Too late for off-road?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by stellars, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. lilsmokey

    lilsmokey Been here awhile

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    My dads on a KTM 525. He's 57. Uncle number 1 is on a Xr650L. He is 62. Uncle number 2 is on a KTM 540 And a KTM 990. Uncle number 3 is On a XR650R. Hes 64. My grandpaw stopped riding when he was 83 due to back surgery. He was on a KTM 360 2-stroke when he finished off. You are never to old to ride.
    #21
  2. GusinCA

    GusinCA Been here awhile

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    I've been riding for 33 years. First dirt, then 25 years or so of street, and now I have a WR250R that I use mostly in dirt.
    Not only is riding in dirt probably the best way to develop skills on the street, but of course it's much safer.

    Oh, and after 33 years sand and ruts can still give me trouble...
    #22
  3. Offcenter

    Offcenter On The Road Again!

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    They say you are only as old as you feel. You must be feeling pretty darned old.
    That's sad. :(:
    I was born in 1950 and I'm 29. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it. :rofl
    #23
  4. mikem9

    mikem9 Wanderer

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    There are about 50 riders in my group of offroad riding buddies. There are a lot of good riders. Several had some kind of prior racing experience (motocross, enduro, hare scrambles), including a few higher level racers. One of the faster and more skilled riders in our group didn't start riding until he was in his 30's. I don't think it's too late at all to continue to improve your skills.

    Like some of the others have said, I would suggest a smaller offroad bike to work on your skills. A 200 - 450 is much more forgiving and in most cases much more fun in the dirt.
    #24
  5. Aussijussi

    Aussijussi Long timer

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    +1
    #25
  6. stellars

    stellars greenhorn

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    That's right :-D

    I feel very young anyway - there's however always a question whether you are able to learn to ride enduro being 30+. And apparently answer is YES.

    You always look at those videos on Youtube - at the guys doing all that crazy stuff and wandering if You'd ever be able to ride like that. I was told (by the riders I ride with) - that you'd never learn that since your comfort zone is too small. When younger - your comfort zone is large enough to absorb all sorts of mistakes and crazy stuff you try.

    Apparently not so, very much - I keep pushing my comfort zone further and further. What scared me to death a year ago - today doesn't even raise adrenaline level. Or maybe agitates me a just a little bit

    I was kind of confused whether in your 30s you'd be able to push that zone far enough to actually make some good progress. You guys have made it clear that YES WE CAN :-D

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #26
  7. GordoS

    GordoS Pawn in game of life

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    I starter riding street about six years ago (HOV lane in Northern Virginia is open to motorcycles...) Like you, I started "off roading" on a big bike, my commuter R1200GS that with a set of knobbies (TKC-80s). I was comfortable in the woods from having mountain biked and downhilled for for the past decade (so I started downhilling at 35-36, I won't say tougher than off road motorcycling, but damn sure just as accident prone). However, a big bike magnifies any mistakes you make and after a couple of rides where I was nearly ready to leave the damn thing taking a nap in the middle of the forest, I picked up a smaller bike, a used KTM 450. Made a huge difference in the fun factor and more importantly, the mistake envelope. Don't give up -- I don't ride with other folks so my pace is my own which I think is important. It is also important to realize that as we get older the things that younger folks bounce back from (like running into a tree or picking up the bike for the xxth time that day), will cost you more - just a natural part of aging. Just spend more time staying out of those situations and learning to deal with those situations when you get into them and remember motrin is your friend. Finese it, don't fight it.

    I agree with some of the earlier posters -- I read alot, this site and others, and just picked up some instructional DVDs. If you a member of Netflix, they actually have a few in their library. Learn what you can before you hit the bike.
    Too old is bullsh!t...you just need to go at your own pace.
    good luck,
    Cheers,
    Gordo
    #27
  8. Ceri JC

    Ceri JC UK GSer

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    I did the highest level of BMW's UK Off Road School earlier in the year (Level 3). At 30, I was the youngest in the class by several years. Although everyone in the class had a pretty good degree of trail riding experience and was comfortable riding offroad, no one was what I would call an advanced offroad rider. No one had done any of what many people would refer to as "difficult" big GSes before (although a few of us had on Enduro bikes). Despite this, we all managed to get the basics down of the techniques and got noticeably better as the day went on. On a personal note, I've now got the confidence to use these things as appropriate on my own bike when trail riding.
    For reference, the sort of things I'm talking about include:
    Jumping the bike 3-4 feet in the air off ramps.
    Jumping a few inches on the flat, Trials-style using suspension preload to get over ruts/the walls of the middle of the trail,
    Drift turns.
    Powerslides.
    "Spin on the spot"
    Riding terrain that most people would consider impassible on a GS (EG for UK folks The right hand side of the Quarry from Dusk to Dawn!)

    I should emphasise I am still not very good at any of the above; but as to whether it's possible to learn them at all, or if you'll be too scared to even try them: yes, you can learn them and no, it's not too scary!

    Keep at it, you'll keep getting better!:thumb
    #28
  9. Barry

    Barry Just Beastly

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    If you enjoy off-road, stick with it. Age, beyond fitness, has NOTHING to do with it.

    I tried to follow Malcolm Smith up Pikes Peak during race or practice, forget which. I thought I had him until we hit dirt. Then he just walked me. I was 46 at the time, he was into his 70s. I was on a bigger bike, he was on a 250. School was in session.

    Barry
    #29
  10. stefan tilden

    stefan tilden Been here awhile

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    I agree. Try something like a 250 or if you have more money to spend the Husky 310. Work on your overall body conditioning especially your core with yoga and situps and things like that and you can have a great time out there. They make dual sport and pure enduro models BTW:
    http://www.dirtrider.com/tests/off-road-bikes/141_1112_2012_husqvarna_310_txc/
    #30
  11. Ceri JC

    Ceri JC UK GSer

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    Yep, a couple of years back I rode with a guy who was in his early 70s. He was very nearly as quick as me on a 400EXC, crashed much less and was considerably less worn out afterwards.
    #31
  12. stefan tilden

    stefan tilden Been here awhile

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    A truly amazing video.
    #32
  13. crofrog

    crofrog Long timer

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    Get a 250 4 stroke and learn to ride the wheels off of it.

    Take it to MX vet tracks, enduros, harescrambles and just start seeking out the nastiest trails you can find.

    that's the bike that will fight you the least and let you learn the most.

    Just make sure you're learning the right things. Either get some of Gary Semics DVD's or some of the dirt wise ones and just really practice getting your body postion right. Elbows up, good central body position balls on the pegs everything else will follow off of that.

    And if you really like it start training now for PT. Moving a big 9x0 around fast is going to take allot of strength and allot of skill.
    #33
  14. novaboy

    novaboy Been here awhile

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    I turned 43 this year. Last spring I picked up a 2003 XR250R, and started riding in the dirt for the first time since I had a Honda 50 when I was 8. Rode it 5-10 times and did my first enduro, 58km of nasty single track, fireroads and ATV trail. I never won my class, and I never finished last. I did have a blast, and had a permanent grin for days after.

    You are never too old to try something new.
    #34
  15. Navigare

    Navigare Adventurer

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    Yo stellars, are you from central Poland?
    #35
  16. Seth650

    Seth650 Been here awhile

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    All end up in the dirt sooner or later.
    :grim
    #36
  17. buls4evr

    buls4evr No Marks....

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    Yup....someday you will be getting traction ON ME in New Mexico.... So treat me well:D.
    #37
  18. Dan-M

    Dan-M Long timer

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    I bought my TE 250 at 49. Been riding street since the 70's and my only prior dirt experience was as a kid on a mini bike.
    I really enjoy it and it is a great work out.

    You just have to ride within your skill level. The good news is when you do go down, dirt is softer pavement.
    #38
  19. simonpig

    simonpig packin' heat

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    I started on a 990Adv and I was 32 when I started riding on dirt. Too big and heavy and too much power. Downsized to a ktm 690e—better weight, but still too powerful. Went down to a WR250R, and upped my chops on that and after 3 years, I'm ready to go up to a 250xcfw or 350exc.
    #39
  20. Aussijussi

    Aussijussi Long timer

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    Common sense is rare to see these days, good on you mate!
    #40