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Old 07-17-2007, 03:27 PM   #16
Seth S
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In Vermont and NH the state already classifies the roads. Class 1 and 2 and 3 roads are maintained while class 4 and 5 are not. Class 1 and 2 are typicaly paved while 3 is a dirt road. Class 4 is a trail and can very in condition. Class 5 is an old trail usualy so old that when you come out in someones back yard they are very surprised.
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Old 03-21-2011, 09:48 AM   #17
Africa4Adventure
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My route rating

Hi,

Based on this thread I got some great input and came up with this below. Can I ask you folk for comments and suggestions to improve it please?

Road
Condition
Rating
Meaning of Road Conditions Rating
*
Tar roads. Easy for both on-road and for off-road Adventure bikes. OK for all levels of motorbike rider capability.

**
Tar roads that are poorly maintained with pot holes, etc.; Or well maintained graded dirt & gravel road. Passable by any motorcycle capable of off-road travel, both large and small. OK for beginners and all levels of motorbike rider capability.

***
Poorly maintained dirt, gravel, etc. Rocks, sand, mud holes, ruts, inclines, water crossings, or other similar obstacles make this road difficult for larger, heavier adventure motorcycles and requires some rough terrain riding skills. Challenging for beginners. Ok for intermediate and advanced levels of motorbike rider capability.

****
Rugged, unmaintained dirt, gravel, etc. roads. Significant obstacles such as moderate sized rocks, deep sand, deep or long mud sections, deep & wide water crossings, and/or steep inclines with loose terrain & tentative traction make this road/trail extremely difficult for large adventure bikes and very challenging for medium dual sport motorcycles such as 650cc thumpers. Challenging in some places for intermediate riders. Advanced rough terrain / off-road riding skills advised.

*****
Soft sand; or slippery mud; or steep cliffs on narrow rocky and mountainous roads. Extremely rugged road that contains highly challenging obstacles such as steep drop-offs, sharp hairpin bends, deep & fast moving water crossings, very steep inclines with loose surface, boulders, deep & long mud sections, downed trees completely blocking the road, or deep & long sand sections. Generally not passable by large adventure bikes, extremely difficult for medium dual sport motorcycles such as 650cc thumpers, and very challenging for smaller dual sport / trail bikes. Should be attempted only by those with significant rough terrain / off-road riding skills and experience. Advanced riders, adrenaline junkies or madmen only!

Traffic
+ to ++++ Add between one '+' and four '++++' plus signs for the amount of traffic for any of the above route segments for added difficulty.

So any one segment of the route would have say *** and ++. Gives you the road condition and the traffic you can expect.

Comments?
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Old 03-21-2011, 12:27 PM   #18
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Dual sport rides that I have been on class unpaved roads and trails the same way AMA classes enduro riders: AA, A, B and C. Works pretty well IMO. Everybody is warned not to attempt AA unless they have the bike, tires and skills for it. Riders on big adventure bikes are typically given "B" bailout routes to go around "A" sections and warned not to attempt "A" sections without decent tires and some skill.

"AA" sections usually require a dual sport set up for actual offroad riding. There are technical sections that will break things on a bike not setup for it and single track trails. "A" sections are usually very rocky, muddy or sandy two track Jeep trails or easier single track. "B" sections are easier two track and unimproved dirt roads. So I guess "C" would be graded forest service dirt and gravel roads.
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Old 03-21-2011, 01:11 PM   #19
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Wow... a road with a class 4 river crossing! I would be scared of that in my kayak!

Here is a useful guide for the new GS rider.

Easy: Dirt road passable by a hot mom sipping a cup of Starbucks while driving a minivan full of 10 year old soccer players.

Moderate: A dirt road passable by half a Rugby team in a rented Crown Victoria with 2 kegs of Molsons in the trunk at 50 mph.

Difficult: Dirt road passable by your grandfather going 15 mph in his 1967 2wd pickup to reach a good fishing spot.

Very Difficult: Dirt road passable by a Sportsmobile RV carrying the camera crew who will then videotape Ewan picking up his bike, commenting about how the road is so hard, and asking if goat ball soup is for dinner.

Extremely Difficult: Dirt trail barely passable by a typical KLR rider.

Extremely Difficult/Highly Dangerous: Trail where a KTM rider will shift down to fourth gear.

Impossible: Typical spectator loop at an Observed Trials Event.
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Old 03-24-2011, 04:55 PM   #20
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Personally, I quite like Trail Boss' rating system. Anything more granular is a bit too subjective, anything less is too broad. The "size of the bike" guidance thing is fine too, IMO. I love big adventure bikes, but I accept that as it gets really challenging, you quickly hanker for a smaller outright dirt bike. A rating system like this, based on description of the road condition would be useful at the side of the track, maybe on a signpost where the road leaves the slab. In the case of a road with varied categories along its length, display the worst. Where there are forks in the road, put a sign on either branch.

If I ask a rider (who knows my abilities) who has been through there recently, "will I get this bike through there" that's probably the best indicator I'm going to get. The luxury of that level of forewarning is pretty rare. Even then, really good riders often have a tendency to tell you "You'll be fine on that" because to them, it's easy. I don't even bother asking non-riders' opinion anymore. I remember asking a farmer if I was okay to go through his gated road, wrongly assuming that aside from asking permission, there was also the implied question, "will I be able to get through there on this bike?" He said "Sure, fine" and it turned out to be a rather challenging couple of miles on a sportsbike.
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Old 03-24-2011, 05:33 PM   #21
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rating systems

Kayaking class III rapids, some are easy, some will drown you...be careful.

Climbing ratings vary from area to area...know your limits.

Any system is subjective.

At 10 they are 2s, at 2 they are 10s, know what you are getting into.

Use a KISS system...easy, moderate, severe.

Or r=little rocks, R=big rocks, w=small water, W=big water, hills, drops, obstacles, sand, etc
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:29 PM   #22
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I am totally confused! It appears that there is a couple very educated people on here. Can you please rate these paved single lane roads I ride my bmw f650gs dakar on. They use to be the trails that my Grandfathers rode there horses on and the politicians have lately put some black top down to gain a few votes. A couple of them more or less takes app. 4 hours to ride 40 miles on and they are legal paved roads. They have pot holes deep enough to damage rims and pop tires. They are barely 10 feet wide, very twisty and very steep in places. They appear similar to a cross country track with a few hooptie doos and jumps if you please and a few berms here and there if you need a hole shot. They are not very well maintained or hardly ever driven on by county officials for that matter. The biggest challenge is to keep the bike on the road because if you drop off the pavement you may be dead meat especially if you go over 1 of the high walls. Got to be prepared each trip because a new challenge may be awaiting around the curve such as a land slide with water or thin mud on the pavement and or fallen trees. These trails I am talking about would make 1 heck of a wild motorcross track for them 2 strokin yz yamahas if street tires were installed on them. I am confused even more now! Is the true meaning of dual sport riding the Bike, Rider, Trails, Pavement or what! It sorta is neat that the government has paved lots of our former backcountry trails. Dont get me wrong we still got plenty of dirt/gravel roads that are 100% legal with no permitts needed and if that aint wild enough the Hatfield McCoy Trail system in Wv. is here for the ones that prefer mud up to there ears, dirt on top of dirt, rocks, cliffs and hill climbing which could do some serious damage to any dual sport bike or and rider of any skill level. I think I will quit writting, get up in the morning and go dual sport ridin. Been there and done all that wild ridin in my teens and twentties. Now at 51 got to watch these bones. I am currently tracking, routing and mapping app. 1,000 miles of legal paved roads within this area for riders of interest. App. 20 percent of them are dirt/gravel legal roads. Ever in the area look me up at Wingos Grill or Hatfield McCoy Resort/Inn at downtown Matewan Wv. www.hatfieldmccoyresort.com and I will give you some maps of "The Real McCoy Trails" BACKCOUNTRY Dual Sport Touring Adventures and may provide a guided tour if a crew is interested.
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Old 03-27-2012, 05:02 AM   #23
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If someone does come it with a rating system can we make a rule that it is not public? I prefer Adventure Riding and knowing what lies ahead seems ....unadventurous.
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:40 AM   #24
Rucksta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ginger Beard View Post
If someone does come it with a rating system can we make a rule that it is not public? I prefer Adventure Riding and knowing what lies ahead seems ....unadventurous.
+ 1

same goes GPS

forget the maps follow the tracks.

getting lost is half the fun.
getting unlost is the other half
gettin unstuck - another half .
bench racing with over beers another half
thats why adventure riding is twice the fun
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Old 03-29-2012, 01:09 AM   #25
vortexau
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How would one rate this narrow "track" with barbed wire:




Then, what ratings do you use for water crossings:




Would Zombie-hazard level trail be just about the most difficult level?

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Old 03-29-2012, 05:24 AM   #26
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come on let "trail boss" be in charge
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Old 03-29-2012, 06:27 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frtzl View Post
Big Wall climbers use a variety of rating systems, but there's a semi-official variation called the Casual Rating System:

NBD: No big deal
NTB: Not too bad
PDH: Pretty darn hard
DFU: Don't fuck up

(courtesy Jim "Bird" Bridwell)
Yes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by VFR_firefly View Post
"Road"

Anything that can be called a "road" is easy on a bike. Maybe a few river or water crossing that might be challenging to a few less-experienced riders.

Anything that can be traversed by a conventional 4-wheeled vehicle is duck soup for a motorcycle. Ride a few single-tracks that a mule would balk at traversing and then you will see what "tough" is.
Yes!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdxkawboy View Post
I kind of like the rating system that you find at most any ski resort:

Green Circle: Basic beginner stuff, groomed to perfection
Blue Square: Now we are starting to get interesting, but something any broken in n00b should be able to negotiate
Black Diamond: You need to be a master of the mountain to tread without fear
Double Black Diamond: Now it is getting challenging
Ding ding ding!! A tried-and-true rating system, but still subjective.
I'm a fan of topo maps...give's you a bit of an idea. Outside of that...go have an adventure.
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Old 03-30-2012, 06:23 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trail


[B
Motorcycle Non-Paved Road Rating System
[/B]

The following rating system is for establishing the relative difficulty of non-paved roads for travel by adventure and dual sport motorcycles.

Class 1: Improved dirt, gravel, etc. Passable by any motorcycle capable of off-pavement travel.


Class 2: Poorly maintained dirt, gravel, etc. Rocks, sand, mud holes, ruts, inclines, water crossings, or other similar obstacles make this road difficult for larger, heavier adventure motorcycles and requires some rough terrain riding skills.



Class 3: Rugged, unmaintained dirt, gravel, etc. roads. Significant obstacles such as moderate sized rocks, deep sand, deep or long mud sections, deep & wide water crossings, and/or steep inclines with loose terrain & tentative traction make this road/trail extremely difficult for large adventure bikes and very challenging for medium dual sport motorcycles such as 650cc thumpers. Advanced rough terrain / off-road riding skills advised.


Class 4: Extremely rugged road that contains highly challenging obstacles such as steep drop-offs, deep & fast moving water crossings, very steep inclines with loose surface, boulders, deep & long mud sections, downed trees completely blocking the road, or deep & long sand sections. Generally not passable by large adventure bikes, extremely difficult for medium dual sport motorcycles such as 650cc thumpers, and very challenging for smaller dual sport / trail bikes. Should be attempted only by those with significant rough terrain / off-road riding skills and experience.
Gee, I'd like to have that sort of difficulty reference for planning my trips! I ride a KTM 950 and Yamaha WR250R. I ride them long distances to explore unfamiliar terrain, and most of it is solo. There is a big difference in what I can handle safely between the two bikes. Mostly because of weight.

It would be very helpful to me if we had some sort of universal rating system here on this forum, since this is where I get my route ideas.

As an example, I was scouting dirt roads in February around Phoenix, looking to learn if a section of the Great Western Trail was big bike friendly. This trail is a work in progress, so my job was also to save tracks for it. I was riding my little bike.

Most of the sections I rode were big bike friendly if dry, but some not unless the rider had others to help muscle the bike through the toughest. A 13 mile deep sand wash was one example. It took me two attempts to make it and only after I mounted a new front tire. Could probably do it on a big bike if people were along to help me pick it up periodically.

Feeling emboldened after the wash, a couple of locals convinced me to ride with them on a 75 mile loop they knew well. They first took me through some rough and rocky dirt roads that were not well maintained. Roads that connectect defunct mines and such. I guess it was to measure my competance. It was slower going, but nothing difficult. That morphed into a really knarly rock crawler type trail with 9 creek crossings. Sheesh!

I made it but had I known, I wouldn't have tried it.

Anyways, I wish we had a standard rating system along the lines Trailboss suggests. I like the ski hill rating system as well. Pretty universal for most of us.
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Old 03-30-2012, 08:39 AM   #29
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:57 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trail Boss View Post
Class 1: Improved dirt, gravel, etc. Passable by any motorcycle capable of off-pavement travel.

Examples of class 1 roads include:

Old Junction Road, Kimble County, Texas
Where is this road? I travel to Junction every year and I'm curious if I've been on it. Google maps didn't do diddly with it.
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