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Old 11-27-2012, 07:02 PM   #1
stellars OP
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Location: Poland
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Too late for off-road?

Hi there

I am riding motorcycles for more then 6 years now and started riding offroad once i got my Ktm adv - which is about 1 year now. I do trails, nasty uphills, gravel and all. I even do sand (we do have a sort of small desert in Poland). I try to ride as much as i can, but need to limit it to weekends only - for obvious reasons.

I ride with a couple of good guys on, respectively, lc4 and xr650. I do stay behind a lot. I do lose control on sand (although i try not to as much as i can), i still have problems with deep ruts and sharp turns on the trail (especially if on the hill - mainly uphill).

Im in my 30s and i keep hearing that maybe i am too old for offroad, that i will never learn how to do it properly.. Especially from those guys - who ride 20y+

Is that true? Will my skills stop improving and should i give up and stick to pavement? I love offroad, i really do, but such comments from experienced riders kind of blast my enthusiasm away...
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:29 PM   #2
falcn
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HA!

You only stop learning when you are dead.

Take some classes, watch some instructional videos, practice practice! You are never too old to learn.
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Old 12-02-2012, 07:53 PM   #3
Seth650
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Originally Posted by falcn View Post
HA!

You only stop learning when you are dead.
All end up in the dirt sooner or later.
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:49 AM   #4
buls4evr
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All end up in the dirt sooner or later.

Yup....someday you will be getting traction ON ME in New Mexico.... So treat me well.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:29 AM   #5
Dan-M
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I bought my TE 250 at 49. Been riding street since the 70's and my only prior dirt experience was as a kid on a mini bike.
I really enjoy it and it is a great work out.

You just have to ride within your skill level. The good news is when you do go down, dirt is softer pavement.
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:30 AM   #6
simonpig
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I started on a 990Adv and I was 32 when I started riding on dirt. Too big and heavy and too much power. Downsized to a ktm 690e—better weight, but still too powerful. Went down to a WR250R, and upped my chops on that and after 3 years, I'm ready to go up to a 250xcfw or 350exc.
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:50 PM   #7
PeterW
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stellars View Post
once i got my Ktm adv -

There's your problem right there. Get a smaller bike for off-road, get a 250 and embarrass your friends instead of the other way around.

Yes, you can ride a 990 fast off road, but it's going to be a hard learning curve starting out that way.

Pete
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:41 AM   #8
stefan tilden
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Never too old!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterW View Post
There's your problem right there. Get a smaller bike for off-road, get a 250 and embarrass your friends instead of the other way around.

Yes, you can ride a 990 fast off road, but it's going to be a hard learning curve starting out that way.

Pete
I agree. Try something like a 250 or if you have more money to spend the Husky 310. Work on your overall body conditioning especially your core with yoga and situps and things like that and you can have a great time out there. They make dual sport and pure enduro models BTW:
http://www.dirtrider.com/tests/off-r...varna_310_txc/
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:22 AM   #9
jules083
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My dad started in his early 40's when he got me my first dirt bike, he did alright considering that. Gave it up a few years ago, now he's 59 and just rides my bike through the fields every now and then. He can still kickstart my XR650R and is only 5'4" and 140lbs. He says it's just like starting his old sportster, only taller.
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:31 AM   #10
Pantah
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Never too old if you are healthy. I downsized from my KTM twin and discovered a whole new world of sand washes and rock gardens. I'm 63.
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:34 AM   #11
triplenickel
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Quote:
such comments from experienced riders kind of blast my enthusiasm away
Find new people to ride with, you're no where near too old.
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:40 AM   #12
Ceri JC
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No, you're not too old.

I had very little experience in the dirt until my late 20s. Although I was an experienced (and at the risk of sounding cocky, a competent and qualified) road rider for my age, I found it hard starting out. My slow control on the flat was pretty good and I was happy on the slab on the way to the trails, but that was essentially it so far as transferable skills went.

Physical fitness is a bigger factor in being good offroad than road riding and (minor) injuries per mile travelled are noticeably higher. I think of it as something like playing rugby; you can expect to come back with a few bruises and cuts as a matter of course. Younger folk have the advantage of healing quicker and not getting so worn out. Young people, however, do have a habit of going a bit too hard at the beginning of long rides and wearing themselves out. The older riders tend to take it easier, but keep a higher average speed as they can sustain this for longer. This is born out in other endurance sports; in more extreme endurance events, guys seem to peak 40-45, rather than the 30-35 bracket for sprints and similar.

You'll likely never be as good as the guy who grew up on a farm riding trials bikes non-stop from the age he was 6. Those guys are a rarity though and unless you're really wanting to be a world class extreme enduro champ, don't let it bother you. If being competitive does matter to you, you still have the potential to be far, far more competent than your 'average' dirt rider of your age, if you spend enough time and effort on it over the next 5 years.

In my local dirt club, one of our better riders has only been on bikes 4 years and only trail riding for 2. He's a big guy and not in great shape, but aside from the racers amongst the group, he gives most of us a run for his money. He must be in his late 40s!
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:58 AM   #13
stellars OP
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Wow. This really sounds very encouraging :-) I will stick to the pack for a while, and if their attitude persists, I guess I need to find some other group to stick to. There are more and more new riders joining local community - same rookies as myself. I tend to think they will hit the attitude-of-experienced-guys wall sooner then later yet.

Going to ride skinny LC4 soon (smallest reliable long-distance dual-sport I can find) and see how it goes. LC8 a bit too bulky to learn how to ride trails properly.

btw. participated BMW enduro school in Germany in the spring - they teach basics well. I guess this sort of training course is an absolute must for rookies of my sort. Gives the basics to build the skills upon.

Thank you all. Let's see how it goes.

stellars screwed with this post 11-28-2012 at 08:05 AM
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:06 AM   #14
Ruffus
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In your 30's? Dude, you're practically a kid

Get a smaller bike, offroad will be more enjoyable.

Never too old. Does sound like you need other riding buddies. Lot's of instructional videos available, look to see if any professional training courses are available for you in your area, or within driving distance.

P.S. Make sure you have proper protective gear so when you fall, it's painless, & get right back up. All offroad riders fall.
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Ruffus screwed with this post 11-28-2012 at 08:13 AM
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:08 AM   #15
DC2wheels
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Looking to just start with a dirt bike after 35+ years of road riding.

I'm 57.

I also ride/race a mountainbike tandem.

"Never give up. Never surrender"
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