Funny thread. I got a kick out of it. Being the moderate that I am I have takes on both sides of the fence. First off I am old and fully admit it. This being my 40th year I have literally 37 years riding experience. Most recreational but there were a few races in there. I have ridden so many bikes I can't even remember. There was a Maco 500 that ripped my damm 14 year old arms off, and the 1972 Yamie Enduro 60 that I got tagged on by a dude riding an XR way to fast in a known kid riding area, and there is my current love my '05 WR450 with all free mods and a Mega
Bomb header and Q2 exhaust.
Enough of the qualifications...
One of the truest things I have ever heard in my life was "The best set of clubs don't make you Arnold Palmer" (For those of you under 25 think a white Tiger Woods.) That is certainly true for dirt bikes. While my WR has made a better rider is doesn't make me Johnny Campbell.
Technology of dirt bikes has slowed to a crawl. Try and think of the last major tech break through on dirt bikes, one that gave a company a significant advantage over another. The difference between a steel frame and an AL frame is incremental at best. Yes the AL frame is lighter and stiffer but the actual bike ends up heavier because of the added need for an oil sump and pump. The stiffness advantage is debatable. There are some that swear they can feel the difference and it makes it a better bike. I can actually feel the difference between an AL frame and a steel frame and don’t like it. I like the predictability of the flex on a steel frame. It is what I grew up with and what I know.
The most significant advantage of the WR going to an AL frame is the change in riding characteristics. The bike is actually heavier than my ’05 but it probably feels a lot lighter than mine. That is what 8mm lower engine and narrower engine tilt will do for a dirt bike. For an “A” level desert rider that can and does make a difference. Not necessarily making them faster but a different and potentially more enjoyable ride.
All that said I won’t be upgrading my bike this year. Even though admittedly the AL frame is kind of sexy and I am sure Yamie will be doing everything in their power to tempt old farts with dough like myself to part with our hard earned cash for a newer sexier bike (See the old wife analogy you married guys?). I love my bike and for now won’t part with it. I will probably go with EFI after a year to work out the problems. I ride all kinds of elevations and being able to load a fuel map
before a ride appeals to me a great deal.
While my monologue was about the AL vs steel frame the original post on this thread wasn’t...not really. To that end I fully agree with Clark. I ride OW a great deal and see all kinds, but the ones that irritate me the most are the 20 somethings that just don’t give a rats azz about anything but themselves. We have finally gotten to a generation of humans that are so self involved I am concerned that the human race might actually end. Sure each generation has had it’s wild bunch (I was one of them in my generation) but what I have seen lately, especially out riding really makes me think that we have raised a generation of over stimulated, over indulged young adults.
Current young adults have grown up in an ever increasing world of hype and stimulation. While I don’t agree with the argument that violent video games and/or TV leads to violence directly certainly no one can disagree that it desensitizes players or views to violence. Further, young adults have grown up with a warped sense of morals. Not the church going bible thumping morals (Although that might have solved the problems of today if youth had religion of some sort), but morals of what is right and what is wrong in a civilized society. Morality took a nose dive when the leader of the free world got a blow job in the oval office; lied about it, then said it wasn’t sex. For any of you that have daughters or are married for that matter, you know it is sex and the thought of a lecherous old man whipping out is Johnson for your baby to suck on is morally wrong no matter what the President or the press says.
All and all our current batch of people coming into adulthood does not give me a comforting feeling that the world will be a good place for my daughters when they reach adulthood. I know there are exceptions, and I also know that riding dirt bikes lends me to a specific set of people, but that was kind of the point wasn’t it? Young dirt bike riders (with notable exceptions) are self involved pricks that need to boost their own horrible decisions in life by justifying them, like the one that will sink them deep into debt for years because they wanted an AL frame.