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Any Phoenix area riders wanna help a newb? I’ve got basically zero dirt riding experience and I could use some tips and/or beginner rides to tag along on
TIA
 

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Get some dirt oriented tires, learn to stand on the pegs and let the bike float around under you.
Ride with friends incase the bike falls on you. How do I know that?
 

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I recommend getting a dirt bike for starters. :)
 

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'14 DL1000A ~_/) ~ '14 GSX1300R
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Yeah, I tackled this problem backwards: got the 1000 and then worried about how to ride it. Still learning, but I bought a weekend of dirt bike training through a local vendor and strongly suggest any other lonely souls do the same. Every aspect of my riding (dirt and street) was significantly improved from the lessons learned. About $600 for about 12 hrs of hands-on, 1-to-1 training. FYI
[EDIT] the only drawback was the bikes we used for training were 300cc Yamahas, which don't compare to the 600 lb Vee, but allowed me to make all those mistakes on a much lighter and forgiving bike. Hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yeah, I tackled this problem backwards: got the 1000 and then worried about how to ride it. Still learning, but I bought a weekend of dirt bike training through a local vendor and strongly suggest any other lonely souls do the same. Every aspect of my riding (dirt and street) was significantly improved from the lessons learned. About $600 for about 12 hrs of hands-on, 1-to-1 training. FYI
[EDIT] the only drawback was the bikes we used for training were 300cc Yamahas, which don't compare to the 600 lb Vee, but allowed me to make all those mistakes on a much lighter and forgiving bike. Hope this helps!

what vendor did you use? Where are they located?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Get some dirt oriented tires, learn to stand on the pegs and let the bike float around under you.
Ride with friends incase the bike falls on you. How do I know that?
It came with Continental TKC’s so I’m good with tires
I’m going to practice standing too, I’ve watched some beginner tips videos on YouTube
 

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I did an half day introductory session at the RawHyde location on my G650GS. It's 430 pounds and the Wee is 500+ pounds. In my 70's i could feel being out of shape quickly. What was easy at 40 yo ain't the same now. My legs were killing me after 3 hours. Can't imagine trying on a 1250GSA at 650+ pounds.
 

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I would offer that you won't have the budget to repair your currently nice Wee. Big B said it first. The weight and size of your bike will be a challenge for you (at first) and learning the feel of how any bike reacts on loose surfaces is your baby steps to proficiency This bike is near 500 lbs and will go to ground with with an expensive crunch and it realistically takes two people to pick it up. You did not say what your expectation is for going off pavement so I don't know how to advise your learning curve. A full dress harley can be ridden across a dirt surface safely and so can a strom. Add loose pebbly gravel and an incline - you now got a handful.(1) If you can, find a friend that has a dirt bike and an afternoon.(2) Buy a crappy old bike that runs on craigslist and teach yourself, and have fun doing it.(3) find a flat unchallenging dirt road that you won't get trapped on and ride your bike back and forth on the same surfaces until you begin to get a feel for how you and your bike react. Yes that sounds cheezy but it helps build a skills base without unforseen challenges. PM me if you wish.
 

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what vendor did you use? Where are they located?
Sorry, I should have included that I live in So Cal, but I'd still recommend this place:

~300 mi from Phoenix
Gary LaPlante and his son run the place:
  • Gary wrote a book on the subject
  • used to compete (probably still does)
  • offers trials riding instruction in addition to all the other dirt stuff
  • was my personal instructor, which made the sessions worth twice what I paid
  • understood my personal goals (me being an over-60 rider who had never taken a motorcycle off pavement but thought he knew everything about motorcycles)
Gary might know a guy in AZ, but if you decide to attend here in SoCal, there are both hotels and camping very near.
 

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I believe it is the same guy I knew, there used to be a Gary Laplante who lived in phoenix with his brothers Ed, and Brian back in the early '70's. good times racing at Manzanita and Beardsley race tracks. Kawasaki gave Gary a kawasaki trials bike back then.
 

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I believe it is the same guy I knew, there used to be a Gary Laplante who lived in phoenix with his brothers Ed, and Brian back in the early '70's. good times racing at Manzanita and Beardsley race tracks. Kawasaki gave Gary a kawasaki trials bike back then.
That's the guy. If I'm remembering correctly, Gary test rode for Kawi for quite a while.
 

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We don't have any dirt bike instruction available in my entire state. Closest I could find was the one American Supercamp session held in Colorado. Just one date each year.

"Buy a dirt bike" doesn't work for many. You have to get the dirt bike to the dirt somehow. So now we're looking at a trailer - impractical as heck for most of us. Or else a dual sport, a road legal dirt bike. Those don't go so cheap.

I don't have physical room in my garage for a dirt bike/enduro, as well as the other factors.

I agree with the advice to try it. Be careful and take it easy. You'll find that a hard packed dirt road is no scarier to ride on than pavement. Stay away from deep sand and mud at first, or maybe forever, I think you're nuts to take a Wee or Vee in deep sand but that's another thread.
 

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@JoeMcG
Absolutely outstanding! Makes me wanna get back out in the loose stuff. A gorgeous bike! Have you had to pick it up from the dirt yet? It's not that big a deal unless you're like me: old and out of shape. After struggling to get my Vee back on its wheels while in the desert, I brought her home and practiced picking her up. Those hard cases will help a lot, should it happen to you. Have you been practicing standing up while riding? There are TONS of vids on this skill set and I got hooked on it ... LOVE riding on the pegs now. Still a noob-wimp compared to others on this forum.

But it looks like you're having fun. Congrats! See you on the traill!!
 
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