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New forum member, new rider, '06 250x

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Hello all, Dan from North Carolina here.

I just made the switch from years of street bikes and road race bikes to dirt.

I've had 39 different street / race bikes & spent about 4 years doing track days and racing with CCS & WERA, never been on a dirt bike.

Now comes the surprise.........I suck at riding a dirt bike!!

I bought a practically brand new (not even a mark on it) 2006 Honda 250x and have been to the MX track three times so far. Needless to say, I'm still virgin and suck terribly. 8 yr olds constantly roost me.

The bike is bone stock, and I have plans to at least change out the springs front and rear for my weight (205 without gear)

Other than that, I really don't have anything to complain about since I can't ride the thing anywhere near the limit yet.

I've bought some instructional DVD's, and have learned a bit, I watch the fast guys, and learn a lot there as well.

My biggest issue is jumping and body / throttle position. I'm getting better at it, but it's trial and error at this point...no real instruction or guidance....which is what I really need. Any help here?

I'm currently working on turning - which I think was one of the single biggest differences between street bikes and dirt bikes. Body position is absolutely opposite to what I'm used too.

Other than that, I've got my son (2), my daughter (3) and my wife on bikes with me (CRF50, DRZ70, KLX110 respectively) It's a family affair. I'm quite sure my son will be an mx rider....he is so addicted.

Anyway, any tips, instruction, etc. are greatly welcome!

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Hi Dan, welcome! It's a bit slow on TT over the holidays so you might not get a bunch of responses immediately.

You bought a great bike but you're a bit heavier than Honda designed for so you might need to stiffen it up a bit after you get used to it. Seeing as you're not jumping up a storm I don't think you need to make that a big priority initially.

There are many threads on riding skills but the first and best advice I ever received was to spend time on the bike. You should get out on weekdays and run gas through the thing like you own stock in Mobil. One thing I do try to keep in mind is that body position (or body english as it used to be called) is critical on dirt bikes. You want your crotch on the tank around tight corners and your butt over the rear fender on straights, lean the bike way over on s-turns while keeping your body somewhat upright and let the bike turn itself, etc.

Also, you should invest in helmets, boots, gloves, "leathers" (pants) and chest protectors for everybody. Collarbone's are so easy to break and chest protectors are so cheap...

Back to the X, I recently bought one and was amazed at how plugged-up Honda sells them stock (evidently for emissions compliance). I bought mine for trail use and wanted it street legal but a number of the mods in my "dual-sport" post apply to you - it's at:

http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=707827&highlight=

and here's how I take all my bikes with us which started to become a concern when more kids wanted to ride:

http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=726119&highlight

So there's a few ideas to get you started and I hope you all get hooked!

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Welcome to the dirt community, you and your family will love it.

Start reading the "Off-road riding technique" and the "MX riding forum" here, it's a wealth of info.

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Thanks for the welcome and the tips.

Seating position is certainly one of the things I'm currently working on....as it is so much different than riding a sport bike. The DVD's helped in that department pretty well.

I still haven't found any good instructional DVD's that were specific to jumping, so if anyone has a good lead I would appreciate it very much.

Hauling the bikes...no issue there. I've got an '08 Toyota Tundra Crewmax with a 6x10 drop gate trailer...they all fit nice, and tow like it's not even there.

Gear - Yep, got it all. Kids too of course....although I went with the 50/50 motocross boot instead of the traditional boot, and more of a trail pant than MX pant.....I may end up buying both and use one for trail, one for mx.

Mostly though, I want to learn to ride well enough to teach my kids and bring them up through the mx ranks. Most folks we meet are floored that my 2 yr old is riding....and riding well....so we think he's got some natural potential.

I see myself participating in some of the >40 classes in 2 yrs if all goes well.

Thanks again,

Dan

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Good job, Dan! I cringe when I see kids riding in t-shirts, jeans and sneakers.

With your enthusiam, I'm sure you'll all progress quickly and have the kids racing peewee asap. One thing that helped me alot was hitting the track on weekdays and trying the same corners hundreds of times. Compared to desert riding it's like concentrated practice. Then when you watch what the guys are doing when they blow by you you can start working on mimicking them too. Also, a friend took some video of me riding and an expert on the same bike/same track - that opened my eyes!

I started "racing" enduros first, then desert (well, actually only one desert race) and then motocross. MX for me is definitely the highest stress level and I'm glad I had alot of miles in the saddle first (the desert race start was up there too).

Anyway, best of luck!

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Thanks for the welcome.

I did locate some more dvd's, so I'll be purchasing a bunch more soon.

Yeah, I agree...seat time. It's the only way to really get good.

The track is only open Fri-Sun, and our "good" trail network is currently closed until spring for errosion control. (every winter)

So, I'll get there as much as I can and try to have a plan for each visit to work on something specific.

There is an AMA sanctioned race by me in two weeks, I think I'm going to take the kids and spectate.

Thanks again,

Dan

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Welcome to the site! Sounds like you are off on the right track so to speak.Check out Shane Watts Dirtwise DVD. It gives good pointers about all aspects of riding, :busted:

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Looks like your on the right track. You just need handlebar time. Dont rush and take any risk your not ready for. I dont race motocross anymore but I do race enduros and hairscrambles which gives me a chance to ride trails at my own pace. I usually take my family and we camp out the nite before.

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Thanks for the welcome and the tips.

Seating position is certainly one of the things I'm currently working on....as it is so much different than riding a sport bike.

I love going out with road riders, especially the Harley guys - they always pretty much kill themselves.

Firstly, increase your race sag to 4 1/2". This will balance your bike to compensate for the under-sprung stock setup by matching the additional sag in the forks. The stock spring rates are balanced, so you'll just be riding ~1/2" lower in the stroke than your supposed to be. My bike is set up the same way for a similar rider weight, but I'm a woods rider and I like the softer springs, and I could care less about that 1/2" (actually makes it easier to touch the ground so it's a bonus - I'm short AND fat).

On a road bike, you sit back on the bike, and when you steer with the bars or lean over with your body, the bike it goes where you want it. This is not the case on a dirt bike.

Here is the mind-over-matter part (kinda like zen). You do not sit on and/or body lean/steer a dirtbike. You do not steer a dirtbike with the handlebars, you don't lean your body over to turn, and you only sit when your resting. The only thing you do with your handlebars is work the controls. You ride/steer a dirtbike with your legs, not your arms.

Riding a dirtbike is just like skiing moguls (although I'm not sure this analogy will help you, being down in NC). You stand up tall, push forward with your hips and knees, and keep your weight centered over the balls of your feet. You keep your legs/knees pinched tight together and point your knees in the direction you want to go to turn. As you enter a turn, you increase pressure on the outside knee, compress down, and transfer your weight to the outer (downhill) foot. Don't be fooled by the pictures of the guys you see sitting down with their foot sticking out on a MX track - they're not really sitting. In a tight MX-style turn, you're simply compressed down until your butt hits the seat, but not much weight is actually on the seat - virtually all of your weight is still on the downhill (outside) foot, and your inside foot sticks up to get it out of the way.

Other than the fact that you are going uphill instead of down, if you make your body do the exact same thing as you would on skis, you'll see what dirbikes are supposed to do! For all the skiiers out there that haven't tried this mindset - just wait...I'll need a bigger gas can.

Good luck, have fun, and don't kill yourself like the rest of the road bike guys :thinking:.

JayC

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I love going out with road riders, especially the Harley guys - they always pretty much kill themselves.

Wait a second I ride a Harley. :thinking:

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I love going out with road riders, especially the Harley guys - they always pretty much kill themselves.

herkdavis reply...

Wait a second I ride a Harley. :thinking:

Yeah, but weren't you a dirtbike rider first?

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I had a great practice day yesterday...worked on a bunch of new skills and left feeling like I really learned a lot.

My confidence level is coming up really quick for only being on a dirt bike a total of 3 times. I feel pretty satisfied with my progress so far.

Here are some pics from yesterday.

January32009103x.jpg

January32009107x-1.jpg

January32009102x.jpg

January32009056x.jpg

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I had a great practice day yesterday...worked on a bunch of new skills and left feeling like I really learned a lot.

My confidence level is coming up really quick for only being on a dirt bike a total of 3 times. I feel pretty satisfied with my progress so far.

Here are some pics from yesterday.

January32009103x.jpg

January32009107x-1.jpg

January32009102x.jpg

January32009056x.jpg

Sounds like you had fun.

What track is that?

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