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Thread: Rookie Dirt Adventure

  1. #11
    Just a couple of suggestions for a first offroad ride. First don't make it bigger than it is. My son was 6 when he got his PeeWee 50 and he rode it in the dirt every day. Second lowering the air pressure in the tires a bit will really help. Say 16F and 18R. If you have a longish ride home you can get something like this ...



    ...uses ordinary CO2 cartridges. Mebbe $25. One cartridge should bring both tires up to reasonable road pressure ... but they are cheap so don't worry if you use 2. Also may be handy to get you home if you discover a slow leak.

    The biggest difference between riding offroad and onroad is body position. On road ... you lean with the bike. Offroad you let the bike move under you.

    There is a technique for sand that seems counterintuitive. It calls for speed and throttle. Mebbe just getting off and walking the bike thru would be best for right now. (In the uber expensive Rawhyde Adventure bike class one of the first things they teach is walking along besides the bike using the clutch in the friction zone to move the bike. This is for alleged around the world type 'adventurers' ...)

    Approach it with a crawl/walk/run attitude. If you want more let me know. I'm not a great offroader but I have been doing it for over 50 years and I have a DRZ ...
    The best thing you can buy for your motorcycle is gas.

  2. #12
    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! Sorg67's Avatar
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    Thanks OBX - I am a glutton for data so I will take whatever you have to offer. Sometimes it seems like I make a big deal about things, but I really do not. I just like to gather information. I figure with information more is always better.

    Definitely planning to ride slowly and not going into challenging terrain. Just dirt roads that are on the map and have names so the must be reasonably decent.

    If all goes well, I might venture gingerly down a trail or two.

    But just trying to experiment. See if this is something I like. Might help me determine what my ideal bike will be or if I will always be a multiple bike guy.

    After I try this out with my DRZ, thinking of hitting the dirt roads on the Versys to see what kind of terrain I can mange on that bike.

  3. #13
    The Suzuki DRZ400s and Yamaha WR250 are the base layer of a group of "serious" dual sport offroad motorcycles that are topped by the likes of the KTM 350 and 500 EXC which are truly offroad race bikes with signals and lights. A better raw beginner bike are the 'trailies' like the XT225/250 and KL250 ... simply because they are easier and lower lending to rider confidence.

    Still the DRZ is far far better than the KLR650 for a new offroad rider... frankly the KLR650 is a bit of an offroad pig. A lot of wannabe "adventure riders" have begun and ended their offroad fantasies on a KLR. Crappy suspension and porculent weight ... especially full of gas and loaded with "adventure" gear. ( I've ridden KLRs a fair amount and own the KLRs slightly more competent cousin, the Kawasaki KLX650c.)

    I have found what I learned on a DT175 transferred readily to an XR400 and then to a DRZ400 to a R1200GS.

    I found this book to be helpful ... http://www.amazon.com/Essential-Guid...ams+dual+sport
    The best thing you can buy for your motorcycle is gas.

  4. #14
    Miles of smiles We've stopped counting... asp125's Avatar
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    This video was instrumental in getting me off pavement.

    http://www.dualsportriding.com/produ...techniques-dvd
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  5. #15
    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! Sorg67's Avatar
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    Thanks OBX and asp - We are planning to sell my younger son's KLX250S since he is moving on to the CB500X - but maybe we should keep it. Maybe it would be a better learner bike for me. Although it weights about the same as the DRZ, but a bit lower seat height. But would then have two off roadish bikes for some adventures.

  6. #16
    Miles of smiles We've stopped counting... asp125's Avatar
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    A KLX250 is a great learner dirt bike, lighter than the DRZ and still enough to play around in the dirt a bit. I miss mine.
    When life throws you curves, aim for the apex
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  7. #17
    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! Sorg67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asp125 View Post
    A KLX250 is a great learner dirt bike, lighter than the DRZ and still enough to play around in the dirt a bit. I miss mine.
    Maybe I will keep it for a while.

  8. #18
    You would be well served to take the MSF Dirtbike school. Here is a URL that will lead you to courses in your general area ... https://training.msf-usa.org/RES/

    Understanding the fundamentals will go a long way to make offroad riding more fun ...
    The best thing you can buy for your motorcycle is gas.

  9. #19
    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! Sorg67's Avatar
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    Thanks - found a course nearby and requested information.

  10. #20
    Flirting With The Redline alba's Avatar
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    When I got my Versys I had visions of exploring the roads less travelled but I found it pretty unsettling as the bike just floats on loose gravel. So I then got myself a KLX250 and spent a few years playing with that. I'm still far from being good at it but the time on the KLX taught me a lot and I've since turned my Versys into a slightly more suitable beast for off roading (proper tires was the main thing). My advice is to practice on the KLX as those things just bounce if you drop it. Put knobby tires on if you don't have them already as they will then bite into the road instead of floating over it.

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