A noob's first day out on his own

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by Casey., Jan 26, 2013.

  1. Mullet Bullet

    Mullet Bullet Been here awhile

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    Nice ride report, glad to see more people getting into riding. Just wait until you meet some fellow riders. For me, that's when I really started to learn to ride better because we push each other to jump farther, ride wheelies better, etc.

    But take your time and enjoy every minute on two wheels, remember to never loose your cool because that will get you hurt.
    #21
  2. ZZR_Ron

    ZZR_Ron Looking up

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    #22
  3. Yokomo

    Yokomo Gorilla Adventurer

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    So how many miles did you put on her before you laid her down for a nap?
    #23
  4. Casey.

    Casey. Nerd on a bike

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    I got back with 100, so it would have been around 80 :rofl

    Yeah... That's the kind of scenario I hope I never find myself in. I'm not against riding with others, but I think I'd turn off in the opposite direction if that stuff started happening.


    Again, thanks all for the comments and suggestions. I am absorbing them.
    #24
  5. trainman

    trainman Been here awhile

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    Great post Casey, you sound like me and my adventures back in the day, say 50 years ago. Well I've just about come full turn when it comes to dual sport bikes and I'm now riding a CFR250L like you. It's has been one enjoyable bike for sure, after riding the 650 class of dual sports for years, this little 250 is super nice for it's size. I ride with other guys my age and we are all going to the 250 size bike, as weight is not that much fun anymore, in fact picking up a 400lb motorcycle has never been that much fun. Don't become intimated by bigger bike and think you need one down the line and if you do keep this one and add to the collection, you won't ever regret having it. Your post was great reading, it brings a lot of us back in time with those great memories. Handguards are very important for both safety and protection of your hand levers, I have been using these for years on several bikes I have owned and they are really nice and will fit the CRF250L perfect. At $54.99 they are both nice and quality built http://www.rockymountainatvmc.com/p/48/78/367/1036/-/9547/Tusk-D-Flex-Handguards Nice people to deal with at Rocky Mountain and fast service. You will also find that a rear rack will help when lifting your bike as there is never a good place to hold on to in the rear when uprighting your bike. Look at videos on YouTube on how to upright a bike, you probably didn't do it the way they will show you how, you can pickup a Goldwing. Good Luck.

    John
    #25
  6. Rob.G

    Rob.G Mostly Harmless

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    I wouldn't be in a rush to ride with others just yet. Pushing too hard will lead to trouble, or worse, even if you aren't pushing too hard, one of them could do something stupid. I had that happen to me at last year's Death Valley event, when some bonehead passed me in a rocky section, after the ride leader specifically said NO PASSING, which caused me to lose it and crash. To this day my left elbow still hurts like hell at times.

    BTW, I finally got to see a CRF250L in person yesterday. Man that really is a pretty bike! It looks more like a sculpture than a bike, it's so pretty. If I wasn't already 100% satisfied with my KLX250S, I'd be jealous. :)

    Rob
    #26
  7. Casey.

    Casey. Nerd on a bike

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    I'm glad you liked it, and thank you for the recommendation. I've spent a lot of time trying to find guards that are proven to fit this bike, and especially ones that someone can comment on their effectiveness. They're cheaper than most to boot. My only hesitation now is the installation: drilling into the sides of the handlebars? I can definitely see myself screwing up the throttle.

    Rob, I'm in full agreement there. I generally like it quiet, and I hate it when people push me to do something.
    I really like the bike's appearance as well, although I think the same can be said about the KLX. The differences between the two were minor from an outside perspective, and the only factors that swayed me to the Honda were price and injection (I have a personal engineering distaste for the way a carburetor works :lol3).
    #27
  8. Rob.G

    Rob.G Mostly Harmless

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    I can appreciate your distaste for carbs. I dislike 'em too, but being a geek/techy type, I want something I can work on myself. I never cared for having to buy a $300 box to "tune" the EFI, or the finickyness that EFI usually has on street-legal bikes. Instead, I put up with hand-tuning the carburetor. :)

    That being said, it's one of the reasons I picked the KLX over the WR250R. The other reason was I didn't want to have to use 91 octane. Since I do a lot of riding in Death Valley, there's only one place in the valley with 91 (Furnace Creek), so it's impractical.

    I'm eager to see what the aftermarket comes up with for the CRF, especially in the suspension department. There was a CRF250X sitting next to the one I saw yesterday. If it hadn't been raining, I would have done a lot of comparing, like to see if the rear shock would fit.

    Rob
    #28
  9. trainman

    trainman Been here awhile

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    Casey, if you want to see pics of the handguards, etc. on my bike, go to the thread, "The CRF250L Owner Thread" under Thumpers, them page #162, post #2417, click on the site and the pics will come up. Sorry I didn't know how to transfer that page here. If you want any help with how to install handguards, send me a private message and I can walk you through it.

    John
    #29
  10. Casey.

    Casey. Nerd on a bike

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    Nice, red. I just ordered white ones a few minutes ago.
    I'll give the install a shot. I usually overthink things and get overly cautious about it.
    #30
  11. Rob.G

    Rob.G Mostly Harmless

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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.

    Rob
    #31
  12. trainman

    trainman Been here awhile

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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.

    John
    #32
  13. Casey.

    Casey. Nerd on a bike

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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.
    #33
  14. Hide & Seek

    Hide & Seek Adventurer

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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 :D

    Take care
    Riley
    #34
  15. Rob.G

    Rob.G Mostly Harmless

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    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.

    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
    #35
  16. Fener6

    Fener6 The Container Man

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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 :D

    Congrats on the purchase and ride safe.
    #36
  17. trainman

    trainman Been here awhile

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    #37
  18. Backmarker61

    Backmarker61 Adventurer

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    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!
    #38
  19. Casey.

    Casey. Nerd on a bike

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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 :D 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.
    #39
  20. trainman

    trainman Been here awhile

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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

    John
    #40