Crashed in a rut-need some tips

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by StorckWhip, Mar 17, 2014.

  1. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Long timer

    Sep 6, 2011
    I suppose we could ask the OP to clarify the type of rut he got caught in. For it certainly is true that how you handle a deep rut is different from how you handle a shallow one. I was thinking shallow ruts when I made my comment.
  2. gearheadE30

    gearheadE30 Long timer

    Jan 20, 2012
    See I don't really understand this. I have a 950 and an XT350. True, I learned the basics on the XT, but the 950 made me re-learn a lot of things. Some of them were things specific to big bikes, and others were just bad habits that I'd picked up along the way, but riding the 950 in places it really shouldn't be (and, yes, crashing a few times along the way) has made me a much, much better rider, on either bike. Plus, some people don't have access to a second, light bike to learn on, and I applaud the OP for actually getting out there and doing it on an S10, and trying to figure out how to do it right by asking around rather than just giving up or something.
  3. folknride

    folknride Old Adventurer

    Sep 10, 2008
    Alberta, Canada
    +1 :nod
  4. StorckWhip

    StorckWhip Adventurer

    Nov 28, 2012
    Williamsburg, VA
    Thanks to you both. My theory is that I'm not going to try to do anything too hard or dumb, but that it's probably not going to hurt either me or the bike too badly to drop it in a grass/mud situation going 5-15mph.

    To clarify, about the rut...I'm not sure, really. It struck me as being a decently deep but short rut. I'm going to go have a look at it today (and maybe ride slower through that could have been part of the issue). I think the fact that it was pretty firm dried mud on both sides contributed too.

    Anyway, I went out a year or so ago on a 125 dirtbike for some actual instruction at a local place that has a few dirt tracks. I had a ball, but the idea of sticking my inside leg out doesn't translate to the Tenere. Nor does jumping, using berms, or backing it in. All quite amusing on a 125 though.
  5. folknride

    folknride Old Adventurer

    Sep 10, 2008
    Alberta, Canada
    Dried mud rut is what got me too. I think the bottom line on a big bike is...
    Arruugah, Arruugah - avoid avoid avoid!!!!

    (and assume all ruts have hard sides?)
  6. CopaMundial

    CopaMundial Wow, that broke easy

    Jun 27, 2008
    US, SE PA & Central ME
    So then yes, you do understand it.
    Learn technique on a smaller bike, then apply it to a larger bike.
    Starting to ride dirt from scratch on a big bike is not the best way to go about it.
    I'm not saying it's the end of the world, just that it will result in expensive repairs to your bike or your body... more so than if you learn technique on a smaller bike.

    That's why my post that you quoted mentioned MSF dirtbike school.
    They provide the bike.
  7. Gamequeazy

    Gamequeazy Curbjumper

    May 29, 2013
    Cajon Zone, CA
    I agree. I started riding offroad on an XT600, then went to a TE610, but it wasn't until I rode the hell out of my DT175 that I was able to get comfortable offroad and apply the concepts from the little bike to the big one.
  8. Bajaexplorer

    Bajaexplorer Alien

    Jan 26, 2014
    <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=4 width="100%" border=0> <TBODY> <TR> <TD class=alt2 style="BORDER-TOP: 1px inset; BORDER-RIGHT: 1px inset; BORDER-BOTTOM: 1px inset; BORDER-LEFT: 1px inset"> Originally Posted by Little Bike [​IMG]
    You mostly likely sneaked a peek at the side of the rut and where your eyes go, so goes the bike and you clipped the side. When I'm on stuff like that I only look where the bike needs to go; resist the temptation.

    <!-- / message -->
    This again ^.
    One of the rules that the teacher kept pounding into my brain.
  9. doxiedog

    doxiedog Been here awhile

    Feb 12, 2007
    Just keep going,sooner or later, the rut will hold the bike up for you!
  10. XR650L_Dave

    XR650L_Dave Long timer

    Apr 3, 2006
    Near Cortland NY
    I hate ruts.

    One key is to allow the bike to move a bit laterally under you, if you are death-gripping with your knees if the bike gets flicked a bit L or R the bike will flick you.

    Another useful method is to move your feet so the balls of your feet are on the pegs, makes it easier to handle/absorb the movement when the bike gets pushed sideways or it tracks sideways.
  11. Fast1

    Fast1 Twisted Throttle

    Aug 18, 2007
    Bridge over Troubled Water
    Muddy ruts on a Tenere with a full tank of fuel .. not easy.

    High air pressure, type of tire and a heavy bike in muddy ruts can challenge any including those that are highly skilled.

    Somewhat tough to diagnose the reason for the dirt nap without knowing all the particulars about the type of dirt (clay?), approach to the rut and rut depth.

    What air pressure were you running in the front tire?

    Would you have had a problem on the 125 in the same situation?
  12. tapdiggy

    tapdiggy Been here awhile

    Jul 22, 2009
    The OP mentioned that he was gaining comfort on the new tires before the drop. Comfort usually raise confidence, which raises courage. It sounds like the OP found the high point of available skill. Good job. Go practice riding in ruts (and everything else, for that matter) with the opinions given here; find out what works and what does not. Maybe keep it at 60% pace to begin, just in case something doesn't work. Build the skills, build the comfort.
  13. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

    Dec 20, 2007
    Delaware Ohio
    Pure conditions mandate what to do.

    When in doubt:

    • slow down to a crawl
    • butt on seat
    • feet ready to paddle as needed
    The fact is if your front wheel hits the side of the rut it will try to steer into the wall and climb the rut causing you to most likely crash.

    Otherwise virtually every post in this thread is good advice - depending on the circumstances you encounter like:

    • how deep is the rut
    • how wide is the rut
    • is the rut full of water obscuring whatever might be under the water
    • how muddy is the rut
    • how deep is the mud
    As you see, there is no one way that works in all conditions, even the "when in doubt", because if you encounter deep mud you might stick the rear wheel... but still it is likely the best advice since falling or sticking in mud doesn't hurt near as bad as crashing at speed.

    More riders of any level - including pro motocrossers and off road racers - get hurt more often when hooking a peg or washing out the front wheel in ruts. So as you crash you can think, "Geez, just like the pros!"
  14. Rango

    Rango Phaneropter

    Oct 30, 2012
    Kingdom of Belgium
    +1 :thumb