Why I say learn the dirt first
March 19, 2010 at 12:01 am #3765March 19, 2010 at 12:07 am #25004March 20, 2010 at 2:41 am #25009IxecapadeParticipant
that fricking coolMarch 20, 2010 at 3:11 am #25010
Let’s say you are cruising along on the pavement, roll onto some hidden sand or diesel fuel, and start to slide one or both tires- if you started out on dirt, it will be no huge deal to stay upright.
Crashing on dirt is usually less painful, unless you burn your leg on the exhaust pipe. You do not get the huge high speed slide for hundreds of feet on a surface like sandpaper, with two ton Tony’s (cagers) coming fast toward you.
Second best is starting on pavement by renting or buying one of the new Piaggio three wheelers, with 2 front wheels that lean like a regular motorcycle, and they have an automatic transmission so you learn only steering and braking first. Any dufus can twist a throttle on a straight road. Later switch to a two wheeler bike to learn manual shifting.
Also take the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) beginner or experienced classes, to learn the proper methods instead of the crap you just come up with as you go.March 20, 2010 at 1:38 pm #25023WeaponZeroParticipant
Learning in the dirt isn’t an option for a lot of people. I grew up in South Florida where there was no place you could legally ride a dirtbike off-road. Nobody owned one because everything was all urban and the only “wooded” areas around were the swamp land of the Everglades which was protected. Unless you live out in the suburbs or country, learning on the dirt is simply NOT AN OPTION in the world of today.March 20, 2010 at 8:22 pm #25029
My home town had an abandoned trolley bed and abandoned canal towpaths to ride on, and once in a while I would ride on railroad track service roads (probably illegal).
Here in Kentucky, there are hundreds of miles of abandoned mine roads in the east and in the west. Our small city has a mountain bike trail on some city property, that would be good for someone practicing sliding on dirt with a mountain bike before getting a motorcycle.
We used to pour water to make ice on pavement, to slide our bicycles sideways in the winter. I guess in Florida you could get a small bike to learn on, and pour sand on a parking lot to practice sliding. You would want an older used bike, to not scratch and dent a new one.
I think the Piaggio three wheeler is the best for a beginner- it leans like a regular motorcycle, but does not do the 2 mph drop to the pavement with poor clutch control that is typical for a beginner.March 20, 2010 at 11:31 pm #25033eonParticipant
Do you have the piaggio 3 wheeler? I do and I can assure it does 2mph drops just as easily as a 2 wheel bike. And at 538 lbs dry and a 31″ seat height, it’s hard to stop once it starts to go over. While it is entirely possible to learn on one (I did) it is far from being the perfect beginner bike you make it out to be.
For the record I have not dropped it but it’s been close at times. If I was any shorter or weaker it would have gone down. I have had a low speed low side that scraped all that nice plastic. Repair bill, $2100. Think on that before recommending as a good first bike.March 21, 2010 at 12:04 am #25034
I know one guy (Expert Rider) who actually gave up Trials because he lives so urban it became a problem, he’s into Parkour now.
If you’re interested in taking up Trials riding and have limited options: Firstly I recommend a 4 stroke machine, because they are very quiet and virtually smoke free. The beauty of Trials is that it takes very little space and conducted responsibly, offends few in the process. That’s the main reason I gave up motocross, and I even have 400 acres to play in.
Secondly it is vital that you hook up with ( or start a local club, it opens up a world of possibilities ! I rode for years with several Florida ‘snowbird’ Quebec riders and they highly recommended Florida as having a very active Trials association.
Dedicated Trials riders are not a bunch of irresponsible yahoos, they are small in numbers but varied in age from teens to 70+, come from all walks of life and networking with these guys is the way to go. For example; this coming July 10th. I know where I will be riding, I will join 30 or more friends, riding the waterfront of downtown Parry Sound. In conjunction with the annual Motorcycle Rally held there, the city of Parry Sound very graciously allows our club to host an Observed Trials Competition, right on their shoreline and walking trails, normally reserved for bicycles and hikers throughout the rest of the year.March 21, 2010 at 1:57 am #25036
my 4RT is 165 lbs wet and the seat height is 25″ without a rider compressing the suspension. It tops out at around 10 mph in first gear and can turn in just a little more than one bike length. I crash lots, but seldom break anything other than my pride.
om/albums/af21/eotamoderator/?action=view¤t=five.jpg” target=”_blank”>March 21, 2010 at 3:00 am #25038
The Piaggio 250cc three wheeler is probably best for a beginner, because it has less power and a lighter engine. I do not have one, but it is probably harder to drop than a two wheeler at slow speeds, and all scooters have a lower center of gravity than a motorcycle. In addition, there is no shifting to learn while also learning how to turn.
Two wheels on the back is like driving a car with a smaller front end. There is no leaning, unless one of the back tires raises off the ground.June 9, 2010 at 11:21 pm #26961
demonstrating how to use a skid plate
June 11, 2010 at 2:02 pm #26989JackTradeParticipant
That I’ve always wondered about since I first watched “On Any Sunday”…does one buy a trials bike, or does one make one?
I’ve never seen one at any of the dealers I’ve been to (hell, I’ve never seen one period, but I live in an urban area)…are they actually sold “out of the box”, or do you buy a dirt bike and modify it? If so, what kind of mods do you do, I mean besides removing the seat?June 11, 2010 at 5:56 pm #26992
Hard as anything to come by, the sport is popular in Spain, Italy, UK and apparently catching on in Japan. Dealerships are extremely rare and many of the bikes are Distributed directly to Rider/Resellers that actively compete in the sport. Modern Trials bikes all start out as single purpose machines intended for the purpose and only a few Vintage Trials bikes were modified from street or enduro bikes. The only mods required to a straight from the crate Trials machine is to remove the horn, lights and engine restrictors that are sometimes installed, strictly for the purpose of export regulations.
The motorcycle ridden in “Quantum of Solace”
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That is identical to my bike, except his had a fake tank and seat added.June 19, 2010 at 2:54 pm #27092MaxParticipant
This is a good article on how to handle a street bike on dirt. http://max-metal.com/riding-tips/riding-on-a-gravel-road/June 20, 2010 at 1:24 am #27093
Not sure I agree with all points in that article, but the hint on carrying a little more speed is right on. Same applies to riding on rocky river beds. But; “Off-road riders hug the fuel tank with their legs to better feel and control the bike.” Not since I was a kid …gripping the tank on a Beta Evo would be like trying to hold a pencil between your knees. and; “use the rear brake only” …maybe on a flat track or speedway bike, I one finger my front brake thx.
Nice bike on your avatar Max, are the mufflers on the other side ?
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