I found this site today while doing some research. I was trying to locate information to help me determine how/what to select as a return to off-road riding.
I am 30, 5'8", 200 lbs. I rode a Honda
XR80 from age 12 - 14, and a Honda
CR125 from 14 - 16. With exception of my son (age 6), I have no memories in life that I revere more than those of my days of riding my dirtbikes.
I recently purchased a '97 Suzuki Savage 650 street bike. I'm really enjoying it alot, and now I want to start planning my return to dirtbikes. In particular I plan to get a bike for my son also (probably first), so that we can go on weekend camping trips together.
In reflection of my childhood, I feel that the XR80 provided me with a relatively lightweight, easy platform to learn the physical mechanics of riding a motorcycle. The 4 stroke motor was easy to manage and kept me out of any severe power troubles. Once I made friends to ride with, I quickly surpassed the abilities of the bike, and punished it and myself on a daily basis. This went on for along time because my parents could not get me a bigger bike. At age 15, I got a job and start saving my money. When I got to the point that my MX boots and the XR's suspension
were not sparing my legs from the impact of my jumps, I bought a used CR125.
The CR125 was much more appropriate for me based on it's suspension
and my weight, but it was extremely tall for me. I had a hard time starting it when it was cold because I could only flat foot it on one side. To get it going daily I'd have to put one foot on a curb or rock, and kick it off. Once warm it would start on one good jump that I just had to be sure I landed my left foot solidly on the ground. The 2 stroke motor was alot more fun to ride on, but took more practice to manage. Some times it was annoying that it didn't like the lower rpms needed for trails or quietly getting through the neighborhood. It also made some of the jumps a bit more of a white knuckle affair, but was manageable with practice. This bike provided many hours of fun until it was time for me to buy a car. With my father out of work, my bike was eventually sold for extra car money. I didn't ride again until this year when I took a MSF course for a street bike.
My son is 6, so I figure I'll be getting him one of the small auto-clutch bikes to start with. The selection for him does not seem as complicated to me. He's going to be riding 4 stroke beginner bikes for a while.
For myself, I'm going to need something that can handle trails, mudding, jumping, my occasional lapse of throttle restraint, etc... I want something versatile, but not necessarily docile. I need to be able to get comfortable with it's seat height since I'm not real tall. My limited experience has me leaning to the power of a 2 stroke, but it seems like 4 stroke motors have come along way in the last 15 years. I have no idea how to determine what I should get, but I'm not going to put my hide in the hands of a dealer when the time comes. They too often oversell for the good of comissions.
Mechanically, I'm not very qualified. I can handle technical things (I do IT for a living) when I apply myself, and therefore I plan to learn to do the basics and more for maintenance. I'll leave the complicated things to a shop though.
I'm also going to need to start locating places that my son and I could possibly ride/camp for a weekend when the time comes. I plan to make these purchases over the next year or so.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Web links to information works for me as well. Any input/experiences similiar to mine?
thanks in advance for your assistance,