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MOTO TIPS

Moto Tips | Adjusting To A New Bike

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INSTAGRAM | @firepowerparts
INSTAGRAM | @freckle_49

www.firepowerparts.com

Are you going to swing a leg over a new to you bike when riding season kicks off in a few weeks? We know that some of you picked up a new motorcycle during the winter break, so we asked Mitchell Oldenburg to share some insight how to properly shakedown and get used to the machine. Why Oldenburg? The Muc-Off Honda rider has raced both the CRF250R and Honda CRF450R in the last few weeks, two Honda bikes with some major design and displacement differences, and he was able to explain the things that riders should pay attention to as they set up and get familiar with new equipment on a track. Here’s some helpful advice from Freckle…

“For the most part, it’s a dirt bike. There’s really not that much of a difference between all of them in my eyes. It’s got two wheels and a throttle, so it’s not that big of an adjustment. When you have a bike that you always ride, you can get so comfortable with it and don’t really have to think about riding, because the bike never really changes. But hopping on a new bike, you really have to be more aware and think about what is going on with the motorcycle, not just hammering and hanging it out.”

“The first thing you should do is make the new bike feel familiar. If there is something that you are particular with on a motorcycle, like certain bars or special footpegs, or if you like a certain sag, try to make it as comfortable as you can with the balance and feel. This can apply to different things, too, like making sure you have similar tires. I really like an aggressive front and an intermediate rear, that way, I know what the tires are going to do and feel like. If you can, make the new bike as close to the bike you’re used to as possible. That always makes it easier.”


Key takeaway of Oldenburg’s advice: take it easy and pay attention, especially during the first few motos. “Stay within your means, take it slow, go step-by-step, turn-by-turn, and don’t get ahead of yourself. Because that’s when things can bite you pretty quickly. I hadn’t ridden a 450 in about six months, so the most fun thing about those first rides was every time I went out and rode a session, I got more comfortable and was able to start pushing my limits.”


“I pay attention to the balance of the dirt bike and make sure it’s as level as it can be for my preferences, things like making sure the sag and the fork height are right. I want the ride height as comfortable for me as we can get it, because that’s the most important thing I look at and really nitpick.”

“Something to keep in mind when you’re riding is to stay within your means, take it slow, go step-by-step, turn-by-turn, and don’t get ahead of yourself. Because that’s when things can bite you pretty quickly. I hadn’t ridden a 450 in about six months, so the most fun thing about those first rides was every time I went out and rode a session, I got more comfortable and was able to start pushing my limits.”

“When you’re riding a different bike for the first few times, you need to think about the timing and speed, especially if it is a bigger bike. Going from a 250 to a 450, my timing has to be a lot better and more precise. There are sections in Supercross that you have to hit wide open on a 250, but you don’t have to on a 450, so I think about how much throttle it takes to get over the jumps.”


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Michael Antonovich

Michael Antonovich has a wealth of experience with over 10 years of moto-journalism under his belt. A lifelong racing enthusiast and rider, Anton is the Editor of Swapmoto Live and lives to be at the race track.

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