Riding in mud

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#1
I absolutely can not ride mud. I don't know what it is. I go down every time. Last week I went down twice within 10 ft.. Second spill I pinned my leg in an awkward way and had to wait for the guys to come back and find me.

I keep telling myself that it's just my heavy beast XR4. Then I started wondering about tire sizes. The 2 most popular front sizes are 80/100-21 and 90/90-21. Doing the math to determine section height to width, the 80/100-21 works out to 80/80-21 and the 90/90-21 works out to be 90/81-21, right? So the 2 sizes are almost the same section height-wise but the 90/90-21 is wider.

What's best handling in mud, a skinnier or wider tire?

Derek
 
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#2
What's best handling in mud, a skinnier or wider tire?

Derek,

I love the mud, I like a wider rear tire for the mud, but not too wide.
Also don't run too much air in your tires, try 12-14 lbs.(max)
If you are a slower rider you might even be able to go down to 10 with out worrying about flats.
The XR 400's are fine bikes for the mud.
How are you approaching the mud?
Are you standing or sitting? You need to be standing, with your weight on the pegs it lowers the bikes center of gravity and will make it easier to navigate the mud.
You also want to hit the mud with some momentum and try to keep that momentum up with out spinning the rear wheel any more than necassary.
Also line choice makes a big difference. You can often stay out of the ruts and do better than trying to ride them out, sometimes there is no other lines but try being creative. I look for vegatation and try to stay close to it if possible, just one good clump of grass can give you a little extra traction to help make it through. Also if the mud hole is next to a tree, that means there is usually some roots. Roots can throw you down with out any notice.
IF all else fails, just buy a CR 500 put on a paddle tire and just gas it, oh yeah hang on tight.
 

elf

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#3
Trailryder42
You didn't mention what kind of tires you were using. There is a big difference between a hard terrain tire and one made for mud and sand. A sand tire will give your front wheel a lot more bite. Although I have no experience riding (hogs) on my lighter 125s I like the skinny front tire.
 
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#4
Maxxis IT's work well on the front in most conditions including moderate mud. In back you need a dedicated mud tire, Maxxis and Michelin are both good.

Mud riding is all about balance (and throttle control). Do low speed balance drills.

A gear high is good to avoid excessive wheelspin.

Frankly, I don't like cleanup and avoid mud like the plague. :)
 
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#5
A lot of it depends on what kind of mud it is too. If it's wet sandy loam, aint nothing to it. If it's more clay based it can get real slick. If it's that black crap we have here, might as well stay home.
 
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#6
Trailrider-I think riding mud is an art.Yougotta love it enough to learn where the line is on control and out of control.Like someone said here there's a big difference in mud,some of it is a lot harder to work with.I would like to get better at it and I know it takes repitition.Other than moving around on the bike and technique I think a wider tire puts more grip.To add to that taller knobs and a tread that cleans out easy,wider spaced knobs,is better.Here when muddy I was told to go 10 lbs and low as 8 lbs.This seems to do well.
 

Danman

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#7
Trailryder

Are you riding at the lake or the river? Was it last weekend? It must have been realy muddy! If its the lake its more than likely more clay based and snotty with rocks.

If its the river its sandy. Should be fun as long as it does not do like our river bed at our lease. It gets some real gooie spots that are like quicksand and will sink the front wheel to the axle very quickly. It has put me over the bars a few times. Just like somebody stuffed a broom stick in your spokes.

I would try gripping the bike with your knees good. Stand up and get the weight on the back of the bike and keep on the gas. It helps to clean the mud out of the tire. Air pressure and tire selection are key as well. I would run it low. I've found that with the maxxis IT work decent in the mud, but I think its realy senitive to air pressure. I know just a pound or two over will make a big difference. It the tire is pumped up to high it will slide around a lot.

I want to try an S-12 in the rear.
 
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#8
i like dthoms method of getting a cr500 and a paddle. those things rip.
 
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#9
I suck at mud too but my buddies love it. I asked them how they can even stay on the trail and they told me not to use the front tire. Steer with the rear. Put alot of weight on the rear. Only use the front as a rudder to make minor corrections. I ride mostly MX so I rely heavily on the front tire to turn. It took awhile to get the hang of it but it helped tremendously. This was clay based sticky mud than got slimy in some sections.

It also helps to have a tire that doesn't get clogged up. Any tire that can clean itself quickly is a must for mud riding.
 
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#10
I'm running Michelins. 140/18 S12 in the rear and 90/90-21 M12 in the front, both with 13-14 lbs.. I know less air pressure would help but less is too little for the rocks and I only hit mud that I can't avoid only occasionally. I avoid it like the plague too. This last ride was in the nasty black stuff that we have at the Canadian river.

Stand thru mud. Nah...., I don't think I could bring myself to do that. No chance to catch yourself or put a foot down when that front tire comes out from under you, sorry, "me". lol , as it happens way too fast. I'm a fairly good rider, I guess I just have my limitations and mud is one of them.

And I realize I'm not gonna get any better at it by avoiding it. I don't like the clean up afterwards either.

The thing I really don't like about mud is that it enters into the decision making process of whether or not to go and ride new places and meet new friends, like the upcoming WUDI 6 ride that Jim Cook is hosting in Arkansas next month , riding the Trainrobbers enduro trails, that I have scheduled to make but may back out of.
 

agitt73

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#11
i thought highly of the m-12 front also but then i discoverd the s-12 front way better for mudd and sand and i run the s-12 rear on all terrains
 

Danman

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#12
The thing I really don't like about mud is that it enters into the decision making process of whether or not to go and ride new places and meet new friends, like the upcoming WUDI 6 ride that Jim Cook is hosting in Arkansas next month , riding the Trainrobbers enduro trails, that I have scheduled to make but may back out of.
You might kick yourself for not doing this ride. I have worked in the that Area. Specificly in Bismarck, AR. Know the area pretty well were the enduro is held. I have never had a chance to ride there and I think that an enduro there would be tough. I know a few guys that have been they said it was ruff. Roots, rocks, and tight woods. i don't think I would pass up a chance to leasurely ride the area. I would think it looks super cool!
 
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#13
http://www.bikepics.com/pictures/078622/
http://www.bikepics.com/pictures/078623/

If you want to ask any questions about mud, just ask me. Because that is all I ride in. In the Falklands we have a culture called sh*t tracking, where basically you go at to camp and find the biggest sh*t holes to see if you can get through them. It is a great laugh and really fun.

When you ride through mud it is really up to you how you do it. You have to make the judgement. As for tyres, a good knobbly, although those in the photographs were bold. Remember to keep the momentum up and the front end. Don't stop, otherwise you will start to spin then dig in, and you will end up bogged.

I hope this helps, cheers :thumb:
 
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#14
I don't have a lot of experience riding in mud (just getting stuck in it) but at the DE Enduro there was a lot of slick mud that I wasn't used to riding. It took me a little while to figure it out but I found that for turning you want to stay off the front brake. I lost the front tire once and came close several other times trying to use the front brake to slow down. What worked the best for me was to start the turn lock up the rear tire and slide into it then back on the gas.
 
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#15
I have an XR200 and i mud frequently. i find sittin up near th gas tank leaning a bit forward is the best. don't be afraid of puttin a foot down for some more stability if you start loosing your balance. oh, ya youu cant fight the way the bike is going to move cuz if you do ure screwed.