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Thread: Left in the Dirt

  1. #1
    Taffy dkwells's Avatar
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    Sep 2023
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    Left in the Dirt

    Hi all. I am new to the world of Beemers (but not motorcycles). I have a dilemma and need some suggestions. I live in a cove up a dirt road with only semi-annual road maintenance. We get small washouts, washboards, potholes, and some loose (and larger) rocks. I do not have a cross-over or enduro, I have a heavy 1200 LT. I was able to get it up the road when I purchased it recently (have had practice with my previous Boulevard cruiser), but it will only be a matter of time before I lay it down if I intend to use it as a weekend/fair weather driver. I wanted the LT as we live at the base of the Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Parkway and my wife likes to be comfy when riding two up for the day trip getaways.

    Don't laugh or roll your eyes at the next part but I was thinking of creating a type of training wheel set that I could slip under the carriage lift stand and strap to the bottom of the foot pegs. I would use the 'training' tires as balance/leverage in case things got too squirrely. At the end of the road, I would simply unstrap the bar, slide it out, and secure it with a lock (safe, woodsy area) as I leave the Cove for flat asphalt and greener pastures - repeating the (5 minute?) process on the two-minute ride up the road when the road is bad. Most of the time the road bond is sufficient, but with our rain of late, my ride time is sure to be limited.

    Thoughts? Am I outta my gourd? Workaround ideas?

    Taffy

  2. #2
    We live in exactly the same type of place you do… up a valley, then up about 1500’ of mountain elevation on about 1.5 miles of gravel and switchbacks. But I am a life-long off-pavement rider. When I rode my GS up our hill and found our lots, I thought I was in heaven.

    To each his own but I would lose the thought of the training wheels.

    While I am by no means a training expert, I can offer a few tips:

    - Learn how to feather your clutch, it helps you get around steep switchbacks

    - Learn how to steer with your feet, e.g. press down on the left peg to gradually turn left

    - Use countersteering inputs to the bars in combination with your foot peg pressure

    - Place your weight on the edge of your saddle on the outside of the turns… this helps with traction and lean angle

    - Use both front and rear brakes in unison while heading downhill, don’t worry about leaving your ABS on

    - Get a smaller, lighter bike!

    Ian
    Go soothingly through the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon.
    __________________________________________________ ________
    '67 Trail 90 || '86 R80 G/SPD+ || '13 CB500X || '14 Grom || '19 CB500X

  3. #3
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    You could be the hero of everyone on the road by making a “drag” and smoothing it out on your own once in a while.
    A piece of I-Beam with a bridal in tow works nice. Add a piece of chain-link fence behind that and you can almost make “corduroy”.

    OM
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose". MI5
    Moderator Team.
    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Omega Man View Post
    You could be the hero of everyone on the road by making a “drag” and smoothing it out on your own once in a while.
    A piece of I-Beam with a bridal in tow works nice. Add a piece of chain-link fence behind that and you can almost make “corduroy”.

    OM
    This would tend to destroy the crown of the road, which is crucial to drainage and run-off mitigation on unpaved roads with any appreciable slope.

    A better approach is a thing called a Scotch Rake… aka drag harrow…it’s a floating device that cuts less material. We used them all the time to smooth out the bulldozer’s work when building golf courses.

    I wanted to use one in our neighborhood (it’s also good at breaking up snow) but our Road Nazi forbids it since it wasn’t his idea.
    Go soothingly through the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon.
    __________________________________________________ ________
    '67 Trail 90 || '86 R80 G/SPD+ || '13 CB500X || '14 Grom || '19 CB500X

  5. #5
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visian View Post
    This would tend to destroy the crown of the road, which is crucial to drainage and run-off mitigation on unpaved roads with any appreciable slope.

    A better approach is a thing called a Scotch Rake… aka drag harrow…it’s a floating device that cuts less material. We used them all the time to smooth out the bulldozer’s work when building golf courses.

    I wanted to use one in our neighborhood (it’s also good at breaking up snow) but our Road Nazi forbids it since it wasn’t his idea.
    Never seen his road in good condition or bad condition. Much easier to maintain a grade rather than waiting until a CAT-12 road grader was needed.

    OM
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose". MI5
    Moderator Team.
    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200

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