After Garrett gives us some MotoGP and Sportster Roadster news, dirt bikes and off-road riding is our topic this week. We discuss our dirt bike riding experiences (of which Garrett has many; Eric and I not so much), two-strokes v. four-strokes, motocross v. trail riding, dirt experiences for everyone from novices to trials wizards, having fun on mini-bikes (including drifting a pair 60cc four-wheel ATVs on concrete), where to ride, and off-road adventure tours.
The video I was trying to think of was KTM factory rider Jonny Walker riding The Red Bull Romaniacs Prologue. The Bultaco Pursang desert ride video I mention is here.
CORRECTION: At one point I incorrectly refer to legendary trials rider and author Don Smith as “Mick Walker.” This is an understandable mistake because those names are not at all similar and Mr. Walker had no connection to observed trials that I know of.
False Neutral – Gettin’ Dirty
False Neutral #10: Gettin' Dirty
The most off-road riding I’ve done so far is a gravel driveway, and I find that a bit intimidating. On the other hand, I’ve ridden a couple dual sports, and they’re great fun on pavement.
I’m also moderately fond of the Sportster. It’s not exactly great, but it mostly has a very satisfying heft to most of the controls. I don’t think I’d ever, ever buy one (especially with the resale on the things), but they’ve got charisma.
And, I feel like this is the appropriate place for this – I attended a Ducati test ride on the weekend, and got to spend about an hour on a Scrambler Sixty2. I stand by it not being a legitimate scrambler, but it’s a nice (if a bit pricey) standard. It’s nice and throaty sounding, and if it were any easier to ride, it’d have training wheels. I had to use all the throttle to keep up with everyone else (who had more than twice the Sixty2’s 400cc), but I suspect it’d seem a lot more adequate in solo riding.
Off road riding is certainly less intimidating on a small, lightweight machine. Smaller bikes give the sense that if something does go wrong, it wont be as bad as if you were on a big heavy machine. This is why some dual sports can be tough to learn on.
Sportsters are actually growing on me a bit. I think I’m at an age where I’m starting to slow down and find myself gravitating to motorcycles that are more about a laid back experience. I wouldn’t mind a Roadster or a forty-eight, but still am a long way from ever considering buying one. Now, If Harley made a factory built dirt tracker that looked like a Roland Sands design…
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