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Novice Rider - Basic Dirtbike Riding 101

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/putting myself out there for extreme ridicule, but I have three kids and not a lot of spare time, so currently an MX riding class is not an option for me.

I know there's a forum for technique, but could we do an all-in-one inclusive thread about moto basics? Kind of a "Dirtbiking For Dummies, 101" type thing?

A few things I want to know:

1. When to squeeze bike with legs/knees?

2. How to jump - what is preloading, how do you know when to hit the gas/brake, how do you keep from going over on your face on a jump? It seems like by the time I realize I'm endoing or looping, it'd be too late to hit the gas/brake to correct...?

3. Ruts - They Don't Like You And How To Deal With Them?

4. How to get over the "OhMyGod I'm Gonna Slide Out" feeling when going over gravel / sand / mud / washy stuff? How to get used to that bouncy back tire feeling?

5. Whoops - do you go over each one, or bounce over the tops?

6. When is standing on your bike appropriate?

7. Turns - do you gas going into it or going out of it? Is putting your foot down always necessary? (Why do you put your foot down, anyway?)

8. Scooting up on the bike, scooting back on the bike - the only thing I know is when going into a turn, you get up on your tank, but are there other times you scoot up/back? (side note: does yer butt get sore from all the scootin'?)

That sort of stuff. I've been riding for a long time but never spent any time actually LEARNING how to do this stuff (kinda like half-assing songs on a guitar or playing slop pool) and my recent foray into harescrambles showed me just how little I know about actual riding science.

Anyone want to help me out? Just basic stuff, I doubt I'll be doing any 60' triples any time soon.

I know you could all probably write a BOOK (and are likely disinclined to do so), but if you could pick on thing and reply on it, that would be greeeat...mmyeaahhh... (said in an "Office Space" Lumbergh's kinda tone) :bonk:

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/putting myself out there for extreme ridicule, but I have three kids and not a lot of spare time, so currently an MX riding class is not an option for me.

I know there's a forum for technique, but could we do an all-in-one inclusive thread about moto basics? Kind of a "Dirtbiking For Dummies, 101" type thing?

A few things I want to know:

1. When to squeeze bike with legs/knees?

2. How to jump - what is preloading, how do you know when to hit the gas/brake, how do you keep from going over on your face on a jump? It seems like by the time I realize I'm endoing or looping, it'd be too late to hit the gas/brake to correct...?

3. Ruts - They Don't Like You And How To Deal With Them?

4. How to get over the "OhMyGod I'm Gonna Slide Out" feeling when going over gravel / sand / mud / washy stuff? How to get used to that bouncy back tire feeling?

5. Whoops - do you go over each one, or bounce over the tops?

6. When is standing on your bike appropriate?

7. Turns - do you gas going into it or going out of it? Is putting your foot down always necessary? (Why do you put your foot down, anyway?)

8. Scooting up on the bike, scooting back on the bike - the only thing I know is when going into a turn, you get up on your tank, but are there other times you scoot up/back? (side note: does yer butt get sore from all the scootin'?)

That sort of stuff. I've been riding for a long time but never spent any time actually LEARNING how to do this stuff (kinda like half-assing songs on a guitar or playing slop pool) and my recent foray into harescrambles showed me just how little I know about actual riding science.

Anyone want to help me out? Just basic stuff, I doubt I'll be doing any 60' triples any time soon.

I know you could all probably write a BOOK (and are likely disinclined to do so), but if you could pick on thing and reply on it, that would be greeeat...mmyeaahhh... (said in an "Office Space" Lumbergh's kinda tone) :bonk:

Wow, where to begin? Standing up is easy to understand, as in essence you should be standing most of the time, sitting only when initiating a turn and certain types of long straightaways.

What you really need to do, besides getting a book or two, is to sign up for a beginning riding school. Doesn't have to be mx-oriented, but one that teaches basic off-road techniques. The MSF offers these. Google it.

Motorcycle Safety Foundation.

The problem with asking this question on a forum is that you will get conflicting advice and advice from people who really don't know what they're talking about, but can be very convincing.

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What I did:

"Dirt Wise" DVD - $25ish

Gary Semics DVDs - don't remember cost

Ryan Hughs DVD - watched from net flix

Gary Semics book co-authored with someone else - amazon

There are other learning materials out there - and of course schools.

Would not recommend a basic MSF offroad course to someone who knows how to kinda sorta ride.

A hard way to learn is to try to pick out the 'good' info from 'not so good' info on TT - but if you take the time - that works too.

.

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I can help you with a few:

1.Going up a jump where the face is rutted squeeze tight with your legs so the back end doesnt come around. Also squeeze tight in the whoops

5. Always go thru whoops in a higher gear and lean back so your front end keeps pulling and keeps it light. Squeeze tight with your legs and let the bike do the work.

6. I usually stand before i jump or going across a whoop section or going down a downhill. On straights im on it and sitting down.

7. Turning i usually come in sitting down and hard on the brakes more so the back i always pull my clutch in unless its a really wide turn. Lean the bike far on the berm and once you hit the apex of the turn nail it if it bogs cause you into high of gear "one finga" the clutch to get it going. By the way i always put my foot down far out in front of me by my axle. O ya almost forgot i usually drag the back brake when im leaving the turn alot of ppl drag the front you can try that to i dont know why but i go just as fast when i drag my back it may feel weird to other people but it comes natural to me.

Hope this helps a bit.

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Clay, your sig line made me laugh my butt off.

Thanks for the info - I'm one of those visual people, I'll probably end up having to get a video.

If I could get seat time with hubby, he could teach me everything I need to know, but with three little kids (8, 4, 2), there's precious little time for both of us to ride together. Last year we rode together twice - and once was for our 12 year wedding anniversary! :bonk:

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Clay, your sig line made me laugh my butt off.

Haha ya my girlfriend picked out that sticker at the mx track so put it as my sig lol.

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You need to buy a DVD player and then go shopping on Gary Semics personal web site.

Nothing that you ask'ed can be answered in simple "Yes" "No" or "When this happens, then...". Start buying his DVD's and that will get you going,

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/putting myself out there for extreme ridicule, but I have three kids and not a lot of spare time, so currently an MX riding class is not an option for me.

I know there's a forum for technique, but could we do an all-in-one inclusive thread about moto basics? Kind of a "Dirtbiking For Dummies, 101" type thing?

A few things I want to know:

1. When to squeeze bike with legs/knees? I try to at all times

2. How to jump - what is preloading, how do you know when to hit the gas/brake, how do you keep from going over on your face on a jump? It seems like by the time I realize I'm endoing or looping, it'd be too late to hit the gas/brake to correct...? Stay constant on the gas , not full throttle or anything, if the font end drops, and you have time, get on the gas hard. If the front end goes up higher than you like, tap the rear brake. Preloading to me, I try and force the bike down

3. Ruts - They Don't Like You And How To Deal With Them? Try not to look at them, instead look where you want to go

4. How to get over the "OhMyGod I'm Gonna Slide Out" feeling when going over gravel / sand / mud / washy stuff? How to get used to that bouncy back tire feeling? I try and use throttle control, but I have my leg out for balance

5. Whoops - do you go over each one, or bounce over the tops? Standing, on the gas squeezing the bike with my legs

6. When is standing on your bike appropriate?

7. Turns - do you gas going into it or going out of it? Is putting your foot down always necessary? (Why do you put your foot down, anyway?) For balance

8. Scooting up on the bike, scooting back on the bike - the only thing I know is when going into a turn, you get up on your tank, but are there other times you scoot up/back? (side note: does yer butt get sore from all the scootin'?)

Very rare do I sit on the rear of the seat, I do slide around some thoguh in the process of sitting an standing, has been knwown to pull down my pants:eek:

That sort of stuff. I've been riding for a long time but never spent any time actually LEARNING how to do this stuff (kinda like half-assing songs on a guitar or playing slop pool) and my recent foray into harescrambles showed me just how little I know about actual riding science.

Practice, practice practice and remember it's all fun:thumbsup:

Anyone want to help me out? Just basic stuff, I doubt I'll be doing any 60' triples any time soon.

I know you could all probably write a BOOK (and are likely disinclined to do so), but if you could pick on thing and reply on it, that would be greeeat...mmyeaahhh... (said in an "Office Space" Lumbergh's kinda tone) :bonk:

Too bad you didn't live out here, a friend of mine let me know yesterday she is going to help out teaching MX:thumbsup:

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Too bad you didn't live out here, a friend of mine let me know yesterday she is going to help out teaching MX:thumbsup:

Bummer, we could get together, have a Pepsi and not talk about guns! :naughty::bonk:

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Bummer, we could get together, have a Pepsi and not talk about guns! :D:naughty:

It's gotta be Diet Coke:thumbsup: WHy talk when we could shoot them:thumbsup: :bonk:

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What you really need to do, besides getting a book or two, is to sign up for a beginning riding school. Doesn't have to be mx-oriented, but one that teaches basic off-road techniques. The MSF offers these. Google it.

hey reread her post. then respond. she says she has no time for a school. not to be a jerk but thats kinda one of my pet-peeves. sorry

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hey reread her post. then respond. she says she has no time for a school. not to be a jerk but thats kinda one of my pet-peeves. sorry

No stress, no drama. But I barely can get away long enough to grab a three hour trail ride, much less spend all day riding. And if I CAN spend all day riding, I usually spend it...well...riding! 👍

I've figured out some stuff by watching the motos and watching some of the big boys brappp around at the harescramble. I've noticed that the more confident I get on my bike because of better technique, the more likely I am to try the "scawwwy" stuff (like jumping) because I don't feel like my bike's gonna get away from me.

One of the biggest things I had to learn was how to hold the bike with my knees/legs. THAT alone has made a world of difference with regard to speed, especially in rutty and uneven stuff (loads of that up in the backwoods).

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