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Know a little something about maintenance, fixing, tuning, or modifying adventure dual sport motorcycles? Or, maybe you have mad skills riding or racing them? Whatever the case, if you have valuable knowledge & experiences that relates to adventure dual sport motorcycles, please help your fellow riders by sharing your best tips, tricks, and how to articles.

    It seems like with every thread concerning chain tension comes around, you see the same old answers. The majority of suggestions are given because a rider finds that their method seems to work for them.
    Actually, giving a person the recommendation to use the 3 finger method is quite silly. I mean, we all have different sized appendages, and 3 fingers for one may be 4 fingers for another.
    Also, when we have a chain tensioned correctly, there is a very fine line..and only about a 1/4 turn of the tension adjuster, to take the chain into way too tight.
    Providing pictures of your bike and claiming a person should tension it the same is crazy. The tensioning procedure is far to easily hosed up to simply look at someones picture and be able to make anything at all from it.
    I have studied the proper adjustment of chains and sprockets for years. I find that one of the biggest problems folks have is misinterpreting the manuals suggestions.
    For an example, the latest Yamaha 450 manual gives a check range of 1.9-2.6 inches from the back of the top chain slider to the bottom of the chain. After doing a check, I find that this measurement range is about right on. But, do you check this while the bike is on the ground, or while the bike is on the stand? And there lies one of the discrepancies I mentioned....
    But where do these moto engineers get the proper recommendation for chain tension in the first place? They use standard engineering practice for chain tensioning...and they pass that textbook information along to the owner, taking into account the length of chain on that particular model bike. The engineering practice they use is the very same for each and every bike, but what changes is the numbers due to how long the chain is...or closer yet, to how long the distance between shafts is...which is what actually determines how taught a chain should be.
    If you were to use the engineering standard to tension your chain properly, you could then go back and check the measurements that the manual gave you. And you would find that they are indeed very close to what you found. But only if you interpreted what the manual was trying to convey to you properly.
    I see so many folks who will swear that stock OEM chains are nothing but cheap junk and should be shucked immediately. But that is not really fact. Yes, the OEM chain may not be the top shelf quality chain that your moto supply may want to sell you, but it is almost assuredly of a good quality that will last a rider for many rides before it is trash...IF the rider has it adjusted and maintained it properly. An improperly adjusted chain can only live so long..and even the high-dollar choices will be trash fast if they aren't properly mounted.
    I'd have to say that the biggest mistake I have seen over the years is folks having their chains too tight. When a chain that is too tight lands a jump and compresses the shock, the overly taught chain eats away at the sprocket teeth, the chain itself, wheel bearings, CS seals, and on and on.... SO many times a rider will then swear his stuff is crap, and start looking for harder and more robust equipment that can handle their improper adjustments better.
    I contend that if you properly adjust your equipment from the get-go, you will find that even the OEM equipment will provide many hours of riding. Your high dollar replacement equipment will also last longer.
    The Procedure:
    You first need to put the bike on the stand and remove your shock. Before you do anything, simply take the swing arm through it's motion of travel from top to bottom. This is the point where many are convinced something is amiss right away, as they often find that there is a point in that travel that the chain gets completely tight. Bowstring tight in many instances. This often will open a persons eyes who has thought they were tensioning their chain properly, but were in reality over tightening it.
    The tight spot will be when the CS, swing arm, and rear shaft are all in perfect alignment. When you have the bike in that position, you want to use a cargo strap around the seat and the rear wheel to hold the swing arm in that tightest position.

    Once you have the swing arm in the tightest position, you can then adjust the chain tension. The engineering standard for chain tension is to have between 1%-3% of the distance between the front and rear shafts in total up-and-down chain movement when the chain is at it's tightest point.
    For instance, if we have a bike that is 24" between the CS and rear shaft, the correct tension for the chain will be between .24" and .72" of total up-and-down free play of the chain when at it's tightest position. Knowing this measurement, you can initially adjust the chain to the .24" mark, and retention once you get to the .72" mark. If this is done, the chain will always be within the recommended tension rage, according to engineering standards. Some may find they feel more comfortable staying within the 2%-3% range.
    Let's assume you want to start out with the 2% mark and retention when you reach 3%. At 2% of total up-and-down free play would be .48"

    Note that the tension on the illustration shows the chain having .24" of free play when it is pushed down. And as such, it will also be able to move when pulled up by the same .24" This means that you have a total of .48" in total up-and-down free play in the chain. You are tensioned at the 2% mark.

    Once you have the tension proper, you want to make certain you still have proper alignment if the sprockets. When everything is nice and aligned, and you are satisfied that you have the proper tension on the chain, you want to make certain everything is buttoned up tight, and you can replace the shock. It is best to recheck everyting before you replace the shock, as things can change a bit on you once you have the adjusters and axle bolt tightened. Take the time to check and recheck until you have it spot on when tight.
    Once the bike is adjusted properly, and back in running condition...THEN you can check to see what that properly tensioned adjustment gives you when the bike is on the ground...or on the stand for that matter. What you want to do at this point is have some sort of reference so you can check the tension without going back through the shock removal procedure again.
    If you find that the properly tensioned adjustment gives you three fingers under the chain, behind the slider, when the bike is on the ground...then fine. Use that to determine if you are properly tensioned. But don't tell anyone else that is where they should have their adjustment, it simply may not be correct.
    To take this further, which is what I do whenever I get a new bike, is to first tension the chain at the upper limit of tension or the 3% mark. I then button everything up and check to see what measurement that gives me when the bike is on the stand. I can from then on see with an easy check when my chain reaches a point that it needs to be re-tensioned. I then go through the whole thing again adjusting the tension to the 1-2% mark, and recheck to see what measurement that gives me when the bike is on the stand. I now KNOW what measurement I should have for properly tensioned chain and chain that needs to be re-tensioned, when the bike is on the stand. I never have to go through the painstaking procedure of removing the shock to properly adjust for tension again.
    Some will actually cut a GO/NO GO block of wood or plastic to use as a gauge. And a proper gage block will have the distance of a properly adjusted chain on one side, and a larger measurement on the other side that will tell when the chain has gone further than the 3%.
    Many folks have gone for years improperly adjusting the tension on their chains. Many simply accept that their equipment wears out fast...and some find excuses for it like, the chain is junk, or their beastly bike simply is too much for the chain and sprockets to handle...but neither is the usually the case. The truth is that their tensioning procedure is placing undue stress on their equipment, and if they would take the time to do things a bit differently, they may well find that stuff starts lasting a lot longer.
    Change it when it's 2% longer than it was new. Assuming a 5/8" pitch chain (#520, 528, 530, 50, etc.), the length of ten full links pin to pin should be 6.25", 20 links, 12.5". Two percent over each of these would be 6.375" (6 3/8") and 12.75" (12 3/4"). The chain must be drawn taught when measuring, which is easily accomplished by placing a piece of wood or a tool handle between the chain and sprocket and rolling it under the chain to tighten it.
    Another very accurate means of measuring the chain is to use a typical 6-7" vernier caliper on a 10 link section as shown in the attachment. Measure from one roller surface to the 11th one, and measure several sections. Compensating for the .400" roller diameter, the new length of the chain measured this way is 5.85", and 2% over is 6.0".
    Once the chain is that much longer than spec, it starts chewing on the teeth of the sprockets. New sprockets can be installed without replacing the chain so long as it is 1% or less longer than new without any kind of problem.

    If you struggle with the dreaded arm pump symptoms while riding or racing, please watch this video to understand what is going on. You may be surprised about what is the source of this dreaded pain!
    The good news is, for the vast majority of riders, arm pump can be effectively be managed and even eliminated.
    Yours in sport and health,
    Coat Robb, MotoE

    By Alex Martens, Konflict Motorsports & Suspension
    This information contains a list of concerns, and solutions to the most common problems riders have with their suspension.
    Damping Extreme's
    1. Too much rebound damping (also known as packing)
    The suspension is held down in the stroke because it cannot rebound fast enough and each bump created additional compression. The ride becomes harsh due to too much force being needed to initiate movement. This also creates a loss of traction due to tire deflection.
    2. Too little rebound damping (Pogo)
    When there is too little rebound, there is not enough control of the spring energy. This causes a pogo like action. This can cause vertical movement that can lift the wheel off the ground, and cause a loss of traction.
    3. Too much compression damping (harshness)
    When you have too much compression damping, this will cause the front wheel to deflect off the rock, log, stump, root, or rut on impact because there is too much resistance to movement. This will equal are harsh ride.
    4. Too little compression damping (bottoming)
    The wheel moved past the crest of the crest of the whoop, rut, log, rut during compression and is not able to follow the backside of the bump causing a loss of traction. This will feel mushy an can bottom easily.
    There are a number of conditions that contribute to your everyday suspension action. There are so many variables that go into suspension set-up that are completely unnoticed. Something as simple as changing the brand, and type of tire can affect your suspension positively or negatively. The section below will go into troubleshooting your suspension action.
    1. Oil level is too low.
    2. Not enough low speed compression damping
    3. Not enough high speed compression damping
    4. Spring rates are too soft
    5. Not enough pre-load
    6. Valving shims are distorted.
    Too stiff-Deflects, Harsh, Nervous, Twitchy
    1. Too much compression damping adjustment, high speed, and or low speed
    2. Too much compression damping internally
    3. Spring rates are too stiff
    4. Too much low speed rebound damping= packing
    5. Oil level is too high
    6. Stiction
    Poor traction
    1. Poor tire/compound
    2. Too much tire pressure
    3. Tire pressure too low
    4. Too much low speed rebound damping
    5. Too much low speed compression damping
    6. Too little low speed rebound damping
    7. Not enough low speed compression damping
    Not enough weight of the front end:
    1. Axle placement is too short
    2. Swing-arm is too short
    3. Sitting too far back
    4. Bars to high, or sweep too much
    Doesn't turn
    This happens to be the most misunderstood and misdiagnosed fork symptom. It typical is more of a geometry issue, than a suspension issue, though these do overlap.
    Do the bars turn easily, or is hard to turn the bars?
    If it is easy to turn start with section 3 (poor traction) then 5 (pushes)
    If it is hard to turn (requires excessive force) go to section 6.
    A. Tire profile is too flat or wide
    B. Riding position- not enough weight on the front end
    1. Seat too low
    2. Bars too high
    C. Riding style (not everything is the bike)
    1. Riding style
    2. Rider doesn't understand the concept of counter steering
    3. Not weighting the front end
    4. Elbow down riding style
    5. Sitting too far back
    6. Rider centerline to outside of bike centerline
    7. Not looking through turns
    (Easy to turn the bars, but the bike doesn't turn, low traction)
    1. Front end rides too low in comparison to the rear (check sag)
    2. Raise the forks (slide forks down in triple clamps
    3. Lower the rear end
    4. Fork springs too soft
    5. Not enough fork pre-load
    6. Low speed rebound too high, causing packing
    7. Not enough low speed compression damping
    8. Increase low speed compression damping
    9. Anything that makes the rear higher than the front (Sag)
    Takes excessive force to turn the bars
    (Plenty of traction, doesn't complete the turn. This is more of a geometry issue that suspension action.)
    1. Front end is riding too high
    2. Lower the front end
    3. Too much spring pre-load
    4. Spring rates too stiff
    5. Rear ride height too low (Sag)
    6. Forks have too much air (bleed forks)
    7. Lower the rear end (Sag)
    8. Too much low speed compression damping
    9. Too narrow of a bar
    10. Sticky forks (Stiction)
    Dives under braking
    1. Modern forks should, linkage (BMW) front ends may even rise
    2. When braking the dive is controlled by spring forces only (rate, pre-load, and air gap) valving has nothing to do with this.
    3. Fork angle is too flat, choppered out, too much rake
    4. Fork springs too soft
    Feels loose
    1. Not enough low speed rebound damping
    2. Not enough high speed rebound damping only on big bumps
    3. Not enough compression damping
    4. Spring rate too soft
    5. Steering bearings loose or worn out
    6. Swing arm bearings, or linkage bearings worn out
    7. Tire pressure to low or high
    8. Fork flex, chassis flex, swing arm flex
    9. Suspension needs servicing (oil broken down, bushings worn)
    10. Worn out rebound piston bushing (rare)
    Sticky forks
    1. Misaligned forks
    2. Triple clamps bent
    3. Bent fork tube
    4. Bent axle
    5. Bushings worn
    6. Poor bushing design
    7. Upper tube anodizing worn
    8. Air pump (seals worn)
    9. Poor quality seals
    10. Poor oil quality
    11. Triple clamps too tight
    12. Misaligned fork tube height
    13. Forks not broken in (twin chamber)
    14. Metal imbedded in bushings (Pre-load washers not located properly, aluminum washers, steel springs directly on aluminum caps, fork caps improperly installed)
    (Fast side to side movement of the bars)
    1. Chassis not straight- twisted or offset
    2. Misalignment of wheels, axle marks off
    3. Fork flex, chassis flex, swing arm flex
    4. Not enough trail-not enough self centering effect
    5. Worn out or loose steering bearings, binding, dragging
    6. Too much trail- returns past center than re-corrects the other way quickly
    7. Oil level too high
    8. Not enough low speed rebound damping
    9. Too much high speed compression damping-deflects on bumps
    10. Tire pressure too high or too low
    11. Poor tires
    12. Tire not properly mounted
    13. Wheel out of balance-bent rim
    14. Brake rotor is bent
    15. Sticky forks
    (This can be a vibration/harmonic problem when the input frequency matched the natural frequency of the suspended system, This is often confused with and can cause headshake)
    1. Not enough pre-load damping
    2. Not enough compression damping
    3. Spring rates to stiff
    4. Too much compression damping
    5. Too much rebound damping
    6. Too much or too little tire pressure
    7. Poor tire design
    8. Chassis flex
    9. Sticky forks
    Bounces off the ground on jump landings
    1. Bottoms heavily (see #1)
    2. Not enough high seed rebound damping
    3. Not enough low speed rebound damping
    1. Too much high speed compression damping
    2. Spring rates too stiff
    3. Too much pre-load
    4. Too much low speed compression damping
    5. Too much low speed rebound damping
    6. Sticky forks
    Leaky seals
    1. Old seals
    2. Nicks in tubes
    3. Worn bushings
    4. Bent tubes
    5. Improper installation
    6. Fork tube too smooth (Extremely rare Solva suspension)
    This is commonly misdiagnosed. This symptom is usually diagnosed as not enough rebound damping however, it is usually caused by one of two things, It's too stiff, or way too soft.
    1. Too much high speed compression damping
    2. Spring rates too stiff
    3. Way too much low speed compression damping
    4. Too much rebound damping
    5. Linkage bearings bad
    6. Too high of tire pressure
    7. Way too much pre0load
    8. Sticky shock
    1. Not enough low speed compression damping
    2. Not enough high speed compression damping
    3. Spring rate too soft
    4. Too much static sag
    5. Suspension fluid worn, or poor quality
    6. Not enough nitrogen pressure
    7. Blow bladder
    8. Distorted valving shims
    1. Too much high speed compression damping, deflecting, not bottoming
    2. Not enough low speed rebound damping-loose
    3. Not enough high speed rebound damping
    4. Spring rate too stiff
    5. Spring rate too soft
    6. Sticky shock
    Feels loose/shock pump
    1. Not enough low speed rebound damping
    2. Not enough high speed rebound damping
    3. Not enough low speed compression damping
    4. Spring rate too soft
    5. Too little pre-load
    Poor Traction
    1. Too much low speed rebound damping
    2. Too much low speed compression damping
    3. Not enough low speed rebound damping
    4. Too much tire pressure
    5. Tire worn
    6. Shock heim bearing worn
    7. Linkage bearings worn
    8. Spring rate too stiff
    9. Too much pre-load
    10. Sticky shock
    Not tracking
    1. Too much low speed rebound damping
    2. Too much high speed compression damping
    3. Too much low speed compression damping
    4. Sticky forks, or sticky shock
    Sticky Shock
    1. Linkage not maintained
    2. Swing arm bearings worn
    3. Shock eyelet bearing not lubed
    4. Bent shock shaft
    5. Worn/ poor quality seals, fluid, bushings
    Suspension Set-Up
    Front Forks and Wheel Installation
    Installing the front wheel incorrectly can cause the forks to bind, this will create a harsh stiff feeling as the forks go through the stroke. Most lower triple clamp lower bolts should be torqued to 12 to 15 ft. lbs., with the uppers being torqued 17 to 18 ft. lbs. Consult your service manual for the correct torque setting.
    Installing the front wheel correctly will ensure you do not bind the front forks.
    1. Install front wheel.
    2. Slide axle through forks, and tighten the nut (O.E.M torque spec) leaving the axle pinch bolts loose.
    3. Remove the bike from the stand, lock the front brake and compress the suspension 4 times to center the axle in the fork lugs.
    4. Tighten the axle pinch bolts to manufactures torque specification.
    Shock Installation
    When installing the shock onto the bike, always torque the bolts to manufactures torque specification. We always install the shock, take the bike off of the stand a put it under a load, then torque them to specification. This will insure there is not any binding in the linkage, or on KTM's in the heim joints.
    Tire Pressure
    A high amount of tire pressure can cause harshness and deflection which will create a feeling of unbalance on tough rocky, root infested trails. Depending on the weight of the rider, we typically suggest for 2 strokes 10 to 12+PSI, and for four strokes 10 to 14+ PSI. Of course this is dependent on where and what type of terrain you are riding
    This post has been promoted to an article
    I was going to start the thread with a I've been doing a lot of LDR lately (Long Distance Riding, duh!) and I need more gas crap, but to be honest, I love how the extra fuel canister looks on my bike.
    The problem I had is that I didn't want to the rotopax to be on the sides or the back but on top of the side aluminum cases. Right under my Wolfman rollie bags. But there was no way to strap them properly so I had to improvise.
    Total cost of project: $15
    Total man hours spent: 1
    Total beers consumed: 3 Industrial Revolution Vanilla Porter (I love living in CO)

    Your standard ADV side case

    Your standard BMW straps

    Using the Wolfman rollie alone with the straps: perfect!

    Using the Wolfman rollie and the rotopax with the straps: disaster!

    The rotopax will just fly away with the slightest bump.

    The solution: Footman Loops for next to nothing (here)

    I also needed some STAINLESS STEEL hardware as well as some pieces of an old bicycle tube

    Marking the “G” spot

    Measurements because OCD

    Am I actually drilling a hole on my sidecar?

    I wonder if this will void the warranty…

    The tube will help the water to stay out (in theory)

    Screw -> hook -> washer -> tube in this order

    Thank the OCD for measuring… How did I make it crooked?

    Screw tight (boom, phrasing!)

    Cut the edges.

    Final product

    And here’s the magic! Yes, these are the original straps that came with my bike…

    This rotopax, won’t go anywhere!

    Not bad, right?

    Best thing, I can still open my side cases with everything on them!
    Now I’m ready to go to my local Starbucks. Oh wait, I’ve got extra fuel! I can go to the one across town!! WOOHOO!!!!
    By Sean Goulart, Contributing Editor
    They aren’t sexy…but behind the scenes steering stabilizers aid in handling and can help keep you out of trouble when putting the hammer down.
    Let’s look at how and why steering stabilizers work and some available options for off-road machines. We spoke to industry experts as well as enduro, motocross and desert riders and racers to get a good idea of why they feel stabilizers can be a necessary bolt-on.
    Who makes them?
    Fastway, GPR, Scotts, RTT and W.E.R. are covered here, and are among the leading manufacturers. They all have pros and cons and vary in some way so it’s important to read up and make the right decision.
    What do they do?
    Simply put, steering stabilizers are hydraulic dampers for the front suspension. They help control stress loads that can overcome both the front fork and the rider’s ability to control the steering.
    Think of it like this…if you’re riding and you hit a big, sharp edged rock or root…your handlebars want to turn very quickly to compensate, sometimes wresting the bars out of your hands...leading to a yard sale or worse. The steering stabilizer can make that situation manageable by dramatically slowing down the speed at which the bars deflect, thereby affording you time to react and not lose (as much) control.
    Steering stabilizers can also effectively minimize the “head shake” effect we all dread at higher speeds and contribute to less wasted movement extending ride time before onset of fatigue.
    When talking with the Drew Smith at W.E.R. he put it this way; “The W.E.R. steering damper is a rotary hydraulic device, and the nature of a hydraulic damper is to resist very little when moved slowly and resist much more when a deflecting blow drives the wheel off line. Dampers reduce fatigue and are very helpful in rocky and route technical terrain.”
    He continued; “When using a damper for off road, keep in mind that more is not always better. If the damper adjustment is too firm the bike will have a swimming feel…you’ll feel your hands are always busy on the bars and you’ll be wasting energy in technical terrain…and saving energy is what a damper should be doing for riders.”
    What do they cost?
    These units aren’t cheap, but also not out of reach when you look at the price of a full exhaust or a new helmet. This market is a competitive one, with all costing approximately $400 - $500. Do your homework because depending on your stabilizer, as you made need certain adaptors, mounting plates and/or clamps to make it all work on your specific machine.
    Is installation simple?
    Some units are installed under the center point of the handlebars. This presents issues on many off-road bikes as they are designed to accept such additional hardware, but each maker has devised a way for this to be a fairly straightforward by making kits to keep the installation as simple as possible.
    For example, Scotts offers bolt-on mounting kits that include items like bar riser(s), link arm, handlebar clamp and frame bracket and even items like integral handguards that they claim reduces installation time to under an hour. They also offer under/over handlebar options as well.
    Scotts commented that “Most installations are very easy and can be installed by the home mechanic with basic tools. We provide a detailed set of instructions with color pictures specific to the customer’s bike the damper is being installed on.”

    Photo: Scotts SUB Stabilizer Installed

    They continued; “On most models of bike we offer fitment on top of the handle bars or SUB mounted underneath the handle bars which will normally raise the bars up 25mm in height. For many bikes that have bars that are solid mounted to the triple clamps we also offer a SUB mount that adds rubber mounting to the bars to help eliminate vibration and harshness on your hands or wrists. Since the off road industry is dominated by KTM currently we do sell more KTM units than anything else and slightly more rubber SUB mounts than anything else.”
    Raising your bars can drastically alter your riding position and to address this, GPR has cleverly devised a very low profile damper that allows for only a very slight rise in location by moving the adjustment dial to the left side and creating a dial that was easy to use but as small as possible, coupled with the creation of a "hollow" vane. The hollow vane allows for the damper to be mounted almost flush to the top clamp.
    Fastway has another take on this issue and offers both an underbar and overbar mounting kit…and this expands the mounting options drastically. The underbar kit provides some great protection for the stabilizer itself and because the Fastway units have “on the fly” adjustability and you’ll want it to be as easy to reach as possible. Fastway also offers KTM and Suzuki frame clamps which are two-piece which they claim “makes installation a breeze. No need to remove the front end of the bike – which is a challenge specifically on the KTM.”

    Photo: Fastway Stabilizer Installed

    To eliminate the raised bar issue completely, W.E.R. stays off the top triple clamp and attaches their damper to the lower triple clamp via the frame, and claims that it does “not interfere with handlebars, controls or time keeping equipment.” You can see the obvious advantages to this type of mounting system just by seeing the units installed and you barely notice the unit is there.
    W.E.R. continued; “The installation of the W.E.R. damper is in most cases easy, with a frame bracket attached to the frame by pop rivets or a bolt going through the frame gusseting from one side to the other. The damper itself attaches to the fender bolt pattern via a plate between the fender and the lower triple clamp, our location is unique and is out of the rider’s way.”

    Photo: W.E.R. Stabilizer Installed

    How does the rider control the damping?
    One important thing to keep in mind when examining these units is their “on the fly” adjustability, which is offered by all in one way or another. Many riders we spoke to actually “set it and forget it” when using these products.
    But as we talked to more serious racers who ride on more varied terrain (such as enduro or desert) they liked the instant adjustment of the damper and consider it to be a feature they wouldn’t do without. We don’t believe that many novice riders would be able to correctly use this feature without practice in a racing environment.

    Photo: Scotts Adjustments are by Two Knobs

    This feature is usually done by a dial on the handlebar-mounted unit, like the Scotts product that provides “on the fly” adjustment - whereby the damping can be adjusted while riding with two knobs for adjusting high and low speed circuits.
    Scotts had this to say about adjusting their unit; “Keep in mind that, much like your fork and shock, you will run different settings for different extremes of riding. Most riders will find a setting that works for the type of riding they do and not have to adjust the damper from there, but if you moto one weekend and hit the salt flats the next you will run the damper adjustments differently.”
    This adjustment capability is also a feature offered on the GPR V4 dampers, with the V4 featuring an ultra low-profile dial on the damper itself. GPR states; “The knob assembly rotates 360 degrees left or right allowing you to go straight from the softest setting to the hardest setting, if need be. It will not unload, unscrew, or pop out, disabling your damper unit. The lower the number, the softer the setting. The higher the number the harder the setting.”

    Photo: GPR V4 Dirt Stabilizer with Low Profile Dial

    The Fastway units boast the most adjustability in this segment with two models for adjustability of the damping features. First up is the System 3 which offers three fully adjustable circuits: high speed, low speed, and return to center. Next up in the Fastway lineup is the System 5 which offers five independently adjustable circuits: high speeds, low speed, return to center, cornering damping and cornering angle.
    Fastway had this to say about their two distinct stabilizers; “If you are the guy that is constantly playing with his suspension (clickers) and or making adjustments to your machine, we recommend the System 5. In addition, if you are doing a very wide variety of riding (like yourself) we also recommend the 5. The System 5 is sweet because you can go through a mile of sand whoops with your low speed cranked up and hit a 180 onto some tight single track and have the best of both worlds. The cornering angle allows you the ability of running a higher low speed setting while retaining the quicker steering ability of the low speed cranked all the way down. Then once you hit the next mile of sand whoops, you don't need to adjust your low speed back up.”

    Photo: Fastway System 5 Stabilizer Adjustments

    The RTT damper is different in the way you adjust it, it uses a remote valve on the handlebar and they claim “The seven position adjustment knob is coupled with a three level remote valve allowing for precise dampening...”
    Last up is the W.E.R. unit, which offers adjustability on the unit itself. The damper is installed on the lower triple clamp and the adjustment knob is on the unit itself, therefore “on the fly” adjustments are possible but severely limited.
    What do they weigh?
    Damper weight and associated mounting hardware can range from approx. 2-4 lbs in total…and the higher up you carry this weight, the more detrimental it can be so this is always a concern.
    Do they wear out?
    Yes dampers can (and do) wear out and most companies mentioned here offer a low-cost mail-in rebuild service. Scotts says; “The damper itself can be a lifetime investment with simple maintenance and will follow you from bike to bike with just buying the new mount for your new bike.”
    Should I get one?
    In our experience and when talking to off road riders, it seems to depend more on where you ride than how you ride when deciding on a steering stabilizer.
    We spoke to the folks at Scotts and they said; “The damper will apply itself for any type of riding you do and is adjustable so the same unit will work for the Baja rider doing fast, high speed riding to the woods rider doing tight, twisty riding.”
    We then talked to the folks at Fastway who offered: “Desert riders enjoy added insurance with the highly adjustable high speed dampening capabilities. This will reduce headshake/shimmy and if you have a high-speed impact such as a root and rock, the assistance of the stabilizer can even prevent some types of crashes. In addition, the high-speed damping circuit reduces the force of impacts through the bars to help reduce rider fatigue and keep the vehicle going in a straight line.”
    For Motocross; “Stabilizers reduce headshake and fatigue, allowing riders to loosen grip on handlebar allowing you to ride more with their legs. There is a noticeable difference in cornering and the stabilizer will help/assist in holding the line. And for Adventure bikes, they reduce fatigue by allowing riders to loosen their grip.
    In regards to Enduro, Fastway offered: Corning angle controls give riders the option to run a high amount of low speed dampening without slowing down steering in the tight sections. This adjustment controls resistance level when the handlebars are turned into the “cornering” range as set by the sweep adjustment. Basically, cornering or sweep adjustment establishes the “range” of protection, left to right, that you want. When the damper “breaks to free” this Cornering Damping level adjusts “how much” it breaks away.”
    We then spoke to both motocross and enduro riders who were in different camps. Talking to casual and serious motocross riders, the stabilizer seemed to be regarded as unnecessary on smooth MX tracks as the lack of sharp edged obstacles coupled with the additional price/weight tradeoff just wasn’t worth it. Some weren’t even aware that their motorcycle had one installed from the factory (like the Honda CRF250 and 450).
    But when we spoke to enduro and even casual vet woods riders, they all seemed feel it was a helpful item and the cost and weight tradeoff was absolutely worth it. Many commented on the fatigue reduction aspect and felt they could ride longer and faster with the steering stabilizer, but many confessed to not utilizing the on the fly” adjustments after they began their riding day unless the terrain changed radically.
    Desert riders and racers also swore by the units, calling it a “must have”, especially as the speeds increased. Most felt there was an appreciable reduction in high speed headshake as well as protection against unforeseen obstacles hit at lower speeds.
    In Conclusion
    Steering stabilizers offer lot of adjustability and light weight in a small package that can improve handling and your bike control at an affordable cost. If you ride motocross you may feel you might not need a steering stabilizer…but you probably could use one. If the factory is installing these units on the new bikes there is probably a good reason, and soon you may already have one installed when they build your new bike.
    If you ride desert, enduro or woods these units are a no-brainer. Just one crash due to unforeseen obstacles can wreck you and your equipment causing major damage or even worse, depending on the speed. The adjustability and control offered is valuable and can be exploited to achieve higher speeds and less fatigue while featuring a built-in safety measure that can save you from machine damage and injury.
    Bryan Bosch
    If you ride two way trails, please take the time to learn proper trail etiquette in terms of hand signals. When an on-coming rider puts up two fingers, they're not flashing you the peace sign. They are communicating to you that there are two more riders coming behind them, so exercise caution!
    For example, if you are riding in a group of three people, the leader should flash on-coming riders two fingers, the 2nd guy one finger (middle finger not advisable), and finally the last guy should flash a closed fist (no more riders in your group).
    Another, less complicated approach (especially for larger groups) is instead of trying to remember how many riders in your group that are behind you and having to hold up that many fingers (if you even have enough digits), instead just motion your thumb behind you. Then, the sweeping rider in your group can display a closed fist.
    This solves a couple of issues; only the lead and sweep need to do anything, AND there is no room for error (lead just has to point his thumb, doesn't need to count....this is particularly useful if a few riders catch up to your group).
    Nobody wants a head on collision and hand signals are one of the ways to help minimize accidents. So, be sure to talk about these techniques with your crew.
    The next time some flashes you these hand signals, please don't wave or give them a thumbs-up. Respond with the appropriate hand signals.
    Have fun & stay safe!
    Bryan Bosch
    To quickly perform your pre-ride inspection of critical nuts & bolts, consider the following technique.
    Put a small dot of Tipp-ex on the fastener head and a corresponding dot on the surface or body that it is being tightened into. The idea is that you'll quickly be able to see if the two dots (lines) are no longer lined up, meaning that they've loosened.
    You can accomplish the same task with a Sharpie. However, unlike Tipp-ex that can be scraped or washed off with water, you'll need to use a bit of solvent. I use the Sharpie method because I already have a number of them on hand.
    If you have a variant of this approach, reply below in the comments section. I'd love to hear what others are doing.

    What To Do When Riding Disasters Strike

    None of us expect to have a disaster strike, but most of us have had a medical emergency arise while riding, whether to ourselves or others.
    Do you know what to do to when disasters strike on the trail? In this article, we’ll cover some of the medical basics and emergency procedures to follow as well as a quick look at what products are available to help.
    When accidents happen that result in injury, the first thing to do is evaluate the victims condition (without moving them) as quickly as possible.
    Are they conscious?
    Can you see the most obvious injuries?
    Has the head or helmet taken an impact?
    We learned to address accidents using this check-list; it’s simple and easy to remember:
    CALL FOR HELP! Use your cell phone and your GPS coordinates to call 911 immediately if warranted and don't be afraid to shout for help as soon as you begin first aid measures - keep trying until you know you've been heard and action has been taken.
    WHAT HAPPENED? Ask the injured person what happened…can they tell you how serious the accident was and where the most pain is? Make sure that performing first aid isn't going to be dangerous for you as well as the victim. Are there fumes or flames? Is the bike and/or victim in a precarious place that may cause further injury? Be positive that you aren't in any danger before you start first aid, because you won't be much help if you get injured as well.
    HOSPITAL REQUIRED? Use your common sense. If you see the injury is minor, make your way off the trail and to the hospital or walk-in clinic if required. But if the victim is unconscious, bleeding heavily or has sustained a compound fracture or other serious injury that would prevent them from evacuating with your help, you need to make that 911 call immediately.
    Are the airways clear? Is the rider breathing? What about circulation? Is there a pulse? What about moving them? Don't move a person if there isn't a life-or-death reason to do so, you might cause more harm. If the victim has back, head, or neck injuries, moving them can make the injuries worse or even cause permanent damage or death.
    ATTEMPT CPR: If you are trained in CPR and a person cannot breathe, begin CPR right away. Do not attempt to resuscitate if you are not trained in CPR! You can break the ribs or puncture the lungs. If you don't know CPR, use mouth-to-mouth resuscitation techniques or for choking, use the Heimlich maneuver and remember to loosen the victim’s clothes to ease breathing.
    STOP THE BLEEDING: If the injured person is bleeding, apply direct, even pressure with a cloth and your hands to slow and stop the flow. (Protect yourself against HIV and other infections while in direct contact with blood). Lift up a bleeding limb if it doesn't cause substantial additional pain. Make and apply a tourniquet only as a last resort.
    SHOCK: If the victim is nauseous, clammy and pale, it is possible they are in shock and could slip into unconsciousness. Watch for vomiting, because that can also be a sign of shock. You want to keep breathing unobstructed, so if no back or neck injury is suspected, gently roll the victim's body to the side to keep their airway open and prevent vomit from collecting in the back of the throat causing choking.
    LOOK FOR INFORMATION: Look for any medical information on the victim like a Medic Alert bracelet, necklace or wallet card. Sometimes this information will be on a sticker on the victim’s helmet or driver’s license as well. This will inform you and the first responders about the victim’s medical history and if the victim is diabetic, epileptic, or allergic to any medications or treatments. When talking to EMS or first responders, provide as much information as possible about the victim and the injury. Are they conscious, bleeding, in shock? The more information you can give, the better prepared the responders will be when they arrive.
    JUST WAIT: The waiting is the hardest part. While you're waiting, try to keep the victim calm. You can provide comfort by talking and telling them help is on the way, stay calm as the victim has put their life in your hands.
    Bone Breaks and Fractures
    A fracture is a break in a bone. If the broken bone punctures the skin, it is called an open or compound fracture. Collarbone fractures and breaks are common injuries when riding off road machines and are among the more serious of injuries. Because it sits directly under the skin and has very little padding, it is the most common larger bone fracture seen in adolescents and athletes of all ages.
    Compound fractures are much more serious than common under the skin fractures. Never attempt to push on or re-align a bone that is protruding. Instead, cover the area with a clean bandage and stop the bleeding - apply steady, direct pressure with a cloth for 15 minutes and elevate the wound. If blood soaks through, apply another cloth over the first and seek immediate medical attention.
    Note: Never move the injured party if another way of being extricated is available, it’s better to stabilize the victim and try to keep them from going into shock if help is fairly close by. Some trail systems have organized rescue teams run by experienced trail bosses that have faced this situation before and are much better equipped to deal with it that you are.
    Cuts and Abrasions
    Anytime the skin is broken and you start “leaking”…that can signal the beginning of a bad situation. For minor cuts and abrasions, apply pressure to the wound with a clean bandage and clean the skin around the wound with soap and water. Hold under running water to remove dirt and debris as necessary and pat the wound dry with sterile gauze and apply antiseptic ointment.
    In the case of bigger cuts, close the wound with sterile adhesive wound closure strips. If strips are not available, cover the wound with clean gauze and adhesive tape and don’t use cotton. Adhesive non-adherent bandages can be used for abrasions that continue to ooze blood and make sure to change the dressings at least once a day to avoid infection.
    For deeper cuts or more severe bleeding, apply direct pressure onto the wound with a clean towel or gauze and if there is a foreign object in the wound, like a rock and stick, don’t attempt to take it out, let medical professionals handle that
    Strains, Sprains and Bruising
    Strains are the result of overstretching or tearing the tendons and/or muscles that help support and move your joints. Many strains are minor but some can be severe such as a tendon that could completely sever and require surgical repair.
    Sprains are likewise caused by overstretching or tearing, but they occur in ligaments.
    Bruises happen when those body parts described above sustain a severe impact, large enough to injure capillaries, so they break open and cause blood to collect under the skin and in the injured tissue. Bruising can even occur in vital organs, if the injured tissue is a vital organ.
    I initially wanted to include some first aid kits that you could carry on your bike…but almost 100% of the riders I spoke to said they wouldn’t carry one! Most agreed that a good kit “back at the truck” would do. So with that in mind we spoke to some folks who are active in the outdoor scene and looked at what they use.
    First Aid Kits are a no-brainer and Adventure Medical Kits makes a low-priced, high value kit called the Ultralight and Watertight .9 that contains items like bandages, wraps and trauma pads, all in a watertight kit and this is good to keep “at the truck”- or when on longer trail rides with others as it can be easily carried with it’s small size (10”x10”x3”) and light weight (12oz). I’ve used the AMK products before and they are fairly comprehensive, and to supplement them I also throw my SmartCrutches in the truck just in case.

    Photo: Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight and Watertight .9 First Aid Kit

    If you’re looking to go all-out with a stationary first aid kit, take a look at the MedSource Highway Patrol Medical Cab Bag – it’s got everything you’d ever need for a group of riders.
    Personal Locator Beacons have been gaining ground in other sports such as snowmobiling and bicycling and this technology is available to the rider who may want to go solo. These devices are worn on your body and in the event of an emergency; they can be easily activated to send a “SOS” with your GPS coordinates to first responders.
    One product that is starting to take over this category is the ACR ResQLink PLB which is a PLB that employs some of the best new technologies and does not require a paid subscription. It has three levels of integrated signal technology - GPS positioning, a 406 MHz signal and 121.5 MHz homing capability.

    Photo: ACR ResQLink Personal Locator Beacon

    The Future is Coming: In talking to moto-industry expert Brian Horton, he told us about a new product that’s being developed by SaPHIBeat that would take away the manual activation of the PLB, taking it to more useful level. It’s a wearable safety device, named Phi-Pal, that will attach to your helmet and utilize either your cell phone or GPS to track your location In addition to this, Phi-Pal can also determine if you’ve suffered a serious accident and automatically send this info to your friends, teammates and emergency services, alerting them to both the time and location of your accident in order to send help.
    OK, so you’ve used the advice and tools above to get out alive and after your time with that friendly doctor and cute nurses, it’s time to go home…but now what?
    We spoke at length with Dr. Christopher Mascetta DC, CCSP at the Ridgefield Chiropractic & Wellness Center, Dr. Mascetta is a Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician with a specialized practice catering to the sport of motocross called Motocare Chiropractic. We asked about what to do when recovery is your goal.
    XLADV: What services do you offer recovering riders?
    Dr. Chris Mascetta: I provide chiropractic care and associated modalities such as extremity adjusting, soft tissue techniques, stretching, Electric Muscle Stimulation, Ultrasound, Cold Laser Therapy, athletic and kinesio taping and nutritional therapies on race day at local and national professional motocross events. It is my goal to offer my services to every professional motocross rider on the AMA National Outdoor Motocross, Supercross and Arenacross Championship series at no charge.
    XLADV: What are the most common off road injuries you see?
    DCM: I see a lot of neck and back injuries including everything from herniated disks to sprains and strains. Motocross riders are also notorious for putting a lot of strain on their upper extremities, so a lot of my day is spent working on sprained wrists, elbows and shoulders. I also assist the riders with arm pump issues.
    XLADV: What can injured rider do when they are at home recovering for these common off road injuries?
    DCM: My first recommendation is to take some time to let the injury rest and heal. It is not a wise choice to push things too soon. Depending on the seriousness of the injury, I recommend to start right away with gentle range of motion exercises, stretching and deep tissue work to help start the healing process, while reducing the formation of adhesions and scar tissue in the soft tissues. Seeing a chiropractor to ensure proper joint alignment and function is always a good idea early on in an injury, this can help speed up recovery in a big way.
    I always caution a rider to be careful stretching a newly strained muscle. The muscle is already over stretched and torn, so stretching it more just might cause more damage. In these cases I recommend a lot of deep tissue work to soften up the injury and let it heal.
    A rider can use things such as a foam roller, tennis balls, or a thera-cane to assist in this process. These therapies are easy, effective and can be done at home. I also recommend initially rehabbing an injury using a thera-band. A rider can start this process almost immediately after an injury. This will help stabilize and strengthen damaged tissue and enhance the range of motion, which will aid in recovery.
    I would recommend a rider follow the R.I.C.E protocol of Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation immediately following an injury. I recommend cold therapy for the first day or so of a new injury followed with moist heat. My recommendation for cold therapy is to fill a plastic zip lock bag with ice and tap water, and put directly on the injury. The tap water keeps it from getting too cold to do any damage to the skin. Leave on for 10-12 minutes at a time with about 30 minutes in between therapy sessions.
    After a couple of days or so, once the injury seems to be calming down and healing, I recommend to switch to moist heat. The number one mistake I see patients make with heat is that they let it get too hot, and then they either burn themselves or further irritate the damaged tissues. I recommend only getting the tissues warm, and not to leave heat on the injury for more then 15 minutes. This amount of time should be sufficient to warm the tissue and provide some healing and relief.
    A rider can also purchase an over the counter TENS machine, which are now readily available at pharmacies. A TENS unit will help reduce pain, spasm and may aid in healing. I also recommend that riders purchase Kinesis style tape, also available in pharmacies. This will help give the tissues some additional support and aid in recovery.
    They should also follow up with a physician or chiropractor if they have any indication that the injury is worse then they think they might be able to treat on their own. If there are any significant changes in skin color, gross misalignment, unusual bumps, numbness or tingling into extremities, change in skin temperature, shortness of breath, confusion, memory loss, double vision, tenderness or swelling over the abdomen, dark urine or dizziness, they should immediately seek medical attention.
    XLADV: After a riding injury such as a sprain or strain, what therapy is offered?
    DCM: When evaluating an injured rider I am looking to answer two questions. First, I want to find out if it is the type of injury that I can help with chiropractic care. If not, I will make the appropriate recommendation and referral. Secondly, I want to, as accurately as possible, diagnose the condition and inform the rider of what we might be dealing with and the appropriate course of action. Then I will provide chiropractic care, soft tissue techniques, stretching, and stabilization exercise and physiotherapy modalities. I will also recommend the appropriate professional grade nutritional supplements to help aid in tissue repair. First we will first start with pain relief, followed by spinal or joint stabilization and correction, and finally chiropractic wellness or maintenance care.

    Photo: Dr. Chris Dr. Chris Mascetta at the track

    XLADV: What off road specific treatment products do you use? Slings, tape, casts, compression clothing, etc.?
    DCM: I travel with a portable chiropractic table and a medical bag, portable TENS unit, ultrasound and cold laser, a variety of creams and lotions including massage lotion, magnesium gel, natural anti-inflammatory pain cream, athletic and Kinesis tape, instant cold packs, thera-bands, adjusting tool, and a first aid kit.
    In conclusion, keeping a first aid kit within range or even on your bike are good ideas and there are affordable kits for this purpose…there’s no excuse not to have one if you participate in our sport. Other technologies like GPS locaters are also available for solo riders and new hands-off technologies are coming fast. If you do get hurt see a medical professional for both initial treatment and follow up.


    Disclaimer: XLADV.com is not designed to and does not provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services to you or to any other individual. Through this site and linkages to other sites, XLADV.com provides general information for educational purposes only. The information provided in this site, or through linkages to other sites, is not a substitute for medical or professional care, and you should not use the information in place of a visit, call consultation or the advice of your physician or other healthcare provider.
    XLADV.com is not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services or product you obtain through this site. Never disregard medical or professional advice, or delay seeking it, because of something you read on this site or a linked website. Never rely on information on this website in place of seeking professional medical advice. You should also ask your physician or other healthcare provider to assist you in interpreting any information in this site or in the linked websites, or in applying the information to your individual case.
    Medical information changes constantly. Therefore the information on XLADV.com and on the linked websites should not be considered current, complete or exhaustive, nor should you rely on such information to recommend a course of treatment for you or any other individual. Reliance on any information provided on this site or any linked websites is solely at your own risk. XLADV.com does not specifically recommend or endorse any specific tests, products, procedures, opinions or other information that may be provided on the linked websites.
    Theft. Unfortunately it’s a part of our sport and opportunistic bad guys are always on the lookout for the chance to steal our bikes.
    With the average price of a new motorcycle hovering over the 5 digit mark, protecting your ride has become even more important. And with many racers and riders packing their truck, van or trailer chock full of valuable spares and riding gear along with their steeds, the haul has become even more attractive for your common thief. Over 46,000 motorcycles were stolen in the US (2012) and 63% of those went unrecovered. Most stolen bikes end up stripped down in chop shops and parts such as engine parts, rims and fairings end up being sold whether online or through other means.
    This article has been written with the worst case scenario in mind and we’ll give you the knowledge to beat those morons at their own game! We’ve spoken to riders, racers, homeowners, apartment dwellers, RV owners and some of our industry experts in the moto-world to tell us what works and what doesn’t, because Thieves Suck!
    Whether you live in the city or country, thieves are always casing your home, car and your valuable bikes. But the good thing is your home is your castle and this is where you can implement the strongest safeguards to protect your ride.
    Securing Your Bikes at Home
    Many homeowners who have multiple bikes have a garage and this becomes the place you have to protect first.
    Exterior Protection:
    Obviously, home alarm systems can be implemented to warn and protect your assets from break-ins. We aren’t going to discuss those methods here as they’re so varied, but bright lighting; digital video recorders, magnetic switch(s) coupled with motion detectors is the way to go to keep the bad guys from making off with your bikes. Doors and windows are most vulnerable to attack…cover windows so prying eyes can’t see your stuff and make sure that security system stickers are prominently mounted and well lit at night.
    Locking Motorcycle Covers:
    These are a useful theft-deterrent and especially helpful for the urban dweller who may have to store their bike in a garage, on the sidewalk or in the yard and are also helpful for keeping the elements away from your valuable ride. Two types are generally available, the shed and the standard cover. I don’t have any personal experience with the shed type so I can’t comment on them, but I have used the Dowco locking covers and they offer reasonable protection and also have an optional alarm that can be fitted for an added deterrent.
    Next is the most valuable layer of protection…on the bikes themselves. If you want to stay worry-free when not at home, using a combination (or all) of these products can offer the protection you desire.
    Intelligent Disc Locks:
    Disc locks have also come a long way and now offer complex locking cylinders that are very hard to pick, coupled with motion sensors and audible 120 dB alarms such as the units offered by ABUS and XENA. These little pieces of locking jewelry are very high-tech are hard to beat for their very reasonable prices of under $100.

    Photo: XENA XN15 installed on brake disc
    Heavy Duty Chains:
    The simple chain lock has become more sophisticated, almost impossible to cut and look quite ominous with their bright fabric sleeves warning potential crooks of their use. Quality examples include the New York series chains from Kryptonite, these things are insane and feature hardened, shrouded padlocks and double deadbolts…just the look of the things are discouraging for the average thief. Another interesting variant that we haven’t as yet tested is the integrated lock and chain combinations from ABUS such as the CityChain X-Plus.
    Ground Anchors:
    Couple your chain setup with a secure ground anchor that bolts directly into the cement of your garage floor or patio area/deck such as the Oxford Roto Force Anchor or Kryptonite Stronghold Security Anchor and chain your bike directly to it. Chains offer little protection if thieves can lift your bike up walk away with it, and they can work on getting the chain off later! As mentioned earlier, one of the biggest mistakes is not chaining your bike to something permanent. This is the only solution we’ve seen that offers such a high level of protection when installed correctly.
    Active Alarm Systems:
    The new active motorcycle alarms today incorporate many useful features not offered in the past such as real-time alerts, GPS tracking, motion detectors and microwave auxiliary detectors for not only your bike, but for your accessories. These units are usually built around a main control unit on the bike itself with a position sensor (gyro) to alarm against the bike being moved with a transmitter to a receiver on your keychain or phone or both.
    While common on newer street machines, alarms aren’t something you’ll normally see implemented on pure off-road bikes but are popular on dual sport bikes and some systems can be implemented on newer off-road bikes with a decent charging system/battery setup. For dirt bikes and the like, we suggest using everything short of a main alarm system: disc lock, heavy duty chain and ground anchor. These coupled with your general premise protection offer a hard combination for thieves to beat.
    We spoke with Mike Gasik from RideScorpio who offered this:
    “Our recommendation for protecting a streetbike is the Ride Core. Again, this device has GPS tracking, and is run by a phone application. The device will report directly to your phone if your bike is disturbed. The Core is equipped with a tilt sensor, shock sensor and a geofence. It is currently sold as a silent alarm, so the thief/party in question will have no idea that you have just been alerted. We also offer an add-on, to help enhance your bike’s security. The Secure Kit adds a perimeter sensor, 125 dB siren and LCD remote for ultimate protection.”
    We asked about alarm technology for pure off-road machines and Gasik replied:
    “While Scorpio does not have a device specifically for dirt bikes; we can fit one of our devices on an ATV or UTV. The device requires a 12 volt power source, and pulls 2 milliamps for operation. We would recommend the Ride Core for this type of operation, as it has GPS tracking. Not only will your vehicle be protected, but you can share trails, rides and much more.”
    We asked “What happens to motorcycles after they are stolen with the Scorpio system?
    Mike continued: “Should you have your motorcycle stolen, while you have a Ride Core security system, the first thing you should do is activate the emergency setting on your device. This allows you to share your account information with the authorities, so that they may see the GPS location of the bike. Even if a thief cuts the power to the Core device, the backup battery will transmit its location for quite a while after the incident. The sooner you can report it to the authorities, the higher probability you may be able to recover your bike.”

    Photo: Scorpio Ride Core Dashboard
    When Traveling
    What about when we’re traveling, how can we keep our bikes safe and secure?
    Disc Locks:
    Disc locks with audible alarms such as the ABUS and Xena units also offer a high level of stationary protection and high pitched audible alarms with are ideal for leaving the bikes unattended but within earshot. Kryptonite recommends using disc locks for immobilizing your front wheel (use the bright orange reminder cable as well) when just stopping for a short time.
    You can add another layer of protection by adding a chain, such as the Kryptonite New York series or Kryptolok Series 2 integrated chain, Hardwire 2018 or 30' double looped cable secured to a fixed object (can secure multiple bikes with 30 foot cable). ABUS and Oxford also make very high quality examples of this hardware.

    Photo: Kryptonite New York Series Chain
    An active alarm system above can make life tough for any thief, no matter how experienced. The name of the game is to make stealing your ride so difficult, it just isn’t worth it and most thieves will move to the softest target available.
    We’ve been using these unique locking tie-downs for years on both our street bikes and dirt bikes, and this simple product has proved invaluable for securing our rides when traveling or transporting them. They are particularly suited to help secure bikes when in a pickup bed or any place prying eyes may be watching to steal your stuff. One end locks to the bed and one end either locks directly on the handle bar or you can use the soft tie extensions to protect the bike finish. We’ve actually spent some time testing the Lockstraps product and it’s a lot harder to cut than it appears. This is a very cheap and effective form of protection, the more layers the better and it serves two purposes with one item.

    Photo: Lockstraps Locking Tie-Down
    The Lockstrap is basically a heavy duty tie-down with a locking carabineer at each end and a steel cable running inside the strap. Each carabineer has a separate combination or they can be made to all match. The cable that runs inside is strong enough to deter a casual attack and when coupled with the other items mentioned above such as a disc lock and heavy duty chain, make your bike very unattractive to steal. We’ve also found the Lockstraps handy for running through our helmets and gear to keep them safe too.
    We then asked for some general tips from our guest experts for securing your bike.
    Our friends at Kryptonite advise:
    “Do not lock your motorcycle in the same place all the time, always chain or secure your valuables to a permanent object. Beware of locking to items that can be easily cut such as a wooden post or a chain link fence. To protect against ride-away theft, use a disc lock on the rotor of your bike. For maximum protection use a disc lock and a chain lock to prevent lift away theft, and always secure accessories such as helmets and jackets - anything that can be easily removed.”
    When talking to Lockstraps, they offered the following:
    “Any thief that has the right tools can break any lock in a matter of seconds. How long does it take to break a car window? How long does it take AAA to open your car door lock.....see what I mean? Locks are designed to detour theft and any lock will detour 90% of theft. The more you can do to secure your bike, the better. The more styles of locks you use the better.”
    We also asked the pros at Scorpio and they said:
    “Most motorcycle thieves try to steal a motorcycle by simply picking it up and putting it in the back of a van. Chaining it to something may help deter that thief. The other way to secure your bike is to purchase a quality alarm system. The system should have a shock and tilt sensor at the very least. This way, when someone so much as bumps into the bike it will chirp, or even send you a warning (depending on your alarm). Again, these are not guaranteed techniques, but hopefully they’re enough to keep your bike within your possession. The other way to secure your bike is to purchase a quality alarm system. The system should have a shock and tilt sensor at the very least. This way, when someone so much as bumps into the bike it will chirp, or even send you a warning (depending on your alarm). Again, these are not guaranteed techniques, but hopefully they’re enough to keep your bike within your possession.”
    In closing, the only way to keep your bike from being stolen would be to chain it to yourself. But short of that, the methods described above will make your motorcycle so much work to steal, thieves will either run out of time and energy and move on or fail…layers of protection is the key and the more you employ the better…because Thieves Suck!