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Found 66 results

  1. Riding and racing Offroad motorcycles is an awesome passion that so many of us have, and at which we all desire to become not only more skilled and safer at but also faster. One of the hardest parts of improving your skills is to get into the mentality of continually spending a small to significant amount of time each week practicing specific skills exercises so as to fast tack your learning instead of just pounding out laps or miles of trail. It is very important to spend a quick 5 minutes doing each exercise before your next race, or trail ride. This allows you to build your confidence and skill, plus also most effectively warm-up the specific muscles you're about to use. A great exercise for reinforcing the four fundamentals of riding skill (body position, throttle/clutch coordination, balance, and confidence) is the Slow Ride exercise where you ride as slowly as possible without putting your feet down. Having great balance allows you to maximize your momentum on the trail especially in more difficult conditions like mud, deep sand, hills, and rock sections. For superior flat cornering technique set up the Square exercise (10 foot wide square with 4 cones), preferably in some very slippery but consistent conditions, and ride continual laps gradually getting faster until you are able to slide/drift your bike around the Square without interruption for at least 6 laps. Use the four key points of cornering (body position, lean angle, throttle position, and counter steering) to control the slide and guide your bike where you want it to go - it's a great feeling when you get it mastered!!! This skill will be a huge benefit in the next mud race or just when you are pushing the limits and the tires are breaking traction. The best all around exercise for Offroad riders and racers to practice is the Figure 8 Corner Rut. The precise front wheel placement required, as well as the aggressive acceleration skills, correct body position, and supreme confidence needed to rail a rut also transition heaps to help conquer all other trail or track situations. A high quality Riding school or Instructional DVD will give you the breakdown of all of the many necessary skills exercises, and how to perform them at the highest level - constantly practice these exercises in the future, especially the ones that you are struggling with, and you will see immediate and huge improvements with your riding skills. Keep the rubber side down! Shane Former World and US National champion Shane Watts operates the highly acclaimed DirtWise Academy of Offroad Riding school and Instructional DVDs. For more information, please visit www.shanewatts.com. >>> discuss this tip
  2. Hey ThumperTalkers. Here's a riding tip that should help you to increase your chances of successfully conquering very steep ravines. Approach the drop into the ravine very slowly using your slow ride skills to maintain balance, keep the bike straight, and to stay in the standing position with both feet on the footpegs. The slower you can ride over the lip the slower and more in control you will be at the bottom. Once you "drop in", due to the steep angle, gravity will take over and you'll speed up significantly despite using the brakes aggressively. Be sure to extend your body way over the rear of the bike to help keep it on the ground, and don't let either wheel be continually locked up. As you are getting to the bottom start increasing the revs by rolling your wrist, using the "Door knob" technique to make this easier, then accelerate aggressively through the bottom. Transition your body to the center of the bike, brace your arms and don't buckle at the knees (due to the excessive "G" forces present) otherwise you'll lose heaps of momentum and control from the bike becoming very unstable. Accelerate hard up the other side moving your body weight as far forward as possible which helps keep the front wheel down and you on the gas. Achieve this by not bending your legs and extending your upper body fully forward, aiming to have your head out towards the end of the front fender. Make sure you look to the top - where you look is where you go. Your goal is to have to apply the brakes at the top to slow down instead of being 2/3's of the way up and needing to speed up. Minimizing speed down into the ravine and maximizing acceleration through the bottom and on the initial climb out, plus using full extension of your body from the back to the front will give you the best chance of conquering such advanced trail situations. For more info about Shane Watts and the DirtWise Riding schoools and Instructional DVDs please visit www.shanewatts.com Shane
  3. shampoo

    Riding alone

    Hello I am curious how many of you ride alone and if so do you choose easier terrain or do you take any other precautions? J
  4. Shane Watts

    Shane Watts DirtWise Riding Tip: Wheelies

    Wheelies are an essential skill that you need to perform on the trail to help conquer situations such as logs, rock ledges, creek banks, sand whoops, etc. There are four types of wheelies that you will use. The first one is from a dead stop and it is the one that allows you to learn all of the necessary wheelie skills the easiest while remaining the safest. Sit to the rear of the seat finding the best compromise between being far enough back to maximize your body weight/traction on the rear tire, but not too far back that you get into a funky body position. Use a little bit of throttle but a lot of clutch, letting it out smoothly but aggressively to help pop the front wheel up. If you are struggling to get the front wheel up either sit back further, or use a little more throttle, or pop the clutch out a little faster, or a combo of all these things. An auto clutch works pretty good doing this first type of wheelie, although you may need to load up the auto clutch by dragging the rear brake initially to help provide a little more "snap" to the power delivery. Start off getting the wheel up just a little bit off the ground and then as you build your confidence start to challenge yourself to get it higher in the air. On the trail you only need to do a wheelie as high as 3 feet, but when practicing this you need to do it up to 6 feet, straight up and down vertical. Doing it to this height gives you a bigger skill range and comfort zone while popping a wheelie, plus it really reinforces the use of the rear brake as the safety feature to stop you from looping out. When the front wheel comes up too high off the ground out of your comfort zone the natural reaction for the majority of riders is to take both feet off the footpegs and get ready to step off the back of the bike. In this situation you need to retrain your brain to the correct automatic reaction which is to keep your feet on the footpegs and apply the rear brake to bring the front wheel back down and "save it". So when practicing your wheelies you need to push yourself to the point of trying to loop yourself out, and then obviously use the rear brake so as you don't. Once you are able to confidently get the front wheel up high, and to control it at that height, you will be able to easily and safely conquer those difficult advanced trail situations, plus be able to impress the hell out your mates by pulling some pretty mad long wheelies. G'day! Shane http://www.shanewatts.com
  5. Shane Watts

    Accelerating in muddy and sandy conditions

    In muddy and sandy conditions your motorcycle will move around a lot more while under acceleration therefore you will need to be much more attentive to maneuvering your upper body weight side to side to help maintain balance and to achieve the best acceleration. This allows you to keep the throttle on instead of hesitating with it off while trying to regain your lost balance. Selecting a higher gear usually helps with putting the power to the ground when riding in mud. Generally speaking the faster you are going the more balance you will have due to the gyroscopic effect of the motion in both wheels, plus there will not be as much mud in the knobbies due to it being flicked off which will provide for better traction. In slippery or loose conditions it is very important to move further to the rear of your bike so as to increase the effect your body weight has on gaining more traction at the rear tire. If the rear tire hooks up and you start wheelieing too high just basically leave the throttle at the same position, but pull the clutch in the necessary amount to decrease the drive to the rear tire which will lower the front wheel back to the ground. On up hills or when stuck on trail obstacles it’s important to be real effective at putting the power to the ground with great throttle and clutch control and coordination. Generally, it’s better to use the lower portion of the powerband and the torque of the motor so as that the rear tire has more chance of hooking up. If you are stopped you may need to give a quick burst of power and exaggerate your body movement to gain some initial forward motion before backing the throttle off to help the rear tire hook up. You don’t want to keep the rear tire spinning wildly as you won’t get much traction and it will be very easy to slide out and lose balance. You need to find the best balance between wheel spin and hooking up to achieve the maximum acceleration. About Shane Dirtwise Academy of Off-Road Riding Instructional DVD's
  6. hey everyone, i am a pretty new rider, im 6'2 260lbs, i just started 3 years ago. i am 22 and i started on a 1995 xr250 and now i have a 2005 crf 450r. i wanted to see what other people thought about what bikes are better for guys my size. also what kinda parts should i get for my bike. and finally is there any special riding styles or technic i should try to focus on?
  7. In this post i'm not talking about experiece/age/bike/cc/or anything other then comparing Sitting to standing while riding. For example lets talk about GNCC style trails witch are open and have multi lines to choose from. Can someone be a great rider if they are mostly a sit down type rider? there are two types of people i see, the type who sit most of the time or stand almost all the time. I find my self to be more of a sit down rider but it's not because i don't feel good while standing it's just what I've learned to work best for me. I know the whole standing while charging and sit down in the end of the corners type deal but let's count that out. I know while standing you can use more of your body and there for turn better and flow with a better speed. But can someone who is sitting most of the time still be at a level where it is considered good/great? What are your thoughts? Mods if you think this should be in tech riding please feel free to move it out of General. Thanks guys!
  8. With really tight turns on the trail it is nearly essential to be able to perform the brake slide technique to complete these corners the quickest and most efficiently. By not performing the brake slide in these situations you risk riding off the edge of the trail because the turning circle of your bike is not great enough by just steering around the corner. As you approach the corner enter it generally as far to the outside as possible with a significant amount of speed so you can lock up the rear wheel and skid it for at least 10 feet (3 meters). While you have the rear tire locked up you need to have the bike leant over - the result of this action is that the rear of the bike will start to slide around. You want to keep the rear tire sliding out until it gets to approximately between 1/4 and 1/3 around the corner. At this point you need to release the rear brake and get on the gas so as you can then roost out of the corner, controlling the resulting power slide with the 4 key points of Drifting. You are able to achieve no transition, and thus no interruption, between the braking slide and power slide by using the Slow Ride technique to make this happen. Generally you need to support yourself and the slide by having your inside foot out touching the ground - many times you will pivot the bike around on your foot. Sliding around to the left is easier than to the right because you are able to keep your right toes on the rear brake while your left foot can be already placed on the ground for support. Going right you have to keep your inside foot (right foot) up on the brake until you have slid at least 1/4 way around the corner. In difficult situations you can use the Scandinavian Flick technique, and the resulting increase in bike lean angle and transfer of body inertia to help swing the rear of the bike around. You can also use an available tree root, dirt mound, or ledge to help facilitate this should they be angled the correct direction. For more info on the DirtWise Academy of Offroad Riding schools and Instructional DVDs please visit www.shanewatts.com Shane discuss this tip...
  9. Precise wheel placement is an integral of you being an efficient, safe, and skilled rider out on the trails. This is the first of our three Advanced Fundamental skills that we need to practice and master. The ability to control the exact placement of your wheels whilst out on the trail, and to vary the placement of your tires by just an inch or two has a huge effect on your speed, safety, and energy use. By executing this well you can avoid many of the nasty ruts, roots, rocks, and bumps on the trail. Here are some exercises you can use to improve your wheel placement precision. Start off with being able to exactly follow a roost mark across the paddock. Utilizing the skills and techniques we learnt from practicing our previous general fundamental exercises (Stop & Go, and Slow Ride) we will have a good execution of maneuvering our upper body weight to maintain balance and direction of the motorcycle, plus adjusting the throttle, clutch, and handlebars to keep the bike on the exact desired piece of trail. Always remember to look ahead for increased balance. As with any skill it is best to isolate it and practice mastering it in a safe, controlled environment, progressing to a more advanced level in small increments, such as next riding along some train track wooden sleepers, and then along the top of the actual train tracks. We will show actual demonstrations of this in our new Advanced Instructional DVD that will be available for purchase in mid February. These skills will also be shown on this Advanced DVD Vol. #1 Promo teaser that you will be able to view on our new, updated website that goes live on Jan 13. Make sure you check it out! http://www.shanewatts.com/ Stay tuned for more exclusive off-road riding tips featured in the March issue of the ThumperTalk newsletter. - Shane
  10. When tackling long, soft, silty berms you need to gauge the maximum force that you can place on the soft soil, that makes up that trail situation, to support the tyres adequately from blowing through the wall of the berm. If the berm has already been blown out in a certain section, you will need to turn slightly more aggressively off the banked surface earlier in the berm. Using that initial portion of the berm to pivot slightly sharper will allow you then to "reconnect" with the remaining berm for the rest of the corner. A more aggressive version of this same technique can be implemented to help you hop out of a rut that doesn’t have a desirable ending or is full of water. Using a variation of the 180 wheelie you maximize the effect by getting hard on the gas and pushing/bouncing your body down into the bike's seat, which magnifies the compression and rebound of the suspension, to achieve the necessary launch of the front wheel out of the rut at the precise moment. It is most critical to get the front wheel up and over the inside edge of the rut so as it doesn’t slide out. Hopefully the rear tyre will also have enough rebound effect to hop over that edge also. If not just stay on the gas anyway and control the bike with your grinding and drifting skills. Practice makes perfect, so get out there, find a good berm and hit it over and over! Shane About Shane Additional Riding Tips & Training Resources
  11. Shane Watts

    How To Ride In Slick Conditions

    During these winter months there is a lot less traction when going around slick, muddy corners that have a flat surface than when in drier conditions. This means that you definitely need to get as comfortable and skilled with your bike sliding around and drifting through the corner while in both the seated and standing position. Be careful while braking on the entry to a flat corner as there will be a greater tendency for the wheels to lock up and slide out, most likely resulting in a crash. Going around a tight or more open corner, you will need to be continually adjusting the 3 key points of cornering, which are: 1. Your body position on the bike (and how it relates to the 90 degrees of traction principle). 2. The lean angle of your bike. 3. Your throttle position. While roosting around these corners, the goal is to maintain a smooth, consistent arc. You want to position your body at the very front of the seat, and “on top” of your bike when it is leant over through the corner so as you can gain extra traction by “weighting” the outside footpeg. A lot of times in these slippery conditions the bike will start sliding/drifting on you therefore it is important to help control your bike by using counter-steering of the handlebars, along with continued adjustment of the above three key points. If possible, try to find and use a banked surface to help stop your wheels from sliding out, or even utilize any clumps of mud or slop to support your wheels. To really fast track your learning with this essential skill, try to find an open space that has a smooth yet consistently slippery surface and then start riding slow circle of about 15-20 feet in diameter. As you get comfortable start going faster without making a bigger circle. Eventually the rear wheel will begin to spin and slide, especially if you give your bike a quick blip of the throttle to initiate the spinning action. You want to keep the wheel spinning somewhat and try to slide/drift continual circles without stopping, controlling the bike with our key points. When you start getting good at this skill it is so much fun to do this drifting exercise. You will love it! We will have an in depth analysis and demonstrations in our upcoming DirtWise Advanced Instructional DVD – Volume 2, which will focus on the techniques you use to master Braking, Cornering, and riding through Tight trees. Visit www.shanewatts.com for more info on this and the DirtWise Academy of Offroad Riding schools. Shane Discuss this tip in the off-road techique forum
  12. Shane Watts

    DirtWise Riding Tip: Circle Rut

    Thanks for watching! - Shane Watts http://www.shanewatts.com/
  13. On the steeper and slipperier hills it is also more critical that you stand up so as you have the ability to get more weight over the front of the bike if you need it to limit any big wheelies, but more importantly so you can get more traction. A lot of people think that you get more traction on uphills if you sit down. Well, actually that's wrong. Not only can you gain more traction by standing but you can also manage that traction much better. We like to call this the leveraging technique. To do this the most effectively your goal is to have the front wheel just skimming across the ground or possibly pulling a very slight wheelie. In this position the total combined weight of you and your bike is being leveraged onto the rear tyre to provide maximum possible traction for the conditions present. This enables you to then use more power. You control the precise height of the front tyre by adjusting your body position - too high, move forward, too low, move back. Again, this technique allows you to apply maximum power and gain maximum traction for all conditions - the key is to be able to move your body weight to your advantage. Sitting down doesn't allow you to do that anywhere near as effectively. When there is big variations in traction over a small distance you can get a better advantage in gaining traction by coordinating more aggressive pulling on the bars and the bouncing down of your body weight on the slipperier portions of trail. This leveraging technique is a little more tiring, and definitely way more forearm fatiguing but it provides you better ability to conquer the hill. If you didn't make it and get stuck on the hill because you were sitting, and thus were limited in making it over the top by the negative results associated with that seated position, well you're now going to expend a whole heap more energy trying to make it the rest of the way compared to what you would have used when standing up. You can learn more about this technique and many others in the new DirtWise Advanced Instructional DVD - Volume #4 coming out in mid October 2012. Visit www.shanewatts.com for more information! Keep on Roosting! Shane Watts discuss this tip in the Off-Road Riding Technique Forum
  14. As summer rolls in and the temps roll up, we off-road riders seek relief from the oppressive heat while trying to stay cool. For us the task at hand may be solved with choosing from the incredible variety of vented riding gear, hydration systems, and cooling vests…but for your motorcycle it may not be as easy to pick a solution that works as well. Modern off-road motorcycles use water-cooled systems to manage engine heat. Before water cooling, controlling engine heat was much more difficult because of the overall design of the engines and the way “hot spots” are produced, especially in the cylinder walls. Water cooling allowed engine designers to effectively manage these hot spots and dissipate heat from these areas, allowing higher compression ratios and overall power to weight gains. But managing heat is still a huge problem…heat is your enemy and can rob valuable horsepower on any off-road machine…many off-road bikes are now coming with EFI systems and their ECU (on-board computer) reacts to excessive heat by retarding the spark advance curve (and even shutting down the engine), thereby removing the chance to achieve maximum engine output. To read a good reference article about how modern EFI systems are affected by engine heat, check out this cool Boyesen Engineering Tech Tip article. Before beginning the article we studied boring stuff like “surfactants” and learned that these surfactant things that keep getting mentioned are substances that lower the surface tension of a liquids like water or the tension between certain liquids or between a liquid and a solid, kind of like a lubricant…and that makes sense because surfactants may act as detergents, wetting agents, emulsifiers, foaming agents, and dispersants. Whew that was mouthful…but when we talk about these “surfactants” we’re talking about a quality that the cooling substance contains to aid in the disbursement of cooling area within the contained cooling system. We also talked to the experts about what happens when you use the newer “No-Boil” cooling formulas such as Evans Waterless or Two2Cool’s PRO-G formula and we found the feedback suprising – read on to see what some of them said… It also helps to understand where hot spots come from and understand the phenomenon known as “cavitation”…And why is it bad for cooling systems? We asked the experts at Boyesen Engineering and this is what they said: Fluid air cavitation within a closed loop engine cooling system is an often overlooked problem area that contributes to an engine’s overall inability to maintain operating temperatures. Cooling fluid cavitation is the formation of small air cavities in the coolant – i.e. small fluid-free zones (“air bubbles" or "voids”). These air bubbles are the consequence of friction based impeller forces acting upon the cooling fluid. From a physics point of view, whenever a fluid is “cut", in this instance by a water pump impeller, tiny air bubbles are introduced into the fluid resulting from the fast change in pressure. Air does not have the same ability to express heat out of the internal surfaces of your machine’s engine when compared to cooling fluid and this contributes to “hot spots” and overheating. We’ve taken some time to look at some of the solutions offered in this arena in order to give all of us a better understanding of how these products work and why they may be good (or not so good) for our overheated iron steeds. As most off-road bikes are water cooled in one way or another, we’ll look at products that may improve that system in some way, whether it be by hardware (radiator caps and improved pumps/impellers) as well as products that can be added to improve the cooling efficiency and heat dissipation of aforementioned systems (coolants and additives). Now that I've laid the foundation and you've read this far, click to the next page for product 1 of the 7 engine heat fighting products you need to know about. #1: TWO2COOL COOLANTS How does it work? Two2Cool has a coolant line consisting of three different coolants/antifreeze formulas, or as an additive and they can be used in automotive or motorcycle applications diesel or gas. All share a proprietary "Heat Transfer Fluid" that removing the heat from the engine and moving to where it can be released into the air that passes over the radiator(s) using the "Total Contact" technology that reduces aeration, air pockets and surface tension. PRO-G is the newest product and it is a “no-boil” formula. We’ve heard different and varied opinions this technology and how it works and the jury still seems to be out but Two2Cool is hanging their reputation on it, and the owner Bill Swisher has been around the block more than once and is a very smart cat. How do you use it? Most products are ready to use straight out of the bottle and into your cooling system. (ThumperTalk Staff recommends flushing your cooling system any time you change from one type to another to avoid cross-contamination) and the coolant additives are mixed at 8oz. per gallon. More specific instructions on proper use should be noted on the bottle or the Two2Cool website. How do you dispose of it? All the Two2Cool coolant products are biodegradable as they use Propylene Glycol (PG) as needed which makes it legal in virtually all race sanctioning and safe on the trails. Photo: Two2Cool's Pro-G No Boil Racing Coolant #2: ENGINE ICE COOLANT How does it work? Engine Ice Hi-Performance Coolant is a product that uses a very high grade of PG (Propylene Glycol), pure water and a protective iingredient in a proprietary blending process. These ingredients and the processes create more consistent, if not lower, operating temperatures in your engine through "surfaction" (remember this?) surfaction is a reduction of surface tension of the liquid coolant within the system. Engine ice is run by Dave Kimmey, another long-time veteran of the motorcycle industry and a wealth of knowledge as well. How do you use it? Mix nothing with it, it is pre-diluted and ready to use. You drain the cooling system and put in the Engine Ice, or rinse the system with bottled water first (never put tap water in an engine) but the best way according to Engine Ice is to the flush the system with 50/50 white vinegar and bottled water before filling with the product. So, you fill the cooling system, run engine until warm, let cool, drain, fill with bottled water, run engine, let cool, drain and fill with the product…same as cleaning a coffee maker. How do you dispose of it? Engine Ice is biodegradable as defined by OSHA and the FDA, but once run through an engine, it's not quite as "nice" as it originally was, so it is recommend you dispose of all fluids properly like any glycol based product. Fact: Some motorcycle shops and auto shops will take used fluids as it is sold and recycled. Photo: Engine Ice Hi-Performance Coolant #3: THE BOYESEN SUPERCOOLER Boyesen Engineering has developed a water pump system called the Supercooler which can increase the performance of your cooling system by flowing more coolant and eliminating cavitation (remember this?) where possible. What is cavitation and why is it bad for cooling systems? Fluid air cavitation within a closed loop engine cooling system is an often overlooked problem area that contributes to an engine’s overall inability to maintain operating temperatures. Cooling Fluid Cavitation is the formation of small air cavities in the coolant – i.e. small fluid-free zones (“air bubbles" or "voids”). These air bubbles are the consequence of friction based impeller forces acting upon the cooling fluid. From a Physics point of view, whenever a fluid is “cut", in this instance by an impeller, tiny air bubbles are introduced into the fluid resulting from the fast change in pressure. Air does not have the same ability to express heat out of the internal surfaces of your machine’s engine when compared to cooling fluid. With this in mind the absolute design criteria for any water pump system’s impeller is to re-introduce coolant back into the engine with as little air cavitation as possible. How does it work? Boyesen addresses these issues by engineering a better design that cuts down on cavitation and improves flow rates by improved impeller and pump cover design. The Boyesen hydrodynamic water pump kits have been tested and designed to flow more coolant and eliminate cavitation within the coolant, and a result, deliver a much more efficient “coolant charge” to the engine. By increasing the flow, the engine will run cooler at a more constant temperature. The Supercooler's design is based on the process of correcting the inefficiencies and production-based limitations found in the design of stock water pump systems. This would include re-engineering the inlet diameter capacity and hydrodynamic efficiency of the impeller. Boyesen claims the Supercooler can reduce engine temperatures by as much as ten degrees, as confirmed by tests at Team Kawasaki. So how does the Supercooler achieve this? Hydrodynamics. Boyesen's investment-cast aluminum water pump cover has bigger water inlets, a sculpted design, no casting seams, less restrictive corners, a more efficient impeller and less cavitation than other units available. The Supercooler's optimally formed interior surfacing process eliminates all coolant flow "pinch-points" resulting in a hydrodynamically efficient interior that dramatically increases coolant flow efficiency and ultimately leads to increased fluid flow re-entry rates into your bike's engine. It also features a large inlet opening. This is superior to stock inlets, which are small and often have 90-degree bends. The patented impeller is 25 percent more efficient at moving water than stock systems. The design reduces fluid cavitation, which increases cooling capacity. More info on the SuperCooler can be found at Boyesen.com Photo: Boyesen Supercooler as installed in ThumperTalk Review by TT Reviewer Monk #4: EVANS WATERLESS POWERSPORT COOLANT How does it work? Evans Powersports Coolant is a waterless engine coolant, consisting of a blend of glycols, the same basic chemicals found in antifreeze, but without the water so it essentially does not boil in the radiator like regular water based coolants. Coolant formulas with 10% or more water content create vapor pressure and have a boiling point too close to the coolant’s operating temperature. Steam takes up 1,244 times more space than liquid water; that’s enough expansion power to run a freight train… Inside your engine, that vapor expansion pushes liquid coolant out of the cooling passages. The naked metal temperature at those locations can then spike by hundreds of degrees, which is the source of hot spot detonation. When things really get cooking, the head can warp causing head gasket failure. Because Evans is waterless and has a very high boiling point, it does not suffer from this steam expansion or the associated problems of boiling coolant with its air bubbles and resulting hotspots. How do you use it? When converting to Evans, as we've mentioned earlier, you must get the water out of the system and Evans makes a product for this called Prep Fluid; instructions are on the bottle. In an emergency, water or antifreeze can be added to Evans, although that will reduce its performance down to that of antifreeze. It is non-corrosive, doesn’t go bad, and has a freeze point of -40C/F. It shrinks as it cools so there is no freeze-burst danger. How do you dispose of it? The formulas do contain ethylene glycol (except the CCS, ASRA, and AMA Pro Flat Track legal “NPG Coolant”), so they should be handled and recycled in the same manner as antifreeze. Photo: Evans Waterless Powersports Coolant #5: MISHIMOTO OVERSIZED RADIATORS How does it work? A high-quality radiator in good working order is one of the most important components when addressing your cooling issues. These radiators feature a 100% brazed aluminum core and each radiator is designed for a clean OEM fit and have been assembled with precision TIG welding for durability. Mishimoto oversized radiators are designed to optimize coolant capacity as well as cooling fin density and pitch, as well as strength and durability, to meet the unique demands motocross racing and off-road riding.. These radiators are made with two or three rows of high-quality aluminum, which allows all parts of the radiator, including the tanks, to dissipate heat faster than a stock unit. Also, the cooling fins are designed for maximum heat dissipation. The coolant tubes on Mishimoto radiators have greater surface areas for improved cooling over stock OEM radiators and they feature more coolant capacity than OEM applications. How do we correctly determine if we need an oversized radiator? Any time a motorcycle sees heavy usage, it can benefit from increased cooling capacity afforded by a performance radiator. Even in an otherwise stock, mildly ridden or driven application, the performance product provides that extra margin of safety on a hot, humid day. How do we install the product - are there any special considerations? The Mishimoto products are designed with ease of installation in mind, so it should be a simple bolt-in affair and they also have Customer Service line that can walk you through the installation should you have questions. Photo: Mishimoto oversized radiator test results on 2009 RM-Z250 #6: RED LINE SUPERCOOL COOLANT AND WATER WETTER COOLANT ADDITIVE How does it work? Red Line’s WaterWetter acts as a surfactant, a wetting agent that pushing bubbles away from metal to add cooling efficiency when an engine gets hot. It is AMA-legal, as it does not add slipperiness or change water’s coefficient of friction. WaterWetter is completely compatible with glycol antifreeze, but WaterWetter alone has no freezing protection properties. WaterWetter is also available for motorcycles as “SuperCool with WaterWetter”, a premixed coolant with the right amount of WaterWetter and filtered, deionized water. How you use it? SuperCool with WaterWetter is simple to use, just flush your radiator, fill it and you’re done. This can be convenient, as most riders don’t know their bike’s coolant system capacity offhand. When using just WaterWetter, you can use a 12oz bottle to treat up to 3.5 gallons. How do you dispose of the product? Is it biodegradable? WaterWetter and SuperCool are both completely biodegradable. Photo: Red Line Supercool with WaterWetter #7 CYCRA/CV4 HIGH PRESSURE RADIATOR CAPS How does it work? CYCRA/CV4 offers a radiator cap can increase the boiling point of your coolant. How does it do this? By increasing the pressure required before it opens to release (and lose) your valuable coolant. Straight water will boil around 212 degrees, but under pressure your cooling system will prevent the coolant from boiling at that temperature. Many coolant mixtures will not boil until almost 300 degrees – so when the pressure is higher, the temp to boil is higher as well. Stock radiator caps are rated at around 15PSI and the CV4 cap is rated at a bit over 25PSI and as the CV cap is designed to open at a higher pressure (and temperature) it keeps the cooling system from overflowing until the bike reaches a higher temperature. Keep in mind that radiator caps are also rated in atmospheric pressures (BAR) - 1.1 bar is roughly 15psi, and 1.3 bar is around 18psi. How you use it? Installation is simple and simply requires that you replace the stock radiator cap. If you’d like to read more about the real-world usage of these types of radiator caps, you’ll want to check out this thread in the ThumperTalk Forum. Photo: CYCRA/CV4 High Pressure Radiator Cap We're sure that there are more viable powersports cooling products out there, we just didn't have the time to cover them all in one article. But, we'd love to hear from you either about what we wrote or about products and/or techniques that you're using with success that we didn't cover. Thanks in advance for your comments (see below)! Sean Goulart, Contributing Editor
  15. See http://www.shanewatts.com for additional off-road training resources, including instructional DVD's and dates/cities for schools & camps. Discuss this tip
  16. Shane Watts

    Anticipating the trailhead

    “Anticipating” is an essential and key part of riding a dirtbike. For sure now, as you are driving your vehicle to the trail head, the moto track, or your favorite practice loop out in the bush you have a lot of “anticipation”. Same goes for when it’s mid morning and you’ve got heaps more hours to go being either stuck in that office cubicle, or digging trenches, or what ever it is you do before you can jet out of there and go roosting. But that’s not the kind of “anticipation” I’m talking about here…. Instead, what I mean is the ability to “anticipate” the situations and conditions that are approaching on the trail ahead – whether it be a nasty uphill, a rutted out corner, a bog hole, or any other of the multitude of difficult trail situations out there. By paying acute attention not only to the previous trail but also the environment and topography you are approaching you can gain a pretty good understanding and judgment of what that next trail situation is that you will be forced to conquer before you have even seen it. For example, let’s say that back down the that moist, slippery clay trail that you are roosting there was a spot where the soil on the trail changed to a lighter color, and a sandier composition and therefore you experienced plenty more traction for the short portion of trail. Well, further up that trail as you are slip sliding around approaching that next tight corner and you see that the soil starts changing to that lighter shade of color, you can fairly certainly say, due to your “anticipating” that you are going to have much more traction in this next corner than the previous slippery ones. This means you will be able to decide to safely carry more speed into and around that particular corner. Now that is a good thing because at that same time you had noticed the trail you had been traversing along was in the bottom of a gully, with somewhat steep side walls that been “closing in”. Again, you could pretty much “anticipate” with near 100% certainty that following the next corner you will be faced with an abrupt hillclimb to conquer. Thankfully your “anticipating” has given you a better chance of cresting the top of that rise, not only because you were somewhat expecting the hill and ready to attack it, but also because you carried more speed and momentum around that previous corner. “Anticipating” and trail experience go hand-in-hand together – they complement each other and the more you have of each the better and more correct your decision making judgment will be on the trail. Generally it is hard to see and know what is around that next corner – it is that situation where your “anticipating” skill will give you the most benefit on the trail. Currently we are filming Volume #2 in our Advanced series of DirtWise Instructional DVDs, which focuses on an in depth analysis of cornering, braking and tight tree trail situations you will deal with. “Anticipating” has been a big part of this filming – not only does it apply to so many of the trail situations that we will show how to successfully conquer, but we also have a lot of “anticipating” in getting it finished and on sale in early September so as you guys can view, learn, and fast track your skills improvement from it!!! About me http://www.shanewatts.com/ Discuss this tip
  17. joey_243

    Riding ruts

    Just wanted some tips on riding ruts im fine with soft single sided ruts but pact double sided ruts just kill me during races any help please thankyou
  18. I was introduced to trails riding (in Michigan) through a friend who, when he first took me riding, maintained a breakneck pace. Later, when we rode with riding friends of his, everyone in the group was determined to outdo the other, in terms of speed and getting a big lead. When I began, I rode in denims, a t-shirt and work boots (and with helmet and goggles, of course). At the trailheads I was treated to a spectacle of riders in fancy riding gear, riding powerful (450 cc and up) bikes. All of this contributed to the impression I developed that trails riding is a race - it's about who can go the fastest. That was several years ago. Increasingly, as I ride the trails and become acquainted with the entire scope of the dirt biking scene, from arenacross, to motocross, to enduro, to trials and more, the more I am coming to appreciate the trail riding is not a race, and that those who want or need to race need to find the appropriate venue. There are plenty of tracks and places with organized competitions (at least in Michigan) for people who want to compete. ORV trails in federal and state forests in Michigan were not designed with racing in mind. For one thing, all of them permit two-way traffic. For another, hazards like trees have not been cut back from the trail's edge; usually trees are left standing right up the edge of state and federal trails. Smaller rocks and tree roots are not removed from the trails. Tight or hair-pin turns have been deliberately included to make the trail challenging, but are way too tight for racing purposes. In fact, let's allow the Michigan Department of Natural Resources itself speak to this truth. They have built and they maintain almost 2,800 miles of ORV trails in Michigan. Regarding these trails they warn: (Our) trails are lightly groomed and riders are likely to encounter narrow sand trails, rough moguls, steep hills, stumps, rocks, brush, loose surfaces and other hazards. Now, of course, there is no law (at least in Michigan) prohibiting racing on trails. What I am talking about here is the exercise of wisdom - one can "race" one's automobile on the public roadways but how smart is that (considering all the consequences of an accident) as opposed to racing at one's local raceway? It's time for racers to take their racing to race courses and race events ( such as enduros) and for people riding trails to ride like their on a trail - enjoy the trail, enjoy the challenge, but keep your speed reasonable for conditions and traffic.
  19. Late summer/early fall is a prime time for a lot of riders to head out and hit the trails with their mates for a roost session. Personally I just got back from a week of epic high country single track in the mountains of Idaho, and it was sensational!!! During that time the result and effects of a few basic trail “rules” were clearly evident to those present. Have a designated trail boss (who actually knows where he is going!) and follow that person, or at least make ride decisions as a group and adhere to them. Do a head count of riders BEFORE you start the ride. When you get to a trail intersection the lead rider continues on while the second rider of the group waits there and directs the following riders until all riders have passed or the designated sweep rider arrives – no exceptions on that one! Always try to remain as a group (safety in numbers), but if a rider does need to call it early for whatever reason make sure they truly do know how to find their way back or are accompanied by at least one other rider. Fill your bike’s fuel tank up ALL the way to the top before the ride and at any gas stops during the ride. Remember now that the only time you can have too much fuel is when you are on fire! Packing a light Gore-Tex type rain jacket can be a savior especially in the high country where the weather can change from pleasant to extremely nasty real quick, and don’t forget to also include some poo-tickets in a zip lock bag in case nature calls – it sucks having to ride the rest of the day after sacrificing a sock for clean up!!! Take a camera/helmet-cam to take some happy snaps and document any worthwhile moments, good or bad. At some stage in the future you will be glad that you did! Carry all of the equipment and tools to perform a trail side puncture repair, or better still get your mate to carry it for you – a 21 inch tube will work much better for both wheels than an 18 inch tube. Same goes if you drown out in a river crossing. Have one of your mates wring out the airfilter for you so as they get the greasy, oily residue on their hands. If there is a large puddle or small creek crossing on the trail try and line it up so as you roost past your mate on the back wheel just before the water. The resulting splash and drenching is worth bonus points for the after-ride bullshit session!!! Email us at dirtwise@shanewatts.com by Thursday, Sep 15, 2011 with your most unique trail rule and the best one will win a free copy of the original DirtWise Instructional DVD. Keep on roosting!
  20. Shane Watts

    Grinding - Off-Road Riding Technique

    Grinding is our second Advanced fundamental skill, and just like precise wheel placement which we discussed last month, we use this skill to avoid and conquer so many nasty trail obstacles such as long, deep ruts. This skill is also a big help in us being able to maintain control and forward motion of the bike if you or the bike get off balance. It is preferable to do this skill while in the standing position for increased upper body movement to help maintain control and balance. You should also practice this skill in the seated position as there will some times on the trail that you will only be able to be in this position while grinding. Start off with trying this skill on a dirt bank/ledge or railroad ties with your front wheel up on the high side and the rear wheel sliding/grinding along the lower edge of the obstacle. Take it easy but you do need to have an adequate amount of speed to make performing this skill possible by making it a little easier for that wheel rear to actually slip along the edge. To control the bike you need to adjust not only your body position for balance but also the throttle position and steering so as to keep your bike sliding at the appropriate angle. Too much throttle and not enough counter steering will result in sliding out. Not enough throttle and too much counter steering could end up in a trip over the hangers from a highside crash. You also need to be very precise with your wheel placement to master this fundamental skill. We give instruction and show actual demonstrations of this in Volume 1 of our new series of Advanced Instructional DVDs, that is now on sale through our on-line store. You can view some examples of this skill in the promo teaser for Volume 1 at http://www.shanewatts.com Make sure you check it out! -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Learn the “Why” behind the “What” in this new series of “Dirt Wise with Shane Watts” Advanced Instructional DVDs. Volume 1 covers and in depth analysis of techniques required to conquer Mud, Sand, and Rough Ground conditions you will find out on the trail. Other topics included in the DVD are segments on bike and suspension set-up, along with other essentials to prepare yourself for these nasty conditions. Available from www.shanewatts.com for $24.95. Get free shipping and a signed poster if ordered before March 15.
  21. Shane Watts

    Drifting - Off-Road Rding Technique

    Drifting is our third Advanced Fundamental skill, and it is essentially the same actions and execution as we used for last month’s topic, which was Grinding. Except unlike with grinding where we are sliding the bike pretty much straight along the edge of an obstacle, with drifting we are sliding the bike around the arc of a corner situation. This drifting skill is a huge help in us being able to maintain control of the bike while maximizing your ability to roost around a corner. Make sure to practice this skill in varying conditions and situations such as loose ground, hard pack, gravel, and even pavement if possible. To be able to drift your bike well you need a good understanding and ability to adjust the three key points of cornering, which are 1. Throttle position, 2. Lean angle, and 3. your body position in relationship to the Principle of “The 90 Degrees of Traction”. We will discuss these more soon in our upcoming cornering article. Find a smooth location, preferably with consistent traction, and start doing some varying sized circles, slowly increasing your speed until the rear tire starts breaking traction. You then just go a little faster focusing on achieving a continual drift. You maintain and control the drift by adjusting the 3 key points and using counter steering. If your bike is not sliding enough you either apply one or more of the following; 1. more throttle, 2. increased bike lean angle, 3. or turn the front wheel more towards the inside of the corner you are going around. Which one to adjust is dependent upon the conditions present. We will discuss this in next month’s article. We give instruction and show actual demonstrations of this in Volume 1 of our new series of Advanced Instructional DVDs, that is now on sale through our online store. You can view some examples of this skill in the Promo teaser for Volume 1 at http://www.shanewatts.com Make sure you check it out! About me: http://www.shanewatts.com/bio