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Bike slid out from under me on hill.

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Hi riders, I recently bought a honda xr650l and have been riding the gravel roads nearby for practise. It rained a bit last night and when I was riding downhill on a trail that used to be a road, my front tire slid around until I fell off. I was going slow in first gear but my front tire didn't have any traction. I got back on and slid and fell again. All slow speed stuff and no damage but I was wondering if any of you have some tips for next time I come across this situation.

It is strange but after my ride I came back up that hill and it was snotty but I didn't have any troubles.

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Heavy wagon+wet slick downhill+frontbrake=dirt sample.

Get a good knobby front tire and roll downhill with good smooth brake modulation.

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I have the stock tires (which are knobby) for the honda xr650l ( dual sport bike) in first gear and didn't hit the brakes since the hill was not really steep.

Thanks for the replys.

Dirt sample indeed. Oh well the bike did look nice and dirty after.

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I suspect too much air in the front tire. I only run 8.5lbs in the front and 9.5lbs in the rear, but I'm TUBliss.

0000-Neutech-The-TUbliss-Core---.jpg?01AD=3MZx8EGTB61hs_QR5fnvUugOMfoJ4nI0YVcIGRvJ4epUHQ0uHlCvZaw&01RI=DF29D1FB0ECE2FE&01NA=na

I have run only 8lbs in a front with an innertube but it will eventually pinch and pop.

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If they are the stock tires they may be knobby but they are not KNOBBIES. Knobbies in common usage means off road (not street legal) tires. Just trying to clear things up. Everybody is new at least once...

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Try standing in the "attack" position, leaning a bit forward to add weight and subsequently traction to the front tire. Not to far forward though. Or you can sit closer to the tank than you normally would to get that extra traction up front.

The culprit does sound like an inadequate front tire though. If you ride both street and trails you may just have to deal with it and practice till it works for you, if you plan to just trail ride then go buy yourself a new tire(s).

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I'd look at your front tire first, then your suspension tuning, then your posture. I think it'd be best to ride that sled downhill with your stuff on the gas cap and a soft front. It sounds dumb but maybe you were going too slow as well or trying to turn too much by leaning and not steering? I like to put the thing in 2nd (if I need power it won't destroy me when I get on it) and hold in the clutch, if I need to slow down I'll cook off the rear brakes and if I need to slow down more I'll do that in conjunction with feathering the clutch. It sounds kinda tricky because most of the hills I come up or down already have ruts and small banks so it's easier to just let the bike do what it wants and turn at the most opportune time when riding the outside edge of a rut through a turn.

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I did add some air pressure to the front forks (hard setting), have a dual sport tire that is not really a knobby, and didn't have my weight forward on the tank. Not sure about the front tire pressure but am sure it;'s higher than 8.5 psi in the front.

Maybe I shouldn't expect my xr650l to handle slippery stuff like a full on dirt bike would.

Oh well I feel fine about trying it again with the air taken out of the front forks, sitting further forward and maybe reducing the air pressure in the front tire.

Thanks for all your help.

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get a DOT approved knobby it will make worlds of difference over the duel purpose tire

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Thanks Slaydirt, I now realize that my dual sport tires are not the same as dirtbike tires and I shouldn't expect the same performance.

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there are also a bunch of good pointers in this thread,position on the bike with your weight a bit forward,standing in attack position,air pressure,suspension settings,all of these will help the issue you had,my KDX has a really crappy front knobby on it,but keeping the front weighted at the right times sure helps make it stick when it needs to.

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It hasn't been wet out since that last fall. Next spring I will get to try those techniques but I won't replace my front tire until it wears out.

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In greasy, sticky mud, you need to maintain a minimum speed to clear the mud out of the front tire, say 2nd gear on a dual sport with the high gearing. Any slower, and you need to help steer the back wheel with body position, like on a unicycle. Going fast through the mud doesn't feel right at first, but the speed helps keep you going straight. Sounds like your trail is a good place to pracitce that.

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Ya the tire was pretty caked up. I have read that sometimes more speed is helpful. More things to look forward to trying in the spring.

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I had to "relearn" how to ride off road on my DR650, the additional weight and size really made me change my technique on descents. First thing, they just won't stop on a dime like dirt bikes. Second, make sure you're looking way ahead, pick your line and stick to it. Third, look for "braking spots" (any place on the descent that has good traction: dry, flat, etc.) and take full advantage of them by braking hard in those spots and those spots only. On the DR I treat descents like hopping from one lilly pad to the next, and let the bike roll more between them (lilly pads are the braking spots).

Learn to use that big 650 for engine breaking, use your clutch to control the rear tire speed and the rear brake to a lesser extent. Keep a good stance with all your weight on the pegs; once you figure this out you can even skid the front tire for a foot or two without losing it.

Dualsporting is always a compromise on the tire. I prefer good knobby on the front and a DOT high-mileage knobby on the rear. When I ran full DOT tires the front would always outlast the rears by 2 or 3 sets; with a knobby front, they wear out at about the same time.

Practice.

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I had to "relearn" how to ride off road on my DR650, the additional weight and size really made me change my technique on descents. First thing, they just won't stop on a dime like dirt bikes. Second, make sure you're looking way ahead, pick your line and stick to it. Third, look for "braking spots" (any place on the descent that has good traction: dry, flat, etc.) and take full advantage of them by braking hard in those spots and those spots only. On the DR I treat descents like hopping from one lilly pad to the next, and let the bike roll more between them (lilly pads are the braking spots).

Learn to use that big 650 for engine breaking, use your clutch to control the rear tire speed and the rear brake to a lesser extent. Keep a good stance with all your weight on the pegs; once you figure this out you can even skid the front tire for a foot or two without losing it.

Dualsporting is always a compromise on the tire. I prefer good knobby on the front and a DOT high-mileage knobby on the rear. When I ran full DOT tires the front would always outlast the rears by 2 or 3 sets; with a knobby front, they wear out at about the same time.

Practice.

Dual sport bikes are kind of in "no man's land" between adventure bikes that can go quickly on the road and manage some gentle trails and dirt bikes that can handle nearly anything off road. Compared to dirt bikers we are riding crazy heavey bikes with poor tires. Compared to adventure bikes we are riding dirtbikes on the highway. I wouldn't change anything since I only have room for 1 bike.

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It is entirely possible that your caliper is sticking causing your tire to lock up in the mud. probably not causing a problem when dry check to see if your front caliper floats freely back and forth and that the pistons move freely. these need to be greased periodically

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