Dirt Legs - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 08-13-2011, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Pocatello, ID
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Dirt Legs

I finally had the chance to go for a ride in the mountains today. My first real ride this year. It seems whenever I get off the pavement and onto the loose stuff it takes me a while to get what I call my "dirt legs" back under me. What I mean is, at first the loose dirt and rocks make me a little nervous. By the end of the ride I'm usually very comfortable and take the same road at least twice the speed as before.

Am I alone in this phenomenon?

I had a GREAT ride. My friend was on his 4-wheeler, so I had some company. We ran into, what was for me, some rather technical riding. I am truly amazed at the KLR. We ran into a heard of 250 Yamaha's out playing, so it was nice to know we were keeping up with some harder-core riders. Sometimes I think my KLR's only limits are its rider. We hit everything from dirt to large loose rocks, very steep inclines and declines, etc. The only time I couldn't continue was when we hit a very steep hill with 6" of large loose stuff. I just didn't dare go for it. Yes, I wimped out. Maybe next time. However, at the end of the day I was rather satisfied with how I rode and what I was able to achieve. Looking back a few years ago when I first got my KLR I think it's safe to say my riding skills have improved at least a little. And that's what it's about, right?

I got a good feel for the suspension limits. I bottomed out several times, so I can see why people start making mods in this area. Currently I have a 16 tooth on as well, so I had to slip the clutch in several areas, but we made it.

In short - here's to everyone out there who is learning...from beginner to pro. There's nothing quite like a good day off road to get your dirt legs back under you.

Gotta say, I love my KLR.

Last edited by mwatson; 08-13-2011 at 11:32 PM. Reason: typo
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post #2 of 4 Old 08-13-2011, 10:08 PM
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 138
Originally Posted by mwatson View Post
Am I alone in this phenomenon?
Same thing for me, I'm pretty new to the dirt. Last time out we lowered the pressure in our tires and it made a huge difference.

Originally Posted by mwatson View Post
I just didn't dare go for it. Yes, I wimped out.
It's not wimping out, it's knowing your limits and living to ride another day.
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post #3 of 4 Old 08-14-2011, 12:55 AM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: NW MO
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Good deal. I think you said it all: great day of riding, satisfied with how you rode, the fact that you riding skills have improved and the fact that the day was accident-free.

Having somebody on a 4-wheeler as a riding partner can present other challenges because there are a lot of places a 4-wheeler can go that a KLR can't. To be fair, there can be places a KLR can go that a 4-wheeler can't.

Sounds like a really good time and the main thing is that you enjoyed yourself. That's what it's all about.

I can't speak for everybody, but would say most would agree you're not alone in your "dirt legs" phenomena. It's always satisfying to rip down that road or trail twice as fast at the end of the day as you did when you first got there.

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post #4 of 4 Old 08-14-2011, 02:14 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Grants Pass, Oregon
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Good on you for getting out. When I get off the pavement I sorta feel like you did at the beggining of your ride and I've been riding different dirt bikes for 30 years. For me, it comes in waves actually. I call it being in the zone and it comes and goes several times throughout any given ride. I'll be riding along some forest road timid and tense as all get out and within two minutes be totally relaxed and gettin' zen with it all. It works the other way too. I'll be riding along all comfortable-like and without any change in condition whatsoever, feel the bike slipping all over the place and get worried about it whereas before it was slipping but I knew exactly when and how it would slip before it even happened. When this happens I just slow down to about 1/2 to 1/3 of my original speed and just go with it until the next zone comes along.

There's a lookout that I frequently visit near me. To get to it, the last 1/4 mile or so is a steep rocky-rutted old road you have to climb. About half the time I'm standing on the pegs working the bike up, lifting the front end over obstacles, picking the lines 3 and 4 ahead and look like a pro with a smile on my face with never so much as a foot dab occuring. You'd think I was riding some sort of a trials bike instead of a KLR. The other half of the time I've got both of my feet down crawling over rocks, slipping the clutch, and spinning my rear tire all the way up to the look out. It's all about being in the zone. Sometimes you is. Sometimes you aint.

It sounds like you hit one of your zones on your ride. Remember what it felt like. That's where motorcyclists go to be close to heaven and it's why I ride in the first place.
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