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This thread is for the manual owners and use of the engine and drive management.
Please Only helpful information and tips on the electronics and handling, especially off road.
hopefully we can share the little quirks that will help others who may not have off road experience..
Thanks
 

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Now sure what you want in this thread but I may be able to add a bit of info here.
I ride a AT17' standard manual. Before that I rode a Yamaha XJ900 RN (1984)

Reality is I ride mainly on road, but I go off road whenever I can, ususally multi day/week trips around southern and eastern Europe.
I love to ride my AT off road.

I test road the DCT version of my bike before I decided on the manual version. I cannot compare clutch vs DCT off road because I never tried the DCT off road.
If off road is your thing, my personal (and I mean just mine, so no trolling) opinion is in the long run you are better served by a manual bike.

My Reasons:
  • This is the prevailing technology on dirt bikes and learning the skills of clutch control means you can go to virtually any other bike off road and be fine.
  • Learning clutch control off road is probably the #1 skill to nail off, so whatever practice you get is invaluable.
  • Stalling is always a risk and it can cause dangerous situations to suddenly arise off road (and on road) - this is a + for the DCT btw.
  • But learning how to keep a manual bike running in all conditions is again one of those skills which are essential for confident off road riding.
  • popping wheelies, jerking the bike with the engine and clutch, have gotten me out of the shits so many times. I wonder how well these saves would have worked on a DCT
  • weight and cost and potential for extra stuff to break down (the last one is an argument that can be leveled against many bikes on the market)
  • engine as brake lock when parking - I guess my comment is just continuing on the theme of the first point. Reality is that 99% of bikes are still manual with very standard placement and function of controls which makes changing bikes easy. For this reason alone I would never recommend a new rider start out on a DCT
So that's my 2c worth.
I have to qualify I am no professional, so this is the amateur opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Now sure what you want in this thread but I may be able to add a bit of info here.
I ride a AT17' standard manual. Before that I rode a Yamaha XJ900 RN (1984)

Reality is I ride mainly on road, but I go off road whenever I can, ususally multi day/week trips around southern and eastern Europe.
I love to ride my AT off road.

I test road the DCT version of my bike before I decided on the manual version. I cannot compare clutch vs DCT off road because I never tried the DCT off road.
If off road is your thing, my personal (and I mean just mine, so no trolling) opinion is in the long run you are better served by a manual bike.

My Reasons:
  • This is the prevailing technology on dirt bikes and learning the skills of clutch control means you can go to virtually any other bike off road and be fine.
  • Learning clutch control off road is probably the #1 skill to nail off, so whatever practice you get is invaluable.
  • Stalling is always a risk and it can cause dangerous situations to suddenly arise off road (and on road) - this is a + for the DCT btw.
  • But learning how to keep a manual bike running in all conditions is again one of those skills which are essential for confident off road riding.
  • popping wheelies, jerking the bike with the engine and clutch, have gotten me out of the shits so many times. I wonder how well these saves would have worked on a DCT
  • weight and cost and potential for extra stuff to break down (the last one is an argument that can be leveled against many bikes on the market)
  • engine as brake lock when parking - I guess my comment is just continuing on the theme of the first point. Reality is that 99% of bikes are still manual with very standard placement and function of controls which makes changing bikes easy. For this reason alone I would never recommend a new rider start out on a DCT
So that's my 2c worth.
I have to qualify I am no professional, so this is the amateur opinion.
I was thinking more about tips and tricks for riding off road, but your comments on why you prefer a manual off road is also helpful..
 
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Sounds all good Master.

I am sure the Honda manual gearbox is just fine - as they usually are (especially if they are hydraulically actuated).

Been on the clutch all my riding life. Will never forget how to manage a clutch as long as muscle memory is still working. The DCT is a refreshing experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sounds all good Master.

I am sure the Honda manual gearbox is just fine - as they usually are (especially if they are hydraulically actuated).
The gear ratio in our DCT’s is different than in a manual gear box, just some more helpful (?) info.
 

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There appears to be two hydraulic pistons (one for each clutch).
The oil quantity is only 0.1 liter more for the DCT but I don't think it's due to the pistons;
more likely the additional oil is needed solely for the additional clutch.
 

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There appears to be two hydraulic pistons (one for each clutch).
The oil quantity is only 0.1 liter more for the DCT but I don't think it's due to the pistons;
more likely the additional oil is needed solely for the additional clutch.
Sounds sensible.
 

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I have a 2016 Manual the only thing I have learned is when things are going bad pull the trigger in the TC switch and hold for a sec, even if the bike is trying to kill you with TC off all becomes good.
Early models you only had TC and rear ABS off and on.
ABS resets all the time to on and I forget to do anything else so I ride with it on, it intervenes on a regular basis so that's the way we have learned to get along.
TC resets itself to MAX every start and again mostly I forget to do anything about it, sometimes it scares the crap out of you when it cuts in when you least expect it or don't want it holding back the horses, but a quick trigger pull even when its doing its coughing fit makes it all good. Unless its wet on knobby tires I have found no real use for it.
 

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I have a 2016 Manual the only thing I have learned is when things are going bad pull the trigger in the TC switch and hold for a sec, even if the bike is trying to kill you with TC off all becomes good.
Early models you only had TC and rear ABS off and on.
ABS resets all the time to on and I forget to do anything else so I ride with it on, it intervenes on a regular basis so that's the way we have learned to get along.
TC resets itself to MAX every start and again mostly I forget to do anything about it, sometimes it scares the crap out of you when it cuts in when you least expect it or don't want it holding back the horses, but a quick trigger pull even when its doing its coughing fit makes it all good. Unless its wet on knobby tires I have found no real use for it.
I have a 2017 manual bike with 35K miles out of which a lot of them off-road. In most terrains leaving the rear ABS on (default case) is not a serious problem but leaving the TC in the default position 3 definitely IS, and I have made a habit everytime I start the bike to mechanically put the TC in position 1 (i.e. one box showing, less intrusive TC position apart from deactivating it completely).

Something else: the 1st gear is too long for serious off-road riding (and DCT's even longer) and the bike benefits from some ratio reduction, I personally run 1 tooth bigger sprocket in the rear, 2 would be better but then the 6th gear would suffer a bit more for high speed cruising.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I have a 2016 Manual the only thing I have learned is when things are going bad pull the trigger in the TC switch and hold for a sec, even if the bike is trying to kill you with TC off all becomes good.
Early models you only had TC and rear ABS off and on.
ABS resets all the time to on and I forget to do anything else so I ride with it on, it intervenes on a regular basis so that's the way we have learned to get along.
TC resets itself to MAX every start and again mostly I forget to do anything about it, sometimes it scares the crap out of you when it cuts in when you least expect it or don't want it holding back the horses, but a quick trigger pull even when its doing its coughing fit makes it all good. Unless its wet on knobby tires I have found no real use for it.
I have a 2017 manual bike with 35K miles out of which a lot of them off-road. In most terrains leaving the rear ABS on (default case) is not a serious problem but leaving the TC in the default position 3 definitely IS, and I have made a habit everytime I start the bike to mechanically put the TC in position 1 (i.e. one box showing, less intrusive TC position apart from deactivating it completely).

Something else: the 1st gear is too long for serious off-road riding (and DCT's even longer) and the bike benefits from some ratio reduction, I personally run 1 tooth bigger sprocket in the rear, 2 would be better but then the 6th gear would suffer a bit more for high speed cruising.
Thanks guys, this is the kind of info I was looking for in this thread.
I wouldn’t mind seeing even some of the basic tips too. There are riders that have never ridden off road, so things we do (and just take for granted). Like deep sand riding; to keep you weight back as far as you can, keep a good momentum going, don’t try and fight the bike to try and keep a perfectly straight line. Pay attention to your lines, to avoid sharp turns..
Every little bit helps
 

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Data consistency throughout the thread is good too. Reading the notes and suggestions and comparing to similar said elsewhere, consistency in "best known methods" helps AT riders, particularly in this case, for off-road applications.

Example: To me, reduction/elimination of TC makes sense off-road, and appears to be consistent with stories elsewhere in the Forum and elsewhere on the net.
 

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Thanks guys, this is the kind of info I was looking for in this thread.
I wouldn’t mind seeing even some of the basic tips too. There are riders that have never ridden off road, so things we do (and just take for granted). Like deep sand riding; to keep you weight back as far as you can, keep a good momentum going, don’t try and fight the bike to try and keep a perfectly straight line. Pay attention to your lines, to avoid sharp turns..
Every little bit helps
I think you have said it all.
Things that I have learned.
I am not an expert or a good rider when it comes to offroad, I have never raced MX etc.
I have survived so far without breaking to many things.
My riding is not woods riding or tight single track, I do it on the AT every now and then but thats only because I am lost and looking for a road.
Typically I ride on country roads both sealed and gravel, unsealed forest roads/tracks and outback roads that can be gravel, rock, sand, sometimes all of those at the same time and with large dust holes that can be dangerious.

My AT weighs 250.5 kg with 15L of fuel, (when both tanks are full it takes 28L from empty) plus spare parts, tools but no luggage. Luggage when staying in pub trips adds 8kg, camping and 3 days food and 2L water takes that to 15.5 kg. This is one fat bike. It makes most decisions on where it will go. You can give it guidence and direction and as a general rule it wants to stay stable and upright. There are 3 large gyroscopes trying to keep you upright two wheels and an engine, as a general rule if they are all turning the bike wants to stay upright, if you stop them from turning the bike wants to fall over.So if you can keep the gyros spinning and you can balance on the footpegs as it leaps around you are all good. One of the ATs greatest advantages is that the engine is very flexable, you can be in the wrong gear and in real trouble but if you wind on the throttle the bike can dig itself out of a lot of bad situations.

Bike handling, the two best things you can do to the bike is tires and a professional suspension upgrade thats tuned to your weight (you + tools +luggage) and the type of riding you do.
Tire choice to me comes down to front rim protection and a compromise between wet sealed road performance and offroad performance on the various surfaces above.I have not found any road based tire that can withstand even moderate gravel road use they have all ended up badly cut.I tend to stick to the Motoz Adventure/Shinko 804/805/Pirelli Rally MST ranges and mix and match front and back in those ranges.

Head shake
I have found the AT does have pronounced head shake at times. This can happen on wet sealed roads and sand when the front end starts a full tank slapper session.
Its best to do very little (you are probably sitting down, just relax), on sealed roads keep the throttle steady (do not let it off or touch any other control) dont grip the bars tightly and it will sort itself out.
In soft sand you are probably already well back in the seat, but see if you can lean back more, add slightly more throttle and see if it gets better, you will be steering with your foot pegs anyway so just let the bars thrash around and look for a different surface texture to see if that helps.If it goes on for an extended time you can try different things slightly more throttle and a small amount of rear brake, mostly I find the surface will change enough that it will come out of it.

Hitting things
Things like large birds that fly into you do not try and avoid take the hit focus on the road do not panic brake. You can often see these playing out in slow motion as it tries to swoop in to pick up road kill but gets you instead.
Animals on the road, you dont know whats going through their brain often they will see you at the last minute and bolt off the road. If you have made the decision to avoid them by going off road you have doubled your chance of going down in my view. Brake to reduce speed but focus on staying on the road, if you are about to hit, release the brakes to unload the suspension lean well back.get as much weight off the front as you can. Most times if you stay on your line the animal has moved off your line by the time you have arrived at impact point.
Dont put arms or legs out to fend them off that normally just results in a broken arm or leg.
Good hand guards and bash plates are very important to protect hands and feet, make sure your hands are attached to handle bars and feet are pointed in (tucked in behind bash plate)
Same thing works for large holes, large dips in roads, hitting trees and rocks etc
If you do end up off road look ahead and keep the gyros spinning till you get back on road.
 

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What - Lockup rear wheel braking on gravel -- ABS OFF
Why - locked up rear wheel builds a berm that increases traction and reduces stopping distance.
How - approach at 35-50kmh, standing on pegs. In one fluid motion with Knees tight to tank, shift weight back so yer butt is hovering over seat, eyes up, elbows up, hands loose (no weight on the bars!) - clutch in and hard down on the rear brake pedal to lock up the rear. If the rear starts to slide sideways, counter steer.
As you come to a stop release the rear brake, rise up, let the clutch out and ride away.
Get used to the action and feeling of the rear skidding on different traction surfaces like coarse gravel or wet grass.

Learn to ride with Enduro hands - TWO fingers on clutch and brake

What - front wheel braking on gravel. For the 2017AT ABS off leaves the front engaged.
Why - the front wheel stops you, the back keeps you straight
How - approach at 15-20kmh, standing on pegs. In one fluid motion with Knees tight to tank, shift weight back so yer butt is hovering over seat, eyes up, elbows up, hands loose (no weight on the bars!) - GENTLY squeeze the front brake with One or TWO fingers until the wheel begins to skid and release. Seek the maximum braking point before the front locks up. As you come to a stop release the brake, rise up, let the clutch out and ride away.
Get used to the action and amount of front wheel grip available on different traction surfaces.

Advanced skill - When you feel comfortable, try coming to a stop or riding a controlled slow speed descent (without skidding either tire) using both brakes on increasingly steeper downhills with various traction surfaces like loose gravel, dry and wet grass.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Thanks
SkipD and Black99S
Good and helpful info and good point on enduro style riding , it is all the little things that we do and never give it a second thought. Like you, I can pull and control the front brake while twisting the throttle and dumping the clutch. A VERY handy thing to learn. I still use and actually are more comfortable riding with my one finger on the front brake. Definitely even more so in heavy traffic , even though I own a DCT.
 

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When approaching ANY water crossing its best to stop and evaluate the crossing for water depth, bottom consistency ( mud, sand, small rocks, baby head rocks) also plan your line. On long crossings you may need to walk the crossing prior to riding it. If your still unsure either don't cross or walk the bike across in first gear with your finger on the kill switch incase you drop it.
You do not want to fall over or drop the bike into water with the engine running as you may HydroLock the motor. ( See my post from today in the engine section for fixing a hydrolocked motor)
If you drop it and either the air intakes exhaust go below the waterline you may need to pull the plugs, air filters, exhaust, and change the oil and filters.
Best advise is if you don't know, don't go!
 

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Apologies for going off thread slightly, I would just like to tap into all this knowledge and experience and ask a simple question.

I live in UK and are currently doing the IAM Advanced Motorcycle Rider course. Despite training and a lot of practice with slow speed riding, I find it difficult to ride in a dead straight line on around 3-4 mph on tarmac without any wobble. I know the techniques and find this much easier on a sports bike, I'm also OK if I increase the speed to say 6 mph. I am also fine when changing direction. Putting aside my appalling skills for a minute, is this all down to me or is this recognised as being more challenging on a tall adventure bike such as the AT?

Thanks all.
 

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Lots of variables indeed Ray.

For example, I can keep the AT upright at 0 mph for about three seconds (sitting), and maybe infinitely at 1 mph. However, I don't have any unsightly pannier hardware hanging off the loins of the bike either. I am not an expert trick rider, but I just try to become "one with the machine" - any machine (including the lawn mower).

If you have a clutch, it might be even easier, however, I find I just adapt to the controls available.

Maybe you are better built for a sport bike? In my case, me and sport bike do not fit well together. I'd probably get a leg cramp and then have to take a 4 lb hammer to the bike for causing it.
55014
 

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Get used to making a decision (left or right) as to which foot to put down when coming to a stop on off road, uneven terrain. Look for the side that has the highest ground as opposed to a hole or dropoff. The AT is a top heavy bike and you want to be able to stop with one foot down and have left to right stability.

When moving slowly, never "paddle" with both feet out when you have your AT off road. So many reasons but you want to keep your feet on the controls and have ability to shift your weight to either foot.
 
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