riding off road

puttbutt

Well travelled
Location
NY
this is an interesting video. unfortunately where I live there isn't any place to ride off road. the state forest near me all have signs prohibiting off road riding, even though I have seen and heard atv's and dirt bikes on these trails. there is however a state forest a little distance from me that allows hunting, and the roads in that area aren't maintained. might try my luck there. In the meantime have to wait to get my bike back from the shop. btw, that bike sounds like an angry bee!
 
this is an interesting video. unfortunately where I live there isn't any place to ride off road. the state forest near me all have signs prohibiting off road riding, even though I have seen and heard atv's and dirt bikes on these trails. there is however a state forest a little distance from me that allows hunting, and the roads in that area aren't maintained. might try my luck there. In the meantime have to wait to get my bike back from the shop. btw, that bike sounds like an angry bee!
not sure if this helps any:
 

Adamjfulton

Total noob
Location
New Zealand
Lots of good advice here already. Slowing down to the speed you want to travel through corners is always important but makes a huge difference when riding on dirt/sand/gravel. Definitely worth exaggerating your braking leading up to corners while you are getting familiar with the bike and riding on different terrain.
 

SacRockit

Total noob
Location
Sacramento
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Things I’ve learned that have really helped me with unpaved riding are:

1. Armor up (especially with good knee and protective footwear) and try to relax knowing if you come off the bike, then you’ve protected yourself.

2. Accept and expect the bike to move under you as it picks its way through the terrain. Eventually that squirrelly feeling gets much less scary when you understand that is perfectly normal for a bike to do that on an unpaved surface.

3. Lean in the opposite direction of the turn on unpaved surfaces. The idea is to keep your weight over the contact patch of the tires with the unpaved surface in a turn. This is true when sitting down or standing on the pegs.

4. When things get bumpy, stand up. This seems to help the suspension do its thing to deal with uneven terrain. I also usually stand up when going uphill or when I need to stretch my legs.

5. Look where you want to go and not where you’re at. This helps to avoid target fixation (e.g. see big rock, stare at big rock, hit big rock).

6. You don’t have to pick the best line when coming up to a rutted surface; just try not to pick the worst line.

7. If you do end up riding in a rut, then usually riding it out works out fine. If you get in a rut, get nervous and try to escape quickly, then you have a good chance of upsetting the bike resulting in a get-off.

8. On a bumpy surface, don’t oversteer. Instead look where you want to go and give your bike a suggestion to go there. It’s weird, but thinking like this keeps me from over-correcting my bike.

9. Don’t ride faster than is comfortable for you. This becomes an issue if you‘re riding with an experienced person. It’s best to let that person go ahead and wait for you at trail intersections or after technical (difficult) sections of the trail. They should come back for you if they wait more than 5-10 minutes and you still haven’t caught up. This will help you relax since you aren’t pressured by someone watching you and you know that help will be coming soon if you have a get-off on the trail.

10. Go on a multi-day unpaved trip. It’s fine to practice here and there, but you will gain a lot of experience and feel more comfortable off road if you have an extended time to focus on developing your skills.

Before I went on my first off road trip, I watched a couple of hours of youtube adventure motorbike videos for pointers. Some of those videos are linked in the posts above this one. This helped a ton. And I made sure to skips motocross riding tip videos since that’s not what I was preparing for. My goal was to go on an adventure motorbike ride to see some amazing sights and to navigate some technical terrain.

I have three of these trips under my belt now and have the skills to go faster if I want. But I prefer putting along on my bike while I enjoy passing by the rocks and trees along the trail. And, while the Himalayan is a heavy bike, I find it well balanced with it’s weight down low and good suspension/clearance making it very easy to ride off road. And it‘s surprisingly capable of handling some fairly challenging terrain. With that said, I do wish the center stand was a bit higher.
 
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