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Can a 250 bike become a real SuperMoto?

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Hi all,

First off, I am a complete newbie concerning SuperMoto. In fact, I am not even a noob, since I don't even have a SM bike and have never ridden one. So please, treat me gently. :-)

Most SM bikes that I have seen in pics and video seem to be 400 cc or larger bikes.

Would it be accurate to say that SM'ing a 250 4-stroke bike is sort of pointless?

Do they lack the power required for the drifting that this style is so famous for?

Would the trusty XR250R be worth SM'ing?

And another question: I use 18/21 rear/front tyres. They're dual sports, Pirelli MT60. Would it be impossible/dangerous/foolhardy for an experienced SM rider to attempt drifting (or whatever it is called in SM) with these tyres? They are decidedly not slicks, but not knobbly either. In any case, my question is more aimed at the rim size, more than the tread.

Thank you for your patience with these silly questions.

d.

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No problem at all.

The drifting doesn't come from power at all. It comes from being hard enough on the front brake that the rear gets light and floats around just due to the engine compression braking. In other words you need to be 1/2 a step shy of doing a stoppie.

The MT60 is a fine tire to motard on for any purpose shy of actual racing. The biggest issue is that the stock dual sport front brake just can't generate the braking force required to properly get the rear end light enough to do the floaty back it in sort of braking drift.

So in your case and just like in the case of my DR350 we are confined to using the front and back brakes together to just slow down enough to turn in.

If you want to try getting at least a feel for the rear sliding out then hunker forward on the tank and hang over the handlebars and squeeze down on both the front and rear while pulling in the clutch. If you do it right the rear will get light enough to lock up and you can sort of get the feel of drifting it in.

Similarly do the same thing but don't use so much rear. But get it light and without blipping the throttle pull in the clutch and gear down to the gear needed to get a nice exit from the turn. As you lean into the turn EASE out the clutch to induce some extra compression braking and get the back sliding a little so the bike pivots around at least part of the turn. Keeping over the bars will ensure the back end hooks back up with at least a bit of softness so you don't high side or try to high side. Just be ready to feed in a hunk of counter steering as the back end re-hooks up.

Oh, and VERY important.... You want to lean to the outside of the turn and push the bike in under you while doing this. And finally it really, really helps if you do this on some hard packed dirt at first. But in the case of dirt just skip the front brake application. Instead ONLY use the rear brake and not much of it. As you turn in the bit of rear brake plus compression should make the back end come around. If it doesn't then come in faster and lean the bike under you more. This take some serious speed to do even in the dirt. And a crazy amount to do it on pavement.

PS: I should add that while I don't mind doing this on dirt I have yet to get more than the feeble amounts of slide described above on pavement. The super slippery float all the way into the turn that the X games and AMA Supermoto riders manage is still way beyond me.

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BCRider, thanks for the great reply. Things are much clearer now :-)

That's one thing that you don't see in pictures: the speed required. I see now that it is certainly not something to be done slowly and cautiously, but rather fast and gradually.

Also, before attempting anything like that on paved road, I have a lot to learn still on dirt. I'm slowly getting there, taking my time, not taking chances. That's ok, I'm not in a hurry :-)

Cheers and thanks again for the reply.

d.

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Just yesterday I learned that this all comes from speed plus lots of front brake and not so much from the other stuff.

And it all came together on my lowly XR100 mini racing bike. Up to now I'd been using the front and rear brakes very aggresively as the front had only a very vague idea of it's function in life. But I guess the front shoes just needed to mate to the drum better. That happened 1/2 way through the day yesterday. Suddenly I came into a hairpin hard on the brakes, geared down with the rear brake on and the bike just drifted through a nice 30 degree arc and rehooked with very little disturbance. The front brake had finally gotten enough grab to lighten up the rear enough to allow the drift to happen naturally and easily.

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Yeah, it freakin' well shocked the hell out of me too. I was halfway down the short straight after the turn before I realized what I'd done.

I tried doing it again but never quite hit all the factors just right. Although it did skip around in short slides a bit.

It's obviously something I need to go and practice with. Probably the good one just caught the downshift just right.

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