Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Roadbike on Dirt

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by wokwon, Aug 19, 2011.

  1. I searched but couldn't find any threads that matched.

    I am meeting some friends at a camp site tomorrow and the final 10k's road is on dirt. I've never taken my VTR250 on dirt before and am wondering if anyone has any tips.

    I would assume the normal things apply, take it east, avoid severe front brake, expect wheels to lock up easier under braking and compression braking, keep head up and look ahead.

    It has rained overnight so the road will likely be muddy too but is reasonably major so I expect it to be maintained (i.e. graded) with the usual corrugations and channels from running water.

    The road is Two Hills Road near Glenburn (Toolangi State Forest).
  2. Stay loose, lean back, watch front lock-up, weight on pegs and let the bike move around under you, smooth is the key. If there is a hole/rut that you are unsure of but must go through hit it under POWER not under brakes. Creek crossings can be a bit iffy on a road bike if the water is flowing and don't dunk a hot engine in cold water! You would be surprised where you can get a road bike if you are keen enough.

    Edit: Chuck a spare set of leavers, puncture kit, some zip ties and race tape in your kit just to be on the safe side.
  3. The VTR's not too bad on gravel; mine certainly saw its fair share. :D

    Arms loose, body weight off the bars (as with normal riding), like Blue says.

    So long as you take it fairly easy and aren't in a huge rush you ought to be fine - the VTR's relatively upright seating and wide handlebars help a bit. The main limitation with taking a road bike on a gravel road is the road tyres, which won't work very well in gravel or sand of any significant depth. Steer clear of deep gravel if you can.
  4. Thanks guys, I appreciate the insights.

    I grew up in the bush so I'm used to a pushbike on dirt.

    I had a Yammy 250 2 stroke scramble bike but immediately took the engine out and put it in a go-kart frame (I was young and stupid) so haven't ridden motorbike on dirt.

    PS: That go-kart was awesome, solid rear axle which meant that under power the steering didn't work. Unfortunately I built it out of water pipe which is not exactly rated for applications that include flexing so I probably spent 50% of the time welding up cracks that formed.
  5. How bout have fun.
    All the above. Stay loose in the arms. keep your eyes up and let the bike have its head. Let it move about a bit. Don't go over correcting it.
    Use the wheel tracks. And for once I would say stay in the left wheel track as much as possible. Cars use a bit more than they should. So now you must also keep a decent eye out for wildlife entering the road from the left as well.
    Don't out ride yourself in a rush to get there.
    Better to turn up nice and tidy than grubby and bleeding.
  6. Stand up if you can (especially over any ruts/ holes in the road) and stay a gear or two higher than you normally would, avoid front brake usage and flow as much as possible. A rear wheel skid will not cause you to fall over, but a front lock up almost certainly will.
  7. Thanks guys for the tips. The road was a bit muddy but otherwise went fine.

    Standing up on pegs in the hairy bits was the best advice, thanks for that.