run crash bars either, well, not yet anyway :D
 

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Just looking over the thread again after reading your painting thread. I'm surprised that there wasn't more damage to the fairings for being dropped on the rocks. I guess they're tougher than I thought! I don't run crash bars either, well, not yet anyway :D
I was going pretty slowly, so it didn't skid. I fingernail tested it and the plastic isn't scratched, so it should sand out OK.
 
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