New Rider - go easy on me.

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by Randal Gobs, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. Randal Gobs

    Randal Gobs n00b

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    Nov 18, 2012
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    Laguna Niguel, CA
    Hello ADV world. I just joined this forum the other day. I originally thought I would get a scooter to commute to work just to help the gas budget. I ended up getting a KLR 650 and I even sold my car. So far I have only ridden on the street every day commuting, and I think I'm getting the bug. The other day I pulled into a parking lot that was all loose gravel and I said to myself, 'wow, this is different'. I'm interested in finding others who do day trips based out of South OC, CA. I'm looking for the best way to safely get into some off-road riding. :ear
    #1
  2. smilin jack

    smilin jack Grandpa Adventurer

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    Randal, hope you got your motorbike safety training. There are also off road classes... just check the web.

    Watch that gravel on pavement. It can put you down in a heart beat. I enjoy wearing Hi-Viz clothes while riding so the cage drivers can see me.

    Check your regional threads for upcoming rides and meet-ups. You can meet some new friends and riding partners.

    Dave
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  3. DurtKlod

    DurtKlod Long timer

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    Congrats on the new KLR. It's commonly referred to as the bike that doesn't do any one thing particularly great but it does do everything pretty good. If you set it up right, it's a fairly competent off road machine. I beat mine up pretty good and it just keeps asking for more. Keep in mind that while you are learning the what and what nots to do on dirt, that if you ever lay it down, those radiator fairings are pretty expensive to replace. We just took a pretty good ride out here in Arizona a couple of days ago... HERE.
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  4. KustomizingKid

    KustomizingKid Been here awhile

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    I like my KLR so far... I bought one after a friend who has put a lot of miles on his referred to it as a tractor, sounds like the right kind of machine to take anywhere hahaha.

    Get out there and ride... that is just how I feel about the matter, but I also like to jump feet first into things.
    #4
  5. DurtKlod

    DurtKlod Long timer

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    It is but only after you gear it down a little. In my opinion, the 16 tooth front sprocket is too high for dirt stuff. it's more suited for street. I dropped mine to a 15 tooth and have even thought about going to a 14.
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  6. Randal Gobs

    Randal Gobs n00b

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2012
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    Location:
    Laguna Niguel, CA
    Thanks for the replies. Indeed I did take a safety course when I first got my license. The course was taught by a retired CHP motorcycle cop. He certainly gave us a lot of good experiences to keep in mind. I do intend on taking an off road course very soon.

    Yes, I do wear a fluorescent vest whenever I am riding on the street. It's funny that the term tractor comes to mind, because in my youth I used to drive a tractor on my dad's farm in Kentucky. My first impression of the KLR was torque. I remember telling my wife, it's like riding a little tractor around. One that will cruise at 85 on the freeway.

    Any advise on learning to work on this bike? I'm semi-mechanical, but I have no tools. I have to slowly but surely get familiar with maintenance procedures that I can do myself. The trips to the bike shop get quite pricey.

    Lastly, I'll say this. I spent about 6 months saving up and shopping the internet before I bought the KLR. I was looking for a bike that could hall me, camping gear and even my guitar. I bought it used with 4200 mi. on it for $3700. I don't know if that was a good deal or not, but I feel I got plenty of bike for that kind of money. I only weigh about 175 and it sounds like the KLR will do the job for me for some time to come. Thanks for all the encouragement.
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  7. basketcase

    basketcase lifelong reject fixer

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    Always glad to see new riders show up. Welcome to the asylum. :lol3

    I've never owned a KLR so my only advice there is to keep the shiny side up -- works for us DR riders also. :1drink
    #7
  8. srp999

    srp999 n00b

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    Randal, I'd strongly recommend taking the off road riding class at RawHyde Adventures (http://www.rawhyde-offroad.com). Their instructors are the best n the west and you'll come away with dramatically improved off and on road riding skills. I have taken a couple of their courses and the skills learned have kept me out of big trouble, given me the confidence to get in a bit of trouble and do some amazing off road riding all over California and saved my butt on a couple of occasions. Your KLR should easily take you wherever you want to adventure once you get some off road riding skills dialed in.
    #8
  9. Randal Gobs

    Randal Gobs n00b

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    Rawhyde looks cool. I'd like ti try it this winter. I know I'll be doing some of the local fire roads , etc. around here, but I'm one of the type who likes to be prepared. Knowing technique for whatever comes your way is important. I would think for me the course is my first step as far as off road.
    #9
  10. RandyM

    RandyM Less talk, More ride

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    Westminster, Ca
    Welcome

    Check out the wests forum for california riding. http://advrider.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=29

    Suggest following the Cleveland National Forest Thread http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=258828 and LA Adventure rides threads http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=318376. The CNF thread has some links to maps on the first page and is a good source to find out if the roads are open or not (FS closes the dirt after any rain). Group rides are sometimes scheduled on the LA ADV thread. Both threads are several years old, rather long, and sometimes degrade into BS threads, so don't bother reading all of them, just follow the last 2 pages or so.

    In January there is a "Big Bikes to Carrizo Plain" ride that would make a good 1st group ride for a beginner. It is usually announced in the LA ADV thread.
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  11. longtallsally

    longtallsally Yeah I'm a chick

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    I dunno if they are still out there, but get a copy of neduro's DSR DVD and work on some drills there. I was a sprotbile convert and now dream of nothing but dirt roads.

    And I just got back from Carrizo. Where is the thread for January's deal?
    #11
  12. NHADV

    NHADV Been here awhile

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    Welcome aboard! You picked a great bike to start on. The KLR pics only thread is a great place to get an idea on how you want to set it up. A couple of other great threads to ask tech questions. Try some dirt roads first and maybe pick up some crash bars to prevent any damage if dropped. Have fun!
    #12
  13. Unstable Rider

    Unstable Rider Moto Fotografist

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    Randal,

    Congrats on selecting the world's most powerful dual sport motorcycle :lol3

    OK, that's largely opinion....

    Did you say what year your bike is brother?

    Welcome aboard. The KLR is possibly the best or most commonly supported dual sport out there, cause they are cheap, fairly tough (or just plain bull headed) and their operators are some of the most down to earth folk in the world. Notice i did not say "open minded" though..... :evil

    The Milk Crate Mafia welcomes you.

    [​IMG]
    #13
  14. sealsam

    sealsam Sam...I am.

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    Hello OC neighbor. Keep getting that 'road' experience by enjoying some pretty decent pavement not too far from you. Hwy 74 during the week at the right times is actually a very nice ride. There is plenty of dirt off 74 to start you practice. 79E out of Temecula then out to Warner Springs, you could head out of 22 to Borrego Springs, back towards Lake Henshaw, up to Mt. Palomar, W on 76 to the 5, then back home. All simple trips that may take a few hours to all day if you choose, but you'll be gaining that invaluable road exp. Anywhere off those roads is plenty of dirt to play with.

    I think I missed the details on the bike. Is it a 'new' bike? The add-on's is all the fun. If you get a chance, the bike show is in Long Beach this weekend with tons of idea's to get you juices flowing. RandyM gave you some good links, filter through the BS and you'll dig out some info in there.

    Good luck and remember 'cage' drivers don't see us. They just never do!
    #14
  15. Randal Gobs

    Randal Gobs n00b

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    6
    Location:
    Laguna Niguel, CA
    Thanks everyone for the replies. A lot of good advise for a newby. I'm 61, and I just bought my first bike a year ago. I heard a thing about the 'Obama Phone', where the government hands out phones to people. Well I believe the government should hand out a motorcycle to every man who turns sixty. This way we'd have a whole lot of old guys trying to stay healthy so they can ride their bikes. This plan would help reduce healthcare costs for seniors.:rofl

    I love the bike culture. I'm sure they're out there, but I have yet to meet an asshole on a motorcycle.

    Thanks again for all the good advise.
    #15