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Old 11-06-2012, 02:47 AM   #16
bobnoxious67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ-Brett View Post
For me,Its bad news to learn to dirt ride on a bike you can not flat foot easy.
Get some good dirt tires and just ride dirt a lot.
I do not think you can learn much from books, I think you have to feel it.

Falling down a lot helps also...
FIFY.

FYI, not all of us learned to ride in the dirt on a bike we could flat foot...we turned out fine

FWIW, I think learning on a short bike is a bad way to go...what the hell will you do once you get on a real bike, but "learned" to ride with your feet flat footed on the ground?
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Old 11-06-2012, 05:21 AM   #17
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Thanks Bug! Those DVDs look good, so I placed my order.

Cheers!

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Old 11-06-2012, 05:24 AM   #18
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Thanks for the link. Unless I find something better, I'm going to sign up for the first scheduled class at the start of next season. But it looks like they only offer one-day courses... when you did it, were there two-day courses?

They say you can ride one of their bikes in the morning and then your own in the afternoon.

Long boring highway ride to get there though.


Quote:
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There are some riding courses you can take. Check this place (I'm not affiliate) but I have taken a course in the past. http://www.cmts.org/. You can ride their bikes for a day and the next day your own bike. Great trainers and lots of fun.
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Old 11-06-2012, 03:04 PM   #19
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Thanks for all the replies guys.

I'll try experimenting a bit with faster speeds, a little more throttle, more standing up and letting the rear loose traction. From then onwards we'll see how it goes. I'll probably watch those DVDs to get at much information as possible.

What confused me is the suggestions of weighting the INSIDE peg (suggested by bobnoxiuous 67). On the street I always weight the outside peg, and let my outside knee hook/rest against the seat/tank profile (also suggested by crofrog). Which is the right way?

Just to make things clear, my intention here is not to ride only off-road - I will still do about 99% of my miles on pavement, so at this point I'm not changing wheels or getting knobbies, but I'll do my best to improve my technique. Regarding gear, is "hard" armor really essential? I wear Cordura pants and jacket with rubber armor at knees, elbows, shoulders and back, but these are basically street gear. I'm not pushing my limits much yet, and I hope not to crash too hard anytime soon.
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Old 11-07-2012, 04:38 AM   #20
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I don't know...maybe I'm dislexic.

I rode for 4 hours yesterday in the dirt, and actually thought about this while riding...so I experimented and paid attention. When standing and rolling down the trail, if I pull my weight off the right peg/weight the left peg, my bike leans left...and therefore the bike wants to go left.

Cornering while seated appears and feels like a very different formula and chemistry.

I am completely self taught, so what do I know...
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Old 11-07-2012, 06:19 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobnoxious67 View Post
I don't know...maybe I'm dislexic.

I rode for 4 hours yesterday in the dirt, and actually thought about this while riding...so I experimented and paid attention. When standing and rolling down the trail, if I pull my weight off the right peg/weight the left peg, my bike leans left...and therefore the bike wants to go left.

Cornering while seated appears and feels like a very different formula and chemistry.

I am completely self taught, so what do I know...
It wants to fall left. That is not the same as the mechanics of weighting the outside peg and driving the rear tire into the ground to maximize traction. This emphasizes one of the key, yet not intuitive, things you CAN NOT teach yourself. Riding dirt is not something you are likely to "just figure out" without instruction.

Barry
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:40 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry View Post
It wants to fall left. That is not the same as the mechanics of weighting the outside peg and driving the rear tire into the ground to maximize traction. This emphasizes one of the key, yet not intuitive, things you CAN NOT teach yourself. Riding dirt is not something you are likely to "just figure out" without instruction.

Barry
Yep, when standing you can use inside peg weighting to help the bike initiate the turn, but once in the turn you want to push the bike underneath you and hold it down while firmly weighting the outside peg. This will enhance traction.

But at the end of the day, counter steering more than peg weighting is what turns the bike.
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:42 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry View Post
It wants to fall left. That is not the same as the mechanics of weighting the outside peg and driving the rear tire into the ground to maximize traction. This emphasizes one of the key, yet not intuitive, things you CAN NOT teach yourself. Riding at race speed in dirt is not something you are likely to "just figure out" without instruction.

Barry
FIFY

Pretty sure the OP is just looking for some clues on the basics to start. I think most of us are just here for the recreational side of riding (not that I'm immune to "racing" with my buddies)

Honestly, I don't mean for bickering and arguing...and that's not what I'm after here, so forgive me now if that's what it sounds like. I just try to be a better rider whenever I get out there, and learn all I can "out there" as well as "in here". I apologize before hand for my sarcasm content...it's a problem I'm working on

I'm probably being misunderstood. I was talking about standing up, cruising down a trail, and trying to make the bike go where you want...not so much cornering techniques as directional control.

Aren't we just arguing semantics at this point...if I control how and how much it "falls" in a certain direction, aren't I controlling it's direction? One day fairly early in my (still short time now) dirt riding journey, while trying to keep up or keep ahead of my buddies, and being frustrated with the inability to make the bike go where I wanted it to down obstacle/debris strewn trails, it dawned on me what was happening...I was afraid to lean the bike, and was actually weighting the opposite side that I wanted to go (let's not confuse "cornering" with "directional corrections" on a trail...do you use "cornering techniques" when navigating 2nd gear rock gardens?) and therefore bouncing from trail edge to trail edge. That day, I instantly got noticeably faster and smoother...suddenly standing up and cruising down a rough trail in 2-3gear was natural and smooth, because I was making the bike weave back and forth where I wanted by "controlling" which way it fell....suddenly it was fun and easier, and I could at least see what I did wrong when I climbed up and out of my desired line.

Slamming your ass into the seat while hanging the inside foot forward and plowing on the throttle while heaving the bike around a bermed/rutted corner is not really where the OP is right now...at least I didn't think so. Maybe I misread that though.

That said...I'm all ears for better cornering techniques, as that is where I am not smooth, and lose the most ground to my riding buddies
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:50 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crofrog View Post
Yep, when standing you can use inside peg weighting to help the bike initiate the turn, but once in the turn you want to push the bike underneath you and hold it down while firmly weighting the outside peg. This will enhance traction.

But at the end of the day, counter steering more than peg weighting is what turns the bike.
My sore pecs/shoulders/arms can attest to that
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:58 PM   #25
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUFVlKF0XXY check out all his vids these techniques will help a bunch when you are ready!
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Old 11-11-2012, 04:12 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobnoxious67 View Post
My sore pecs/shoulders/arms can attest to that
You should have sore quads and abductors unless your over using using the glutius maximus
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Old 11-11-2012, 07:12 AM   #27
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I apologize if this is a repeat for any previous tips.

Start small. get in the dirt and do tight figure eights, I would do them until you are almost creeping along. I teach a lot of people how to ride off road, I tend to do it specifically on dirtbikes or trials bikes but you have to be very comfortable with balancing your machine before you can do anything else. Then do start/stop drills where you accelerate (maybe a smidge of wheel spin) and then slow down in a straight line. You have to get used to how the braking will be on the dirt or loose surfaces. While you are doing these drills you are learning brake/clutch/throttle control and how to balance your machine which is integral. After this you can set up a cone style square or triangle and practice going around that, keep it close and don't go to fast so you don't wash out. After this you can do a 2 cone setup in a straight line and run that. All of these drills start you from the basics and bring you up to a better skill level at controlling the bike. I do these with just about every new bike I get just to learn the machine before I head off and do something that can hurt me or the bike. Once you have mastered these, a good weekend of drilling would increase your confidence a lot you can progress. I would definitely find someone with a lot of off roading experience on the same style of bike and see if you can ride with them. You will learn a lot from watching there style, some of which may be good and others bad.

If you cannot find someone you can progress to small trails etc... and just putt around, don't go to fast because you are learning. I used to do eduro gp races and so many people would haul butt at the beginning and I would stay in the middle of the pack until I learned the terrain, no point in making mistakes because you want to look cool, they will cost you. Just take it slow and practice practice practice, also you will crash haha accept it but what you can do is ensure that it isn't a bad one by not getting out of your skill range and doing something silly.

Always wear safety gear! If I am off roading I have all my hard points covered by armor!
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Old 11-11-2012, 07:35 AM   #28
baldrick
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dirt technique

Take a look at some of the instructional videos on the Trials Training Center website for dirt techniques, then go out and practice them. You can do most of this stuff on a regular dirtbike.

http://trialstrainingcenter.com/how-...-to-tutorials/
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:46 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobnoxious67 View Post
FIFY

Pretty sure the OP is just looking for some clues on the basics to start. I think most of us are just here for the recreational side of riding (not that I'm immune to "racing" with my buddies)

Honestly, I don't mean for bickering and arguing...and that's not what I'm after here, so forgive me now if that's what it sounds like. I just try to be a better rider whenever I get out there, and learn all I can "out there" as well as "in here". I apologize before hand for my sarcasm content...it's a problem I'm working on

I'm probably being misunderstood. I was talking about standing up, cruising down a trail, and trying to make the bike go where you want...not so much cornering techniques as directional control.

Aren't we just arguing semantics at this point...if I control how and how much it "falls" in a certain direction, aren't I controlling it's direction? One day fairly early in my (still short time now) dirt riding journey, while trying to keep up or keep ahead of my buddies, and being frustrated with the inability to make the bike go where I wanted it to down obstacle/debris strewn trails, it dawned on me what was happening...I was afraid to lean the bike, and was actually weighting the opposite side that I wanted to go (let's not confuse "cornering" with "directional corrections" on a trail...do you use "cornering techniques" when navigating 2nd gear rock gardens?) and therefore bouncing from trail edge to trail edge. That day, I instantly got noticeably faster and smoother...suddenly standing up and cruising down a rough trail in 2-3gear was natural and smooth, because I was making the bike weave back and forth where I wanted by "controlling" which way it fell....suddenly it was fun and easier, and I could at least see what I did wrong when I climbed up and out of my desired line.

Slamming your ass into the seat while hanging the inside foot forward and plowing on the throttle while heaving the bike around a bermed/rutted corner is not really where the OP is right now...at least I didn't think so. Maybe I misread that though.

That said...I'm all ears for better cornering techniques, as that is where I am not smooth, and lose the most ground to my riding buddies
Race speed has zero to do with it. It has all to do with fundamentals of proper riding, proper control, and not fighting the bike, or yourself.

A perfect example is me and some buddies were at a local off road riding park. We met 2 guys that ride street, but had ZERO dirt experience. So we offered to baby sit them for a lap through the woods, was a few miles, and not difficult. No major climbs, drops, rocks, roots, or mudholes.

An example of noobs needing instruction is a steepish downhill section as far as the noobs were concerned, and they are sitting on the seat, feet off the pegs, duck walking the bikes. The proper form is feet ALWAYS on the pegs, ass off the seat, ass back, and in control doing down. That isn't intuitive to someone who is new and scared, and assumes ass on the seat is "safe" or proper, even at walking speed, vice race speed.

Barry
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:12 PM   #30
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Ride report!

I went to practice a bit at the MX track yesterday, didn't do a lot but the 15~20 mins I rode were very educational. I actually met two kids who were riding proper MX bikes (CR80 and CRF450) and they gave me a few tips too.

Mostly I worked on getting the bike to obey by standing on the pegs and letting it "flow" under me. I also got to touch the lower edge of berms (but I was not confident enough to get myself to ride them on the steep part like the good guys do). At the kids' suggestion I tried keeping my foot out in tight corners to prop the bike if it slides, and it actually worked once in keeping me from falling.

I went slow and somehow I managed to get a few laps without any crashes or damage to the bike... it was really tough as a short, small guy on a relatively big bike, but somehow I managed.

Then disaster struck! I parked the bike, and started chatting a bit with these kids, asking about jump technique, the market for bikes, etc... when suddenly we heard a crash and I turned round to see the bike lying in the dirt. Apparently a sand under the sidestand and gusty wind are a nasty combo. I snapped off an indicator, broke the clutch lever, scratched the paint, and some other minor stuff. Luckily I had a spare lever back home, I got somebody to get it over and I managed to ride back.

Maybe it's time to get some crash bars to protect the bodywork? Does anyone know if there were ever any crashbars made for the XF650?
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