So... trying something different...

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So... trying something different...

Postby Tourn46 on Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:34 am

Bit of a story which I thought I'd share...

In August 2017 I was out for a ride on my Yamaha R6... I absolutely love that bike, it's fast, nimble and (imo) one of the prettiest bikes ever!

However, buttoning it down around a blind corner coming into the village near home, I came across a foreign motorhome on the wrong side of the road (in the UK we drive on the left, most of Europe drive on the right). I managed to skirt serious injury by about 20cm but in doing so I ditched myself and my bike onto the grass verge.

Fortunately, I was going maybe 45mph at that point and was just thrown off the bike over a grass bank... the damage done to the bike was a few scuffs on the fairing, broken indicator and mirror, but it totally annihilated the rotator cuff in my shoulder. Coming up to 2 years later I still have a little trouble with my shoulder, the bike is pretty as ever... but the accident has totally ruined my head.

It sits in my garage on sunny days, I just no longer want to take it for a ride on the road. Part of me just feels like it's not worth the risk when I have 2 little boys at home. At the same time, I really miss riding bikes, there is nothing else like it!

So... I've picked up a KTM 250SXF and decided to see if I can find my buzz away from traffic. Hopefully to build up some confidence again and to get my thrill of riding motorcycles. Turns out there's a track about 20 minutes drive from my house, which I can use whenever I like as often as I like all year round for a £70 membership fee... awesome!

I took my GoPro along and took some footage of my second visit to the track:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Dv4M7p54B4&t=74s

It's such a different way of riding (I haven't ridden offroad since I was about 8 years old), the track is pretty slippery in the dry as the ground is quite 'gravelly', but I am having an absolute blast riding again! Although I need a bit more fitness and bravery (which will come with time), but I am not used to wanting the back wheel to slide... resulting in very slow cornering :lol:

The question now is... do I keep the R6...
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Re: So... trying something different...

Postby Apical on Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:24 pm

I say keep the R6. Track days are safer than public roads. Enjoy the dirt !
“Faster, Faster, until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death.” Hunter S Thompson
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Re: So... trying something different...

Postby JanBros on Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:26 pm

last august, I "celebrated" my 25th (and 10th with my KR1S) crash. That's counting crashing motorcycles on tarmac (+/- fifty-fifty racetrack and street).
If I include Moped cross, pitbiking on cart-tracks in and outdoor and off-roading , think I'm close to a hundred :mrgreen:

but not once I thought I'd stop because of the danger. One "get's used to it" , probably you need to crash some more :lol:
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Re: So... trying something different...

Postby Tourn46 on Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:11 am

I wish that was the case for me too JanBros, but I really just don't look forward to going out on the road at the moment. I've no issue with myself or the bike... I just don't trust other people!
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Re: So... trying something different...

Postby JanBros on Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:10 am

I only ride for pure fun these days. and never in WE's.
I always take a day of from work and ride in the Belgian Ardens (+/- 100km from home). on weekdays I see no more than +/- 30 other bikes while riding (500km trip), all the nice roads are hardly used and because of that, no cops to look for speeding.

Oh, and I "trust" that I'm the only "idiot" on the road and everybody else is behaving nicely. If you can't do that, indeed it's better not to ride :cry:
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Re: So... trying something different...

Postby kenup283 on Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:24 pm

First off good on you for getting back into riding. That's a nice looking course, good sense of natural elevation and has a look and feel like your going somewhere verus just back and forth across obstacles.

These places will often have a small kid course, or at least will have some space for beginners to ride, so first thoughts are sell the R6 and get some small dirt bikes for the kids and a trailer to haul them with. If they're still really young get a used 50cc, if a bit older the 100cc 4-stroke category is good place to look, the larger being somthing you can also ride with them until their ready to move up or just act like holligans on.

The case for keeping the R6 depends on getting it on track. Before selling you may want to venture down for at least a visit to track day. It may be the closest thing is couple hours away. Generally this takes just a little more gear than you may already have and a way to get to track, typically rent a van or trailer. First exposure could just be to ride to track and check it out to see what it looks like.

https://www.knockhill.com/trackdays/bik ... sion-may13

In the end it comes down to what is most fun and accessible. You can't beat the price off road and I started as a kid on a dirt bike, KX60, and had the most fun. Now latter in life I'm going back that route as kids come along and so I picked up smaller bikes for kids and myself to play on. The street bike still around but gets used less and less and has become a fair weather commuter, the dedicated track bike used occasionally for that fun weekend. Most times just taking kids to a field or back trails has replaced my own solo rides.

As strange as it sounds it's easier to plan a weekend to be gone to go to track than it is to just up an go out for a ride spontaneously, that is unless of course you can take the kids with. :)
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Re: So... trying something different...

Postby Tourn46 on Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:10 pm

kenup283 wrote:These places will often have a small kid course, or at least will have some space for beginners to ride, so first thoughts are sell the R6 and get some small dirt bikes for the kids and a trailer to haul them with. If they're still really young get a used 50cc, if a bit older the 100cc 4-stroke category is good place to look, the larger being somthing you can also ride with them until their ready to move up or just act like holligans on.


This is kinda what has been going through my mind... sell the R6 and use that to fund something for the lads (they're 7 and 4). The track does indeed have a small separate track alongside the main one for children/beginners and I think they'd be keen to give it a go. The fact it's something so accessible and nearby, that we can do as a family, it's very appealing!

I mean, I can always get another motorcycle for the road in the future if I wanted to.
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Re: So... trying something different...

Postby speeddog on Tue May 14, 2019 11:27 pm

They'll only be young once.
Do it.
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Re: So... trying something different...

Postby bikermike on Wed May 15, 2019 10:28 am

Glad you're in one piece.

re the kids, my local bikeshop is trying to flog me a little electric bike for my lad (I am doing my best to resist at the moment...)
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Re: So... trying something different...

Postby Tourn46 on Wed May 15, 2019 2:49 pm

bikermike wrote:Glad you're in one piece.


Dunno... depends if I do silly things like this often enough :lol:

Still not entirely sure how I managed it...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQmXjXGBjX4
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Re: So... trying something different...

Postby Tourn46 on Wed May 15, 2019 2:50 pm

speeddog wrote:They'll only be young once.
Do it.


Yeah... The R6 is going to be put through a service, new front tyre... and then sold. Decision has been made!
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