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RIDER SKILLS?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Heatery, May 26, 2020.

  1. Husky360C

    Husky360C Been here awhile

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    The 500 pound bike is the "elephant in the room".

    Marketing departments ( and that movie with Charlie and Ewan ) have sold the bejeezus out of the idea of taking a large heavy bike into situations which might prove difficult. BMW and other manufacturers have sold large numbers of bikes to people who bought into this notion. Some people have found out the hard way that a 500 pound bike is a poor choice for riding off road.

    Some riders are coming to the realization that a bike that weighs well under 400 pounds ( or even better, well under 300 pounds ) is a better tool for the job of riding off road. A lighter bike is more fun, safer, less likely to snap your leg bones if it falls on your leg, easier to pull back onto the trail if things go wrong, etc.

    I suggest your apparent trepidation regarding riding the large heavy bike is your common sense and wisdom making itself heard. If possible you may want to add a smaller lighter bike to your collection. There are many great light weight bikes you could choose, and riding them off road will probably bring back those nice memories you have from your youth.
    #21
  2. Bucho

    Bucho DAMNrider

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    You are talking more about offroad skills right? For dualsport/adventure riding on your Tiger?

    I'm sure some people will have very different opinions. But taking an offroad class on a smaller dirtbike/dualsport would be incredibly helpful.
    Even after taking the class. Maybe even buy a cheapy dirt/dualsport bike to play/practice on.

    I think trying to learn to ride anything more than an easy dirtroad on your Tiger is foolish.
    #22
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  3. Bucho

    Bucho DAMNrider

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    Absolutely!!!!
    #23
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  4. Husky360C

    Husky360C Been here awhile

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    I forgot -

    Check out this boot camp run by Colin Edwards. It might be the best training your money can buy for your current situation. Small bikes, great instruction, low intimidation factor, and lots of fun too.

    And now that MotoGP is off for a while, I'd bet Colin will be around more. You just know he has got some great stories !

    https://www.texastornadobootcamp.com
    #24
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  5. Husky360C

    Husky360C Been here awhile

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    Wise words, above.

    Better to avoid injury than to end up needing surgery and rehab.
    #25
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  6. crowe2815

    crowe2815 kenoath

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    No and No
    #26
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  7. Zubb

    Zubb he went that-a-way... Supporter

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    You can’t get much better at golf without hands on lessons. You tube will not lower your score 10 strokes. But a coach and lessons will. Same goes for snow skiing and so many other activities.
    Spending a few hundred bucks on a big bike class for the weekend, with a coach will most likely significantly raise your off road enjoyment. Improved safety comes along with it.
    I skid, slide and roost my 1200 all day long and love every moment of it. Because I took a lesson.

    At 60 this year, my advice is do not give up and go quietly into the dark! Buy better tires, gear and lessons. And keep living.
    #27
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  8. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades... Super Supporter

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    I guess that's the difference... I've managed not to crash.

    In the last 30 or so years now (not counting falls in the few off-road slippery or rough conditions where even very good riders will fall occasionally, and it's expected when playing) I've not been down. But not "laying 'er down". Usually a front wheel wash out. On the road I have ridden through stuff that would have a lot of those who learned to "lay 'er down" tossing their bikes. Like a two wheel slide in pea gravel on a turn, kept it up and going, and on gravel roads a few times actually riding off the road to stay on two wheels. It's about evasive action with the plan to stay on two wheels instead of a side case. That was the advantage to not learning to "lay 'er down".

    The falling part now is stupid stuff around the house/yard, but glad for the ability to roll with it learned in off roading.
    #28
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  9. Sal Pairadice

    Sal Pairadice Captain Obvious

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    You obviously never came screaming over a hill as a teenager and found that someone cut down a tree to block the trail.

    And yeah, just like you, except for those few times I did, I never crashed.
    #29
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  10. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades... Super Supporter

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    How did they ever do it before the schools... Spencer, Roberts, Rainey, Lawson and the rest? Just sayin' some can learn from riding, usually called talent, but really it is the ability to analyze and figure out what was correct and what needed work.

    But, being a teacher, schools definitely accelerate the process for a vast majority of the people.

    The whole small off road bike training thing like Edwards does came about when road racers started using the small bores on dirt to develop skills that transferred. One top pro, Roberts I think it may have been, said something to the extent that drifting is drifting whether it's on 8 hp or 180 hp. The skills learned transfer to big bikes, but the penalty for mistakes in learning were significantly lower. Sliding and bashing around on a 125-150cc off roader at a lot lower speeds teaches a lot and if you fall you seldom get hurt due to speeds at which you get off. A good deal all in all.

    Once you have the general off roading skills they can offer with drifting, wheelies, whatever, then go to the adventure bike riding school with a "tool kit" to start with.

    Any off road schooling or practice with smaller bikes can teach a rider a lot. Even if the teacher is just a good off road rider you know. I learned a lot about trials from a local expert and learned fast off roading from a very good hare scrambles racer, chasing each other around on the trails. Fun riding too.
    #30
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  11. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades... Super Supporter

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    No, I actually learned to ride the trails easy first to see if any crap like that was around... then went nuts! You never knew what may be there, a ground hog hole, deep ruts from water run off, or that tree.

    So it sounds like you never actually "learned to lay 'er down", sliding out totally intentionally? It just happened when you exceeded the limits when trying to go a bit too fast or was trying to avoid whatever situation was there? I just plain never ever intentionally locked the rear, sliding the bike out from underneath me. Never made sense.
    #31
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  12. Sal Pairadice

    Sal Pairadice Captain Obvious

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    You make a good point. I rarely separated from the bike. But there were a few times I "exceeded the limits" and I must have sensed it was better to go out sliding on my ass than up and over the bars. I'd get into it all but don't want to hijack the OP's thread with 30 years ago stories of me wiping out on a dirt bike.

    I'll will say I think sliding around, jumping and even crashing on a small light dirtbike when you are young and dumb translates into better skills when you are older, even if you just street or mild trail ride.
    #32
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  13. Big John Sny

    Big John Sny Long timer

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    IMG_4412.jpg

    I want to do this really bad. We went down and did one of the dirt wars races at his camp. I did pretty bad, but had tons of fun. Was only the second time I have ridden on dirt.
    It absolutely teaches skills that apply to the street and the trails.
    The dirt wars is the craziest bargain in racing you can have. Just over a hundred bucks to race all day, finals under the lights with them announcing your name, and you use Their Bike!.
    #33
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  14. b76

    b76 Need more adventures

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    American supercamp is also a good one. Taught by Danny Walker. This school has bikes for the students.
    My wife did one last year and made gains.


    We both just did a 2 day Shane Watts in depth school last weekend. It was very fun.
    Shane will not let you get away with doing it wrong.
    This school requires you bring a dirtbike
    #34
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  15. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades... Super Supporter

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    I agree, there is the point where once sliding out the realization that it is not coming back does set in - unless you're Jay Springsteen on a flat track - and you ride it out. It wasn't what the initial plan was. Ideally a nice slide controlled and brought back in, riding off into the sunset or wherever, but just not quite happening - low side.

    I had a big oval with a nice loose dirt 4th gear sweeper I used to ride. As I pushed harder and harder eventually I'd slide out, just not being able to sustain the turn. No one else around so no risk. I'd usually end up sliding to a stop, left foot down, stepping over the bike just as it ground to a stop. Kind of different. Did that once on a short track too. One other low side was on a pea gravel absolutely table flat short track, I dove in under the rider in front of me thinking he was 3rd place, slid out and down smacking my knee hard. Found out he was a lapper. Missed transferring to the final because of overcooking it.

    I agree riding young and dumb contributed to a lot of learning opportunites.
    #35
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  16. Sal Pairadice

    Sal Pairadice Captain Obvious

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    Also, here in the Catskills where I was riding, it was all forests, mountains, rock outcrops. Tight steep trails and fixed objects everywhere. Not a lot of time sometimes to ride it out if you went off the trail and an oak tree or a big ledge is there to meet you. I imagine Ohio is a little different.
    #36
  17. MTBRALPH

    MTBRALPH Been here awhile

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    Rubber will stop you better than metal.
    #37
  18. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore "You ain't black!"

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    Yeah, yeah. Whatever. @Heatery, we going to Jennings on Monday, or what?
    #38
  19. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades... Super Supporter

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    No, Ohio is the same - trees still don't move out of the way and with strip mining, highwalls and spoils banks are common in the east part of the state. One good reason to pre-ride slow and easy to see what's there first, then banzai!

    Those are the bail offs, not really the stereotypical "had to lay 'er down" moments. More of an "Oh crap! Gotta bail off!" I did it once when taking a short cut that looked good only to realize I was going into a briar patch. Did a wheelie, still getting ripped some and bailed off - wasn't going that fast fortunately and only one bush. Then there are the times when the front washes out into a rut and ya can't hang on... stuff like that - and the wheelie that just went too far back...


    You do realize the latter part here is about off roading, right? Sliding out happens when pushing the limits or just plain getting caught by a really loose or slippery surface. Just getting you up to speed on this part.
    #39
  20. Sal Pairadice

    Sal Pairadice Captain Obvious

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    Usually riding with faster riders, or transitioning to a more powerful bike, or just exploring and over riding my sight line. I had an older friend who was factory sponsored Honda Racer. He had two works CR250's which were like a starship compared to my DT125. He lent me one LOL - I came over a familiar hill( really the entrance to a ravine) at probably 70 mph and the ground dissipated below me, and took a loong time to come back. It was obvious that I was going to land a little south of the trail on a side slope so the bike and I parted in mid air and slid down the slope and both the bike and I were okay.
    #40