1999 Gas Gas TXT 321 Opinion

Discussion in 'Trials' started by POWDR, Mar 2, 2010.

  1. Jim Paley

    Jim Paley n00b

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    I’m new to trials, so take that into account when you consider my opinion.

    I bought a ’97 Montesa 315R a few months ago for $1500. I’ve been riding off road for about 27 years, but last year was my first introduction to a trials bike. Like many others, I’m hooked. I have not yet competed, but have been practicing to get myself ready for competition this season. $1800 for a 2001 sounds like a pretty good price compared with many of the prices I was finding in my area.

    I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the ’97. I expected it to be a significant disadvantage compared with the newer (’04 – ’05) Sherco’s that my friends are riding. No big deal, I thought… I’ll just work harder. After spending some time on the 315, then going back to the newer bikes; I don’t think that my Monty is going to be any disadvantage for getting started. It may not be the best for the more advanced classes, but I plan to start from the bottom and will work my way up as my skill allows. My opinion may change if I ever make it to the higher classes. I suspect this bike will be just fine for me for the next couple years.

    I believe the Montesa will make a great bike to start on. It isn’t the latest and greatest, but it will do what you need it to.
    Jim
    #21
  2. neilking

    neilking Been here awhile

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    Jim the 315R is a great bike.
    #22
  3. Sting32

    Sting32 Trials Evangelist

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    Ill mention you sent good will fellas! I wish I had gone with him, maybe next year...

    We've had over 25 riders get started at trials over the years, some have kept at it, all from dad getting people interested. He's infectious that way. So over the last 30 years, we kinda have a theoretical gameplan.

    I think you get to where you can balance the trials bike standing still for at least a 5 count, can do a figure 8 in the space about 1 lane road wide, & get to where you can put your front tire "EXACTLY" where you "want" it, when you want to, then you goto a meet and ride a competition, novice wont probably be too hard if you been riding bikes all those years.

    Please note, the 3 things above are goals, not hard fast rules, especially the last one.

    But you need to get to a competition before you practice a bunch of stuff, that may not help ya. Kinda like being the best free-throw shooter before they pick the starting lineup, if you cant dribble, it really doesnt matter as you will be on the bench, not being fouled if you get my drift.

    Same with trials, I know people impress the hell out of themselves jumping logs, or rocks and ledges, but in the trials itself, cant make the turn involved in the section to jump the log, etc, etc,...

    2 things you have to force yourself to do as a beginner, learn to take advice, passively-actively, and what to ignore :wink:. Passively is kinda complexely easy; you have to figure out (usualy it stand out fast) who the rider in your class that has 'trials' figured out, or rides best. You passively(watching)-Actively(get off your bike and shut up and learn):
    1. learn from him as you watch how he looks at the section.
    2: you watch how (WHERE) he rides the section.

    Seems simple enough, but this will wear you out, mentaly as well as physically at first.

    But my point is now, youre home, NOW you know what skills you need to work on! Was it turning that got you in trouble? was it the small hill you got stuck on? or was it the little log that bothered you. couldn't you keep your balance?

    Otherwise I have seen people work too hard at things they assumed they would need to be able to do (not saying you wont need it).

    My last bit of advice is: Get a buddy started, it is much more fun with friends learning and pushing each other.
    #23
  4. leanin

    leanin Been here awhile

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    Great advice Sting.
    #24
  5. Brewtus

    Brewtus Buffoonery, Inc.

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    Great advice indeed. In fact, that is some of the best Noob trials advice I've ever read. Advice and teachings such as this would make an excellent sticky in the trials forum IMHO. :thumb
    #25
  6. Jim Paley

    Jim Paley n00b

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    Awesome advice and greatly appreciated. Reading over the 3 points gives me a lot of confidence:
    1. Balance: I could get close to a 5 count on my old PE175 before I even got on the 315R. I can stand still as long as I want to on the 315R. I still make mistakes and still require more practice, but it is going well. I’ve played around some with front wheel hops while standing still, but still have a long ways to go with them.
    2. Figure 8: I should be good here too. The ground has been covered with snow since I got the bike. The only place to ride outside without trying to plow through several inches of snow was the driveways. I found figure 8’s in the driveway a great way to make sure I practiced turning left and right. The snow/ice on the driveways also forced me to be smooth while practicing, which I suspect may be helpful.
    3. Front tire placement: This is one I had not thought to practice. It makes perfect sense, I just hadn’t thought of it. Now I’ll have something new to work on tomorrow morning.
    Having never competed in or even watched the novice class, I don’t know exactly what to expect. These 3 basic items are a great help in preparing for my first season.
    What I see as my biggest obstacle for the year is my own head. Even just going out to practice with friends is getting me nervous/excited enough that I have trouble doing anything right for the first ½ hour.
    Jim
    #26
  7. Sting32

    Sting32 Trials Evangelist

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    When my dad started trials in 70's he rode a year or so on a suzuki 250 green tank enduro bike that he had been racing the years before on... conversely, the Pro or at least Master class trials rider, that was at the the MATT trials 2 day (quarry cup '09) rode a section, that I had to ride as a Sr Expert (I scored a 2, 3, 3 in competiton that day). He cleaned it riding his wife's pampera...


    My advice above and in this post, works for the people you meet that may or may not be as good a rider as you...
    Remember, over 30+ years of this, I have met people that "have ridden motorcycles" and I have met people that "RIDE" motorcycles. there is a huge swing in "talent" no matter how they answered the question, :rofl .

    What I worry about is trying to type a quick glimpse, without glossing over some fine points. balancing, turning, tracking (aka bike control)... on a trials bike is totally different at 0mph. I knew guys that could race past you at 50mph, could run over a quarter in a turn everytime or anything they wanted to, but at 0mph, couldnt get within a foot. In trials it is going to be just about as important to be on the right line, as being on the right line when racing, sure with some skills that come later you can readjust your line, just like MX guys to in mid air, but lets keep this simple for now.

    Rule #1 of beginner trials, if it looks like you could get hurt trying this section TODAY, DO NOT TRY IT TODAY!!!
    you will be back in a month to try more as you get better!

    (I came back to edit this, this is the #1 rule no matter what class you try, from master to beginner.)

    Many clubs around me, dont have enough new riders to have "Beginner sections" But most will make them if they know there will be beginner riders wanting to ride, that cant handle NOVICE sections...

    Near me, (KS, OK, MO, and NE) novice is going to be like a harder "trail ride" made tricky. Many clubs the novice is easier enough to let beginners ride, just remember rule #1 above!!!

    harder and tricky, this is different than being made "Dangerous". Most novice rides usually will have some kind of hill, a turn or 2, and possibly an obstacle, to cross, that unless you have NO BIKE CONTROL, should NOT even come close to risking anything but a brused ego, or elbow if you manage to fall akwardly. SOmetimes the "Loop" can be more frustrating for novices than the trials.

    So if you are one of those people (like me) who likes an insight, here is another...

    "What was the person who set up this section thinking...": (the novice class edit)
    (In good terms, not the one you say when you fell off and got a five, lol...)

    The trials master or section builder is an experienced, upper class trials competitor. But today, he has taken on the job of "extracting points" from all riders, without undue risk of your bodily injury.

    Again for Novice sections, he's laying out the section, he wants you to drive along/over/around this hill, by these trees that he knows the main thing that will trip you up is balance, speed, and ability to put the front wheel where you need it to be. after you drive that, he's probably going to make you turn kind of sharp, and go around a tree or rock or something or 2, to prove your balance this far, wasn't a fluke. Novice obstacles will be about a normal railroad tie in size or manner at worst usually. Nothing too hard, usually well traveled (read not loose rocks and what have you). really, nothing in any one part of the section to make you squirm, but putting the turns, and everything i one section, it will make you work to go clean...

    What is nice is, every trials the trials master has a natural "something" about trials that occurs without him even having to work at it. It is something for most of us to deal with: I mean, once we put up ribbons, for boundries, a start and a finish, you walk it a few times (you know you cant practice it or nothing before you ride for score). Well, that trail you can do in your sleep, all of a sudden becomes something your mind and body has to "beat" today. I laugh all the time, that I can ride over some things all day long in practice, but put up tape and have someone watch you, and you dab, five and what have you.

    well, hopefully that will help... Lost my train of thoughts (I type so much slower than I think, by the time I get it typed then corrected, I forgot what I was trying to get across some days...) might follow up later...
    #27
  8. Brewtus

    Brewtus Buffoonery, Inc.

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    I'm telling you boys and girls new to Trials- This is VERY good advice.


    What do you think, Sting? It's own thread?? :ear
    #28
  9. 42mike

    42mike Let's Go!

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    Has already helped me with what should be obvious.
    Sting, I am two hours away S of Topeka. You decide to have a "training" session for a noob let me know.
    Thanks for the well written and easy to understand advice.
    #29
  10. Sting32

    Sting32 Trials Evangelist

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    Mike!!! hope the email for you is right, I sent a note <VIA link email>in your profile, on how to get in touch with me!

    Trials this weekend (SATURDAY) at a farmhouse about 20 miles west of Leavenworth KS. Goto www.matt-trials.com and study/print out the map! Last I knew there are a few novices to ride with, Im bringing the novice son with me.

    Then sunday we're going to ride at www.avtatrials.com, they have maps as well, the site is less than 5 miles south and west of Douglass Kansas!


    PS, Ill send a PM in case it doesnt get to you I guess. Contact me, there are lots of people around, even one in topeka (right south of interstate 70) that drives to wichita each month, you could probably buddy up with!? Plus another outstanding rider, that occasionally comes down, lives in north topeka...

    I think I have my 3 recent buddies almost ready to ride again this month at wichita, Fingers crossed.
    #30
  11. DerViking

    DerViking Shred

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    99 through I think 01 had the chrome frame. The steering stops are a little too far over, allowing the bars to "invert" on you.

    Also moniter the head tube closely. They tended to rip off the frame. Mine had welds all over it before I finally blew the engine.
    #31
  12. Manymotos

    Manymotos Adventurer

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    I bought a used Gas Gas 321 in 2004 for $2700. I'm not an expert trials rider by any stretch therefore I can honestly tell you the advantages of this bike vs others.

    The 321 has lots of torque and a tractor like rev up as you add throttle. It's extremely easy for a beginner to control from a power management standpoint. Most modern trials bikes are like a hamster on meth amphetamine. A accidental bump on the throttle can launch you into a maneuver you won't recover from. For Adam Raga, it may be fine but for less experienced riders it can cause problems.

    The 321 is a little heavier than the later trials bikes but also a little tougher. As Gas Gas continued to reduce the weight of their bikes I would imagine the strength suffered a little as well. The 321 is a pretty tough machine. Very few or us, myself included, can utilize any modern trials bike to it's full potential. Try not to get baffled by all the information available since most of it isn't pertinent to the casual trials rider anyway. Trust me when I say the 321 is the perfect bike for an adult beginning trials rider and then good enough to continue to the next several levels.

    Price wise I think you'll find 321s from $1000 to $2000. The question is, how quick do you need one and how close is it. If you are not in a hurry, wait for the $1000 bike. If you want to ride now buy a higher priced bike. The trials community as a whole tends to be a little on the cheap side. Most of us go to extremes to save a dollar. I'd recommend you go ahead and buy a 321 and start riding ASAP. Good luck and enjoy your new bike, whatever it might be.
    #32