Been a few days since I've updated anything, so I figure I may as well. Things haven't changed much since last weekend. My wife (Nurse in training) and I have come to the conclusion that my pinky toe is broken. Still colorful, thankfully the rest of my foot is starting to lose its blue\brown hue that it has had. Comfortable to walk in, in all but my cowboy boots. Oddly enough, when I rode this past Sunday, my Tech 8's slipped on my feet and felt extremely comfortable. I've concluded that I will no longer be washing the boots. Not normally how I'd roll, as I like my boots to look fresh, but the fact that they were comfortable even on the messed up foot, has me convinced that my washing them has been causing them to tighten up and cause many a curse word while putting them on my feet.
So anyways, back to riding this past Sunday. I opted to not bring the XR350R, cause I figured the radiator fix would work & I really didn't want to load up 2 bikes. We rode at an alternate location, which had a shorter 1/2-1 mile loop that wove through some woods, and also contained an open area with a giant mound of gravel to mess around on. I was really hoping to ride our normal area, but riding at this location proved to be a good benefit to me for a few reason.
1: It was extremely similar to the terrain\layout of what the enduro was (tightness\turns\soil\etc)
2: There were some log crossings that I was able to work on my crossing technique.
3: There was plenty of tight(er) tree sections where I could work on keeping toes pointed in.
The loop wove in and through some tight woods. Looping back and forth, with 1 minor climb & 1 minor downhill section. The downhill section had a good chicane towards the end of it which was a bit off camber. This section helped me work on increasing my speed and late braking to navigate through things. I still had some minor issues, but was definitely able to improve upon my speed through things.
The log crossings, I kept what Barnyard said. Imagine that they are jumps. I did exactly that and what a difference. On the tallest of the log crossings, I normally would have lifted my front tire a bit to soften the front end action, but instead, just hit it wfo in 2nd gear. The bike soaked it up like a nice little jump and had me landing in the power and ready to continue on. It was a really nice feeling. There were also 2 other log crossings that were quite similar to each other. The one was at the end of the loop. It was 2 6-8" diameter logs\branches that lay across the trail at just less than a 45 degree angle. Normally this would be something where I'd be hesitant and consider lofting the front to wheelie across, or even slow down to roll over. Instead, I kept the bike on the gas, and hit the first one like a jump. This worked out extremely well, as I was able to downshift while up in the air, and prep myself to steer the rear end around with the rear brake, to line up for the right hand turn which turned into the start of the loop. The final 2 log section was one that I initially rolled over. It was in a very tight location, so I was hesitant to just go out and jump them. I knew they were close enough, but there were plenty of trees just after the 2nd log. My buddy & I talked it over while riding. He was considering gapping it, so was I......so I had to be the first one to do it.
A quick blip of throttle in 2nd gear, I was able to drop the rear tire just on the top of the 2nd log, and was able to apply enough brake to not run off the trail, and still make the turn there. Made me a LOT quicker through that section.
The tight trees literally had me on my toes throughout the day. I was mostly fearful of hitting my left foot again, so there were a few times where I looked like I was riding trials and avoiding dabbing in a few spots. This did help force me to think about foot position while riding. Out in the open, I still tend to err to the side of riding in the center of my foot & rolling my feet on the outside of the pegs for peg weighting. In the tighter areas, I was focusing though riding on the ball of my feet & keep my toes pointed in. I felt I was a bit quicker to respond to some of the stuff the bike was doing beneath me. Still needs work, but it's in process.
Now I finally had a chance to ride another friends KDX200. He kept telling me I'd want to buy one as soon as I rode it. While there were some things I liked about it, the Husky has that extra power that I'd never give up. The KDX felt cramped as well, and really only had 1 trait that I really liked. On my Husky, I tend to steer with the rear. I'll either brake slide the rear around to help square up a turn, or I'll use the power to slip the rear tire and pivot my way on through. The KDX was a bit different. The rear end felt so incredibly planted & plush. Instead of steering with slipping the rear around, I basically steered by weighting the bike\leaning. It would grip the entire time and works it's way through the turn. I really like how that felt, and am a bit unsure of how to accomplish a similar feeling with my bike.
For reference on the bikes, my buddy said that the Husky felt just way to rough over little stuff. I don't feel that stuff as much as him though. Right now I'm feeling extremely comfortable on how my Husky is handling everything. There are a few times where I feel that the front end will tuck\push, but a lot of that I can attribute to terrain, body position, or whatever else. I'd still like to investigate further work on my suspension though. I will tackle that when I have a constant, pre-defined course that I can feel exact changes on.
We also for kicks drag raced the Husky WR250 vs a 2005 KTM 250SX across a tilled up corn field. Basically dead even in speed, however I had no problem holding wfo in 5th not feeling like the bike would do anything weird. The MX\SX valved KTM.....well the same couldn't be said for him.
Now time to begin packing up some stuff for Shane Watts school this weekend. Quite excited!
PS - sorry no pics\video. Forgot the GoPro in the truck.