Improved handling riding rutted tracks in soft?

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Improved handling riding rutted tracks in soft?

Post  eggeegge on Sat Mar 29, 2014 1:27 pm

I'm a very average rider...

I has an XR650R while living in Libya, great bike for the open Sahara! Now in Senegal with open spaces but at times I have no choice but to ride in soft sand in the ruts of other vehicles that passed before and I find the bike really hard to control. It has a tendency to want to ride out of the rut with the front wheel twisting to the right or left and feel like the front is always going to wash out. I have the 6.0 gallon Acerbic rally tank mounted which I am sure doesn't help.

Is it just my technique? Any other changes that might help?

Thanks, Steve
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Re: Improved handling riding rutted tracks in soft?

Post  Earache on Sat Mar 29, 2014 2:29 pm

Do you have a steering damper installed on the bike? If so, experiment with the settings a bit - stiffening it up a bit more.

Also, spring rates on the forks and shock - are they properly set up for your weight? Sag set properly?

I'd guess it's probably not your riding style since you sound like you have a lot of sand experience. Continue to keep your weight back, on the pegs and on the the throttle in deep sand - keep the front end light.
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Re: Improved handling riding rutted tracks in soft?

Post  eggeegge on Sat Mar 29, 2014 2:38 pm

I had a dampener on my bike in Libya, but not this one. The desert in Libya was big enough so was never forced to ride in the tracks of others.

I set up the forks but probably should put on a dampener it sounds like.
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Re: Improved handling riding rutted tracks in soft?

Post  Earache on Sat Mar 29, 2014 5:23 pm

The damper would definitely allow you to keep a straighter line in the deep, loose stuff.
If these sag and springs are set, it'll reduce the pogostick effect and keep your front planted a bit more.

Best of luck!
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Re: Improved handling riding rutted tracks in soft?

Post  bigkuri on Sat Mar 29, 2014 11:50 pm

To be honest, and just my view - Sahara sand with a broken crust is a hiding to nothing. It is a real bugger to ride in ruts in Saharan sand...

Keep to the un-broken crust at all times. Either ride in the centre, or really just ride 20m to the side.  Dampers won't do a thing in fesh fesh or broken trails.

Don't follow the tracks unless you have an indecent amount of speed and commitment for the fesh fesh Smile (and the resulting big fall...)

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Re: Improved handling riding rutted tracks in soft?

Post  BuRP on Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:35 am

Your technique comes first here, but giving it more normally does the trick!
Then suspension setup being correct, a steering damper helps, and if to no avail still go take lessons LOL.
Or mount slightly wider tyres front & rear, it will 'float' at a bit lower speed then.
As a last resort (yes, the last one!), if there's no rocks you could deflate the tyres a bit, but I do this only when there's pure sand, and only sand!
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Re: Improved handling riding rutted tracks in soft?

Post  stev0 on Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:33 pm

There is a huge difference with the 6.6 gal over the stocker and even the 4.7 clarke (which I prefer) The 6.6 pushes its nose heavily in the sand and the only way to combat this is to keep your fuel level low, lean back and open up. Alternately, see if you can get the stock tank back on there. Might be the only way to build a bit of confidence in the sand. You can always go back to the 6.6 at a later stage.
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