Tight trails

Does anyone have experience with riding a BRP in tight trails?

How do they work?


Hi I ride my brp in tight rocky hilly PA woods and tight sandy NJ pine woods and it can hang with most any other bike. A good steering damper and fork brace help out a lot also a good rear tire something wider than stock. Yah just have to put up with comments like what are you doing thats a dessert bike and dam thats a heavy bike why don't you ride a 250 but in my opinion thease a ass :D for every seat esp the 250's get on that PIG n ride !!!!!! :)

I ride a Pig also, in Southern, MD. I've ridden w/Redtractor(John) at Tower City and we showed a Pig can hang in the tight woods and anywhere else. When the trail opens up nothing can hang with it. It takes more skill and muscle, but to me, its worth it. I hear the same comments as John, my riding partners say "get a CFR", get something lighter, you would be so much faster on a smaller bike, only reason they want me on something with less power is to stop the rock attack from the TerraFlex rear tire. Nothing else out there can spin a 140 tire like a Pig, nothing. When we are on the trails and hit a open area, i can hit 75-80 with ease then I have to wait for the fella's to catch up and I even replaced my 14-tooth sprocket with a 13 for better tracking in tight woods.

You know the scene of drag racing has changed over the years, some guys race 4 cyl and some V-8's. They can put up the same E.T.'s to reach the finish line but its how you get there. I'm a V-8 guy, the only 4-cyl I would drive would be a Porsche and I can't afford that. The bigger the better. I wish they would come out with a XR750R or even better XR1000R :)

I think the Pig requires a little bit different riding style than a lighter bike. I've heard the comment on TV that Ricky Carmicheal steers with the rear tire. I did not really understand that comment until I got the Pig. It has so much power that I can steer by throttle, when you have that much mass at speed and need to make quick changes in direction, to help the front end change direction I use the throttle. This doesn't work everywhere but in the areas I ride it works. If I get outta shape I just turn the throttle.

John & I rode the tight Penn. trails full of rocks and we didn't have any trouble slic'in and dic'in!! If you get off on power and torque you won't be disappointed with a 650R.

Same as last guy I ride the pig in colorado and Utah very tight stuff It rips when you get the hang of it, drop front sprocket to a 13t and hold on I love it have had ktm250exc's ktm 400's yzf426's and a wr250 01 xr650 is the best do everything bike in the world, also a big suprise to me was that I barly expend any energy on the pig once you get the suspension dialed in the bike just tracks through everything rocks and roots do not deflect the pig, you barely have to shift EVER, in very tecnical sections pick a good line and just ride right up. People are scared of the pig but dont be is a great bike that will never ever ever break, your buddies will tell you to buy something else but unless you have ridden a pig for a couple of hours you have no clue of the true potential of this mighty farm animal. Your buddies will be suprised at how much they see your rear fender in every situation, chances are you will even tow one of them out because they dont ride a pig!

The woods up here in Northern Michigan are legendary. There are places in our woods that are so tight that you can read you own license plate going around corners.

Setting up the bike is critical, the correct springs for your size is very important. I also like running 13 - 50 sprockets so most of the woods are run in second and third gear. In the real nasty stuff I run almost no compression damping in the fork and a damper is like cheating

I had to laugh out loud :D when I read the comment about the only reason your buddies try to get you on another bike is to stop the rock attack. Amen!! Both my buddy and I have BRP's that we ride in just about every condition from tight trails to hill climbs to flat out. Wouldn't own any other bike and I owned and rode a bunch over the years. I love it in the tight stuff until it gets stuck or the trail ends and it's turn around time but I still wouldn't change. I love the torque and power and best of all when the guys speak up and ask why are you riding such a big heavy bike you can just smile and shoot them a big stream of rocks with a blip of the throttle :)

I ride in the foothills of alberta in the woods, mostly nasty single track (like sometimes first gear almost idling is the fastest you can go). Dropped to a 13 front, now roosts bog nicely in 4th gear. All of my friends think im nuts for buying the 650 "its heavy" or "why so big". The trick i have found is, keep up your momentum, dont work too hard to find the perfect line, just let the bike do its thing as long as its going in the general direction you want it to. Dont fight it, it will win. I have to agree that nothing will throw bog like the pig, except maybe my banshee (yes i have an atv, and a jeep, go ahead i thrive on flaming). Only downside is your buddies will harass you to no end. BTW, im a V-8 guy too, simple fact is, 4 bangers will never be as fast. Well that was a nice rant, time for beer, JR.

Yes! The 650R works great in tight trails and I don't understand why so many people seem to think that it does not work well in the woods. Set up correctly (gearing and suspension), It works much better than most people might think. However, it works even better in high speed open areas, which is what it was really designed for. Have fun with it!

I like riding my pig most anywhere, except in the following areas:

1) Long steep rutted downhill sections with loose dirt.

2) Off camber trails that are super tight and twisty with steep up or downhill sections, especially when rutted and mixed with very thick brush.

3) Deep sandy super slow twisty trails.

I don't like riding most modern MX or trail bikes bikes in those types of conditions unless its a smaller trail bike that I can literally pick up and throw around. Earlier this year I had my XR650R on a super narrow off camber trail surrounded by thick brush and things got super steep, very rutted and very twsity with every corner ahead being blind. I came across a guy whose KTM had slid part way down the side of the hill side trail I was traversing and there was no place for me to park my bike, so I had to ride a ways until I found a safe tree to lean my bike against. I was really sweating it because there wasn't even a place close to being able to turn around and things just kept getting worse :D This guys bike was pinned in the brush about 20 feet down and we couldn't get it out without a lot of help and a lot of tie straps that were used to let someone safely go down the hill and then everybody tugged/dragged it up the hill. Needless to say he couldn't start his bike even after 'K'icking 'T'wenty 'M'inutes :) and it had to be towed out.

Qadsan: Sounds like the voice of experience to me. :)

One of the best features of the big bore BRP is its engine braking for going down steep (mountainous) single track dirt roads. Very light assistance with braking is all you need, never locking up the wheels.

I also ride a tower city and ride alot of the technical trails in that area. The bike works great like everyone ealse says just make sure you change the gearing and get the suspension set up for your weight and youll be fine. Ive never got stuck on a single hill since ive owned my 650L. :)

I ride the 650L in Hawaii. I can assure you there is no other place on this planet with tighter trails. Tight, muddy, off-camber, root infested, rock litterd to be exact. I love my bike in those conditions. Don't get me wrong, my 125 and 250 are easier to ride but the sheer fun factor and the looks on the other riders faces as I pass them on the BRB-Big Red Beast is priceless! A bunch of riders here thought I was nuts to bring the BRB on a regular ride but I proved them wrong... FUN FUN FUN! :)

I ride Honda's other BRP and have no problems on tight trails here in NY. I had a DRZ400s and it was good on the tight trails. But it didn't have the torque of my big red monster. Hell, the torque takes me anywhere I want to go. :) And I can throw some rock roost with this pig too. :D

Dutch: I tried to send you a PM asking this but my browser freezes each time I push send so I don't know if it ever got to you, BUT I was wondering if you are/were running the 13/50 combination on the stock chain length of 110 links? I'd hate to buy the 50 rear and find it doesn't fit! Thanks.


I am running 112 links so I can run 14/50 & 15/50 also.

I did run the 13/50 with the stock chain but the axle was as far foward as it could get.

May or may not work with all bikes.

Buy the way - my GPS shows 87 mph with that gearing, (and a 140 rear tire).

Thanks Dutch! That would be perfect for where I ride. I may try the 13/48 first b/c I could switch back and forth between the 13t and 14t but would I notice much b/w the 13/48 and 13/50?


does an 85 XR600R count as a BRP? if so, it works great in the tight stuff. i can idle her down to almost a stall, then grab a handful of loud handle and wheelie out of corners.

the guy i bought my 85 from replaced the 85 with a 01 650R. i ride with him occasionally and he seems to have no trouble going as fast as he wants in the tight stuff, and he's using DOT tires.

being quite front heavy, it's rather important to keep your front knobby fresh. other wise she'll want to wash out every time there's a little loose dirt in a corner.


I've been thinking about buying a 650. Sounds like I would be fine in the tight stuff.

Yes - 13/48 is a good combination.

I liked the 50t gear because it pulled the wheel so far forward.

That makes a big difference in the woods.

The 13t countershaft is nice with the 48 for an

all around woods gear and the bike will run in the low 90's top end.

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