Does a smaller bike make you a better rider?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by TheQ, Sep 11, 2021.

  1. JETalmage

    JETalmage Long timer

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    Right. It's one of the great things about Trials bikes: They are the perfect bike for dad to ride when riding with the kids (or the wife) as they start to ride off-road, if for no other reason (there are plenty more reasons) than that a Trials Bike lets dad slow the heck down without being bored.

    Trials riders know this. In fact, they know that full-size Trials Bikes—in addition to their many other advantages—make great first bikes for the wife and for the kids of typical adolescent-age stature. And unlike any kind of mini, a full-size Trials Bike is something those youngsters will never outgrow. Nor will dad, because his skill will never exceed what a modern Trials Bike potentially empowers him to achieve.

    But despite many decades of brilliant continual cutting-edge development; despite the YouTube videos of Tony Bou defying gravity; despite modern Trials technique having practically given rise to what has become known as 'Extreme Enduro', Trials Bikes remain the 'best kept secret' in the US.

    An entire generation of those who should be the primary market for Trials Bikes was not there when all the 'Big Four' manufacturers' made their too-short foray into Trials in the 70s.

    A lot has changed since then. Somewhere along the mid-to-late 80s technical design philosophy underwent a paradigm shift which in retrospect differentiated 'vintage' from 'modern'. In a rapid-development time-frame, it became no longer just about tractor-like torque while plonking along in the tightest situations, but also about downright explosive throttle response to facilitate the aggressively agile techniques of the top riders. And huge advancement has continued even since then. Anyone still under the misconception that Trials is some kind of 'slow race' (which it never was) is overdue for an awakening.

    But in the US, ever since the early-80s one has had to become at least introduced to the Trials community in order to even see one in the flesh, let alone demo-ride one, much less gain confidence enough to make a buying decision.

    Well, for those unaware, that is about to change. KTM's recent acquisition of Gas Gas presents a new long overdue opportunity for US dirt riders: The availability of full-blown, top-drawer modern Trials Bikes on the showroom floors of many mainstream 'Big Five' motorcycle dealerships.

    Just as many KTM dealers took on the Husqvarna line shortly after KTM's acquisition of that brand name, they are now similarly considering taking on the Gas Gas line. But this is a bit different: Whereas most current Huskies are widely regarded as 'white KTMs' and Gas Gas Enduro bikes are now 'red KTMs', the Gas Gas Trials Bikes are still the latest excellent Gas Gas Trials Bikes that are just as competitive and proven as they were before KTM's saving the company from extinction.

    It could and should be the best thing that ever happened to the Trials world in the US—and to off-road in general—because it is one more chance for US dirt riders to find out what they've been missing all along.

    The potential is for a whole new genre and a whole new market segment for off-road motorcycling in the US. But the dealers have to step up. The interest of potential buyers can make that happen. Anyone who has harbored an interest should contact every KTM dealer within driving distance and ask them if they intend to be offering Gas Gas Trials Bikes.

    JET
    #81
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  2. Sideroadrod

    Sideroadrod Been here awhile

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    In my case, having recently owned various 650 dual sports for the last 18 years and then selling my last KLR and replacing it with the CRF250L I would say most definitely yes I'm a better Rider off-road on the trails. Being brought up on dirt bikes and owning many many bikes in my almost 40 years of riding I came to a few conclusions throughout that time. 18 years ago I realized that my brain could just not function fast enough to keep up with the power of my sport bikes. Thus the return to dirt bikes or dual sport. Yep the trees still jump out of me pretty quick LOL but overall on road and trails my speed has diminished. To quote one of my friends while we were riding trails last week while he was on his KTM 1290 and myself on the CRF250L he said "holy crap your riding that thing like four times faster than you ever rode your KLR off-road, I'm trying to keep up with you now LOL".

    SRR
    #82
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  3. VX Rider

    VX Rider Long timer

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    I dunno...

    after yesterday a little TTR90 reminded me to RESPECT motorcycles

    it was revving a bit high, when I nicked it into first gear, and the damned thing nearly looped and dragged me with it!
    #83
  4. Sideroadrod

    Sideroadrod Been here awhile

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    Funny how that happens. My biggest motorcycle scar is from a crf70, when I burnt my leg on the exhaust pipe LOL.
    SRR
    #84