Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Total Noob...back in after 30 years - Tips?

Recommended Posts

Hello TT....

 

OK...so I havent ridden an off road bike since I was 14...I'm now (gulp)...45.

 

I've been riding harleys for 20+ years....on the road...but as we all know...the Dirt is different.

 

I have picked up a used 2009 honda XR650L that was in great shape. Yeah..it's tall, but so am I...I can stand on both balls of the feet when stopped...so it's pretty comfortable. I roll in at 5'11 at 215 lbs and in pretty decent shape.

 

I road small club Motorcross for 2 summers when I was young..and frankly..I sucked....and it was a 125 I was running.

 

Looking for tips and advice on how NOT to kill myself on this thing.

 

My riding is trail riding with my wife and 2 sons on ATVs (yes...in wisconsin...alot of the trails are dual purpose).

 

I don't plan to jump or do what you more skilled riders do....I'm just looking to be that old guy on the trails having fun with my boys, but not losing my mind.

 

Got all the saftey gear, Arms/Chest, knees/Shin protectors, helmet, gloves boots...etc.

 

I remember to to keep my self WAY forward on turns (hump the tank as I recall), going uphill, or in the mud or sand, and to slide back when going down hill or accelerating.  I remember the Figure 8 drills for turns and for counterbalance turning, so I have that to practice. I remember "Elbows up" and the 2 different standing postions.

 

Any other drills or tips you can give me would be greatly appreciated.  Keep in mind that my days of Wheelies, Racing, and jumps are in the rear view mirror. Just looking to be safe and have fun. I know that hitting the ground is part of the fun, so I'm good with that...just tryng not to do it too often!!

 

Thanks guys.

 

TP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I say sell that pig and get a 2-stroke 250.

 

You will have much more fun.  Just my opinion.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Loved the 2 stroke bikes when I was younger....heck of a lot more power from a smaller engine..... Problem is that up here in N. Wisconsin, the only thing I can ride on the majority of the trails is the Street Legal Licensed bike. The goal of riding with the family would go out the window. Wisconsin limits a lot of the use of the the 2 strokes "True off road" bikes...why I don't know...but it is a sad fact.
 
Other than that...looking for Ideas and stuff to practice just to be a safer rider.
 
Thanks

TP

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I say sell that pig and get a 2-stroke 250.

 

You will have much more fun.  Just my opinion.

 

Please elaborate... why is a 250 two stroke better than a 650L for putting around on with his kids?

 

 

Loved the 2 stroke bikes when I was younger....heck of a lot more power from a smaller engine..... Problem is that up here in N. Wisconsin, the only thing I can ride on the majority of the trails is the Street Legal Licensed bike. The goal of riding with the family would go out the window. Wisconsin limits a lot of the use of the the 2 strokes "True off road" bikes...why I don't know...but it is a sad fact.
 
Other than that...looking for Ideas and stuff to practice just to be a safer rider.
 
Thanks

TP

 

 

Being safer is a state of mind IMO, not going over your head. Knowing your limits, knowing when the guy in front is fast enough that you should push, but know you aren't gunna catch him.

 

Other than that, I'd just practice your motocross techniques and applying them to the BRP (XR650L).

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to TT. I have a KLR 650. You can have fun on these pigs. I improve my skills by just riding, for me that's lots of uphills, downhills and rocks. Anytime I try to play racer, the bike reminds me I'll get there, just not as quickly.

Mike

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nothing better than seat time to build skills. Some good tires also help with confidence, when the traction is predictable the pucker factor is less of a problem. I understand the age versus lack of fear problem. At 49 myself I don't do things that I know I can do anymore cause I understand there are repercussions to my actions that I might not like.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Please elaborate... why is a 250 two stroke better than a 650L for putting around on with his kids?

 

 

 

Because I think it's more fun!  Like I said, just my opinion.  

 

Also, "just putting around with the kids" will turn into a full-blown dirtbike addiction requiring more that one bike anyhow.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Because I think it's more fun!  Like I said, just my opinion.  

 

Also, "just putting around with the kids" will turn into a full-blown dirtbike addiction requiring more that one bike anyhow.

 

Two wheels is fun either way, and a lot of people say being fast on a slow bike is more fun than being slow on a fast bike.

 

I've had heaps of fun on almost broken 70's bikes. It all depends on who and what you're riding with. Riding against my buddies on the latest 250f Honda with a 1974 DT175 would not be too much fun as I'd get left in the dust.

 

But when everyone else was on those style of bikes, what a hoot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm about the same age as you, but my gap has been a little less, i.e. 25 years.

Strangely, a lot of the technique came back. It was like "riding a bicycle"..:)

I want to throttle it, but the idea of long recovery if something happens is a reminder to be cautious and understand your limits; I have ZERO to prove to anyone. I too ride with my kids, so this helps be behave. I also have a CRF250X which perfect for me - smooth and easy and can climb over anything if needed. I got back into riding because I always had fun and because it is cool to hang out with my boys.

Have fun and be safe. The best memories will be with the ones on the trail.

Cheers

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a tip oldman ;  Our dirt bikes now are powered by a "motor" or some say, "engine"...... instead of by foot pedaling.  And oh yah, the wheels are now circle instead of square.  :p

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a tip oldman ;  Our dirt bikes now are powered by a "motor" or some say, "engine"...... instead of by foot pedaling.  And oh yah, the wheels are now circle instead of square.  :p

This belongs in the dumbest thing ever said forum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd say an easy thing is to watch some how to videos.. just to get an idea of what's improved after all of these years. You have your 650 and that's ok but guys know there are much better options that are much lighter and much more enjoyable that you can do much more with. There are a bunch of street legal dirtbikes these days that are excellent . KTM 450, 530's, Yamaha wr 250's,(dirt version) honda 450x, Beta 450,350, 525 and a bunch others are way lighter  easy to ride and you could even race them if you wanted. The reality is if you and your kids take it's just better to have a better bike right off the bat.. but that's just a thought to think about.   Dirtwise is an excellent dvd to check out.. there's a few  of them so any are good..A lot are older now so the prices are down.. go on ebay and buy some cheap used vids.  but look on youtube.. It's free..

 

I have one playlist and just add on every once in a while.. scroll through and get some ideas.

 

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL59E97E74CA36F103

 

 

 

..also these book are great to me.. I bought them and they still are a good source of info.. you could check ebay for used or check your library to see if it's there too.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Motocross-Off-Road-Motorcycle-Motorbooks-Workshop/dp/0760335966

 

http://books.google.com/books?id=4MealMAQSeIC&pg=PA226&lpg=PA226&dq=how+to+setup+your+bike+motorbooks&source=bl&ots=17t6lOMyjG&sig=QKEaxITvTR58GsebJTgGQJlvAyE&hl=en&sa=X&ei=ZuSMU-eGJ8bvoATOs4KoAw&ved=0CB8Q6AEwADgK#v=onepage&q=how%20to%20setup%20your%20bike%20motorbooks&f=false

 

..also put a search on thumpertalk for others in your situation and get tips from info they have received on other threads.. Welcome back! enjoy yourself!!!  Hey just wander around the different categories..here on TT. There's a lot that you could absorb.. 

Edited by hawaiidirtrider

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:

Sign in to follow this  

×