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San Diego Adventure Riders

Big Bear Trail Ride Hard Ways Plaque

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Hi all,

I'm looking to start training for Big Bear Trail Ride and I've been riding my DRZ400 ever since I started riding 5 years ago and I've ridden around Miller Canyon enough to be able to just get by. But my problem is when I drop my bike on the gnarly stuff I can't pick it up since it weighs over 300 lbs. I'm looking for a lighter and smaller bike to start trying the harder trails in Big Bear like John Bull, Redonda Ridge, etc but I need to be able to pick it up. My budget is around $2000-3000 I've been set on plated CRF230F/CRF250X since it weighs around 250lbs and has plenty of torque from what I've read but obviously they are rare and not many on the market. I'm not a racer and don't have a deep pocket book so KTM is kind of out of my budget right now. I don't know what other bikes would be good for me right now that I can look at or if I'm looking at the wrong bikes since I've never done the trails before. 


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I have ridden the Big Bear Trail Ride a few times on a DRZ 400e (plated dirt only version), though never to the finish for one reason or another.

I've also ridden it on a Husky TE-510 and KTM 500 EXC.

While the Husky and KTM are lighter than the DRZ, picking the bikes up when dropped wasn't the limiting factor.  The extra weight of the DRZ wears on you the whole ride long, not just when you have to pick it up.

On my first BB ride I was teamed with a couple guys on Honda 230s, which weren't that much lighter than my old DRZ.  While down on power and slower on the open trails, the 230s did just fine up most of the hard stuff while I with more power ricochetted around like a pinball when doing some of the hill climbs.  Proving that technique was way more important than hardware.

Following that, I got a trials bike and some training on some of the fundamentals and learned to ride standing up and how to set the bike up for that versus sitting down all the time as I had been.  This made a huge difference in the ability to tackle some of the hardway hill climbs and other bits.

Yes, having a lighter bike will help.  But I would spend a few hundred on a class with Gary LaPlante at Motoventures, it will be a much better investment than buying a different bike.

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