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 Post subject: For new riders.... just a thought....
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:37 pm 
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I see people all the time that have never ridden just go out and get a new bike and hop on the street. Seems to me like that is, in some ways, a bad way to learn how to ride. There isn't a whole lot of room for mistakes when you take to the streets.

So I am just curious.... why don't new riders ever start with a dirtbike or an enduro and learn to ride OFF of the street? You can get a decent running little bike for not much $$$ and it's a great learning tool. I would think people could find some trails and stuff within an hour of wherever they live. I think it would help new riders really learn their balance and maneuvering skills with a bike if they started that way. Too, the dirt hurts a LOT less than the pavement, and you're not having to dodge cars, pedestrians, and all that good stuff while still learning. Another bonus about it is that if you buy a used bike with a few dings and stuff already in it, if you lay it over, who cares???

Growing up, me and my siblings all had enduros. We rode the trails daily. By the time we were all able to get our licenses, bike riding was second nature. Too, because of riding in sand and dirt and mud and all the other kind of conditions you can run into when trail riding, I honestly feel like it made me a better street driver when I finally hit the street. Riding in the rain, on gravel roads, etc etc was really no big deal. Too, all the trail riding seemed to give me better balance on my bike.

Part of the reason I brought this up is because my wife has never ridden and wants to learn how. So I am going to put her on my little gt80 and teach her out here on our acreage, and then take her trail riding to get her really used to handling a bike. As she gets better, I will eventually let her step up and hop on the bigger bikes. The little 80 is small, but it's a great bike for a person to learn on. Plenty of pep, and IF you lay it over, it's not heavy and isn't going to hurt you like a bigger bike would. And truth be told, I really more enjoy a smaller bike when trail riding just because the ARE so maneuverable and easy to handle. I've taken my 500 out on trails I wasn't familiar with and regretted it on a couple of occasions. It's so dang heavy and doesn't maneuver that great..... not to mention because of it's height I can't stand flat footed on it... I am on my toes to touch the ground.

I might also mention, along with the other positives listed herein, trail riding can be pretty relaxing for the mind.

Anyway, it was just a thought.... :bikerthumb:

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 Post subject: Re: For new riders.... just a thought....
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:46 pm 
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While I'm not going to argue your logic (because I can't), there's another expense in trail riding: Getting a trailer, and a car that can tow it. For me, that's enough. I'm about to move to where I won't have space to STORE a trailer, even if I had one. I can rent one, but that also gets expensive quickly...

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 Post subject: Re: For new riders.... just a thought....
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:20 pm 
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amckenzie4 wrote:
While I'm not going to argue your logic (because I can't), there's another expense in trail riding: Getting a trailer, and a car that can tow it. For me, that's enough. I'm about to move to where I won't have space to STORE a trailer, even if I had one. I can rent one, but that also gets expensive quickly...


MMM, yeah, I see your point. I am prolly just a wee bit spoiled living on an acreage (and not taking into account those who live in apartments and what-not)..... So, take the dirtbike out of the equation, get an enduro, tag it, insure it, ride it to the trails, and have a great time! ;)

Seriously tho, I do realize this isn't possible for everyone. But for those who CAN do it, I would think it would be a good idea.

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 Post subject: Re: For new riders.... just a thought....
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:24 pm 
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Oh, and there is also this option:

Image

:yay1:

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 Post subject: Re: For new riders.... just a thought....
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:29 pm 
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Or, there is this option:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mywiredima ... 392739803/



lol

:bubbles1:

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 Post subject: Re: For new riders.... just a thought....
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:34 pm 
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Or one could be a little more devoted to their bike:

Image


LOL.... I can't believe someone did that....

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 Post subject: Re: For new riders.... just a thought....
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:38 pm 
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But in all seriousness, you aren't the only person who has had this dilemma. Hence, good old motorcycle carriers made to slide in to a receiver hitch on the back of your car:

Image


I have seen these things mounted on all sorts of vehicles, even small cars. :oilleak:

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 Post subject: Re: For new riders.... just a thought....
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:52 pm 
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I note that over 60% of your countrymen live in large urban centers, and 80% live in urban centers over 50,000. Too bad, since I think your advice re. small dirt bikes as beginner bikes is generally a good idea. Add attendance at a beginner riders course, and you'll win me over.

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 Post subject: Re: For new riders.... just a thought....
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:51 pm 
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whammo77 wrote:
I see people all the time that have never ridden just go out and get a new bike and hop on the street.

So I am just curious.... why don't new riders ever start with a dirtbike or an enduro and learn to ride OFF of the street?


That's pretty much the way I went.

Granted I had mopeds & scooters before riding a bike with an actual tranny, but the first tranny bikes I rode were dirt bikes. Friends' dirt bikes, the closest I owned was a Honda ATC90.

But as far as starting off on a street bike, there are worse things to start off with. Namely a street bike that has been hacked and slashed beyond recognition...you know, the typical Craigslist bobbers & street fighters with shoddy mods like no front brake, rigid rear (and sometimes rigid front), pipes cut off at the first bend, missing bodywork, and all the other shady shade tree mods that accompany it.

And then they attempt to learn to ride.

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 Post subject: Re: For new riders.... just a thought....
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 4:26 pm 
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You don't need a truck or trailer, an old, street-legal enduro will do.

I guess, for big city folks, an enduro/dual-sport bike isn't the answer because they would have to ride busy streets a fair piece to get to the dirt.

That is sad, but for folks in smaller towns, doing your initial learning on out-back gravel roads and trails should be fine. I encouraged the middle boy to ride the CT110 behind the School of Mines when we were in Butte, Montana, because it was only three blocks to get to the dirt. (Can you figure that I walked to work there?) While I grew up in Madison, WI, there were rarely used streets and illegal green trails that I had bicycle ridden so when I got my used Matchless 250 back in 1960, that was where I learned to ride it.

As always, YMMV. :D

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 Post subject: Re: For new riders.... just a thought....
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 4:40 pm 
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For a city dweller wanting to learn to ride on the street, a dirtbike may not be as practical an option as simply taking the the Weekend and doing the MSF course. In that short a time, a complete newbie can learn the basic bike handling skills that make venturing out on the pavement relatively safe if you start slow and work your way up to busy streets as you gain experience. The course will teach you things that would take a very long time to figure out for yourself, and which are good to know BEFORE you go out on the roads for the first time.
I have nothing against dirtbikes, but teaching yourself to ride is never the best idea nowadays when good training is available.

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 Post subject: Re: For new riders.... just a thought....
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 5:34 pm 
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I started riding on an enduro in 1974. Grew up in a vacation community with about fifty miles of dirt roads and trails. Skip forward twenty plus years my first street bike was purchased and I realized how many bad habits were retained. With the basic rider, advanced rider courses and almost 100,000 miles behind me I am a passable rider. I still learn something monthly that helps me expand my skills.

Dan

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 Post subject: Re: For new riders.... just a thought....
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:30 pm 
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jsonder wrote:
I guess, for big city folks, an enduro/dual-sport bike isn't the answer because they would have to ride busy streets a fair piece to get to the dirt.


Not just that, but when you compare how much street bike you can buy with the same amount of dual sport bike money, well...bigger is better always seems to win the day.

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 Post subject: Re: For new riders.... just a thought....
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:34 pm 
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Duckster wrote:
For a city dweller wanting to learn to ride on the street, a dirtbike may not be as practical an option as simply taking the the Weekend and doing the MSF course. In that short a time, a complete newbie can learn the basic bike handling skills that make venturing out on the pavement relatively safe if you start slow and work your way up to busy streets as you gain experience. The course will teach you things that would take a very long time to figure out for yourself, and which are good to know BEFORE you go out on the roads for the first time.
I have nothing against dirtbikes, but teaching yourself to ride is never the best idea nowadays when good training is available.



I would agree that some training courses are a good idea. No denying that. But just to log a lot of hours and become more proficient (after having taken the course).... heading off into the dirt on an enduro or something I would certainly think would help a rider become more proficient without the risk of getting run over. That way they are not having to think about shifting, what they need to do next, etc etc when they are out on the road. And too, their reaction time will be a little better from logging those hours. Now days tho, we live in a fast food society, everybody wants what they want and they want it right now..... not a real good idea when it comes to hitting the streets, but they do it anyway.

In the end, how everyone chooses to do it is up to them. Ultimately, everyone will have to live (or die) with their own decisions. I just know that if one of my kids, or even my wife, wanted to get a motorcycle license, it wouldn't be until they had logged several hundred miles offroad......

Now if it were my EX wife..... I'd just hand her the keys and tell her not to do under 80..... lol rofl

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 Post subject: Re: For new riders.... just a thought....
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:39 pm 
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Shadow Shack wrote:
jsonder wrote:
I guess, for big city folks, an enduro/dual-sport bike isn't the answer because they would have to ride busy streets a fair piece to get to the dirt.


Not just that, but when you compare how much street bike you can buy with the same amount of dual sport bike money, well...bigger is better always seems to win the day.



Well, if you are buying new, no doubt. But around here, you can buy older running enduros in pretty decent shape for $500 and less if you shop around. And if you trash it, who cares.

I would definitely have to say, I wouldn't want to spend the money they want on a new one...... I'd rather put that kind of coinage into a street bike....

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 Post subject: Re: For new riders.... just a thought....
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:53 pm 
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whammo77 wrote:
Well, if you are buying new, no doubt. But around here, you can buy older running enduros in pretty decent shape for $500 and less if you shop around.


Around here you have to pay $500 just to find an enduro. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: For new riders.... just a thought....
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 8:55 pm 
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I grew up in the city, but I have a number of cousins that grew up on farms. They were riding mini-bikes around the yard and pastures before I was allowed to ride my bike to the park. they had dirt bike equivalents by the time they were thirteen, and rode them on the county roads as well as around the farm. Sometimes for work, sometimes for fun. I thought it would be so cool to live on a farm just to ride those things.

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 Post subject: Re: For new riders.... just a thought....
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 8:08 pm 
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I have to admit, it was a lot of fun growing up in an area where we could just hop on our bikes and go ride. I spent a lot, and I mean a LOT, of hours out in the woods riding the trails. I miss the days....

Interestingly enough, my dad taught us all to ride. He would put us on the bigger enduro so he could sit behind us and help out. At first with his hands on the handlebars, helping to let out the clutch and all that good stuff, and later on with us doing all the work. Once he felt we were proficient enough, he got us our own enduros. He had a Yamaha 650 Special II street bike he often rode. When I got up to about 11 or 12 he let me ride it with him on back. Wow, didn't I think I was somethin' else!!! Luckily, we lived far enough from town that there was very little traffic, and then too, we lived on a dead end street so the street was almost always deserted... so takin rides like that wasn't all that dangerous. He never would let us do that if there were any cars around....

When I got about 13 or so he sold the bike..... He hated to, but when he found out me and my siblings were sneaking out with it........ well...... lol.

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 Post subject: Re: For new riders.... just a thought....
PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:23 am 
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This thread has got me thinking about the relationship between off-road riding and roadcraft in general. I have only minimal off-road experience - enough to qualify as none. So, here's a question for you folks that either learned to ride off-road or currently do plenty of both:
Are there techniques or skills appropriate to dirt riding that are inappropriate to street riding? In other words, what are the dangers (if any) of developing a 'dirt riding skillset' and then transferring them to street riding? You know, things like braking and such?

I appreciate that riding on backwoods trails provides no training for the 'roadcraft' survival skills that keep us alive while sharing roads with cars and trucks and buses; governed by myriad local, state/provincial and federal rules; and facing folks in either direction who aren't in a recreational frame of mind, but likely distracted, angry or sleep-deprived. But that's for another day.....
I'm more interested in the 'muscle-memory mechanics' of the thing.

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 Post subject: Re: For new riders.... just a thought....
PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 9:36 am 
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wheezeburnt wrote:
This thread has got me thinking about the relationship between off-road riding and roadcraft in general. I have only minimal off-road experience - enough to qualify as none. So, here's a question for you folks that either learned to ride off-road or currently do plenty of both:
Are there techniques or skills appropriate to dirt riding that are inappropriate to street riding? In other words, what are the dangers (if any) of developing a 'dirt riding skillset' and then transferring them to street riding? You know, things like braking and such?


Check around your area. Here in Indiana, ABATE has an off road motorcycle course. There might be one somewhere nearby you. :cycle:

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