Howdy folks! I’ve been a long time lurker here, and have always wanted to get a more dirt oriented bike, but circumstances dictated I couldn’t have a bike for the longest time. If you don’t want my riding history, just know that I’m a noob and skip down to the photos. —————————————————————————————— Here’s a little history of my riding experience: Since age 4 I had always had a fascination with motorcycles, and much to my mother’s displeasure, that fondness of two wheeled transportation has never gone away. When I was around eleven or twelve years old, I was given an old 1980’s Honda XR75 to putt around our small family farm on. I spent as much time as I could on it, but fourth gear was tricky to get into and I quickly outgrew it. Then the bike broke and I was unable to fix it, despite my best efforts. I knew little of the mechanics of it, and my family wasn’t poor, but, we didn’t have enough funds to put into a 30 year old dirt bike. Then my family and I moved, leaving the dirt bike to a friend in hopes he would get it running. I never returned, so I have no idea of the fate of the little XR75. Fast forward to 2015, i’m 18 years old. Still living with my parents, but working a decent job at a farm in TN. Decided a good way to build credit would be a motorcycle. After countless hours of research and meticulously planning my next bike, and taking the MSF course in preparation , I Impulse bought a 2012 Yamaha FZ6R from the Harley dealer that did my MSF. I put 8,000 miles on that bike in 3 months, I started riding with a group that was ridiculously fast. I did a couple track days. Then one day after riding 250 miles away from home, I was being stupid, dragging a knee on a public road up in the mountains. My front end gave way and I wrecked going around 60mph. Luckily, I was wearing a full leather BiLT race suit that I got off craigslist for $100. I scraped my elbow, but it wasn’t bad. The bike had a cracked fairing, but overall had survived the wreck. Then I moved to Alaska and was forced to place the bike in storage to only be sold 2 years later. Now, fast forward again, to 2019. I’m back in TN. I’d had my car, a 2016 Mazda MX-5 for two years as a compromise to not getting a bike. It was a convertible and small. Close enough, I figured, but it wasn’t enough. I just got back from being overseas for 9months and decided, what the hell, why not sell the car, and buy a bike? I don’t need a car. So, I sold the car on my lunch break at work, dealer gave me a ride back to work, and I relied 2 days on a co-worker/neighbor to get me to work. I went into a Yamaha dealer and looked at an MT-10. It was perfect. Comfy enough for long trips, and loads of power for me to be stupid on it. I then checked insurance to see how much it would be for a single 22 year old, and it was somewhere around $7,000 a year. Way too much and completely impractical. That’s when I found the Africa Twin. I had seen reviews when it first came out and desperately wanted one, but somewhere along the road I switched to wanting a street bike. I was browsing a local dealers website and I found a brand new 2018 Africa Twin Adventure sports DCT 30th anniversary for $13,000. While I didn’t want the DCT, it was such a good deal (I thought, somebody correct me if I’m wrong) I decided I could live with it, just because I was going to trust all the reviews I had read about the bike and DCT being outstanding. ————————————————————————————————- So, here we are, 4 days after buying the bike, and 400 miles down. I have hardly any dirt experience, and I’m still an inexperienced rider on the street. I’m ready to learn and do it right this time. I probably should have bought used, just because i’m going to drop the bike a lot, but I don’t have a car, I wanna roll with something comfy and doesn’t compromise what I need. ——————————————————————————————————- So, with all that monologue out of the way let’s start the actual little day ride I took today. I started the day riding out to a lake about 20 miles from me, taking dirt roads most the way there, and once I got close, I turned off my GPS and just tried to find the lake by exploring. The forecast called for overcast skies, a perfect chance to ride without the Tennessee heat. After stopping to enjoy this small lake, I left to go find some more technical roads. It wasn’t long until I found a logging area that looked fun. Unfortunately, it was outside my ability to go through it without getting stuck. My OEM tires didn’t help either. The sun came out again and I worked up quite the sweat getting it unstuck from here. After about 10mins of attempts, I finally got it out and rode out of the logging area making a mental note to come back once it dries up, or I get better tires. I left the logging area and went maybe a half mile away, found a great road, it looked like it would be a couple miles of difficult terrain, but it ended up being a few hundred yards and a mud pit. I managed to get through the mud pit, but I had to turn around and come back. I decided that my momentum would probably serve me best rather than slowly attempting it. I made it almost all the way and then my back in slid out and I dumped it. Granted, I sort of let off the throttle and slowed down more than I should have, but this is a learning experience! (And an excuse to blame OEM tires.....right?) Unfortunately, I broke off my OEM plastic hand guard on the left side, which is fine, I was going to replace them anyways, but now it looks lopsided until I can order the new hand guard. Also, i’m I think I may have bent my stock crash bars in a little, i’m going to have to take it easy until I can get some real protection on the bike I think. So far, i’ve put 400 miles on my bike, with about 30% of that on the dirt and I’m enjoying it. I just blew too much money on riding gear, so once I save up my money again, i’m getting as much bike protection as I can, hard luggage, and additional lighting. I also want to replace the exhaust, and install cruise control. I hope to update all my daily learning experiences here on ADVrider and get input on what to do and what not to do. I’m a noob on a 500lb+ bike. What could go wrong?