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DART Level 1 & 2 Training June 15-16 (Norman, OK)

Ocho

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Signed up for the training, I believe there’s some spots left. I did the training on my old Versys last year when they had the training north of Houston (where they confessed the venue wasn’t best suited for some of the techniques they wanted to show). I’m excited to see how it compares on their home grounds, plus taking my GSA this time around. My plan is to take the Level 3 training in September (cough @Jarrett cough).

Opening this up to see if others are going, I’m excited to see how it compares.
 

Jarrett

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I'm signed up for his one day dealio in Paris, TX on June 20th, I think. Guessing it might just be all the day one stuff from the two day class.

I haven't really considered doing more than that at this point.

I am curious to hear what you think about the last one versus this one in terms of terrain and techniques and stuff.
 

masterblaster

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I've done the two day event, best 400 I've spent on MC training. Highly recommend. Suggest you put the knobby tkc or similar on bike, sand course is a bit challenging.
 

Ocho

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I'm signed up for his one day dealio in Paris, TX on June 20th, I think. Guessing it might just be all the day one stuff from the two day class.
Yeah, it was full so I decided to just retake the two day one.
 
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Yeah, it was full so I decided to just retake the two day one.
I think you're doing the right thing Ocho. 2 days always better than one and day 2 definitely builds on day 1. Glad to see you're serious about improving and wish more had your attitude. Enjoy!
 
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I am curious to hear what you think about the last one versus this one in terms of terrain and techniques and stuff.
I curious too Jarrett. Looking back now, do you think you used some Bill's techniques to conquer "The hill" at Cherry Hill in Arkansas? Or in other words, do you think your results with the hill would have been different without the off-road training?
 

Jarrett

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I curious too Jarrett. Looking back now, do you think you used some Bill's techniques to conquer "The hill" at Cherry Hill in Arkansas? Or in other words, do you think your results with the hill would have been different without the off-road training?
I'd like to say yes, but really, I don't think so. The class I did with him was mostly about sand and dirt and low speed maneuvers. I feel like riding on rocks is a different thing. The balance stuff he taught was helpful, but it was all for standing and I don't really ride standing that often.

I think the skills and techniques that got me up that hill were learned from chasing you and Dave through bad stuff in TX/OK/AR and then picking your brains about lines and techniques and stuff.

I do remember one thing Dragoo said that stuck with me and helped a bit. Someone asked him about ruts and whether to dodge them or not. His response was, "make the rut your road." So now instead of always dodging them, I've started aiming at most of them if they aren't too deep. That's been useful.
 
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I think the skills and techniques that got me up that hill were learned from chasing you and Dave through bad stuff in TX/OK/AR and then picking your brains about lines and techniques and stuff.
That's another useful technique to learning. I learned a lot over the years like that.
 

Drunk_Uncle

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We will be classmates Ocho. I have signed up for the level 3 class in September. Going to be doing a lot practice this summer. Will probably be on my AirHead. Using it on the NMBDR the following month.
 

Ocho

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We will be classmates Ocho. I have signed up for the level 3 class in September. Going to be doing a lot practice this summer. Will probably be on my AirHead. Using it on the NMBDR the following month.
Awesome man, see you then!
 
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Ugh. So wish I could do this but the leg is definitely not ready.
My injury in BB is screwing up everything! I need this training.
Will have to wait for another time.

@Ocho listen well, and maybe you can pass on some of your knowledge to me when we get together later in the year.
 

2WheelNut

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That's another useful technique to learning. I learned a lot over the years like that.
I've learned almost all my riding from riding with more experienced riders and either imitation of them or feedback from them.

My only formal training has been on roadracing track and even that is a lot of discussion of lines and following an instructor.

The downside of that is it takes lots of time and you risk following bad examples from time to time. Not everyone I imitated showed me the best method and I did learn a few bad habits that I had to fix later.

The good thing about classes.like the Dragoo classes is that they intentionally pass on good techniques that are proven and help you break habits that are not good.

I do believe classes like this would have helped me a lot early on. Maybe they would have saved me 50 falls or so and I would have only fallen 100 times instead of 150. :)

Good or bad, you do learn a lot by doing it the wrong way and failing. You tend to remember those lessons...but they probably cost more than a good class.
 

Ocho

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Got home Tuesday night after two days of training. It was fun, challenging, and certainly pushed my comfort zone. I found this go around more difficult, probably a combination of the heat/sun and my much heavier GSA.

Day 1 was a bunch of static or slow speed drills next to a motocross track. The challenging bits of the first day was mostly clutch/brake/throttle control. I kept stalling my bike and it certainly got worse as the day went on due to exhaustion. Multiple drops were had. Most challenging for me was walking the bike up a little slope and hill stop recovery. It didn't help that the gas tank was quite full.

Day 2 was on a private trials property 20 minutes south of my hotel. For those that know me, I usually say I'm scared of sand (since I've crashed every single time I go over it). Well, this property is next to a river so it's mostly sandy with some sand pits. Talk about a way to start the day. We practiced braking, loose hill starts, ruts, incline riding and towing. Most challenging for me was loose hill starts (once again that clutch/throttle control) and incline riding simply because of the scary thought of a 600 lbs bike falling on top of me. At the end of the day we did a ride around the property. Good news was that I didn't drop the bike to any of the sandy terrain! That ride took me along some deep sandy pits (maybe not that deep to some) and although plucker moments happened I was able to keep the bike in relative control and throttled out when necessary. In fact there was a section were the rider in front of me crashed on a deep sand pit, I was able to slowly maneuver out of the way and up a slope to get to firm terrain.

How it compared to the Houston event: Houston had better weather but the day 1 drills were on a slope and somewhat muddy. In terms of class content, it was almost a replicate of the drills, maybe one or two extra things we covered this time around. I'm definitely glad I took the course again on a the GSA, and I most certainly want to take Level 3 now.

Areas of opportunity: I feel like Bill should emphasize a little more about the proper accelerate/decelerate body position with a quick drill, maybe before the braking drills. I enjoyed this approach when I took the 1 day BMW class in SA.

Surprise success of my trip: maybe no longer scared of sand?

Some action photos (courtesy of Susan Dragoo):

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Ocho

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How did the Mission Trailmax tires handle the sand and loose dirt? I am thinking about putting those on the 850GSA.
Squiggly but in expected ways. Not sure how’d they do in deep deep sand vs knobbies. Never had an aggressive tire so I can’t really say if I’m missing out, though.
 

Tourmeister

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I was shocked to see Bill on a 790R! Thats it in the first pic.
Bret Tkacs has a 790 now as well and loves it. Even rides it two up!

 
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