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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well I live in Florida and Its been Raining ALOT! I decided To take this thing for a Trail ride and I was in for a shock. ALL THE TRAILS are muddy. Now I am 20, I have 4 years of Riding experience on road. 16-19 with a Scooter and just this year I got endorsed to ride the TW200. Now I been riding this thing Very RARLY on Trails. I know the basics to Trail riding:
Rule One: If in Doubt, find another route,

Rule Two: Where the Four Wheelers/ ATVs Have dug Ruts and its muddy... GO through the middle of their Trail NOT through the Rut.
(atv mud Rut left ATV tire ------> { (Ride|here) } <------ Atv Right tire Rut

Rule Three: When Going up a Dirt Slop Gauge IF your going to Bottem Out First. Rule Four: When GOING down a Dirt Slop Use the back Brake ONLY.

Rule 5: See Rule One


Now Those Are Just things I Learned BY myself. Half of those Things I learned doing Mountin biking.

Now What about Mud Riding?
I know Nothing about that. When I was Presented with the Muddy Commutte To my pit I was Scared. Now When I Tried to Follow Rule 2 ^ I sorta Slipped off my "Narrow shelf" into the ATV mud Rut. I Put my feet down and Stopped. I Tried to Slowly Go through the Rut But the Back Tire Had its Own Plans. Just like Teenager who Does the Oppisit of what its Paresnts say. (Front Wheel.... Also Im referring to me When I was Little too ) The Back Tire would Just Slide which ever way it wanted to... I wasn't even going but 2 MPH at 40% throttle and It would Slide Which ever way it wanted. Now I was able to Hop off my bike and Walk/ THrottle Walk with it TO the other side to Dry land. Now Anyone who knows How To Control The Slide let me know.


I had a fun Ride Today, but when I Hit a Tree Stub in a Right Turn It Bent my rear Brake lever. I had to Go home Take it off, Beat it with a hammer until it was normal again and WHen I put It on The little Cotter pin that holds the linkage together broke. I had to Make a cheap Cotter pin out of a Jeep Brake Spring that fited in the hole. What Is the Size of that Cotter pin? I want to buy a Replacement for it.

Well after I Fixed the Brake lever I set out for another Ride. I went back And had fun. Than Guess what....???

Out of nowhere it started Raining. It Got Dark FAST and I had to Highbeem Ride through the woods because I heard thunder less than 9 miles away. (Yep Florida Weather You are like my Girlfriend.... you Just are SOOO random!) I had to go 10 miles and hour for 2 miles until I hit my road. Well I had to face my Mud pit again and AGAIN... I fell off my shelf because the middle shelf was soggy and the Tire just Refused to listen to my Front wheel in the mud. I had to get off and Throttle walk it out onto the other section of land. Than..... I notced I had ALOT of mud Built up on my Exhast pipe And my cooling fins. Turned the engine off, took out my water bottle, and filled it up with just the water from the mud pit and pour it on my cooling fins to get at least 5 of them Clean. Along with the rain and thunder getting more Real, I started and Ran home faster. I got home and Washed her off. I made sure I Got the cooling fins First than I got the Exhast pipe. than I cleaned it all off. and Got the chain and after I Washed it, I lubed up the Chain with White lithim Grease.



Now that was my day. Look I'm just a Kid whos just starting out with Trails. So to recap Just tell me if I did Proper Riding, Proper Engine Firstaid (If the mud was Really something to Worry about on the engine.. or if I just over reacted) Tell me how to Freaking Ride this thing through a Pit and guide the back tire (If I can guide It at all) Tell me if I did The Right After Ride checklist... And If you Want... Hell Throw in some more Trail Riding Rules and guidelines of your own you learned.

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Sounds to me like you are going to be telling us what works and what doesn't. I think you have a great future on this forum, keep posting your ride reports and pics, I enjoy seeing them.
 

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You did good bro! Hang in there and keep trying. Mud and sand take a little extra effort and practice. I think you are doing fine so far. Perhaps Admiral will see this post and show you his pic of a muddy engine...Good little bikes bro, enjoy!
 

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I think the only way to learn trail riding is by doing it. Get some good protective gear and go for it slow and easy as you gain confidence and learn what each situation tosses at you. One rule you did not mention is regarding sticks, branches and roots. Always try to hit them straight on. Your front tire will love to slide along the crooked branch or root if you hit it off center.

GaryL
 

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I am also just learning to get off road again after 20 plus years. I tried straddling the ruts here in upstate NY as well with very little success. Same symptoms you have experienced "back tire slides where it wants". I know of no hard fast rules to trail riding other than "maintain forward momentum" and I learned that the hard way. What does work for me is embrace the ruts! Drive right down into them and stay on the throttle. I equate this technique to bumper bowling. You may slide a bit side to side inside the rut but who cares you will NOT slide out of it. Give it a try and I think you will be satisfied with the results.



Tom
 

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The bottom line to riding in mud or gravel, just don't go any faster than you want to fall down. It is inevitable. Really that goes for any riding no matter what you are on. Thing is, don't be the first one to an accident.

Have to laught at myself. Went riding with Dette and a couple of other forum riders. First down a hill, looked back and they had better sense. Started back up, lost the front end, went sideways upside down the the bike chasing me down the hill on my back. got it squared away, rode it down to the bottom and gave it a bit more and over the top it took me. Was my lack of attention that got me in trouble.Went on with the rest of the day and had a great time.
 

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Looks like ur doin fine. Just always wear a helmet and gloves. You can survive almost any injury but a head injury is bad. As far as gloves when u fall ur first reaction is to put ur hands down. I try to bring my backpack with my camel back when I go out. I also carry ziplock bags just in case I get caught in rain. In Florida this time of year more then likely, you don't want ur camera/or phone getting wet. You got 1 of the best bikes to learn on imo.
 

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Mud can be quite fun but really takes practice. Riding in different terrain really improves your skills. Also try practicing using your front brake in gravel, sand and dirt (and downhill). I really don't use my rear brake all that much and like letting the compression of the engine slow me down along with a carefully used front brake. On my first bike (78 Kawi ke125) I practiced for hours on end with that front brake and really is a much more effective brake.
 

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+1 on practicing with your front brake. On a steep downhill, the rear brake does very little. If really steep, the rear can be locked up with speed increasing all the way down.

Here's the key to using the front brake. Look for traction just like you do for your rear wheel. When a stretch of good traction comes up you can gas it. If a patch of ice comes up, you feather the throttle and glide over it. Prayer helps.

If you neet to scrub some speed off goind down a steep hill and the rear is not doing it, look for traction for the front brake. The practice on the level on different surfaces, sand, gravel, mud, etc will help you to decide which patches will allow you to use the front blake on a down hill and how hard you can apply them.

There was one really really steep hill I used to ride down that had a lot of water bars across it. Right at each water bar I would almost fully compress my forks with the front brakes. Only front in between would be a little feather here and there when the surface warranted it.

All that said, the stock TW front tire can be a handfull downhill even for the experienced. And I was not real real fond of the ever popular Golden Boy. I put on an MT43 with low pressure and I now use the heck out of my front brakes without a worry in the world.
 

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Looks like ur doin fine. Just always wear a helmet and gloves. You can survive almost any injury but a head injury is bad. As far as gloves when u fall ur first reaction is to put ur hands down.
If I could only have one piece of gear off-road it would be proper boots with calf and ankle protection (I usually wear Alpinestars WP Scouts) - ended up with most of my and the bike's weight (almost 40-stone) on my foot and ankle a couple of times when crashing, and from the damage with the boots on, I likely would have been looking at air-evac, surgery, and a long rehab instead of finishing my ride if I had been wearing low-top boots or shoes.

For a lid I mostly use a Fly Trekker - inexpensive, but ECE 22.05 rated (superior to DOT only). Otherwise, I pretty much end up wearing my road commuter gear - in hot weather Aerostich jeans with the knee armor, Joe Rocket Phoenix mesh jacket, and Aerostich Vegan gloves (I am the odd-ball who crashes often, but I never seem to even scuff a glove when doing so). Colder weather and out comes the Roadcrafter and layering as necessary (yes, a Tee-Dub is a hoot to ride on farm-to-market roads in the snow).
 
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