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Question about different terrain and traction

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I just purchased my bike a little over  a month ago and have been out 4 times or so.  I live near Portland and have gone to the TSF for a few trips, and over the pass to the Redmond area twice.  I'm finding that my bike (2017 YZ250X) does great at TSF but riding on the high desert in the softer terrain feels like I'm on ice.  This weekend at Cline Buttes (Redmond) I rode my sons TT230 for a few loops and was amazed at the traction the 4 stroke had.  My 2 stroke seems to spin like crazy and rides totally different.  At TSF it hooks up well, climbs and turns great in rocky, wet, dirt conditions where it's harder.  

So the question for the group,  what's the best direction to try and keep this bike stock but be able to ride in both types of terrain?  The bike is stock with the exception of the silencer.  I've jetted it, softened the forks a few clicks (big difference).  Tires are around 14 PSI (stock).  Everything else is bone stock.  

Posted this here as I suspect other riders from this area ride a wide variety of terrain.  Any tips appreciated.  A bit of background for me is that I moved here 5 years or so ago from Kentucky.  I'm more familiar with the TSF style riding than the high desert and never really rode in sandy soil.

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Unless you're riding on the street, 14 psi is about 8 psi too much. Run a heavier tube and air it down. Many of us run Tubliss or a bib mousse to avoid flats and keep the air down. Sand will always be slick but the air pressure will help.

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 Lower air pressure as mentioned above, then add flywheel weight and develop your clutch skills.

 A big part of the TTRs tractability is it's low power output.

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I thought about the pressure this weekend but was a bit afraid of the rocks.  Will adjust.  I'm getting a better feel for the clutch.

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Setting the SAG on your rear suspension will help get the right amount of weight on the back tire  

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I go up a tooth on the front sprocket when I go over there and ride a gear higher than normal. I have a 2000 kx250 so it's pretty tall on the lower gears but the rear hooks up good. I do run heavy duty tube s with 10 or 11 lbs and don't have problems with flats

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1 hour ago, whitehorsephotograph said:

Tubliss and a Shinko R505 cheater 120/100 is like velcro at 5psi. 

That's a great woods setup, but for Cline Butte not so much.  Cline is a mix of soft desert sand and patches of embedded rocks.  A traditional desert knobby works best for places like Cline, EFR, China Hat, etc.  Pressures around 12 psi up to 15 are normal there as speeds are higher and embedded rocks at speed are notorious for causing pinch flats.

Riding central Oregon is a much different experience than TSF.  Faster speeds and much different soil.  Using your yz's high rpm and powerband will allow you to get on top of that soft stuff and give you stability. Your YZ is a great bike for central Oregon riding. Correct sag and setting your suspension clickers on the stiffer side are key.  Lots of guys run steering stabilizers in the Oregon desert terrain to add that extra stability.  

Hope this helps.

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I'm running a tooth smaller front sprocket, 13oz fww,505 cheater rear average 8psi,goldentyre 216aa front 11psi.the rest is stock accept for flexx co bars which are awesome if u have bad arm pump.for me this set up works amazing in super technical stuff to odesa a few weeks ago.

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28 minutes ago, firffighter said:

That's a great woods setup, but for Cline Butte not so much.  Cline is a mix of soft desert sand and patches of embedded rocks.  A traditional desert knobby works best for places like Cline, EFR, China Hat, etc.  Pressures around 12 psi up to 15 are normal there as speeds are higher and embedded rocks at speed are notorious for causing pinch flats.

Riding central Oregon is a much different experience than TSF.  Faster speeds and much different soil.  Using your yz's high rpm and powerband will allow you to get on top of that soft stuff and give you stability. Your YZ is a great bike for central Oregon riding. Correct sag and setting your suspension clickers on the stiffer side are key.  Lots of guys run steering stabilizers in the Oregon desert terrain to add that extra stability.  

Hope this helps.

Thanks,  and I think it will.   I did run better fast than I did slow where the bike would come into it's own. Interesting note about stiffening suspension.  I deflected a lot but was riding slower.  My pace is not what it was and likely will not be as fast as it was a while back.  will try it.

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On 4/18/2017 at 7:56 AM, firffighter said:

That's a great woods setup, but for Cline Butte not so much.  Cline is a mix of soft desert sand and patches of embedded rocks.  A traditional desert knobby works best for places like Cline, EFR, China Hat, etc.  Pressures around 12 psi up to 15 are normal there as speeds are higher and embedded rocks at speed are notorious for causing pinch flats.

Riding central Oregon is a much different experience than TSF.  Faster speeds and much different soil.  Using your yz's high rpm and powerband will allow you to get on top of that soft stuff and give you stability. Your YZ is a great bike for central Oregon riding. Correct sag and setting your suspension clickers on the stiffer side are key.  Lots of guys run steering stabilizers in the Oregon desert terrain to add that extra stability.  

Hope this helps.

What he said, but only make suspension changes one or two clicks at a time and only comp or rebound alone not both at the same time.

 

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There seems to be a lot of guys here always recommending super low tire pressures...you should make sure you know what kind of rider you are talking to before making that recommendation. At 8 psi I will have a flat tire within a mile riding in eastern WA or Eastern OR.  If you like to cruise trails then you can get away with the lower PSI, if you like to go hammer down then you need to air up to protect from pinch flats.  I run 15 up front and 12 MINIMUM in the rear if I am east of the mountains.  That's also with desert terrain tires and HD tubes.

There is a lot of decomposed granite in Eastern OR and you will not always get a good bite with your knobbies on a bike with lots of power so you have to ride with that in mind.  If it's soft you simply have to keep your speed up so you don't wallow in it.

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22 minutes ago, Wiz636 said:

There seems to be a lot of guys here always recommending super low tire pressures...you should make sure you know what kind of rider you are talking to before making that recommendation. At 8 psi I will have a flat tire within a mile riding in eastern WA or Eastern OR.  If you like to cruise trails then you can get away with the lower PSI, if you like to go hammer down then you need to air up to protect from pinch flats.  I run 15 up front and 12 MINIMUM in the rear if I am east of the mountains.  That's also with desert terrain tires and HD tubes.

There is a lot of decomposed granite in Eastern OR and you will not always get a good bite with your knobbies on a bike with lots of power so you have to ride with that in mind.  If it's soft you simply have to keep your speed up so you don't wallow in it.

I'm working on the speed part :-) and I did notice how the bike just seemed to be all around better the faster I got.  I'm riding with my son who is new and on a TTR230.  He's building his skill but we tend to do a lot of start, stop etc.  Lots to consider here,  love riding over there but it is completely different than what I found.  Was concerned about flat tires and that was one reason for my question.  All good stuff,  this is a good tips thread too  for the others... keep submitting them

 

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So after looking at several threads regarding suspension setup I decided to take Friday and spend the day working on it.  On Thursday my Gnarly arrived and I strapped it on as an FMF compliment to the TC2 I had.  At Browns Camp I checked air pressure and was at 15 lbs both front and rear.  I rode a quick loop to warm up, feel the difference in my pipe before touching my suspension.  The bike had significant increases in torque as expected but what i was amazed was how much I was slipping.  Back to the truck where I went to 10 lbs and hit the loop.  This time the difference was significant.  Traction was amazing, is all I can say.   10 lbs was a huge improvement and I just felt like I was stuck to the trail.  

On to the suspension.  I had not made a change since I picked the bike up so I started off by setting both the front and rear in the dead center of the range and made a loop.  From there I focused on the forks first and ultimately ended up at 12 clicks out and only moved the rear 1 click out from center.  The feel of the roots and loose rocks and bumps went away but it didnt feel right.  I realized I didn't set my reboundearlier.  I did the same thing to it, found the center and backed off one click and the bike just tracked.  I'm not a fast rider and wont be but I was amazed at how confident I felt on the trails.  The gnarly gave me great low/mid range power (significantly more than stock IMO) and the traction with reduced air pressure and a plush ride was amazing.  

While I started this thread asking about how to ride in eastern Oregon compared to TSF, I came away from the day understanding my bike better.  The biggest lesson was to take time and experiment a bit slowly and let the bike come to me.  Next time I go east, I will start at the higher range of my forks and likely make the rear a bit harder but much I really liked how my shock feels.

Here's a link to the ride once I felt good.  Again, I'm almost 50 and riding again after about 12 years off.

 

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