First ride on the dirt

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Little Bike, Oct 8, 2012.

  1. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue

    Joined:
    May 13, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,695
    Location:
    Temecula CA
    You are all awesome!

    I found a dirt school up the hill from me - I'm going to sign up for a private session (I'm definitely going to need some individual attention having to do with the middle aged thing and knees that will not be happy standing on the pegs) Definitely going to take the mirrors off first! :evil

    I also decided to curtail the dirt until I take the class - I think that was very good advice to wait so I don't pick up bad habits.

    Very good to know about the tire pressure - I'm going to get a 12V receptacle installed on the bike.

    Thanks all for the riding downhill lessons - it's good to know that I wasn't totally off on how to handle it (only about 3/4 wrong :loll)

    Going to call the dirt school tomorrow - whoohoo!!!!
    #21
  2. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2004
    Oddometer:
    30,482
    Location:
    Western Mass
    I started riding dirt in 1968 or may '69. I've only had street bikes for a few years. I've had a V-Strom 1000, an F650GS and now a 990 Adventure. The 990 is the only one that's any good on a trail and even that is handful. The GS, I had it on trails, even broke a factory hard bag off it. NOT a crash, just bounced off some rocks and kept going, noticed later it was hanging askew with a broken off mount.

    The V-Strom, the parts guy at the local dealer used to say he loved it when I rode it in the woods, I bought so many parts when I came out. One time I got the brake pedal wrapped around the footpeg. A V-strom is NOT a trail bike even though a few heroes ride them on trails. Lower tire pressure will help but only so much. If other riders were able to ride the V-Strom guy's bike up the hill for him, it was NOT the tire pressure, it was rider skill (or lack of same).

    OTOH an XT-250 *is* a trail bike and can go pretty much anywhere (if it has knobbies). It's just not a race bike. We have an XT-225 which is a similar concept and I've ridden that on enduro trails, on Hero Sections of Turkey Runs and Dualsport rides (I'm in the sponsoring club and sometimes used to Trail Boss for them). On our XT (it's now my wife's bike) and on my DRZ, I run 15 psi front & rear. Less and there is too much risk of pinch flats as it is rocky around here.

    It's just practice, practice, practice. I had a friend come over for a first dirt ride on a DR-350. This was a VERY experienced street rider who has ridden cross country USA, ridden in Europe, been an escort rider for BMW demo rides at events. We went on an short easy trail & unmaintained road loop (with road connectors) and my friend crashed 6 times in 6 miles and by the end could not pick up the bike any more. It's just practice, practice, practice. It is NOT street riding, actual trails can be waaaay different. Dirt roads that cars use, not so bad. An experiences dirt rider could probably blast that rough dirt road, even on your XT.

    ===

    BTW here is a story from the 60s. I was in high school. I was on a powerline trail on my Suzuki TC-90 which today would be classed as a dualsport. I came upon three other kids with two parked dirt bikes and all pushing one small street bike up the hill. I asked what was wrong and they said that 1st gear on the street bike was too stiff to ride up such a rough, steep hill. I was skeptical and offered to give it a try. I ended up blasting that street bike up the hill, reaching 3rd gear and jumping some of the bumps. The street bike was out of its element but not impossible to ride there. In the dirt the bike is important but the rider more so.
    #22
  3. ER70S-2

    ER70S-2 Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    7,962
    Location:
    SE Denver-ish
    {QUOTE=Little Bike;19783452}Dang it, I can't seem to get the individual topics to copy - oh well, here it goes!{/quote}
    It will look like this, but switch the { } with [ ].

    [ER70S-2;xxxxxx] my comments here [/quote] your reply....[ER70S-2] more of my comments [/quote] more of your replies.

    Every paragraph will begin and end the same: [whomever's user name] their comments [/quote] your comments, rinse, repeat.

    [whomever's user name] will show up anytime you use the 'quote' button; bottom right of each post. Just copy and paste in front of each paragraph that you want to keep; with a [/quote] at the end of the paragraph.

    Yep that's what I meant. In the dirt, it's much touchier but equally important. That's why I suggest a knobby on the front, it's like studded snow tires; not perfect but better.

    Dirt is just super slow motion while you learn the limits of traction. Instead of 30mph, you'll be doing 10 (but it will feel like 100 :eek1)

    :thumb

    Kids text on their cell phones. Since this is an international forum, we spell out our words completely, with proper spelling and punctuation. It makes one look schmart. :D OBTW (oh by the way), put on your thickest skin; guys can be brutal and still be kidding. Since we can't use voice inflection or body language, a lot gets lost in the translation. Putting your gender in your sig (signature) is a good idea and will get you a free pass, more often that not. But some cretins won't notice, or won't care even if they do notice. I have a younger sister that rides both dirt and street. I love to see a lady with enough motivation to sign up and join a forum. :clap

    Your mileage may vary. It's code for "I get to say anything I want and no one can jump me." :D Well, they can and will anyway, but I won't change my mind. :deal IMHO (in my humble opinion), YADA, YADA are also used in the same light.

    :lurk (lurk, we'll be waiting patiently)

    Get some good boots to cover your lower legs, they're hanging down where all the action is. :kurt

    If you Preview Post (bottom of reply window), you'll be able to see how your post looks. There is also an 'Edit' button on the bottom right of each of your posts, if you want to correct or add something.

    This is an excellent start for you, welcome to the wonderful world of dirt. :freaky
    #23
  4. crofrog

    crofrog Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,455
    Location:
    Annapolis Maryland
    Yes. If they're bolted to the master cylinder / clutch perch it's good to move them off of those permanently to remove the chance of it braking your brake or clutch.

    Not a horrible idea.

    You should do it yourself it's not hard and if you're going to be riding off pavement learning how to fix your own stuff is crucial.

    Awesome! Who's school is it?
    #24
  5. ER70S-2

    ER70S-2 Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    7,962
    Location:
    SE Denver-ish
    :nod :freaky
    #25
  6. crofrog

    crofrog Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,455
    Location:
    Annapolis Maryland
    Seconded! They are the second most important piece of gear after the helmet.

    Also make sure you get knee pads and a compression suit (something like this http://www.rockymountainatvmc.com/p/45/67/162/837/-/27298/Alpinestars-Bionic-2-Protection-Jacket).

    I'm sure a woman could come along and tell you which ones work better for the female bits :)


    And a little tip that allot of people get confused about at first. The kneepads go inside the pants and then the pants and knee pads go inside the boots.

    These gear will make the little crashed off-road completely painless and the big crashes acceptable.
    #26
  7. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue

    Joined:
    May 13, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,695
    Location:
    Temecula CA
    The school is Motoventures.com

    Looks like I'm going to have to do some clothing shopping (yeah, like I don't like it..:evil)

    I'll keep all posted on how the class goes.
    #27
  8. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
    7,507
    Location:
    Spacecoaster FL
    Shop used and shop places like CycleGear.com, Motorcycle Superstore, Iron Pony, Bike Bandit, etc. They might even have a location near you. Try to find gear that works well together. Some items don't work well with some other items, like tall MX-type boots and thick low shin armor.
    #28