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Seattle Area trials noob looking for clarifiaction

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I'm a newish dirt rider. I've been riding street and dirt roads for a while, but I've started trail riding and I'm realizing my DR350 isn't the right bike. I don't think I want a "woods" bike. The slower pace, light weight and technique focus of a trials bike really appeals to me for a trail bike. I'd rather learn the right way to put the bike where I want it to go instead of "gas it out"

I've had a chance to ride a couple trials bikes recently. I've putted around a parking lot on a Montesa 4rt, I've had a chance to ride a 2001 Montesa 315r on really easy trail for 20 minutes, and yesterday I got to ride a 2000 Gas Gas 280 txt for a couple hours at Walker Valley.

Since I'm new to trials and new to trail riding in general i don't really know what I should be looking for. The difference between the 315r and the 280 txt seem subtle but significant. I felt like the 280 was much more rev happy than the 315 and a bit harder to control, and the 315 felt like it had a heavier flywheel and just wanted to chug along. I don't know if the Montesa had a fast or slow throttle tube on it, but the gas gas had the fast (white) one. Would the slower throttle tube make a huge difference?

I'm headed out to the Purple Penguin Trial on Sunday where I already have a couple offers to ride a few more bikes.

Thanks for the input

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Seattle Area? I live a little east of Renton in Maple Valley

In Trials, there really is NOT any right nor wrong bike. It's what feels good to YOU that counts. They are different, yes. And all of the bikes you mentioned are new enough for an introduction.

For throttle tubes, the standard is what some call the "fast throttle" but really, it is the standard one... Then there is the slow throttle for people starting out. Most new riders hold on too tight and they hug the frame of the bike with their legs or boots. This makes it hard to adjust balance with hand or boot pressure so they make constant throttle adjustments for balance recovery. That combined with a tight grip will seem to jerk you around.

As you learn to relax your grip and stance and then allow the bike to lean left and right under you while you remain centered, it will all settle out. Too often, new people will try to hold the bike straight up and then turn with their head and handlebars. Proper turning is with the bike leaned over slightly with your legs opening up to allow this. As the bike lays over a little at slow speeds, you will need to apply a little more weight on the outside foot peg to compensate for the bike's inside weight shift to hold it at that proper turning angle.

As a training exercise with the engine off, in neutral, hold the bike up by the tank or near the rear fender and push it forward in a straight line. Do NOT hold on to the handle bars.... THEN, lean it over a little and watch what the handle bars and front wheel does. The front should automatically turn to the correct angle that corresponds to the amount of bike lean. that is how a well engineered steering geometry works on a Trials Bike and others too. The more you lean it over, the more the steering angle of the front tire increases..... up to a point. Lean it over too far and the front tire will try to tuck in too tight.

There are 2 main things that affect how tight you can turn.. #1 is the leaning angle of the bike and #2 is the speed. The slower you go, the tighter your turn even if you don't increase the lean angle. If you are using the throttle to keep your balance in a turn, your speed will be changing and so will the turning radius.

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The flywheel weight on my 315r is over 7.5 ... POUNDS!:smirk:

I believe that is about the very same weight for the Gas Gas flywheel. And yet my Raga 300 is still 140 pounds dry weight..

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How easy is it to mellow out a 280? I assume a slow throttle tube will make a big difference, but can you add a flywheel weight to the 2000-2001 txt (I can't find one listed anywhere)? Would a head spacer help mellow out the engine?

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From what I hear the spacers work will to tame the bike a little and so does the throttle tube. I'm not so sure adding a few oz to that chunky flywheel would do much, but I know you can get them and people do so... The spacers and throttle tube would probably give you the most bang (or in this case sort of a gentle fwoomp) for your buck though.

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The 2001 Gas Gas 280 is already a fairly mild mannered bike compared to the newer Pro engine released in 2002..

A "slow throttle" does NOT slow the bike down, it just makes it more difficult for YOU to twist it to full open. A softer grip on the bars will fix that. As some instructors have said before: They call 'em Handle Bars, NOT hold-on bars.. :smirk:

The head spacers were developed for the newer Pro engine. I have not heard of anyone adding one to the older engines. I've added one to my loaner 300 Pro and 2 spacers to my wife's 200 Pro to make it easier for her to kick start.

Take your bike to that Trials Event coming up and have Gary Lawver take a look at it to see if it's tuned correctly. He's the service manager at Skagit Power Sports and can tell you better what to do. But most of the "taming" of the Gas Gas people talk about is for the newer Pro Style bikes that first came out in 2002.

It can help to step the idle speed up a little so that you don't have to worry about killing the engine as much and that gives you a little stay alive power at the slower speeds with less throttle work.. Just slip and pull the clutch to go slower than idle speed. That is good practice anyway... Pull the clutch and slow down until stopped while balancing and then you can let the clutch out just a little to move ahead to regain balance. If the idle speed is up a little, you will not need to play with the throttle as much.

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The 2001 Gas Gas 280 is already a fairly mild mannered bike compared to the newer Pro engine released in 2002..

A "slow throttle" does NOT slow the bike down, it just makes it more difficult for YOU to twist it to full open. A softer grip on the bars will fix that. As some instructors have said before: They call 'em Handle Bars, NOT hold-on bars.. :smirk:

The head spacers were developed for the newer Pro engine. I have not heard of anyone adding one to the older engines. I've added one to my loaner 300 Pro and 2 spacers to my wife's 200 Pro to make it easier for her to kick start.

Take your bike to that Trials Event coming up and have Gary Lawver take a look at it to see if it's tuned correctly. He's the service manager at Skagit Power Sports and can tell you better what to do. But most of the "taming" of the Gas Gas people talk about is for the newer Pro Style bikes that first came out in 2002.

That's the answer I was looking for. Decoding the differences between years in the gas gas line is clear as mud.

From my ride at walker I can tell a few thugs right off. At 6'6" I'm going to need risers and or taller bars on what ever bike I end up with. I'm going to need to learn how to keep myself centered and not over grip. That combined with the normal tube lead to a could whiskey throttle moments.

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Soon, my buddies and I will be doing our Winter Sunday play and practice rides at my friend's 40 acre property in Hobart. (just south of Issaquah) If you are up to it, we take time out to teach new people some of the basics... It's a fun and private Trials Park with 3 to 6 of us. Stay tuned.

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Soon, my buddies and I will be doing our Winter Sunday play and practice rides at my friend's 40 acre property in Hobart. (just south of Issaquah) If you are up to it, we take time out to teach new people some of the basics... It's a fun and private Trials Park with 3 to 6 of us. Stay tuned.

Thanks for the offer. I'm really impress with how welcoming all the trials riders I've met are.

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Hi Brian. I don't know if you remember me but I attended to your Strom when it was at Copart here in Puyallup. You're welcome to borrow my bike for a few rides as I'm down for awhile after having knee surgery. Since I'm 6-6 as well I have it set up with risers and taller bars which I think you'll find pretty comfortable. It's a 2001 Gasser TXT321. I had a '98 270 and I've found the 321 to be not quite as zippy but rather a much smoother torque band with a ton of low grunt. Also, if 2Ply is offering lessons I would take those before buying any bike. He is an excellent teacher and will show you some techniques which can help you to feel the difference between various bikes when used correctly rather than just twisting the throttle and turning. PM me if you're interested.

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I'm a newish dirt rider. I've been riding street and dirt roads for a while, but I've started trail riding and I'm realizing my DR350 isn't the right bike. I don't think I want a "woods" bike. The slower pace, light weight and technique focus of a trials bike really appeals to me for a trail bike. I'd rather learn the right way to put the bike where I want it to go instead of "gas it out"

I've had a chance to ride a couple trials bikes recently. I've putted around a parking lot on a Montesa 4rt, I've had a chance to ride a 2001 Montesa 315r on really easy trail for 20 minutes, and yesterday I got to ride a 2000 Gas Gas 280 txt for a couple hours at Walker Valley.

Since I'm new to trials and new to trail riding in general i don't really know what I should be looking for. The difference between the 315r and the 280 txt seem subtle but significant. I felt like the 280 was much more rev happy than the 315 and a bit harder to control, and the 315 felt like it had a heavier flywheel and just wanted to chug along. I don't know if the Montesa had a fast or slow throttle tube on it, but the gas gas had the fast (white) one. Would the slower throttle tube make a huge difference?

I'm headed out to the Purple Penguin Trial on Sunday where I already have a couple offers to ride a few more bikes.

Thanks for the input

I don't know if it has a fast or slow throttle tube either. :smirk:

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I don't know if it has a fast or slow throttle tube either. :smirk:

:bonk:

Well, if you twist the throttle ALL the WAY, it's a "FAST" one!!

Twist it just a little and it's a "SLOW" one.. :lol::lol:

Sorry, I couldn't resist that one... maybe it's time for my meds.. :lol:

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And here's a little newbie tip: Be active on the foot pegs.. Don't just stand there and hope the bike knows what to do... The secret to Trials is...... The Trials Rider!!! The bike is just the platform, the diving board or the Pogo Stick. It does nothing without YOU.. Speaking of Pogo Sticks.. A few of us have one of these to help remind us to JUMP on those foot pegs... To go forward in a jump, it's pretty much the same as going forward on one of these:

This is the one I have only mine has a Yellow center tube with a red cover.. :bonk:

And it kicks my arse :smirk: but what a great exercise and practice reminder.. :lol:

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Having tried one of those pogo sticks, they are Hard work! They are also not the cheap versions that were / are around for kids. These are high end, quality machines and have an equally high end price tag! And, like the trials motorcycle, are capable of Far more than I'll ever be able to do! :smirk:

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Having tried one of those pogo sticks, they are Hard work! They are also not the cheap versions that were / are around for kids. These are high end, quality machines and have an equally high end price tag! And, like the trials motorcycle, are capable of Far more than I'll ever be able to do! :smirk:

It kicks my butt too!! But afterwards, it's like: "... thanks! I needed that.. " :bonk:

Edited by 2PLY

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