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Old 01-31-2013, 12:03 PM   #31
Rob.G
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Are there weights welded into the ends of the stock bars? If so you may have to drill/tap those to make the handguards go on easily. That's assuming you still have the stock bars (I forgot). :)

But it's a VERY good thing you got those hand guards. They'll save you a bunch of broken levers. If you have the room in your budget, I'd still consider ordering a spare clutch and brake lever and keep them around just in case. I did manage to snap a clutch lever on my KLX even with hand guards, but it was an unusual situation... still it can happen.

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Old 01-31-2013, 12:09 PM   #32
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Casey, you may have to re-route the wires coming down the handlebars, this is no problem as you just loosen the plastic ties and reuse them in another location. Notice in the pics I did also install the Tusk Bar Riser ($19.95), the 30MM ones from RM, this has no affect on the handguard installation. I to like my bike stock, so I will not be doing any power modifications to it. Note, no weights in the ends of the bar, the handguards will slip in just fine.

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Old 01-31-2013, 12:35 PM   #33
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Thanks again Rob and John for the advise and the reassurance. My reluctance to work on things comes from a mindset of [if I break it, I'll only be making it worse. I'd rather it work nominally than not at all]. I'd like to generate some mechanical skill, so I've got to start somewhere. Like John though, I don't plan to do any power mods. Changing tires and fixing things that break are skills I need to develop.
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:52 PM   #34
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Congratulations on your first bike and first ride, sounds like it was a success. It was this time last year, when I was 26 I bought my first bike and took my first ride, gaining experience as along the way. Good choice for the first bike. I bought a 180+kg KLE, now that was fun to pick up the first time, alone in the forest.

As everyone has said just keep riding. You will feel more comfortable and enjoy it more with each ride, and watch out for those hillbilly trucks, they'll get you every time

Take care
Riley

Hide & Seek screwed with this post 01-31-2013 at 12:58 PM
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:30 PM   #35
Rob.G
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trainman View Post
Casey, you may have to re-route the wires coming down the handlebars, this is no problem as you just loosen the plastic ties and reuse them in another location. Notice in the pics I did also install the Tusk Bar Riser ($19.95), the 30MM ones from RM, this has no affect on the handguard installation. I to like my bike stock, so I will not be doing any power modifications to it. Note, no weights in the ends of the bar, the handguards will slip in just fine.
Do you know if the OEM cables are long enough for even more of a rise, if somebody wanted? I had to buy all new cables (including brake line) on my KLX to do a total of 4" of rise. It'd be nice if Honda left enough slack.

Quote:
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Thanks again Rob and John for the advise and the reassurance. My reluctance to work on things comes from a mindset of [if I break it, I'll only be making it worse. I'd rather it work nominally than not at all]. I'd like to generate some mechanical skill, so I've got to start somewhere. Like John though, I don't plan to do any power mods. Changing tires and fixing things that break are skills I need to develop.
With this site, you can rest assured we can help you through most anything. The key is to be patient. I used to feel exactly like you did back in my gear head days with cars. But with the help of friends and the 'net, I got through it all. You'll also build up quite a collection of tools along the way, which will make things that much easier, the more you do.

I'm going to be taking a big step in the next few months on my KLX -- rather than pay a shop $400-600 to do it, I'm going to install my own big bore kit. That means tearing the top end of the motor apart and swapping the cylinder and piston, and reassembling it all without f'ing anything up. Fortunately, there are quite a few write-ups on people who have done it before, so it should be pretty straightforward. I did the top end on a snowmobile a few years ago and that was really quite easy, but it was a two-stroke so there was a lot less to deal with.

Plus, the more you can do yourself, the less you have to pay a shop. Even simple stuff like changing tires, chains, sprockets, brakes. It all adds up over time, and even if you have to buy tools to do the job, those tools can be reused the next time.

Rob
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:03 PM   #36
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Sounds like a good first ride. Everybody drops their bike at one point or another....you just got it out of the way sooner

Congrats on the purchase and ride safe.
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:03 PM   #37
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Casey, you might enjoy this, Rob G., you might not. http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...4#post20620514


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Old 01-31-2013, 04:26 PM   #38
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Congrats!

Man, I think I'm jealous... you've just opened up a world for yourself some of take for granted sometimes. Good on you!

It was really really exciting listening (reading) to your report from your perspective. It takes real courage to jump into something that can be as scary as all this, this isn't bowling after all.

Take your time, and the confidence will come... before you know it, you will be clicking through gears, corners, and traffic with a natural confidence. But, take it easy in the meantime, you seem real comfortable with your limits... which is a great way to start.

Anyways, sincerely thanks for bring back some feelings I haven't had in a long time!
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:36 AM   #39
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John, that was the general trend of all the reviews I could find. It's nice that someone did a formal review with new riders though - that would have been extra helpful for making the choice.

Backmarker, I'm glad I can contribute something worth reading. I'm the smallest of fry compared to the monster ride reports on here, but it's good to hear that even the clumsy beginner stories are noteworthy Thanks for the comments. I tend to dive headfirst into things, but like you said, this was a much higher dive than usual. Hopefully other people that are considering getting into riding can get something from it. I should have stressed ATGATT even stronger. I hinted at it a couple times, but I'm a strict follower, and I want to pass that on to anyone starting as well.
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:06 AM   #40
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Casey, like the review says, this bike has the fun factor written all over it, that's why it was rated number 1, more power and better suspension are not the determining factor here, it's what the bike can do as a whole package. I've always been what I would call a control rider, that is, ride within my limitations and be able to ride again the next day. Like someone said in a earlier post, riding with more experienced riders is not always a good thing, they will push you beyond your limitation at your present level of riding and this could get you some serious trouble. I was lucky to find someone who was willing to teach me and had the patience for me to learn, hopefully you can find that person. My sister purchased a Honda 4-wheeler and Honda had a off-road class that she went to, it was very helpful for her. Good Luck

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Old 02-01-2013, 08:20 AM   #41
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Casey

Thanks for sharing the insights of a new rider. My son turns 16 this year and we are talking about his transition from dirt riding to street when he gets his license. Your ride report reminded my of so many things an experienced rider just takes for granted.

thanks for sharing that first ride.

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Old 02-01-2013, 09:14 AM   #42
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Casey that was a fun read. Having a MC lic for 52 years has dimmed my memory of my first ride.Or was it the 60's. Next time you're on that dirt road, when you start to drift to the edge try standing up and weighting the left peg. You will get the feel for it in no time.No need turning the bars. Practice shifting weight left/right using the pegs to steer. You might be able to put that "how to pick up a bike" lesson off for a few more rides.
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:16 AM   #43
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Casey that was a fun read. Having a MC lic for 52 years has dimmed my memory of my first ride.Or was it the 60's. Next time you're on that dirt road, when you start to drift to the edge try standing up and weighting the left peg. You will get the feel for it in no time.No need turning the bars. Practice shifting weight left/right using the pegs to steer. You might be able to put that "how to pick up a bike" lesson off for a few more rides.
He's exactly right. This is how you ride in loose conditions, e.g. sand. Stand up, weight back, gas it, and steer with your feet.

Rob
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:59 AM   #44
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As I neared town again, a little bit of traffic picked up. I saw a slow-moving oncoming minivan over a hill, then I spotted two trucks right on its ass. The rear-most truck was a true hillbilly mobile, and he wanted to pass BOTH of them just as I was riding by. I saw it coming, started braking, and made my way to the shoulder. He spotted me, but he was fully in my lane before he darted back. I came to a stop successfully and got my foot down. I assumed I'd lay it down just like the last time I encountered the shoulder, but no! Emergency maneuver #1 - check.

This is an important point for a new rider. It sounds like you perceived the potential threat before the action started. Keep that mentality as you gain experience. Don't let it ruin your riding experience by always worrying, but always stay sharp.

Plus, you are right on the edge of the Flint Hills...some of the best riding this country has to offer. Enjoy the CRF, they are great.
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Old 02-01-2013, 12:35 PM   #45
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John, I'd love to have an experienced rider give me some insight while riding, but I don't have that luxury. I don't know a single person who has ridden a motorized bike on the dirt. In a sense though, I enjoy it because I rarely can push myself to do something difficult without some dependency, so I think this will be good for me.

Thanks for the comments Skoron and Skelt.
Quote:
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He's exactly right. This is how you ride in loose conditions, e.g. sand. Stand up, weight back, gas it, and steer with your feet.
I just watched the Dual Sport Techniques DVD yesterday and saw the drill about this. I was surprised that feet alone can fully turn it. I will definitely practice this. I never felt stable seated.

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This is an important point for a new rider. It sounds like you perceived the potential threat before the action started. Keep that mentality as you gain experience. Don't let it ruin your riding experience by always worrying, but always stay sharp.

Plus, you are right on the edge of the Flint Hills...some of the best riding this country has to offer. Enjoy the CRF, they are great.
The Flint Hills are my goal. It will take me a while to get there, but that will be my motivation to keep practicing.
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