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Off-road or dirt motorcycle riding? Anyone?


Serenity6
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Are there any places close by, which would not require a long freeway drive, where it would be legal to take a small (let's say 150cc) dirt bike and do a bit of learning and playing? I would never ride by the lake, even if the water receded as that is a place meant for people to enjoy walking their dogs and for kids to play. I've seen too many jerks on ATVs or dirtbikes flying around that area. I need a place where I need not worry about kids running around or dogs, or getting kidnapped and sold into slavery.

I brought all my gear down upon moving here, but of course sold my dual sport and street bike. The other day I realized that it would be possible to buy a small dirt bike that is also street legal, and maybe have a bit of fun learning some dirt skills on a bike small enough for me to control and pick up on my own.

Anyone here dirt ride or know of any places? I wouldn't want to go alone if I could avoid it. I used to roadrace, but my only dirt experience was when I went off the tarmac and was crashing. So at best I have unintentional dirt experience.

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Wow! This is fantastic! For the Mazamitla to La Manzanilla de la Paz route, is it completely desolate or are people around? My concern is since i'd most likely go alone, I need to be prepared if I get injured or the bike dies. Do cell phones get a signal up there?

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As a local rider (not the dirt) I really recommend you don't go off into the real boonies by yourself. Cell phone service is erratic and you could get in real trouble on some of these trails. Mexico doesn't have the heavy duty search and rescue operations like they have NOB.

There are a number of local dirt riders, the guy who posts as KIKO is one and he knows many more I am sure. Take your time and connect with the local dirt rider community.

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As a local rider (not the dirt) I really recommend you don't go off into the real boonies by yourself. Cell phone service is erratic and you could get in real trouble on some of these trails. Mexico doesn't have the heavy duty search and rescue operations like they have NOB.

There are a number of local dirt riders, the guy who posts as KIKO is one and he knows many more I am sure. Take your time and connect with the local dirt rider community.

You are right. There are just too many things that can go wrong and being stranded out there, or worst yet, being accosted by some men as a lone female, is not a situation I'd like to get in to. I'll research if there are local groups that can tolerate a novice dirt rider. But it is good to know that there are trails that don't require a 2-hour drive on a freeway on a little 150cc bike, or for me to borrow a trailer any time I want to ride.

I suppose I also need to do some research on an affordable bike that would work well for my needs.

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Mainecoons, what do you ride? I would be miserable on a street bike down here, but a dual sport could be pretty comfortable. A regular sport bike though - I'd be worried of falling over going slowly on the cobblestone as my legs are so short. I imagine there has to be some incredible off-road trails and the park rangers won't come out with either decibel meters or speed guns. But, like you say, neither will they come out with a search and rescue team or air ambulance should something go awry.

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But, like you say, neither will they come out with a search and rescue team or air ambulance should something go awry.

Actually they do,on a regular basis, but they have to be notified by someone to the emergency.

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Anyone who does ride or knows the types of small, street legal dirt bikes available here, if you have suggestions for a good bike for a 5'3 woman who is an experienced roadracer but novice dirt rider, please let me know. This is new territory for me as there are plenty of models and brands of which I have no familiarity. I'd rather buy brand new, or lightly used, nothing fancy but something that is street legal and a good learning bike. I will not be taking any huge jumps. I just need lots and lots of time to learn all the dirt skills which are quite often the very opposite of road skills. So, a light enough bike that I can pick up over and over again.

I have all the gear. I suppose I'll start by checking out what is even available at dealerships. The ADVRider forum might have some good info as my Spanish is too weak to participate in an actual Mexican off-road forum, and as many of the ADV riders know enough about bikes made outside the US.

And per cbviajero, its good to know that there is some sort of assistance if a person is able to get the message out that help is needed.

Rubia: If I am able to get a bike and find some good places, I'll let you know immediately. If you have any ideas of a good bike for my needs, I'd appreciate any input.

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R1200GS, water boxer 2015.

A lot of GS riders here because of the rough roads. Short legs are a problem on GS bikes, however.

Those are beautiful bikes. And yes, totally out of my class since I am a runt and a novice. My ex is 6'4 and has a KTM 990 Adventure. One day I proclaimed I was going to "push it into the garage." He just smiled and said, "ok" and had a good laugh as I could not even get it off the side stand. That thing was a monster to look at, but as a passenger, it was just incredible.

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You have hooked up with enough experienced riders here. What more do you want?

Huh? Did Rubia say something "wrong" by asking for info if I find a trail or is there something going on between you two that I missed? Why can't there just be one thread without a snide comment? Or maybe I am just mis-interpreting this remark by Ned Small, as I hope.

Ned: Thank your friend for giving me the ok to "run with scissors". Relieved to know I have his permission.

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Are you a rider Ned? If not, why don't you let the riders here interact with the OP.

Thanks.

Serenity, Everest would definitely be a good one to hook up with. I know a bunch of the dirt guys also hang around the Suzuki dealership in Guad. And Kiko who has posted above on this thread is a great contact, experienced rider and good guy. He's a great place to start.

Of course, during the rainy season dirt riding becomes mud riding. :D

The KTM 990 is a VERY tall bike if it is any consolation.

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Mainecoons: looks like its time for me to make a visit to the Suzuki dealership in Guad, and contact the others you mentioned.

I did have the "baby" Duke II years ago, but never got a chance to ride it as my whole spine issue started right about then. What a waste! It was a perfect bike to learn on and it was heartbreaking to sell it, but I made sure it got a good owner. Its a bit strange that I actually become emotionally attached to my bikes.

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Mainecoons, I've been advised that with my back being the mess it is, if I were to buy a little dirt bike, I'd be ready to turn the thing around and go straight home by the time I reach the trails. It will be a small bike, but much harder on my body.

Someone who knows me, my skills and my back issue well says I'd be more comfortable on a dual sport. I feel strongly that anything above a 600cc is just too much bike for me, particularly as I lost a lot of upper body strength. I could have fun with a DRZ400 (I think there is also an SM and enduro model). Solid engine, it can be lowered if I need, and a more comfortable ride. The comfort is a big, big issue. Also a dual sport gives me the option of riding around on the "paved" goat trails with potholes and that would be excellent practice to improve my skills.

Any thoughts? Do they even exist in MX?

Edit: http://moto.mercadolibre.com.mx/MLM-531419157-honda-xr-150l-modelo-2016-nueva--_JM

http://moto.mercadolibre.com.mx/MLM-528812473-honda-crf-230-m-modelo-2009-_JM

Or, perhaps one of these? A nice price, and since I am a beginner, I don't need anything fancy, just something that can handle both street and dirt and is lightweight.

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I used to ride from Chapala past Vista Del Lago and went up to the dam by San Juan Tecolatlan. Also there was a quad track in back of the hotel Perico.

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If you have back issues I can't see trail riding as working for you. I had a DRZ400 and it was a great little bike but with a very hard seat and hard on the back.

Because of back problems and the rough roads here I almost gave up riding but found the big GS rides so well that I am not having back problems now. However this is a big, heavy and fairly tall bike and would probably be pretty tough for you to ride.

I'd go to the Suzuki dealer and check out what he has. Take a test ride on some of those rough GDL streets and see what it feels like. Also consider getting a back belt. WalMart has one for weigh lifting that works great for riding as well and it is inexpensive. I bought one when I was riding a roadster but haven't felt the need for it with the big GS.

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I have had a back issue since 21 years old. I think it may have started with an incident in gym class at 15 years old. I have a 1994 Yamaha 350XT dual sport and ride it on the dirt trails of the mountain I live on (see avatar). Loads of fun and no problem with my back. The seat is soft, the seat height low, the engine very reliable. I think newer models are 250XT But every back issue is different. I do exercises for it daily that help a lot. Perhaps, you can borrow or demo one first. In any case, dual sports seem to hold their value and can be resold easily. As for the safety, I guess you may have to be more aware in Mexico of situations than I have to be here, but presumably there are people who can advise on safe places to ride.

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Mainecoons and BCDoug, thank you. Your input is very helpful.

As appealing as a little 150cc dirtbike may sound, the reality is my back cannot handle it. A dual sport, however, is something I believe I can handle (pain-wise) so long as I avoid any jumps and prolonged riding on really bumpy roads.

As you say, my best bet is to start visiting dealerships. Its a relief to know they retain their value somewhat. Would the Suzuki dealership in Guad be the best place to start?

I am very, very wary of buying a used bike. I have zero tools, I do not trust myself to work on my bike aside from very basic stuff, and as I don't know how long I'll be living here, I don't want to invest in tools beyond a basic kit and other costly items that I'll just have to sell if I need to pick up and move.

Do they actually allow demo rides? Or do they hold on to your credit card in case you do some damage to the bike, your fault or someone else's?

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  • 2 years later...

You'll be better off with a 4 stroke than a 2 stroke.  I started 100 years ago on a Suzuki and nearly burned out the clutch as a beginner.  Finally got a Honda 175 and used it for trials riding as well as trails/dirt/hill climbing.  Also on dirt you will be riding much of the time standing up which I'd think, would take some of the jolting in your knees rather than your back.  Good luck--still not many girls out there doing it in the dirt!!

 

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