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Thread: Let's get dirty!

  1. #1
    Senior Member BuellyBagger's Avatar
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    Let's get dirty!

    I expect that my thread title will get some attention, lol. I wanted to discuss dual sport/back road riding. I bought the Ulysses I have now with the intention of trying out some dirt roads, gravel etc... I dont have any off road motorcycle experience and wanted to see if anyone had any advice or tips.

    I've been trying to become YouTube certified in adventure bike riding, but more first hand stories are always good.
    20200216_120046.jpg

  2. #2
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    Stand and stand often.

  3. #3
    Senior Member rb70383's Avatar
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    lol
    Good advice as I always see off roading bikers doing that. I only off-road my buell by accident. I NEED an offoroad bike..

  4. #4
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    Sounds like fun BB! You're hardly a rookie at this but I'll share the things I learned. I do have some Moto experience and I highly suggest it. Learning dirt on a 200lb neighbors 250 is easier than a 500lb loaded Uly. Single track dirt is easier than slick fire roads on a heavy street bike IMO.
    You'll need hard sided bags. Soft ones will tear off the bike when you side swipe a tree (In Oregon), and smash your goods when you fall over (same trip).
    Pack them with easily accessible emergency supplies first. A small first aid kit (gauze, pills, antibacterial ointment, etc.) Water (I have a 3L camelback type setup in the tank bag), a couple good protein bars (not 'energy' bars), external battery to charge stuff (even if you have a USB on the bike), flashlight, lighter, TOOLS (Safety wire (#Buell), zip ties, pliers, cutters, adjustable wrench, fuses, wheel bearings, wheel hex tool), and a flask of course.
    Pack a couple days worth of stuff in the hard bags, and knock your bike over. Get used to picking it up the right way. Better to learn now, than being wrong and think you'll never need to know. Picking it up wrong will wreck your old back and make the ride home miserable or impossible. In gear, kickstand down, sit your tailbone on the edge of the seat, grab the down-side handlebar and the pillion grab handle, lift with your LEGS only. EZPZ but it's heavier than you thought right!?
    Plan your route and wright it down on a paper map or print out, but a map is better. You aren't adventuring until you are out of cell service Even with the offline map app you get, you'll want an idea of how to get to civilization without it when it glitches and won't turn on, and your almost out of gas in the forest, headed to where the locals say "I dunno?, I've lived here my whole life and don't know whats down that road" (also the Oregon trip).
    Get a good map that works offline. The Garmin one is expensive but covers everything. "Oh! Ranger" is a park finder for state and Nat'l parks, "Good Sam" is for campgrounds and KOA style camping, "Scenic" is easy to build your own route and has a 'curvy road option' that works well, "Eat Sleep Ride" is also a map app but has the added feature of the Crashlight that can automatically call someone if you wreck.
    ATTGAT, and you'll be surprised how much clothing you don't need. Bring layers, and rain over-gear. A couple fresh t-shirts and socks/undies are key to not offending anyone you run across, but they can also be bought at a WalMart in a pinch. I pack for 3 days and stop every third day in a nice hotel for a hot tub and laundry, FYI every single Mariott has laundry services.

    Sorry for the wall of text, I only post to drive Lunatic crazy(er)
    Last edited by Cooter; 02-29-2020 at 04:09 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    The single most important lesson I learned riding off-road is to stay loose. It will be your natural instinct as a street rider to want to control every wiggle the bike makes and tense up. There is no way you can correct the tiny movements that fast, so just let it happen. Being stiff on the bars will beat up your body, and make you fall over.

    When going fast on a dirt road, think of an imaginary line through the forks, stand up and put your human center of gravity right over the steering neck. Thats where the bike rotates. If you keep that spot just below your heart in line with the forks, you should notice the whole bike moving around you with your loose arms. Check out some YouTube chest cam footage and you'll see what I mean. It's total bliss when you get it right

    I would NOT recommend the Michelin PR5 for deep sand, one star Haha


    and for fun:
    Last edited by Cooter; 02-29-2020 at 04:10 PM.

  6. #6
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    O.k. coincidence or ESP, I'm thinking the same thing about my Buell. I've been watching a lot f u tube vids about so called adventure riding. From what I can gather, the Ully can do pretty much anything the other heavy bikes can do and in most cases better, now this is my opinion just from watching the videos, because I've only been off road with the ully on short stints.
    Though there are videos of the Ully off road I can't seem to find any comparison vids, like where they have both bikes sort of running against each other and then they break it down as to the pros and cons of each. Now understand, I'm not comparing the ully to the mid weight bikes like the Tenere or the KTM 790 R, but for an average off road rider I think that the Ully can do most any thing the other bikes can do. The biggest problem these heavy bikes have is sand and mud and with the ully it's compounded by the tire sizes but as far as dry dirt and gravel goes it will hang with the best of them and destroy most n the hard top twisties.

    P.S. 1-you must have the right tires ( take a look at the Mota's tractionator tire ) I'm sure you already know.
    2- You should not go alone, picking up that bike is not easy for us old timers !
    3- https://youtu.be/i8rywrWuAqw
    Last edited by njloco; 02-29-2020 at 04:55 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member BuellyBagger's Avatar
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    Good suggestions and novel (cooter) so far guys. My current ambition is to ride the back roads in loess hills (right across the river from me in iowa). I dont have any plans for a long enough trip to need bike parts, but I will be putting a first aid kit under the seat. This uly has hard cases if I do wanna make a trip too. As far as dropping it... well I've dumped a fully loaded Ulysses a time or two lol.
    Njloco, have you watched any stuff from mototrek on YouTube? In between coats of paint at work I try and soak up as much adventure riding tutorials as possible and even watch stuff that deals with riding way more extreme than I want to get into, I figure best to be prepared for anything right?

    Ne who keep it coming folks, I think this is a fun topic and I'm excited to give it a whirl

  8. #8
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    Looking forward to getting my Uly dirty this summer. I picked it up late last fall. Here is my list of dirt ready to do items, in no particular order:

    Flush turn signals, prior owner broke off the right side anyway. <done>
    Drop foot pegs. <done>
    Rebuild forks. <done>
    Tires, still shopping.
    Bar end weights. <done>
    XB9 primary gear and chain. <parts on the bench, just got a clutch tool>
    skid plate for non OEM exhaust. Work in progress, need to fab a exhaust bracket and get the new muffler on centerline instead of offset. Then start working on a template.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Silverrider's Avatar
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    Let's get dirty!

    Picture 017.jpg

  10. #10
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    Keep your feet on the pegs. It's not a moto x track that's groomed. A half buried rock, a root, anything that immovable, if you hit it with your foot will shove all of the joints in that leg right thru your back. Good trail riders don't put there feet down.



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