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Who made the switch from primarily riding motorcycles (dirt bikes or street bikes) to primarily riding mtb's? What kind of motorcycling did you do. What aspects of mtnbiking do you like more than motorcycling?
 

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Way back in ancient times (the 80s) I used to ride dirtbikes. Had a 1981 Yamaha YZ465. To this day, I still think dirtbikes were probably the most fun thing I have ever done. Something about that excessive acceleration and the ability to lift the front wheel with just a slight twitch of the wrist. The only thing that comes close is maybe my recent shuttle run down Porcupine Rim in Moab or a few of the Northstar downhill runs I did last summer.

I quit riding dirtbikes by 1990 but I have continued to ride streetbikes (currently a 2001 Yamaha FZ1 - 160mph and 44mpg). The thing that is better about mountain bikes is that they aren't as loud and obnoxious (that YZ465 had a blown out silencer and created a lot of blue 2-stroke smoke). They also don't destroy your body like dirtbikes. If I had continued to ride dirtbikes I am fairly certain I would have sustained some serious injuries, especially broken bones and sprains. I have never had any serious injuries on a mountain bike, just a few bruises and scrapes. I also like to build my own bikes, picking every component and doing all of the work including wheelbuilding. That is something that isn't really possible with motorcycles.
 

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THOR ! I have a beyond restored 1980 465. Tightened up, well tuned, proper mix, and they are still a joy. And not any louder than any of my new stuff! Even with a 4.1 FMF.

Also have wodded it up huge on my Mtn bikes. Many times! Had a front fork snap on a fast downhill once.

Another down hill! My shirt came loose, which was knotted on my bars, and fell on the back of my front tire. OUCH. Girls on horses found me!!!

My point is a little vague but I had to say something.
 

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I still love motorcycles, but haven't really ridden since 1990. I rode dirtbikes as a teen and started streetbikes in my early 20s. Right away I wanted to race, but also drink and party (idiot), so I didn't finally get to the track till the fall of 89. I crashed out during my first and only race of that year.

Next year was better. My third race of the season netted me a 5th in the final, in pouring torrential rain. On Saturday, there were 3 heats of 30 guys each gunning for places in the final on Sunday so I was pretty stoked I did so well. It should have been fourth but I screwed up the last corner and the guy I'd traded 4th/5th with about a dozen times beat me by half a wheel.

I also got a 10th in the dry as well two weeks later, which was ok, but not great.

The 5th and 10th were in amateur 600 production, I also raced 750 production and 750 superbike on the same bike.

The bike was an '86 RG 500, a bike never sold stateside. It is 95hp 500cc square four two stroke. I blew it up twice which ended my season rather abruptly; a seizure, and spitting 2nd gear through the cases.

The last blowup sucked, I was in 4th in the dry.....

The sport is for rich guys; back then entry fees and practice for the 3 classes I ran were $250 a weekend. Tires for my bike every weekend were ~600, and the 750s would be spending 750 to a 1000 on tires. My bike needed brake pads every race at $50 a pop.

I never changed tires and only changed pads once, I couldn't afford more due to crashing and blowing up. These two cost me easily 2500 that season.

I knew a few guys who went pro and they were spending around 50k a year to run nationally. A 1st place for the pros might earn them 5000 bucks up here. There is no money for it in Canada.

Mountain biking for me connects me to my dirt years, it has no relation to streetbikes for me. I ride for the cardio and for being out in nature, and maybe a little bit for the thrill of it, when I can get the bike going fast enough that is.......

I started seriously riding around 1995 when I bought a carbon fibre Miyata Elevation 10,000. This was a big step up from the department store bike I'd bought in 1992.

Drew

I
 

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i bought a cheapo mountain bike in 1990 for the purpose of recuperative therapy for an acl repair, resulting from an mx injury. I rode (and still ride) dirt bikes since 1972. After about a month of primarily on the road, I realized i really enjoyed bicycles. that in itself is ironic, because now, i find road riding to be EXCRUCIATINGLY BORING. after milking the beginner and sport class, i started in expert in '94. being in california, i only ride the scooter in the winter time and rarely then anymore either, but i'll ALWAYS have the dirt bike bug in me, forever. to me, mountain biking is a natural extension from dirt bikes. the thing i like better about mtb is its infinitely easier to just go right out the front door and ride a short way to all my rides. and as far as a lot of the single track ive ridden, id rather ride (most) single track on the push bike as it would just be too tight for my liking on the scooter.
 

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Similar story to some of the other ones posted above. Started riding dirt bikes as a teen and eventually moved to mtn. bikes when I got to college. Sold the dirt bike to have money for a nice stereo (really important in college :) ) and started getting more into cycling after I graduated.

I started doing road rides to train for mountain bike races. I did a local crit series on the road bike and thought I was starting to get some speed, so I figured I would try out the Revco Criterium in Cleveland (I'm dating myself with this). Wow - I never went so fast in a race before and got smoked so badly!

Anywho - my wife and I built our current house in 1997 and I was sitting in my kitchen one day when I heard 'Brrraappppp." I ran outside to see some guys riding right behind my house and that was all it took to get the dirt bike bug again. I held out until 1999, but have bought 4 different dirt bikes since then. That was also 3 kids ago.

Walked into the garage one day this summer, looked around and told my wife that I have way too many expensive toys just sitting around. With my kids starting to ride (mountain, bmx and dirt bikes), there just isnt' enough time for me to do it all. So, I sold my dirt bike, carbon road bicycle, and old Intense mtn. bike and bought a new Intense Tracer VP.

I agree with the other posters that there are a lot of similarities between dirt bikes and mountain biking. I love them both, but I had to pick what I would rather do at this point in my life given that I have limited time. For me, I have found mountain biking to be such a fantastic escape - when you're on the trail, there are no bills, no work meetings, none of those things which pollute our lives. It's just you and some buds and the trail and the rest of the world seems to melt away.

Either way - both sports are an addiction and once you're hooked, it will stay that way for life. Like I always say, it's all about the ride.
 

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dru said:
The sport is for rich guys; back then entry fees and practice for the 3 classes I ran were $250 a weekend. Tires for my bike every weekend were ~600, and the 750s would be spending 750 to a 1000 on tires. My bike needed brake pads every race at $50 a pop.
Interesting how that works out, isn't it? People new to motorcycles and sport riding have the understanding of "it's not what you ride - it's how you ride it".

Guys on tight budgets have their work cut out for them against guys who can afford the best machinery, built motors, dialed top-grade suspension components, 30-40 trackdays a year, multiple riding schools costing thousands of dollars each, and so on. Takes a little bit of the charm out of it, but it really is cool to see when someone overcomes the odds...
 

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Mr Crash, You're an endurance racer, awesome! Black #s on your bike pictures; professional? Or is that an endurance thing? My # was 320 and the amateurs used red letters.

Have you ever run at Shannonville? That's the only track I spent any time on. There's only one really fast straight about 1/2 mile long where the superbikes get up to 160 mph or so. My 500 would hit 125 by comparison. That is the long track, there's also a short version. The short track is so tight that a lot of the pros will run 600s against the others who choose 1000s. The guy who won the 600 production race that I got 5th in (1990 can-am match races, may 24 weekend) won it on an RZ 350, a two stroker that was sold stateside, with the US version having catalytic converters.
I'm sure you know the bike.

What's the fastest you've been down at? I dropped it once at about 100 mph. That was scary!

Drew
 

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dru said:
Mr Crash, You're an endurance racer, awesome! Black #s on your bike pictures; professional? Or is that an endurance thing? My # was 320 and the amateurs used red letters.
I had my AMA Pro license, but I didn't consider myself a professional by any means. I was a top finisher in my class at regional club races, but just a midpacker at nationals.

I've only done a little bit of endurance racing. In 2000, teams I was on podiumed in the 600 class in the AFM 4 hour, and won some lightweight class in the WERA 24 hour (we were the only entrant in the class). I've done the AFM 4 hour a few other times, as well as a CCS 4 hour.

The number plate scheme for the two clubs I raced with was pretty simple. Novices get yellow number plates, experts get white plates, class champs get black plates (in the AFM). Most class champs ran nationals as well, and didn't want to bother repainting, so they kept the white plates.

Have you ever run at Shannonville? That's the only track I spent any time on. There's only one really fast straight about 1/2 mile long where the superbikes get up to 160 mph or so. My 500 would hit 125 by comparison. That is the long track, there's also a short version. The short track is so tight that a lot of the pros will run 600s against the others who choose 1000s.
I pretty much stuck to the west coast. Sears Point / Infineon, Thunderhill, Buttonwillow Raceway, and Willow Springs. I've done AMA Nationals at Pikes Peak and Laguna Seca as well.

The guy who won the 600 production race that I got 5th in (1990 can-am match races, may 24 weekend) won it on an RZ 350, a two stroker that was sold stateside, with the US version having catalytic converters.
I'm sure you know the bike.
I'm only familiar with them through history,as my involvement with racing didn't start until 1995. The owner of a shop that sponsored me raced one when he was younger - no shortage of wild, cross-country racing out of a van stories from him :)

What's the fastest you've been down at? I dropped it once at about 100 mph. That was scary!

Drew
I had a ~100 mph one out at Buttonwillow Raceway a couple of years ago. I've been down about 30 times on roadracing bikes (hence my screen name) - that was the first one that I was just happy I walked away from. Every other one had me worrying about the repairs - not that one.

I was "fortunate" enough to catch a couple on video:

The 2001 AMA National @ Laguna Seca. 40th or so (dead last) off the line due to clutch problems, worked my way back to around 20th, and got a little greedy with two laps to go.

A WSMC Middleweight Twins race in 2001. Bogged it on the start being unused to my new flatslide carbs, and charged way too hard to make up for it.
 

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the rare and only photo

Yeah, you had two nice lowsides in those vids. Just being overambitious with the right wrist, nothing 'wrong' with that.

I noticed your name right away. My # wasn't as high-13 on the street and 4 on the track.

It's funny how people who don't know anything about roadracing think crashing a lot is a bad mark, or that you should quit, or that you're slow.

If you're not crashing you're not going fast enough!

I wish I had more pictures........and vids......and TROPHIES!!!!

One just really isn't enough......
 
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