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New rider 43 looking jumping help

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I am new to riding. I'm 43 and decided to buy a new yz250. I road bikes years ago but never had any skills. I hoping to find some advise to get comfortable on bike. I'm 6'1" and everything seem awkward. Any advise is welcome.

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I am new to riding. I'm 43 and decided to buy a new yz250. I road bikes years ago but never had any skills. I hoping to find some advise to get comfortable on bike. I'm 6'1" and everything seem awkward. Any advise is welcome.

 

I'm 6'1", 41 years old and my first bike ever I bought last year and it was a YZ250F, for whatever reason the Yamahas just don't fit me, I tried handle bar risers, playing with suspension settings jsut never felt comfortable on my yamaha. They just don''t seem to be made for guys our size.

 

I know there other guys our size riding yamahas just fine so spend some time playing around with handle bar position, they even sell foot peg lowering/raising kits. Once you feel comfortable on the bike then riding the track, doing jumps will be the next step.  But don't be afraid to find a bike that fits you perfectly, the more comfortable you are on a bike the better you will ride. 

 

Seat time, seat time. Just being on the bike riding, riding trails, flat track really helped riding the track, I also found that riding the track more didn't help.  That seems weird but let me explain, I was riding the track almost exclusively but I was not improving at all, in some cases getting worse the more I rode.  What I realized was that I wasn't lacking track riding skills I was lacking general dirt bike riding skills and the track added a lot of stress and variables.  When I rode the bike in say a wide open field with no else around I could just spend time doing the basics reptitively and without distraction and less stress.  I'd then go back to the track and the improvements were instantly noticeable to not only me but to my buddies at the track as well, i would even get track officials coming over to me asking what the hell I did to improve so much.

 

So if I can give any advice it's ride, ride, ride, be stupid fast off the track first. 

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Thank you for the input. I read a couple things the other day that I can't wait to try. So one said you want to look for a feeling of being pushed from your feet not pulled by your arms.

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I'm 6'1", 41 years old and my first bike ever I bought last year and it was a YZ250F, for whatever reason the Yamahas just don't fit me, I tried handle bar risers, playing with suspension settings jsut never felt comfortable on my yamaha. They just don''t seem to be made for guys our size.

 

I know there other guys our size riding yamahas just fine so spend some time playing around with handle bar position, they even sell foot peg lowering/raising kits. Once you feel comfortable on the bike then riding the track, doing jumps will be the next step.  But don't be afraid to find a bike that fits you perfectly, the more comfortable you are on a bike the better you will ride. 

 

Seat time, seat time. Just being on the bike riding, riding trails, flat track really helped riding the track, I also found that riding the track more didn't help.  That seems weird but let me explain, I was riding the track almost exclusively but I was not improving at all, in some cases getting worse the more I rode.  What I realized was that I wasn't lacking track riding skills I was lacking general dirt bike riding skills and the track added a lot of stress and variables.  When I rode the bike in say a wide open field with no else around I could just spend time doing the basics reptitively and without distraction and less stress.  I'd then go back to the track and the improvements were instantly noticeable to not only me but to my buddies at the track as well, i would even get track officials coming over to me asking what the hell I did to improve so much.

 

So if I can give any advice it's ride, ride, ride, be stupid fast off the track first. 

I'm not in the age bracket of you gentlemen but I assure you that the bike can be set up for bigger guys and work AMAZINGLY WELL! I am 6'4 225-230 and the Yz is one of the best bikes I have ridden. The set up is crucial though. Being a taller guy you will want some taller bars. I prefer the Windham bend Twinwalls. They are taller than stock and have minimal sweep which allows me to hold good form and be comfortable over the front of the bike. The suspension is also a crucial part of set up on any bike, and should be the first thing that is tended to. All other mods are pointless unless you have suspension that is capable of handling the things that you are going to do with the bike. If you have not done anything with the suspension, it should be a priority. That is the difference between a poor suspension set up and a good suspension set up is the difference between having a great bike or a sketchy bike. 

 

It is the best feeling/ handling 2 stroke available IMO. The KTM is great as well if you can find a decent deal on one. 

 

In the 4 stroke world, I went with the RMZ because it was the best feeling bike right off the showroom floor. 

 

OP as ethermal stated... seat time will be your friend and don't be afraid to try out other bikes. The only suggestion I will make is to take into consideration how much of what you like is the bike itself or set up related. It takes a lot of time to become comfortable and to find the perfect set up for yourself on any bike you purchase. Finding the right bars, peg height, seat construction, suspension set up motor mods... etc.... most of it will translate to any bike you buy or at least give you an idea of where you want the bike to go. 

 

Unfortunately the only way to find what fits you best is to experiment which can become expensive in a hurry. It can be as simple as lever position and fixing body position, or it could require a bunch of things such as changing clamps, motor mounts, and a lot of other things. Just my .02.

 

None of us will be able to tell you the perfect set up because everyone is different but if you have any specific set up related questions we may be able to get you that much closer. What I am saying is what exactly do you not like about the bike? What are the areas that you are most uncomfortable?

Edited by BDubb106

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Honestly the biggest things are seat time and practicing in the correct way.  I know too many people that go out on the track and don't focus on basic technique or speed around the track, but come up to a jump and try to clear it.  This is the opposite of what you want to do.

 

The basics are by far the most important thing. Just get on the track and focus on riding smoothly around it with basic techniques.  Forget jumping for now.  The best way to learn to jump isn't to just go for it.  IMO the way a beginner learns to jump is by slowly and repeatedly going up the faces and gradually increasing the amount of air they get to get a feel for how to bike responds to input on the jump face and to get a feel for how the jump face will throw you.  Everything will feel awkward for a long time.  Don't go out and try to hit jumps, i have so many friends who have gotten hurt because they think they can hit a jump their first time at a track.  Eventually you get "desensitized" to the feeling of flying and you will start to become comfortable with it.  The only way to do this is by going slow.  If you just pin it and go for a jump a I guarantee you'll freeze up in the air and have a rough landing or a crash.  

 

As far as practicing the basics in the correct way, just find an empty field, or an orv park and hit some corners over and over and go up and down hills.  Circle and figure 8 drills too.  This is the only way to learn the basics.  You go out to a national level or amateur national level track and your progess will slow tenfold.

Edited by yz125rider447
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Thank you for the input. I read a couple things the other day that I can't wait to try. So one said you want to look for a feeling of being pushed from your feet not pulled by your arms.

Yes always grip the bike with your knees/legs and steer with your arms, that is awkward at first but if you focus on it you will get better at it.  You should be standing not sitting and not standing straight up and down but in an attack position, butt back and head just over the bars, this will spread your weight and help position your knees so they can grip the bike.  Oh and keep your head up. 

 

Practice all of these off the track until you do it without thinking about it. 

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I'm not sure I understand what it means to over grip the bars? I bought RC twin wall high bars. Better than stock less sweep I think would feel better but After reading I'm not sure if I'm hold the bars correctly.

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This is the attack position that Ethermal was talking about. It doesn't look as cool for us big guys as it does for the short guys but it gets the job done! 

 

This is accelerating down a whooped straight. Notice the bike pushing me forward. My arms have VERY minimal force on them which allows me to keep a loose grip on the bars and keep my body loose while hard on the throttle. I am gripping the bike right at the joint of the shrouds and tank. 

IMG_0057_zps93c2bf76.jpg

This is what the stance looks like while setting up for a turn. A little further forward because I want to get my weight over the front wheel so I can get the bike turned and get back on the gas hard. This is what guys are talking about by sitting on the tank. Still gripping the bike with my knees, with very little force on my hands and arms. 

IMG_0049_zps63402154.jpg

This is the transition back to the attack position.

IMG_0056_zps3f9b4439.jpg

This is the only time I put pressure on my arms, when I am trying to get over the rear to loft the front wheel entering a set of whoops.

IMG_0065_zps6ab0c8af.jpg

 

Keep in mind my form is not perfect... it is still a work in progress and I focus on it every time to the track. It also looks a lot more goofy for us tall guys even if we do use proper technique. 

Edited by BDubb106

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I'm not sure I understand what it means to over grip the bars? I bought RC twin wall high bars. Better than stock less sweep I think would feel better but After reading I'm not sure if I'm hold the bars correctly.

Over grip means taking your throttle hand and reaching over the bar to grab it. Notice my hand in the first pic. The throttle is turned to the stop but is still inline with my left hand/arm. It allows you to keep good form while getting on the throttle hard. If you grab the bars in the same position with both arms you right arm will be considerably lower than your left.

 

If you watch other newer riders you will notice that they will drop their right arm down to their side as they twist the throttle. They lose form and it only gets worse as they get tired. I readjust my grip every time I let off the throttle. It allows me to maintain a loose grip while staying in control of the machine. 

 

If you still don't understand I will try to find a video explaining it. 

 

In the mean time... here is a good article explaining it. 

http://www.dirtrider.com/features/protips/riding/141_0912_pro_secrets_overgrip_regrip_with_gary_semics/

Edited by BDubb106

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