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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I am new to the forum and haven't ridden a lot of dirt or gravel on 2 wheels. I'm pretty experienced on pavement (around 100K miles in the last 5 years) and like to ride pavement agressivly.

I recently purchesed a DRZ-SM "for commuting" (that's what I told my wife, wink-wink, nudge-nudge :rolleyes:) and have been experimenting "off-road". I have ridden my big bikes on gravel roads (including a Goldwing 1800 and my current Tuono) so I know to stay loose on the bars, and use the throttle to get over bumps and such. Years ago I did a lot of riding on ATV's, and in my past I've raced dirt track so getting the rear-end loose doesn't bother me too much.

Where I am having trouble is in the front end. I have SM compound Distanza's on the bike now, and have had the front "wash-out" on me in what seemed like easy turns. The only time I've dumped the bike was wiht the oiriginal Dunflops on it when I tucked the front end in a relativly easy corner.

I think there are two things going on; 1) my lizard brain doesn't trust the front end now and 2) I'm not sure where and how to put my weight on the bike. I *think* I need to be forward on the tank and push down on the bars. I think I may be too tenative with the gas and don't allow myself to power through the corner.

On pavement I love, love, love this bike. No, it's not as fast as the Tuono, but I can have as much fun without risking my license (as much) on the same roads. I just want to get better on gravel, as I like to take off on roads that I see, you know, just to see what is there!

Ken
 

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You need to put a lot of weight on the front end of the bike. This is done by sitting way up on the seat. If you look at the seat, you'll notice it goes up the tank. That's because it's designed with guys in mind, i.e., a little protection.

When you come up to a corner, slide up to the front of the seat, which will help weight the front end. If you are standing, try to keep your body centered on the bike and on your weight concentrated on the pegs. Also, grip and control the bike with your knees and lower legs rather than the front wheel.

Whether you are standing or sitting, try pushing your outside knee into the tank in the direction you are going and putting more weight on the outside peg. That will help settle and plant the bike a bit more.

Take your time, practice the above and you'll be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, that helps. That is how I tend to attack paved corners on this bike, move up on the seat to "load" the front. I just wasn't sure if the technique off-pavement was similar.

Practice, practice, practice! Sounds like fun, fun, fun!

Ken
 
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