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View Full Version : Learning to Off Road.. a few questions and some advice, please..?



Roberto
27-10-11, 13:16
Afternoon all,

At the tender age of 39, and turning the big four-o after Christmas I'm starting to think about trying to do some off-roading.

I did the BMW Off-Road school a couple of years back and enjoyed it, though that was really more for the benefit of getting better grips on my 12GSA (which I like as a road bike before I get all of the quips about 1200 riders and that :D )

At the weekend was off on a trip and was chatting to a chap that did some light trails on the 1200 and that got me thinking.

A few q's then, if you will.

1) Am I too old? Physically I am in 'reasonable' nick (I think, touch wood).

2) Is my weight a big deal? I'm not a lightweight at 21.5 stone. Think I might sink a bit in the mud.

3) Have a 12GSA as mentioned. I figure from above there are suitable light trails for the beastie somewhere?.. though don't have TKC's or owt like that to hand.

4) I live on the Essex side of things just inside the M25. I'm taking it that the Lahndahn thing would be somewhat of a disadvantage. Are there places near this part of the world suitable?

5) If I were to look for a more focused bike, but still wanted it for the road too, what might you recommend?

Any other pointers and that would be very helpful..

Cheers,
Rob :thumb

Timolgra
27-10-11, 13:19
Lose some weight and join your local TRF:thumb

No offence:beerjug:

moly
27-10-11, 15:18
Afternoon all,

At the tender age of 39, and turning the big four-o after Christmas I'm starting to think about trying to do some off-roading.

I did the BMW Off-Road school a couple of years back and enjoyed it, though that was really more for the benefit of getting better grips on my 12GSA (which I like as a road bike before I get all of the quips about 1200 riders and that :D )

At the weekend was off on a trip and was chatting to a chap that did some light trails on the 1200 and that got me thinking.

A few q's then, if you will.

1) Am I too old? Physically I am in 'reasonable' nick (I think, touch wood).

2) Is my weight a big deal? I'm not a lightweight at 21.5 stone. Think I might sink a bit in the mud.

3) Have a 12GSA as mentioned. I figure from above there are suitable light trails for the beastie somewhere?.. though don't have TKC's or owt like that to hand.

4) I live on the Essex side of things just inside the M25. I'm taking it that the Lahndahn thing would be somewhat of a disadvantage. Are there places near this part of the world suitable?

5) If I were to look for a more focused bike, but still wanted it for the road too, what might you recommend?

Any other pointers and that would be very helpful..

Cheers,
Rob :thumb

look at big bike rally challenge the come on one our rally taster days

Trippy
27-10-11, 15:29
1) Am I too old? Physically I am in 'reasonable' nick (I think, touch wood).

2) Is my weight a big deal? I'm not a lightweight at 21.5 stone. Think I might sink a bit in the mud.

3) Have a 12GSA as mentioned. I figure from above there are suitable light trails for the beastie somewhere?.. though don't have TKC's or owt like that to hand.

4) I live on the Essex side of things just inside the M25. I'm taking it that the Lahndahn thing would be somewhat of a disadvantage. Are there places near this part of the world suitable?

5) If I were to look for a more focused bike, but still wanted it for the road too, what might you recommend?



1. No

2. Depends what your idea of off road is, but you could use it as a reason to shed a few lb's.

3. I would fit TKC's even for gentle forest stuff.

4. Don't know, but something like Bake's christmas ride would be a good weekend away to try it on the plain.

5. Without being rude at 20 stone you really aren't going to get on with anything much smaller.

moly
27-10-11, 18:03
1. No

2. Depends what your idea of off road is, but you could use it as a reason to shed a few lb's.

3. I would fit TKC's even for gentle forest stuff.

4. Don't know, but something like Bake's christmas ride would be a good weekend away to try it on the plain.

5. Without being rude at 20 stone you really aren't going to get on with anything much smaller.

brian eland rides a 450 in rallys ,he is awsomely fast, and he is alot bigger than you !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JPR
27-10-11, 18:15
Too old at 39.?
FFS.:blast:blast:blast:blast

MickDB1
27-10-11, 18:23
1 Someone on here will help you out riding as a guide / helper for when yer drop it
YOU WILL DROP IT so dont do it if yer bothered about a scratch or ten
Before yer go "Off Tarmac"
get some protective gear and boots that protect
Yer never too old I am 89
Choose easy first the work yer way up to the next stage

Dont go out in a big group firstly as you will try harder than yer ability and try not to slow folk down see 1 above

Tkcs seem to be the choice of the stars on here
Thetford area is cool sandy and thats soft get a guide maybe
Surrey used to have loads of "lanes" I think now some have been shut
get a guide again
DONT GO OUT ON YER OWN FER FOOOKSAKE :rob

HTHY and it dont fritten yer off if good fun

DollyRocket
27-10-11, 21:16
You're not too old
You're not too big
You can ride trails on what-ever bike you like, some will be easier to get on with than others.

As mentioned on this thread. Go out with others or get some refresher training but don't go on your own. My first off-road foray was 7 years ago on my 1150. Got stuck, tried to turn it around - took an hour to get out from the lane in fading light - was only a mile long lane too :blast


I currently ride a much lighter bike and find it more suitable, faster and a lot more fun - others will probably disagree but at the end of the day it is down to you and what you want to do. Big bikes can handle the tough terrain it is just whether the riders can pilot them through or not. Decent tyres count for a lot - TKC80 would be a minimum requirement unless you are on relatively hard packed trails.

To find the best lanes for a beginner, I would get down to your local TRF meeting - Or come along down to Salisbury plain - plenty of hard packed trails for a novice to get the feel of their bike. If you are worried about holding people up then PM me, and I will show you around.

There is only one big problem - Once you start enjoying it, it never ends - you'll end up buying bits / kit / possibly new bikes / entering Rallies, Entering enduros H&H ........ list goes on...

david a hall
27-10-11, 21:21
Darts ?

STUBBS
27-10-11, 21:27
plenty of off road courses on offer out there as well

wilbjr21
27-10-11, 21:28
Darts ?

P*ss of you skinny tw*t and leave us fatties alone. :D:D:D

david a hall
27-10-11, 21:35
P*ss of you skinny tw*t and leave us fatties alone. :D:D:D
You still here? I guess the OP has the edge on you he might be a few stone heavier than you but hes only half your age :D

wilbjr21
27-10-11, 22:28
You still here? I guess the OP has the edge on you he might be a few stone heavier than you but hes only half your age :D

Still here Dave. Off to Buenos Aires on 27th November. :beerjug:

david a hall
28-10-11, 06:28
Still here Dave. Off to Buenos Aires on 27th November. :beerjug:

Thats what i said to Alan, i saw him yesterday.

Losttheplot
28-10-11, 08:00
There is only one big problem - Once you start enjoying it, it never ends - you'll end up buying bits / kit / possibly new bikes / entering Rallies, Entering enduros H&H ........ list goes on...

You make it sound like such a hardship :D

Roberto
28-10-11, 08:15
Cheers for the replies chaps, very useful. :beerjug:

1) Encouraging that I'm not over the hill quite yet :rob :D

2) Not too heavy then it would seem, but it's a good shout about using it as a motivator to lose a few lbs, it's a bit overdue.

3) Noted, will investigate on the TKC front. Not bothered about dropping the bike, hey, its got all that protection for a reason, right..

4) Think I'll check out the TRF meeting locally, then. Are there any Essex TRF Tossers around this parish then?

5) I'll start with the 1200 and see how it goes. I can see there'll be limitations to it, mostly me, but as well pointed out DollyR I daresay I'll be raiding the piggy bank in the future :eek

Gotcha re the protective gear, Mick. Now got a pair of GS boots. Just need to work out how to get the feckers on :)

Cheers folks,
Rob :thumb

moly
28-10-11, 08:15
You make it sound like such a hardship :D

oohh it is , i am 55 years old ,and dont regret one single day !!!!!!!!!!!!
just riding road bikes is so boring in comparison

Roberto
28-10-11, 08:18
Darts ?


P*ss of you skinny tw*t and leave us fatties alone. :D:D:D

You tell him buddy ;)

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/clv0S--z4p0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Roberto
28-10-11, 08:19
oohh it is , i am 55 years old ,and dont regret one single day !!!!!!!!!!!!
just riding road bikes is so boring in comparison

Now that's what I'm talking about :cool:

grez
28-10-11, 11:09
You are not to old.

I am 48 and did the TAT as my first proper off road this year.

You are not unfit - OK I am only 16 stone but with various injuries (damaged back - I displaced vertebrate playing rugby and damaged discs) and having had multiple broken bones (gave up counting when I passed 20) I had no problem.

Yes you will fall off, yes wear good protection (being in the main quite stupid I didn't and took a chunk out of my arm and went a nice shade of purple over various parts).

Personally I would get a smaller bike and go for it, join a club, ride with others (it helps as when they eventually stop laughing when you fall off they can pick you up).

You only live once, might as well try everything you can before you go - I had a brilliant time and plan to go offroad a lot more having discovered it.

Timpo
28-10-11, 11:39
GR8.....I'm no expert, but have had a liitle experience of helping 'new' blood into the trail riding pastime.
So, I have a couple of questions, the answers you will know and these will be where you need to start.

Can you afford another bike?
Are you doing any other excercise?
Have you a mountain bike (off road capability)?
Have you considered joining a trail riding club?

OK, the reasons for the questions....
The boxer engined GS is not the best bike to be on the trails with. And riding one as a newbie can result in some dangerous incidents.
A smaller bike, TTR250 or DR350 for example, will be a lot easier to recover when you have taken a tumble, and the likelihood of damage to the vehicle is less.
Physical fitness will need to be a reasonable standard. OK, you can be a big lad, but bike fitness will be required. A good start is to wheel out a mountain bike and put some miles in. Starting on canal toepaths or disused railway cycle tracks is perfect, although flat they are usually gravel tracks.
As mentioned, the TRF is probably the easiest way to gain access to the legal trails and meet folk who are able to help you gain experience on the trails. Plenty of advice is available and for 40 per year, your subs help the fight to keep the trails open.

Timpo.

earthmover
28-10-11, 12:37
GR8.....I'm no expert.

Timpo is too modest by far, as yes, he is!
Mark

Loz
28-10-11, 18:12
Timpo is too modest by far, as yes, he is!
Mark

no he aint:topic

gr8 just get out there and enjoy yourself,if you can buy a drz or similar and join in every ride you see posted

loz

Roberto
28-10-11, 21:12
Thanks again for the responses chaps.

Grez- that's all pretty encouraging!

Timpo- appreciated. Yes, I think the pocket can handle another wee bike, it looks as though you don't need to spend a fortune from just looking around net.

Fitness should hold up OK, I do, or will again have a fairly decent regime when I can start properly exercising again in the coming weeks.

I looked at the TRF website and am planning to give the local group rep a call to find out a little more.

:beerjug: