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How much help is riding a dirt bike B4 u ride a road bike

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by PMN, Mar 15, 2006.

  1. Hi guys, I've been riding dirt bikes for about the last 5 or 6 years, I'm currently riding a 2002 XR400, however, I'm starting to get over the whole dirt thing and I want to get a road bike. I've spent plenty of time reading through all the forums getting tips on buying a bike. My first preference of bike is a CBR, but almost everyone suggests getting something without fairings when you first get your bike, because learners are likely to have an off. Obviously I am a road learner, but my question is, coming from a dirt bike background, am I a total learner that should get an older bike or something without fairing, or because I have riden before would it be okay to get something like the CBR? Personally I think that I am just as likely to have a stack as any other learner, but maybe less likely to do something stupid like drop it coming out of a driveway, or trying to turn it round or something of the sort. Any input would be great, thanks guys!

  2. it does give you a damn good background into how to control a bike etc etc
    But as most will tell you its a totaly diferent style of riding, My bro has done and raced moto/super cross 4 the past 25 years and he just cant seem to make the crossover easy. He recons im mad and visa versa :LOL:

    But yeah 'most people' dont have a problem and find it easy to do both some just cant :LOL: :cool:
  3. With your background, you should be able to get the bike you want first up(within reason). I don't see any need to buy a naked or anything special because you are new to the road, since you already should have some reasonable bike control experience.

    Having said that...road riding IS quite different so take some time and allow yourself enough patience to adapt to it and learn about your new bike - handling etc.
    Maybe do a road riding course or two, to help you make the transition.
  4. I have done a fair bit of paddock bashing and it certainly does prepare you for how to turn properly and control the bike. Including stuff like throttle control etc.
    Obviously the one thing it doesn't teach you and one of the most important parts is how to handle road situations. Being 23 i am assuming you have your car license so you probably have a fairly good grasp of all that stuff, but it is slightly different.

    On the topic of fairings, if YOU want a faired bike. GET ONE. You might drop it but you might not. I know older riders who have been riding for years who have dropped their expensivo R1 type bikes. Accidents happen, but you can't live in fear that you are going to drop it and be stuck with something you don't particularly like the look of.
  5. As the others have already said, you will have gained good knowledge of how a bike handles and to not stress when it slides and moves under you. Doohan and Gardner both had solid dirt bike skills when they were young uns.
  6. I rode dirt bikes for a year or so before getting my road licence, and it definitely helped me as it meant I wasn't a total newbie when I turned up at the L's licensing session. Of course dirt and road are two completely different riding environments, but any experience in bike control before you hit the road is better than none!
  7. it definitely helps in that:
    a) you already know how to change gears
    b) you already know how to ride the clutch
    c) you can probably already manouver slowly & in tight spaces.

  8. Sweet, I'm gonna be the next aussie Moto GP would champ! :wink:
    But seriously, thanks everyone for your replies, it's been great help!
  9. :WStupid:
    This sums it up best mate - dirt bike skills really provide an advantage when you start trying to push a roadbike out in the twisties etc - you're comfortable operating at the edge of traction and beyond which can help a lot in managing high-speed cornering situations.

    But the most dangerous part of being a learner is adjusting to the fact that you're now an invisible, unwanted and disrespected road user. Riding in traffic and learning how to protect yourself in that world is the key, and dirt bike wizardry can't help you there!
  10. I have actually done my learning the other way around. I rode road bikes and was then introduced to dirt bike riding.

    I certainly believe that dirtbike riding has helped my road riding abilities.
  11. If i can add my 1c for other newbies reading.

    PMN has 5 years of rideing on dirt and sounds like he owns the bike and as Loz said he should be able to handle the road bike abit better then a total newbie.

    I have riden say over a 100 hrs over the past 10 years on dirt bikes ,so not alot but some, in paddocks ect.
    And when it come to rideing a road bike ,I knew how to change gear and ect ,"but that was it"... rideing on a road ,is SOOOOO much different.
    Looking threw coners ect , is a whole new ball game ,for me anyway.

    So if your a newbie ,and have fanged a mates bike around the bush ,some info and tips for PMN ,"may not" apply to you.

  12. Seeing as you ride an XR400 am I correct to assume you hold a full riders licence or permit? If not then your dirt bike riding must've been very restricted (or illegal). If that's the case then I'd say buy a 250 and be prepared to start from scratch.
    If you are fully licenced and have been on serious trail rides, not just punting around an open block of land, then I'd say forgo the 250 sewing machine and get a 600.
    Personally if I were to only have one machine, I'd buy a WR450F with a set of supermoto rims. Then you can rip up your mates on litre bikes in the twisties and still get dirty during winter when road riding sucks.
    Trust me, you don't want to give up the dirt biking. The roads have too many idiots and too many speed cameras to have serious fun.
  13. I echo what everyone else has said.

    I had a similar situation. There's things other learners will need to learn about that will be second nature to you, such as counter steering.

    I will tell you this though, the dirt experience helped me during a big off I had on the Great Ocean Road that may have been made worse if it wasn't for my dirt experience, but the accident itself was caused by inexperience with road conditions and also not knowing my own limitations.

    Don't forget also that a road bike is a different beast to a dirt/trail bike. They'll have a lot more trouble dealing with gravel, but that's where dirt experience comes to the fore, kicking the bike back upright.

    (Anyone else like the look of the Triumph Scrambler?)

    Anyone can have an accident, doesn't mean they'll have to. Don't let that chance determine what bike you buy.
  14. I think the main point to be made clear is punting around a farm paddock is not 'dirt bike experience'. It equates as much to experience as doing the Learner test.
    If a person spends every other weekend riding around state forests, attending enduros or motocross tracks, then s/he is a dirt biker.
    Everyone else just wants to be.

  15. I've only got a learners, so riding a little bit illegally but the times we have been stopped the cops haven't even asked about what CC the bike is, they have just been making sure we have a permit and it's registered. I think if I get a road bike I'll keep the dirt bike, I was considering putting road tyres on the XR, but we tend to do some type of riding most weeks, so it would be too much of a stuff round.

  16. Thanks for your input mate. I was just a bit nervous about getting a full faired bike, given all the warnings put out to learners. But yeah, I'm assuming some skills transend over the two different bikes, but I also understand that they are different machines, and different skills are needed.
  17. 5-6 years is a hell of alot of experience imo, i think you will make the transition quite quickly. Your skills may already put you ahead of some road riders anyway!
    You'll probably find cornering the only weird part about riding on the road.
    After that i bet you'll be surprised by how easy it is once you get comfortable. :cool:
  18. Not to mention Casey Stoner!

    Riding on dirt helped me to no end when I switched to road, although I did find myself early leading into wet corners with my inside leg leading the way, but it did help when I had to use it a couple of times to keep the bike upright.
  19. trail 2 road

    I spent 7 years on the trail and swore I would never get a road bike,too dangerous,then I hired a Yamaha XJ750 and rode to Nimbin and back,13 years and 7 roadbikes later,never ever regretted it 1 iotta.You will be kicking ass in no time!
    Every racer worth his salt started on the trail,it gives you a complete sense of how a bike handles to a point where after your 5 years it becomes second nature when then front wheel scoots left,you go right,visa versa,couldnt think of a better base to build on.
    Absolutely every beginner/learner I have spoken to who wants to learn to ride,I always say,get a trail bike,if you stack,dirt hurts less and is more forgiving than bitchumen,trees hurt but they dont have self propolsion like cars,even in worse case scenario,only other thing your going to hit is logging trucks,fellow riders,4wd,s and critters,road you got every tother bastad to look out for.