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Is it just me, or about 50% of the readers here incapable of basic reading comprehension? An XR200 probably is BIG if you are (i.e. Danielle the Intern...hint=W_O_M_A_N=SMALLER THAN MAN USUALLY) 5 foot 4, 110 pounds. Cripes, use your head, or rather, use a larger quantity of the squishy gray stuff inside the round hard part on the outside!! This is a GREAT little article, and I sent it to my wife who is FAR TOO SMALL to ride an XR200. She is perfect for the XR80, as I would imagine many gals are. You probably dropped your wife/gal on a CR500 for her first ride..? Another Hint....Wife who rides=Wife who has a greater chance of understanding your need for a new CR450F.....
 

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Oh come on.. be nice. What part about she's an Intern (ie. "Learning") and, "Be nice" in the intro did you not understand.

This is an awesome 'erag' and the fact that they allow their interns to write articles is great! Ever see Cycle World do that? Plus, who could have written a better 'first person - learning' story... I don't think Minime could have... his grammers about as bad too ;-)
 

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Hey MO! I like this stuff. Typically I learn by 'just doing it' but that's not always the best way to learn... learned to off road buy purchasing an '83 xl500... not the brightest idea! More learner articles from novice tips to intermediate (prob guys like me) to expert tips and how to's would be appreciated by this squid.



How 'bout some basic maintenance stuff too? I'm pathetic at maintaining my bikes myself (setting up front drum brakes???? AAAAaaaaarrrrrg) but have tackled rejetting carbs (some success) and such. Maybe there are other pathetic wannabe wrenches like me out there who'd like some good ole basic info.



thanks.
 

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Yes it's a wonderful thing to get dirty on a dirtbike. Sort of cleanses the soul in a Fred Bear sort of way. I'm not big into dirtbikes anymore, mainly because of the area where I live and the lack of free time I have, but when I was younger and lived in the boonies outside of town everyone had them. Dirt bikes are a great way to hone your skills for a streetbike. In fact probably one of if not the best ways. I also tend to think that getting a BMX bike and riding it a ton on the streets and on trails/tracks helpes a ton to understand the most basic elements of how a two wheel vehicle acts and reacts while ridden. As far as the MSF classes go, I'm happy to see that Danielle is doing the smart thing and taking them. Even tho most proficient, self taught, two wheelist wont learn every single important nuance on their own. I advise all my friends, even the hard headed ones, to take the course for what it's worth. Even if they dont admit it, chances are they learned 'something' that could make them a better overall rider. Good luck Danielle, you seem well on your way.
 

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Feedback For Dirt

I guess you guys have realized that your "intern" is adding a welcomed level of diversity. I am happy to read her "beginner" views on various topics. I hope she continues to successfully write about topics that are otherwise ignored in motorcycle publications.
 

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Great Story ! I hope this program becomes available nationwide. I am trying to teach my kids to ride, but I am certainly not a teacher, and they could benefit from professional instruction. Keep the dirt stories coming.
 

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I appreciate your articles geared towards women because my wife is getting interested in learning how to ride. Now I will use this public forum to say FIX THE FRIGGEN "MO WOMEN" SITE ALREADY!!! You guys haven't replied to any of my emails about it. The problem is, the top link to "New! MO Women" goes to an OLD page. But the lower text link to "MO Women" goes to a new updated page and 80% of the links are broken! Is that why you need us to donate? So you can hire a little gimp to update your HTML?



 

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Anyone interested in riding on the street will gain valuable experience from starting or riding in the dirt. You will learn a great deal about the bike's handling dynamics as you learn how to turn,accelerate and brake the bike on a less solid surface. This will translate into better control on the street when you do hit that sand or gravel and the rear wheel slides out. During a slide, the recovery will be instinctive.

Oh ya, It's an absolute blast!
 

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D., stay in the dirt as long as you possibly can. You'll learn much that would literally kill you on the road, ie. almost falling and definitely falling. Get over all that on the dirt, and you'll have a better set of skills than you might imagine.



Then get on the street/track. You'll only have to tune your senses to the much higher speeds and forces that you have to put into the bike. Front or rear slides won't freak you, lean angles won't freak you, and if you have to take it off the track (as everyone trying to learn something will) dirt experience will get you through the gravel better than anything except extremely good luck (which is better off used elsewhere, like Vegas.)



Have a blast, looking forward to seeing how it all turns out.

 

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Dirt experience when I was a kid saved my dumb @ss when I got back on a bike after 11 years of not riding (long story). When I got my first bike after 11 years, I got a tiny (200 cc) Honda streetbike, with super skinny tires, drum brakes, you know the drill... Anyhow, got caught in a rainstorm, pulling up the the stoplight, downshifting, back tire locked up, started to come around... many years old experience kicked in automatically, I clutched, rolled the throttle on and let the clutch out until the back tire grabbed and dropped back into line and braked as gently as possible to a stop at the light. To make a short story long, Dirt experience saved me from a spill at 35 mph, and I personally believe that dirt experience is invaluable.
 

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You gotta love the dirt. It's the best way to hone skills you may never otherwise put into your rep. Just ask Mladin. Busted a leg riding MX? Well, he wasn't just jurkin the gurkin. The cornering limits on my 2000 9R are out there, but its nice to have dirt track time in the mix when you rip the enevelope wide open. Oh yeah, last post!
 
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