HEADS UP!!!

Site upgrade in progress... Core site functions are working, but some non-critical features/functions will be temporarily unavailable while we work to restore them over the next couple of weeks.

Please post any bugs you encounter, but before you do, check to see if it's already listed.

Thanks for your patience while we work to improve the community.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
cgaluter

Riding the 04 YZ450

12 posts in this topic

I just bought a new 04 YZ450. I used to ride streetbikes and Quads but I decided to try dirtbike. I am having a hard time controlling this bike's power. So far, I haven't left first gear. I always thought that dirtbiking was as easy as riding the Quads. As for taking the corners with some speed and confidence, I tend to use the front brake more often than the rear. Is this right? How do I place my body position? Do I sit almost as close to the gas tank or away from it? As for the height of the seat, should both feet be able to be planted on the ground?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats on the new activity! I think you'll find this will be one of the most fun things you've done. It isn't the same as riding on a streetbike (and a LOT different than a quad), but it will make you a better streetbike rider once you get some skills. If you can find someone to ride with, you'll learn a LOT as well. I've learned more from riding with others than anything else. Relax, control the bike (and it's power), and you'll get it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Street bikes are totally different than dirtbike riding. I thought the same thing.

So many questions, just curious. Why did you go straight to the biggest bike rather than working your way up? So now you will have to work extra hard at it.

I am short but worked up from XT255 to WR250F and then to the 450. This bike was very tough for throttle control. I had a year or so dirtbike experience and did not have to go through all the other initial dirtbike learning experiences. It's taken over three months of heavy weekend pratice just to get comfortable with the bike for me. I had trouble with that tall 1st gear for a long time. But after a lot of riding, suddenly 1st gear is slow. This happened with confidence and throttle control. As you are learning, try cracking the throttle a TINY bit here and there to get the feel of the bike and how much throttle you can give it. I naturally resist wheelies and automatically lean forward to keep the front down. So trying to do a short wheelie of 1 to 4 inches off the ground in 1st gear helped me to feel the push. (You need to be able to lift the front wheel to cross washouts or ruts)

Street bike riding should have tought you to use both brakes to stop. This works on the dirt too. But you have more options. I tended at first to skip the back break espically when standing. This is ok but do not lock your front wheel going down a hill. Unlike a street bike, you can lock and release the back break on dirt. Great for going down hills and bringing the front wheel down in a jump or wheelie.

Body position shoud generally be above the center of gravity on the bike. Then you can weight the front or back by leaning. Get a motorcross book that can explain the stuff. That way, you can refer to a single technique as needed.

Where on the seat? Generally, forward to weight the front wheel when you want to turn, etc. Back, when you need to get more traction. Again, get a book or video.

Since I am short, neither of my feet touch the ground flat and only barely, tipe toed. So needless to say, I used to fall a lot when stopped. I had to learn to get the knee up on the seat in uneven terrain to get one good foot down.

Lastly, when you really start to ride the dirtbike like a dirtbike, you will find it soaking up your energy. It is very physically demanding versus crusing on the street.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I came off of a 929 for the dirt.I was leaning in turns as if on a street bike wondering why I could not get comfortable and stable.Once you start putting your weight on the outside peg (putting your right cheek on the left side of the seat for a right turn) and push the bars down into the turn you will be amazed how stable and quick you will can turn.

If you are like me at some point a light will go off and you won't get off the bike until dark or arm pump forces it.I get the same rush on my 450 as I did @ 160 on my 929 without the worry of blue lights.The mx technique forum on this site is a great resource

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I traded my gsxr 1000 on my 03 450 and have more fun on it than i ever did on the street but i used to ride dirt and gave it up in the mid 90s i dont know why any one would start on a 450 though its not like the new 250f's are like old xr 200's. Dirt just f#@*s you up good where street will kill your ass. Three dudes i used to ride with all did it in the same acident three people killed by one car figure that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So many questions, just curious. Why did you go straight to the biggest bike rather than working your way up? So now you will have to work extra hard at it.

I can answer that question from my own background as well.

It's quite simple. After you ride a high powered sportbike for awhile, you get very good at controlling a powerfull bike. The horsepower is what gets you excited. I used to get off so much on just feeling the acceleration of my FZ1, to the point that I just about couldn't drive anywhere without hauling some serious ass.

At first the 10 or 15 mph over the speed limit isn't so bad, but then you start doubling or trippling speed limits and then you start wondering how much longer you can get away with it before some old lady flattens your ass so you start looking at dirt bikes.

Like just about everyone else, I rode dirt like 15 years ago and haven't touched it since. When I started looking at dirtbikes again, there were just enough people asking how to get more performance out of their 250f's to make my decision really easy.

In order for me to give up a streetbike in favor of the dirt, I needed one that was quick so that when I needed that adrenaline rush from quick speed I could get it. I don't plan on ever racing or competing ever, I just wanted a fast bike to go out and break some bones on.

I also wanted to learn how to ride a wheelie better. I was always terrified to give it more throttle when the wheel was in the air on the street, so I needed a bike with enough power to power wheelie really easily.

You wanna talk about a bike that will be a nice purchase in a few years, mine gets oil changes like every 3 hours of running, and it doesn't get run hard at all. :cry:

Everyone wants something different out of a bike. It seems that lately there are quite a few of us sportbikers taking a second look a dirtbikes. Believe it or not, it is out of the question to start on anything smaller for most of us...

The easiest part of my decision was the color. :cry:

Btw, cgaluter, welcome to the sport! :cry:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd recommend renting a play bike for a day if your stuck in first. Do a google search to look in your area.

If you can't find anything, or after that, try getting a 16oz FWW weight for it. that will smooth the hit some. Also mine got smoother after adding a FMF Q pipe.

DON'T gear it down, that will only make it harder to ride as it will wheelie all the time.

Actually the bike easier to ride in 2nd or 3rd than first. I keep telling people this, but they never believe me.

When I taught my girlfriend to ride a CR80, I had her start without the motor. I pushed her around etc. She like that much more than I did. :cry:

On a quad you lean into the corner to avoid getting thrown at high speeds. ON a bike you try ot lean the bike more than you. You try to weight the outside peg, and keep you elbows up.

I'd start with the following drills:

1. Accertate and stop (try just front, and just rear to get a feel for each brake)

2. Circle drill (find a place where you can go in circles. try both directions.

3. Figure 8

4. Obstacle. Throw something in a flat area and run over it.

You can find more in the safety manual that came with the bike or ask a dealer for one, or borrow one from a friend or just check online, I think I've seen some of it posted.

I've taught people to ride a quad in 2 hours and they went out and did trails. A bike takes longer to learn but is much safer cause on a quad most people loose what little common sense they had.

Cheers,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought the YZ450 as a first bike because I cannot afford to upgrade if I bought a smaller bike. My only option was to buy it once and use it until I get sick of the sport.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just bought a new 04 YZ450. I used to ride streetbikes and Quads but I decided to try dirtbike. I am having a hard time controlling this bike's power. So far, I haven't left first gear. I always thought that dirtbiking was as easy as riding the Quads. As for taking the corners with some speed and confidence, I tend to use the front brake more often than the rear. Is this right? How do I place my body position? Do I sit almost as close to the gas tank or away from it? As for the height of the seat, should both feet be able to be planted on the ground?

Oh boy...I hope your wife just up'ed your life insurance policy.... :cry:

Man go find a flat field - set up 2-4 cones at equal distance - 75 ft. Ride the bike and practice turning even at slow speed -Go buy or borrow Gary Semics entire MX tapes - reveiw every night and practice to get your confidence and ability better and better.

It is normal to use front brake more than rear...

body position is determined by every obstical and corner - front will give you more control - rear more traction - experience will get you all in between - be careful bud - that is one beast of a machine to learn on - a 250f would have been easier to learn on, but you can grow into the 450 with a ton of practice...

be careful...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

congrats on buying the nitrofunnycar of 450-you the man!!!heres some tips you might find usefull-crank up the idle-thats real important-dont put a 13tooth sprocket on it(only slow guys or woods riders do that)and practice never using 1st gear,unless the corner is wayyy tight,oh and make sure you do your pushups!!!haha-ride safe and have fun!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I rode dirt like 15 years ago...

Makes sense now, I did not have any dirtbike experience. Bought a weak XT255 to start but got frustrated and ended working my way up. Keep riding and first will eventually be too slow and jerky.

On buying too big, I have a funny story. My son's 250 (two stroke) was bought (used) on a great deal from a dealer. The story was that a construction worker bought the bike but his wife said no. He then bought the biggest quad. At first I thought the wife was trying to protect her "income." Upon inspecting the bike and it's good condition, I figured out that the construction worker only rode it a few times and then fell on left side. I figured he was tought, bought the biggest bike, fell, got scared, used the wife as the excuse to trade the bike, and got the biggest quad. Turned out to be a great deal and good step up from the 125 for my son. However, my son, who jumps, etc., got over confident with the 250's power and landed on a guy. Surprisingly, he only had a sore ankle (had boots ) and the bike came away with scratches and small dent on the frame.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0