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Old 03-10-2013, 07:32 AM   #16
Awesome is a flavor
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Get over the back of the bike and pin it!
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Old 03-13-2013, 06:11 PM   #17
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For me the dirt skills come into play the most in accident avoidance. Certain muscle functions become second nature faster with dirt riding becasue you have to avoid danger constantly, street riding not so much. I honestly find street riding to be fairly stress free for me. Have avoided many possible accidents without having to really think about what to do. Will think back about it and think, Boy that could have been bad.

If I were to start riding at the age I am now I would still likely ride dirt but I dont think I would be fearless like you are when you are a kid and most of your muscle memory takes shape. It would likely not have a great a benefit, but would still help.

Just because dirt riding makes you a better street rider doesnt mean that you cant ride street without it.
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Old 03-13-2013, 07:54 PM   #18
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If you start riding dirt AFTER street experience, remember one thing.

Don't cover your front brake with your hand or finger. You will flip it on a steep scary downhill out of instinct. Seen it happen so many times.

I prefer dirt. street is boring unless ya ride like a maniac or in heavy traffic alot. Maybe not, I dunno. My opinion.

I ride off road with guys whose abilities are far greater than mine. They make it a point to take me on trails that scare the crap outta me, seriously. And at speeds that require me to just flat out learn. It has made me a better rider but I really should get some Medical insurance.
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:19 PM   #19
2 Cheap 4 a KLR
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Im learning both on my super sherpa ride the street some ride the woods some . The dirt has painfully thought me some lessons quicker and less deadly than Im learning them on asphalt. I rode a little offroad today and took my successful first run at deep clay mud today ... I did fine .. last time I hit deep mud/water at 40 mph and it put me off the bike for 3 weeks with a bad elbow . See lesson learned , dont over drive your sight line , on the road I could have hit a car ,on the dirt I hit water and did a midair trick and if Id been wearing gear I would have been fine but I wasnt so a rock left its mark on me . When they chip sealed my road it didnt bother me none while my cruiser friends refused to ride on it , they acted like it was going to form a chip seal monster and eat their bike . Im really glad Im learning both side by side .
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Old 03-14-2013, 04:59 AM   #20
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It's true that people wreck more often off road, but that doesn't mean that it's inherently more dangerous. It's perfectly reasonable to hit trails on a 200 pound dirtbike and gain valuable experience with throttle/clutch, braking, and traction control. Fairly low risk if you keep speeds at a sane pace (of course it's more fun to push the limits). I would rather fall off my KDX twenty times at ten miles per hour than a streetbike once at any speed.

As far as safety goes, there's a huge difference between racing and trail riding. I feel completely safe cruising trails but harescrambles still tend to have many frightening moments for me.
"How narrow and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it" (Matt 7:14)

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Old 03-14-2013, 11:09 AM   #21
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I agree with Judo. If you wear good gear, take it easy and ride a lightweight bike then your crashes are going to be about picking up the bike and carrying on rather than getting hurt. Like he said, trail riding is way different than racing or even serious offroad riding. Nobody says you have to ride a high powered 400+ pound adventure rig that will hurt you in a fall or a blazing fast plated enduro.

My 640 is capable of ridiculous speeds offroad and I frequently take advantage of that. I have also paid for that with a couple of big crashes. But that is something I enjoy (the speed not the crashes) and I have been doing this a while. Therefore I am as prepared as I can be for hard falls and haven't been injured in many years despite some ugly get offs. Good gear has bailed me out several times.

But you don't have to ride like that. As we say when I get together with my friends, somebody needs to carry the cooler. If you don't want to push your luck then be that guy. You don't have to try to tackle gnarly trails or haul ass. To me, that isn't what trail riding is about anyway. Trail riding is about getting out and seeing where the bike takes you not testing your skills. Speed and technical ability will come in time - or not.

Who cares either way? Offroad riding encompasses everything from my slow ass old friend on his ancient DT175 riding his family cow pastures to enduro racing. For trail riding just choose your bike well, choose your trails well, respect your limits, keep your speeds reasonable, wear decent gear and you will likely never even get bruised.
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Grreatdog screwed with this post 03-14-2013 at 11:22 AM
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:53 AM   #22
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+1 for dirt first.
My very first experience on a bike, was a Yamaha 125, no knowledge whatsoever how to ride, revved the motor a bit, let out the clutch, bike did a wheelie without me and i was kinda just standing there holding the bike up as the wheel dug in the ground, I was a big kid and the bike couldn't pull me over in that state. A couple trys later I got as far as making it up and down the block in 1 peace. A few days later i Was introduced to a warrior 350, they tossed me on it and first thing i do was manage a 20+ foot wheelie, completely unintentional. From that point forward i'v always wanted a bike/atv.

Well 10 years and 1/2 a continent later my friend sez hed like to go dirt biking, he had 2 bikes and didn't want to ride alone in case something happens(him being allergic to bee stings being 1 of the concerns). Tell him i havn't tuched a bike in 10+ years, so he throws me on a 86 Yamaha xt350 and soon as i was able to make it around his mom's pasture without a problem, he then proceeds to drag me to the mountain. It was terrifying, but that terror ingrained every lesson i learned up there and i rarely if ever made the same mistake twice because if it. My friend who had many years of riding on his belt, pushed me every time we went up there, i thank him and hate him for that, and because of that i am a better rider then if he hadn't pushed me.

Now I'm not saying you should head to the nearest mountin and push yourself to the breaking point, but having a solid feel for a bike under you on dirt will go a LONG way to being a better street rider. Do some resurce find what kind of trails are near you, a nice tame jeep trail is a great starting point.
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:06 AM   #23
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One big safety advantage of the dirt...much less to no automobile traffic to watch and avoid so you can worry about riding and not about getting run over.

And, you don't have to ride like the Dakar podium is at stake. 100 miles of fire roads and trails @ 30 mph offers a whole lot more smiles than 1,000 miles of pavement.
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:18 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Solarbronco View Post
If you start riding dirt AFTER street experience, remember one thing.

Don't cover your front brake with your hand or finger. You will flip it on a steep scary downhill out of instinct. Seen it happen so many times.

What are you talking about. Everyone knows that street riders don't use their front brakes.

But seriously, the front brake can be used very heavily off-road without putting you down. Even on steep down hills.

If you're that heavy handed on the front brake, maybe you should consider your overall bike control regardless of on or off road. Perhaps practice.... Offroad.
Like most great inventions, it is fantastic when used for its intended purpose, but in the hands of a villain, or worse, an idiot, it wreaks havoc.... - A-bone

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Old 03-17-2013, 07:31 PM   #25
Neil E.
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Dirt skills are valuable skills. How are you ever going to find out what you can safely do when poor traction situations arise?

A good video about riding offroad when you're older. Maybe you haven't seen it yet.
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:59 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Luke View Post
Dirt riding teaches you to deal with lousy traction which is a totally unnecessary skill for riding on the street right up until the moment you accidentally over brake or steer get a flat tire or encounter gravel, oil, etc on the road.
That was my thinking when scheduling my first dirt skills class ever. It will be this Saturday. I'm 63.

Originally Posted by Neil E. View Post
Dirt skills are valuable skills. How are you ever going to find out what you can safely do when poor traction situations arise?

A good video about riding offroad when you're older. Maybe you haven't seen it yet.
Nice video!
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:34 AM   #27
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Well. The OP obviously know nothing about dirt riding. As that "EVERONE who rides dirt has repeated falls" is bullshit. I’m old too and I wouldn’t do it either if I fell repeatedly, da. Lots of good comments here from people who know about riding dirt. It always seems the people that never rode dirt say you don’t learn good riding on dirt, but those that have rode dirt say just the opposite. I would tend to believe those that know something about the subject more than those that have never done it. Sure there’s no traffic but you should learn how to deal with traffic in a cage. I don’t want people running in to my truck or bike.
As far as that front brake on downhill’s thing in dirt, learn to use your front brake dude. There no weight on the rear on a steep downhill so no rear wheel traction so it ain’t gona slow you down like the front. In dirt I always say the front brake is for slowing/stopping the rear brake is for turning.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:24 AM   #28
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I use both brakes, dirt or pavement. I bias to where the traction seems to be though, unless I'm purposely trying to slide something.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:31 AM   #29
but orange inside...
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If you live in a convenient place don't be afraid to swallow your pride and buy an old 125cc or 250cc bike and just play about a bit.

Not so easily done if you live in the big city perhaps but if you live in the country side I'd say go for it.

Don't think of it as training - just ride, be careful, explore, pack lunch, go slow. You'll learn pleny without thinking about it and you'll have a great time too!
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Old 03-21-2013, 10:31 AM   #30
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I'm in my mid 50's myself. I find the more time I spend off-road, the less I like being on-road. I look at "pavement" as a necessary evil that I must endure. Even riding the twisties has become very boring to me. The only good thing about pavement is; it gets me to where I really want to be.
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