new xr600r rider


Let me start by saying a bit about myself. been reading this forum for a while (great info here) and finally got a bike for a decent price which appears to be in good condition.

So I picked up (what appears to be) a gently used 1997 xr600r a few weeks ago.

This is my first bike that I have ever owned/ridden aside form a few homemade minibikes. I think I have read through all these forums and watched a whole lot of videos, but I envision myself dumping the bike on my front lawn the first time I get going.

So far I have gotten the kick procedure down, which surprises me since I have read how difficult it is to start. (one or two kicks, always starts when cold) I know the choke has been removed so maybe that helps?

I have also been practicing finding the release point on the clutch, rolling the bike in first and practicing my braking (they seem pretty strong at low speed) One thing that I haven't gotten comfortable is keeping my right foot on the brake and relying only on my left foot to hold the bike if I do go over, but I haven't really been up at any speed to keep my foot up.

I'm still a little hesitant to gas this thing as I have seen them take off at pretty incredible speeds and don't want the bike to come out from under me or spin the back tire around. Should I be this concerned? I guess the fear is that I will gas it a little and it will take off and in the process of falling backwards I will open the throttle even more and the bike will go over... is that a realistic fear?

What is the most common way to drop the bike? turning? how to avoid?

any advice would be helpful...

and anything else I should know about this bike?

thanks for your replies, I've learned a lot from this forum.

Edited by spillway_rider

so no advise? just grab my balls and rip this thing??  ;)

Just be really easy on the clutch and throttle until you're comfortable. The easiest way to go down is the back end coming out if you romp on the throttle on dirt. And as long as you keep yourself centered on the bike and don't pin the throttle, the front wheel shouldn't come up that easy. Just stay easy on the throttle and clutch.

Is this your first bike ever?

On edit, I just read your post again, since this stuff is new to you, it would be best to get with someone experienced, for some on-site tips, & would be better, taking the riding course for the MC endorsement for license. #1 proper gear IE, helmet and boots preferably. And a wide open area, without obstacles. Would be wise to have someone near with phone reception. Make sure they know how to dial 911. hehehe  Don't be in too much rush & get hurt, because then you cant ride, until healed. (stupid hurts) The 600  is really a forgiving bike, in my opinion, it does NOT come on power like a light switch, (NOT, all or nothing at all) more controllable & predictable as the throttle is twisted. (for an experienced rider, don't know about a newb) I've seen newbs crash on a 100cc. It's all about clutch & throttle control, along with balance & brakes. But it must be learned to be instinctive, like walking, you don't think about it, you just do it. I'm sure you'll get it, be patient. :thumbsup:

Edited by bork

Is this your first bike ever?

3rd paragraph Edited by dlock5

Best way to get the clutch down pat is to find a long not terribly steep hill. Face up hill and practice taking off just until the clutch is totally out the stop and do it again. A couple of hours of this and you'll feel much more confident.

Another thing is to practice low speed handling before you start getting up in the gears. That will teach you how to balance and use the controls with out having to think about it.

Proper gear is a must. Seriously if you need it and don't have it you might not live to regret it :lol:

Cool thanks, this is what I needed to know (about the throttle). I don't plan on getting out of first gear ;) Yeah first bike ever, and I just have this vision of me leaning back too hard and opening the throttle all the way by accident.


I have the helmet and boots and I do intend to take the moto class but the next one is in March (which seems like an eternity). So I just want to slowly ride around the block a bit...



Try to find someone that lives close to you on here to help you too. What area are you in?

I'm in the New Orleans area

I'm in the New Orleans area

Hmm too far from the Duck commanders, but explains your name.

yeah, I was hoping to practice my skills in the spillway, but it's currently flooded, so I'll have to wait for that. 


Anyone know anything about the trails at the belle chase dirt park? Plaquemines offroad park I believe is the official name. It says it has 15 miles of wooded trails. 

My first ever bike, and still only bike, was an XR600. Got it at the end of 2009. I had never ridden a bike on the streets and hadn't riden a bike since I was a teenager which was only a 250.

To get used to it I just chucked a couple laps of the back yard which was pretty restrictive so rode out the drive way and chucked some laps of my street going through the gears and getting used to the throttle. As said above the 600 is pretty forgiving and the power doesn't come on insanely.

Once I was used to the bike on the road I went out a couple times with a mate that had a YZF450 and tried to keep up on the dirt. I also did a heap of reading on the net and watched basic riding tuts and put into practice what I had read and viewed.

I'm not into any kind of jumping or racing just enjoy the bike on the road and dirt.

thanks for all the replies guys, I'm getting used to the bike now, and no drops yet. ...not as intimidating as I thought it would be.


I did end up taking the course and getting my MC endorsement, so that helped, even though the course bike was a lot smaller and not in traffic. 

Now wheelie that shit!

haha, don't know if I'm quite there yet!

There's one way to tell!

Jk take ur easy and don't hurt yourself, although you don't learn new skills if you never push the envelope.

Learn how to pop that front up it helps you big time off road when crazy stuff comes face first fast. This bike can climb good just get that front tire up. Best and easiest to learn on flat ground so you get use to the mechanics of it.

Again with time. You won't dive into that hairy of trails to begin with anyways.

Have fun! I imagine LA spillways to be a cooler L.A. River!

yeah we don't even have any rocks down here... but probably a good amount of washed up logs and driftwood to practice popping the front over. the spillway can be a mud fest after a rain. last I checked it was still full of water, I'll have to take a ride out there. 


I'm hoping with time I'll be able to wheelie this thing, but this is my first bike so I'm just glad I haven't crashed it yet :) really liking it so far though.

Right, right, it won't start popping up wildly until you re gear it. Down teeth in front, up teeth in the rear. Ride it how you feel good on it, when you do start hitting rocks and logs, re gear and/ or learn wheelies. Now just learn how to throw your weight around. Handle the beast in the mud!

IF you can, try to find someone nearby with a 125 two stroke or 250 four stroke to beat around the woods and trails on a little bit. It will boost your confidence alot and when you get back on the big 6 you will apply new things you learned. I started riding in earnest on an XR650L after riding little bikes when I was a kid/teenager but 20 years later I bought the XR. Then I bought an XR600 and raced it but it was too big for me to properly identify how to tune the suspension and how to handle a bike (physical conditioning is very important) witht he big bikes they jerk you around so much with all the torque when you try to ride them hard off road. After you develop your balance and physical conditioning the XR6 will become and amazing monster of endless power and fun IMO.

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