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Getting back into it

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I haven’t ridden a dirt bike in about 35 years. Lots of road bikes, and dirt road time on an 1150GS. Mostly I’ve been mountain biking.

 

I’m looking to get a plated trail bike for riding off road near my home in northern AZ. Can anyone make suggestions for basic gear for trail riding? I’ve got a helmet — and that it. In the old days I rode in jeans and work boots. Not this time...

 

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Basic necessities are, MX boots (Forma Predators are excellent and can be had for $260 aud), knee guards, jersey and paints, goggles and a helmet. Also don't forget your hydration pack!

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Boots and helmet are the biggest expense. Knee, elbow guards and possibly torso protector (shoulders and chest) can be and for cheap. Gloves of course, hydration pack, and later on your can start bringing tools along in a hip pack.

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Thanks for all the suggestions. I’ve got a bit of a shopping list now.

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No idea where your skills are at but don't expect that all your street riding experience correlates direct to dirt riding. Of course some skills transfer but standing, turning standing and rough terrain are probably going to need some practice. There are some great dirt riding videos, free on YouTube, that are excellent. CrossTrainingEnduroSkills. I took 27 years off and was surprised at how little skills I'd retained. I spent the first few times out with the bike just doing turning drills, sitting and standing, also braking and balance drills. Good luck and have some fun.

Best tip I ever got since I started riding again is don't fixate on the terrain at your front wheel but look ahead and pick your line, Trust the bike and your ability to follow your line. 

I have 2 MCL Type 1 injuries since riding again. Leg braces are an absolute necessity. Don't go cheap on helmet or boots. Buy the best you can afford.

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13 hours ago, dyrtmon said:

And a buddy to ride with. Very important.

And as time goes by usually the hardest part.

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I did the same thing. Took up dirt riding after twenty years or more off. The skills start coming back and your confidence begins to outpace your talent. Then you are so greatful for every peice of real gear you had on.

To start

Helmet, goggles, boots (so important), mx pants w hip and knee gaurds, roost protector but full armored jearsey is better w shoulder, elbow, for arm, chest, back armour and built in kidney belt. Good knee braces if your knees give you problems like mine.

First time over the bars you will be so grateful. Finding a good group to ride with is a big plus. Shop used too. Lot's of people go all in just to find they don't like it or have time. Stuff is like new sometimes for way less.

 

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2 hours ago, YHGEORGE said:

And as time goes by usually the hardest part.

Yup... most of the people I ride with are dropping of the radar one at a time and 10 yo son is loosing interest

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Thanks again for all the input.
I definitely don’t expect road bike experience to count for anything. I do give myself a little credit for years of mountain biking. Both fitness and bike handling. I’ve enjoyed and practiced technical MTB riding - and while I know it’s not the same, I’m imagining there will be some transfer.

On the other hand I’m planing to start very easy and work in to riding the moto....

The tips for strength building are also welcome. While not to far out of shape I’ve noticed a decline in general strength the past few years (Im going on 53) and have been working with a trainer. I’ve been doing squats rows, etc... but it’s a good reminder to up it.

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On 2/1/2018 at 2:52 PM, VFRCaptBob said:

I did the same thing. Took up dirt riding after twenty years or more off. The skills start coming back and your confidence begins to outpace your talent. Then you are so greatful for every peice of real gear you had on.

To start

Helmet, goggles, boots (so important), mx pants w hip and knee gaurds, roost protector but full armored jearsey is better w shoulder, elbow, for arm, chest, back armour and built in kidney belt. Good knee braces if your knees give you problems like mine.

First time over the bars you will be so grateful. Finding a good group to ride with is a big plus. Shop used too. Lot's of people go all in just to find they don't like it or have time. Stuff is like new sometimes for way less.

 

OK, you're all armored up and ready to go, then like you said, over the bars you go and break your neck.  You forgot the 2nd most important item besides a helmet. ;)

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5 hours ago, cjjeepercreeper said:

OK, you're all armored up and ready to go, then like you said, over the bars you go and break your neck.  You forgot the 2nd most important item besides a helmet. ;)

Kneck brace? That's no joke either. Had a simple low side at moderate speed. My chin bar dug in and yanked my head to the side and back. I was fine but ya that could have been it.

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