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Ike, going to your fight with the deer. If you look on top of my lower, you can see my deer whistle. I have one on each side. About $8 at O'Riely's. I've seen the deer react to them but you can't predict what they will do after hearing them. Sometimes they freeze, sometimes they run. But for $8 I figure what have I got to loose.
Ya they are cheap and don't take way from the look of the bike so good investment. They may have saved me in my situation because I doubt that deer knew I was coming and those whistles may have made him pause just long enough for me to get clear. Who knows but can't hurt having them on especially since there are lots of deer in my area.
 

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Absolutely! Had the same fish on.

Cantrider you can start a long thread on the goofy shi t that happens in gravel/mud/mud when you are exploring.
What makes your situ is that you are trying to get the last few home...ouch!
Have no magic fix. (sans lots of $'s)
Again, glad your not hurt and you have a story to tell.
 

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This is not the first time this has happened to me. As time goes by, I Twice before I went down, the front started to skid

SE, you mentioned steering with the rear. How do you do that? I've not heard of that before.
[/QUOTE]

Its to keep you from 'going down.. when in a panic
like being to Hot in a tight.. using your back brake (without locking it along with the right amount of throlle) to pull the front in' while on the throttle, most effective with a little countersteer
sometimes it will free your front end to point, cause to rear is bearing down
Or do what do what i do 'shift the weight of just one of my 'Balls
 

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Discussion Starter #24
This is not the first time this has happened to me. As time goes by, I Twice before I went down, the front started to skid

SE, you mentioned steering with the rear. How do you do that? I've not heard of that before.


Its to keep you from 'going down.. when in a panic
like being to Hot in a tight.. using your back brake (without locking it along with the right amount of throlle) to pull the front in' while on the throttle, most effective with a little countersteer
sometimes it will free your front end to point, cause to rear is bearing down
Or do what do what i do 'shift the weight of just one of my 'Balls
Well I'm not a very big guy, tall and skinny, I'm between 165-170 lbs, so I can't do it the way you do; just not big enough.

So back to steering with the back end. Please describe to me, exactly what it is you are supposed to do. It sounds like you are saying to apply the rear brake, while at the same time applying the throttle? I'm not uderstanding what this will cause to happen. You mention pull the front in. Does the front wheel actually come back in front of the back wheel or is the back wheel going around to get back in line with and behind the front?
 

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Well I'm not a very big guy, tall and skinny, I'm between 165-170 lbs, so I can't do it the way you do; just not big enough.

So back to steering with the back end. Please describe to me, exactly what it is you are supposed to do. It sounds like you are saying to apply the rear brake, while at the same time applying the throttle? I'm not uderstanding what th the front wheel actually come back in front of the back wheel
Ok, i changed ^^ "maybe" or one of the many answers i get from the o'lady,fck'
I's just trying to explain for lil'eddie (SE), figured he was busy 'pulling his rake out of his trail'
Though a circle is a bunch of straight lines
 

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I have learned to stay away from the front brake. I had the motor running about 2000 RPM, using the clutch and rear brake to control the speed and I was running between 15 - 20 mph. Twice before I went down, the front started to skid (very slightly) and by letting the clutch out, the back end came out and started following the front and I kept going.

SE, you mentioned steering with the rear. How do you do that? I've not heard of that before.
I'm sure SE can explain it better, but the short version is you just answered your own question. Having lived in FL since 1967 I well know the type of "road" you speak of ... And there is frequently no right answer on how to navigate them on a bike that size. As a rule I try to stick with very very slowly; basically use the same rules as slow racing, but at a slightly faster pace (8-10mph). But the feet must stay up at all times...to avoid having to toss as "extra one" in the saddelbag..

FWIW the rain got me yesterday too. I was trying takeoff and drop into a tight 90 degree turn at the same time on wet grass...it did not go as planned. And just to make it as "fun" as possible, the wheels ended up over the concrete driveway, while the crashbars sunk all the way into the grass...(bike was past horizontal, trying for upside-down)...so lifting it was a real PITA at 7:00am for a half awake Joker.
 
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SE, you mentioned steering with the rear. How do you do that? I've not heard of that before.
Its a old Flat Track thing that made its way into Motocross....turn the bars left and gas it to go right kind of thing...easier typed than done - Weight Back, hell, stand on the rear pegs if you can (worry not about the back brake as you don't need brakes ion the mud, need momentum) and feel comfortable doing so, loose grip on the bars keeping the front light and modulate your throttle and use your calfs as you squeeze the bike with your legs to push the rear one way or the other...trick here is keeping the bike up right and your contact patch as full as possible....all this goes out the window in the Mud on a 1K lbs HD...but you can try and see if it helps you get out of that one particular Oh Shit moment that has the whole process brought to a halt and you on the deck

Here is an example of it that I like...it is based on Flat Corner steering but the concept can be applied elsewhere

 

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I have learned to stay away from the front brake. I had the motor running about 2000 RPM, using the clutch and rear brake to control the speed and I was running between 15 - 20 mph.
I believe your bike has linked brakes so you have to stay below 20 to use just the rear. So, that rules out going 35. I have been on those NW Florida dirt roads. I was riding a Versys 650 and it was very challenging. I would not even go down one in the dry on the Road Glide.

I say petition the county to dump some gravel on your road is your only option then. When I worked for municipalities it was amazing what gets done when someone connected or loud or threatens to sue petitions the leadership.
 

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Before moving to SW FL. I lived in very rural, remote northern Maine. I had to negotiate 800' of gravel driveway and 2.5 miles of gravel road whenever I left my property, regardless of the time of year or vehicle I was driving/riding. Though the snow was done by mid-March most years, I couldn't ride my bike for about another 45-60 days because the gravel would turn into up to a foot of mud. There was always a couple weeks during that time when the mud would get rutted so bad that you couldn't even drive through it with a car. My (now 'ex') wife used to park her car out at the asphalt town road and I'd have to shuttle her back and forth with my 4x4 pick-up. When riding the RG, I also had to be aware in mid summer through late fall that the gravel road becomes dry and dusty to the point that you'd have an inch of dust on top of the gravel - add a little bit of rain and it became 'slicker-n-snot". The only tips I can give you are to slow down to 20-ish, forget that you even have a front brake, keep your eyes on the road immediately in front of you, noting any ruts, overly wet spots, etc. and keep the bike bolt upright to help keep the front end from washing out from underneath you.

SE's advice was from his many years of racing dirt bikes but that's a completely different scenario due to bike weight and size, type of tires, etc. etc. With a dirt bike, he's absolutely correct in saying to shift your weight back on the seat to get better traction and lighten the front end while giving it more throttle to keep the front wheel riding above the mud. That's on a 200 pound bike that has about as much horsepower as your 900 pound RG. In your scenario, you want to actually transfer your weight forward on the seat as much as possible to keep more weight on the front end to keep the front wheel from washing out and low-siding you into the mud.

Through trial and error, that's what I found worked for me for the 4-5 years I lived there and owned the RG. Good luck.
 
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Discussion Starter #31
Thanks guys, I think I'm starting to get the idea.

I watched the video. I don't know if I got the correct term here, but when he talked about shifting weight, that sounds like what I've been told is counter weighting. In the little instruction I've had in Cone Riding, that's what I've been told to do (but still have a problem remembering to do it, when I do remember it works well).

A couple of more questions, if you don't mind. SE, when you and the video talk about "gassing it", can I achieve the same effect by using the clutch? I fear that I'd get the back tires spinning to fast, to quickly and loose control just because of the power of the bike. If I kept the RPMs up and used the clutch in and out, I'm thinking (but don't really know) I'd have more control of the situation?

SE, Uncle Fuzzy - conflicting, opposite advice. In the video you can sometimes see the front tire coming off the ground. I guess its at that point, the weight shifting causes the rear tire to roll back and forth about its width, that allows it to steer (the faster spin decreasing grip between the tire and ground allowing it to roll easier). You're left riding a unicycle. (I never could ride a unicycle.)
Uncle Fuzzy, what you say about the front tire washing out, pretty much describes what has happened every time I've gone down on this road, either when its been sand or mud. So I'm guessing, putting more weight forward, would drive the front wheel deeper into the mud, essentially creating its own "rut" to travel in, would that be correct? That "rut" then becomes similar to a train track.

Can both techniques be applied at the same time? Weight forward, driving the front wheel deeper (eliminating counter steering) while at the same time counter weighting to roll the back wheel, weighting it on the side you want the bike to turn to (bike turn left, weight on the left side, back wheel slide to the right)?

Twowheel points out the linked brake, which in this case I hadn't even considered, which does eliminate speeds above that function for using the brakes. When I first encounterd this, years back, I would crawl along about 5 mph. Over time, I learned that by going faster, I made out better. That's how I've ended up in the 15-20 mph range. With the higher speed, as the front tire began to "wash out", the rest of the bike kept it moving in the wanted direction, until it punched through the washout and began operating as it should again. Linked brakes aside, is there an upper ,limit to speed for this phenomenon? With gutters at the edges and stick, stumps, and trees along the side of the road, I start to envision the bug/windshield effect if things go south at higher speeds.
 

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"So I'm guessing, putting more weight forward, would drive the front wheel deeper into the mud, essentially creating its own "rut" to travel in, would that be correct? That "rut" then becomes similar to a train track."

Based on the gravel roads I've dealt with up in Maine, what you described in your OP sounds exactly like the summer/fall conditions I ran into in Maine. Dry weather for a few weeks will give you an inch or two of dust build up and even a quick passing shower can turn that dust into a muddy mixture that's more slippery than a handful of KY jelly. But right underneath that the gravel is firm, so you're trying to transfer a little extra weight on the front so that it's getting some traction underneath the top slop to avoid having it low side with the front wheel sliding out in the slop. I'm just saying this technique served me well for all the gravel road miles I rode in Maine ..... your results may vary!
 
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The thing to keep in mind here, is that he is talking about a worse case scenario road surface. Trying to read the road is next to impossible because there are frequently bowls of sugar sand (think beach sand by the dunes if you don't know the term) large enough to swallow a small car (seen it happen many times) that tend to migrate. So even if you know the road you can still get surprised by a quicksand level mud hole that wasn't there yesterday.

The road can look perfectly flat, even to a seasoned eye, but actually be an 18" deep puddle of goo. So the safest thing to do is split the difference between being able to "plow through", and minimizing the damage if/when you misjudge and stick the front wheel. Best you can hope for is an 80/20 split between the if/when ... and if you ever think you getting towards 90/10 ... You're actually at 100 percent when. To that end, since the brake interlock kicks in at 20mph, keep it under 15mph (tops) to give yourself a cushion.. I like to stay around 10mph, especially on hills, to avoid hitting the - inevitable - bowl of sugar at the bottom too fast.

Keeping weight off the front of a - extremely nose heavy - bagger is a central tenet of all low speed parking lot/U-turn/slow racing maneuvers. Revs held at 1.5-2k, stay in the friction zone, and very (very...) light rear breaking to force the engine to lift the nose. Steering input is a delicate dance between regular and counter steering, while always keeping the front wheel as straight as possible. Sit up straight, and stab slightly deeper into the friction to get wheel spin while applying "body English" (usually [not always] to the outside board while leaning inward) to direct the ass in the direction you need in. And then feather back on th friction zone to keep it from (fishtail) whipping.

The hardest part is training yourself to never (oh shit) pull the clutch all the way in, because the nose will drop, and you will - quite likely - not be far behind in. Always stay in the friction zone, with very (very...) light braking, as that is the only way to keep the bikes weight off the front wheel...in sand.

Play with that technique in a parkng lot, if you haven't already. you will actually be able to feel the front lift and stabilize when you get it right.

No, I'm not a professional rider, but I have been doing this forest road, fire trail, lake party shit for about 40 years now, and 30 of them were on a bagger.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
The thing to keep in mind here, is that he is talking about a worse case scenario road surface. Trying to read the road is next to impossible because there are frequently bowls of sugar sand (think beach sand by the dunes if you don't know the term) large enough to swallow a small car (seen it happen many times) that tend to migrate. So even if you know the road you can still get surprised by a quicksand level mud hole that wasn't there yesterday.

The road can look perfectly flat, even to a seasoned eye, but actually be an 18" deep puddle of goo. So the safest thing to do is split the difference between being able to "plow through", and minimizing the damage if/when you misjudge and stick the front wheel. Best you can hope for is an 80/20 split between the if/when ... and if you ever think you getting towards 90/10 ... You're actually at 100 percent when. To that end, since the brake interlock kicks in at 20mph, keep it under 15mph (tops) to give yourself a cushion.. I like to stay around 10mph, especially on hills, to avoid hitting the - inevitable - bowl of sugar at the bottom too fast.

Keeping weight off the front of a - extremely nose heavy - bagger is a central tenet of all low speed parking lot/U-turn/slow racing maneuvers. Revs held at 1.5-2k, stay in the friction zone, and very (very...) light rear breaking to force the engine to lift the nose. Steering input is a delicate dance between regular and counter steering, while always keeping the front wheel as straight as possible. Sit up straight, and stab slightly deeper into the friction to get wheel spin while applying "body English" (usually [not always] to the outside board while leaning inward) to direct the ass in the direction you need in. And then feather back on th friction zone to keep it from (fishtail) whipping.

The hardest part is training yourself to never (oh shit) pull the clutch all the way in, because the nose will drop, and you will - quite likely - not be far behind in. Always stay in the friction zone, with very (very...) light braking, as that is the only way to keep the bikes weight off the front wheel...in sand.

Play with that technique in a parkng lot, if you haven't already. you will actually be able to feel the front lift and stabilize when you get it right.

No, I'm not a professional rider, but I have been doing this forest road, fire trail, lake party shit for about 40 years now, and 30 of them were on a bagger.
Worse case scenario is right. The forecasted rain for the day had already passed and it wasn't supposed to rain anymore. In fact, the radar had cleared when I left. I had no trouble leaving. All the rain happened, while I was gone and this is what I came home to. If I had been away for a couple of more hours, enough water might have drained off that I wouldn't have had a problem. Overtime, I think I'm getting better at riding in this shit. (Could just be fooling myself though.)

Maybe I'm a little strange, I like to know why things work. In school, physics was always one of my favorite subjects.

In my cone riding escapades, I've been told to apply light pressure on the rear brake, but nobody has ever been able to explain to me why you do that. You just did. It takes some of the weight off the front wheel. Now it makes sense. Thank you for that. I'll try and readjust my speed to the 10-15 mph range and see how that works out.

In the parking lot, I have experienced what happens when you pull the clutch all the way in. The direction of travel changes and it happens rather quickly. It goes from forward to down, right now.

Usually I've got a pretty good idea of what the condition of the road is, I'm on it everyday and it normally doesn't change quickly. As it dries, over several days, you'll begin to see the sugar sand develop. As it gets worse, you can start to see tracks build from the cars and trucks. When it is dry and packed, its almost like riding on pavement.

Fuzzy is correct about this road, when he says underneath, the base is pretty firm. Back around 2016, the county came in and dumped clay onto the road in certain areas, trying to build it up. We all complained about it, but nobody would do anything. In one area, when it rained, it got so bad we were getting trucks stuck in the mud. I have a 4-wheel drive F-350 and the mud was deep enough to cover the sidewall of the tire and go up to the metal rim.

A new county roadsupervisor came into the position this year. He spent several days with the Grader, clearing off most all of the crap they had put down a few years back. He told me the county had gotten a grant from FEMA and ended up with the wrong material. (On a different road, they had a schoolbus slide off.) He has given me his phone number and told me to call him if I have a problem. After this current bout of rain that's going on (thunderstorms every afternoon) I may give him a call and see what he can do.

Sit up straight, and stab slightly deeper into the friction to get wheel spin while applying "body English" (usually [not always] to the outside board while leaning inward) to direct the ass in the direction you need in. And then feather back on th friction zone to keep it from (fishtail) whipping.
I'm having trouble visualizing what is happening by putting the weight on the outside board and leaning across the bike to the inside. What I think you're saying is disperse your weight across the width of the motorcycle in an attempt to keep the bike vertical. That little bit extra on the outside tire edge will cause the tire to move in that direction. Do I have that right? Or am I misintertpreting what you are saying?

I haven't had a chance to try it yet, but in a follow on video from what SE posted, there was another with tips. One that I picked up on, the guy said to tip your head to the outside corner, the idea being your body follows your head. If your head is leaning in the direction to which the bike will fall, your weight will accentuate that.

[As an aside, my right hip is more sore today than it has been since this happened. Probably from landing on the pistol. I did need to clean the mud out of the muzzle.]
 

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Ike, going to your fight with the deer. If you look on top of my lower, you can see my deer whistle. I have one on each side. About $8 at O'Riely's. I've seen the deer react to them but you can't predict what they will do after hearing them. Sometimes they freeze, sometimes they run. But for $8 I figure what have I got to loose.
I also have a Deer Whistle on My 12 Custom and have noticed deer looking but not moving.
Cheap Insurance in My Book.
Mike U.
 

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I'm having trouble visualizing what is happening by putting the weight on the outside board and leaning across the bike to the inside. What I think you're saying is disperse your weight across the width of the motorcycle in an attempt to keep the bike vertical. That little bit extra on the outside tire edge will cause the tire to move in that direction. Do I have that right? Or am I misintertpreting what you are saying?
Something along those lines...unfortunately I'm used to doing it, while not thinking about it - self trained reflex stuff - so I'm probably describing it badly. Main thing it to sit up a bit so your weight isn't resting on you spine, because bumps hurt more that way, and they will tend to bounce you in a randomly bad direction making control way harder than it already was because your visceral input connection with the bike has been disrupted.

In my younger - rice - days, I used to love letting the bike fishtail in the rain. I could go from full lock left to full lock right back and forth for a block or so ... Just being a kid. And the weight shift shenanigan was just part of how I got the bike to swap sides "control-ably".. I'm to old for that shit now, but it does come in handy at times when the bike wants to start frolicking sideways on dirt roads, and I need to tuck her ass back in the other direction before I run into something less fun than what I'm already trying not to fuck up. :D
 

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Glad your ok could have happened to anyone under those conditions. Sounds like your from my neck of the woods Pensacola
 

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Discussion Starter #39
Something along those lines...unfortunately I'm used to doing it, while not thinking about it - self trained reflex stuff - so I'm probably describing it badly. Main thing it to sit up a bit so your weight isn't resting on you spine, because bumps hurt more that way, and they will tend to bounce you in a randomly bad direction making control way harder than it already was because your visceral input connection with the bike has been disrupted.

In my younger - rice - days, I used to love letting the bike fishtail in the rain. I could go from full lock left to full lock right back and forth for a block or so ... Just being a kid. And the weight shift shenanigan was just part of how I got the bike to swap sides "control-ably".. I'm to old for that shit now, but it does come in handy at times when the bike wants to start frolicking sideways on dirt roads, and I need to tuck her ass back in the other direction before I run into something less fun than what I'm already trying not to fuck up. :D
..unfortunately I'm used to doing it, while not thinking about it - self trained reflex stuff -
That I can relate to. I spent many, many years riding a bicycle; I only got my motorcycle endorsement about 9 years ago (I'm 61 now). During the MSF course I had no problem steering the motorcycle UNTIL they started telling me about counter steering. That description got put into my head and fucked me up for quite some time afterward. I had to consciously watch myself going through turns, to see what was happening, before I could shake the description.

Thanks for the tip about the spine. I never would have even considered weight shifting due to hitting bumps and being bounced around. That's another problem on the dirt road when it rains. Depending on how heavy the rain is, some areas become washboard like. Some of them can bounce you up, off the seat.

The fishtailing. I'm not going to try it on a motorcycle (now). In my younger days, I too would do that but in a car in the snow. One night I put my right rear quarter into the front bumper of a neighbor's parked car. The story I told my father put the blame on the dog in the back seat. Not much snow here in FL, so I doubt I'll be doing much of that now either.

Some of the bicycle riding has translated to the motorcycle and has come back without thinking, when needed but I've never had these experiences before. I guess it also doesn't help me when the motorcycle has a 5:1 weight advantage over me.
 
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