I was yearning for a good dirt ride this weekend but I didn't get moving 'til about noon which precluded me from driving across town to the storage unit to get the dirt bike loaded, trailer hitched, etc. if I wanted to get any riding in before dinner, so instead I just threw my gas gas on the hitch rack and headed for the (foot)hills. I spent the first hour putting around up and down side-hills, trying to make a semi-challenging course out of the few large rocks and obstacles strewn alongside one of the gnarlier trails, then I sort of ran out of interested and headed back to the truck to refuel. While sitting there, a group of 4 guys on "big" bikes (YZ250F, YZ250, Gas Gas EC250, YZ125) set up for woods (well they had bark busters at least and claimed race hare scrambles) pulled up and were predictably enamored with the Raga. Trials bikes always draw a crowd. Anyway, they were gassing up and going back and invited me to tag along. I aired my tires up to 9psi/6psi, emptied a 1 liter jug of water into my gullet and refilled it with VP, topped off the mighty .8 gallon tank and we were off. Holy crap, the little Raga RIPS! I'm a competitive guy, have raced various forms of bicycles and motorcycles off and on for 30yrs, and even though something about it felt like I was abusing the bike and my transmission might break at any moment, I wasn't about to let those guys drop me in the woods. About half of the ride consisted of "black diamond" or "double black diamond" trails that were obviously beneficial for the type of bike I was on. Gnarly, tight, rooty, rocky, cross-rutty messes. The bike was a dream on that stuff, it was just STUCK. It's so light and torquey and easy to change direction with that it felt like cheating. Zero drama, I was able to maintain 5th gear down these trails, lugging it and clutching it. It just floated over the nasty stuff. The other half of the trails were smooth, bermed double-track which was open to ATV's and stuff. I was certain that in these sections I'd be hosed, smoked, roosted, out classed and under-biked. Not the case. We were ROLLING. 5th and 6th gear. That little bike just STICKS! I was feet-up (obviously) through the berms, pinned in 5th gear and wheelying out, bounding from section to section, lofting the bike over obstacles, doing 60mph bunnyhops over the big stuff... it was hilarious fun. I NEVER would have imagined these bikes were so capable at higher speeds. The only stuff I had to be careful on was big impacts. Obviously no big jumps to flat - if there wasn't a nice down slope to land on I tried to stay on the ground by "speed jumping" rollers like you would on a downhill mtn bike or bmx bike. The YZ and EC 250's were eating my lunch out of turns when I was in-between 4th and 5th gears (a huge step) and I'd have to maintain momentum and higher cornerspeed in order to stay on pace. Also, I wasn't able to skim across deep puddles as well as it seemed i would be able to if i were on a big bike. Again probably a factor of a big flywheel and slower-revving motor than I'm used to for aggressive trail riding. The suspension was surprisingly plenty adequate for 95% of the situations encountered, and it was easy to ride around that issue by taking it a little easier over the big hits. And the brakes... the brakes on these things are incredible even at pretty significant speeds! "Light is right", haha. I'm hooked. My dirt bike is going to grow cobwebs.