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How To Ride Slippery Wet Trails on an Adventure Motorcycle

How To Ride Slippery Wet Trails on an Adventure Motorcycle


let’s talk about riding on trails with
reduced traction. most riders that come to me they’re really focused on the
riding technique but strategy, strategy is actually more important or at least
equal to the riding technique so what we have here today is a nice wet day with
limited traction we’ve got clay on the trail over here and here we’ve got some
nice loose gravel up on the bank the idea is we want to be able to make sure
that the bike doesn’t slip out from underneath us we have pretty limited
traction even with knobbies on the bike and the way we’re going to do that is make
sure that the bike is always perpendicular to the ground so if you’re
riding down the road and we’re riding on flat ground it’s always going to be
perpendicular like this it’s when you lean that the bike runs the risk of
slipping out just like in a corner so if the earth moves up like this then what’s
perpendicular is here this allows me to take the bike and lean it over so the
tire is perpendicular to the earth I’m looking to go at just the speed to allow
it to do that so that’s where the strategy comes in as I’m looking down
the trail what I’m gonna be doing is watching for those two things what is
the traction look like and what is the bank depending on how high the bank goes
depends on how much speed you have to carry into this now where you ride on
the bank also makes a difference if I go too high on this Bank
the chances of me blowing over the top that increases if I come down too low I
end up on the flat ground and then I’m sliding into it I’m more likely to slip
out now from a technique standpoint what we’re gonna
the riders I’m always gonna stay perpendicular to the planet. the bike
stays perpendicular to the ground if the bike slips or stalls and slides down
the bank I can recover if I do get too high and blow across the top I’m on top
of the bike and again I have a better chance of recovering now some of you are
thinking ah but in the dirt I see dirtbike guys and they hang down inside
and they and they berm all the way through these you’re absolutely correct
and on dirt bike you can do that they have higher traction they have less
weight on these adventure bikes they’re very very heavy so we need to stay up on
the foot pegs of the bike and we’re going to be riding at slower speeds and
our traction no matter how good your knobbies are an adventure bike they are not
pure dirt bike tires so that makes a big difference so you’re always going to
stay perpendicular to the planet the bike is perpendicular to the land here’s
a little more complex approach we’re still going to use that same Bank
strategy but instead of just banking into the land we’re going to use this
route to wedge the tire and the reason I want to come into this wedge here to
clear it is this route that’s running diagonal across the trail is very wet
and very slick if I were to come square on to this route and hit it with my
front tire the chances of its slipping right and falling down are much greater
so that’s why I’m going to use that same strategy up and through here using the
bank and angling the bike in so it matches the angle I go in the
alternative is to come straight on to the route but to use that same wedge
strategy here where the route itself has a natural growth where two sides come in
and make that V and that’s where I’m going to put that tire to clear over on the big adventure bikes like this
they’re not dirt bikes they’re not as forgiving it’s very very important to
really focus on developing your riding strategies as much as you concentrate on
your riding techniques

100 comments on “How To Ride Slippery Wet Trails on an Adventure Motorcycle

  1. Bret , thank you for your amazing videos and instructional tips . I'm jonesing to go ride and start practicing but winter has arrived here in the North East . By the way , is that your good luck cap you're always wearing ? As always, I look forward to watching your next training videos. Thanks !

  2. I like it. Not too short. U tube is full of 20 minute blah blah blah videos where the presenter repeats themselves endlessly. 👍
    Oh and dirt bikes suck at 85mph in the sweepers

  3. Curious on your thoughts about traction control settings in these conditions? I ride the Africa twin and I always have TC off when in the dirt but wet conditions like this are much different. Would recommend keeping TC on? Maybe the lowest setting?

  4. As much as I love the intro, a huge pet peeve of mine on short YouTube videos is an intro that takes up nearly 25 seconds. Aaarghhhh lol! Probably because I've watched all your videos in one day haha

  5. I feel like each of these videos could be hours long lol. So much knowledge here, we can tell you're only scratching the surface. Would you ever consider doing a video tutorial series Brett? The videography and sound is so good, and with your amazing teaching prowess I think they would be an amazing resource – maybe THE resource – for budding "adventure" riders. I for one would gladly throw down some greenbacks for that. Of course, taking your course would be ideal… that's in the works too I hope.

  6. I got into enduro for my first end of 2016 when I got my Multistrada Enduro 1200. I had to learn the riding skills from youtube channels, but when I saw your channel, my riding skills improved a lot. So thank you and keep up the good work

  7. Really helpful!
    If you can make one video specifically on Royal Enfield Himalayan(as it's entry level adventure bike) riding technique that would be great!
    Thanks in advance!

  8. If you've never done trails on a bicycle, do that!
    It's basics you'll learn as a kid before you put a motor in your cycle.

  9. Thanks for the vid! I have huge problems with this – it's 60% rider, 25% tires and 14% bike (noob, on street tires riding a 700GS) – the mud here is like toothpaste – super-fine dust mixed into a slurry. Practice, some TKC's and some confidence will help 🙂

  10. I'm not an ADV rider — yet — but I think a lot of these strategies can be applied by us street riders as well. Keep the videos coming!

  11. Bret, I'd love to come take a class. Can you post a link for upcoming classes? Having a hard time tracking that down for some reason.

  12. Can you make a video of what the difference is between a dual sport helmen and a normal integral helmet. Most important: why to buy a ds helmet.
    I would apreciate that!

  13. I'm just new at this adventure bike thing. As a 50 year old female (5'11"), I struggle with the weight of the bike. I'm much happier when riding it than when trying to manoeuvre it without the engine running. I would honestly say I'm a little scared of it under those conditions. But I LOVE riding it, and your videos are so wonderfully illustrated and super helpful for this newbie. Thank you so much for the effort you go to in providing such great instructional videos!

  14. love your videos, the quality of them is simply uncanny. cant wait to be done with my studies so i can stop being poor and buy myself a motorcycle and apply all these stuff in real life.
    keep up the good work, greetings from austria

  15. I've just watched this again. Very helpful. I have a question about road camber. My husband and I ride a lot of gravel roads. I'm new to all of this. I find it hardest when the gravel is loose and the corner is off-camber. How is it best to deal with positioning of the bike? I'll be riding along a straight and approach a corner which changed from a nice wheel rut to off camber, and I have to figure out how to get my bike into the right position (which usually involves a few terrified squeals from me!). These roads are narrow, one-lane roads but two-way traffic, and the corners are blind. So, we have to ride as far over to the left as possible (NZ). I find it very difficult. But I'm persevering. Any tips? 🙂

  16. Fantastic video and video series btw. How have I not come across your channel before. I love this video specifically because it’s sooo true. I’m fortunate to have ridden mountain bikes for years before buying my first 1200GSA (my first adventure bike actually) and these principles take a lot of the fear out and build confidence. Subscribed!

  17. Great detailed explanation. I have question on how should we brake when facing wet muddy road? I've fallen once when approaching it due to sudden front braking. Thanks. Subscribed.

  18. Appreciate the "perpendicular to the earth" explanation. Riding tight single track on a lighter weight enduro further emphasizes the banking/line choice decision. Adding wet, muddy, rooted tracks makes for an interesting ride. I still prefer a lighter-weight bike, though — sub 400 pounds, if possible.

  19. Anyone know of a channel with equally good tutorials and explanations but more geared specifically towards dedicated dirt bikes? I'm learning a lot here but feel like I could learn more on a channel more geared towards dirt bikes as that is what I ride.

  20. So.. looking ahead and for the right angle to approach the slippery tree root, by the time you have made that decision the next obstacle appears leaving little time to react to the next threat. How does one approach that next scenario. It all seems to come to fast.

  21. Excellent channel, very entertaining host. I have very limited off-road experience on a 1999 Yamaha TDM 850 and now I ride a GS Adventure. When I'm perpendicular to the planet, how do I get the bike to lean, so that it's perpendicular to the ground? Do I step into the curve on the footpeg, so it leans and after that I keep my perpendicular-to-the-planet posture, so that the front tire retains its traction? I'm guessing that it's not a good idea to steer with the handlebar on very loose terrain. Thanks a lot for your videos. Unfortunately, being in Europe, I won't have a chance to attend your riding courses.

  22. If you require instruction, you most likely have no business out there to begin with. Some ppl have common sense, and some never will. Overly-cautious riders/drivers/trapeze artists are dangerous. No guts, no bandages, no kudos. Adventure training wheels? Just pin it da***t! How about you just lay down right there in the trail and instruct me on how to properly run over you? The likelihood of you being injured is high by the way if I hit you head on. But if I do a wheelie, and hit you at an angle……..

  23. As an owner of a large adventure touring bike, I have come to realize that like you alluded too, they are no dirt bike. When traveling at speed, you will come up on those roots/mud slips and unfortunately, potentially go down. My experience tells me, buy your self a cruiser or BMW RT for two up comfy travel, and get yourself a 250 – 450 dirt bike. After years of racing dirt (when I was a kid) I thought I could ride my AdvBike the same way, who was I kidding…. Good tips, but not the best tip IMHO is trade it in.

  24. Hi my friend! my name is Leandro! i'am from Brasil. I admirated so mutch your videos. Please: what year your motorcycle? thanks

  25. I'd love to see you do a video on forged wheels vs spoked for Adventure Bikes. I am looking at the new Tiger 1200 but torn between the XRt with forged wheels the XCa with wire wheels. I am not going to be doing a lot of off road other than some dirt roads or packed gravel. Mostly paved miles. Nothing horribly rough or extreme. I am also concerned about the maintenance required to maintain wire wheels.

  26. Thanks for your videos, I enjoy even the ones that I do not think I might use. I love that you get down and do the work, kneeling in a mud puddle is great, what is your rain gear?

  27. That's perfectly precise! I have a CRF230 and a V-Strom 650XT and they are, of course, two different worlds! The way you approach roots on the CRF are more like "whatever"… Meanwhile, you use a lot a strategy when it comes to bigger and heavier bikes! Amazing video as usual, guys! Keep it up and cheers from Brazil!

  28. I happened to come to a forest way that looked nice with grass on it and all. But soon it turned out to be half inch dry on top and 2 to 4 inch wet clay underneath. Profile was immediately full and the front wheel slipped to the side. I had to lift it up 6 times until i was out of the area. I wished to know a technique to drive through without falling off.

  29. Thanks for the tips.   I've been riding for years and recently got into adventure bikes.  I ride an Africa Twin and it's true large bikes are not as forgiving and especially in wet slippery conditions.  There is always room for adopting new techniques and strategies for one's choice of bike.  My greatest challenge is riding slippery rutted logging roads.  Too slow, you'll fall.  Too fast, you'll hurt yourself if you fall…   I guess the trick is finding the right momentum and front wheel as straight as possible.    🙂

  30. After an afternoon at the local trails on my Africa Twin this has definitely been a point in the right direction. I would however love to see a video on technique for riding slick trails with deep ruts and puddles in places. In Canada we have a large number of these type of trails in the mountains due to overpowered jeeps and Side by Sides attempting to ride on ATV trails and becoming stuck. I’m sure the advice would be greatly beneficial to a large amount of your viewers (myself included) Thanks Brett! Keep up the awesome work!

  31. I am french from the alp and i love your videos. Do you have a school driving and where ? Thanks for your great job 👍

  32. Your techniques are so Logical, Straight Forward and Practical. Too Good <3. I had a doubt regarding the Body Positioning here, as we keep our bike perpendicular to the ground what about our body? Does it stay perpendicular to the bike while leaning?

  33. So when I stand on pegs at 6'4" /300#, does my weight translate into the upper part of the "load triangle" or am I a human popsicle looking to topple?
    Also, last week I was scooting west through Kansas fighting a vicious 50mph+ south wind. Twice I got blasted onto the shoulder from center lane of the interstate. I finally tucked south by southwest to negate that danger. 💀 I reduced speed but then felt like a pinata with wheels. Insights please?

  34. Thanks for the great videos! Everytime I ride I try something new from your videos.

    Do you perhaps have any tips for riding on slick hardpacked clay dirt roads right after rain a shower? I couldn't help but paddle along , sometimes my tracks were a foot apart for a few meters.

    #farmerslife

  35. Yes, These bikes are very heavy when compared to a traditional dirt bike that I am used to riding. These bikes just take different strategies altogether to make them perform…  
    Nice Video!!!

  36. PLEASE MAKE VIDEO ON HOW TO RIDE AN ADV BIKE THROUGH LONG STRETCHES OF MUD. We often find such stretches on our travels so what is the right technique to make it through them? How to approach? Around a puddle or through it? Accelerate out or constant speed? Stop-and-go or constant movement? Sitting or standing? Deflate tyres or not? THANKS!

  37. Interesante! Todos los videos, los felicito! Deberían considerar en la medida de lo posible poner la opción en todos el idioma español !! Gracias 🙏

  38. I'm a off-road lover… rail buggies… owned STREET bikes thinking on getting a BMW r1250gsa or so… love your videos..I'm in middle-Tennessee and a lot of your riding looks local to me..

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