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Old 02-10-2013, 05:53 AM   #76
buls4evr
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To the OP...... Ride for a few times with someone that really knows how to ride off-road. You can learn a lot in just one day from someone willing to teach you. You need to get the basic fundamentals of OR riding and you will feel a lot more comfortable right away. You will not learn well by riding with other newbs. OR riding has basic fundamentals that you need to grasp.Much of this stuff is counter-intuitive and seems wrong until you try it. Not trying to hurt your feelings, just trying to help you be more confident and relaxed.
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:42 AM   #77
Bake
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Casey, congrats with your new motorcycling interest. Learning to ride off road is the best way, after the very basics from a course. Once a streak of sand in a corner is something you've dealt with a thousand times on dirt, seeing the same patch of sand on the street isn't near as big a deal. You'll know what a little slippage of the back tire feels like, and have the feel for riding different surface conditions. Sand on street corners is just a way of life here in Wichita.

Next time Bill and I head out to Butler Co, I'll ping these Wichita guys here and see if anyone wants to go with 2 old grouches on "250" Hondas. It's basically just cruising around in the Flint Hills, without any plan, so we end up lost or clear to hell and gone sometimes. I think he'll have his CRF305L put back together soon, he should be back from the Indy show today. Hard to say, he's run the 283 engine 30 times on the dyno. Now it's into the next size kit, the 305, and he;s got all kinds of other pipes and controllers and all this other head work and valve replacement stuff he's doing. He likes hot rodding something more than actually using it.
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:24 PM   #78
hoebster
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Casey, only thing I can emphasize is to turn your head for a slow speed turn. If you seem to always vear one way or another, like you said in your first post to your right, then that is where your eyes are looking. You will go where your eyes are looking almost without seeming to move anything else on your body. The second your eyes look down right in front of your wheel or path you will startmto lose stability. In your class they emphasize head nd eyes up looking down the path of travel. It works, remember that and be safe. Great you r taking things slow.
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Old 03-14-2013, 01:51 PM   #79
wvdirtbiker
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Excellent ride reports Casey. It's refreshing for us long time riders to hear about a new riders experiences.

You have received some great advice in the previous posts and I'd like to add my 2 cents worth.

Once you are off the pavement, the majority of riding situations can be conquered more easily and safely by standing up.
But standing by itself will not necessarily help. You must learn to shift your weight properly, based on the terrain and the actions of the bike.
Try watching some off road riding and/or racing.
Generally the more body movement of the rider, the better control they have over the bike.

Once you become comfortable with the clutch and throttle coordination, try some standing figure 8's. Start out with wider ones and work up to tighter ones.
You could even do this in your front yard.

Keep posting the great pics and stories and let us know how you progress.
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:27 PM   #80
billmags
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Welcome Motorcyclist! Nice CRF! My first bike was also a red Honda, an XR100- in 1982 :) Sounds like you're doing it right, just take your time and ride your own ride. Enjoy the journey- you never stop learning.
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:55 PM   #81
pne
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to be fair gravel is not dirt and even though I am able to handle myself on a dirt bike, I still get nervous sometimes on a gravel road with the wrong tires. You will get the hang of it, don't worry it will come with seat time. I recall the first time I tried dirt riding, my friend brought me to a riding spot with sand trails and whoops. I nearly shat myself. Now I can hit whoops at unreasonable speeds with the bike kicking and crossed up thinking "this used to be so difficult!"

What really helped with my dirt riding is just finding an empty field and practicing turns, stops and starts. It's a strange feeling turning the bike underneath you and pushing it into the ground vs the usual street riding style of shifting your weight to the inside. But you will be surprised how much grip you can get in the dirt. Just beware this doesn't translate to slippery gravel roads.

Also regarding standing up, the key is to keep yourself centered on the bike and clamp the bike with your knees, slightly bent. Hands always relaxed on the controls or you will get arm pump. In this position you can ride over nearly anything and not come off the bike.
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:36 AM   #82
Casey. OP
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Lots of great advice, thanks everyone (more condensed and relevant than the "advice for a noob" thread I'd say). I do wish I had easier access to more dirt rather than gravel. I suppose I could just turn off the road and ride through grass, but 99% of the land is owned around here, so I doubt people would like that. I'm considering a move to the Raleigh, NC area within the next year. If anyone has a suggested area around there for great offroad riding, I'd appreciate it!

The brunt of winter has subsided and I've started riding my bicycle to work again. I should be out on the CRF more often as well. I'm also planning a ride with a fellow ADV'er at the end of the month. Lots of benefits to being part of the ADV community - happy to be a part of it.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:20 PM   #83
OKlr
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i'm on the north edge of oklahoma if you ever get down this way shoot me a message.
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Old 03-23-2013, 09:23 AM   #84
Havingfun
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Nice

An excellent choice in a bike. Congrats!
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Old 03-23-2013, 10:02 AM   #85
k-moe
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One thing to consider, and I don't think the OP mentioned it, in Kansas the gravel is a mix of polished stone and sand (there used to be an ocean here). It's a PITA to ride on, even on the rare windless day. Keep practicing and it'll get easier.
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Old 03-24-2013, 01:43 AM   #86
rodmuzwa
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Mate, you are doing great. Gravel is a bitch to ride on but you do get better at it. One thing, as someone mentioned previously, be very careful going on your own. It's easy to come of on gravel and if you hurt yourself you could be neck deep in the brown smelly stuff with no help. I'm a relative noob. Only been riding a couple of years and I love riding on gravel but it scares the living daylights out of me. Went on yesterday having not ridden on gravel for a while and it was like back to square one. Keep at it and keep smiling, but FFS go with someone just in case!
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:15 AM   #87
Stovebolt
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Way to go, Casey...

You really have an inspiring quality and a sense of determination that we can all admire. Keep up the good work and the great attitude. And as many of the folks here have suggested, a solid key is relaxation. It's hardly anything somebody can call upon on demand when things are new and scarier, but with time it comes. With more time yet, it can actually be called upon on demand and used well.

After a while of continued effort and enjoyment, your improvements will have you on longer and more challenging terrain. You may even end up on one of our annual "Legends of the Fall Rally Raids" with Team Ruptured Buzzard one day, if you're not careful...



All the best, Good Sir... salute.

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