Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

New DR Ride Report

Recommended Posts

I wanted to try some dirt roads, at least, so last weekend took about a 60-mile ride into the mountains west of Boulder, Colorado. My impressions:

The canyon heading up out of Boulder was tight, twisty pavement, speed limit 30 mph mostly. Perfect for the DR, lean angle seems unlimited and never felt any slippage from the Trailwings. Not that I was pushing it. This kind of road is so fun, even in stock trim, that I wonder if I'll ever have much desire to run it in the dirt. This is the kind of road that would tie my heavy sport tourer in knots unless I really chose and hit my lines perfectly. Hairpins are a breeze, just lean it (and lean some more if you need to) and keep steady throttle, instead of feeling like I'm wrassling a hog. Sometimes I do need to give it a little gas mid-corner to maintain my line, because I'm not used to how easy it turns.

Then I hit a fairly steep graded dirt road. Nothing dramatic except, when I hit any washboard the back end bounces a lot and really struggles for grip. Might help to let a little air out of the tires, but I also wonder whether I should reduce rear preload (I'm only about 175 lbs. with gear on) a turn.

The next section is an unmaintained jeep road, part of the Switzerland Trail. This part is a little rocky, but about the easiest rocky road you'll see in CO. A few ruts and jutting rocks that could spill you if you're not aware, but mostly I just cruise standing on the pegs, about 20 mph...then, getting a little overconfident, I hit a patch of loose gravel and my front tire starts fishtailing. One of those moments when the voice in the back of your head says, "Goin down now, hoss!" Luckily I just stayed the course and the bike settled back in, but I had one more moment like that before I slowed down and really started paying attention to the surface. Now I understand "Deathwings." Aside from the traction shortcomings, the suspension works good for me, bouncing over moderate rocks with minimal deflection.

I headed home after only about 5 miles off road, as it had started raining and the black clouds looked like they might really cut loose. I didn't trust the tires on wet pavement, though I was able to drive the speed limit down Boulder Canyon with no drama.

Next time I head off road, I'll reduce my tire pressure. I had a mini bike pump with me, but I hadn't tested it at home and wasn't sure it would work properly. Also, that evening I ordered a 14-tooth sprocket. Idling on a dirtbike at 15 mph seems dangerous, and I hadn't even gone down any steep hills. It would be nice to be able to use more than one gear off road, and I figure I'll still be able to hit 90 on street if I want. Only other complaint is I wouldn't mind a little better throttle response off the bottom (but I won't be getting a new carb soon, I don't think).

Overall, a great experience. Instead of dreading even the briefest foray off pavement like I did on sporty street bikes, I relish the challenge of learning a new riding style and techniques, and opening up a lot more of the world for me to see. My other activities are climbing 14ers, bouldering and fishing, so I hope to combine these with some bike riding. Just received the giant Alko rack yesterday, so I should be able to carry plenty o'gear. Though I'll have to get used to my rack scraping before my footpegs:crazy: !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, that evening I ordered a 14-tooth sprocket. Idling on a dirtbike at 15 mph seems dangerous, and I hadn't even gone down any steep hills. It would be nice to be able to use more than one gear off road...

Put a 43 tooth on back with that 14 up front, and forget about 90mph...it's a DS bike, put some serious DS tires on it, and with the lower gears, go have some fun!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kliff,

I'll do that next if I'm not satisfied. But, I am having fun now! Remember, the other half of "dual" is called "pavement." I've been thinking about TKC 80s when I replace tires--I can tolerate a little less traction on the street if they are a noticeable upgrade on dirt. Not meaning to start another tire thread, though, I won't be ready for them till next season. Thanks, E

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those Deathwings will actually work OK off road around 14psi. If you really want to get the best ride out of your DR then get used to having to air up and down especially if it's a half-half ride. If there is a lot of back and forth between street and dirt you'll be ok at 20psi unless you're hitting the twisties real hard.

My DR doesn't stand a chance on washboard inclines unless I'm in the 12 to 14psi range.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kliff,

I'll do that next if I'm not satisfied. But, I am having fun now! Remember, the other half of "dual" is called "pavement." I've been thinking about TKC 80s when I replace tires--I can tolerate a little less traction on the street if they are a noticeable upgrade on dirt. Not meaning to start another tire thread, though, I won't be ready for them till next season. Thanks, E

Oh....👍 , I thought DS meant dirt roads, and off-roads....:worthy: LOL!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mistah E,

I know Boulder Canyon well. Grew up in Colorado, got alot of mile through the twisties in that Canyon, but never with a DR. Your post made me a little home sick! The Canyon, The road, a little cool air, and some rain. Perfect day of riding.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SW,

I don't know when the last time you were up Boulder Canyon, but now it's one of the least desirable canyons to ride because of the constant traffic--both tourists and Nederlanders. Most sport bike riders avoid it.

Luckily, we don't need no stinkin Boulder Canyon. We've got Lefthand, Coal Creek, Fourmile, Golden Gate, etc. Can't complain (except that I live 25 minutes away from the hills).

I've been wanting for some time now to ride in AZ, though. That seems even better for dualsporting than Colorado, if you can manage the heat. Not so many vegetative obstacles.

Eric

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i went down one tooth on the rear, and play on motocross tracks, then can head home at a solid 100 mph - all the power is down low guys.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...