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jayluv54 jayluv54
8/16/2017 6:40 AM

So I'm not a new rider per se, I certainly have experience riding on 2 and 4 wheels in the dirt since I was a kid. However, at 37 years old, I have this itch to start racing. Something I've loved since I was a kid but never had the opportunity or guts to do. I am mainly interested in doing some harescrambles, but I wanted to get better at hitting corners, braking and jumping as well. So I am considering some lessons here locally. There are a few guys who have private tracks and will teach private lessons at the $60-$75 range for 1 hour. There is another guy here that is a well known pro coach who will do around a half day of private for $275. My main goal at this point is to be able to go out and ride, whether the woods or the track, safely and efficiently. I am not interested in trying to keep up with the fast guys or hit any huge doubles or triples, but just be able to go out and ride well and consistent on an intermediate type track.

My question is, for the money, will I be better off working with a true pro coach for half a day or spread it out over multiple hour long sessions with someone else who maybe was a C or B class rider at best?

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Sheriff245 Sheriff245
8/16/2017 6:45 AM

I would say go with the Pro, who will probably understand better the why of each technique and spot deficiencies in your technique.

I would do one day or half-day first to get the basics, and do an hour or two once in a while to follow-up on the first lesson and work on more specific things.

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Swann Swann
8/16/2017 7:54 AM

Many years ago I took a single day class with Rick Johnson and Mercedes Gonzalez. It is to this day still one of the most valuable lessons I've ever received.

It was there that I learned the fundamentals of cornering and that you can only go as fast as your brakes will allow and always trust a multi time national champion to tow you over a massive step up step down. That was the first time I ever bent triple clamps on a bike.

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wfopete wfopete
8/16/2017 8:12 AM

Might want to look into the Dirtwise Schools by Shane Watts. I went to his 2 Day "In- Depth" school. Good cross between riding technique, track and trail. $400 for the weekend and you get a FULL 8 hour day of instruction each day.

http://shanewatts.com/

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loftyair loftyair
8/16/2017 8:19 AM

Its so 'all over', its hard to say. So much to learn, sometimes too advanced, or too easy. Whoever it is might be having a good, or bad, day. Its really your comfort level, curiousity, and interest. If you got the money, why not do them all?

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jayluv54 jayluv54
8/16/2017 8:45 AM
loftyair wrote:

Its so 'all over', its ...more

I guess I'm more so looking for advice on what to do with this initial investment. Is 1 day of instruction better than spreading it out over multiple days? Is 1 day with a pro riding coach more valuable than multiple days with an advanced rider who also coaches on the side?

I will definitely look into more options in the future, but was just curious what the best option was right now with that amount of money to spend on instruction. I've taken a lesson in the past and found it way too easy and with it only being an hour, by the time the instructor was like "yeah, your beyond this", it was almost over.

My thoughts on a pro riding coach is that they can better recognize my technique or lack there of and skill level immediately and modify the lesson from there. On the other hand, I don't want to spend 4 hours just trying to perfect my body position entering a corner. Essentially I'm looking to make as much 'overall' progress as I can for $275/+-

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JohnMatrix JohnMatrix
8/16/2017 10:46 AM

Having done some lessons, I prefer to do a shorter lesson and do multiple days. You don't want fatigue getting in the way of practicing proper technique. Not only that but it takes some practice to put what you learn into actual execution. The first time I got a lesson on braking and cornering technique I was a mess during the lesson. After the lesson, I went out a few days on my own to practice without the pressure of someone being there and a time constraint. That's when things really started to click. After that you'll want to go back for more help and insight to improve on what you've learned. I think shorter, regularly scheduled lessons are more effective, at least for myself.

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Graybeard Graybeard
8/16/2017 10:51 AM

I saw Zach Bell was doing instruction, check out his instagram. He's both MX and offroad.

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Myke Myke
8/16/2017 11:18 AM

I went through this same thought process. What I did was take a 4 hour private class (https://www.slmxschool.com/) and worked on some basic techniques.

I didn't want to fill up my head with too many things so I had asked to start with a couple basics and we went over body position and cornering. This was just the beginning of this month and I have been practicing the things I learned. I am going to schedule a lesson next month to review the progress I have made and move onto a few more techniques. I am going to continue this until I get to a good spot where I am happy with my riding.

I am not looking to be the next Dungey but I want to be able to ride a typical normal track without rolling any jumps and feel confident and safe while riding.

"Who cares about what other people think"

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Myke Myke
8/16/2017 11:20 AM
Sheriff245 wrote:

I would say go with the ...more

Yup just as I stated above. If you learn to much at one time I feel you get bogged down.

Just changing my body position has been a challenge and slowed me way down but I understand how important it is so I am dealing with it.

"Who cares about what other people think"

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Myke Myke
8/16/2017 11:21 AM
JohnMatrix wrote:

Having done some lessons, ...more

More good advice that is working for me.

"Who cares about what other people think"

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wildbill wildbill
8/16/2017 11:26 AM

For me, trials type riding gave the best bang for the buck. You don't even need instruction, just go out and do all your laps standing up without ever putting your foot down. Once you feel comfy standing, you'll figure out where sitting helps in some corner apexes. Pus, trust your front brake.

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imoto34 imoto34
8/16/2017 11:39 AM

More then likely, the pro will take you back to just a few core basics. These are never mastered but once you know how to practice the basics correctly, you can do this your self at any track for free for years to come.

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wsc96 wsc96
8/16/2017 11:49 AM

One on one lessons with a pro would be my first recommendation followed by training DVDs - http://www.gsmxs.com

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hbdesigns913 hbdesigns913
8/16/2017 12:01 PM

Find a local track that's open during the week such as club mx and make friends with some of the local pros. A lot of them will help you. No need to spend a bunch of money in my opinion. It's hard to teach talent. I used to ride a track in SC called TNT. I would ride 2-3 times a week and ended up meeting a couple pro riders. They taught me a lot and I'm still friends with them to this day.

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ktm212 ktm212
8/16/2017 1:53 PM
jayluv54 wrote:

So I'm not a new rider per ...more

I give riding lessons, both offroad and mx and what I like to do especially for the first lesson or two with a rider I haven't had lessons with before is a private turn track lesson that typically lasts 2 hours. We work on the basics, explain body positioning and correct bad habits. From there I usually do a few turn track lessons until we really get form down and work on drills and then branch off into whatever discipline they want to pursue, mx or offroad. The old saying you can learn something from everyone is really important, there's no 100% perfect way to ride a dirtbike.

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Falcon Falcon
8/16/2017 2:51 PM

Here's something to consider: just because you are good at something doesn't necessarily mean you'll be good at teaching it.

I was invited to be a coach at a regional MSF instruction day not too long ago. After the event, several of the organizers told me that the rider feedback indicated I was their favorite instructor of the day, even though I've never been a pro and there were pros there teaching. (It was a large class broken into groups that rotated between instructors.) I was confident that I had something to teach all those guys, even though some of them had numbers and clearly raced. My years of experience gave me some more depth and insight than the usual, "keep your elbows up" MX instruction.(Incidentally, I went to a Tony D. Motocross school once and I was faster and more experienced than both of his guys that day. It made it awkward, to say the least.)

It's for this reason that I'd say pick the private lesson option, an hour at a time. If you don't learn anything, try a different guy. At least you won't be out $275.

Braaapin' aint easy.

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Forty Forty
8/16/2017 3:00 PM

Keep your elbows up

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TbonesPop TbonesPop
8/16/2017 7:51 PM
JohnMatrix wrote:

Having done some lessons, ...more

^^This^^ Also, I recommend having a family member or friend there to video you riding. One of the best ways to become a better rider (in addition to professional instruction) is to watch yourself ride and then watch other's who are much better riders ride. That plus private instruction and practice will help you immensely. I'm not fast now, but I'm a lot faster than I used to be. And back then, I felt like I was riding pretty good until I saw myself on video. I was embarrassed. Now, I'm less embarrassed....cool

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mark911 mark911
8/16/2017 8:40 PM

Technique and practice are important, but no more than the mental aspect of the sport. When riding at your individual "edge" your senses generate so much data that it can literally overwhelm your brain and it locks up in a primeval response know as PANIC. The trained (fast) brain knows how to slice and dice all this data, throw out the useless stuff and focus on the data that matters. I suspect that the really fast riders don't feel like they're going any faster than the beginner who's into panic mode most the time. I wish there was some kind of simulator where one could actually feel what its like to go around the track like a pro. I think it would help train the mind to remove the mental limits we all have in a safe environment.

I know from personal experience that it works in the 4-wheel racing world. I've done some road racing in my past, and thought I was driving pretty good until I did a ride along with a true professional driver in my car. I was definitely in the panic mode through every corner and I wasn't even driving! I had no idea my car, or any car, could do the things it did. However, after a weekend of riding shotgun my mind got used to the speed and I no longer freaked out. Now, at least my mind knew what was possible and it was just a matter of applying the techniques prescribed by the instructor. I gained quite a bit of speed that year but as with everything, use it or lose it.

Retired Mechanical Engineer, published technical writer, mscperformance.com, Bisimotoengineering.com,

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Forty Forty
8/16/2017 9:00 PM

Want to get faster? If you're in the B class move yourself up to A.

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CarlinoJoeVideo CarlinoJoeVideo
8/16/2017 10:48 PM

I really enjoy riding lessons. Probably better money spent than an aftermarket exhaust. I'll do a handful of days a season, I feel it's completely changed the way I ride and look at lines on the track.

One of the great things about lessons is riding sections of the track over and over. Really helps you work on specific problems.

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Myke Myke
8/16/2017 10:49 PM
JohnMatrix wrote:

Having done some lessons, ...more

TbonesPop wrote:

^^This^^ Also, I recommend ...more

Thanks for the reminder on the video. I am going to have my friend video me tomorrow.

Here is a video of me during my lesson taken by my instructor while we were working on corners.

"Who cares about what other people think"

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wsc96 wsc96
8/16/2017 10:57 PM
mark911 wrote:

Technique and practice are ...more

A good simulator would be awesome.

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kkawboy14 kkawboy14
8/17/2017 2:07 AM

2 of the best things I learned in riding schools:

1) proper bike setup
2) braking, you can't go fast unless you can stop fast!

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jayluv54 jayluv54
8/17/2017 7:52 AM
mark911 wrote:

Technique and practice are ...more

what you say makes a lot of sense and I think that's the one true hurdle I face with all of this, is not wanting to learn what I and/or the bike can or can't do the hard way. Picking this up later in life is a scary thing with so much on the line if I make a big mistake. I guess that's why I sought out professional help in the first place. To be clear as well, the riding coach is a pro coach, not necessarily just a former pro rider. He has coached guys that have reached the highest level of motocross.

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jayluv54 jayluv54
8/17/2017 8:04 AM
JohnMatrix wrote:

Having done some lessons, ...more

Thats a good point and something I'm really concerned about with such a long lesson. As I mentioned, I took a lesson once previously and the first 20 minutes were spent accelerating and braking while standing. 15 min into it my legs were dead. Then we moved right into cornering technique which required I hold my foot up along the fender all the way through the corner. After 5 min of that I needed to take a long break my legs were shaking so bad. Its not that I'm weak or terribly out of shape either, but it was a lot of things that my body was not used to or trained for and I felt like it made the rest of the session even more difficult.

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jayluv54 jayluv54
8/17/2017 8:08 AM
Myke wrote:

I went through this same ...more

"I am not looking to be the next Dungey but I want to be able to ride a typical normal track without rolling any jumps and feel confident and safe while riding."

^^^^^ this is exactly how I feel and why I'm doing this.

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SURFGLOBE SURFGLOBE
8/17/2017 8:34 AM
CarlinoJoeVideo wrote:

I really enjoy riding ...more

Riding a section of the track over and over with instruction was the most beneficial for me.

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IceMan446 IceMan446
8/17/2017 10:21 AM

Its not all the way up and running yet but Jeff Emig is working with some guys on a coaching network that will have coaches certified and all on one website for every state and in different countries.

Pretty cool idea and I like how they are trying to make it available to everyone.

United States Motorcycle Coaching Association

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