16 October 2011

The obligatory new bike ride report

As the title alludes, this will be the ride report for my new bike. We will get there but first you need a history lesson to make any of my commentary valid. I casually rode BMX bikes EVERYWHERE as a kid. Like all the time, every day. We lived on top of a river valley so I rode lots of singletrack before the term was coined, most likely. My dad bought us dirt bikes when I was around 13, and every weekend we got out a dad's place, we rode our dirt bikes constantly. Mine was a 1985 XR100. Dramatically underpowered, air cooled, but pretty. As I got my skateboard, then a driver's license, my desires to ride greatly diminished, in fact I took an eight year hiatus from any biking whatsoever. I got a mountain bike when I was around 20 and rode it EVERYWHERE for about 4 months until I broke my elbow into a million pieces. I couldn't ride anymore, period.

Fifteen years later, I bought a brand new DR-Z400S because the riding position allowed me to actually ride again. I used it to commute and rode some trails on the way home. I found a local singletrack club and re-established my love with singletrack, albeit in a different sense. Well, after some changes in employment, and some other stuff, I realized that I was not riding the right bike for my purposes. I was riding a ultra-reliable, ultra-heavy bike in tight woods trying to keep up with KTM 300XC's and such. Now frankly, I did well amongst those other bikes, but ultimately the bike was 320lbs ready to ride and those KTM's were 230lbs. Not the right weapon.

After much deliberation over a 2 stroke or a 4 stroke, I narrowed down the field to two competitors. One was a proven technical design but nothing flashy, and the other was a technological marvel, that was crazy expensive. If I was going 4 stroke, I was going for gold. EFI was a must, as was a light feeling bike in the woods. If I was going 2 stroke, it had to be simple, and I mean as simple as possible. I am not a maintenance lover. I do what I need to, but I'd much rather ride.

Ultimately, I went into a few showrooms and sat on the Husky and the 'Berg and decided, the weight was going to be the deciding factor, both on the trails and on the wallet...

08 October 2011

A new day is dawning...

I figured it was a good time to get rid of the tank and learn how to float over obstacles instead of mowing them down. I'm so exited!

Anyone want to buy a DR-Z?