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Old 07-12-2009, 08:38 PM   #1
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Chris
 
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A beginners story and question about racing.

EDIT: Go to page three to see my updates and goals for the year

Here is a little background about myself:

Ive been riding for all of my teen life, now im nineteen years old and the last couple of years ive been actually practicing and ive gotten much better. Im still not that good but I noticed my speeds naturally picking up after everytime I would seriousally practice something.

I was practicing to get better and go faster of course but I wanted to get to a point where I could feel comfortable enough to compete in a few local races. I didnt want to win or even go fast, I just wanted to get atleast one lap and have a good time. Im already physically fit enough to race it was just my riding skills werent up to par (nor was my equipment... lack of cash too)

I eventually saved up enough and purchased all the needed safety equipment and ordered new tires, chain, sprockets etc that kind of stuff so that my bike would be in good condition for the races.

I took the plunge and entered in the only local races I can find in southern Indiana, Hare scrambles. Not the best thing for an XR650R but its my dream bike and the only thing ive got so thats what I use.

So there I am all lined up with all these racers in the middle of the woods where it has been raining for the past week and I was out of town for the weekend.....dehidrated and tired I just wanted to complete the race and have a good time. I guess the race course was the toughest set up they have had in a while and the very beginning was a muddy down hill followed by a muddey rutted up hill section. It took me twenty min to get up the hill, and I think I dropped it at least ten times. It ruined the whole race, being dehydrated and trying to pick the bike up and kick it a hundred times in rappid succision just killed me. Ive never been so exhausted before. I made it almost half of a lap before quitting, it was humiliating with all my family and friends there following me around the whole time to make sure I was ok.

Today was exactally a month later and they held another race. I had the money for tires so I entered with a much better tire this time and I wasnt leaving town the weekend before so I was able to carb load and properly hydrate myself. The weather had also been better, It only rained two days during the week.

I got off to a bad start, but it didnt bother me I wasnt there to win anyway. I rounded the first turn and followed the fairly easy trail down into the second turn, mashed the gas and felt the back break loose perfectally sliding around and powering out of the turn allowing me to set up for the first obstacle. It was a small down hill followed by a quick uphill filled with two large ruts and very slick clay covered roots. I had caught up to the first rider infront of me and he had chosen the line I wanted but I decided to go right up the center, lofting the front wheel over the slick crap and flew up the small hill. It felt good to be right next to someone in a race for the first time. A few feet later we had four trails to choose from that quickely converged to one. In the after math I realized I had chosen the absolute worst trail, it had two large ruts covered in mud with a sharp right hand turn. I got cross ruted before I knew it and got launched off the front landing onto the banked wall that I should have been riding on...not hitting. The impact dislocated my shoulder. I knew it as soon as I hit the ground, it has happened many times before (now 11 times) and it is as strong as I can get it without a surgery. Thankfully I learned (was taught) how to reset it when it happened again. It was a fairly bad hit and did take a few minutes to get it back in, in which time the kids had time to get the paramedics who couldnt do anything that I couldnt which of course draws a crowd.

Lets recap: Its my second race, ive gone all of about two hundred yards from the beginning and ive wrecked badly enough that ive got the paramedics out and working. I cant even get home on my own now ( dualsported bike) and have to get my buddies to help me again. I didnt even make it to the place where the officials scan your helmit for the beginning.

So now im asking for some input from a more experienced audience if its worth it. Is this pain, (literally this time) expence, and so far humiliation worth the trouble? I cant ride for a while now and I cant lift weights for at least a good month, which bugs me almost as much as not being able to ride. I might be able to find one more race before I need to leave for school but is it worth it? Another thirty five dollers to enter, plus money for whatever gets broken.

My question to you; Is it worth it? I mean I just wanted to ride ONE lap.

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Old 07-12-2009, 09:31 PM   #2
Seth S
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I think you should try running a rally moto. www.rallymoto.com. Its a different kind of racing that your dual sport bike will excel at...well as long as its not a 2 stroke...which are not allowed at this point in time.
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Old 07-12-2009, 09:49 PM   #3
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I agree with Seth. For your bike you are competing in the wrong type of races. (at least with your skill set). Ever try to hammer something with a screw driver? It can work if you are either very good or very lucky, but normally it doesn't work out so well.

Search the internet or this racing forum and some race relatively close by will pop up that better suits your bike and you.

And don't sweat the rocky start. My first enduro I flooded the engine at the start line. After ten or so minutes of kicking the race director finally started it for me.

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Old 07-13-2009, 04:59 AM   #4
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From my experince when I decided to start racing it was a whole different ball game to just riding around the paddock ( sorry "field" for you guys )
I started off in MX and was totally crap , came last in every race for about two seasons and spent most of that time with my head buried in the dirt.
Eventually worked my way up to where I started winning some races.
Dont rush things , watch other riders and follow them and see what they are doing , the lines they take etc etc.
In later years I have come back and competing in pony express events ( gncc type events ) and desert racing then rallyes.
But you do have to choose the event for the bike or the bike for the event, theres no way I would like to be punting my 650 berg around a GNCC course.
Just to make you feel better on my first ever event I managed to knock the state champion off his bike in the practice session and yes he was pissed.
Its all worth it in the end , you can look back and laugh at the situations you get into .We all have or good and bad days
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Old 07-13-2009, 05:49 AM   #5
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Well, I'd have to say you've got the right idea, just the wrong bike. I bought a RM125 for my first dirt bike to race with and I weigh 260 lbs... I'll post some of my amateur ride reports. It is really worth getting the right bike, as hare scrambles are sooo much fun, and i suck at them...ha!

Think about joining a local off-road club. Lots of nice folks that are happy to supply advice and make you feel like your not so crazy.

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...ighlight=Tbone

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...ighlight=Tbone

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...ighlight=Tbone

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Old 07-13-2009, 08:15 AM   #6
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What you experienced is pretty common (other then the dislocated joint). When you are a noob its hard to even make a lap, particularly with a lot of mud. By the time you get to the first hill, it's often nearly impassable. A smaller bike would be better, but if you reduce your goal to simply completing laps, you should soon have more fun.

I remember my first enduro's in D36 decades ago. It was a lot like you described, complete with exhausting myself trying to get it re-fired while mired half way up a hill.

MX was much easier...
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Old 07-13-2009, 11:35 AM   #7
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I like the rallymoto idea, I always have. I love rallye racing much more than anything else, even enduro racing would be a step up from anything else. The only problem is there isnt anything around here. The closest enduro is more than five hours away and the closest rallye (rallyemoto) is in tenessee which is tempting but I doubt I could afford it.

I would really like to get a smaller bike but I use this one so much I couldn't justify getting rid of it. Plus its one of my favorite bikes out there. Im in my second year of collage and I still surprise myself by being able to afford wear and tear items like tires let alone races.

Thinking about it more I think I just got really unlucky on the second race. The first race I had so many things going against me its amazing I got as far as I did. But with this one I was ready and the conditions were great but I got unlucky and my race ended less than five min in... there went a precious thirty five bucks

Oh well, fuck it. In a few months ill be back to normal and maybe have time to enter another one before school starts to controll me again.

The input helps guys. Thanks alot
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Old 07-13-2009, 12:09 PM   #8
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Get a the correct tool for the job. You'll be amazed at the difference. The tool for the job is a ktm200.
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Old 07-13-2009, 12:28 PM   #9
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Wanna drop a couple grand on one for me

No but really I would like one I just cant afford one. The ktm300 sure does look nice though.

If I was going to be honest and get myself something else I would most likely get a ktm525exc
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Old 07-13-2009, 12:39 PM   #10
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+1 to the getting started with a small bike.

You'll get motored anywhere and everywhere by people who can ride, but at least you'll beat the people who crash themselves out in the first five minutes. Then you'll start beating people who fade late, and then people who can't ride very well, and when you start saying "man, it sucks when I pass someone and they just blow by me when it opens up" you get a bigger bike and start beating them.

I mean, you might not be able to finish one lap on a ten-year-old XR100. But I bet you could on a ten-year-old KDX 200 or something.
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Old 07-13-2009, 12:50 PM   #11
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When I started the second race I felt I could do an honest two laps without failure. I have never minded the weight of the XR. The first year I started actually practicing I only had an XRL. The weight was a factor but it wasnt a huge factor until I started dropping it or really tight stuff. With the R I can feel it being much lighter but the only time it made a real difference was at the end of a long day. Im sure I could go faster with a lighter bike but not fast enough to justify getting something else. Except MAYBE a ktm 525.

Im lucky that I really enjoy lifting weights, and not just hitting the gym a couple times a week im talking lifting six days a week with alot of focus on mass gains but still including extensive streaching, cardio, swimming, and various activites that keep me sharp (rock climbing, hiking, hunting, etc)
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Old 07-14-2009, 06:35 AM   #12
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I guess it comes down to racing what you got or not racing at all..Your young, so you'll appreciate the right bike later.
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Old 07-14-2009, 06:57 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by header
Wanna drop a couple grand on one for me

No but really I would like one I just cant afford one. The ktm300 sure does look nice though.

If I was going to be honest and get myself something else I would most likely get a ktm525exc
Now your talkin'!
If you had "mad skillz", your XR650 would be OK, it worked for Scott Summers for alot of years!!!!

I just LOVE my 525 EXC!!!!

Ride On!
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Old 07-14-2009, 11:11 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by header
I like the rallymoto idea, I always have. I love rallye racing much more than anything else, even enduro racing would be a step up from anything else. The only problem is there isnt anything around here. The closest enduro is more than five hours away and the closest rallye (rallyemoto) is in tenessee which is tempting but I doubt I could afford it.

I would really like to get a smaller bike but I use this one so much I couldn't justify getting rid of it. Plus its one of my favorite bikes out there. Im in my second year of collage and I still surprise myself by being able to afford wear and tear items like tires let alone races.

Thinking about it more I think I just got really unlucky on the second race. The first race I had so many things going against me its amazing I got as far as I did. But with this one I was ready and the conditions were great but I got unlucky and my race ended less than five min in... there went a precious thirty five bucks

Oh well, fuck it. In a few months ill be back to normal and maybe have time to enter another one before school starts to controll me again.

The input helps guys. Thanks alot
A second bike is what ya need!
Like i tell my old lady,,,you can't play golf with one club!
A good 2 stroke is a cheap and very affective answer to your problem.

For the money you spent on all the tires and chains and other broke'n parts ect,you could have bought a good 2 stroke.
If i was you,i'd look for a KDX,or even a XR400,XR250.
But a good,RM,YZ,CR,KX,etc can be had on the cheap.Look for something that needs alittle work.What ever bike you ride,you'll have to set it up the way you want it.So you can kill two birds with one stone.And if you gonna race,you'll be work'n on what ever bike you run,so it'll be a good way to learn how to work on the bike.
A 2 stroke is cheap on the wallet,well for a dirt bike they are.I see 2 stroke MX bikes all over for $500,in need of little work.Shit,i got a plated XR250R not long ago for $500,and it was only in need of cosmedics.I think i got total of $700 in her,and if i was a younger thinner man,i wouldn't be afraid of run'n it in a race.
Look for a 2 stroke MX bike with a blown piston,theres alot of people that just want to unload them cheap instead of putting a piston and rings in them.Save the XRR for DS'n or a race that it would be better in.Set up a bike to race,and go have fun!!
For the price of wear and tear on your XRR,you could have a good 2 stroke MX bike that you can run on the cheap.
I've also learned,that my ride'n talent has done so much better from ride'n smaller bikes meant for the purpose at hand,then try'n to push it on a bigger bike.Besides i dont cry so much when i crash my trail/race bikes,as i do when i crash my bigger DS bikes.If i bend something on Saterday,i can still ride my DS bike on Monday.
If ya give yourself a budget of say,$800/$1000,then find a good 2 stroke in need of work,for say $500/$700,take your time look around there out there ,And leave the left over cash for parts.You should be able to put together a great race bike,get a good grasp of how everthing works and what you need to compete even just for fun.
You don't need a big budget to have fun.Do everthing yourself,and learn the buisness.
Atleast thats my two cents,one poor guy to another. Never forget its all about the RIDE,not the bike,or how much you got into a outfit.
Good luck,keep us posted!
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Old 07-14-2009, 11:22 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by header
Wanna drop a couple grand on one for me

No but really I would like one I just cant afford one. The ktm300 sure does look nice though.

If I was going to be honest and get myself something else I would most likely get a ktm525exc
The 300 is too much bike. The 525 is WAAAYYYYY too much bike. Really.
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