Negotiating Railroad Tracks on a Adv Bike

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by GoGoGavin41, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. GoGoGavin41

    GoGoGavin41 Sokath, his eyes opened!

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,307
    Location:
    The Holy City
    So I'm probably going on a ride tomorrow with some friends on an abandoned railroad. I've done some of this route before on a mountain bike and it is occurring to me now that there are a number of places that you have to ride inside the tracks or cross them completely. I know this route is frequented by smaller bikes (the people I'm riding with have ridden it several times on 250s and 400s/also a few videos on youtube of people riding it), but I'm thinking 990s aren't normally the first choice for this trail.

    Any tricks for getting over tracks on a big bike? Seems to me like it may be kind of a chore.
    #1
  2. rapidoxidationman

    rapidoxidationman Easily trainable

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    10,214
    Location:
    The Teton Rockies
    Here's the first thing I thought of:

    Crush: Okay. Squirt here will now give you a rundown of proper exiting technique.
    Squirt: Good afternoon. We're gonna have a great jump today. Okay, first crank a hard cutback as you hit the wall. There's a screaming bottom curve, so watch out. Remember: rip it, roll it, and punch it.
    #2
  3. Handy

    Handy Sunburnt

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,667
    Location:
    The great state of Idaho
    That looks like a fun trail. I can't believe you are going to do it on a 990. Sorry I can't help with crossing the tracks, I have done it a trials bike but that technique might not carry over to your beast.
    #3
  4. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2004
    Oddometer:
    30,482
    Location:
    Western Mass
    Crossing completely should be okay if you can get lined up at a right angle to the tracks. Carry enough momentum going in to make it over the second one.

    From inside to get out could be a PITA on a 990 with its restricted steering range. Don't know how much you'll be able to get the front end turned before you hit the rail with the front tire. The theory is goose it to lift & lighten the front up a little, and go. Once the front is over the back will follow.

    But I've not done yet it on my 990. Tell us how it goes!
    #4
  5. Hop-Sing

    Hop-Sing Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    Oddometer:
    970
    I think you should not attempt this on that big of bike.
    You will not be able to ride over, you will have to have your friends help you lift it over. the spacing of RR tracks is just the wrong size. I to ride Trials bikes and they are tricky even on my 150 lbs 280 pro. Also riding in the cobble that the RR uses is not a lot of fun. you will find out soon.
    #5
  6. WRW9751

    WRW9751 7th Day Adventurist

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    588
    Location:
    Ankeny Iowa
    As a retired railroader, I would encourage anyone that rides a railroad track to be very sure they are abandon! Some may seem that way, but see very little use. Usually railroads of today take up the rails when abandoning. Mostly for salvage and tax purposes. Trains run on supply and demand concept. Never really know when the customer needs a product. Just be very alert!
    #6
  7. Supahflid

    Supahflid Wheelieless

    Joined:
    May 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,912
    Location:
    Here for reals.
    Shouldn't be any trouble on a 990 as long as you are mostly ninety degrees or so to the obstacle. I have easily climbed sixteen, eighteen inch steps and bigger on mine.
    #7
  8. TexaNate

    TexaNate Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2012
    Oddometer:
    451
    Location:
    The Hague
    I think OP is more worried about riding in the tracks and then getting out at some point.

    I think crossing rails like that with less-than-perpendicular rail/wheel angles is asking for trouble. And if you drop, your 990 is going to get rammed by the rail it falls on.

    Like someone said earlier - I think your best hope might be to loft the front wheel over. Not sure what you do when the rear stays on the inside since it probably won't wanna bump over a slippery rail, at least not on a <90degree angle.

    Not a rail but here's a log showing what I mean.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJnMaGMTXAU
    #8
  9. FirstPath

    FirstPath Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,765
    Location:
    Formerly Shoreview, MN
    You could build up some debri/rocks on both sides of the track and use them as ramps to get over. Again, trickier with less than a 90 degree angle. Try it slow and see if other's can spot you. Help each other out.
    #9
  10. KX50002

    KX50002 NooB, my ass

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,004
    Location:
    NEPA
    Yes, it will be a chore, but the technique is the same. Stand up on the pegs, get your ass back over the rear of the seat, line up perpendicular to the tracks and wheelie over them. The only real problem with this is "if" you fail and fall on the rails it hurts ALOT, and could even break large bones (think femur)

    As far as riding between the rails, I used to do this alot as a kid we rode the tracks everywhere, interestingly the suspension smooths out the bumps better as you go faster, about 50mph and you'd never know you're riding on railroad tracks.

    Be careful following other riders, especially if they are on big 2 strokes, KX 500s have been known to throw large rocks from the railraod bed :evil
    #10
  11. Rucksta

    Rucksta SS Blowhard

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,724
    Location:
    Gold Coast
    When riding between the tracks if I can't find a level crossing I stop the bike and lift one wheel over at a time.
    #11
  12. LittleRedToyota

    LittleRedToyota Yinzer

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,290
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    not really relevant to the OP's question of getting his big bike between the tracks so he can ride inside them, but a tip for crossing tracks that makes it a helluva lot easier...

    line up so you are crossing on a tie, and not in between them. if you do that, keep your weight back (keep the front light...even in the air a little), and *stay on the gas*, you can pretty much just ride right over them. it's just a head game at that point.
    #12
  13. hscrugby

    hscrugby "That guy"

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    4,770
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    I recommend taking your bike out to a train track that has a paved sloped crossing near it. Try and ride over at 90, try and ride in and out while going towards the crossing, etc.
    Just practice with that crossing coming up, so that if you can't get out at less than 90 degrees, you have an easy way out coming right up...

    And just remember, when in doubt, throttle out.... :lol3
    #13
  14. DSM8

    DSM8 Where fun goes to die....

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,504
    Location:
    Glendora, Ca
    #14
  15. hscrugby

    hscrugby "That guy"

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    4,770
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    instead of carrying ramps, if you really just need to get over it, and you can't make it....

    You realize that there are thousands of little things all around the tracks you can make a pile out of right? I shall call them "piles of rocks"
    put a pile up to both tracks from the side you are going, easy as pie...
    then the polite thing is to get rid of the pile somewhat once your done so when the train goes by it doesn't explode rocks everwhere...
    I'd prefer to just use hp and speed, but worst case, like your riding a sport bike or something over them..
    #15
  16. GoGoGavin41

    GoGoGavin41 Sokath, his eyes opened!

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,307
    Location:
    The Holy City
    So the ride didn't happen (we went mountain biking instead, one of the rider's bikes was non-functional), although I believe we'll eventually go there at some point. I like the piling up rocks idea. I think there are definitely some places that I might be able to try just getting over without help, but also a few that I'll require some type of rock/fellow rider assistance.

    As far as the RR goes, I'm almost positive the tracks are closed, but WRW9751 makes a good point that they haven't been taken up.
    #16
  17. rapidoxidationman

    rapidoxidationman Easily trainable

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    10,214
    Location:
    The Teton Rockies
    Piling up rocks on a railroad track.
    What could go wrong?

    [​IMG]

    Better make damn sure there isn't a train coming.

    Engineers get pissed when kids put pennies on the tracks to flatten 'em out. I doubt they'd be too happy with piles of rocks built up next to rails for some guy to ride his bike over.

    Pretty sure the NTSB wouldn't look kindly upon it either.

    Then again, nothing is illegal unless you get caught:clap
    #17
  18. CopaMundial

    CopaMundial Wow, that broke easy

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,600
    Location:
    US, SE PA & Central ME
    Rails, especially when wet, give me fits.
    Crossing @ 90 degrees, no problem. But if I have to take it at an angle, or if I'm inside going to outside I just stop and lift one wheel over at a time. Not worth the pain.
    #18
  19. Hop-Sing

    Hop-Sing Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    Oddometer:
    970
    I think there are a bunch of crazy people.
    I know a bit about motorcycles!
    I know a bit about Trains!

    I can tell by the responses we have some arm chair motorcyclist.
    If you can't pick up the rear of your bike 8 inches, you are a fool to be out/or in the Tracks.

    I ride Trials motorcycles and can go over a car. the gap of the tracks are very tricky.

    You might be better suited putting a plastic bag over your head and playing on the freeway.
    #19
  20. Hop-Sing

    Hop-Sing Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    Oddometer:
    970
    [​IMG]

    If you are going to ride the RR Tracks use a train.
    #20