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Wondering what classes or schools anyone has attended specifically geared toward dual sport (NOT motocross) and what your impressions might be. Motoventures.com is appealing because one, it's reasonably close to my location and two, I'm impressed by LaPlante's (of Motoventures) book How to Ride Off Road Motorcycles.

Does MSF have a dirt school other than for children?

And a peripheral question, how does a rider north of age 50 learn dirt riding with minimal risk/broken bones?
 

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And a peripheral question, how does a rider north of age 50 learn dirt riding with minimal risk/broken bones?
Just take it slow, it will come together. Use the most caution in sand, that seems to trip new riders up quick. Above all pay attention to what's going on around you, other drivers especially.
 

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......And a peripheral question, how does a rider north of age 50 learn dirt riding with minimal risk/broken bones?
Ride very slowly and never watch any videos of 20 somethings doing somersaults! :eek: :p The TW is perfect for this. Most of the dual sport training venues are targeted to larger bikes....The TW has an innate advantage over them because it is geared so low and is so light (comparatively). You can learn a lot from books about weight transfer up and down hills, braking technique, standing on the pegs to soak up bumps, balancing on side hills, etc......but the TW does not have enough power for many advanced dirt riding techniques, so some clinics will be of limited value. That doesn't mean you won't learn anything, but it would be a good idea to call the sponsors and question them about what is covered in their clinics and how the TW would fit in.....that is if they have ever heard of one....:confused:
 

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I have read about a couple dirt riding schools and I would enjoy taking them even though I have ridden dirt bikes since '68 and even raced mx for a couple years.
I would like to do the Rawhide school, the Flat Track school, adventure riding school, trail riding, and road racing track day schools.
But there are no schools here in Alaska...

I like to take classes in everything and I always learn new things, better ways to do things, and alternate ways to do things.
From skiing to hang gliding, scuba diving to mountain climbing, everything!

And the one activity I didn't get to take a class in was riding a snowmobile.

My wife and I were invited to join a group of friends riding snowmobiles into a remote cabin for a 3 day adventure and exploring the back country of Alaska.
They even had a couple spare machines for us to ride so that we wouldn't even have to rent them.
Since we all rode dirt bikes together they knew we would have no problem riding the snowmobiles since they are so simple and easy to operate.
And they are! Thumb throttle like our atv, hand brake like a bike, and we were off.

Second day I was teaching myself how to carve turns when the track hit a buried clump of vegetation and it spit me off like the typical high side on a bike.
They had told us in our "instructions" that falling off is fun because the snow is soft...
What they didn't mention and I didn't think of is that like riding a horse, you have to keep your feet ready to slip out if you fall off.

Well, my foot got hung up on the machine and spiral fractured both bones in my leg in several places.
I felt the pops as the bones broke while I was in the air.
Fortunately we had gps and cell phones to call for the helicopter.
The pain was in the "makes you throw up" range and I would have been just fine with them shooting me and leaving me there.

Seven days in the hospital, 3 surgeries, 3 years of twice a week physical therapy, and pain and limp for the rest of my life.

While waiting for the helicopter our friends all agreed that someone should have mentioned that you have to be ready to jump off and take your feet with you.
Pretty obvious, eh?

Yes! Take every class you can. It will be the best thing you can do for your bones.
 

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Wow.....broken bones suck. I've never had a broken bone. That says I've not done too much that could break my bones. hahaha. Left shoulder dislocation was bad enough. I agree on schooling for all things. I'm 66 and I don't think I want to try the things I used to try "back in the day". lol But I would love to do Moab some day. hahaha
 

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go to moab...I had a lifetime total of 120 miles of motorcycle riding. Went to Moab for a week and left with 100% more confidence and skills. I just did a ride on Friday and actually shocked myself and the speed and ability to tackle black Diamond trails. So much so I felt I could ride more aggressively than the TWs suspension could take...White spring was delivered today
 

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Might want to just find a mentor. Just doing it on your own, going nice a slow you could learn a lot.

...over the next 20 years.

There is some simple stuff that would put you light years ahead of where you are now and give you some basics to work on while honing your skills. Simple stuff like focus on where you want to go/be rather than on the obstacles, get your ass off the seat and use your feet on the pegs (probably the biggest tip), arse back in sand and mud, throttle on, ... forward on hard pack making sharp turns, learn to skid your front tire, with and with out the brake, you really don't need to put your feet down most of the time, practice with your feet on the pegs, practice left AND RIGHT donuts and pick up your foot and exit..... from there learn to power slide....


There are a lot of things that an experienced dirt racer can show/tell you and some basic drills they could show you that you can practice on, that would put you way ahead of the game than going out and just trying to learn it yourself.

Look for some locale dirt bike races and get to know some of the competitors.
Ask them for some help.

I would be happy to show you everything I know but that would take about three minutes.:D
 

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Another thing, I heard someplace that dirt bike racing is one of the most strenuous sports a going, more so than marathons, sprints and everything in between combined, more than football, basketball and chess, yes more strenuous than chess even, all together. It ain't an easy game and as fun as they make it look on TV that's why those supercross races are only four or five minutes long. you need to work on upper body/arm strength leg strength and stamina. Basically you whole body.
 

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Might want to just find a mentor. Just doing it on your own, going nice a slow you could learn a lot.

...over the next 20 years.

There is some simple stuff that would put you light years ahead of where you are now and give you some basics to work on while honing your skills. Simple stuff like focus on where you want to go/be rather than on the obstacles, get your ass off the seat and use your feet on the pegs (probably the biggest tip), arse back in sand and mud, throttle on, ... forward on hard pack making sharp turns, learn to skid your front tire, with and with out the brake, you really don't need to put your feet down most of the time, practice with your feet on the pegs, practice left AND RIGHT donuts and pick up your foot and exit..... from there learn to power slide....


There are a lot of things that an experienced dirt racer can show/tell you and some basic drills they could show you that you can practice on, that would put you way ahead of the game than going out and just trying to learn it yourself.

Look for some locale dirt bike races and get to know some of the competitors.
Ask them for some help.

I would be happy to show you everything I know but that would take about three minutes.:D

Excellent advice if you can find someone to take you under your wing. Roninboise was my off-road mentor. If it wasn't for him I don't think I would have had the confidence to ride the single track trails I have, which have helped my overall riding skills on many types of roads and trails.

He didn't teach me any particular skill per se, just followed along behind him on trails I would've been to scared to try on my own.

Mentor's are good!
 

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I'm not over 50 but I am pretty beat up physically thanx to major injuries in past. I can't do much off road but what I can do is all from just trying. I did not get any training. Just trial and error. I started by riding loose sand, it was terrifying and so alien to me. Now it's just kinda fun.

Get out there with some friends and take it slow.
 

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I never even considered any formal training, just started riding as a teenager with no skills nor knowledge with a buddy who had maybe a year's more experience. Slowly accumulated both skills and scars. I was quite a enthusiastic idiot.:p
 

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I was past 50 before I ever rode a motorcycle. I found this video quite informative:

DUALSPORT RIDING TECHNIQUES DVD | DualSportRiding
I thought of these videos this morning so I am glad to see they have been recommended.
I bought one for my wife when she wanted to learn trail riding.
Yes, I have been trail riding for about 45 years but I know there is a huge difference in learning on your own and teaching someone else.
The video is excellent! So many things shown in it are what I do automatically but I would not have thought of teaching her to do.
We have watched it many times and I enjoy practicing the various techniques often.

It was fun to "practice" by taking the laptop with DVD in it to our little dirt practice area.
Watch one section and then practice it.
Take a break and then do the next one.
Great fun and there are so many things in there I would not have seen the benefit of explaining to her.

Experience is a great teacher it is said, but not usually the best one.

And learning by doing is very different when you are 12 years old, weigh 100 lbs, and bounce right back after falling down.

After she rode the TW for one summer she told me it was not as much fun as she had hoped since the TW is so big and heavy for her.
I bought her a Honda XR80 and she loves riding it! It is so light and little she is very comfortable riding it on the trails.
That's ok with me because I love riding the TW with her.
The TW and XR80 are about matched in trail speed ;)
 

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New TW owner here...great forum and looking forward to participating. To the OP, you mentioned MotoVentures. I did their Level 2 course a while back and recommend it. You'll go through some of the techniques found in Gary's book, starting with the basics and progressing throughout the day. The facility has a variety of terrain, including a sand wash, hills and lots of singletrack to ride. You either bring your own bike or they rent Yamaha TTRs and WRs. Here's an article on them: https://rideapart.com/articles/dirt-first-day-motoventures
Good luck,
Phil
 

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Welcome Phil!! :D
 

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After posting above a few days ago I watched the advanced Dual Sport Riding Techniques several times while I was working in the shop.
(I often have a DVD of something motorcycle related on the flat screen while I am playing in the shop)

I had forgotten how much good information is packed in their short videos.
I had forgotten the most important first step in water crossings, rivers, streams, creeks, driveways.... ;)

The correct first thing to do when you come to a water crossing?
Stop, get out your camera, and let someone else go first.
I love it! :cool:
 
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