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Finally got her out on the trails!

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Still learning the bike and how it handles. It's been between 1.5 and 2 years since I've done trail riding at all, on my old CRF230L. So I have absolutely no confidence in my off-road skills at the moment, especially with dual-purpose tires. I mainly putted around the woods and kept it at the top of first gear, but I let my circuit take me to the river bottom where I could open it up some and let it cool down. This is my first water-cooled bike and it really gets hot in the slow stuff. The fan runs nonstop and I could feel it dumping tons of heat right into to my left knee.

 

The Council Bluffs OHV area is definitely the most technical I've ever ridden, but previously I just rode around in friends' pasture and occasionally light woods. Twice the trail turned to sand and I turned around, I just don't have any confidence when the back wheel starts getting squirrelly. I think my ego is still hurting from the last time I tried to ride there and dumped it in a huge mud puddle.

 

It's definitely geared a bit too high, but I only stalled out a couple times. I'll definitely be getting the 13/42 sprocket setup later this summer so first gear can crawl better.

 

After 45 minutes I was starting to get warmed up and put some speed on (10 - 15 mph in the woods instead of 5 - 10), but I am out of shape and had to call it quits. 70 mph on I-80 had never felt better, I didn't even realize how much I'd been sweating. My arms and legs feel like jelly. Holding the bike up at stops was a chore, as was pushing it into my garage and walking to my apartment. I'm going to be sore the next couple days, but it's worth it. I hope to get out 2 - 3 times a week for the next few weeks to get some strength built up in time for my Colorado trip. I'd hate to get out there to the trails and then wear myself out right away.

 

So other than the gearing, the CRF250L gets the Mott555 Seal of Approval™ as a trail bike. I do wish it was shorter like the 230, but I'm positive I'll quit caring about that when I get more comfortable with it.

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Sounds like you got a good work out.

 

Yep. Trail riding sure hits some muscles that go unused at the computer desk.

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The sand does get deep by the river ... we tend to stay on the east side of the open area for single track. The place is big enough that it will take you awhile to learn where is best to ride. I still like to ride what is left of the MX track ... the flood pretty much wiped it out as far as jumps go ... but it is fun to see how fast you get around the track. That place will wear you down pretty quick in the woods. 

 

I found this video of some kids on the track I like to play on ..... 

 

 

also this is a video of the perimeter track .... they keep this route much cleaner and it is not near as technical or hard as the tight single track in the woods ... 

 

 

 

once you get a little time in down there you will find the fun places to hang out .... just trying to rip thru the woods is pretty tuff and that is the hare scramble track. They make that hard on purpose and is marked by the little blue arrows .... 

Edited by gnath9
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I'm pretty sure I ended up on the hare scramble track once. It got really tight and twisty and I was quickly wearing myself out on it. I got off as soon as I could and decided to avoid it.

 

The perimeter trail looks more my style, at least for now. I'll try that next time. Most of the woods tracks I hit really weren't too bad, just horribly rutted out. There were some quads riding it too so I was trying to keep my distance from them. They were much faster than me and I need to learn the trails and the bike before I'm ready to start getting some speed.

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Three days later and I'm still sore! Apparently handling this bike is like doing squats. I'm pretty wobbly when I first stand up, after a couple minutes things start stretching out and working normally.

 

I'm thinking about going back out after work today anyway. Once I get going I ought to be all right, and I'm sick of being indoors.

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Three days later and I'm still sore! Apparently handling this bike is like doing squats. I'm pretty wobbly when I first stand up, after a couple minutes things start stretching out and working normally.

 

I'm thinking about going back out after work today anyway. Once I get going I ought to be all right, and I'm sick of being indoors.

 

lol ........  :lol:    

go with the flow man .... do not fight it or try to man handle her ....  :goofy:

 

If you rode a full lap on the blue triangles  .... I bet you are very sore ...  :p  There is a small little play area inside the forrest that can be fun to play on and you can find it by staying on the wider older trails ... the newer less traveled stuff is for the race guys and will totally whoop your @$$  :ride:

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I'm just out of shape. I always get sore for a few days after the first workout if I haven't done it in quite a while. Once I recover from that first one I won't be seriously sore again.

 

I think my tank bag is preventing me from having proper standing posture too, which could explain the sore legs. But I'm not 100% sure what "proper standing posture" is so I could be wrong.

Edited by mott555

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Keep your chin over the bars and your elbows up with your knees bent a little and most of your weight directly above the pegs .... lean or push back in the sand and/or whoops or when ever you think you need the front of the bike to be light .... move forward to weight the front tire for more grip etc .........  you want the bike to pivot under you and not pull or push on you .... not only does the bike handle better and is easier to ride but, it will also not wear you down as fast either.  

 

I can see a tank bag being in the way while trying to ride aggressively. 

Edited by gnath9
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Today went much better. I've recovered from the last trip and this trip was only cut short by my fuel supply. My legs feel worked, but not dead lol. I also noticed my pace has doubled since my first trip, I guess I'm starting to understand the bike better.

 

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I guess I'm starting to turn this thread into a blog thread. Maybe some newbs can learn from a relative newbie like me as I post my experiences.

 

Went back out yesterday after work. It was 86 degrees and very humid, I brought two water bottles and I drank both of them within 30 minutes. Next time I should put 3 - 4 in my tank bag, especially if I'm going to stay longer. At one break I drank an entire bottle in one go. Also the Wolfman tank bag, while not specifically a cooler, is insulated well enough to keep your water cold for a couple hours.

 

My confidence is really going up quickly. I spent some time on the hair scramble track and it's a lot of fun though I was worried the bike would overheat. My speed is up, my turning is much better, I'm more confident about traction, and I'm a lot looser and not fighting the bike with a death-grip like I normally do. Today on my way to work I noticed I was being far more aggressive than normal in my turning, learning what the bike is capable of off-road definitely makes you a better street rider too.

 

I still need to learn to wheelie, a few times I had to turn around due to large logs I wasn't comfortable jumping. Unfortunately most of the flats were flooded, and I'd probably have to take my cargo rack off so I don't rip my sack off while epically failing my first few dozen wheelies. I also need to nut up and take the sand trails sometime. I've chickened out and turned around every time the trail turns to sand.

 

The rear suspension is WAY too soft, it easily bottomed out while going over some of the logs I wasn't scared of. I'm done putting money into this bike, at least for this year, but rear suspension is definitely going on my to-do list when I'm ready to start modding.

 

I had my 3-gallon Rotopax can with me. Not because I needed it, but because I wanted to fill it and needed to fill the bike before I hit the trails so it was just along for the ride. Actually I like the extra weight on the back, I think it improved my traction a bit. The can also didn't leak at all, which is expected but still somewhat surprising to me. I still mounted it so the nozzle wasn't on the exhaust side, otherwise I'd go up in a nasty fireball if it did leak.

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The rear suspension is WAY too soft, it easily bottomed out while going over some of the logs I wasn't scared of. I'm done putting money into this bike, at least for this year, but rear suspension is definitely going on my to-do list when I'm ready to start modding.

 

Have you cranked up your pre-load yet ....  those that have say it most certainly helps. 

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Have you cranked up your pre-load yet ....  those that have say it most certainly helps. 

 

How is that done? I've never touched the suspension on anything before so I don't even know where to start.

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How is that done? I've never touched the suspension on anything before so I don't even know where to start.

 

Did you download the free owners manual?  17-6 has a picture of the springs two adjustment collars.  Funny they don't mention the adjustment....  :excuseme:

 

http://www.hondampe.com.au/docs/owning_a_honda/owners_manuals/motorcycles/62KZZ00_CRF250L13_OM.pdf

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How is that done? I've never touched the suspension on anything before so I don't even know where to start.

 

Put the bike on a stand to hang the rear wheel. 

 

with a very large heavy flat screwdriver and a big hammer ... beat the top ring to loosen it ... then beat the bottom ring to stiffen or loosen ...  :thumbsup:

 

might be a good idea to spray WD-40 or a similar product on the rings the night before ... 

 

 

the guard dog on my work internet is back in full force so I can not post or view youtube links ... but you can find a video out there if you look. 

Edited by gnath9
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Thanks guys. I'll take a look after work today. I don't have a stand so I guess I'll have to improvise.

 

Upside down 5 gallon buckets work ... if you have one with a lid on it .... fill it with dirt or sand ...  :thumbsup:

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Upside down 5 gallon buckets work ... if you have one with a lid on it .... fill it with dirt or sand ...  :thumbsup:

Don't have one. I may be able to lift the back end up with a ratchet strap and the rafters in my garage.

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Don't have one. I may be able to lift the back end up with a ratchet strap and the rafters in my garage.

 

You really only need to get the weight off of the spring is all ...  and could probably do it without lifting but that is suppose to make it easier.  

 

the trick is a really big screwdriver and hammer ....  :thumbsup:

Edited by gnath9

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