Kid looking for some advice

Cris Lepiz

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So I have been attempting to learn the great sport of off road racing for a little bit over 3 years now. I have done anything and everything from volunteering at KOH to navigating a few races. I have been a fan of the Adelanto Grand Prix from way back when I was just a little kid. Both my passion for Off road racing and the AGP have inspired me to buy a bike and race it at next year's GP. My only issue is that I have only rode on a bike once, when I was a kid. Therefore I would like to ask for your help in offering any advice you would be willing to offer on anything and everything from picking out the right bike, the do's and do not's, and anything else I should know. I do plan on purchasing a bike within the next two months, and plan on riding mostly desert . Thank you.
 

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pgarfinkle

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The Adelanto GP isn't exactly what I would call a great race for your fist one, much less for someone with virtually no riding experience. I suggest you get some decent seat time in before considering a race like this.

With that being said, I don't want you to not go after your dreams.

Before I or anyone else can give an real advice we need to know a bit more about you such as how big you are, what your budget is, what type of racing do you se
 

Romero

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Visit the District 37 website and message board: District 37 Website

Tons of info in there. I would also recommend joining a club (thats who put the races on in D37), you can get great seat time that way scouting course or just finding riding people at a similar level. There are many types of "desert" races you can try to get your feet wet and find what suits you the best.

Feel free to PM with specific questions & good luck!
 

Cris Lepiz

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pgarfinkle, i appreciate your response, and do agree that i will need some decent seat time before I plan on racing such a race. The AGP is only a goal at this point, I'm sure it will be there down the future. With that being said any recommendations on any trials or programs you could recommend in order to gain some valuable knowledge? As for size, I stand at 5'7 180ish.

Romero, Thank you. I will take a look at the website after work and will PM you with any questions I might come up with.
 

pgarfinkle

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I'm glad to see you are going about this with a reasonable approach.

In terms of a bike, I suggest you get something you can grow into but that won't get you on trouble as you learn.

Skip the temptation to get a 450 and stick with nothing bigger than a 250 (four stroke). It will suit you well for years to come. But a four stroke can be costly in terms of maintenance over time. A 2 stroke is a great bike in terms of maintenance. I would suggest a 125 here.

As Romero said, D37 is great way to hook up with a club. These clubs help put on some of the local races.

You could also attend a school to start off. Most places have bikes you can use during the course. That way you can try a few different ones out and see what you are comfortable with Here are some links:

The MSF DirtBike School - DBS - Dirt Bike Training, Riding Lessons

MotoVentures "Dirt First" Motorcycle Training | Motoventures

Also, once you get your bike and gear, you are more than welcome to come out to one of my team's ride days or test sessions.
 

JDDurfey

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If you want a 2 stroke, look into a KTM 200. Great light bike that has more power and torque than a 125 zinger. If you are looking for a 4 stroke, I would go with a 250 to start and move up when your ability allows.

When I was younger I skipped the 125s and went straight to a 250 for a while and I was so scared of the bike that I didn't progress as a rider very fast. I went back to a 125 and learned how to use the bike to its full potential and later moved back up. That was a smart move and when I went to the bigger bike I wasn't scared of it and was able to actually use it to its full potential.

I would suggest a WR 250 or CRF250X. Another bike to look at with your size would be a Honda XR 400. It is a good reliable trail bike to start with. You can even put it in some races as a beginner and have fun. I have put many miles on an xr 400 and even own an xr 250 now that I ride my kids around on. I am an XR fan having raced them for years in Baja and I even used to MX race an XR 600 back in the 90's before the 4 stroke "revolution" More of an off-road or "trail bike" will be much more fun and usable. All of these can be raced, many people do it. And you get a bigger gas tank, headlight, and kick stand which are all a plus for trail riding while learning to ride. (remove the kick stand if racing) Join a club or find some guys you can go riding with and get plenty of seat time. Finding someone that is better than you is a big help in getting faster and better because they will challenge you. But don't be stupid and ride over your head and attempt things you have no business doing. Watch how they ride, study it, that is how I got faster. Also, learn to work on your bike. There isn't anything that you can't learn to fix, including the motor. That will save you tons of money and you will know your bike inside and out and be able to prevent break downs. I can't believe the number of guys I have met broken down in the desert in the US or Baja that don't have a clue on how to do the simple trail side repairs or even change a tire.

Good luck
 
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Cris Lepiz

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I'm glad to see you are going about this with a reasonable approach.

In terms of a bike, I suggest you get something you can grow into but that won't get you on trouble as you learn.

Skip the temptation to get a 450 and stick with nothing bigger than a 250 (four stroke). It will suit you well for years to come. But a four stroke can be costly in terms of maintenance over time. A 2 stroke is a great bike in terms of maintenance. I would suggest a 125 here.

As Romero said, D37 is great way to hook up with a club. These clubs help put on some of the local races.

You could also attend a school to start off. Most places have bikes you can use during the course. That way you can try a few different ones out and see what you are comfortable with Here are some links:

The MSF DirtBike School - DBS - Dirt Bike Training, Riding Lessons

MotoVentures "Dirt First" Motorcycle Training | Motoventures

Also, once you get your bike and gear, you are more than welcome to come out to one of my team's ride days or test sessions.


I am glad you brought up the 450 "Temptation", as a few individuals have suggested that is where I start. It has crossed my mind, but overall i was thinking the 250x would be the smarter choice. Nothing is official yet, as i was waiting to see what people were going to post. Maintenance does scare me a bit as it is something new I would have to learn to do. Any tips there?

I have also looked into the links you have shared, and thank you for all that. As of right now there are two locations (One in Irvine and the other in Lake Elsinore) I plan on researching a bit more, and hopefully registering for a class soon.
 

Cris Lepiz

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If you want a 2 stroke, look into a KTM 200. Great light bike that has more power and torque than a 125 zinger. If you are looking for a 4 stroke, I would go with a 250 to start and move up when your ability allows.

When I was younger I skipped the 125s and went straight to a 250 for a while and I was so scared of the bike that I didn't progress as a rider very fast. I went back to a 125 and learned how to use the bike to its full potential and later moved back up. That was a smart move and when I went to the bigger bike I wasn't scared of it and was able to actually use it to its full potential.

I would suggest a WR 250 or CRF250X. Another bike to look at with your size would be a Honda XR 400. It is a good reliable trail bike to start with. You can even put it in some races as a beginner and have fun. I have put many miles on an xr 400 and even own an xr 250 now that I ride my kids around on. I am an XR fan having raced them for years in Baja and I even used to MX race an XR 600 back in the 90's before the 4 stroke "revolution" More of an off-road or "trail bike" will be much more fun and usable. All of these can be raced, many people do it. And you get a bigger gas tank, headlight, and kick stand which are all a plus for trail riding while learning to ride. (remove the kick stand if racing) Join a club or find some guys you can go riding with and get plenty of seat time. Finding someone that is better than you is a big help in getting faster and better because they will challenge you. But don't be stupid and ride over your head and attempt things you have no business doing. Watch how they ride, study it, that is how I got faster. Also, learn to work on your bike. There isn't anything that you can't learn to fix, including the motor. That will save you tons of money and you will know your bike inside and out and be able to prevent break downs. I can't believe the number of guys I have met broken down in the desert in the US or Baja that don't have a clue on how to do the simple trail side repairs or even change a tire.

Good luck

Thank You! Your post has a little bit of everything i was hoping to hear. I will definitely take your advice and hopefully start on a 125 when i do attend a school and without a doubt learn to work on my own bike.
 

Mike @ pit b

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You're gonna need at least a solid year of riding before even considering entering a race.

If you enter a race with zero seat time and not knowing what you're doing, not only are you putting yourself in danger, but every rider around you. They don't know you but will naturally assume you know what you're doing since you considered yourself good enough to race.


I'm not saying don't do it, just don't do it yet. You need some experience first. Good luck.
 

Cris Lepiz

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You're gonna need at least a solid year of riding before even considering entering a race.

If you enter a race with zero seat time and not knowing what you're doing, not only are you putting yourself in danger, but every rider around you. They don't know you but will naturally assume you know what you're doing since you considered yourself good enough to race.


I'm not saying don't do it, just don't do it yet. You need some experience first. Good luck.

Never thought of it that way, but that is something I will now have to take into consideration before I do decide when to race.
 

Moss2

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Having started out with 4 strokes that I got a "good deal" on then spending twice the purchase cost to rebuild just the head and accessories I would go with 250 two stroke if I were starting out again. The KTMs I have ridden are beautiful bikes when running but man they are expensive to work on especially four stroke and not a long interval it seems on top ends etc. Tons of good Japanese 250 two strokes after 2000 that all have great suspension and power for a beginner. Find one that has not been raced or modified extensively. You are about big enough that a 125 would be frustrating I would think, especially in sandy desert. When you go out to ride and practice, ride a lot. Riding around camp is not riding. Pick a loop and ride till you are low on gas. Read all the tips you can and try them out. I haven't read motorcycle mags in years but they used to have great tips every month on riding from guys like Johnny Campbell and Paul Krause when I read them. Don't try and be super fast or a big jumper, just smooth and conserve momentum as much as you can. If you pick good lines and are smooth speed comes. Have fun! I sure did.
 
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