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-   -   Dirt training (http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=864380)

Keithert 02-19-2013 09:08 AM

Dirt training
 
I've been riding on the street for 22 years and have been an MSF instructor in the past. I think I know how to ride on the street pretty well. But I'm new to riding offroad. I'm considering taking the MSF dirt bike school in the spring. What are some other good ways to learn to ride offroad? The area I'll be riding is ATV two tracks through the woods and gravel roads mostly.

On the street I have a good idea of how much traction there is in a curve and how far the bike can be leaned. On the grass or gravel though I have no idea. How do these differ from the street? I've seen videos of class exercices riding the figure 8 on grass and they look just like the street classes exercises. But I wouldn't think grass would have as much traction as pavement.

scottrnelson 02-19-2013 09:57 AM

Some of us just went out and rode in the dirt and figured it out. Reading about how to ride in the dirt becomes more meaningful after you've tried things and noticed something that might be difficult to do. It's not like you'll get run over by a truck if you make a mistake in the dirt, you just dump the bike, pick it up, and keep riding. You occasionally have to replace broken levers, but that's part of the learning experience.

A lot of the enjoyment I've received from riding in the dirt was learning how to handle steep hills, sand, whoops, water crossings, and other challenging things. But I learned to ride on the street without official training as well and managed to survive. I don't think the MSF had been invented yet when I started riding.

:gerg

acesandeights 02-19-2013 10:11 AM

I had ridden dirt early on and then street. I thought I knew a lot about riding (thought I was pretty good) until I took a basic (street) rider class a couple years ago and it was eye-opening, even after decades of riding. It wasn't that it taught me everything there was to know about riding, but there were a couple of "aha!" moments where some things that I think held me back from being a better rider just clicked during the instruction. So, what I'm getting at is you should probably ride a lot of dirt, with dirt riders if you know some, AND taking a basic dirt class is probably a great way to learn some things you may or may not learn otherwise. You may learn a couple of small things that make a big difference in the learning curve.

crofrog 02-19-2013 10:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Keithert (Post 20760768)
I've been riding on the street for 22 years and have been an MSF instructor in the past. I think I know how to ride on the street pretty well. But I'm new to riding offroad. I'm considering taking the MSF dirt bike school in the spring. What are some other good ways to learn to ride offroad? The area I'll be riding is ATV two tracks through the woods and gravel roads mostly.

On the street I have a good idea of how much traction there is in a curve and how far the bike can be leaned. On the grass or gravel though I have no idea. How do these differ from the street? I've seen videos of class exercices riding the figure 8 on grass and they look just like the street classes exercises. But I wouldn't think grass would have as much traction as pavement.

The wheels slide the same on pavement as they do in the dirt it just happens sooner. So why not just keep working up until you find the limits of traction...

Keithert 02-19-2013 10:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by crofrog (Post 20761604)
The wheels slide the same on pavement as they do in the dirt it just happens sooner. So why not just keep working up until you find the limits of traction...

Are you saying that traction is lost sooner on pavement than in the dirt? Or the opposite? I would think that it would be lost sooner on dirt.

crofrog 02-19-2013 10:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Keithert (Post 20761687)
Are you saying that traction is lost sooner on pavement than in the dirt? Or the opposite? I would think that it would be lost sooner on dirt.

Yes, you loose traction at lower force levels on the dirt. The act of managing the slide is the same on pavement or dirt.

Trl Rdr 02-19-2013 11:13 AM

Not all dirt is created equal!

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PMC 02-19-2013 11:17 AM

It's easier to learn on a small and light bike. The bigger the bike and more top heavy the bike the harder it is to learn on.
If your ATV trails are anything like ours in MN and WI practice in sand and then more sand and then a little more deep sand.

eatpasta 02-19-2013 11:58 AM

find a local race series and a small bike and enter. Doesnt matter what you ride, you will be astonished how much you will learn and how quickly. The best way to get better at anything is to surround yourself with people with talent.
You dont have to go faster than your comfort zone, but you will notice your comfort zone start to shift....

I highly recommend it. I was transformed as a rider.

NJ-Brett 02-19-2013 12:44 PM

Dirt is a LOT more fun.
Get a small light crappy bike and practice locking up the back wheel, power slides around turns, falling, etc.
Its one of those things that is fun while you learn, and fun after you learn.

The more fun you have, the more you fall down, or is it the other way around?

BanjoBoy 02-19-2013 12:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PMC (Post 20761891)
It's easier to learn on a small and light bike. The bigger the bike and more top heavy the bike the harder it is to learn on.
If your ATV trails are anything like ours in MN and WI practice in sand and then more sand and then a little more deep sand.

^THIS^
Get you a small, light, cheap bike, so it's easier to control, and when you bail, you won't cry like the BMW crowd. :cry

Keithert 02-19-2013 12:57 PM

I have an 05 XT225. It is small and light, but not a beater.

el queso 02-19-2013 03:23 PM

Unless you have an experienced group to ride with, I would suggest you get some real dirt training. The basic concepts (like brake before the turn, look through the turn, etc) are the same, but the techniques are totally different. In the dirt you have to learn to shift weight fore and aft, when to weight the seat and when to weight the pegs, when to stand, when to use power to position the back end, and it goes on and on.

That said, if you just plan on cruising down some dirt roads, watch some vids on youtube, go slow and you'll be fine.

eatpasta 02-19-2013 04:00 PM

find good riders and ride with them. bottom line.
they will teach you what is possible..... and you wont believe what is possible on a dirt bike. Just ask Graham Jarvis

incidentally, best way to keep your boots dry in a creek crossing, EVER

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/K4qzh6YBW1Q" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Kommando 02-19-2013 08:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Keithert (Post 20760768)
I've been riding on the street for 22 years and have been an MSF instructor in the past. I think I know how to ride on the street pretty well. But I'm new to riding offroad. I'm considering taking the MSF dirt bike school in the spring. What are some other good ways to learn to ride offroad?

Wide open 'til you see Beelzebubba. I'll hold your beer and watch. :1drink :D


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