What Are They?
First, let's just agree that dual sport rides are a great way to ride and see the countryside. Why ? Because you get to go to new places, see new things. You're not fenced in to some ORV area where you know the boundaries, and can't get lost. One of the fun parts about dual sport riding is navigation. Finding your way via written instructions. And a roll chart is the most common way to participate in an organized dual sport event.
A roll chart (also known as a "route sheet") is a scroll that has directions and mileage on it. Plain and simple. They take you from turn "A" to turn "B" and you use your trip meter (Odometer) to follow the chart and the route.
How Do They Work?
First off, you need to buy a roll chart holder (route sheet holder). They're available at most dealers, some shops may have to order them. They'll run from $30 up to $45.00.
A roll chart holder is a little box with knobs that you will attach to your Left handlebar and scroll with your left hand to follow the route based on mileage.
What Goes into The Holder?
Your route chart.
At the event, you'll get your route chart in the rider packet.
X-Roads Roll Charts are pre-cut and continuous length.
You may have to cut your roll-chart at ‘Lunch stop’ and bring the 2nd half with you if its too long to roll the whole thing into your roll chart holder.
What Do I Do Next?
Roll your route-chart into the roll chart holder preferably the night before the ride.
How Do I Use One?
Simple. Follow the directions on the roll chart. But first you need to understand the system of abbreviations and instructions. We use ‘Tulips’ for directions, the ‘Bulb’ represents the rider and you follow the arrow for direction. The mileage corresponds with the turn.
Next, what we do is add mileage to the equation.
1.1 R HWY 185 = At HWY 185 your odometer should read 1.1, turn right onto HWY 185 and continue riding.
3.9 R CR 160 = when your odometer hits 3.9 miles (or thereabouts) turn Right on County Road 160, and keep riding.
5.0 CG = Cattle guards don’t move so we use cattleguards so you can check your mileage. There are a multitude of cattleguards along the route. When you cross a cattle guard check your mileage and you can then do the appropriate math if your odometer doesn’t match the roll chart until the next re-set.
STOP-RESET = Resets are at Obvious Locations. Usually at a stop sign and a corner or an obvious turn. At this point you would stop and turn your trip meter back to zero and start the next section. Pretty easy isn't it!
Let's Tie It All Together!
Read this out loud. Anyone in the room with you will think you're nuts, but you'll get a better understanding of how it all works out!
0.0 R Hurley St
0.3 X RR Track
0.8 R CR 175
2.3 X Bridge
4.2 L CR 165
4.5 L Multiple switchbacks
5.2 Mine Infrastructure
6.0 STOP - RESET
Route sheets are not 100% accurate, but are close as we put some time into them. Each bike is different and measures differently. A XR250 tracks differently than an XRL650. You will find that a route sheet may be 0.1 to 0.2 off. You need to be aware of your surroundings and look for the appropriate turn, markings and road signs.
Resets to 0.0 will be frequent to allow your odometer mileage to be accurate with the chart.
That's what fun about it, you get to navigate yourself, and not have someone hold your hand the entire way!