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I am an older rider, turning 45 in two days actually.   I ride a YZ 450f.     I am wanting to improve and I know that seat time helps.  But I feel my technique may be off.   I find I ride a  lap and my arms are just rubber.  I think I may be holding on too tight and wearing my self out.  Is this possible?    I worry at times that I get sitting on the back of the bike because I may not have the proper body position.  the feeling like the bike is pulling me around.

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11 minutes ago, nickerkx said:

I am an older rider, turning 45 in two days actually.   I ride a YZ 450f.     I am wanting to improve and I know that seat time helps.  But I feel my technique may be off.   I find I ride a  lap and my arms are just rubber.  I think I may be holding on too tight and wearing my self out.  Is this possible?    I worry at times that I get sitting on the back of the bike because I may not have the proper body position.  the feeling like the bike is pulling me around.

Keep riding and push yourself but don't go crazy. Will get better.  450 can take toll on ya exspecaily if you're on the gas. People will say grip with your legs yes but if you're on the gas with a 450 you need to hang on.  Go racing it will get better I promise.  If you want it to

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Riding too far back on the bike will tire your arms out quickly. You should be able to clamp onto the frame of the bike with your ankles/calves and get your body forward so the bike is pushing you not pulling you. Keep your toes in/straight and it will help you automatically grip the bike better. When you are accelerating, you should typically be forward enough with your head and body that you can look down and see the numbers on your front number plate. Alternatively, when you are braking is when you want to be further back on the bike, also standing crouched but further back. Replay an outdoor mx race and focus on watching the head/body position of riders when they are on the gas and braking. You'll see what people mean by attack position. You don't want to be sitting upright hanging off the back of the bike, getting dragged along for the ride. 

One method to help keep elbows up is to grip the bars like a tennis racquet, not a baseball bat. I try to ride so that the bars are pressed against the lower-outter pad of my palm, not the crease. These are all things that I've gathered from lessons I have taken this year, and have helped me progress much faster than years past. FYI I'm 40 and riding better than I ever have, so focus on technique. Take some lessons if needed. Riding is as much technique as it is fitness.

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8 hours ago, nickerkx said:

I am an older rider, turning 45 in two days actually.   I ride a YZ 450f.     I am wanting to improve and I know that seat time helps.  But I feel my technique may be off.   I find I ride a  lap and my arms are just rubber.  I think I may be holding on too tight and wearing my self out.  Is this possible?    I worry at times that I get sitting on the back of the bike because I may not have the proper body position.  the feeling like the bike is pulling me around.

Stand up more. Sitting you get pulled through your arms, standing you get pushed through the pegs.

Edited by temporarily_locked
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8 hours ago, nickerkx said:

I am an older rider, turning 45 in two days actually.   I ride a YZ 450f.     I am wanting to improve and I know that seat time helps.  But I feel my technique may be off.   I find I ride a  lap and my arms are just rubber.  I think I may be holding on too tight and wearing my self out.  Is this possible?    I worry at times that I get sitting on the back of the bike because I may not have the proper body position.  the feeling like the bike is pulling me around.

I'd agree with the three posts above. I'm 56, only been riding for 1.8 years, only MX. I moved from a 2015 CRF250R to a 2017 CRF450R. The 450 has a lot more power so takes everything you got to hold on at times. EVERYTHING! I love riding the 450.

Only one lap, that really has to be bad arm pump to happen in one lap. You have to get the upper body to relax as often as you can. I still have a hell of a time doing that going up hill because the 450 has plenty of power to blast up some steep stuff!

So while sometimes you are hanging on for life (WFO exiting a corner), you should be as relaxed as much as you can in other areas of the track. As much as you can use your legs turning/controlling the bike and relax the upper body (arms and hands).

Edited by GoneDirtBikeN
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6 hours ago, JustinM said:

Riding too far back on the bike will tire your arms out quickly. You should be able to clamp onto the frame of the bike with your ankles/calves and get your body forward so the bike is pushing you not pulling you. Keep your toes in/straight and it will help you automatically grip the bike better. When you are accelerating, you should typically be forward enough with your head and body that you can look down and see the numbers on your front number plate. Alternatively, when you are braking is when you want to be further back on the bike, also standing crouched but further back. Replay an outdoor mx race and focus on watching the head/body position of riders when they are on the gas and braking. You'll see what people mean by attack position. You don't want to be sitting upright hanging off the back of the bike, getting dragged along for the ride. 

One method to help keep elbows up is to grip the bars like a tennis racquet, not a baseball bat. I try to ride so that the bars are pressed against the lower-outter pad of my palm, not the crease. These are all things that I've gathered from lessons I have taken this year, and have helped me progress much faster than years past. FYI I'm 40 and riding better than I ever have, so focus on technique. Take some lessons if needed. Riding is as much technique as it is fitness.

Have you took lessons? 

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I have not taken lessons, but that is something I would be very interested in doing for sure.   Thanks for the tips everyone, all are noted and will work on them.

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On 9/25/2017 at 11:07 PM, temporarily_locked said:

 

Stand up more. Sitting you get pulled through your arms, standing you get pushed through the pegs.

I get pulled more when I stand up

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On 9/26/2017 at 8:30 AM, nickerkx said:

I am an older rider, turning 45 in two days actually.   I ride a YZ 450f.     I am wanting to improve and I know that seat time helps.  But I feel my technique may be off.   I find I ride a  lap and my arms are just rubber.  I think I may be holding on too tight and wearing my self out.  Is this possible?    I worry at times that I get sitting on the back of the bike because I may not have the proper body position.  the feeling like the bike is pulling me around.

Yes. Holding on too tight and fighting the bike too much. Slow down a little and work on the correct positioning, and relax a bit. You don't HAVE to screw the throttle wide open on a 450.

Get someone to video/photo you.

I got back into it a year ago and was shocked at My shitty body position the first pic of Me I saw....

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Fear, finesse and fitness :)  If you are in over your head, at a new track, lots of other riders around you etc it causes you to tense up.  Sometimes something as simple as your lever positions can make a big difference.  In your normal standing position you want your arm/wrist/hand straight.  If they are angled up or down(wrists bent) you are cutting off circulation and accelerating the arm pump.

 

Finesse, its easy on a 450 to get to ham fisted, especially once a little tired.  harder to pull in the clutch, harder to be easy on the gas.  Smoother is faster and takes less effort.  Body position will help that too.  If you find yourself getting zapped after 5min, ride for 4min, rest, eat a few bananas, drink water, ride again for 4min.  Once you get to the point where you are cramping/hurting it will take you longer to recover.  Just take time.

 

Fitness, if you are out of shape its much worse too.  MX takes a lot of core strength.  Hydration, nutrition and just strength.  If your core isn't strong you are likely compensating

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Here's some insight from another old rookie. Some good tips so far so I'll try not to repeat.... I was a very fast BMX'r (up to 17x) joined navy rode street standards, sport and sport tourers) for 20+ years. Only included to point out that the only thing in common between dirt and street is location of controls.....I don't even use them the same. I started mx at 48 on a 06 450, had a severe clavicle break (out/off for 6 months) basically started again from day 1. Turned 50 early October, still back of the pack but I've caught up enough to be racing couple guys. Finished series 4th in +45 and 6th in open beginner.
Fear - it's scary at times....that's most of the fun! I love banging bars (the old BMX'r) especially starts. Doesn't take much to point it and pin it. Just stay in your limits (which will have to be pushed to get faster).
Finesse - get a lot of schools in. At my local track school is one of best values (3.5 hours on track for $25). Skill/technique will make big difference in stamina!
Fitness - No way around it if you want to get faster. Depends on how fast you want to improve. Seat time will do it if no hurry.... but I'm kinda competitive so....MX was the motivation I needed when nothing else could get me off those dam cigarettes. Now I've started weights and bicycle cardio.
Next season I move up to +50 the fastest vet at my track is 56 he rules +50, +45 and is in top 3 of +35 so age isn't an excuse.
If I could do over I would have gone the 250 4t route. A 450 is tough without some basic skills.

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If you sit alot try leaning forward in anticipation of acceleration. In my case I get more tired in braking, thats when you really have to squeeze with your legs. If you consciously do it you will notice a difference.

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Push-ups.

And use one of those wrist strengthening gizmos on way to track to help with arm pump. You body gets as strong as it needs to so just keep at it.

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