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Old 08-14-2013, 12:19 AM   #16
viverrid
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Two up he hardly needs to put weight more to the rear (as someone on this thread suggested). The bike will handle differently 2-up from the greater weight already to the rear. Dirt riders do NOT always try to get weight to the rear; when you see all the moto-X riders in the group approaching a corner with their inside foot forward (NOT down on the ground but forward) that is to shift more weight to the front for better front grip and turn-in.

If your passenger is experienced in dirt you can also at least partially stand 2-up, the passenger gets her butt off the seat also. My wife & I do this routinely even if it's just to avoid a jolt from a bump, hole, small log or other obstruction. She doesn't have to see the obstruction, she just stands when I do. We routinely take 2-up dirt road rides and I corner faster 2-up (990 Adventure) than she does alone on her own bike (XT-225). I think it's mainly a matter of experience and that someone should not just go out and try to go fast on dirt 2-up because someone said they can if they do this or that.

But really normal procedures generally apply, there will be incrementally different handling due to the different weight distribution but same principle as being alone with camping gear on the back. And no, a steering damper (also suggested in this thread) will not make him corner faster. How fast is OP on dirt corners when riding by himself?
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viverrid screwed with this post 08-14-2013 at 12:27 AM
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Old 08-14-2013, 12:27 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by fixie View Post
Most of what you wrote makes good sense, except for the bike being more upright when going faster.
Particularly on slower speed dirt corners, you throw the bike down while keeping your body more upright (opposite of hanging off). Some tight dirt maneuvers can be "rear wheel steering' where a lot of the turning comes from slewing the rear AND (to an arguable extent) the "wheelie torque" causing the front to be pulled to the inside when torque is applied while the bike is leaned over.

When going faster you don't do this, you'd low-side. On dirt, cornering is limited by traction not lean angle. You will run out of traction long before lean angle. To take a high speed dirt corner you don't lean the bike more, it will just low-side.
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Old 08-14-2013, 12:29 AM   #18
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A sack of cement is cheap, and heavy. Strap one down to the pillion seat good and tight. Apart from the dust if you do crash, no real other downsides ?

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Old 08-14-2013, 12:37 AM   #19
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A sack of cement is cheap, and heavy. Strap one down to the pillion seat good and tight. Apart from the dust if you do crash, no real other downsides ?
This raises another point. The passenger needs to do her part to be at least the "sack of cement" inert and strapped to the bike. I ask inexperienced passengers to "become part of the bike" and not move around, to lean when the bike leans. Because otherwise they will impede you by leaning the wrong way, or by trying to use their own 'body English' to back seat drive. Could that be part of why OP is having difficulty in dirt corners, is his passenger moving in a way that causes instability?

But my wife is an experienced passenger and a rider herself, so she can work with me, at least by standing when I stand. Also she keeps her own weight back when we're braking or going downhill, and forward when we're accelerating or going uphill.
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Old 08-14-2013, 04:26 AM   #20
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.
Examine carefully Vegasgsa's pics on the previous page.

Narrow wheels . . . yes.

Smooth treaded [Tourances] . . . not.

There is a reason.
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Old 08-14-2013, 04:53 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fixie View Post
I’m not aiming to be a hooligan when I my trusty pillion is along for the ride, I’d just like to be able to corner a bit faster. On many corners I'm at 15mph or below! Sure, this is appropriate for many situations, but I think I should be able to take many of these corners a bit faster since I could double my speed if I were solo.

I feel confident on hardpack, even a bit of gravel/rocks on hardpack I can deal with. But I’m very cautious on deep or deepish gravel. On some turns I can feel the front tire *just* start to feel funny but I’ve never taken it further so I don’t know if it is the "wobbly in sand sort - just trust it and don't death grip" sort of funny or “I’m going to break loose and dump you” kind of funny.

...

When the road is as deep (all the way across) like it is in the middle here, I'm a nervous nelly:


So, how can I improve? What should I experiment with?

Thanks a bunch!

Looks from that pic like you are talking an inch or two deep of gravel from shoulder to shoulder. You don't say you are uncomfortable riding with pillion on that sort of surface on the straights. If you're comfortable, that says plenty about your skill level, IMO. That sort of surface two-up on a big, heavy bike like a GS with 19-inch front end is tricky. You must have the "relax and let it move around" bit well worked out.

But you're not comfortable in the turns. Turns you believe you would be quite comfortable in solo.

It occurs to me that your intuitions might well be accurate here. That is, that there is something about the combination of weight distribution and chassis geometry two-up that is interfering with the turning process.

While - possibly - enhancing the straight-line stability.

One guess: perhaps two-up the bike sags more on its rear spring (even when preload is added), which would change the effective steering head angle, biasing it more towards straight line stability and less towards steering bite.

Add the more rearward weight distribution (which would tend to bury the rear tyre a little deeper than the front) and it seems explicable that the front feels (indeed, is) less secure in the turns than when solo.


What to do about it? I've an idea that if you can understand the problem, you'll sort out your own solution. Good luck!
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Old 08-14-2013, 05:57 AM   #22
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Iz she hawt? We want picz!
Quote:
Originally Posted by corndog67 View Post
Can you imagine your old lady sliding, cartwheeling, bouncing down the road? Or old man, I'm not judging you or anything. Slow with someone on the back. If you arent highly skilled, you have no business trying to go fast with someone on the back. Even if you are highly skilled, you are putting someone else's life at risk. I'll risk my own ass (all the time), but not my wife's'.
Purdie much ^THIS^
Dunno why you wanta go fast on gravel w/ yer 'ole lady on back anywayz?
Ta go fast in dirt/gravel ya need ta move round on the bike, which ya can't do w/ her there. Also, her added weight on the rear means it's gonna wanta "hook up" 'n the front'll push. (When ya want the rear to pivot 'round a "planted" front.)
Just relax 'n be smooth, 'n after y'all ride sum miles slide'in 'round, you'll know how much you can push it.
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Old 08-14-2013, 06:21 AM   #23
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Pin it to win it!

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Off+road+motorcycle+school

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Old 08-14-2013, 08:20 AM   #24
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Great comments, all! First, importantly, yes, she's hot! Ha.

Totally don't want my pillion - who is very relaxed and neutral on the bike, not interfering at all - cartwheeling down the trail. That's why I ride conservatively when she's on and am asking the question!

The cement idea is ingenious! I wonder if anyone's actually done that.

Moronic - yeah, I'm comfortable with the bike squirming when in gravel, though I'm not a speed demon even when alone. Also, very interesting comment about my bike's suspension. The rear is quite soft. Ohlins install scheduled for the end of the month! Clearly that won't solve my problem for me, but it won't hurt to have more even weight distribution as a starting point.
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Old 08-14-2013, 08:21 AM   #25
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Reading Viverred's post reminded me...

Make sure you are getting your preload cranked up..when your pillion hops on, your bike turns into a chopper, for all intents..

Yes, even if the wife is a feather..her weight is far back..

When the head angle gets laid back on your bike, it becomes sluggish to turn..

Suspension work MAY be needed as well..
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Old 08-15-2013, 06:09 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fixie View Post
The cement idea is ingenious! I wonder if anyone's actually done that.

Moronic - yeah, I'm comfortable with the bike squirming when in gravel, though I'm not a speed demon even when alone. Also, very interesting comment about my bike's suspension. The rear is quite soft. Ohlins install scheduled for the end of the month! Clearly that won't solve my problem for me, but it won't hurt to have more even weight distribution as a starting point.
Glad to be of assistance.

Yes, if the rear is soft then firming up the spring may well help a bit, perhaps even a lot. It's always a compromise tho, if you use the bike solo as well.

For the rest, I was thinking that having a useful analysis of the problem could help, simply by affecting the way you ride.

Lowering expectations (because you know there's a genuine issue) and loosening up a bit (because you've a fair idea what the issue is) might do most of the trick for you.
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Old 08-15-2013, 07:02 AM   #27
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I ride 2up in the dirt and gravel all the time. I dont try to push it. I let the hotshots race on ahead. I will catch up eventually. Usually at the scene of some carnage.

The only addtional advice I will offer is to air down your tires some more. I think you can go as low as 20lb front and rear. I found this makes a hugh difference in all types of terrain, including the rolly polly gravel.

If you really want to haulass on the gravel 2up. Throw a side car on the thing. Then you can powerslide through the corners with aplomb.
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Old 08-15-2013, 07:11 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fixie View Post
Im not aiming to be a hooligan when I my trusty pillion is along for the ride, Id just like to be able to corner a bit faster. On many corners I'm at 15mph or below! Sure, this is appropriate for many situations, but I think I should be able to take many of these corners a bit faster since I could double my speed if I were solo.

I feel confident on hardpack, even a bit of gravel/rocks on hardpack I can deal with. But Im very cautious on deep or deepish gravel. On some turns I can feel the front tire *just* start to feel funny but Ive never taken it further so I dont know if it is the "wobbly in sand sort - just trust it and don't death grip" sort of funny or Im going to break loose and dump you kind of funny.

When solo I'm standing and I know to weight the outside peg, and I do that a bit when two-up, but Im sitting so it isnt totally effective. Currently riding Tourances (aired down to 27ish in front, 35 in rear) but when theyre done Im putting on something a bit more dirt friendly.

I recognize there are many types of gravel roads but Im hoping your tutelage will apply across the board!

Facts, in case theyre relevant
- 1150 GS
- Im 185#, shes 115#. Sometimes an extra 50# for luggage

Hardpack like this is okay:


When the road is as deep (all the way across) like it is in the middle here, I'm a nervous nelly:


So, how can I improve? What should I experiment with?

Thanks a bunch!


can you do a doughnut on it for a minute ?

i'm no racer, no gravel god, no ds genius, but everything i do poorly i work on, each and every opportunity. no need in hurting the wife with practice ;-)
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Old 08-16-2013, 10:03 AM   #29
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Really think a large part of it is the bike and the tires, but also maybe mindset. I ride 2up on gravel, atv trails, deep sand, all sorts of horrible stuff with my wife on the back of a DRZ400 and also on the back of a TW200 (both with knobbies). We can really move right along through all those sorts of terrains but it is within the context of what we are doing, which is riding a dirtbike with two people on loose surfaces.

This is much different than me riding either bike solo on the same surfaces, where I can also "move right along" but within the context of a moderately experienced person riding a dirtbike. Simply put, you will likely not be moving as fast offroad or on gravel when you have a passenger, it changes the dynamics of the ride significantly in my opinion.

But also: try a smaller bike! Maybe not DRZ or TW200 small, but KLR? It is really fun to throw a small bike around riding 2up offroad. Both my wife and I enjoy it immensely. I would never try to push a big BMW or such on gravel or offroad the way that I do the smaller bikes with a passenger on the back. We have tried it a little with an XS650 that has dual sport tires, it's just too heavy, too little suspension, needs knobbies, more ground clearance, lower gearing, LESS WEIGHT.

Sorry for the rambling but hopefully this helps
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Old 08-16-2013, 11:13 AM   #30
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Really think a large part of it is the bike and the tires, but also maybe mindset. I ride 2up on gravel, atv trails, deep sand, all sorts of horrible stuff with my wife on the back of a DRZ400 and also on the back of a TW200 (both with knobbies). We can really move right along through all those sorts of terrains but it is within the context of what we are doing, which is riding a dirtbike with two people on loose surfaces.

This is much different than me riding either bike solo on the same surfaces, where I can also "move right along" but within the context of a moderately experienced person riding a dirtbike. Simply put, you will likely not be moving as fast offroad or on gravel when you have a passenger, it changes the dynamics of the ride significantly in my opinion.

But also: try a smaller bike! Maybe not DRZ or TW200 small, but KLR? It is really fun to throw a small bike around riding 2up offroad. Both my wife and I enjoy it immensely. I would never try to push a big BMW or such on gravel or offroad the way that I do the smaller bikes with a passenger on the back. We have tried it a little with an XS650 that has dual sport tires, it's just too heavy, too little suspension, needs knobbies, more ground clearance, lower gearing, LESS WEIGHT.

Sorry for the rambling but hopefully this helps

Sorry..90% rider...bad or poor technique, will not change with the bike size..it may be eadier to mask on a small bike..but you're still going to hit the ground.
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