Thoughts On Riding Steep And Slippery Trails

Tyres are the single most important thing when it comes to riding a steep and slippery trail. If you are riding through plain slush then even dual sport tyres are useless. But where the trail has stones and small rocks, it helps to use proper dual sport tyres. All you need to do is aim for the stones, gently twist the throttle and feather the clutch if required.

The tyre wedges the stone into the underlying mud. The gaps in the tyre tread latch onto the stones. The stones temporarily become part of the tyre and you end up with sufficient traction to climb the slippery trail. It’s important to give the right amount of power to the rear wheel. Too much power and you will kick the stone out of the mud and start digging yourself into a hole. Too less and you will lose the engine.

I often see people make the mistake of avoiding stones and going for the smoother parts of the trail. It’s common sense to avoid obstacles in your path. But if you choose your obstacles wisely they can help you.


The Duke with dual sport tyres rode up the steep, wet and slippery Pargadh trail without any fuss and without needing anyone to push it. While the Multistrada sporting road tyres had absolutely no chance of using the rocks and stones on the trail to its advantage. The grooves on its tread are designed to merely expel water on tarmac. They aren’t wide enough or oriented in a way so as to latch onto stones and rocks. The Multistrada is way more powerful than the Duke. But because of its tyres the power was used to dig itself into a deeper hole faster.