Which motorcycle to choose to learn to go off-road? Which tires? Here are some tips for starters.
It happens to many, especially us motorcyclists, to have so many dreams in the drawer, made of motorcycle, adventures, desires and at the same time we often have many fears, sometimes due to age, or the type of bike owned or simply the unknown.
But as has happened to me, now in the "door", it happens to many: you wake up one morning and say: "now I'll try! I want to go off-road! ”. So a bomb explodes in your mind and you start documenting yourself, including magazines, forums, friends ... while you slalom between your wife, children, work and many worries. So let's start with two fundamental things: the bike and the tires.
Case A) you already have it, maybe a nice two-cylinder, about 200 kilos or more, like a GS or an Africa, or a nice English three-cylinder, with many nice bags, brackets, electronics ... and the most unpaved thing you have done is the driveway of the house at the sea. Don't be offended, on the contrary, it's fine to go off-road, but you are afraid: nothing more normal. There is the blood of your work in every euro spent to get it and a thousand anxieties weigh on you. I understand you, but trust me, a fantastic world awaits you which, if prepared well, is safer than paved roads.
Case B) you have to buy it. Here is where the casino begins: tips, friends, dealers, newspapers, the web… everyone tells you that theirs is the best or that the one you like is the worst. Well, then go where your heart takes you (and your wallet!) Make a choice, the one that inspires you the most and it will be the right one. Whether it is heavy, light, powerful, high, low ... With a little sense you will find the right one and always keep your feet on the ground (at least one of the two).
In my case I chose one Honda CRF250 Rally a fun Thai "little tractor" that costs little but does a bit of everything: it has 27 horsepower for 150 kilos, it is not a monster but it allows you to travel over 250 km of road, go on the highway on 100/120, go off-road easily and with a good shot (if you fall, you can pull it up by yourself), it consumes little and is also good for newly licensed. Perhaps it is not the final choice, but to learn it is fine (it costs just over 6.000 euros and you can find excellent used ones) and there are those like Renato Zocchi who made us the Gibraltar Race. Then one day you will see ...
Here begins another dilemma, the choice is huge, but in this case, rely on yours tire repairer, try to understand above all how much you will do on average asphalt and dirt road, in what conditions, climates and places. There are all-round tires and technical tires. The piece is beautiful, I know, but my advice is: be humble. The desert tires are beautiful, but unless you move to Tunisia they will be of little use ... Be patient to do a little experience first and get some advice expert. If you plan to go in Sardegna or Toscana e Umbria find out about the routes or events you want to do and you will certainly have a great time with "dual" tires. We, on the two-cylinder of the editorial office, have recently scrambled Event, Goat X (more off) e Goat R (more road) and we had very good driving and driving sensations safety. The choice is vast, get well informed and learn how to dose the pressure: a two-quintal beast does damage if they are too deflated ...
For now you do not need anything else, just become aware of the actual needs. Maybe gods handguards aluminum and a reinforced handlebar such as Kite, or a paramotor if you want to protect your beloved (and often expensive) bike.
While you meditate, we work on the next step, the most important one in my opinion: THE DRIVING SCHOOL and SAFETY. Stay tuned!
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