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First time ever taking a motorcycle on any kind of offroad. Headed to nearby Foothills ORV in Port Angeles. Since I'm new to this whole thing, i stayed on the main gravel road, but saw numerous single trails along the way. I was by myself so I didn't get crazy and don't think i ever went over 25mph. I was really trying to learn the whole "driving on gravel" thing mostly. Those down hill turns are slightly nerve racking. I stayed on the rear brake and kept front brake to a bare minimum on the down hill. Pretty much let the bike do it's thing otherwise, trying to have some faith in the tires and letting them track. Any tips anyone can provide to someone new like me when it comes to trails and roads will be much appreciated.

The pic overlooks Port Angeles.

Foothills_ORV_092014.jpg
 

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Yes to Utube videos and other how-to sources, however most will deal with bikes different than the TW. You are lighter and shorter than an Adventure Tourer so can do more rough terrain yet heavier and less powerfull than conventional MX based trail bike so will never wheelie through any creek crossings.
Sounds like you are starting out right though. Gravel roads are squirrely places to learn so if you get comfortable on them then that is an accomplishment. Try more dirt roads and trails too, first and second gear speeds.
What tripped me up learning was dealing with ruts, roots and branches that would be encountered at oblique angles. A couple of wipe-outs taught me to finish braking early and hit obstacle at right angle if possible.
You probably figured this out but bike tends to go where you are looking. So look at the solution, not the problem. If you stare at that rock looming up ahead you will most likely hit it. If you look at the smooth patch to the left guess where bike leads you?
Congratulations on your first off-road adventure.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
..................................
What tripped me up learning was dealing with ruts, roots and branches that would be encountered at oblique angles. ......................

Funny you mention this, there is a main gate that closes the road off so you have to take a side trail around it. Its all of 20 yards, but it starts down hill right hand turn (blind) then twists left around a tree with a stump sticking straight up in the center followed by this short steep climb where the center looks like someone laid down designer paving stones....or something like that. This section threw me off more than the miles ahead of me. Got stuck, managed to get my way out of it, but was not expecting that in the least. Next time I go I'll get some pics.....interesting, at least for me.
 

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Nice! I've never heard of Foothills orv, good to know. I see that it is state dnr, so be sure you have your discover pass!

I think the best thing you can do is tire pressure adjustments for different surfaces. Off road, I run 10 or so psi. If you are riding pavement to get to or from the trails, consider a small pump or a co2 inflator to make pressure adjustments back to street levels. I have my favorites that I can recommend. Happy riding!
 

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First time ever taking a motorcycle on any kind of offroad. Headed to nearby Foothills ORV in Port Angeles. Since I'm new to this whole thing, i stayed on the main gravel road, but saw numerous single trails along the way. I was by myself so I didn't get crazy and don't think i ever went over 25mph. I was really trying to learn the whole "driving on gravel" thing mostly. Those down hill turns are slightly nerve racking. I stayed on the rear brake and kept front brake to a bare minimum on the down hill. Pretty much let the bike do it's thing otherwise, trying to have some faith in the tires and letting them track. Any tips anyone can provide to someone new like me when it comes to trails and roads will be much appreciated.

The pic overlooks Port Angeles.

View attachment 10038
Good idea with that stock front tire.
 

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Nice! now you might want to get a GPS, I got lost in Flagstaff AZ in the Cinders thick Ponderosa pines it started to look all the same.
 

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Getting lost sucks. Fortunately the tracks we leave are distinctive. I try to make each turn distinctive either in my mind or on the ground . Makes for easier backtracking.
 

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Nice pic. Thanks for sharing... Only riding tip I've got is RIDE. First time I took my TW to the trails I had a big smile on my face the whole time. Have fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Nice! I've never heard of Foothills orv, good to know. I see that it is state dnr, so be sure you have your discover pass!

I think the best thing you can do is tire pressure adjustments for different surfaces. Off road, I run 10 or so psi. If you are riding pavement to get to or from the trails, consider a small pump or a co2 inflator to make pressure adjustments back to street levels. I have my favorites that I can recommend. Happy riding!
No discovery pass....im a rebel like that.....if anyone asks I'll just show them my military ID, they're pretty good about that up here.
 

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I'm sure picture's don't do this view justice, but I bet it's great. Thanks for sharing
 

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If you are exploring areas you are unfamiliar with and you are not ready to spend the money to go high tech with gps and such, you might consider this; carry a can of surveyors marking paint. The mark is temporary, very visible to you or search party and there is no need to get off the bike as the can sprays upside down. I always carry a can in a holder that I made and attached to my right fork tube. Simple, cheap and effective. Gerry



 
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