59.5 yrs old starting green

Joined
Jun 6, 2020
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#1
Hello all, found this site by searching for why dirt bike riders throw a leg forward in a turn. I am as the title states 59 years old and green as a gourd. I have ridden dirt bikes but never owned one of my own until recently. the last dirt bike I was on was a suzuki 500 2 stoke nearly 40 years ago so for all practical purposes I have never ridden until now. I know that seat time is the best way to learn but I am hoping to avoid some bad habits and minimize injuries and glean some knowledge from the members here. My background: I am a tradesman and grandfather of 3, a nearly life long horseman and rode street bikes until recently. I have no illusions of racing or showing out at XGames I just want to become competent in loose deep sand and learn to trust a dirt bike as much as I trusted my street bikes. I am sure if you vet's reach back in your memories you will remember the first hairy situation when you thought the bike was out to kill you. I have the first wreck out of the way so I am ready to get to it !!!
Thanks to you all.
 
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#3
Nope... it's the weekend and coming out of the lock-down, people tend to get out from behind the monitor :)

In addition the question was pretty broad and requires someone to spend a good deal of time to answer. I'll take a stab at a couple of the basics. There's a lot of info here as well, search is your friend.

First, it's never too late to start riding. My father rode well into his 70's. No, he wasn't launching big triples, or jumping at all for that matter, but he always had a blast.

Next, what kind of riding are you wanting to do? MX Tracks, Trails, Desert? You mentioned sand. The general idea is to stay on the throttle and keep the front end light. You mentioned foot out/down/forward. It 1) get's more weight on the front tire, which aids traction 2) if you start to tip, you can dab it to kept from falling over. Never have been a fan of #2, can't be hard on the knees, but there it is.

Riding principles are the same regardless of age, so just about any source of instruction will be good. Gary Semics has been around for ever and has a old, but good set of videos/dvd's a LOT of us old guys learned the basics from him. Motocross Training & Techniques DVDs - GSMXS.com There are many sources out there with all the info you can handle.

Just be prepared to take it easy starting out, dirt is a lot different than street (duh), be prepared for some get-off's, it's just part of the game. Get yourself geared-up properly. Spend the $$ for a good set of knee braces, boots and obviously the best helmet you can afford. This isnt an inexpensive hobby, but hospitals cost a lot more.

If you've got specific questions, let us know. Welcome to DRN!
 
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#4
Thanks Okie, I appreciate the info and will check out the training material that you mentioned. I am in Florida and it flooded here all weekend, I guess I forget some places actually get more than one season, rainy season is 9 months a year here.
I have invested in the basic body armor, boots and helmet and will be adding some hip pads, knee pads and shin guards.
as far as riding terrain goes it will be mostly sandy unimproved forest roads and trails with some red clay threw in but there is a small MC only course in my area ( Ricky Carmichael did time training there ) that I hope to get advanced enough to ride. I am currently riding a ( don't laugh ) chinese 250 and am shopping for a Japanese 125 or 150 or possibly the kawi 140g. I am not worried about out growing a bike like that because I have 2 grandsons and a granddaughter who will love to have it passed down to them. I want something to build confidence but not weak and not to short. I apologize for the long winded reply, it is a result of eagerness as time is not on my side.
many thanks.
 
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RM_guy

Scared of DirtWeek<BR>Club *********
Damn Yankees
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#6
Sounds like you are doing it right! Protective gear is the key so dress for the crash. And don't get to nervous about running out of time. I'll be 61 in a few months and plan on riding for quite a while...maybe a bit slower than in the past but hard enough to get my fix. I know guys in their 70's that can still haul butt!

Just don't ride past your comfort level but push yourself from time to time to learn new skills. There are lots of riding skills videos out there. Cross Training Enduro is a real good one for basic skills CROSS TRAINING ENDURO

Have fun!
 
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#7
Thank You mx547 and RM_guy for the welcome and advice. I have started watching the vid's suggested and will get the one's recommended by Okie as well. it's too late not to ride past my comfort level but I will sure avoid it in the future. The first time I remember experiencing pure adrenaline was a couple of weeks ago. I did about 70 miles and the first half was nearly all deep sugar sand interrupted from time to time by wet rutted red clay still wet from rain. I ran it way to fast for my experience level but was just to scared to back off the throttle to much. A little past the half way point I stopped at a friends house, parking on the road because he didn't know yet that I had lost my mind and decided to get into dirt bikes. As I walked up the driveway he started down to meet me and I yelled up that I had just stopped by for a glass of water and to get my heart back down out of my throat and see if my butt would begin to un-pucker a bit. I take a really small dose of blood pressure medicine and let me tell you I was wishing I had doubled up that morning. My buddy suggested a route that would lead me generally home that was much less challenging and I had an absolute blast !!! It was more than a bunny slope but it didn't make me fear for my life like the previous route. there was one hitch, not serious, kind of funny. I was coming into a down hill right hand corner and in the bottom was a mud hole, as I got to where I could see into the corner there are several 4-wheelers parked from one side to the other, young folks and mostly girls. I picked a spot on the far right and as I thought I was in the rut I had picked as the best ( in the curve) the front tire washed out off the trail and through the brush I went. the girls were trying their best not to let me see them laughing, not that I blamed them for laughing, I probably would have to. I manged to keep the bike moving in the right direction and made it back up onto the trail and as I was passing the last four wheeler with a teenage boy on it side saddle I slowed down and in a pleasant voice said " it wasn't near as damn funny to me as it was to you" and just kept on keeping on. That day pretty much set the hook.
I really appreciate you folks being here and hope one day to be able to contribute something of value to someone else.
Sideways