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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a cr125r and for you guys that don't know dirt bikes, it has more power than a cbr250 or ninja 250, so it's not just a little toy. Since I know how to operate the clutch and have the basic motorcycle skills, do you think I'd be able to ride a street bike without many problems? I've learned the hard way that you need to respect a bike and that you need to get used to it before you ride it hard. I'm considering a sv650, ninja 650/er6n, or a cbr500r. I'm 6ft tall and 145lbs but I'm still growing. The doctor estimates that I'll be 6' 2" or 6' 3" in a year or two. I'll take the msf course also. Thanks
 

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It helps with knowing the controls, but that's about it. How much driving experience do you have? I wouldn't jump on a street bike until you've had a year or two learning to deal with how horribly people drive.

Riding dirt you don't have to worry about cagers pulling out in front of you, smashing you from behind if you brake to hard, oil/gravel in the road, etc. And if you brake too hard and slide the tires on a dirtbike, its no big deal, but on a street bike you could end up in the hospital

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drummer92 is right. It does give you a headstart, but not as much of one as you might think. You'll have an advantage over most beginners in bike response and control itself, but there's a lot of streetcraft that you will be as raw at as any other newbie. It's probably enough, though, that your choices of a somewhat larger starter bike than I usually recommend are OK.

PhilB
 
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point 1. "respect" is a abstract concept that is meaningless when it come to doing things in the real world, just like "maturity, kindness, and wisdom" and you know it.

I am certain that in some part of your life you have met an impulsive, immature, condescending, arrogant, prick, who was undeniably skilled at what they do. We all have, beating one of these people is one of the simple pleasures in life.

point 2. i think that their are a couple of things that make motorcycles attractive, for people learning to drive.

light, small, and easy to get out of whatever ditch the teenager crashed into. .

fuel efficient.

easy to work on.

when you are riding a motorcycle you are far more focused,and less likely forget to look when you are pulling out of a parking place.

motorcycles have far fewer distractions, there is no climate control, radio, passenger besides you who you would really rather look at than the road.
 

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Knowing your machine and not having to think about clutch, acceleration, balance, where your brakes are located and how to apply them, etc., is helpful when you are first starting out. It allows you to focus on the road and your environment more directly.

Having said that, machine awareness is only helpful in knowing how to operate your own bike. It won't help you know when you see a car driver glance at their left mirror that they are likely going to turn or shift lanes.

Experience will teach you to be aware of your environment and help you anticipate and avoid many dangerous circumstances. Knowing how to operate your bike won't help you avoid most dangerous situations you are likely to encounter on the street. Years of riding and driving experience will.

Knowing the difference between machine awareness and road experience will help you from becoming overconfident, doing something foolish, and assuming you can use your skills to get out of it.
 

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Really depends on the level of "dirt bike experience". Lots of people claim to have "dirt bike experience", referring to a time when a buddy let them coast around in a field for a few minutes. This is much different than being a amateur/expert motocross racer. If you are an ex motocross racer (or an ex-racer from any other dirt discipline, flat track, hare scramble, etc.) or someone with an equivalent skill level I think a GREAT deal transfers over, however for most people their "dirt experience" really amounts to nothing. Even a highly skilled motorcross rider still won't be prepared for drunk drivers, left turners, etc. the entire environment is different riding on the street.
 

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the joke is in your hand
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Yes. There is no pro road racer that does not ride one on the off season for practice etc. Keith code even mentions it in a video interview. . almost all of them started on one too. Anyone on here saying not really is wrong.
One of the best things you will have over someone that started on a street bike is traction. U know what it feels like to have a tire slip around. Most guys will panic and crash.
 

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Yes. There is no pro road racer that does not ride one on the off season for practice etc. Keith code even mentions it in a video interview. . almost all of them started on one too. Anyone on here saying not really is wrong.
One of the best things you will have over someone that started on a street bike is traction. U know what it feels like to have a tire slip around. Most guys will panic and crash.
Yeah except soccer mom's driving Yukon Denali XL's don't usually drive on dirt tracks, do they? I think the only thing that translates from dirt to street is a basic understanding of how a motorcycle works, everything else is different. your environment is completely different, the characteristics of the surface you are riding on are completely different, there are traffic laws to obey, you've got people turning in front of you, cutting you off, oil slicks in the road, gravel (on streetbike tires, mind you), black ice, etc etc etc

Yeah, but Pro road racers don't actually ride on the street. The dirt riding that they do, by my understanding, is to keep fit during the off season. The question he asked is whether dirt riding would affect his riding on the street, not a race track.

OP hasn't said his degree of skill in dirt bike riding, either.
 

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lucasz, Here is a huge thread on this topic, in case you would like more opinions on this:

http://www.sportbikes.net/forums/general-sportbikes/354234-dirt-experience-helpful-street.html

The best line in that thread, IMO is this :

jk750: So, just because you have prior 'dirt' experience doesn't mean you are immediately proficient on pavement as a new street rider. You are still a new street rider. But it also doesn't mean that you can't learn to master more than one discipline.
 

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the joke is in your hand
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Yeah except soccer mom's driving Yukon Denali XL's don't usually drive on dirt tracks, do they? I think the only thing that translates from dirt to street is a basic understanding of how a motorcycle works, everything else is different. your environment is completely different, the characteristics of the surface you are riding on are completely different, there are traffic laws to obey, you've got people turning in front of you, cutting you off, oil slicks in the road, gravel (on streetbike tires, mind you), black ice, etc etc etc

Yeah, but Pro road racers don't actually ride on the street. The dirt riding that they do, by my understanding, is to keep fit during the off season. The question he asked is whether dirt riding would affect his riding on the street, not a race track.

OP hasn't said his degree of skill in dirt bike riding, either.
that's not my point. my point was it's a motorcycle and it is fundamentally the same. there's still a few new things to learn. no one is ever done learning how to ride. when you think you are, you'll end up finding something that will teach you a lesson.
someone that has been riding a dirtbike for a while has a huge advantage over anyone that's never rode before.


here's a video that keith code even says riding a dirt bike is a great way to learn how to ride. and it also teaches you valuable riding skills that carry over to the street
I'll save you some time, skip to 6:45. the time honored method to learning how to ride...a dirt bike. straight from the mouth of a guy that has taught some of the best racers around.

but dont stop there. watch the whole thing. there's a lot more about the street and race track too. it's a great video
 

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And again, riding on a track, ANY TRACK, doesn't teach you squat about surviving in traffic. Keith code can teach someone how to go fast for sure but he's not teaching you how to look out for someone going the other way making a turn.

Nobody has debated that dirt riding gives you bike handling skills, it does. Those handling skills will only get you so far on the street though.
 

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The words "I haven't finished growing" immediately make me nervous. Either you have a genetic condition resulting in slowed growth that extends into your early twenties, or, you are still a teenager. In which case, you likely don't have a great deal of driving experience.

Honestly, keep riding the dirt bike, and consider logging some time in a cage. Public streets are arguably the most darwinian environment you will find outside of an actual battlefield. Every mistake is life and death, and the learning curve is awfully steep.

But hey, it's just my opinion. As always your mileage may vary.
 

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the joke is in your hand
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And again, riding on a track, ANY TRACK, doesn't teach you squat about surviving in traffic. Keith code can teach someone how to go fast for sure but he's not teaching you how to look out for someone going the other way making a turn.

Nobody has debated that dirt riding gives you bike handling skills, it does. Those handling skills will only get you so far on the street though.
now I know you never read the book twist of the wrist or seen the video version. because they do talk about it.
riding skills are riding skills. no one or no kind of coaching can prepare you for all the stuff you will encounter riding on the street anyway.
as a matter of fact I don't recall them teaching us that in the beginner MSF course either. it's just the basics of bike control and road laws etc. nothing anyone with a drivers license doesn't already know.
not sure why you guys are taking a superiority complex on this subject. maybe you guys don't like the idea that a dirtbike rider could potentially be better at what you do than you are.

I'm not advocating he can be a great rider right out of the gate. but I bet there are a lot of young kids out there that could outride you and I any day of the week if they have a few years under their belt in the dirt and a little seat time on a street bike.
 

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I've gone from street to dirt and back to street. When I was riding dirt, I thought it was going to make me an even better street rider. Now that I'm actually riding on the street again, I have a lot of bad habits to overcome and a few things to relearn.
 

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If you have a driver's license, you know about bad drivers. Every street rider should gain some dirt experience. You'll learn more about motorcycle dynamics in a day of dirt riding than you will in a month of street riding.

I'm not saying that riding a PW50 when you were six is better than the MSF course. But real dirt experience and a driver's license is a million times better than riding in a parking lot.
 

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Gives you a ton of bad habits and a shit load of confidence you shouldn't have . I had a kx250 and CR500 , then at 17 hit the streets with the full wheelie ,burnout and stoppie skill set ready to go .. Got banned for 6 months within 3 month of getting my licence . Things would have been better and smoother if I was noob I think .
 

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Gives you a ton of bad habits and a shit load of confidence you shouldn't have . I had a kx250 and CR500 , then at 17 hit the streets with the full wheelie ,burnout and stoppie skill set ready to go .. Got banned for 6 months within 3 month of getting my licence . Things would have been better and smoother if I was noob I think .
Are you implying that all of your other choices at 17 were rational? Or were you just foolish on a motorcycle? I know 17 year old Tony216 made some choices that 40 year old Tony216 would not make..

That's the process of growing up. If the OP said, "I'm like the fastest of my three friends on my little brother's 110, I'm looking to buy a GSXR1000;" I'd feel different. He's looking at 650 twins.

Sounds like he's wanting to make smart decisions.

Honestly, OP, consult with you parents. If you're already riding dirt, they clearly aren't anti-motorcycle. If your plan is to ride fast, buy a carb'd SV and work through college to pay for track days. The streets aren't the place to go fast.
 

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Are you implying that all of your other choices at 17 were rational? Or were you just foolish on a motorcycle? I know 17 year old Tony216 made some choices that 40 year old Tony216 would not make..

That's the process of growing up. If the OP said, "I'm like the fastest of my three friends on my little brother's 110, I'm looking to buy a GSXR1000;" I'd feel different. He's looking at 650 twins.

Sounds like he's wanting to make smart decisions.

Honestly, OP, consult with you parents. If you're already riding dirt, they clearly aren't anti-motorcycle. If your plan is to ride fast, buy a carb'd SV and work through college to pay for track days. The streets aren't the place to go fast.
Mainly I was foolish on a motorcycle due to a dirt racing and trials background giving nonstreet suitable skill set . My first bike .. 1989 GPZ500S .. think you call em ninja 500 over there . You can go balls out squid mental on pretty much anything.. type and CC means nothing .
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I've probably put 200 hours on my bike and it's been all trail riding. Most of the trails by my house are sandy but when you get deep into the woods there's a lot of dirt, roots, and a little gravel with big stones

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