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Motorcycle river crossing

Nambaster

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Joined
Feb 23, 2018
Messages
146
Any one here experienced are getting motorcycles across rivers? I have some National Forest trails that are open to motorcycles and foot/horse traffic only. One river is about 15 yards wide and in the spring it runs about 3 feet deep with a decent currant. Another river starts off with a bridge but then there are places where you have to cross 20 feet of water at a depth of approximately 3 feet. I was wondering if anyone had any tips or tricks for making the crossing. I have a canoe with a 600 lb load capacity for the 15 yard river but I have never put a motor bike in it. For the 20 foot river I have an inflatable raft with a 300 lb weight capacity and I wonder if I could Ford the river and float the bike over without popping the raft. Has anyone tried or have any experience with this? Tipping the canoe with a bike in it would be considered a significant loss.
 

Bullshot

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Dec 21, 2018
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Two days into the rising sun
I have raced off-road and a few had deep stream crossings that were fun...... for the spectators. If you can seal up your air intake to a point even deeper than the water you **may** be able to make it across some pretty deep crossings. We used all kinds of tricks, silicone, duct tape, plastic shrouds. But there are limits. And when you cross you gotta stay on it and not stall or flop it down after hitting a slick rock.. or good luck to you. Flood your intake or soak a filter, and you might have several hours getting it all shaken out. Worse if you fry something in the electricals. And who knows where water is getting into when cold water hits hot metal. It was fun in a short, intense race, but not so fun I'd want to ruin a trip over it or get stuck in the backcountry with a dead bike.
 

BAKPAKR

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May 16, 2018
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391
Location
Appalachia
On a spring bear hunt, my brother and I pushed a motorcycle across a snowmelt swollen stream that was about the size you described but not quite so deep. The water was really moving and we just about got washed away. Canoes and rafts sound iffy, too.
 
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SFC B

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Mar 2, 2013
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3,191
Location
Colorado Springs
A decent sized raft should be able to float a small/medium dirt bike (+-300lbs). The big issues would be controlling the raft across the current and making sure the bike was cool enough to not burn/melt the raft. Sounds pretty iffy all the way around.
 

Nambaster

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Feb 23, 2018
Messages
146
Is there a way to seal off a bike and turn it off and swim across? I am willing to swim it across.
 

Nambaster

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Feb 23, 2018
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146
I guess I was hoping for some magical forum remedy, but it sounds like in the spring runoff my nest bet is to hoof it.
 

westbranch

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Sep 11, 2017
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301
Location
ID Panhandle
My brother liked to do water skipping with a snowmobile, luckily never drowned the sled. It looks like it works with a dirt bike as well...
 

Dsnow9

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Oct 29, 2019
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651
Location
Westminster, CO
My brother liked to do water skipping with a snowmobile, luckily never drowned the sled. It looks like it works with a dirt bike as well...
Maybe with sand tires, not with nobbies.

To the OP, Even if possible none of these crossings are goi to happen with gear/animal on your back. Your gonna have to get wet no matter what. Might as well not risk the bike and your life doing so.
 

Bailer

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Oct 24, 2017
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27
Location
Arizona
Water crossings can be sketchy. I lost about a minute in a race when took a bad deeper line across a little Arizona creek. Probably wasn’t two feet deep, or 4 feet across, but it was enough to suck some water into the carb vent. I had a helmet camera running. The time I spent stalled was more than the time I missed first place by. If the creek can be waded, two dudes could carry a bike across.
 
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iaengineer

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Feb 7, 2014
Messages
93
Location
iowa
I think there is a mythbusters episode they tried to get a motorcycle to ski. If I remember it didn't work well.
 
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