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Trail Riding - Equipment Recommendations

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by Twalis, Oct 21, 2007.

  1. Hi All

    Hoping for some guidance on this one.

    My outlaws (inlaws) have a farm with some pretty good state forests around the place for some bush bashing.

    I have my license and all, and have ridden road bikes, but don't really have a clue on what equipment I should be getting to get started with for Trail riding.

    Could I please get some suggestions on some good middle of the range gear to get me started. Things like:
    - Whats a good bike to get? (I know this is a very open question, but something reliable that I won't get bored of)
    - 2 stroke or 4?
    - what brands of helmet should I look at?
    - what brands of boots should I look at?
    - other saftey clothing to consider

    Looking forward to the feedback, so I can get started up.


  2. Hi and welcome to NR.
    I suggest you start off by researching some magazines.
    It will all depend on how much you want to spend.
    You will need Rec reg at least for State Forrests and stick to the tracks.
  3. Boots are a must, knee guards are a must, what helmet? - buy the one that fits best, same way you would a road helmet... Goggles and gloves are a must and as for upper body protection, I have one of THESE and it works great... Went over the bars at ~80km and it did it's job just fine, nothing broken but some serious gouges out of the shoulder plastic.

    As for the bike, a ~400cc 4 stroke like an XR or a DRZ is a good place to start - powerful enough without being scary to a noob, predictable power delivery and just plain good fun.

    As mentioned above, mags are good but they clearly have a habit of favouring products that are paying the bills... Google a few dirtbike forums, there are a couple that are Oz based, get out there and have fun.
  4. If your only new to riding definatly get a four stroke maybe a tt250r or a WR250 for a bit more pep and better suspenders ,get as much safty gear as you can decent riding pants, jacket, boots, gloves, helmet, gogles, knee/elbow gaurds, and some body armour
    as boulders the size of tennis balls are often thrown up at a rapid pace and they dont feel good when they hit .Bark busters are also good to protect your hands.

    Four strokes are more predictable relialble and torqy to get out of sticky situations and they also have better engine breaking when going down steep hills
  5. A WR250 is too much maintenance for someone who just wants a bit of hassle free fun.

    For more pep than the TTR (great little bike), I'd go the same as suggested before: DRZ400E, XR400, KLX300 (and I think they have a 450 now). The enduro 2 strokes are a good bet too, or if you're adventurous, a 2 stroke motocrosser which is similar maintenance to the highly strung 4 stroke 250's, but cheaper and less complicated.
  6. Thanks for everyone's input.

    All my other sources point towards the XR400, so think I will shop around for one of these. If I ride enough and get bored then I might look at changing, but it sounds like a good start.

    Happy Riding Guys

  7. great choice :grin:
  8. I would say the XR would be better than the DRZ for a noob dirt rider only for the one fact that its aircooled and harder to break (its sucks smashing a radiator far away from home or the ute :oops: ) Though if your confident about your riding or are happy to put some added parts on (or replace broken parts from stacks) then i would go the drz with some radiator guards (not fool proof but they pay for them selves after a drop or 2)

    As for gear get what fits well. i wouldnt worry about nylons and alike, worry about boots, gloves, armour and helmet. then wear some heavy duty pants and shirt (like some king gees or something) they will keep you warm in cold conditions and stand up better than nylons (well they did in my stacks anyway where as nylons would get shagged)

    Good luck with it and remember enjoy yourself and dont feel presured to ride beyond your limits if riding with mates :wink:
  9. Good Advice

    appreciate it

  10. At $400 a side, that is good advice, I've done 1 in 5 years but that is mostly good luck rather than rider ability... :wink:
  11. Knee gaurds!!! Body armour. You can get it all 2nd hand but back in ol days, we went to the op shop and bought an old leather jacket and gardening gloves but we did have knee gaurds!-as if you are just starting out, you WILL! fall off lots-garaunteed!
    Now days I wouldnt hit the trail without good pair of boots, half decent helmet, gloves, nylon pants, trusty old Dri Rider, body armour, and due to fact your knee generally hits the ground first, half decent set of them gaurds. Carrying a spare lever or 2 will save you from a early finish to the day as well.
    Cant go past an old Honda XR as well for my money. But I have not been on trail in few years so others here would be more qualified to talk on these matters.
  12. I personally think the fragility of radiators on watercooled bikes has been overstated a lot. Have a look at what all the tour operators use, what every recreational rider uses, what every adventure bike is.

    Radiator brace, plastic fins on the front, and you should be right.

    The old XR's certainly are bullet proof though.
  13. Agreed, the rads on bikes these days can cop an absolute hiding and look like a pretzel before they'll start to leak causing failure. But, they are expensive to replace if you are a learner, and prone to learner type crashes. (Low sides) Prolly more vulnerable than the rads themselves are the water hoses. My mate speared one with a stick 100 miles from nowhere without a spare.....

    My money would be on the XR400 for sure. Plenty of grunt. Heaps of spares and aftermarket hop-ups available and reliable as!
  14. One consideration that depends a bit on the roughness of the terrain and your own strength is bike weight. As everyone has suggested, you will come off a lot. If you don't, you're not trying hard enough!

    A 250 is a fair bit lighter than the 400 and probably has enough grunt if you're a bit on the 'slight' side. Steep terrrain may often find a newb with the 'downhill' foot on the ground, and a light bike is easier to hold up in those circumstances too.

    I'd go for an aircooled four stroke 250, but I'm pretty conservative. ATGATT is even more important when bush bashing.