Advice for someone looking to get into dirt a little more...

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#1
I have been thinking about outfitting my bike to be able to handle the dirt at a manageable level. Here's the thing, I know zip about riding on dirt. My first question is, how do you find fire roads or dirt roads in your area? Are there maps? Secondly, without a total commitment to dirt, what tire would you advise?
 

snakebitten

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#2
Dirt is far more fun AND less intimidating with a dirt tire.
You can compromise, of course, but you'll be riding it like a streetbike off road, rather than the huge dirtbike that it is at heart.

Once you experience a proper off road tire, then you'll have a frame of reference for trying out those many "in-between" tires that make up the holy grail search that starts the many tire threads. :)
 
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#3
Check ADV Rider to see if there is an ongoing thread used by riders in your state or region. If there is one, then it will be a good source of information on riding trails.

Ask around at your local dealers to see if there is a local trail riding club. Even one that is primarily for ATVs can be a good source of information.

Search You Tube for "How to ride a motorcycle on dirt roads". There are some videos on the subject.

Search the net for books on "How to ride off road motorcycles".

Search the net for "Off road riding schools". There are MSF dirt courses and outfits like RawHyde that offer great training.

Consider getting a small dirt bike (250cc) to learn and develop your dirt skills. The S10 is not the best choice for starting in the dirt. Kinda like trying to learn boating by Captaining an aircraft carrier.

Good luck.
 

trikepilot

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#5
A Tenere in the dirt? What is this you speak of?



Many will think you are crazy and you proably are, but the Tenere is actually pretty damn agile in the dirt if you have the skills. But as mentioned above... it is NOT the bike to learn those skills on. Go find some beater dirtbike or small dualsport to navigate the learning curve before taking the Tenere out.
 

Checkswrecks

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#6
Trikepilot hisself, showing the big girl can pick it's way up a rocky stream bed full of trip hazards:


Leading us here:
 
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#7
I am in a similar situation as you. First off - I purchased a set of Mitas E07 tires last year.
Secondly - I am attending an off road course in 10 days. I am going to the BMW performance center in South Carolina.

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#8
lastparrot said:
I am in a similar situation as you. First off - I purchased a set of Mitas E07 tires last year.
Secondly - I am attending an off road course in 10 days. I am going to the BMW performance center in South Carolina.

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How much is the class costing you?

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Id have to look it up again, worked it out months ago. If you Google the BMW performance center in South Carolina you can fiind the 2 day class I am going through.

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eemsreno

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#10
Ewan Mcgregor proved that taking some off road classes can make anything possible, even riding around the world.
But I grew up off road riding and I can’t imagine starting from scratch in my old age.
Good luck you guys.
 
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#11
lastparrot said:
Id have to look it up again, worked it out months ago. If you Google the BMW performance center in South Carolina you can fiind the 2 day class I am going through.

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i see they make you use BMW.
 

BaldKnob

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#12
lastparrot said:
I am in a similar situation as you. First off - I purchased a set of Mitas E07 tires last year.
Secondly - I am attending an off road course in 10 days. I am going to the BMW performance center in South Carolina.

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You are going learn a lot and most likely have a metric ton of fun. I'm all for advanced training and professional instruction. That being said, attending these classes with little to no offroad experience might be putting the cart before the dog that won't hunt. Most riders aren't ready for 600lbs of bike sliding around on soft surfaces and the best way to get ready is get comfortable doing it on a little, beater bike. Rawhyde wants $1,400+ for their Intro to ADV. You could use that cash for a small bike and gear and figure it out on your own. Get comfortable being cross rutted and drifting. Catch some air. Having several months of this (as opposed to a few hours of advanced training) will create the muscle memory (saving it!) and that translates to the big bike. Either way, Have fun!
 

BaldKnob

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#13
cavenger said:
I have been thinking about outfitting my bike to be able to handle the dirt at a manageable level. Here's the thing, I know zip about riding on dirt. My first question is, how do you find fire roads or dirt roads in your area? Are there maps? Secondly, without a total commitment to dirt, what tire would you advise?
K-60 hater, here. Poor wet road performance, rough ride and difficult install were my gripes. Mitas might be the better choice or.... just commit and put the 804/805's on. I routinely see 8-10,000mi fr/5-6K on the rear with these tires. Works well in the wet, smooth (initial) ride and not too loud. Plus, this bike looks better with knobs. YMMV.
 

limey

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#14
eemsreno said:
Ewan Mcgregor proved that taking some off road classes can make anything possible, even riding around the world.
But I grew up off road riding and I can’t imagine starting from scratch in my old age.
Good luck you guys.
I'm one of those guys that started late, I've taken 3 off road training courses ridden the CBDR,WBDR, 3/4 of Continental Divide till I smashed my ankle. Even with the all training and all the off road I still suck but I'm having a blast.
 

trikepilot

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#16
My $0.02....

Not sure I would go to an offroad class that I cannot use my own bike for. But you will surely learn some skills.

Before you take the Tenere offroad, be sure to put good knobbies on and get her armored up with solid protection to the soft parts. Then take everything else off the bike to save weight and minimize damage. Turn the TC off and run it in T mode. She has alot of bottom end and does not need the S mode for true offroad riding. Find the Tenere sweetspot as espoused by Snakebitten which lies at about 11 mph and maybe around 2000 RPM and second gear. At this spot, TBDBITW will tractor over and through about anything that you have the guts to point it at.

And before your dirt adventures, go take her out onto the back driveway and push her over. Don't "lay it down" - go push it over. This accomplishes three things: proves that the armoring works so it eases your apprehension about damage from the inevitable drops, gets that first drop out of the way so you can ride more and worry less, and lets you work on your technique for lifting this big pig.

But on a more serious note... investing in a smaller beater dirt bike to learn the needed skills will save you tons of time and money and probably even keep you out of the ER.
 

Checkswrecks

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#18
A poseur is not the guy who rode big Fancy across country on Trans America Trail.
;)
You da man!
 

Checkswrecks

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#19
I'm a proponent of learning on a smaller bike and won't knock using a school bike, even if it's a Beemer.


The key is learning technique. If during a lesson you are EVER thinking about damage you might possibly maybe do to your bike, then you are distracted and focusing on the wrong things.
 
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#20
I have no background in riding dirt bikes in my youth, but because I found myself living in Fairbanks, AK for many years, I did get some experience. I certainly think the pictures Trikepilot posted (surprising name for a rider with substantial off-road skills) show terrain above my skill level. But if you ride in dirt, or as Spousal Unit and I did, many miles of dirt and gravel roads, you will pick-up skills. The most important thing to learn in my book is to know your limits, and while you need to push your limits in order to develop, you should not get in way over your head. Keep your speed reasonable but know that some aggressive use of the throttle is needed to save your arse in some situations. I am proof that a guy with modest off-pavement skills can have a bunch of fun and ride just about every dirt road in AK and the Yukon without going down. And Spousal Unit has riden every one of the roads with me and had less than a year in the saddle when we went to Deadhorse.
 
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