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Riding 101

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I have just started riding a Dirt bike. I have been riding Quads and sportbikes for several years so, this is all new. Since I have been riding the others I have not had to deal with the odd fealing of a floating bike underneath me. I have a KTM 450 SX. I have read several postes on the front tire washing out. I read a tech article that stated to sit on the gas tank if you can get that far forward. Should I be sitting as far forward as the family jewels will let me or should I be sitting somewhat comfortable.

Another question I have is on seat bounce, a on going question. I have read the posts but, on a quad you push down on the pegs during the jump and get a pre-load on the shocks can this be done on a bike? If you can think of any other tips that would help a new rider on anything that might have bothered you as a new rider would be appreciated. Looking through a corner, standing in long corners, doubling woops, just not looking like a newby on the track, etc.

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That is a very hard feeling to get used to. I still dont like it. If youve had the bike in the trails, you'll notice that youll sit on the very front of the sead, the jewels sitting on the tank. Hurts pretty bad if you get jared, but thats where you go naturaly. This is the position you want in your turns. Just on the tank, but to the outside side of the seat. Push the tank down with your knee, this will in turn make you push on the outside peg. Roll the throttle and keep your body upright. The rest is second nature. Oh... and dont hang onto the handle bars.

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Seat bouncing is NOT for begginers!

Yes, you want to be as far on the gas tank as you can. Also make sure you have proper spring weights and proper sag. This will help greatly with washing out. As for the bike floating around, you just have to get used to it and trust it :)

Try to do stoppies and wheelies and play around on some small jumps with technique. This will help you get more in touch with the bike and how it will react.

As for corners, Have your jewls on the gas cap almost, have you inside leg out but not touching the ground and not in back of the peg! Also, weight your outside peg! These will all help you get a lot better and faster! :)

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Unlike quads and streetbikes, dirtbikes like to be ridden while standing up. Due to the poor footpeg to bar distance on quads, it's far more tiring to stand up during acceleration. With a bike you should lean into the acceleration, keeping your weight on the pegs, having the bike "push" you. With a quad you weight ends up farther back, and the quad "pulls" you by your arms, hence the tendency to sit down more on a quad. Getting this right really helps with your balance and arm pump.

As mentioned, focus on weighting the outside peg. With a quad you're hanging off the inside of the machine, not so on a dirtbike. You'll note that keeping your weight balanced and on the footpegs is a common theme throughout all the threads.

Preloading the shocks works the same for 2 as it does 4 wheels.

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Should I be sitting as far forward as the family jewels will let me or should I be sitting somewhat comfortable.

If you can keep up with me around the track, I'll show you how its done. :) Just kidding. I can't wait for the track to dry out and some decent temps. Plus I got the rad guards installed, so I can crash without worrying now! :)

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Thanks for the info. I hear you Jimbo just wait for the weather to break and get some time from work. Anyone have any ideas on musts for a new bike so I don't have to worry about dumping it, grill guards etc? :)

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If you can keep up with me around the track, I'll show you how its done. :) Just kidding. I can't wait for the track to dry out and some decent temps. Plus I got the rad guards installed, so I can crash without worrying now! :)

So you're saying you crash alot? lol

I almost never crash! I can save a lot of stuff. It gets SCARY sometimes, but mosta the time I can pull it off. Sometimes it's inevidable. Those are the 1's that hurt! :p

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Some of the techniques from quads to bikes are kinda the same but in many ways very different! Corner speed and being smooth is everything on a bike. Also bike set up is very important also. Most Ktm's are a little undersprung and need offset clamps (18 mm), Talk to the fast ktm guys about set up, it will help greatly! Tire choice makes a huge difference also, check out what most pro's at your tracks are running, it will save you some trial and error. Buy a few racing videos also, they are very informative and should answer a lot of questions... Troy Vet 140

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Tire choice is a must!

I run a Dunlop 756 rear because i get them for $50 and there great tires.

But i HATE dunlop 756 front tire, they wash out to easy. I like the Michillein(sp) starcross. It works much better, everywhere.

When i feel like im going to wash out, i give a hard snap to the throttle, and it pulls me out. I have rode plenty of 4-strokes and they are very predictable. Steering is a bit slow with them compaired to my rm. But with a bit of extra torque you can pull yourself out better on the trails. What will help you more is keeping a set line and staying loose on the bike. DON'T tense up! once you loose you posture, its all down hill from there.

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What type of riding are you doing? What type of terrain is it?

Is your suspension set properly? Are your fork springs set properly? You may need to play with your clickers a bit.

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