Deep creek crossings?

Do you guys have any advice on technique of going through deep creek crossings. Do you hit them fast, slow, or what. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanx

How deep is "deep" ?? And how far across? What's the bottom like? Rocks? sand? Mud? Any obstacles in there like a sunken log or you buddy's bike? :naughty:

All of those variables and more have to be considered. And now days, who's watching that might want to fine you for the crossing.. :naughty:

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Deep: is about over the tires. And there are manely rocks at the bottom

My buddy and others do a rather long crossing (it's an upcreek crossing) that sounds similar. It's got very large rocks and you ride upstream. Deepest I've done is about up to the lower part of my seat on a 250X or maybe a bit lower. We pretty much keep it steady and get way back to let the front ride the boulders. Luckily we've never killed it in the crossing. I did have a scary day with my old XR400 when I hit a deep hole and almost killed it. Then I punched it quick to get out before sucking water. My X would have been buried I think.

Water that deep is really risky. It's almost a crap shoot.. You might make it a couple times and then stuff it the next.

TORTURECHAMBERS is probably the guy that should be answering this one. I'll bet he has as much submarine time as anyone here! :D:D

It's also dependent on some factors with the bike.. Like where is the air box and the inlet to the box? Is it protected and up high. Is it sealed so that air is not coming into the box from another place lower in the box? Is there enough room for the air box to take on some water and hold it safely out of the way of the air filter... Hopefully, your air intake is behind something that will protect it from a direct shot of water splashing up from your tire. However, the main threat is water splashing off of your boots!! It will deflect back into the bike and maybe a direct hit on the air intake.. Some guys have made up duct tape deflectors for this problem. All of these air box / intake factors play a big part.

Next concern is shock cooling. If your engine is still hot from a hard ride, a sudden dunk with an air cooled bike can cause the cylinder to suddenly shrink around a hot piston and seize. It happens in piston powered aircraft I know. I don't think this is as much of a problem with water cooled bikes. But there is always the danger that a sudden cooling can crack something.

The other concern is the empty space in your transmission or maybe your flywheel / Ignition case. There is air in there that expands and shrinks as things heat up and cool down.. Look for a vent.. Maybe there is a plastic tube already connected to it.. If so, the tube should be long enough to run up under your seat and then coiled around a few times to hold any water that gets in. As the case cools the air shrinks and pulls air or water into the engine and can short out your ignition and mix with your gear oil. If you have electronic ignition, there is a good chance that you will not experience any problem, but then the water in there can eventually rust and corrode things in there.

OK, so now if your bike passes the above inspection and you have allowed it to cool a little you're ready for the risk.. If the crossing is short and you can see that you will not have to deal with any surprise rocks, you could enter the water and then pull the front up in a wheelie to lift the tire and your boots clear for the short distance across. If you try to start with a charging wheelie before entering the first part of the water, there is a good chance that the sudden drag of the water will put you into a nose dive.. Make sure you have friends with a video camera ready so that you can share it with us. :naughty::cry:

If the crossing is longer and unsure, you will need to go slower, stand up and be prepared to use only one foot to catch your balance and leave the other on the bike so you can reach further. Again, you are trying to keep your legs from directing water into the air box AND you are trying to keep a steady speed so that the engine and front of the bike will create a hole in the water for the rest of the engine and air box. You will have to experiment with what that speed is.. to make the hole without the water coming up over the engine or tank.

If for any reason you think you've blow it and the engine is doomed or dieing, DON'T try to rev it way up.. If there is water in the box and it's already coming into the engine, a sudden burst of throttle can bring in enough water to fully fill your cylinder and you could bend a rod or worse from hydraulic compression... VERY BAD and expensive. It's also the same reason you don't want to fall over and submerge the bike with it revved up high.

If you drown the bike, get it out, turn off the gas, take out the spark plug and turn it upside down. This is not required for a 4-stroke but can't hurt. For your 2-stroke, this is a must. For the 2-stroke with the plug out and upside down, put it in 4th gear or higher and then pull on the rear tire to get the engine turning as fast as you can.. Get your buddy to tip the bike up a little on the bars to help move any water toward the pumping cylinder.

Next, remove the float bowl or open a drain if you have one and drain the carb. Now work on starting the engine as soon as you can and run it for a good 30 minutes or more to help dry it out.. Hopefully, the water was clean.

DO NOT get discouraged and put the bike away and wait until you get home to get it running.. Things inside will rust VERY fast..

If there is mud inside the engine, maybe someone else from TT can tell us what to do. I've only revived bikes that went too deep into clean water... more than once too!! :D:D:D

BTW, I've ridden my old TL 250 Honda Trials across the Wenatchee River downstream from the little town of Plain before.. About 200 feet across with the water over my front wheel.. The current was washing me down stream as I was crossing.. so be prepared to end up down stream from where you intended.. :naughty:

My buddy and others do a rather long crossing (it's an upcreek crossing) that sounds similar. It's got very large rocks and you ride upstream. Deepest I've done is about up to the lower part of my seat on a 250X or maybe a bit lower. We pretty much keep it steady and get way back to let the front ride the boulders. Luckily we've never killed it in the crossing. I did have a scary day with my old XR400 when I hit a deep hole and almost killed it. Then I punched it quick to get out before sucking water. My X would have been buried I think.

Oh yes, for a long crossing, a slight upstream approach is good. Less chance of being washed downstream and less side pressure on the bike from any current.

:naughty:

Thanx for all the great advice guys. It really helps!!!!

usually I come up to them slow and pick out the safest line and then just like use momentum through it and not pin it. But I have hit them many different ways so its just on what way you are most comfortable.

I always stand, aproach the water and stop (all of the crossings I do have been done before so I know there is little danger of unknown obstacles). I creep into the water and keep the revs high on the bike to make sure it doesnt die. The last thing you need is to stall your thumper in the middle of a creek (I have stalled it with the kick lever submerged in mud and that sucked..... BAD) so just give it lots of gas and use the clutch to keep your momentum up.

Read the water to know what is underneath it. If it is still and dark; that means deep, go slow with great caution. (Only if there is NO other way out). If water is running into it; use caution, because the force of the current "could" take your wheels out from under you; aim at where the 'white caps' are and pin it! That's where the sand and rock are being deposited, that's where the traction will be. Just blast through the current keeping the wheels on that little finger of real estate. Going through water crossings is something best experienced, not taught. There are more water-crossing scenarios than people.

Some good advice here.. There is no sure way and nothing better than experience... Just be aware of the primary risks that could damage your bike and then proceed from there.. :naughty:

Don’t forget the air filter. If you do go down or get into deep water and your filter gets wet the bike will run like crap. I have dumped my 525 and what worked for me was to drain the float bowl and leave the drain screw out and tip the bike up on its real wheel and crake the engine over with the gas on with the magic button, take the air filter off , tighten the float bowl drain screw and then tip the bike over on its side until you see gas coming out of the vent hoses. Then the bike will start right up. You wont be able to use the air filter until is very close to being dry.

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