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Old 02-19-2013, 10:56 PM   #16
corndog67
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You made a statement about how far you can lean over compared to the street. I think you are looking at it in a funny, different way than most dirt riders. In the dirt, you are feeling for traction, you are making it hook up, you are making it slide to help change direction, it's not a matter of "how far I can lean it over", you are weighting and unweighting the foot pegs, moving forward and moving back to get the tires to hook up. After a while, you get so you are real comfortable sliding both wheels all the time.

There are guys on here, that show their inexperience when they make statements about how dirt doesn't help you on the street. They are absolutely wrong. Nothing helps your street riding more than becoming an accomplished dirt rider. It will get to the point where nothing unnerves you on the street any more, tires sliding, riding up or down stairs, wheelies, jumps, no matter what you are riding.

In the end, I'd say, just go do it. Find some riding buddies. I grew up with some flattrack racers, and some motocross guys, and a couple of Enduro specialists too, and they all taught me a lot. And don't be surprised at the speed they go in the dirt. After a while, maybe you'll be keeping up with them, mixing it up with them and having the time of your life.

Good luck.
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:51 AM   #17
acesandeights
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I think the issue for most riders new to dirt is that dirt conditions are more variable. The co-efficient of friction has a much wider range in the dirt than possible street conditions. I think that a BRT type class (based on dirt riding) to reinforce the basics is the best start. It will probably give you better confidence riding slow over varied terrain as well with some key practice drills that will influence your riding over time as you get better.
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:10 AM   #18
Kommando
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corndog67 View Post
You made a statement about how far you can lean over compared to the street. I think you are looking at it in a funny, different way than most dirt riders. In the dirt, you are feeling for traction, you are making it hook up, you are making it slide to help change direction, it's not a matter of "how far I can lean it over", you are weighting and unweighting the foot pegs, moving forward and moving back to get the tires to hook up. After a while, you get so you are real comfortable sliding both wheels all the time.

There are guys on here, that show their inexperience when they make statements about how dirt doesn't help you on the street. They are absolutely wrong. Nothing helps your street riding more than becoming an accomplished dirt rider. It will get to the point where nothing unnerves you on the street any more, tires sliding, riding up or down stairs, wheelies, jumps, no matter what you are riding.

So true. I just started riding dirt last autumn. I'm not even a good dirt rider yet, but I don't get unnerved anymore when the bike breaks loose over paint on the road when riding in the rain. Swerving obstacles and clearing rough pavement on road is nothing now.

As far as leaning...the bike may lean quite a bit in the dirt, but a lot of times the rider is going to be staying on top of it, rather than hanging off. I've low-sided many times in the dirt, and just stepped off the bike as it slid out from under me. You probably wouldn't do that very much on pavement.
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:54 PM   #19
tokyoklahoma
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I grew up riding dirt, but if I were starting from scratch now I would try these guys.
http://trialstrainingcenter.com/

I can't tell how close you may be to them, since you haven't filled in your profile.
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:46 PM   #20
Keithert OP
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It's 572 miles from where I am in Northern Illinois.
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:26 AM   #21
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And you learn very quickly to study the trail, every rut, rock, wet spot, soft sand spot, to pick a line and/or shift weight/throttle.
It should turn into the way you ride, street or dirt, to look where you are going and study the surface.
You should also learn to not over ride your sight lines, as there could be a big hole, a jeep, a tree down across the trail, and after hitting a few of those things at speed, you learn to go no faster then you can stop for unless racing for money.

Those tricks have prevented me from going down on the street for 30+ years, but I still often fall in the dirt....

There is nothing like riding a bike on the edge of control for hours to get you up to speed with the automatic reactions.





Quote:
Originally Posted by acesandeights View Post
I think the issue for most riders new to dirt is that dirt conditions are more variable. The co-efficient of friction has a much wider range in the dirt than possible street conditions. I think that a BRT type class (based on dirt riding) to reinforce the basics is the best start. It will probably give you better confidence riding slow over varied terrain as well with some key practice drills that will influence your riding over time as you get better.
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:44 AM   #22
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This.

You'll learn to control a motorcycle that's trying to get away from you. After all isn't that what we seek? pack some Advil.
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:41 PM   #23
Vankaye
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Originally Posted by Keithert View Post
I have an 05 XT225. It is small and light, but not a beater.
The XT225 is perfect for learning dirt. It's light, bulletproof and can tractor/lug all day in 1st or 2nd gear. You can tight woods trails and atv trails all day long on the XT (I have one in the garage - it's my beautiful wife's bike)

A couple of things I would consider if you're gonna do serious dirt riding is to take off the mirrors and signals and DEFINITELY put some full knobby's on. Also, if you haven't re-sprung the front forks for your weight they may be a bit soft for full-on dirt riding.

One thing the XT is not - is a motocross bike. I don't think it would fly/land well... It's just not built for it.
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:22 AM   #24
bh321
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a xt225 is lightweight?
it's all relative I guess.

I would get something that you're not afraid to drop - multiple times.
the XT is pretty porky as far as dirtbikes go, and has turn signals, mirrors, and cheap handlebars that will need to be replaced after your first semi-serious getoff. pushing your comfort limit in the dirt is not very fun if you're worried about damaging the bike.
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:27 AM   #25
scottrnelson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bh321 View Post
a xt225 is lightweight?
At 238 pounds it's reasonably light. Compared to an XR650L it weighs practically nothing.
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:37 AM   #26
Sadlsor
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Keith, much wisdom here.
As an MSF RC myself, I transitioned to dual sporting 8 years ago to enhance my street skills. Yeah, it works that way.
As mentioned, get a smaller, beater bike to learn on. You'll find quite a lot of the BRC / ERC skills apply to offroad, particularly in where / how you look, as well as protective gear, and more. I doubt you would really get a lot from the MSF Dirt Bike School, but I may be wrong.
The coolest thing I noticed right away is how much fun is to be had at subdued speeds offroad, compared to carving corners on the roads.
Jump in! You'll like it, a lot, and as you know, it's always great learning new moto skillz.
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:02 AM   #27
211john
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anotherguy View Post
this.

you'll learn to control a motorcycle that's trying to get away from you. After all isn't that what we seek? Pack some advil.
+1
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:06 AM   #28
bh321
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottrnelson View Post
At 238 pounds it's reasonably light. Compared to an XR650L it weighs practically nothing.

is 238 the useless spec dry weight?
they're pushing 300 lbs ready to ride. yes, lighter than a xr650 or even a drz400S, but still plenty porky!
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:24 AM   #29
el queso
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:43 PM   #30
Keithert OP
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Now I have to go buy a thong and a ski mask! And some eye wash solution to wash my eyes out.
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