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chris
08-28-2004, 07:20 PM
Me and my big mouth. When I posted that I bought my F650GS I said I was heading to the Sam Houston forest this weekend to "see if I could get myself in trouble." Well, I did. :angryfir: I was having so much fun on the gravel roads I decided to head down a flat, easy-looking trail. I've never ridden dirt before, so I am learning on the fly. I was doing fine until I hit a hole I didn't see. It caused my hand to slip and give it a bunch of throttle. The bike jumped to the left and hit a tree. It went down and I went rolling. Suprisingly, nothing was broken on it or me. I was lucky that I hit the tree square on with the front tire. But now I had a problem. The bike was laying on a berm, downhill, in soft dirt. :mad:

I picked up my ST1300 fairly easily when I dropped it once, so I thought this bike would be pretty easy since it weighs just over half as much. But I was trying to pick it up uphill, and my feet kept slipping in the dirt. I tried every angle and position I could and it wouldn't budge. So I started walking. I thought if I got back to the main road I could flag someone down and get them to come back to help.

But before I got very far I had an idea. I went back and started digging the dirt out around it so I could push it around. I was able to turn it enough so it was level instead of downhill. Then I could "grunt" it up.

I rolled it forward to some level ground so I could put the sidestand down and take a breather. It rolled downhill and the front tire stopped against a berm. I thought, no problem, I'll just power over it. But the dirt was too soft. The back wheel dug a trench and I was just stuck worse. I had to lay the bike back down (and let me tell you, after all that work to get it up, that wasn't an easy decision :headbang: ) then I could turn it so it was pointed away from the berm. It was now also laying uphill, so it was much easier to pick up the second time.

About this time I became aware that I was about to pass out from heat exhaustion. It was extremely hot and humid (Duh! it's Houston) but I was starting to feel chilled and was shivering. I didn't have any water with me because I usually get a drink when I stop for gas. Once back on the bike I (very carefully) made my way back to the main road. It was a while before I found a gas station where I could get some water. That whole time I knew I was on the edge. I was still shivering and had a very difficult time concentrating. But after stopping to rest and hydrate, I felt much better.

So now, thinking back on the experience, I ask myself what did I learn from this? :shrug: Did I learn that I have no business riding on dirt and that I should give up that crazy idea? Naw, I'm too stubborn for that. Did I learn that I don't know what the **** I'm doing? No, I already knew that, I just had it confirmed. What I did learn:

1) Pay attention to your route. The trouble started when I hit a hole I didn't see. I should have seen it.

2) Target fixation is the same in the dirt as on the street. Right before I hit the tree, I thought "Holy ****, don't hit that tree!" :mrgreen:

3) Take water. Even if I don't think I'll need it, it can't hurt to throw a bottle in the tankbag.

4) Last, but most important, I learned that whatever happens in the future, I can pick that son-of-a-***** up. ;-)

Despite the little mishap, I had a blast. The little GS is a lot of fun. The buzz on the highway is not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. And it's great on twisty roads. It just doesn't have much torque, so I have to change gears a lot more than I'm used to. The seat has got to go. My butt was hurting after only around 50 miles. I will also have to do something about the front forks. They are seriously under-damped. Successive bumps has the front-end hopping like a pogo stick. I won't blame that for my crash, but it certainly didn't help.

I'll be back out there soon. I need more dirt practice. But I'll probably stick to the gravel roads for a while until I get a little better. :angel:

Chris

Bagwell
08-28-2004, 07:35 PM
What I did learn:

1) Pay attention to your route. The trouble started when I hit a hole I didn't see. I should have seen it.

2) Target fixation is the same in the dirt as on the street. Right before I hit the tree, I thought "Holy ****, don't hit that tree!" :mrgreen:

3) Take water. Even if I don't think I'll need it, it can't hurt to throw a bottle in the tankbag.

4) Last, but most important, I learned that whatever happens in the future, I can pick that son-of-a-***** up. ;-)


I'll be back out there soon. I need more dirt practice. But I'll probably stick to the gravel roads for a while until I get a little better. :angel:

Chris


Im glad you are ok. Its dangerous out there by yourself though. I always take 3quarts of water no matter what. I think you can ride some loops with that bike, but some of them are seriously tight and soft sand which can be hard with a heavier bike sometimes. I have been on some stuff back there that I had to really slow down and thread the needle on, and my dirt bike only weighs about 260 dry. Well, I am sure you are like me, you have to find out for yourself. :lol: hehe

Kidder
08-29-2004, 01:21 AM
I wear a hydration system (similar to a Camelbak but not as expensive) anytime it's 80 degrees plus. You don't have to take a drink if you don't want to, but if you do, it's PURE GOLD. Dehydration is your biggest enemy out on the trails.

Tourmeister
08-29-2004, 11:10 PM
:tab Get knobbies! They will make a world of difference in how the bike handles in the loose stuff!! The tires you have now are really just street tires that can handle some gravel and hard packed dirt.

:tab We were using the Contennintal TKC80's on our bikes in North Carolina this past week. They were fantastic in the mud, sand, rocks, deep gravel, and even on the pavement. Never squirmed even when I was dragging my Jesse bags through a few corners... :eek:

Adios,

Greeves TFS
08-30-2004, 11:38 AM
Chris,

My word of advice is to get a riding buddy. It's cool to do it alone but a buddy or budette can help if you would of hit that tree harder.

Glad you are OK! A camel back would be a must. Always remember if you get thirsty it is already too late.

If I can convince myself to get a dual sport, I'd like to tag along. Post a note on this website and you should be able to get somone's interest. Plan it and they will come!

I've ridden a many mile at Sam Houston and the sand can be treacherous.

Again I'm glad you're OK. How was the GS in general trail riding at low speed? Can you stand on the pegs OK?

chris
08-30-2004, 12:53 PM
A camel back would be a must. Always remember if you get thirsty it is already too late.

How was the GS in general trail riding at low speed? Can you stand on the pegs OK?

I use a camelback when I go on long rides. But when I'm just out on a Saturday, I usually don't carry water. I always figure I can stop at a gas station when I want something to drink. I didn't plan on getting stranded in the woods. So never again. I will always have water with me now.

The GS was better on the trail than me. :-) I was not on anything too difficult, and it was doing fine. I just made several mistakes that lead to the "incident".

I was up on the pegs some. But they are a little farther back than optimal, so you have to lean a little more forward than I would like. And I'm not used to riding that way so I was having a little trouble with balance. I need to practice it more.

Chris

Crackin
11-20-2005, 08:20 AM
I as well am glad to hear you made it out ok....Pretty scarey when you think your going to have to leave the bike after a spill....I learned a neat trick from fastmonster that could help in tight situations....If you need to turn the bike around and there isn't much room or even if there is plenty room you can balance the bike on the side stand with both tires off the ground and spin the bike around to get it pointed in the direction you want to go....Works great on tight trails but not so well in soft dirt, sand, or mud...I need to get up to the park and ride just haven't found the time.....