A noob's first day out on his own

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

  1. manfromthestix

    manfromthestix Lost in Space

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,344
    Location:
    Lexington, Virginia
    I know some people worry about slipping the clutch for fear they'll burn it out, but I don't think you need to worry too much about abusing the clutch on your Honda because it has a "wet" clutch (i.e. bathed in oil), right? I keep this in mind on my BMWs because they have a dry clutch like a car. Even so, that's what they're built for and slipping it some to accomplish low-speed maneuvers will not hurt them. My wife has a little Suzuki TU250X with a wet clutch and it has never once faded or slipped as she has learned to ride it. You may have seen a TU when you took your MSF course, they're sweet little bikes that are low enough that even small people like my wife can get both feet on the ground. And, like your Honda dualsport, they are TOUGH and built to stand a lot of abuse (aka "learning" :D). I hate to think of all the abuse I've visited on my DS bikes over the years, and I have never once had a clutch failure. Many, many operator errors :evil but no clutch issues.

    I'm reading between the lines and note that your wife seems to be supportive of your new interest - VERY cool! Good for you both! You may have to start saving $$$ toward getting her a bike...

    Ride, ride, ride!

    Doug
    #61
  2. XStatic450

    XStatic450 ouch

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Oddometer:
    24
    Location:
    Land of 10,000 skeeters
    Your ride report made me smile thinking back to when I started riding. Just keep riding and it all comes together!!!
    #62
  3. BroncoDave

    BroncoDave Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2012
    Oddometer:
    4,985
    Location:
    Tobyhanna, PA
    Read your ride report. I like it so much, I had my wife read it this morning since shes a fairly new rider. She also enjoyed it. Seems liks you were definitely doing things the right way. Made me jealous as I wish I still had those feelings. Enjoy it while your young! Its still fun when you are old, but more fun when you are young. :ricky
    #63
  4. Casey.

    Casey. Nerd on a bike

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2013
    Oddometer:
    70
    Location:
    Wichita, KS, USA
    I wondered about the clutch wear. The instructors said they were different from car clutches, but they didn't explain why. That's good to know. Thanks for the explanation Doug.
    Indeed. I wouldn't say she's happy about motorcycling, but she listens to my stories and is at least happy I found something I enjoy. Her grandpa had a bad motorcycle accident, so she's not interested in learning. We ride bicycles often though (we just got back from a ride actually!)

    Glad you liked it XStatic and BroncoDave! :freaky
    #64
  5. Avi8tor

    Avi8tor ADV Poser

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    218
    Location:
    Midwest
    Casey

    FYI...
    The Flint Hills Stampede is coming up in June. It is a really nice event. It is in Eureka, KS again this year. They have several scenic rides which are slower paced.
    #65
  6. davesupreme

    davesupreme grand poobah

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,848
    Location:
    palm harbor, fla
    dooder... if 'yer gonna learn to ride in dirt, you gotta learn to stand up!.... i ain't no pro, but here in fla. there's nothing but soft sand, and the first time i did it, cause' i wasn't/didn't know how to stand, it was pretty much impossible.... if 'yer runnin' along at a good pace on one of those dirt roads, and it turns to soft sand, and you don't stand up, it's not gonna be pretty...:eek1.... no two ways about it.... it ain't really hard, try it in a parking lot or field real slow, it'll teach you alot... i'm sure you stand on your mtn. bike....

    and if you're gonna go outta your comfort zone, you really oughta find a buddy that's like you or a little better..... gettin' busted up is always a problem if you're alone....

    i ain't trying to scare you, i'm a FNG too.... just went to a shane watts class a couple of weeks ago, and got my arse kicked totally.... but that's how you learn.... watch this, it's long, and pretty f'n crazy, but check out the slow speed drills he does, it's really the best stuff to do to learn balance, which is what it's all about..... the hard enduro stuff is pretty crazy....

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBv9vdth4vc
    #66
  7. manfromthestix

    manfromthestix Lost in Space

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,344
    Location:
    Lexington, Virginia
    He's been riding for just over two weeks, you animals! Give the guy a chance! :lol3

    Doug
    #67
  8. Casey.

    Casey. Nerd on a bike

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2013
    Oddometer:
    70
    Location:
    Wichita, KS, USA
    No problems Doug - I know I gotta take some leaps eventually, so hearing some techniques is welcome.

    You're right Dave that I do all of these things on my bicycle, and it all makes sense in my head. The feel is completely different on this bike though, so it feels like relearning everything - and of course the penalty is much higher if I screw it up. My mind is still so bogged down with coordinating hands and feet while paying attention to what's in front of me that I'm still not comfortable with adding more factors. I'm the slow and cautious type that likes to plan everything. Sometimes that can be detrimental, but I get there eventually.

    I am very anxious to make this ride. I have joined their forum and am keeping up on its progress.
    #68
  9. davesupreme

    davesupreme grand poobah

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,848
    Location:
    palm harbor, fla
    yo, it's all good, boss....:freaky.... i'm a FNG when it comes to the dirtbike thing, just started.... done a bunch of road miles, though, and the 4 levels of the ca. superbike school, along w/some track time, but.... the dirt thing ain't nothing like sportbikes, and i gotta say, it's pretty much kicking my arse..... i'm hopin' the guy has a f'n great time.... but nice guy or not, you hit that soft sand stuff goin' 40 sittin' down, and life's gonna get real interesting, real quick..... don't ask me how i know....
    #69
  10. manfromthestix

    manfromthestix Lost in Space

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,344
    Location:
    Lexington, Virginia
    I have spent the vast majority of my life working and playing out of doors with my three main passions being skiing, bicycling, and motorcycling (not necessarily in that order, and it changes depending on season/circumstances $$$). I cannot tell you how many times I've biffed a motorcycle, cartwheeled down a hill on a bicycle, or blasted off into oblivion on skis. I've torn myself up, had some very lucky close calls, and enjoyed many, many fine relaxing rides without drama or pain. As davesupreme says, it's all good and I wouldn't change any of it even if I could (well, maybe the convalescence part...). It's very cool to see you adding another skill to your set, and I think you are absolutely correct in taking it slowly and thoughtfully. The bottom line, however, is that you have stepped out of your comfort zone and are trying something completely new that can be very dangerous (and consequently has a high adrenaline/fun factor). If done carefully and thoughtfully you can minimize the negative consequences and enjoy this sport for the rest of your life. You're building skills every time you ride; just think about where you were only a month ago! :super:happay

    Doug
    #70
  11. Casey.

    Casey. Nerd on a bike

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2013
    Oddometer:
    70
    Location:
    Wichita, KS, USA
    Well said Doug. Thanks for the support.
    I stood up for the first time today :D (makes me sound like a newborn :cry)

    Also, got my handguards on:

    [​IMG]
    #71
  12. davesupreme

    davesupreme grand poobah

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,848
    Location:
    palm harbor, fla
    yeah, bro.... it ain't no thang!.... lookin' sweet!....
    #72
  13. imprezagm4

    imprezagm4 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2011
    Oddometer:
    210
    Location:
    Bend, OR
    Nice writeup, I really enjoyed it! I'm a very cautious person as well, after getting diagnosed with cancer at 22, I said "what the heck!" I wanna learn to ride! I still get butterflys almost everytime I saddle up (2 years later)...but I love it, and I love my wife for supporting me in it.

    Keep us updated! :)
    #73
  14. trainman

    trainman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    397
    Location:
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Casey, see you got the handguards on your bike, I guess everything worked out ok for you. Wanted to tell you that RM ATV & M/C does sell the Tusk Spoilers for those handguards for $9.95. They just fit over the plastic on the handguards that you have on your bike, no need to remove anything, just the screws and install. They are larger and give better wind protection in the winter, I do use them at times, but it was 80 degrees in Ft. Worth on Thursday, I know that sucks.

    John
    #74
  15. RatchRacing

    RatchRacing Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Oddometer:
    28
    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    Nice write up and photos. The new Honda looks great. If I had the coin I'd have one for my dual sport bike but I'm going to be rocking the (cheap) old XL250 soon. Be sure to give us a long term review once you've got a bunch of miles on the bike. Keep it up!
    #75
  16. buls4evr

    buls4evr No Marks....

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,318
    Location:
    Michissippi & Nuevo Mexico
    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:clap.
    #76
  17. Bake

    Bake adventurer

    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    Oddometer:
    10,539
    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 :huh 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. :rofl
    #77
  18. hoebster

    hoebster Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    215
    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.
    #78
  19. wvdirtbiker

    wvdirtbiker MILES2GO

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    307
    Location:
    Fayette Co & Pocahontas Co WV
    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.
    #79
  20. billmags

    billmags Scoot Jockey

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Oddometer:
    490
    Location:
    Bayside, NY
    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.
    #80