James Stanley

I rode my motorbike off road and made a video

Sun 29 November 2015

Lately I've been a bit interested in Green laning on my motorbike.

The first couple of times I went, I just rode the bike as it normally is.

There were two problems: the tyres didn't grip off road, and the handlebars were too low.

The easiest way to ride over rough terrain is to stand up and let your knees bend, but with the stupid clip-ons I'd put on the bike I had to be crouching forwards and it was really uncomfortable and made my legs ache very quickly.

So I bought some motocross handlebars and some enduro tyres. To fit the handlebars I bought some appropriate clamps and drilled a couple of holes in the top yoke, and simply bolted them on. That raised the bars by about 3 inches, but also meant all the cables needed to be 3 inches longer, which I solved by just re-routing the cables.

To fit a tyre you need to remove the old tyre from the wheel, and that means you need to break the "bead" - the seal between the rubber tyre and metal wheel. There are proper tools for this, but I do not own one and do not wish to buy one. I broke the bead by setting up the wheel in the vice, such that the front jaw is pushing against the tyre. Against the back jaw I had a sheet of plywood so that the back jaw pushed against the whole wheel rather than just the tyre. Tightening the vice thus squeezes one side of the tyre away from the wheel, and the tyre eventually breaks free. Then just flip the tyre around and do the other side, and stamp on the tyre a bit and it breaks free all the way around. I thought this was pretty clever. It still took me about 4 hours to change both tyres though.

Anyway, today I went out for a quick ride on 3 green lanes near my house. On the first one I came across the Allen Classic Car Trial coming the other way. They didn't seem particularly pleased to see me, but it's essentially a public road so there's not much they can do about it.

Feroz lent me his Garmin VIRB camera. The stickypad I put on the front mudguard seemed defective, not nearly as sticky as the one I put on my helmet, and it fell off. Also, the microphone on the camera is awful, loads of wind noise. Admittedly it was a windy day, but I'm pretty sure the microphone on my phone is superior. The video quality was excellent though.

I then spent about 3 hours editing my 30 minutes of footage into a short video.

Here's my video:

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