My gf and I are brand new to bikes, need to good, wide open place to learn

California

Hey guys

Up until 2 years ago I raced ATV MX in the pro-am class in CA and AZ. I moved close to the beach, didn't have enough room to work on stuff, so I sold everything. Couldn't stay away so I picked up a CRF450R earlier this week and want to get my girlfriend a TTR125 or something small she can learn on (she's never been on a dirt bike or any motorcycle before in her life). I'm also a rookie... not necessarily due to the 2 wheels, but due to the twist throttle. Going to take a bit to get used to that again!

My question is - I grew up riding in AZ and mostly on tracks. Here in CA with this whole red/green sticker thing I'm a little confused. I'm looking for a nice, mellow place that I can teach her to ride thats around Orange County area. My bike is obviously a red sticker, and hers will be a green. If there is a riding area that also allows camping that would be great too.

I checked out the 'where to ride' feature but most of the listings didn't have the info I'm looking for. If anyone can be of help I'd appreciate it.

Thanks!

Cal City has riding for all levels. You can also ride red sticker year around. Miles and miles of free camping also. :smirk:

El Mirage. Nice, big, flat lakebed and trails into the hilly areas. Don't wait for July...

Gorman - plenty of people on weekends (when it's open) so get there early. Gets pretty full of quadtards, but once you leave camp, it's usually fine. Watch for reverse riders on one-way trails :smirk:

Wildomar - inland, pretty area, small, out of the way. At two staging areas and a kid corral. Decent trails, not as open as Gorman or El Mirage. Can get crowded; show up early.

Hey now, easy with that quadtard talk. Did you read my whole post? :smirk:

Thanks a lot for the information so far! Anyone else with suggestions please chime in!

Your best bet is El Mirage that is where the wife learned to ride just wach out for the quadtards:lol: just messing with ya I ride a bike but I race a quad in the desert

Hey now, easy with that quadtard talk. Did you read my whole post? :lol:

Thanks a lot for the information so far! Anyone else with suggestions please chime in!

I guess if the shoe fits... :rant:

But seriously, I also have an '06 outlaw 500. It's fun. Do I do donuts in staging areas or next to kids or grandma setting up for lunch, or quad-out singletrack? Nope. But we all know who the quadtards are when we see them, and who are not. It's an issue to deal with for comfort and safety reasons, not a personal thing. Bikes do it too, it sucks. Good to know that certain areas seem to be more prone to it. :smirk:

El Mirage. Nice, big, flat lakebed and trails into the hilly areas. Don't wait for July...
Your best bet is El Mirage

Ditto X 3. That's where I take anyone who needs to learn to ride. No sand, flat for miles (and I mean FLAT) and enough trails around the lakebed to go out and explore once you get your two wheeled legs....

Johnson Valley/Lucern valley. all open, FREE, Cougar Buttes are beautiful, and fun to climb on. Take camp-rock road east to the buttes!!

nearly everything from the OC is over 100 miles one way. if you have a USFS pipe, you can go to Wildomar OHV till the red sticker season is over. Off highway 74 from the 5 south. not a bad place to learn on and not far from home. as soon as the red sticker season is closed you are pretty much screwed.:rant: unless you want to ride track? and I'm sure your ladiefriend wont want to ride track so soon. the only places I know that don't check for sticker color and sparky is Johnson Valley and Stoddard Wells. But even JV i hear will be closed in a few years.

Dump the 450R and get a 450X, green sticker. why let the state prevent you from riding all year round. :smirk:

agreed, poor form choosing the 450R, unnecessary for a beginner dirt rider...

the options people have given you are good, gorman, el mirage, stoddard are all great for learning...

you might consider getting your girl a little xr200 thats street legal or something first, that way she can putz around on the street and let her get use to the bike and then take it out and rip in the dirt

Stoddard is closer than El Mirage and JV. There are plenty of flat easy routes for beginners there. I used to go with my stepson and taught him to ride there. Staged past the cart track off of the second Stoddard Wells exit. Nothing super smooth and there is sand, but lots of open easy stuff. JV is cool but quite a bit further. If you can ride during the week Wildomar is cool to cruise around. Never saw anyone during the week. Lots of other places like Baldy Mesa, Silverwood, and Cleghorn that have beginner friendly routes, just no bueno on weekends. If it were me I would head on out to Stoddard if weekends trips are your only option. Not sure I would be riding without a spark arrrestor at any of the places I or others have mentioned. There Rangers present pretty much anywhere you ride legally. I can honestly say that I have only been probed for a sparky a few times. I just would not want to deal with the potential for a ticket and fine. Just my .02 on the subject. Have fun where ever you chose to go:thumbsup:

El Mirage is $15 a day or $30 for a week.

That being said...

I'll be in El Mirage in the next few weeks if you want to meet up and have a ride! My GF is also quite new to motorcycles and has been having a blast there. It also has some more difficult terrain for novice riding.

PM if you are interested!

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-BIG DAN:thumbsup:

x2 Cal city. No hassles ever Just buy a bike permit for 8 bucks per yr. They welcome you out there. Great camping for miles. Worth the drive.:rant::smirk:

My 12 year old son is also learning bikes so if you want to come out and putt around, PM me and we can ride some good spots. Beginners especially get more excited about the sport when they ride with bigger groups.

He's learning at the MX track mostly just like I did, but I don't know if you're chick would be into that. You might, though- especially since you got a 450R...and have a racing background. I don't ride a quad, but I have seen some really good fast quad riders on the track. All I can say, is it must take balls to jump a quad. I tried it before, and it's much harder than a dirtbike.

agreed, poor form choosing the 450R, unnecessary for a beginner dirt rider...

Unnecessary for almost any weekend rider. If a person is soooo good that they need an R... chances are they are getting free bikes and riding tracks only year round anyway.

When people stop buying RED sticker bikes they'll start making green sticker compliant race/track bikes.

El Mirage is the place to start. Then when you wanna branch out, hook up with us and we'll teach you the trails in all the other places. There is a lot more to learn than just HOW to ride. Having friends that know WHERE to ride is mucho important for the fun factor too. :smirk:

PS - when you are ready to get ride of the track bike... skip the green sticker and buy a factory plated bike... your riding options will open up 10 fold. :rant:

Unnecessary for almost any weekend rider. If a person is soooo good that they need an R... chances are they are getting free bikes and riding tracks only year round anyway.

For some, it's more about weight and feel. Personally, I'm freaking SICK of the weight on my DS bikes, but that doesn't mean I would buy a red sticker.

Still....I long for the days of my smokers. THOSE were dirt bikes. Not these big pigs we ride now. :lol::smirk: It's soome genius strapped a 50lb bag of dog food across the tank of my bikes. Woohooo!!! Now that's fun. :p

I'd buy back my Montesa in a heartbeat..... Straight down pipe with no silencer, bing carb with tickle button, huge flywheel, those were the days..... It had a NO sticker. :smirk:

Oh well.

No where good left to ride anyway. Just clapped out freeway-wide "trails" with fences on the sides to keep us on the "trail".

To the OP - hit the track. :rant:

My vote is for El mirage too. I got my first bike last summer (YZ250) and El mirage helped alot on learning throttle control, turning, braking, shifting etc. The flat lakebed is HUGE (I didn't believe how big it was till I actually rode it) so learning on it is very nice. Only $15 for an entire day or like $90 for the year. And sometimes when you go during the week, you have well over 20 thousand acres to yourself! Have fun and be safe!

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