I want to cross rivers...tell me how.

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by canoeguy, Feb 15, 2014.

  1. canoeguy

    canoeguy Been here awhile

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    So let's talk about river/creek water crossings. I want some advice on techniques and some idea of how deep I can push my KLR(up to the intake I assume).

    So "slow and steady" or "hold my beer and watch this"


    And..... go...
    #1
  2. farqhuar

    farqhuar Human guinea pig

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    Put the bike in your canoe.
    #2
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  3. canoeguy

    canoeguy Been here awhile

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    There is barely room for me in there! I am a white water boater...but I like your thinking.
    #3
  4. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    Ive done many creek crossings in my 40 years of trail riding,they can go smoothly or the wrong rock can be found at just the wrong time and you can be swimming, with no bike visible in a matter of seconds.
    I personally will go almost any amount of distance to avoid deep water crossings,they can be a deal ender if the bike sucks too much water.
    Especially a 4 stroke.

    Normal 1.5' of water splash through crossings are no biggie.
    #4
  5. farqhuar

    farqhuar Human guinea pig

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    You got the wrong sort of canoe then - I put my Yamaha in a dugout canoe to cross the Bangui river from the C.A.R. to the Congo, fast flowing, deep and wide.

    Lots of dugouts for rent on the banks of the river so no need to carry one with you on top of the bike. :wink:
    #5
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  6. tokyoklahoma

    tokyoklahoma 75%has been 25%wanabe

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    #6
  7. Rango

    Rango Phaneropter

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    yabba, yabba, we want to see that. :tb
    Can we? Please, please, can we? :jump
    #7
  8. OhBoy

    OhBoy Got Out

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    Your odds of succeeding improve if you can see the bottom.
    If in doubt walk the crossing first. Sure your boots will get wet but, that is better than pushing your drowned out bike for miles with wet boots. Or possibly spending an hour disassembling your bike to get the water out.

    Otherwise, if you are skilled, just carry your speed and let momentum and your ability to react get you thru.
    #8
  9. canoeguy

    canoeguy Been here awhile

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    So let's talk about what to do in the case of drawing in water. Obviously kill the bike as soon as possible. So where do I go from there. Not having horizontal heads on my thumper makes pulling the plug and draining water impossible.

    Any good sources for obtaining a base knowledge on some enduro skills to apply to adv riding?
    #9
  10. tkent02

    tkent02 Long timer

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    Just go riding with some of the people on here that do this stuff all the time.

    Really nothing to it up to the gas tank. If the bike is set up for it, you don't find a deeper spot, and you don't hit that big rock.

    And if there's not much current. Or too slippery. Or the bank is too steep.

    Slip the clutch, you can't go fast enough in deep water to keep the engine running without slipping the clutch. Keep it reved up some, it takes quite a bit of power to go forward, even slowly.

    Was riding with this one guy, makes a big deal about this big water crossing, scouted it out to see where it was deepest, but we couldn't see it. Muddy water, thin film of ice on top, a few chunks of wood stuck in the ice. Didn't look like much but he was concerned. Finally he went, and got across with dry rims. Two inches deep, max.

    The opposite has happened too, you get in there and find out it was much deeper than you thought… This probably happens a lot more often.

    Have ridden a 1976 Honda 750 up to the gas tank for about a mile, down a flooded highway, back in about 1978. It ran fine.
    #10
  11. Bucho

    Bucho Long timer

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    The most important rule in deep water crossing.


    1. Always let someone else go first
    #11
  12. bigdog99

    bigdog99 CJ's bitch

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    Much technique depends on what you're doing. If you're on an "adventure" ride, alone, far from help, and -have- to cross, then I'd probably park and walk through the crossing with a stick, etc. and find out just how deep it is. If it's too deep to ride, you can often "push" it down stream-ish with the engine idling or off, and the bike leaned against your hip. If you're out with your buddies, then the "hold my beer..." method can make for a fun afternoon. Cover the kill swith with your thumb, if the engine intakes water under power it's easy to bend a rod.

    Early season scoured rocks or sand: easier
    Late season mud and mossy bottom: put on your snorkel
    #12
  13. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    The others covered many good points. Generally:

    - Ride with others.
    - Let somebody else go first. :lol3
    - Scout it out on foot first, otherwise.
    - Carry a tow rope/strap.
    - Give it a bit of gas.
    - Cover the killswitch and push it if the intake is going under. Drain the airbox and blow out the cylinder before trying to restart.
    - Pull the sparkplugs and crank it to blow out water.
    - Check your oil for water contamination.
    - Be mindful of crocs/gators, snakes, hippos, or other critters that may not like you in their swimming hole.
    - If it's moving fast, even if it's pretty shallow and just up to the pegs, consider your other options. Fast-moving water can be very dangerous.
    #13
  14. Sp4rks

    Sp4rks Been here awhile

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    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/FtsynoxAKEQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    Well, obviously not like this.
    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/pOoy7_l2EbI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    Or like this.
    #14
  15. Wlfman

    Wlfman Long timer

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    <iframe width="853" height="480" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/MiMG5q44l0o?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    #15
  16. Homey

    Homey Been here awhile

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    This is not the best way to do it either...
    [​IMG]

    I also know from personal experience that motorcycles will float for a relatively short time...
    #16
  17. BanjoBoy

    BanjoBoy Been here awhile

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    Uhhhh, don't ride so deep as ta draw water? :dunno

    [​IMG]
    #17
  18. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    hmmmmm.... I wonder what the bottom is like and how deep it is at the far side where the water is running....
    [​IMG]






    Maybe I should wait for a clue.... :D
    [​IMG]

    Game ender...
    [​IMG]

    These are easy except sometimes they get slippery with moss:
    [​IMG]

    I'm solo a lot and try really hard to keep my momentum up, particularly on creek crossings with their typical rocks. I try and find the path with the smallest rocks and hopefully the crossing is a short one. The banks can be a problem too. I like to find a spot where the bank coming out isn't too steep for me.
    [​IMG]

    I'm not doing anything that looks deep, though. If I do it was by mistake. :D
    #18
  19. canoeguy

    canoeguy Been here awhile

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    Thanks.

    Seriously though thanks everyone for confirming what I suspected I.e. don't be a dumbass.

    I don't expect to do any deep crossings but I am headed to Central America so who knows.

    If I had the time I would take a off road riding course, but I don't. So I will learn how everyone really learns...by doing it.
    #19
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  20. flei

    flei cycletherapist

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    Crossing a "river" is likely seldom a good idea! Crossing a "creek" or "stream": scout it out first (on foot) for depth, rocks, best line, etc. then GO FOR IT! You might still end up like this if the bottom is soft! After one EVENTUALLY came by and winched me out, I learned that the local ATVs love to sit in that puddle, spin their wheels and stir up the bottom! I should have walked thru it first but didn't want to get my boots wet... On second thought, if I HAD walked into it, maybe I would have been stuck there!

    [​IMG]
    #20