I am in pretty much the same situation. I do not have much off road (or perhaps unpaved is a better suited word here) experience. Though a motorcycle trip in Africa gave me quite a boost in experience. I can agree with everything somanyfish posted. I noticed he did not mention anything about airing down the tires. I would not air down the bike. especially not when loaded with luggage. 175kg is light... for an ADV bike, not for a dirt bike! Add your own weight with gear to it and its actually not a light combo at all. Aired down tires on this bike makes the drive-ability a lot less enjoying on the pieces of road were it is not needed and cause a lot of wear on the tires, to name two. Speed, well I agree with somanyfish. It really is mostly a street bike, which can easily do some light unpaved roads as well. But for the gnarly stuff the ground clearance and suspension travel is not really enough to do a great speed. So in the end it comes to this; the correct speed is what you are comfortable at and doesnt break the bike Again, like somanyfish said, some roads only allow up to 30kph or lower, were on other roads I managed to do up to twice that. About standing on the pegs; as mentioned before here, it really does make things easier in circumstances were the tires start to suffer from reduced grip. I needed quite some practice before I felt even remotely comfortable standing up. Yeah, dont lean in turns...! Last week I was driving in Germany on some wet tightly packed mud road and luckily was standing and performing the "peak around the corner" position as mentioned on the MOTORTREK channel, when both wheels started to slide. due to this position I was able to actually fairly easily keep in control of the bike. speed was low at somewhere between 15-20kph. and luckily the slide was only momentarily. it was, however, very thrilling! :) RPMS. I generally (but not limited to) run the engine around 5-6k when on unpaved surface and I only progress beyond 3rd gear when the road smooths out a bit. Meaning that only then do I progress beyond speeds of 30-40 kph?. I found out that 3rd gear gives me enough flexibility in speed, while containing some acceptable levels of (de)acceleration from lower rpms, without needing to shift (which i find nice, as I am not particularly comfortable shifting gear whiles standing on the pegs). When the road doesnt allow for speeds in 3rd I drop to second gear. I noticed that engine braking and acceleration are two very good buddy's to have on unpaved roads. 1st gear,hmm I don use it all that much, the bike respons to much to change of throttle input. I noticed that the bike doesnt respond well to throttle input when to high gear/too low engine rpm. make sure you are in the correct gear for the situation that is coming up. better to go in with a too low gear than a too high gear. my experience anyway. Ramping up the rpms to lighten the front end... I've tried this, but i wasnt very succesful. I dont think this is very easily done without doing a proper clutch drop, which I find a waste of the clutch to practice learning, but to each their own. Like you, most I know, I know from YouTube and from what others suggested and trying to put it into practice. I hope the above has at least some use for you. Below a link to a short video of for what type of riding I use the bike for and bought it for. When I am not on the highway getting to those routes, that is. :) The front tire was the OEM tire with 18k kms on it (its replaced now). The rear tire an almost worn AVON trailrider 11k kms on it (going to be replaced now at 12k kms). and this combination is how I've gained most of the experiences that I mentioned above. EDIT: As you can see, I also dont ride at much speed when its unpaved. I was 1000km away from home and I really did not want to break the bike or me when in the middle of nowhere.