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-   -   Super n00bs little adventure... (http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=881602)

Lucky508 04-24-2013 07:13 AM

Super n00bs little adventure...
 
Greeting inmates,<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>
It took a long time, but I’m here. Long story short….Motorcycles were always taboo in my family of Doctors and medical professionals. It was always look but don’t touch! So being the blacksheep that I am I did the next best thing and joined the Army to be a paratrooper. This lead to learning to fly and skydive. While I still jump some it’s not the adventure it once was. I mountain bike and road ride a lot and a good buddy of mine started telling me about “dualsporting” and the seed took root in my brain. I saw some of the truly incredible adventures you guys go on and I wanted in! So after some thoughtful conversations with my lovely wife trying to convince her I wouldn’t be a complete knucklehead about this I am about to take my Texas Motorcycle Safety Course to get M put on my license. Whoop! Whoop! Since I was a kid I’ve owned a lot of different 4WDs but have never, yup, never driven a motorcycle. Well I’m only getting older at this point and I have insurance to it’s time to saddle up. Wish me luck please.
A buddy of mine in the army had a saying, “No matter where you’ve been you’re here now.” So with that in mind and knowing that without good training I’d already be dead I’ll try to learn to be a good rider. I’ll post a few pics and observations from my course this weekend so you guys can laugh at me. :rofl
After the course is done I’m heading North from Austin to Manhattan (not that one!) Kansas to pick up my brand new……………….wait for it……………………………87 Honda XL 250R! Well, new to me anyway. My buddy found it for me up there. So I’ll pack up my 89 FJ62 land cruiser, put the new motorcycle carrier on the back and head out on May the fourth. This has got the be good omen right? May the fourth be with you! After a stop to visit another buddy from my jump team in Okiehoma and wrench a little on the Cruiser, I’ll arrive in Manhattan and proceed to spend a couple of days riding all over the area. Then drive home with my new adventure machine ready to start having fun around here. I had considered flying up and driving home on the bike but got talked out of it. Most likely for the best. <o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
Not exactly an epic adventure by ADV standards but hopefully a good start. I don’t know about you but I’m pumped! <o:p></o:p>

Lucky508

Lucky508 04-24-2013 05:22 PM

So enough about my n00bnes for now. Time for a few pics and the tale of finding a bike on CL. After selling a few vintage parachutes I had enough $$ to look for a less vintage bike. I mean how many vintage parachutes does a guy really need anyway? The search was focused in the Kansas area where my buddy could check out the bike and see if it was as advertised and not a POS. Even in the sub $2K range there are a lot of good starter bikes out there so we should be able to find something pretty quick right? Riiiiigggghhhhtttt. After finding several bikes that we liked including another XL 250, three DT175’s and a few other bikes that always ended up being sold before we could get to them or turning out to be not such a good deal I was beginning to wonder when and if this was going to work out. The best time was when my bud was driving two hours to check out a DT175 and the seller texted him that somebody “just dropped buy and bought the bike” Uh.. that’s not cool dude but what are we supposed to do? Not to be outdone we found another bike in Nebraska that looked like a good candidate. The seller had a lot of good info about it agreed to hold the bike until my bud could go and look at it the next day. By the end of the next day I had a new bike! Thanks to my buddy "Bugsy" for making this happen.

CL photo of the XL 250R
http://lucky508.smugmug.com/Motorcyc.../M/xl250-M.jpg

Seller wishing me good luck with the bike. Thanks man!
http://lucky508.smugmug.com/Motorcyc...%20XL250-M.jpg

:ricky
Lucky508

Rutabaga 04-24-2013 06:06 PM

The adventure begins. Great idea to do the MSC and get the basics under controlled conditions. But then a jumper already knows that fact. Nice to have your buddy do the legwork on the buy, it looks great and will provide many smiles in the future. Welcome to the asylum.

ShiftHead 04-25-2013 11:46 AM

Welcome to the fun. Like you, I am fairly new to dual sporting, but have been on road bikes all my life it seems. Then I watched Long Way Round and knew I wanted to ride off the beaten path. And in so doing found a love of riding I thought I'd lost as a youth. It's awesome, and seeing the world this way is even more so. Enjoy!

Lucky508 04-25-2013 12:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rutabaga (Post 21261577)
The adventure begins. Great idea to do the MSC and get the basics under controlled conditions. But then a jumper already knows that fact. Nice to have your buddy do the legwork on the buy, it looks great and will provide many smiles in the future. Welcome to the asylum.

Rutabaga, Thanks for the welcome. :D I appreciate it. Hopefully I can keep my "what the hell was I thinking when I did that?" moments to a minimum. Hahaha!

Lucky508

Lucky508 04-25-2013 12:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheOtherNate (Post 21266730)
Welcome to the fun. Like you, I am fairly new to dual sporting, but have been on road bikes all my life it seems. Then I watched Long Way Round and knew I wanted to ride off the beaten path. And in so doing found a love of riding I thought I'd lost as a youth. It's awesome, and seeing the world this way is even more so. Enjoy!


TheOtherNate, Thanks for the welcome! "I wanted to ride off the beaten path. And in so doing found a love of riding I thought I'd lost as a youth." That is awesome! I'll have to check out "Long Way Round".

Lucky508

Bugsy 04-26-2013 07:27 AM

Good luck in the course this weekend! I'm looking forward to getting updates on how it shakes out. Man....I've gotten used to seeing you with parachutes on over the years but I may not recognize you in a motorcycle helmet!! Glad to see that you're finally doing this....it's gonna be FUN, Bro!!

Lucky508 04-26-2013 07:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bugsy (Post 21272781)
Good luck in the course this weekend! I'm looking forward to getting updates on how it shakes out. Man....I've gotten used to seeing you with parachutes on over the years but I may not recognize you in a motorcycle helmet!! Glad to see that you're finally doing this....it's gonna be FUN, Bro!!

Thanks amigo!

Here's a pic of Me (left) WWII 517 PIR Paratrooper Cecil Doty and Bugsy (right) before a jump a few years ago.
http://lucky508.smugmug.com/Motorcyc...son.Cael-M.jpg

On to new adventures! :thumb

Lucky508

7164 04-27-2013 09:59 AM

Welcome
 
Lucky508,

Hey, welcome! AND THANKS FOR YOUR SERVICE :clap :clap

You and I are on somewhat similar paths from different trail heads. I'm a total dirt nOOb but have been riding motorcycles on road for about 15 years and I have some dirt experience with quads. I call myself a nOOb with benefits.

Other than being nOObs where our trails are similar is the Mountain biking. I have been mountain biking for a few years and it sounds like you have some mountain biking experience. I'm not sure how technical the biking you are doing is, but the more technical the better! Recently I have been posting a ride report (nOOb with benefits goes for first real ride). In it I had my real Ah-Ha break through moment on day two when I was doing some rocky downhills against my will and discovered that this stuff is a LOT like riding a mountain bike.

Here are some of my observations and suggestions from one nOOb to another:

EXCELLENT way to start by taking the motorcycle safety course! If it is what I think it is it will teach you all about how to clutch, shift, turn, start, stop etc for street riding. The 250 you bought is perfect for this course (if its not one where they provide the bikes which are usually honda rebel 250 or similar if they do) because it is light and easy to move and it is what you are going to be riding. I've had a lot of fun watching people take these type of courses on their brand new 700lb Harley's and 1000cc sport bikes...:rofl

Riding on dirt is similar in the fact that there is a clutch and brakes and you control both but I have found there to be some BIG differences. On the street the last thing you want is the bike slithering and sliding around but on the dirt it is a huge part of riding. On the street you use counter steering at anything other than parking lot speeds but on the dirt you use direct steering and counter steering and as I've discovered (like mountain biking) weight shift steering etc etc. After your MSC do some dirt riding to see what you think as far as the comparison then I would look into taking a Dirtbike School Course through the MSF. I've been doing some off road work on the bike lately and I think one of their intro to trail riding classes could do me some good. Here is a link:

http://www.dirtbikeschool.org/

Another route is to look for some off road motorcycle clubs in the Austin area to hook up with. I'm sure there are some that are nOOb friendly and even do organized events for nOOb's with rides and skill building seasons. There is a club here in Phoenix that is having a ride just for nOObs to introduce us to single and double track riding and I'm going to try to attend. I'm sure I'll get lots of free learning out of it.

These may be things they teach in the dirt bike school, I don't know because I haven't taken it, but they are things I have found made a big difference in my riding:

Ride the thing like a giant Mountain Bike. Get up on the pegs, be loose with the handlebars, let the bike bounce under you using your arms and legs to absorb shock.

On the Mountain bike the only time i'm sitting is when I'm pedaling. The throttle on a dirt bike is a shit ton easier than pedals and it allows you to stand up when going up hill too and depending on the terrain the hill is made of that is something you will want to get comfortable with. In general get used to standing. Go to a parking lot and do figure 8's while standing on the pegs. Start on pavement where the tire grip is good and start with big loops then make them smaller and smaller. Play with weight shift on the pegs while doing this and see what shifting your weight does to your loops. Try weighting the outside peg during a left turn then weighting the inside peg during the next left turn etc etc. I have found times where the shift of weight to one side is what kept my line correct then mid turn shifting it the other side changed my line just enough to avoid an obstacle.

Cover the clutch with one finger at all times. This one took me a while to get used to because on street bikes you don't do this. You don't need to slip the clutch hardly ever, but on the dirt bike it makes a HUGE difference. It took me a few days and a very painful callus on my left index finger but I now cover the clutch any time I am on the bike....standing, sitting, street, dirt you name it i'm covering the clutch. I have actually found it easier to use one finger than all of my fingers and you really only need to pull the clutch in a little bit to disengage it for shifts, it doesn't need to go all the way to the grip. You will need to get used to slipping the clutch going up steep rocky hills so that are at lower speed, and you will need to get used to pulling the clutch in on steep slow down hills to keep the bike from stalling when you hit the rear brake and it locks on you.

I have to run so I'll leave it at that but keep up the post, have fun and remember....I'm a nOOb too so all of this advice could be somewhat wrong...it's just what I've found to be true for me.

7164 04-27-2013 11:43 AM

I Forgot
 
Oh, I forgot what I think is the MOST important bit of advice I have read on this site. I can not take any credit for it, it is in another inmates signature line but I cant remember who to give them the credit:

"Don't stop riding the bike until after you have reached the scene of the crash. If you do that you might avoid the crash all together"

It has saved my ass on several occasions and anytime the bike starts getting a little out of hand and I think I'm about to tank it this mantra goes through my head and more often than not I avoid the crash!

Lucky508 04-28-2013 05:51 PM

7164,
Thanks for your comments and advise. I just passed my basic moto course! it was a lot of fun and I learned a lot. Good start at least. I rode a Yamaha TW200 for the course and it was fun. I"ll add some pics and comments a bit later. I'm kinda tired (in a satisfied kinda way) and am going to put my efforts toward chicken wings and beer for now. :beer

After riding around a flat parking lot for a couple of days i'm even more impressed by all you guys!

Lucky508

Bugsy 04-28-2013 07:47 PM

Hell yeah, Bro!!!
Congrats on getting that done!! I thought someone spotted you taking your test today!!

http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j2...ps684fec5d.jpg

This weekend was the easy part...now you have to go stand in the DMV for 12 hours!!! You're one step closer!! Can't wait for you to come up next weekend and try out your XL in person!! It's gonna be sweet!!:freaky

Lucky508 04-29-2013 01:10 PM

My “basic rider class” went well this weekend. It was fun, I learned a lot and came away with a great respect for riding motorcycles. Wow, I have a lot to learn! The classroom time was informative and did help the mindset to get ready to ride. The instructor was a 30 something ex superbike racer. Hell of a guy. Good instructor, very knowable and funny. Saturday afternoon at 1:00 we started riding. I got on the only dual sport bike in the stable. A Yamaha TW200.
She ran well but was worse for wear.
http://lucky508.smugmug.com/Motorcyc...W200moto-M.jpg
<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>
We started with the basics, clutch, throttle and brakes. By 6:00 we had done U turns in the box and were up shifting to third gear in a turn while managing our lean using the press in the direction of the turn technique. That stuff works! So I head home and 45 min later I’m at one of my buddy’s annual “Whisky night”. Sounds like trouble huh? I had tried to talk my way out of it but they guys had not gone for that. A victim of peer pressure I came up with a plan to just try to take it easy and sip on some different whiskeys, drink some water and not stay too late. It worked! I drank a few different types of whisky ate a hell of a steak dinner and had my daughter pick me up at 10:00. I must be getting old. Hahaha!<o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
Sunday morning we finished up our classroom instruction with a big chapter on drinking and riding. :eek1 I was 13 hours from bottle to throttle and felt good when we started riding but I’m not going to make a habit of that. We jumped back on the bikes and did some warm up exercises and went on to emergency stops and swerving. This is where the scooter driver in our class dumped it and got some road rash. She was ok and shook it off and kept riding. Gotta respect that. We worked a lot on turns, entering turns, judging turns etc. the practical test consisted of two U turns in a box (this was tough), emergency swerve, emergency braking and properly entering, riding with speed and exiting a curve. I passed only getting dinged for not riding the last curve with enough speed. Ok fair enough. I passed! :ricky

The TW ready to ride! When she got hot the electric starter wouldent work so I started kick starting her all the time. Good training for me as the XL 250 is kick start only.
http://lucky508.smugmug.com/Motorcyc...ehelmet2-L.jpg

"The Range"
http://lucky508.smugmug.com/Motorcyc...ninglot2-M.jpg

I be a graduate!
http://lucky508.smugmug.com/Motorcyc.../M/grad1-M.jpg

I went to the DPS at lunch today and after only an hour and a half wait I had my new license with an M on it. I"m head to to legit now! :rofl

Lucky508

Lucky508 04-29-2013 01:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 7164 (Post 21280127)
Lucky508,

Hey, welcome! AND THANKS FOR YOUR SERVICE :clap :clap

You and I are on somewhat similar paths from different trail heads. I'm a total dirt nOOb but have been riding motorcycles on road for about 15 years and I have some dirt experience with quads. I call myself a nOOb with benefits.

Other than being nOObs where our trails are similar is the Mountain biking. I have been mountain biking for a few years and it sounds like you have some mountain biking experience. I'm not sure how technical the biking you are doing is, but the more technical the better! Recently I have been posting a ride report (nOOb with benefits goes for first real ride). In it I had my real Ah-Ha break through moment on day two when I was doing some rocky downhills against my will and discovered that this stuff is a LOT like riding a mountain bike.

Here are some of my observations and suggestions from one nOOb to another:

EXCELLENT way to start by taking the motorcycle safety course! If it is what I think it is it will teach you all about how to clutch, shift, turn, start, stop etc for street riding. The 250 you bought is perfect for this course (if its not one where they provide the bikes which are usually honda rebel 250 or similar if they do) because it is light and easy to move and it is what you are going to be riding. I've had a lot of fun watching people take these type of courses on their brand new 700lb Harley's and 1000cc sport bikes...:rofl

Riding on dirt is similar in the fact that there is a clutch and brakes and you control both but I have found there to be some BIG differences. On the street the last thing you want is the bike slithering and sliding around but on the dirt it is a huge part of riding. On the street you use counter steering at anything other than parking lot speeds but on the dirt you use direct steering and counter steering and as I've discovered (like mountain biking) weight shift steering etc etc. After your MSC do some dirt riding to see what you think as far as the comparison then I would look into taking a Dirtbike School Course through the MSF. I've been doing some off road work on the bike lately and I think one of their intro to trail riding classes could do me some good. Here is a link:

http://www.dirtbikeschool.org/

Another route is to look for some off road motorcycle clubs in the Austin area to hook up with. I'm sure there are some that are nOOb friendly and even do organized events for nOOb's with rides and skill building seasons. There is a club here in Phoenix that is having a ride just for nOObs to introduce us to single and double track riding and I'm going to try to attend. I'm sure I'll get lots of free learning out of it.

These may be things they teach in the dirt bike school, I don't know because I haven't taken it, but they are things I have found made a big difference in my riding:

Ride the thing like a giant Mountain Bike. Get up on the pegs, be loose with the handlebars, let the bike bounce under you using your arms and legs to absorb shock.

On the Mountain bike the only time i'm sitting is when I'm pedaling. The throttle on a dirt bike is a shit ton easier than pedals and it allows you to stand up when going up hill too and depending on the terrain the hill is made of that is something you will want to get comfortable with. In general get used to standing. Go to a parking lot and do figure 8's while standing on the pegs. Start on pavement where the tire grip is good and start with big loops then make them smaller and smaller. Play with weight shift on the pegs while doing this and see what shifting your weight does to your loops. Try weighting the outside peg during a left turn then weighting the inside peg during the next left turn etc etc. I have found times where the shift of weight to one side is what kept my line correct then mid turn shifting it the other side changed my line just enough to avoid an obstacle.

Cover the clutch with one finger at all times. This one took me a while to get used to because on street bikes you don't do this. You don't need to slip the clutch hardly ever, but on the dirt bike it makes a HUGE difference. It took me a few days and a very painful callus on my left index finger but I now cover the clutch any time I am on the bike....standing, sitting, street, dirt you name it i'm covering the clutch. I have actually found it easier to use one finger than all of my fingers and you really only need to pull the clutch in a little bit to disengage it for shifts, it doesn't need to go all the way to the grip. You will need to get used to slipping the clutch going up steep rocky hills so that are at lower speed, and you will need to get used to pulling the clutch in on steep slow down hills to keep the bike from stalling when you hit the rear brake and it locks on you.

I have to run so I'll leave it at that but keep up the post, have fun and remember....I'm a nOOb too so all of this advice could be somewhat wrong...it's just what I've found to be true for me.

7164, I wanted to say thanks again for your observations and advise. I've read this a few times and it makes sence to me. I'll keep this in mind when I'm riding up in KS next week. I also like the quote "Don't stop riding the bike until after you have reached the scene of the crash. If you do that you might avoid the crash all together" :thumb

Lucky508

7164 04-29-2013 08:56 PM

Lucky508: Congrats on getting yourself legit :clap You're going to have a blast! If you ever end up out the Arizona way give me shout.

Also keep posting up here, I'm really curious to hear what you have to say after you get into the dirt and your thoughts on how it compares to what you learned in the street class.


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