Celtic Curmudgeon

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About Celtic Curmudgeon

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    Fitness, Rugby, Hiking, Travel

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  1. +1. The XR's Only pumper carb is a great upgrade.
  2. I have a 97 XR400, so far it's been indestructible. I did a lot of research before I bought, and think the XR's are the best playbikes of all time. Mine smokes a bit on start up, but otherwise runs great, I plan to ride it into the ground.
  3. MX great Bob "Hurricane" Hannah didn't start racing until he was 18 - his father wouldn't let him. He still did pretty well. ;-) http://www.motorcyclemuseum.org/halloffame/detail.aspx?RacerID=65
  4. Not coasting but slipping the clutch as I throttle out of the corner, basically using the clutch to control speed, since I'm not going that fast.
  5. I've' played Football and Rugby, they sometimes DO bend sideways! I was thinking a low side onto an extended knee would risk jamming it or hyperextending it, etc. Pardon my ignorance, I'm new to all this!
  6. Just to follow up, after a few more trips to the track, I started getting the hang of it! I try not to overthink it, but the most helpful tips are getting forward into the tank, and pushing down on the outside peg. One day at the track, it was empty, so they let me use the pee wee track (pathetic, I know) to practice corners in both directions. It was clay, so that made things easier as well. I then spent the rest of the day lapping the novice track, and feel like I understand the basics a little better. I'm still clutching around in 2nd gear with little need for brakes, but hopefully the speed will come with more practice. Also - the physical exhaustion was probably due to being a little nervous, and that's improved as well. Still tired after riding , but not hyperventilating after two laps any more. One question - I know you're supposed to put the inside leg forward to weight the front, etc, but having had 2 knee surgeries, I'm a bit concerned about tearing something up if I wash out in that position -that joint just seems vulnerable doing that. Putting it out to the side flat-track style seems less injury prone. I'm I wrong on this? Thanks again.
  7. Bought my first dirt bike this year at age 53, after 30 years of street riding. It's a beat up XR400, a full size bike, but the power delivery is pretty tame. I'm tired and sore every time I ride, but I feel like a little kid with his first minibike every time I ride it! WEAR ALL THE GEAR YOU CAN GET! We don't bounce like we used to any more. Good boots, knee guards or braces, and body armor (not just a roost guard). Old dudes rule!
  8. Ok, I'll chime in here, FWIW. NOT a 'gunfighter', but nearly 30 yrs as cop, executive protection contractor, competitive shooter, and C.J. professor, so here's what works FOR ME, YMMV..... I prefer to keep it simple, the older I get the more I've become a 'minimalist' with regard to gear - basic, reliable equipment that WORKS, every time. For everyday carry, Either a Glock 19 or Walther PPS (very small and flat, conceals well, but is much easier to shoot well than most other small 9mms). IMHO, the G19 is the one gun every gun owner should have - it's the most generally useful handgun, ever, small enough to easily carry, yet big enough to fight with, reliable is a ball peen hammer, and almost anyone can afford one. It's the Roman short sword of our day. I don't utilize a lot of mods on my guns. Both have Meprolight tritium night sights. The G19 has a Vickers mag release and a grip plug. That's it. I don't monkey with the trigger pull, install 'light' connectors, etc. For every gun have, I like this combo of holster: a Blade Tech IWB for hip or 'four o'clock carry, or more usually, a DeSantis "Soft Tuck" for appendix or 'two o'clock" carry. For belt carry under a jacket, its a DeSantis Speed Scabbard (all day comfortable and hides well under a suitcoat. For range training, a Blackhawk kydex NOT the one with the push-button retention lock. Magazines - 5 magazines for your pistol is bare minimum. I have 20 for my G19. Take care of them, rotate them occasionally, they're the most crucial part of weapon reliability. Mag pouches - with the Glock, I like the Fobus combo that carries 1 mag and a small flashlight, with the Walther, a Fobus double mag pouch (because the Walther's only a 7-shot). I also have a solid plastic 'blue gun' for each to practice draw & sight picture, and retention tactics. A word about "appendix" carry: It's controversial. I'm not promoting it. It can be dangerous. Proceed at your own risk. If you're going to do it, buying a blue gun to train with is crucial. When hiking in bear country I carry bear spray in addition to a pistol. According to several studies, handguns, even big ones, fare poorly against a pissed off bear. The numbers I saw were pretty sobering: Bear vs Spray = Spray deters the bear 90% of the time, Bear vs Handgun = Bear wins 50% of the time. Bear spray also works against nearly any mammal, including badly behaving humans! My cousin, who lives in Alaska carries both bear spray and a 12ga with slugs in the wilderness. He considers a handgun against a bear "wishful thinking". http://www.fieldandstream.com/articles/hunting/2008/12/use-pepper-spray-instead-guns-stop-charging-grizzly Having said that, I like the idea of having a powerful handgun in addition to spray. In the last five years, I've encountered bears, elk, and feral pigs while hiking, and don't have a lot of confidence in my G19. I've narrowed it down to either a Glock 20 or 29 (10mm), or a short .44 mag., but haven't decided yet. Anyway, whatever you do, please, please PLEASE get a good formal training course under your belt, and train regularly.
  9. Took off the carburetor to do a clean/rebuild, thought, "while I'm at it...", now it's stripped, took off the subframe, cleaned a repainted it, took off all the plastic to repaint. Needs a new front tire, so I'm thinking that since the front wheel's got to come off, I might as well replace the fork boots. I'm afraid this will lead to an engine-out of frame restoration......
  10. Anyone done their own Mikuni pumper rebuild on an XR? I have the carburetor off the bike and have the kit from XR's Only - just debating doing this myself, particularly since I don't have an ultrasonic cleaner. Suggestions?
  11. I'm new to dirt bikes after 30 years street riding, and have the same issue. As a street rider, your instinct is to shift your weight to the inside and maybe "hang off" a little. You can only get away with that on a berm or deep rut- In flat corners, I frequently low-side and drop it. I struggle with flat, smooth corners and I'm trying to teach myself to stay upright on top of the bike.
  12. It's dirt, but soft, sandy dirt. It's a lot bigger track than Miami, and my friend who was with me was pretty fast on it, since he knows what he's doing. A few years down the road, I plan to spend most of my summers in the west, mostly trail riding CO, UT, AZ, etc.- but that's likely not for 2-3 years. My wife and I go to Melbourne and Orlando a lot, and Croom's not too far from either.
  13. I do Crossfit and have played some rugby, which is pretty hard as well, and was still shocked at how taxing MX can be just getting around the track, let alone racing.
  14. Thanks for the replies, everyone. I've found the only carryover from street riding is the controls on the bike are the same, but the way the bike responds is totally different, and I just need to ride, ride, ride, until I figure it out.
  15. "Sand is hard for new riders. Try another track. Hardrock in Ocala has 3 tracks and only one of them sand. It's not a pretty place but it's good for learning. Ask around your area about track surfaces. Btw, where in Florida? Maybe I can help you find a track." I live in Davie/Ft Liquordale. The Miami (Hialeah) track is about 15 min from my house, and is dirt, but, but it gets very crowded, since it's the only track in Broward/Dade area. The other day, I went to Okeechobee with a co-worker - it was empty, but it's too far to drive on a regular basis. Tracks n Trails in Punta Gorda has a beginner track and some trail options, but it's still nearly a 2hr drive. From what I understand, there are "unofficial" areas you used to be able to go out in W Broward and ride open areas, but now they're ticketing and/or putting people in jail. The frustrating thing about Davie is there are woods, horse and MTB trails everywhere, but no place to ride dirt bikes legally. We're planning to move to Brevard in a couple years, which is an easy drive to a number of riding areas, but for now I need to find something workable.