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2009 KLR 650
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thanks folks! There may not be much gold laying around the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, but I obviously struck it rich here. I spent a couple months reading through many threads before signing up last August. Went Premium Member from the gate because I was so impressed with the knowledge base here and members' extraordinary willingness to share. It's only my opinion, but there are single threads here worth the premium fee, and there are a LOT of threads.

Anyway, after learning from a landlord in the 1980s why I needed a bike, it remained a dream until now. Gave myself an '09 KLR650 on my 66th birthday. I had to have a biking friend test drive it, since I had never ridden a bike (he's lying - he rode a bike for about fifteen seconds in 1979 - he thinks this doesn't count).

I only got my M1 enhancement (I hear some folks need Viagra for this) the week of my 67th birthday this year.

I'm not shy about busting myself for my mistakes and blunders in the hopes that others may avoid them. I was taking the excellent CMSP motorcycle safety training course last October, when I had an accident - on their bike. Friends said it was a freak accident. You had an accident and you're a freak is what they said. I love my friends.

As for my crash, think Laugh-In's Artie Johnson on his tricycle. I hope members around my age smile at this reference. But I also heard that if you remember the sixties, you weren't a participant.

When you're taking the safety course, be cautious and try to make adjustments if you fall outside the human norm, physically. At the class I took, all the bikes were 250s. Small. Tiny. I stand at 6'-6". With size 16 feet. Have paws to match. If you're around my size, see if you can bring your own, larger bike, as long as it meets their requirements: 450 cc max., fully operational, registered (in CA) and insured. And check for other requirements as well - that's probably not a complete list. Just ask the instructor in advance - they're very helpful.

So their bike was fine, but size-wise I was a poor match for it, I misapplied the controls, had a walking-speed crash, and received an injury which I lived with (not healing) for over two months. The week of Christmas it became a medical emergency, requiring immediate surgery to fix. Then a couple months of recovery and getting back on my feet and my bike, retaking and passing the safety course, by pre-arrangement using the tallest, largest bike they had.

And now I'm practicing, practicing - having a grand time. I believe I absolutely know, and this is forever, exactly why we ride. Thanks again for making newbies like me feel welcome!

First name Aaron, last name pretty much the opposite of my handle.

Oh yeah, my down-time from the bike of almost 6 months led to it having a problem, which I couldn't find much info on here (there was a little), solved, and so my next task is to post about it over in the gen 2 wrenching arena. And to honor Paper's request.
 

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2005 KLR650
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60 Posts
Welcome, Aaron!

Sorry to hear about your injury, but glad you're back at it.

I'm not as tall as you are (5'11"), but I definitely remember the comically small bikes at the safety course down here. There were a handful of Kawasaki 125cc micro-cruisers and two TW200 dual sports. The instructors put the more experienced riders (me and another guy) on the TW200s, and everyone else on the Kawis. Even the TW200 felt very small to me. I actually had to ask for a screwdriver so I could adjust the levers down.

I know there are a few of us in the area. I live in Elk Grove, and there are several others in the greater Sacramento region.
I'm still working on farkles and a tool kit to take on adventures, but I'll definitely be on the lookout for rides once I get that all situated (and once it's not 105 outside).

I've also seen that Sierra Nevada Adventures does guided rides and adventure ride training. Paid programs, but it may well be worth it for people like us with not a lot of experience, plus you get the benefit of riding in a group. I may look at that come fall.
 

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2009 KLR 650
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've also seen that Sierra Nevada Adventures does guided rides and adventure ride training. Paid programs, but it may well be worth it for people like us with not a lot of experience, plus you get the benefit of riding in a group. I may look at that come fall.
Thanks for the heads-up. I hadn't heard of this outfit. I'll take a look at what they offer.

And yes, the summer temps can be a bit much, but I enjoy riding enough that I bear it, even with ATGATT. Sure I melt, but so far it's worth it.

Probably breaking a rule here, responding to something you wrote in another thread responding to me there, but thanks also for the heads-up that over at Mather CMSP offers an intermediate course - info added to the ever-growing KLR folder.

See ya
 

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2005 KLR650
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Don't think there's a rule against that :D

I use my KLR for commuting to work whenever possible, but 30-40min in 105 is enough to cook me, even if I douse my shirt before I leave. My civic gets 35-40mpg and has a/c, so I'll take that when it's >95.
 

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2022 Pearl Lava Orange
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853 Posts
6'6" on a little 250 motorcycle class bike should be considered cruel and unusual punishment! I took my test at the DMV on a DR650 (NO CLASS) Easy peasy. It was during 40mph winds in an open parking lot of the dmv. The poor lady giving the test could hardly stand up without being blown away. I'm 6'4" so the DR was perfect for me. After passing with flying colors the lady from the DMV said she had never seen anyone ride the entire test without dabbing a foot in half the wind conditions i faced. I had a big grin on that driver's license.
 

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2022 Khaki no abs, Thermobob 2, tusk panniers gen2, modified crash bars gen2, Tusk D-flex, 16t front
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Welcome!✌
With enough practice you can pass that test on ANYTHING I've always taken the test on my bike. My first test was on a GPZ 550. I took my last test at the DMV in Pasadena on my ZX11D . The lady was tripping out on that circle... 🤣👍 zero point deduction perfect score flying colors! To warm up I rode up mount baldy hung a left and came out Azusa canyon then went to take my test. Carving canyons is a great warm up😎👍 I took the test in Washington on a GL 1100 goldwing 💪🤣👍 when I moved back here I made sure Texas honored my M3 endorsement so I didn't have to take their safety course & road test for the fourth time in my life.... They actually follow behind you in a car and yell directions out the window to you here for your road test 🤣🤣
I've actually never taken a safety course in my 35+ years riding on the streets. A learner's permit and the school of hard knocks is all I ever got. What good is learning on a mini bike? Obviously just to pass the test and get a license but Not very great "experience" to keep you safe though.
IMO The best practice is with your own bike IMO ✌😎👍
 

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What good is learning on a mini bike? Obviously just to pass the test and get a license but Not very great "experience" to keep you safe though.
It's absolutely a great experience. It provides a positive learning environment to build good riding habits and practice emergency defensive skills. How often do you practice emergency braking to a stop, or emergency obstacle evasion? Sure, you can learn a lot of it on your own, but the safety courses are still good places to learn, particularly for newer riders.

And in CA, there are also intermediate and advanced safety courses available. These courses require you to bring your own bike. Also, completing any safety course usually gets you a discount on your insurance for a few years.
 

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2022 Khaki no abs, Thermobob 2, tusk panniers gen2, modified crash bars gen2, Tusk D-flex, 16t front
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It's absolutely a great experience. It provides a positive learning environment to build good riding habits and practice emergency defensive skills. How often do you practice emergency braking to a stop, or emergency obstacle evasion? Sure, you can learn a lot of it on your own, but the safety courses are still good places to learn, particularly for newer riders.

And in CA, there are also intermediate and advanced safety courses available. These courses require you to bring your own bike. Also, completing any safety course usually gets you a discount on your insurance for a few years.
I personally practice avoiding obstacles daily, and emergency braking daily. And tight turning every single time I ride. I zig & zag making sure the bikes setup feels safe & even pick spots on the road that are very close and avoid them or try to get really close to a spot on the road constantly pushing it as close as I can so I know my abilities and the bikes abilities. We all should! you have to know your machine. That's how I've lived long enough to be considered Old with 35+ yrs & well over 200,000miles on 2wheels on the streets of L.A. & Seattle & West Texas. I know how to ride very well because I practice a lot on my bike. Whatever size it is. I've been licensed to ride a motorcycle in 3 states without any major incidents except serious road rash early on canyon carving GMR,... oh yeah &that splitting rush hour traffic @ 95+ on the ZX11D @ the 210 & 57 fwy interchange 15yrs ago✌🤣👍 ( I genuinely was only going about 55 mph traffic was about 35 mph but the ninja said 1100cc's on the side and 200 mph on the Speedo & the cop had a zx7 at home he said... I technically wasn't even breaking the speed limit 🤣 jealous bastard... Wanna race 🤣)

I'm not advising people not to take these courses. They help out some for sure especially with uneducated new green riders.👍 IMO They could also give you a dangerous false sense of security thinking you know more than you do by learning on that little bike. Just like me taking my street bike knowledge to the KLR & BDR's... I would eat shit riding this pig like a street bike👍 I'm working on my dirt riding Now. Maybe I could see an off road course in my future 💪😎👍 and the advanced classes would be great Too it's just that small bike mentality & the transition...No matter what You should learn on your own bike that you are talking on the streets or the trails IMO. Of course a lot of skills will transfer over & I know there are different classifications and such in Cali by CC's & so your qualifications are limited to your cc experience level. That's good.
I'd rather ride with someone who knows how to ride rather than a piece of paper listing thier qualifications IMO the paper is a good START Not the end all be all.
You gotta learn somehow as long as you learn that's the important thing. Not a piece of paper IMO✌😎👍
 

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I just took the CMSP training course here in Chico CA. It was worth the $350. One day of classroom and two days on a 500CC Harley in the parking lot. The class was taught by a retired CHP motorcycle officer and another guy who rides a DUC. I haven't ridden a street bike in 30 years, so it was well worth it. I learned how to effectively counter steer and panic stop with someone to assess what I was doing wrong and correct it. I learned evasive maneuvers and how to make sure I have an escape rout in traffic. Much more than this. I discovered I had a lot of bad habits that I learned when I rode a Kawasaki S3 in the mid/late 70's early 80s (until it was stolen). I'm seriously considering the intermediate class where you have to ride your own bike. There is an advanced class as well.

Don't know why I can't post pictures
 
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