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JackB1
11-10-2011, 08:03 AM
I am going to try some dirt one trail riding this Sunday and was looking for some tips or advice.
I have never ridden a dirt bike but have rode a regular motorcycle for 10 years and have mountain
biking experience. Will I be able to pick up on the dirt bikes fast? They rent you a helmet, chest protector
and boots. Should I get anything else myself? Goggles? Elbow or knee pads? Gloves? Should I bring
a camelback for water? Hopefully I will be riding for several hours.

any tips or advice would be appreciated. Should be fun

bad_call
11-10-2011, 08:51 AM
be careful with the grip throttle...speaking from experience. ;)

dParis
11-10-2011, 10:21 AM
You know going through dirtbikes like you go through racquets is going to be a little bit more expensive, right? :wink:

LeeD
11-10-2011, 02:57 PM
Raced 50 races a year for 7 years motocross, the last year qualifying for the OaklandColiseumSuperCross in '83, crashed out in Sat qualifying.
Wear everything you can, slow down on blind corners and hills, roll the throttle on and off (don't jerk it), keep a finger on the clutch to control acceleration and allow for mistakes with the throttle.
Keep inside foot well forwards when going into turns, try to brake early while still going relatively straight, corner seated well forwards, but shift weight back during accelerations.
If you're into long distance rides, bring water, stop to drink. I hated long hare scrambles, hounds, and crosscountry events because of all the blind corners. My best riding bud was District36 NumberONE in crosscountry. I hated to ride with him, and he hated to ride with me and my motocross style.

JackB1
11-10-2011, 03:05 PM
Raced 50 races a year for 7 years motocross, the last year qualifying for the OaklandColiseumSuperCross in '83, crashed out in Sat qualifying.
Wear everything you can, slow down on blind corners and hills, roll the throttle on and off (don't jerk it), keep a finger on the clutch to control acceleration and allow for mistakes with the throttle.
Keep inside foot well forwards when going into turns, try to brake early while still going relatively straight, corner seated well forwards, but shift weight back during accelerations.
If you're into long distance rides, bring water, stop to drink. I hated long hare scrambles, hounds, and crosscountry events because of all the blind corners. My best riding bud was District36 NumberONE in crosscountry. I hated to ride with him, and he hated to ride with me and my motocross style.

thanks for the tips Lee

Leelord337
11-10-2011, 03:10 PM
i'm into atv riding, dirtbike riding is very similar..just don't hit the front brakes at full speed and you should be fine :)

LeeD
11-10-2011, 03:19 PM
Standing up while accelerating allows your bike to negotiate really rough terrain without throwing you around, as does standing up, weight back, for heavy braking in rutted or rough entry into corners.
Make sure the throttle return spring is working smooth and solidly. Nothing wrong than a badly tuned bike with a sticking throttle.
Adjust brake and clutch levers so they face downwards, a staight line from your forearm, so you don't lift up your fingers to grab for clutch and brake.
Set rear brake a little tight, so your toes don't push the pedal into the ground during braking bumps.
If you ever accelerate too hard and lift the front too much, that's why you keep a finger on the clutch, and your rear brake brings the front end down, thos violently.
On jumps, if the front end is low, gas it to raise the front wheel.
Conversely, if the front is too high, hit the brakes, but let go before touchdown.
Most modern bikes are set for about 5-7" of sag when you weight the seat. That allows the suspension to extend to keep the wheels on the ground.
Motocross, the best sport, IMHO.
My neighbor 4 houses N of me was GrandNational #5, AMA Dirttrack. He could never convince me to race miles and half miles.

Ben Hadd
11-10-2011, 10:07 PM
Stay away from bikes that are to imbalanced, or to front heavy to be specific. That is, if you like to ride hard.

LeeD
11-11-2011, 04:03 PM
Lots of "imbalance" is based on rider's style and the style the bikes need a rider to adopt.
For instance, Kawasaki's tend to be longwheelbased, steep fork angled, and considered front end heavy with footpegs slightly forwards. Almost sounds like Maicobreako's, with better out of the box reliability.
The opposite would be Husky's....shallow fork angled, shortwheelbased, front end light.
Honda's would almost be where K's are, but the motors are stronger, the pegs farther back, with better shifting, clutch, and brakes.
Suzuki's look towards Huskys with a lightish front end, are also shortwheelbased, with a shallower fork angle...except for the Supercross bikes, which are very similar to Kawasaki's.
Yamaha's tend to be medium wheelbase with shallow fork angles, so very stable and not the best for sharp cornering inside lines.
Katooms tend to be very middle of the road, some say without "character", meaning it works for everyone, but can suffer simple reliability problems.
There are plenty of other dirt bikes, but those are the most often seen brands, and thru 30 years, have tended to keep their same characteristics.
Now factory bikes, both SuperCross and outdoor moto, tend to be defined by the wishes of the particular riders, as they don't resemble production bikes at all except to the newbies.

JackB1
11-14-2011, 05:26 AM
OK its the morning after and wow are my legs sore! I can't believe the pounding your knees and legs in general take from MX riding. It was fun though, but wish I didn't wait to 52 yrs old to try it :-) It was hard shifting with these big clunky boots they give you. I did get the hang of things after a while, but by that time I was worn out :-) Was afraid to get to much air on jumps because the bike seems to want to get away from me when I get air. I wish I had someone to teach me some riding technique. I just used my mountain bike experience and my 10 plus years of riding a regular motorcycle to help me get thru.

LeeD
11-14-2011, 01:24 PM
Good you didn't crash out! :)
What kind of bike was it? Most four strokes tend to stay somewhat controllable while the pipier two strokes tend to get some wild airs.
Hope you started on something small, maybe a mild 250, rather than a honking 565 KTM.
Yeah, thighs, like in skiing and mountain biking.
Shifting, most guys just lever upwards, and allow the bumps to unload the tranny to upshift. You can avoid the clutch even on downshifts if it's bumpy ground. Racing OPEN bikes, I never used the clutch. 125's and 250's need the clutch to aid in coming out of corners on the pipe.
Hope you get another chance.
I haven't ridden any motorcycle since 1983, the year I turned Expert in 125 and 500.

JackB1
11-14-2011, 04:11 PM
Good you didn't crash out! :)
What kind of bike was it? Most four strokes tend to stay somewhat controllable while the pipier two strokes tend to get some wild airs.
Hope you started on something small, maybe a mild 250, rather than a honking 565 KTM.
Yeah, thighs, like in skiing and mountain biking.
Shifting, most guys just lever upwards, and allow the bumps to unload the tranny to upshift. You can avoid the clutch even on downshifts if it's bumpy ground. Racing OPEN bikes, I never used the clutch. 125's and 250's need the clutch to aid in coming out of corners on the pipe.
Hope you get another chance.
I haven't ridden any motorcycle since 1983, the year I turned Expert in 125 and 500.

It was a 250, YZR I think. Felt very powerful for me. Yes it was a 4 stroke.
It was difficult to get the toe of those big clunky boots under the shift peg.

LeeD
11-15-2011, 12:59 PM
Yeah, great starter bike, about the power of 125 two stroke MX'er, but with a smoother and wider powerband for a soft delivery.
I got some top 5's in 250 Novice with a Champion framed Honda 250 4 stroke with Ceriani forks and prototype FoxAirs. Bike was WAAAAY slower than equivelent 2 strokes, but even on the fastest tracks, the smoothness and ease of riding always allowed mid pack starts to become top 10 finishes.
Gearshift lever should sit 1.5" above the footpegs. Brakes should sit .5" above footpegs. When on the gas, not needing to slow down, you ride with weight back, so your toes are upwards above your forefoot, which is the peg height.
I wore Scott boots, the knee high plastic ones like BobHannah wore, from second day Novice thru AMADistrict 36 expert, so never had any feel for the shifter's or the rear brakes.
Hope you ride again.