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 Post subject: Re: For new riders.... just a thought....
PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 9:54 am 
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I think Brent was asking about differences in technique from trail to street. One example I have noticed is the tendency for dirt riders to keep their upper body vertical while cornering, somewhat like a skiier . this has to do with the sliding turns common in dirt riding where the inside foot is sometimes used to to stabilize the bike. Of course, this is not appropriate on pavement where the feet stay on the pegs. On the street, the upper body should either remain in line with the bike, or if enything, lean inside the curve a bit to make the bike lean a bit less for the speed of the turn and improve ground clearance.
Another common trait of dirt riders we see and have to correct in the BRC is the "cocked wrist" where the throttle wrist is carried high to quickly apply maximum throttle to spin up the back wheel in loose dirt. On the street this is very dangerous, because of the potential to have to quickly apply the front brake in an emergency stop. With the cocked wrist, sudden application of the front brake can result in rolling on throttle which can cause a crash on pavement.

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 Post subject: Re: For new riders.... just a thought....
PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 10:14 am 
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Well, you throw the bike under you as well as countersteer, meaning that in a tight corner instead of you leaning off of the bike on the low side, the bike is leaning more than the rider. This limits the lean angle when you are standing on the pegs, and the habit/muscle memory prevents the lean off on the low side.

The question is, am I the only one up on pegs in corners? I seriously doubt it. I try not to do this on pavement, but in the bouncy stuff (i.e., very rough road) I find that I'm up on the pegs on the "street bike".

Another aspect is the tendency to power out of slides; it usually works in dirt, but may be touchier on pavement, especially with higher powered street bikes.

Let's get thoughts from some other younger dirt riders. I'm getting pretty staid in my old age.

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 Post subject: Re: For new riders.... just a thought....
PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:41 pm 
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Once you get out of town here there are endless miles of desert. MX and quad sales are generous as a result. It's those dual sport "hybrids" nobody seems to want...although there is a fair amount of KLR650 riders but you really don't see many of them. I see more cops riding KLRs than civilians out here (they use them as patrol bikes near the outskirts).

But for the most part, the trend here is either buy a dirt bike or a street bike, or one of each.

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 Post subject: Re: For new riders.... just a thought....
PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:59 pm 
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Jim/John:
Yep, that is the sort of stuff I was looking for. Thanks.
Hazmat: Not really looking to train up for dirt riding, thanks. Frankly, I've got no room (physically, temporally or emotionally) for another hobby. Just looking for an answer to my question. Sounds like there might be a bit of technique to 'unlearn' when making the transition.

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 Post subject: Re: For new riders.... just a thought....
PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 8:36 pm 
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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?

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.


As far as
Quote:
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
. I would disagree with this just for the sheer fact that if you get into a situation where you have to dodge/swerve/etc, the offroad training does help prepare you for this. Albeit, the tress don't pull out in front of you while they are texting... lol. Likewise, the offroad riding provides you with a lot of the skills to maneuver your bike under less than perfect circumstances. As you said tho, that's a debate for a later date ;)

There are a lot of things you can do offroad that you cannot do onroad, and vice versa. Some of the answers, although not wrong, were more geared toward hardcore offroad riders (such as how they tend to hold the throttle). Most people just learning to ride aren't going to do that.

Obviously, cornering is very different... and changes dramatically depending on the terrain.... rock, dirt, sand, grass, etc. And obviously, I can do a LOT of things offroad, such as cornering on my 500, that I cannot do on pavement. I can also ride a wheelie for a dang long time on a paved road which is kinda tough on a trail tho lol.

I think the one advantage, in my own opinion, that riding offroad gave me over someone who never has, was balance on my bike.... especially when getting into hairy situations. I have seen many street riders get in to trouble expecting the roads to always be the same. I actually saw a guy (to be more precise, performed cpr on a guy) that lost control of his bike because of some loose debris on the road (gravel and sand). Offroad, you get used to the bike being a little "squirrely" because of the terrain... and get used to compensating for it... Not to mention you have probably face planted more than once because of it so you earn a serious respect for how quickly it can take your bike out from under you. That is one thing that has definitely transferred in a positive way from trail to street riding for me. More seasoned road riders are probably more acclimated to it, but I would think it could get a newer rider in trouble pretty easily. The guy I performed cpr on, however, was a long time street rider (not to say it could NOT happen to a person who had ridden the dirt a long time). Sadly, despite reviving him 3 times while waiting for paramedics, he ultimately died.... But anyway, I honestly DO believe that new riders don't realize just how quickly the smallest amount of debris (whatever it may be) can take your bike out from underneath you. And while rain itself can be particularly dangerous, the aftermath of rain can be equally perilous. Where I live, a great deal of people have gravel driveways... where does it end up after a hard rain? In the street (for several days) and it causes totally different riding conditions, especially in curves and turns.

As I said, growing up we lived in an area where there was no traffic, and the trails we rode were a 1/4 in either direction down the road from our house. So we always had a "mixed" amount of dirt and street, although we spent more time in the dirt.

My main point in this post was that a new rider has so much going on when they first start.... how to let out the clutch, when to shift, how to brake, how to get the bike to stop properly, etc etc. I was not at all suggesting that anyone should be ready for motocross before hitting the streets. However, a few hundred miles offroad, away from traffic, to get used to the shifting, clutching, braking, etc...... In my opinion, this could be a very good thing. When learning how to ride, I just don't think I would want to feel like "frogger", all while trying to think about what I need to do next. But then, on the trails is how I learned to ride, so maybe I am just biased. I just know that the years I had of riding offroad kept my mind off my bike and on the road when I finally got my license. I wasn't thinking about what I needed to do, I was watching the road and everyone around me. Braking, shifting, and all that stuff was just repetitive everyday stuff. Likewise, I had face planted plenty of times in the dirt, learned from it, and didn't "freeze up" if put into a bad situation (such as my brakes going out as I came up on an intersection... yeah, that actually happened to me). While none of the offroad riding could EVER get me 100% ready for road riding, I really do believe it gave me a huge head start vs someone who just hops on the street with no experience.

As far as muscle mechanics.... if you take a riding course, and then head off road... I don't honestly think that you are going to learn a lot of negative mechanics that are going to get you in trouble on the street. Here is why:
A) You are a new rider, therefore you aren't going to ride like a mad man (driving too fast for the terrain, doing power slides, coming out of a sandy corner with your throttle wide open, etc). And if you do, well, you're gonna find out pretty quick that it's not a real good idea for a novice lol. After a face full of dirt once or twice, you'll respect your bike a lil more...
B) Because you are new, you are going to be focused on shifting, braking, clutching, etc. If you get into some of the harder more experienced trails, you aren't going to be flying through them... you are really going to be focusing on what it takes to stay upright, not to mention on how to clutch, brake, and balance yourself that much better (I for one, have been on some really hairy trails that really pushed my riding skills. Some that I never care to see again....).
C) Anyone who has ridden in the dirt can tell you, the minute you get cocky or over confident, you are going to bust your butt... that's almost guaranteed. But you learn from those mistakes.... And getting cocky on the dirt, again, is much more forgiving (although it still packs a good whallup!)
D) In a few hundred miles of offroad riding you aren't going to learn all of the "tricks" that people with years of offroad riding have learned. More than likely, you're not even going to try any of them (although you may have seen them on tv or something and think they look really cool). Your main focus is going to be on learning how to ride and how to control your bike and keep from being de-throned (AND avoiding smacking things like trees). It's more easy to capsize offroad than one might think...
E) It all comes down to the tortoise and the the hare.... you aren't going to be the hare when you first start trail riding, unless you have some sort of a particular death wish.... With the unknowns that come with trails that you don't know, and being a novice at riding, your biggest focus is going to be on your riding, your skill building, and repetition., repetition, repetition... until clutching, shifting, and braking become natural to you...

Having wrecked plenty of times growing up, caused by everything from gravel, to sand, to mud, to grass, etc etc.... I will honestly say that my offroad experience has actually improved my onroad experience. I am always on the lookout for anything in the road that could cause me to lose control. I also don't hit blind curves with the throttle wide open... I know from experience that what lays behind the next corner could be bad news. And perhaps I am a naive idiot, but I haven't ever noticed my trail riding causing bad habits on the streets. Quite the contrary, it has made me more cautious.... Perhaps tho, I am the exception rather than the rule....

There are a lot of ways to learn to ride. Some better than others I suppose. In my opinion, I would just rather have the majority of my "rookie" mistakes happen in the trails (oh and they did!!!). Dirt is so more forgiving than asphalt and a car/truck.

But as suggested earlier in this thread, a professional riding course is a VERY good idea, no matter how you proceed from there. :bikerthumb:

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 Post subject: Re: For new riders.... just a thought....
PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 9:32 pm 
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I was ready to hit the hay... but a scenario I went through was something I really wanted to share.... and how I think offroad riding helped me be more prepared for the streets...

I live not too far from where I grew up... it is much more populated than it was when I was young tho. Anyway... I was going down this street, the speed limit is 35 mph. It is one of these neighborhoods where the homes are on acreages, rather than smaller residential lots. So, I had traveled this road MANY times, and this day was like no other. So here I was, motoring along as usual, and as I came up to this large bend which was just over a sharp hill, this kid comes flying out in front of me on a bigwheel. Ok, so it's not a 18-wheeler... lol. But it left me with 2 options... hit the kid and wreck (and most likely hurt him pretty bad... not to mention me), or hit the ditch. Naturally, instinct kicked in and I swerved and off into the ditch I went. However, this is something that I had done many times... hit a ditch at a diagonal at a pretty good rate of speed...

So naturally, I dove into one side of the ditch, with my bike quickly positioned properly to take the "plunge", then came flying up the other side with both wheels leaving the ground upon exiting. Now I will admit, I was on my XT500 so I had a definite advantage in ground clearance, maneuverability, bike build and what-not versus, say, my Rebel.... not to mention the street/dirt tire combo advantage. Nonetheless, I would still say it was my years of offroad riding that made this incident turn out to be nothing but a good heart-thumping experience. I honestly believe I could have done the same thing on the Rebel, albeit with a little damage to the bike (like I said, it was a pretty good ditch). But nonetheless, I really don't believe a rider without offroad experience would have pulled it out in this particular location, unless they were just :censored: lucky..... It's a pretty steep ditch, and without having the offroad experience, I would say 99.9% of people would have smashed the other side and trashed themselves (not to mention their bikes...).

As jsonder mentioned, riding offroad teaches you to get up on your pegs under certain circumstances (quite frequently). Because this was natural instinct from all of my trail riding, I was up on my pegs immediately which allowed me to dive the front of the bike down into the ditch on the near side, making contact with the near side first, thus giving a pretty smooth flow through the ditch. Had I have not gotten on the pegs and had "sat it out", the bike would have hit the far side of the ditch instead, flipping me over the bars and trashing the bike.

I will admit that pulling it off was a bit of good luck on my part... I've driven by that particular location many times since, and I still look at it and say DAMMMMM! But I think experience in offroad riding and some of the instincts you get from doing it played an even bigger/majority role in this particular instance........ I am 100% for professional training courses, but I am also 100% convinced that a professional training course could not have prepped me for this particular instance.....

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 Post subject: Re: For new riders.... just a thought....
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 4:48 am 
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Whammo
Thanks for the detailed response. I hope you didn't interpret my objective inquiry as a challenge to the advantages of starting out on the dirt. I have a sense of why its a good idea; just wondered what the potential hazards might be. I like to examine both sides of every coin. Your comments about getting up on the pegs, particularly when navigating obstructions or loose surfaces, struck a chord. The very limited dirt riding I did on my first street bike convinced me of the advantages of that stance, and I still do that under those circumstances, even on my 650 lb sport-touring setup. I can clearly recall riding my wife's 450 Rebel with forward controls over a nasty piece of road construction, and realizing that I was NOT getting up on those pegs no matter how hard I pulled on the handlebars. Now that I think about it, none of the local lads who learned in the dirt , currently ride cruisers. I wonder if that is part of the reason.....

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 Post subject: Re: For new riders.... just a thought....
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 6:03 am 
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:D

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 Post subject: Re: For new riders.... just a thought....
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 7:54 am 
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whammo77 wrote:
I honestly believe I could have done the same thing on the Rebel, albeit with a little damage to the bike


Considering the less-than-four inches of fork travel and the 33mm tubes, I would say it would be something of a challenge to have that bike come back up the other side without munching the forks and frame.

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 Post subject: Re: For new riders.... just a thought....
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 2:08 pm 
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The XT would give you a lot better performance going through a ditch than the REb methinks. First off, I find it pretty difficult to get up on the Rebel pegs at all anyway. They are far enough forward hat it becomes difficult to get your weight on them. The long travel suspension on the XT doesn't really compare to the Rebel's minimal street only suspension. It's going to give you a much better shot at staying on the bike than the Rebel would.
I think its fair to say that participating in as many branches of motorcycle sport as possible is going to make you a better overall rider provided you remember where you are and what you are doing at all times. I believe the little bit of track time I have done has made me a better street rider than I was beforehand.

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 Post subject: Re: For new riders.... just a thought....
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 6:28 pm 
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Shack:

I don't know if you remember it, but many years back I mentioned a home-brewed dirtbike cobbled together from a Classic 250 and some errant dirtbike parts. You know the recipe:

1 part running motorcycle engine

3 parts random crates full of motorcycle parts

1 part sawzall

2 parts welding supplies

9 parts alcohol

Mix randomly and season to taste.


Even with suspension bits from actual dirtbikes grafted to each end, the Rebel's overall lack of low-end grunt and surprisingly pliable frame makes for poor off-road utility. Dirt roads? Sure, with caution for washouts, ect. But actual off-road use? I'm disappointed to say that it's just a no-go. :(


On the plus side, that same recipe yielded a 600cc Ninja with a Yamaha Warrior rear end that was just _nasty_ in the mud. :D

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 Post subject: Re: For new riders.... just a thought....
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:41 pm 
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wheezeburnt wrote:
Whammo
Thanks for the detailed response. I hope you didn't interpret my objective inquiry as a challenge to the advantages of starting out on the dirt. I have a sense of why its a good idea; just wondered what the potential hazards might be. I like to examine both sides of every coin. Your comments about getting up on the pegs, particularly when navigating obstructions or loose surfaces, struck a chord. The very limited dirt riding I did on my first street bike convinced me of the advantages of that stance, and I still do that under those circumstances, even on my 650 lb sport-touring setup. I can clearly recall riding my wife's 450 Rebel with forward controls over a nasty piece of road construction, and realizing that I was NOT getting up on those pegs no matter how hard I pulled on the handlebars. Now that I think about it, none of the local lads who learned in the dirt , currently ride cruisers. I wonder if that is part of the reason.....


Naw bud.... I didn't take anything you said in a negative fashion.... I was just trying to give a thorough explanation of my reasoning in response to your query. :)

I know that a bunch of people I grew up with who rode in the dirt before street (for years like I did), kinda stayed in that direction (with enduros) when their funds didn't allow them to own both. I will admit, I cannot imagine after all the years of riding offroad, being stuck strictly to the streets, especially where I live. So if I were limited to only owning one bike, I would probably stay with my XT in lieu of a street bike. I love the streets, but having the freedom just to strike offroad anywhere and everywhere is a definite lure to the enduro when you grew up like I did.... especially when they are the larger bikes that have no problem with highway speeds.

Riding down the streets and highways gives you a certain feelin of freedom on a bike... For me, riding down a street, seeing an old trail and wondering "hmmm, wonder what's down there???" and being able to turn off and go see, gives me an even better feeling of freedom. And living in a rural community with many lakes around, the old roads and trails, etc are abundant. So while the guys with street bikes are stuck to the better roads, I have the ability with my XT to go anywhere (well, ya know, within reason). I kinda like that. :)

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Last edited by whammo77 on Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: For new riders.... just a thought....
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:46 pm 
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Shadow Shack wrote:
whammo77 wrote:
I honestly believe I could have done the same thing on the Rebel, albeit with a little damage to the bike


Considering the less-than-four inches of fork travel and the 33mm tubes, I would say it would be something of a challenge to have that bike come back up the other side without munching the forks and frame.


As I had stated... I definitely think there would be damage to the rebel in that situation, even if you pulled it off. I think the frame might endure (maybe), but the forks and the exhaust would be trashed for sure probably. The only thing that would give it a chance is the fact that with the enduro I managed to angle into the ditch, rather than hit it straight on. Under that circumstance, there MIGHT be a chance for the rebel, but still not without damage.

All I can honestly say is that I/we will never know because I am not about to try it! lol!

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 Post subject: Re: For new riders.... just a thought....
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:13 pm 
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Duckster wrote:
The XT would give you a lot better performance going through a ditch than the REb methinks. First off, I find it pretty difficult to get up on the Rebel pegs at all anyway. They are far enough forward hat it becomes difficult to get your weight on them. The long travel suspension on the XT doesn't really compare to the Rebel's minimal street only suspension. It's going to give you a much better shot at staying on the bike than the Rebel would.

I think its fair to say that participating in as many branches of motorcycle sport as possible is going to make you a better overall rider provided you remember where you are and what you are doing at all times. I believe the little bit of track time I have done has made me a better street rider than I was beforehand.


Thanks for the input. I think you pretty much nailed what I was trying to get across. An excellent dirt rider doesn't necessarily make an excellent street rider, and vice versa. However, I do believe each can compliment the other and make a better overall rider. Not to mention, as I have said several times, taking your knocks in the dirt first is prolly safer and a little less painful.

And don't get me wrong... i don't think the Rebel would be my ideal bike for going through a ditch.... My bigger point to what I said is that having the offroad experience, even if you wreck in this situation, is probably going to give you a better chance of making it through that situation, or atleast minimalizing the impact/damage. Even if the bike stood no chance at all, the offroad riding experience (in my opinion) would give you the best chance to end up with the best result and least injuries/damage. Speaking from my own point of view, I would think most street riders would simply "sit it out" and smack the far side of the ditch pretty hard. That's just a personal opinion tho, and obviously is open for debate......

:bikerthumb:

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 Post subject: Re: For new riders.... just a thought....
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:32 pm 
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Just for the sake of argument, No offence intended.
in an emergency swerve (which is the maneuver you describe) you can only change your original course by a few degrees at best. We know that motorcycles turn in two steps (lean first, then turn) so a sudden collision avoidance turn is only going to be a small turn.
If you had time to turn 90 degrees from the hazard for example, you would have also have had time to stop , which is almost always preferable to swerving if it is possible. Therefore, your course through the ditch was pretty much a done deal once you decided to turn instead of stop. I would question whether it was really possible for you to take anything other than a shallow diagonal path into that ditch. Now the fact you were on a dirt bike and had experience riding dirtbikes through ditches at similar shallow angles may certainly have helped you ride it out, but I believe your average street rider would have been on a very similar trajectory having made the decision to take the ditch.

Having learned to ride on a standard street bike, I also learned early to get up on the pegs when facing a tirebusting impact, Not only do the knees absorb the shock and spare the butt, but standing up may prevent the rider from being pitched off. I don't know if the average newbie street rider would be aware of that or not. I know it used to be taught in the BSF, but is not any more. (riding over obstacles is too dangerous to demonstrate I guess)

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 Post subject: Re: For new riders.... just a thought....
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:03 pm 
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Duckster wrote:
I know it used to be taught in the BSF, but is not any more. (riding over obstacles is too dangerous to demonstrate I guess)


I can't speak for Canadia, of course, but in these parts that section of the teaching was discontinued because the majority of the courses that provide bikes use cruisers like the Rebel. The majority of the courses that don't provide bikes are attended by people on-- you guessed: cruisers.

As many have noted before, it's a rare cruiser upon which you can pull yourself onto the pegs. In most cases, you are simply dangling from the handlebars (not good when hit an obstacle), and in almost all cases your weight is so far forward as to make the front _heavier_ on impact.

Let's be completely honest here: while they are immensely popular (for reasons I've never really understood), cruisers are the least nimble and most impractical of all the bikes on the market today. :(

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 Post subject: Re: For new riders.... just a thought....
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:06 pm 
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Rebel: None
Country: USA
State/Province: AZ
City: Green Valley
I am enjoying how this thread has developed legs, and is gaining breadth. :clap1:

However, there is a faction (fraction?) here that, like dj, grew up riding dirt bikes and that experience colors their perception of things.

I didn't grow up riding motorcycles in the dirt, but wish I had. You get a lot of "poor traction" experience pretty quickly and it does aid you when responding to bad road conditions.

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John, 2014 CB500XA (Daily Rider), 2009 CRF230L (L'il Red Piglet), 1989 NX250 - sold, 2001 Rebel - sold
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 Post subject: Re: For new riders.... just a thought....
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:07 am 
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Joined: Oct 24, 2008
Motorcycle: 2009 Honda Rebel 250
Rebel: 250
Country: USA
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City: Dallas
Duckster wrote:

Having learned to ride on a standard street bike, I also learned early to get up on the pegs when facing a tirebusting impact, Not only do the knees absorb the shock and spare the butt, but standing up may prevent the rider from being pitched off. I don't know if the average newbie street rider would be aware of that or not. I know it used to be taught in the BSF, but is not any more. (riding over obstacles is too dangerous to demonstrate I guess)


When I took the MSF course a few years ago, we were taught to stand up on the pegs if forced to ride over an obstacle, but I don't recall being told why. In my class we rode over a 2x4 on the pavement. The bike I was on was a Suzuki, I think. Anyway, It's pegs were so far forward that I had to hoist myself forward and up by pulling on the handlebars and stand with my knees around the widest part of the tank. I felt like I was setting myself up for a faceplant with all my weight so high and far forward. It made no sense to me at the time.

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 Post subject: Re: For new riders.... just a thought....
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 5:19 am 
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Joined: Sep 9, 2004
Motorcycle: Suzuki Gsf1250
Rebel: 450
Country: Canada
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City: Rusagonis
Jim:
Duke raises an interesting question: In the 90s, when we took the course with my son, all the bikes in the course were standards or dualsports. I ride by the course range often since my main riding buddy lives over there by 'Sing Sing on the Nashwaak' and I'm not sure I've seen any little cruisers in your fleet. Are there?

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 Post subject: Re: For new riders.... just a thought....
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:54 am 
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Joined: Feb 23, 2009
Motorcycle: Rebel 250 plus a few others
Rebel: 250
Country: Canada
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City: Fredericton
In 2000 we acquired 3 cruisers (Kawasaki Eliminator 125's), which are still in service in the trainer fleet. They are long wheelbase, low seat height, relatively heavy and slow turning. We also have standards, (CB125T, the Brazilian Honda Titan 160's and an old Suzuki GN125), dirtbikes (Yamaha XT 225 and TTR125) and even some mini sportbikes (Honda CBR125) which are surprisingly good trainers.
The only excuse for cruiser ergonomics I can think of is the low seat height, which allows the inseam challenged to get both feet flat on the ground. With a low seat, you need to get the feet forward in order to allow the knees to be relaxed a little. Of course this rolls the spine into a vertical position where road shocks travel straight up the back rather than being absorbed by the forward leaning position of a standard. This is compounded by the difficulty/impossibility of standing up on the forward pegs to get the butt off the seat prior to hitting an unexpected tank trap in the road
Add to that the need to hold back on the handlebars to counteract wind pressure on the vertical upper body. On a standard, the upper body is canted forward a bit which helps dissipate shocks to the base of the spine, and counteracts wind pressure nicely.
The need to bring the feet forward on a cruiser also adds to the length, fork rake and weight of the typical cruiser making them slow turning and sluggish compared to sportier standards and the more radical sportbikes.

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