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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well for some reason I have the bug to go motorcycle camping next summer, I have been looking at collecting gear ect and how I would pack it all on the bike. One of the places I would love to go is a place we used to go to when I was a kid but the last 5 or so miles is dirt road, I know the best solution would be to change my tires, at least the back, to enduro tires but since I don't want to spend the money for that, at least not yet, what are your guy's views on riding dirt roads with street tires and what tips might you give.
 

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Well for some reason I have the bug to go motorcycle camping next summer, I have been looking at collecting gear ect and how I would pack it all on the bike. One of the places I would love to go is a place we used to go to when I was a kid but the last 5 or so miles is dirt road, I know the best solution would be to change my tires, at least the back, to enduro tires but since I don't want to spend the money for that, at least not yet, what are your guy's views on riding dirt roads with street tires and what tips might you give.


I see you have an Elsinore in your stable. It should indicate that you´re used to riding on dirt.



About a CX on dirt roads: I would say it depends on the road. If it´s a small one with very loose surface maybe enduro tires would be the best choice. If it´s a normal, rural dirt road with decent surface there´s absolutely no need for something else than than street tires. At least if you ask me.



Where my avatar bike now is (M´lady´s place in northern Sweden) there are a lot of dirt roads. I´ve had absolutely no problems riding there, distances around 50 miles or more at a time, sometimes even with M´lady behind me on the "sofa". The bike is shod with normal street tires (AVON Roadrider).



Once I (alone on the bike) happened to catch a scraper, on a small, seldom used, but rather scenic dirt road up there. I had to sit there for at least 5 miles behind him, before I could pass. I believe you know what a newly scraped road looks like.



You´re talking about 5 miles or so. No reason to change tires, I believe.



Some years ago m´lady (60-ish) and me rode on each one CX to the archipelago of Åland (between Sweden and Finland). There were some dirt roads we couldn´t avoid. In spite of her minimal training she managed to stay upright all the time. Obviously they aren´t as bad on dirt as one might think!



Sture



 

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Riding on gravel is a lot like riding on a grated bridge deck.



Ride loose and let the bike wander a little as it wants to. If you fight the motion, you're in for a bad ride. Just be sure to steer, brake, and accelerate slowly and deliberately.



R
 

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It all really depends on the road. For some roads gravel and dirt means the county drops new gravel every so often and it's a thick mess that pulls you around and on others it's just a worn in road.
 

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I live one mile down a loose and bumpy dirt road and like those above said it is not a problem. I really like the 'ride loose' comment. That is so true. Don't let that dirt road stop you from the memories you can make!
 

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I offered a gravel-riding lesson at the '09 Spring Ride, and all I got were complaints!




R
 

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I offered a gravel-riding lesson at the '09 Spring Ride, and all I got were complaints!




R




R, ask JerryB in SC about gravel roads. DaveF was following his gps on the way to the Amish rally in August and they wound up on some really bad gravel/dirt roads! When you tell the gps you want the most direct route there is no telling what you will wind up with!


Gene
 

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Well for some reason I have the bug to go motorcycle camping next summer, I have been looking at collecting gear ect and how I would pack it all on the bike. One of the places I would love to go is a place we used to go to when I was a kid but the last 5 or so miles is dirt road, I know the best solution would be to change my tires, at least the back, to enduro tires but since I don't want to spend the money for that, at least not yet, what are your guy's views on riding dirt roads with street tires and what tips might you give.




Ohm, you have now received a number of comments on dir/gravel roads, inclduing my own. I forgot to add in a comment on motorcycling in general. If you go to the site listed below you will find what I think is one of the best recourses for bike camping around.



http://motocampers.com



I joined this site before going to Alaska and it was a great help. They even have a sub-section for trailer camping on motorcycles. A lot of good folks are on that site.



Gene
 

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Sorry - tried to post this much earlier but had problems with the site

Your problem here is not really the road, but the likely conditions. A Cx on reasonable dry hard pack is not hard to ride at all. But as soon as it becomes loose or wet, your in major trouble. If you are to change only one tyre, make it the front and not the rear. If the rear clogs and spins, you can counter steer it to maintain forward progress. If the front clogs up and spins, your f***ked

The cunundrum you face is merely this, the more off road the tyres are, the more of a problem they will be on the highway, and vice versa. There is enough choice in 19" trail, trials, and adventure sport tyres that you can make the choice you are comfortable with. But still your deciding factor should be the weather you are likely to encounter
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah I figured it probably wouldn't be too much of a problem, sounds like something I just need to practice a bit on mainly. The road in question is a fire road up along the north fork of the Santiam river here in the Oregon Cascade foot hills, leads to a real nice little camp ground which is mainly 11 or so small spots in amongst the trees right on the river. The road is definitely better then others but it has been known to have some pretty good washboard, not really any deep ruts or anything though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yeah, not quite that bad
 

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R, ask JerryB in SC about gravel roads. DaveF was following his gps on the way to the Amish rally in August and they wound up on some really bad gravel/dirt roads! When you tell the gps you want the most direct route there is no telling what you will wind up with!


Gene
That's what the AdvWing build is for!





Photo from DaveF's ride report. (Thanks for the link, Will.)



R
 

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I'd never ridden dirt tires until this summer, I had no problems with street tires on loose gravel in the praries, on the gravel grid roads or exploring along rivers etc. The biggest things i found for it were:

weight on the pegs not on the seat, with your knees holding on, arms reasonably loose to let the bike wander and recover without stress.



Lower the air pressure, this was probably the biggest change to the bike instead of riding style that helped. Even dropping 5psi made a tremendous difference, it's really quite amazing what old street tires will climb over if you give them time.



Keep your speed up, below a certain speed I crashed several times in mud/loose gravel(3-4" deep gravel, up to 6" mud) Above 60km/hr it smoothed out tremendously.



Slow way down for curves, I took them almost at a walking pace for 90 degree turns, staying to the inside, as the gravel is always thrown to the outside edge.



more rear brake, I used it almost exclusively.





As far as tires go, I'm really liking the Duro HF904 rear I'm running now, for 55$ shipped, they are supposedly fairly hard wearing, and I've found it to brake and handle better than my old tires on the road,some people were seeing cracking with skinny versions and low pressures on some forums, but I've never seen anyone with issues with the wider ones, there is a harley rider who just finished a tour of the middle east incl iraq using them. I don't see any reason for a true street tire on the rear instead of that.

For front tires I don't really know a good bargain one which gives good and offroad handling, the TKC-80 is handling rain and highways as well as mud so far with the only issue being on grooved concrete it tends to track them. Downside is they are 120$.
 

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R, ask JerryB in SC about gravel roads. DaveF was following his gps on the way to the Amish rally in August and they wound up on some really bad gravel/dirt roads! When you tell the gps you want the most direct route there is no telling what you will wind up with!


Gene


Ummm... for the record, DaveF's GPS got us into the back country,
my GPS showed us how to get out...




Come to think of it, the last TWO times I was off-road DaveF was leading. I learned you can off-road anything, even a Burgman!
 

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Ummm... for the record, DaveF's GPS got us into the back country,
my GPS showed us how to get out...




Come to think of it, the last TWO times I was off-road DaveF was leading. I learned you can off-road anything, even a Burgman!


I like my GPS to get me out of trouble, I can get into it - all on my own!




As for off-roading on the CX - back in the day when I got mine - in 1982, we would often head up to 'cottage country'. The trips consisted mostly of paved 2-lane highways, then there would often be up to 4 or 5 miles of unpaved 'cottage roads'. I remember thinking, having never been 'dirt-biking', that my bike just wasn't made for this, but you get used to it. By the 2nd or 3rd summer doing the same routes, I was beginning to enjoy the dirt sections after a long arduous 2-lane. It was like "Okay, now the fun begins". There were usually 2 or 3 of us, and we would take turns on point - checking the conditions, like fist tracks at the ski resort, you just never knew what was ahead. The skills develop quickly - when they have to.
 

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Hi Ohm,

I'm a new CX500 owner, and just recently joined the forum.

Just thought I'd give you a wave from Lebanon... on the South Santiam.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
$25 for an '80 CX, I hate you
At some point I think it would be awesome to have an Oregon Rally.
 

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$25 for an '80 CX, I hate you
At some point I think it would be awesome to have an Oregon Rally.


Absolutely !



I know that area you are talking about fairly well. Is the fire road before, or after Detroit lake ?



I took a wrong turn on the GL near high rock on Mt. Hood one time. What looked to be a short ride on a gravel road ended up being about 11 miles of white knuckle riding on washed out roads only to have it dead end and have to turn around and go back. Most of the riding was in first or second gear....and the above posts are exactly right. I had to learn to let the bike go where it wanted to go a little. Unnerving at first, but I got the hang of it after a while.



There is a highway that crosses over the mountain about fifteen miles past detroit lake and spits you out just outside of sweet home. I think it's 57 but I'm not sure. I think that would be a kickass loop to do from Portland and I know of some great camp sights out there too.



We'll have to get serious about an Oregon/SW washington get together as soon as the weather breaks.





John
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yeah it is just west of Detroit, basically if you are going east on 22, you have the ranger station on your left, turn left at that intersection and it takes you out to Salmon falls, three pools and if you keep going and turn right you get to a little campground called shady cove if you go left you reach the trail head to go hike into Jawbone Flats and the Opal creak area. The 22, 57, 84 loop does sound like it would make an epic Saturday ride, leave about 8 in the morning and get back in the evening sometime
 
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