Motorcycle tour and off-roading——On the comprehensive strength of long-distance riding and the control skills in motorcycle touring (Part 2)

Motorcycle tour and off-roading——On the comprehensive strength of long-distance riding and the control skills in motorcycle touring (Part 2)

Now, the proportion of motorcycle touring in the motorcycle enthusiasts is getting bigger and bigger. Countless motorcycle enthusiasts ride on the road, harvest the scenery and enjoy the joy of travel. However, not every trip can bring happiness. There are not only scenery but also hidden dangers on the road of motorcycle tour. And the root cause of the danger, in many cases, comes from the rider himself/herself...

In view of the dangers on the motorcycle road, combined with the rider's own situation, here will introduce countermeasures to avoid injury to the greatest extent. The focus is to increase your adaptability and resilience of bad road surfaces and improve your comprehensive strength for long-distance riding.

Part 1: Motorcycle tour and off-roading——On the comprehensive strength of long-distance riding and the control skills in motorcycle touring (Part 1)

Make up for technical shortcomings

Most riders do not have the conditions for off-road vehicle technical training. Regardless of the venue or the vehicle, it is unrealistic to make a rider without the foundation of off-road vehicle riding control into an off-road master. Therefore, here can only provide riders with more intuitive solutions based on the harsh road conditions and coping methods that most people in motorcycle tours may encounter.

Riding fast

Ride fast if the road is good, and slow down if the road is bad. This is the rule that many people adhere to in their journey. It seems that there is nothing wrong with this statement, but there are "problems" in the specific implementation - many people have accidents due to riding fast on good roads, and some people do not stay away from accidents because they ride slowly on bad roads. In fact, the better the road condition, the less you can ride fast, and it's not necessarily a good thing to ride slowly on a bad road.

On a hard road with finely crushed gravel and not deep potholes, the slower you ride, the more uncomfortable you will be. If you ride faster, the motorcycle and people will feel better. There may be doubts that riding a fast motorcycle on a broken road is bumpy and unsafe. Is it really the truth? It is recommended that those in doubt find a hard small pothole and non-paved road for a try to see if it is bumpy when riding faster or bumpy when riding slower. How to describe it? It’s easier to understand: when you ride faster, the bumps caused by the fine potholes and gravel have no time to be fed back to the seat through the suspension, and the motorcycle have taken you to pass the bad road. If you use a standing riding control method in this process, the bumps you can feel will be smaller. You can find videos of off-road track races or rally races, pay attention to the way the riders are handling in the videos, and see if they take a stance with their hips off the seat and their legs slightly bent when passing the bumpy stage (apart from the bends).

In motorcycle tours, we often encounter such small potholes and gravel hard roads with certain adhesion, sometimes as long as tens or hundreds of kilometers. If you ride slowly, it will definitely be tiring and time-consuming. Therefore, in the face of this kind of road, the only way is to "go fast" and go through it as quickly as possible at the highest speed you can control. For most riders, it is obviously unrealistic to train at the speed of breaking the road like a cross-country athlete, but it is not difficult to master the control skills of the standing riding posture on the non-paved road. At least it can let you be more effortless when riding in the motorcycle tours.

The first is stance. Due to different models, we cannot give you a unified standing standard here. In short, the buttocks are out of the seat, the legs, arms, and waist are slightly bent, and do not stand on the motorbike like a stick. Riding in this state can get a good line of sight and minimize the impact of bumps. Here is a key reminder: keep your feet flexible during riding and put at least two right fingers (whichever two you choose according to your own habits) on the brake handle; don’t use the front brake alone when you need to apply the brake while traveling; sit on the motorcycle when emergency braking. As for the practice venue, there must be no shortage of non-paved potholes road near everyone. Go for a ride in your spare time and keep improving the upper limit of speed and the flexibility of your body during the ride. After practicing for a period of time (up to half a year) and then going to a motorcycle tour, you will find that the road ahead will become much easier to ride.

Here's a reminder: If you are riding a scooter, cruiser or large-displacement multi-cylinder street bike or sport bike with little ground clearance, it is not suitable to use this riding method to pass the above roads; if your motorcycle is single-cylinder or straight-twin engine ordinary straddle bikes (the lighter the body, the better), after practice, just feel free to ride.

Positive camber

When cornering the body of the rider and the body of the motorcycle are at the opposite angle, which is the basic control action of the off-road vehicle. The biggest advantage of positive camber is that it is convenient to control, short operation time, good vision, and the motorcycle can quickly return in situ after exiting the corner. At the same time, this cornering method is also conducive to the rapid separation of people and vehicles when the bike falls to avoid greater damage.

Now let's briefly introduce the operation process of positive camber (taking left turn as an example) - lean the body slightly to the right, press the left arm down, lift the right arm up, and extend your left leg forward to the left while the body of the motorcycle leans to the left (toe raised and heel facing down). The sequence of operations after exiting the bend is reversed from entering the bend. There are two functions of extending the leg forward: maintaining balance and remedy by touching the sole of the foot to the ground when the side slip is unbalanced. Positive camber is also the most effective control way of maneuvering to quickly avoid deep potholes and chunks of gravel in the "stance riding" that mentioned above. Do not stretch your legs at this body position in standing riding, and the amplitude is also very small. It is basically an action above the hips - the body of the motorcycle and the body of the rider are swayed rapidly at the opposite angle, and the travel route is quickly changed during the swing.

When riding on dense curves with poor visibility in the mountains, compared with the negetive camber in which the body of the rider and the body of the motorcycle are inclined in the same direction, the positive camber is safer. The main reason is that the body leans to the outside during the positive camber process, which can better grasp the location and the opposite lane conditions, and gain more reaction time for accidents (oncoming vehicles occupy the lane or obstacles in the corner).

Positive camber is a relatively easy off-road vehicle riding technique to master. As long as you are riding a straddle, you can practice it, and the requirements for the practice site are not high. Beginners who have a small field can practice according to the above-mentioned process. The speed of the practice is gradually increased, and the magnitude of the positive camber must be continuously increased until the limit of personal control. After the empty vehicle positive camber practice is proficient, then carry out the simulation practice of the loaded luggage and the curve practice of various road surfaces until the operation process of the left and right positive camber is fully mastered.

Positive camber is not an exclusive control skill for off-road vehicles or rally bikes. As long as it is a straddle bike with a slightly upright upper riding posture of the rider, it can be done easily. Especially for small-displacement straddle bikes with narrow tires and poor grip, this more flexible and convenient cornering method is safer than the negative camber method. Moreover, the scooter can also use positive camber through corners, but the magnitude of this way is slightly smaller.

In short, if you often have motorcycle tours and have average riding skills, it is strongly recommended that you master the technology of positive camber. This low-difficulty basic off-road vehicle handling skill not only adds to the fun of your riding, but also minimizes danger in dangerous mountain bends and complex roads with heavy traffic.

Finally, it is impossible to avoid "off-road conditions" in long-distance motorcycle tours. Therefore,  even if you only know a little about off-road vehicle riding skills, you will ride much more calmly.


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.