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Old 10-09-2012, 09:58 AM   #16
Kommando
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I carry a Slime-brand top-off pump, and a pressure gauge, in my tank pannier. I also carry a small mtn bike pump in my tire kit. Install a 5A 12V receptacle on your bikes, so you can run just about anything that uses less than 60W (V x A = W, roughly). Leave your engine running for the few minutes you're pumping, if you're worried about killing your battery and don't have a kickstart.

As for offroad technique, videos and skilled instruction can definitely help you learn to practice. One braking tip that I use now is to brake like I do on a mtn bike...I don't use much engine braking offroad, especially on steep hills. I mostly just use the brakes with the clutch pulled in. I can modulate 2 brakes easier than I can modulate 2 brakes, a clutch, and a throttle. BTW, I make sure that my brakes work well...front AND back. If yours don't work well, fix them. Too many riders seem to just accept poor brakes, when there is usually something that can be done to vastly improve them (braided stainless hoses, bigger rotors, better pads, better bleeding, degreased linings, etc.)
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:08 AM   #17
hooliken
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Bike View Post
That's what I keep hearing - learning to ride dirt will improve your street skills. Cool! I'm +1000 on the practice, practice.

I am a chick so I'm going to have to find some guys that dig scars and are up to signing casts! Maybe I can get a good massage and somebody to fix dinner.....

I think I'd better fix up my signature:loll

thanks for the support!!
I will NEVER be a good stalker............

I would happily sign your cast though....
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:29 AM   #18
ER70S-2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Bike View Post

Started fine, hit the dirt road and then had to carefully negotiate up a hill with lots of deep potholes and ruts (ones I would have tried to not put a tire into in my truck), everything OK so far, sped up a bit, crested the hill and OH SHIT, I forgot how steep the other side of the hill is and the road conditions are worse Barely slow down in time and creep down the other side of the hill with the clutch in and gripping the front brake (yeah, I know).
The front brake is the most important control on the bike, dirt or street. If you aren't practicing threshold braking regularly, you should start (always check behind you first). On the dirt, the bike must be absolutely vertical while braking (as a beginner). Please don't go out and grab the brake, learn progressively; baby steps.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Bike View Post
.........crept down the other side. I tried to go down the second hill in 1st, but the low gear wasn't really holding back the bike (again, used to 1st in the truck, you can crawl up and down over anything in first). Back to the clutch and brake.
Slow, controlled downhills are a good skill to have. Sometimes it's too rocky or twisty to use speed. Clutch and brake is good. Gearing won't slow a bike enough on some downhills. Remember gravity and weight transfer, on a downhill there is very little weight on the back tire and little braking force before the tire locks up. In the dirt, locking up the back tire happens frequently and isn't fatal. I'd recommend you get a full DOT knobby for the front while you're learning dirt riding. I put over 11,000 miles on this summer using front knobbies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Bike View Post
So, I've never ridden dirt on a bike, done a lot of road - completely comfortable. But now, oh my gosh, I have to learn how to ride all over again!!
This means you are already comfortable with threshold braking, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Bike View Post
I can't even tell you how glad I am that I bought the xt250 instead of something bigger.......
An excellent choice, the XT will be perfect for you. I'm shopping for one myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Bike View Post
Hit some easier washboardie roads and then the front tire hit some sand........Stayed up (not because of any talent of mine, but dumb luck) and finally hit the pavement.

So, here's the really funny part - when I bought the new bike I was imagining myself riding the LA to Las Vegas run coming up :loll:loll What a moron!!!
It's funny how some folks will read up on ride reports and decide that looks fun; never realizing the complexity of dirt skills. You are only one of many others that have made that mistake.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Bike View Post
Met a friend for a margarita before heading home - while I was waiting I called my brother to tell him what a dumbass I am.
I never, ever drink and ride, not even one beer..........ever............... YMMV

Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Bike View Post
So, the plan. Tomorrow, go ride those roads again, and again, and again (staying on the right side of the road). But I think I'll take the mirrors off before I hit the dirt........Glad I took a picture of my bike when I bought it, it's not going to look that nice for long!!
Pics are mandatory, post 'em up. Show us how pritty(sp) she is.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Threewheelbonnie View Post
"BTW, I don't do style. It's a dirt bike, not some girlie dress-up thing." -
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:49 PM   #19
Little Bike OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hooliken View Post
I will NEVER be a good stalker............

I would happily sign your cast though....
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:57 PM   #20
Little Bike OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ER70S-2 View Post
The front brake is the most important control on the bike, dirt or street. If you aren't practicing threshold braking regularly, you should start (always check behind you first). On the dirt, the bike must be absolutely vertical while braking (as a beginner). Please don't go out and grab the brake, learn progressively; baby steps.Slow, controlled downhills are a good skill to have. Sometimes it's too rocky or twisty to use speed. Clutch and brake is good. Gearing won't slow a bike enough on some downhills. Remember gravity and weight transfer, on a downhill there is very little weight on the back tire and little braking force before the tire locks up. In the dirt, locking up the back tire happens frequently and isn't fatal. I'd recommend you get a full DOT knobby for the front while you're learning dirt riding. I put over 11,000 miles on this summer using front knobbies.

This means you are already comfortable with threshold braking, right?

An excellent choice, the XT will be perfect for you. I'm shopping for one myself.

It's funny how some folks will read up on ride reports and decide that looks fun; never realizing the complexity of dirt skills. You are only one of many others that have made that mistake.

I never, ever drink and ride, not even one beer..........ever............... YMMV

Pics are mandatory, post 'em up. Show us how pritty(sp) she is.
Dang it, I can't seem to get the individual topics to copy - oh well, here it goes!

If by threshold braking you mean quick, emergency type stops - then yeah, I'm good there on the street, but I'm sure it's an entirely different thing on dirt.

I'm really looking forward to getting dirt skills - my brother warned me that I would be learning to ride all over again, yep!!!!

The only time I drink and ride is my one margarita at the restaurant 3 blocks from my house (and that's one drink in about 1 1/2 hours), but I totally agree with you. I led a ride up to Big Bear and we had a new to the group rider with us. When we stopped for lunch he wasn't happy that the place didn't serve beer so he and his girlfriend went somewhere else. We've never seen them again on a ride and I'm really glad they left that day.

I'm a very uneducated texter - what is YMMV?

Pics will be forthcoming - I took some the other day, I need to take the 2 seconds to upload them to my computer.
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:04 PM   #21
Little Bike OP
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You are all awesome!

I found a dirt school up the hill from me - I'm going to sign up for a private session (I'm definitely going to need some individual attention having to do with the middle aged thing and knees that will not be happy standing on the pegs) Definitely going to take the mirrors off first!

I also decided to curtail the dirt until I take the class - I think that was very good advice to wait so I don't pick up bad habits.

Very good to know about the tire pressure - I'm going to get a 12V receptacle installed on the bike.

Thanks all for the riding downhill lessons - it's good to know that I wasn't totally off on how to handle it (only about 3/4 wrong :loll)

Going to call the dirt school tomorrow - whoohoo!!!!
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:06 PM   #22
viverrid
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I started riding dirt in 1968 or may '69. I've only had street bikes for a few years. I've had a V-Strom 1000, an F650GS and now a 990 Adventure. The 990 is the only one that's any good on a trail and even that is handful. The GS, I had it on trails, even broke a factory hard bag off it. NOT a crash, just bounced off some rocks and kept going, noticed later it was hanging askew with a broken off mount.

The V-Strom, the parts guy at the local dealer used to say he loved it when I rode it in the woods, I bought so many parts when I came out. One time I got the brake pedal wrapped around the footpeg. A V-strom is NOT a trail bike even though a few heroes ride them on trails. Lower tire pressure will help but only so much. If other riders were able to ride the V-Strom guy's bike up the hill for him, it was NOT the tire pressure, it was rider skill (or lack of same).

OTOH an XT-250 *is* a trail bike and can go pretty much anywhere (if it has knobbies). It's just not a race bike. We have an XT-225 which is a similar concept and I've ridden that on enduro trails, on Hero Sections of Turkey Runs and Dualsport rides (I'm in the sponsoring club and sometimes used to Trail Boss for them). On our XT (it's now my wife's bike) and on my DRZ, I run 15 psi front & rear. Less and there is too much risk of pinch flats as it is rocky around here.

It's just practice, practice, practice. I had a friend come over for a first dirt ride on a DR-350. This was a VERY experienced street rider who has ridden cross country USA, ridden in Europe, been an escort rider for BMW demo rides at events. We went on an short easy trail & unmaintained road loop (with road connectors) and my friend crashed 6 times in 6 miles and by the end could not pick up the bike any more. It's just practice, practice, practice. It is NOT street riding, actual trails can be waaaay different. Dirt roads that cars use, not so bad. An experiences dirt rider could probably blast that rough dirt road, even on your XT.

===

BTW here is a story from the 60s. I was in high school. I was on a powerline trail on my Suzuki TC-90 which today would be classed as a dualsport. I came upon three other kids with two parked dirt bikes and all pushing one small street bike up the hill. I asked what was wrong and they said that 1st gear on the street bike was too stiff to ride up such a rough, steep hill. I was skeptical and offered to give it a try. I ended up blasting that street bike up the hill, reaching 3rd gear and jumping some of the bumps. The street bike was out of its element but not impossible to ride there. In the dirt the bike is important but the rider more so.
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viverrid screwed with this post 10-09-2012 at 05:17 PM
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:13 PM   #23
ER70S-2
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{QUOTE=Little Bike;19783452}Dang it, I can't seem to get the individual topics to copy - oh well, here it goes!{/quote}
It will look like this, but switch the { } with [ ].

[ER70S-2;xxxxxx] my comments here [/quote] your reply....[ER70S-2] more of my comments [/quote] more of your replies.

Every paragraph will begin and end the same: [whomever's user name] their comments [/quote] your comments, rinse, repeat.

[whomever's user name] will show up anytime you use the 'quote' button; bottom right of each post. Just copy and paste in front of each paragraph that you want to keep; with a [/quote] at the end of the paragraph.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Bike View Post
If by threshold braking you mean quick, emergency type stops - then yeah, I'm good there on the street, but I'm sure it's an entirely different thing on dirt.
Yep that's what I meant. In the dirt, it's much touchier but equally important. That's why I suggest a knobby on the front, it's like studded snow tires; not perfect but better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Bike View Post
I'm really looking forward to getting dirt skills - my brother warned me that I would be learning to ride all over again, yep!!!!
Dirt is just super slow motion while you learn the limits of traction. Instead of 30mph, you'll be doing 10 (but it will feel like 100 )

Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Bike View Post
The only time I drink and ride is my one margarita at the restaurant 3 blocks from my house (and that's one drink in about 1 1/2 hours), but I totally agree with you. I led a ride up to Big Bear and we had a new to the group rider with us. When we stopped for lunch he wasn't happy that the place didn't serve beer so he and his girlfriend went somewhere else. We've never seen them again on a ride and I'm really glad they left that day.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Bike View Post
I'm a very uneducated texter -
Kids text on their cell phones. Since this is an international forum, we spell out our words completely, with proper spelling and punctuation. It makes one look schmart. OBTW (oh by the way), put on your thickest skin; guys can be brutal and still be kidding. Since we can't use voice inflection or body language, a lot gets lost in the translation. Putting your gender in your sig (signature) is a good idea and will get you a free pass, more often that not. But some cretins won't notice, or won't care even if they do notice. I have a younger sister that rides both dirt and street. I love to see a lady with enough motivation to sign up and join a forum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Bike View Post
what is YMMV?
Your mileage may vary. It's code for "I get to say anything I want and no one can jump me." Well, they can and will anyway, but I won't change my mind. IMHO (in my humble opinion), YADA, YADA are also used in the same light.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Bike View Post
Pics will be forthcoming - I took some the other day, I need to take the 2 seconds to upload them to my computer.
(lurk, we'll be waiting patiently)

Get some good boots to cover your lower legs, they're hanging down where all the action is.

If you Preview Post (bottom of reply window), you'll be able to see how your post looks. There is also an 'Edit' button on the bottom right of each of your posts, if you want to correct or add something.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Bike View Post
You are all awesome!

I found a dirt school up the hill from me - I'm going to sign up for a private session (I'm definitely going to need some individual attention having to do with the middle aged thing and knees that will not be happy standing on the pegs) Definitely going to take the mirrors off first!

I also decided to curtail the dirt until I take the class - I think that was very good advice to wait so I don't pick up bad habits.

Very good to know about the tire pressure - I'm going to get a 12V receptacle installed on the bike.

Thanks all for the riding downhill lessons - it's good to know that I wasn't totally off on how to handle it (only about 3/4 wrong :loll)

Going to call the dirt school tomorrow - whoohoo!!!!
This is an excellent start for you, welcome to the wonderful world of dirt.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Threewheelbonnie View Post
"BTW, I don't do style. It's a dirt bike, not some girlie dress-up thing." -
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:15 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Bike View Post
You are all awesome!

I found a dirt school up the hill from me - I'm going to sign up for a private session (I'm definitely going to need some individual attention having to do with the middle aged thing and knees that will not be happy standing on the pegs) Definitely going to take the mirrors off first!
Yes. If they're bolted to the master cylinder / clutch perch it's good to move them off of those permanently to remove the chance of it braking your brake or clutch.

Quote:
I also decided to curtail the dirt until I take the class - I think that was very good advice to wait so I don't pick up bad habits.
Not a horrible idea.

Quote:
Very good to know about the tire pressure - I'm going to get a 12V receptacle installed on the bike.
You should do it yourself it's not hard and if you're going to be riding off pavement learning how to fix your own stuff is crucial.

Quote:
Going to call the dirt school tomorrow - whoohoo!!!!
Awesome! Who's school is it?
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:20 PM   #25
ER70S-2
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You should do it yourself it's not hard and if you're going to be riding off pavement learning how to fix your own stuff is crucial.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Threewheelbonnie View Post
"BTW, I don't do style. It's a dirt bike, not some girlie dress-up thing." -
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:25 PM   #26
crofrog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ER70S-2 View Post
Get some good boots to cover your lower legs, they're hanging down where all the action is.
Seconded! They are the second most important piece of gear after the helmet.

Also make sure you get knee pads and a compression suit (something like this http://www.rockymountainatvmc.com/p/...tection-Jacket).

I'm sure a woman could come along and tell you which ones work better for the female bits :)


And a little tip that allot of people get confused about at first. The kneepads go inside the pants and then the pants and knee pads go inside the boots.

These gear will make the little crashed off-road completely painless and the big crashes acceptable.
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:17 AM   #27
Little Bike OP
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The school is Motoventures.com

Looks like I'm going to have to do some clothing shopping (yeah, like I don't like it..)

I'll keep all posted on how the class goes.
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:25 AM   #28
Kommando
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Originally Posted by Little Bike View Post
The school is Motoventures.com

Looks like I'm going to have to do some clothing shopping (yeah, like I don't like it..)

I'll keep all posted on how the class goes.
Shop used and shop places like CycleGear.com, Motorcycle Superstore, Iron Pony, Bike Bandit, etc. They might even have a location near you. Try to find gear that works well together. Some items don't work well with some other items, like tall MX-type boots and thick low shin armor.
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