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  1. #1
    Junior Member i82much's Avatar
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    Hi all - just got a t-dub. I live in Spokane and am trying to learn to ride, mostly in north Idaho. Lots of long, steep, rocky, rutted, and gravelly uphill sections in the St. Joe and CDA National Forests.



    I'm a total newb (35, good shape, 6' 0", 190 lbs) but have no idea how to deal with these hills. Basically, I'll get slowed down going up a long, steep uphill and if I stop, I can't get going again. The rear tire will just spin.



    I ordered a 65 tooth rear sprocket (only need a plate for trails in WA, no "street") and I'm hoping I'll be able to crawl up these hills a little easier. But that still doesn't seem to solve the problem of rear tire spin?



    The sprocket and maybe lowering tire pressures will probably help, but fundamentally ... is it possible to get going again on a dirt bike once you stop going up a steep hill? Or do you just have to turn around and try again?
    DaveF likes this.

  2. #2
    Member Babaganoush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by i82much View Post
    Hi all - just got a t-dub. I live in Spokane and am trying to learn to ride, mostly in north Idaho. Lots of long, steep, rocky, rutted, and gravelly uphill sections in the St. Joe and CDA National Forests.



    I'm a total newb (35, good shape, 6' 0", 190 lbs) but have no idea how to deal with these hills. Basically, I'll get slowed down going up a long, steep uphill and if I stop, I can't get going again. The rear tire will just spin.



    I ordered a 65 tooth rear sprocket (only need a plate for trails in WA, no "street") and I'm hoping I'll be able to crawl up these hills a little easier. But that still doesn't seem to solve the problem of rear tire spin?



    The sprocket and maybe lowering tire pressures will probably help, but fundamentally ... is it possible to get going again on a dirt bike once you stop going up a steep hill? Or do you just have to turn around and try again?




    Hi 82much,

    I have experienced the same problem on a steep hill on my property. Even with a 54 tooth I still spun the rear and lost forward momentum at the very top. The only solution I can see is get a running start so the momentum is enough to clear the crest or have a helper push you to the top. It's a very dangerous job trying to get the bike turned around on a hill since the front brake will not hold the bike on the hill and you can't get your foot onto the rear brake. Gravity and physics can be a little too much in these situations. My hill climbing dreams were crushed when I realized my TW could not take hills the same as my 4x4 SUV. Also, I was never able to get the bike the last few feet up the hill even by putting it in gear and walking up beside it- no go. Do not pass GO. Do not collect $200.



    Dave

  3. #3
    Junior Member i82much's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Babaganoush View Post
    Hi 82much,

    I have experienced the same problem on a steep hill on my property. Even with a 54 tooth I still spun the rear and lost forward momentum at the very top. The only solution I can see is get a running start so the momentum is enough to clear the crest or have a helper push you to the top. It's a very dangerous job trying to get the bike turned around on a hill since the front brake will not hold the bike on the hill and you can't get your foot onto the rear brake. Gravity and physics can be a little too much in these situations. My hill climbing dreams were crushed when I realized my TW could not take hills the same as my 4x4 SUV. Also, I was never able to get the bike the last few feet up the hill even by putting it in gear and walking up beside it- no go. Do not pass GO. Do not collect $200.



    Dave


    Thanks Dave. A little discouraging, but honest. Yeah I'm almost wondering whether I should bite the bullet and get a Rokon or an ATV. Somehow I think it's gotta be doable with the TW. I guess one answer is just KEEP GOING but I'm talking about deep, rutted, steep single track with overhanging trees, rocks, roots, etc. Pretty crazy. So far I've been able to turn it around every time by myself but I'd *really* like to be able just keep crawling uphill and, if necessary, stop on a hill and get going again.



    I had a DRZ 400 and thought the seat height was the issue - that's true to an extent. I can keep my feet down and keep some weight on the back tire, and that helps some.



    Did you try deflating the tires some? I was also thinking a serious dirt tire on the back might help quite a bit. But I don't want to sink tons of $ into this thing and then still not be able to get up those steep hills.



    I think I know the answer ... learn how to ride and don't be a wimp. But this is pretty crazy!



    Steve

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  5. #4
    Member Babaganoush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by i82much View Post
    Thanks Dave. A little discouraging, but honest. Yeah I'm almost wondering whether I should bite the bullet and get a Rokon or an ATV. Somehow I think it's gotta be doable with the TW. I guess one answer is just KEEP GOING but I'm talking about deep, rutted, steep single track with overhanging trees, rocks, roots, etc. Pretty crazy. So far I've been able to turn it around every time by myself but I'd *really* like to be able just keep crawling uphill and, if necessary, stop on a hill and get going again.



    I had a DRZ 400 and thought the seat height was the issue - that's true to an extent. I can keep my feet down and keep some weight on the back tire, and that helps some.



    Did you try deflating the tires some? I was also thinking a serious dirt tire on the back might help quite a bit. But I don't want to sink tons of $ into this thing and then still not be able to get up those steep hills.



    I think I know the answer ... learn how to ride and don't be a wimp. But this is pretty crazy!



    Steve


    I liked the idea of a Rokon but it would find only limited use on my property and I have none of the time I used to have to create and maintain trails. Much easier for me to hit the country roads where I live and not have to worry about keeping them cleared before I can ride them. To answer your question, yes it does help traction to air down, but my main solution was to get a fast start at the bottom to have enough rolling momentum to clear the top. Go watch some hillclimbing events on youtube and you will see that all the power in the world will just spin the rear tire and stick you on the hill when you lose enough momentum. Very educational. Rokon if you can truly justify it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ht3DMDx1spo Suicide hillclimb video.



    Dave

  6. #5
    Member shadow's Avatar
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    What you guys are talking is a combination of technique and traction. If you are spinning out the rear wheel, a larger sprocket will only make matters worse. Essentially, you are over balancing the tractionower ratio (more power than traction). If you are stalling out then you have more traction than power and the sprocket idea is savvy.



    Not knowing how steep of an incline or the makeup of the soil you are climbing, it seems to me that you need a tire better suited for your objective. Sadly, this also means you will have to give up something like smooth track ride-ability. The more aggressive the tread, the rougher it will be, even to the point of unridable in the case of paddle tires.



    I will add though that putting more weight to the rear of the bike will likely not end well in the case of looping it over backwards. "Kiss the front fender" is the desired riding position.



    Lets talk what you can do. Let some air out of the rear is an option but no too much as you don't want to debead the tire. Longer run with more speed and let inertia do the rest. Pick a tire that gives you ballance of traction for your chosen terrain. Above all, keep trying and wear your gear!



    As a rule, bikes can climb steeper angles than ATVs due to the ability to put more of rider's weight up front in relation to the overall balance of the machine. Google "big nasty hill climb" and look at rider position. There is even an un-modified class that will show you this.

  7. #6
    Junior Member quietbiker's Avatar
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    Its been my experience on the venerable TW that momentum is the key on long steep hills, as you don't have the torque reserve of a larger engine. If you have sufficient room to take a run at it, that can work. However, having said that, I have crept up some pretty long and loose hills in low gear. A recurring problem I have is trying to shift down from 2nd to 1st without sticking in neutral. Once that happens...flameout. Go back down and hit it again.
    There is a fine line between being courageous and being suicidal.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Kev250R's Avatar
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    I'd keep the gearing the same (at least for now) and get a more aggressive tire. Should help with traction. That and some momentum. I've had a similar problem with my rear tire spinning-out on me going up long rocky up-hill sections. I have the stock rear tire and when it gets closer to being worn-out I plan on putting something more aggressive out-back.



    Good luck!



    --Kevin
    '04 TW - Ricochet skid plate, IMS pegs, Odyssey battery, Seat Concepts seat, wide front tire. Geared low N' Slow Hidden Content

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  9. #8
    Senior Member Gerry's Avatar
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    We must be talking pretty steep and loose. This kind of terrain I have tried to avoid for a few years now. My experience with trying and watching is, if you have to stop on a hill, it is very hard with 'most' any machine to attempt a re-start. As well, like Dave said, getting the bike back to facing down hill may end up getting your face implanted with some of that down hill.



    When I was a kid on my Honda (street) pushrod 90 I use to enjoy trying some of the hills that the guys on their Greeves and Bultacos would climb with some effort and lots of skill. Strangely I made it or got higher than most expected. For me what seemed to help, is that I would always 'tickle' the throttle. It was seldom held wide open for more than a moment and I never closed it down. Even with the street tires, I just kept going. Generally however the dirt was pretty hard packed.



    An odd, yet easy option that has helped me in mud and snow has been cable chains. The weight is pretty minimal as is the carry box. If I expect challenging (for me) conditions, I carry a full set and install them (quickly) trailside. They have helped alot, though admittedly a bit on the fringe. Gerry



    Take care my Friend.........

  10. #9
    Senior Member busyweb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrgizmow View Post
    We must be talking pretty steep and loose. This kind of terrain I have tried to avoid for a few years now. My experience with trying and watching is, if you have to stop on a hill, it is very hard with 'most' any machine to attempt a re-start. As well, like Dave said, getting the bike back to facing down hill may end up getting your face implanted with some of that down hill.



    When I was a kid on my Honda (street) pushrod 90 I use to enjoy trying some of the hills that the guys on their Greeves and Bultacos would climb with some effort and lots of skill. Strangely I made it or got higher than most expected. For me what seemed to help, is that I would always 'tickle' the throttle. It was seldom held wide open for more than a moment and I never closed it down. Even with the street tires, I just kept going. Generally however the dirt was pretty hard packed.



    An odd, yet easy option that has helped me in mud and snow has been cable chains. The weight is pretty minimal as is the carry box. If I expect challenging (for me) conditions, I carry a full set and install them (quickly) trailside. They have helped alot, though admittedly a bit on the fringe. Gerry





    Wow, I've never thought "Chains" on the motorcycle tires.

    Looks great.

  11. #10
    Senior Member dstock@alaska.net's Avatar
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    The worst part of long, steep hills is that you have to come back down.

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