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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

1 tired motorcycle, 1 crazy rider, and 6 different racing disciplines | Hagerty Media

Three things have always commanded my attention: food, women, and motorcycle racing. As I watch my bathroom scale register higher numbers each month and celebrate my engagement to a wonderful woman, that leaves motorcycle racing an unfulfilled dream. So I did what any aspiring dream-fulfiller should do-I started reading.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/motorcycles/1-tired-motorcycle-1-crazy-rider-and-6-different-racing-di...
24 REPLIES 24
FatBabyDriver
Intermediate Driver

As a vintage XR owner, you should know that RFVC stands for Really Fine Valve Cover 😉

Best of luck to you!
JTSpeedy
Pit Crew

Wow good luck to ya Kyle! Crazy enough I'm in a similar situation: I'm poised to get into kart racing at the local club, just gotta get a tired old race kart to be fast enough first! Here's to all us racing newbies!
Kyle
Moderator

Sounds like fun! I have always been jealous of you Kart guys, mainly because I have never lived remotely close to a Kart track that wasn't aimed at kids and tourists. I've recently learned it's no safer than motorcycle racing though, so I think I'll stick to bikes. They are easier to store.
JohninNC
Advanced Driver

Great motorcycle. Crazy idea but go for it. Anytime I see these motorcycles I go back in time to cruising the woods in the Quantico/ Triangle VA area... powerlines and pipelines and interconnecting trails- we did it on BMX bikes, mopeds, motorcycles, 3 wheelers, and mini-bikes! Thanks for the reminder of a golden time in my life.
GRP_Photo
Instructor

Hope you're still engaged at the end of all this!
Kyle
Moderator

You and I both!
catervich
New Driver

Eager to hear how this adventure goes for you, Kyle. The XR 250, albeit under powered, is light enough w/ ample handling (get quality after market shocks and fork springs) to get you down tight trails at a brisk pace. Just two fingers covering that front disc for quick use while avoiding lockup. You’ll be outgunned in the high speed stuff and on the steepest of hill climbs where momentum is lacking. Drop ten pounds and you’ll be rewarded. I so miss my years of enduros and bonsai trail riding with friends.
OLDERbastard1
Detailer

Good luck! Be safe! And most of all ENJOY yourself!
Tinkerah
Technician

I spent many many hours trail riding an XR years ago, the only problem I ever had with it was over the years it seemed to get heavier....As for prep, the only advice I have is to arrive LOOKING like you have no chance: ratty LOOKING bike, mismatching clothing, old (but QUALIFIED) safety gear etc. If you DNF no embarrassment; no one expected you to do anything different. BUT: if you become the slightest threat you'll be a star. You'll get sincere encouragement from everyone because who doesn't love a come-from-behind underdog? And we all snicker at the well financed pro who faceplants.
Kyle
Moderator

Fair point. Cosmetics have never been my specialty, and I really enjoy having this XR in a condition where it is of no consequence when it ends up laying on the ground. Don't expect that to change.
LyleFisher
Pit Crew

So, how did the fiancée take getting lumped in with “coworkers and friends”, for approval of this madcap adventure, Mr. Toad?
Kyle
Moderator

She is a wonderful woman who tolerates a lot, and I'll leave it at that.
JMP
Intermediate Driver

I wish you the best of luck. XRs are great bikes. I am the original owner of a 1994 XR600r that has never let me down.
Kyle
Moderator

If and when I "upgrade" from the XR250, I would love to add an XR600 to my stable. I've previously had the high-strung XR650R, but would really enjoy the relatively simple 600, even knowing that the 650L would be pretty darn close to the 600 but would have the convenience of electric start.
JMP
Intermediate Driver

Before the XR600, I had several Yamaha TT500s when everyone else was riding 2 strokes. Another super reliable engine, but meger suspension and brakes. I'd tell my friends they could ride it if they could start it. Few takers. I look forward to hearing more about your adventure. Enjoy.
bhankinsonn
Intermediate Driver

This will be a fun series to follow through. I have never raced any off road events but have spent a few hours "playing in the dirt" with various motorcycles, a Honda X-350 probably the most fun and capable, the bike more so than I.
Penton22X
New Driver

Your crazy plan rings lots of bells.
I owned an '87 XR250 from new, and wish I hadn't sold it, although the bikes I replaced it with were actually better bikes: KDX200; KTM 200 and then a 250XCW.
In 1994 I decided to make up for my mis-spent youth (college and work) and check out the AHRMA MX circuit. In 1995 I went all in, racing from Ocala, FL. to Southwick MA. and tons of places in between. I picked up a 1st place at Budds Creek, MD. in the 250 Intermediate class and got 3rd overall for the year. Mission accomplished.
Your plan is going to involve a lot of travel, and given that you are riding different disciplines, a lot of bike prep time. If you enjoy the travel (which I did) it will likely be a fulfilling and very memorable year.
Best of luck and very much looking forward to following your journey.
Mike
Kyle
Moderator

A KDX200 was one of the other bikes I considered for this project, and was also one of the first motorcycles I ever rode. Such cool bikes.
David56
New Driver

Great idea not to have the fastest stallion on the starting line. Also, don’t enter the 250 vet class thinking they are slower than 250 novices. I made both mistakes when a professional motocrosser I was friends with came to a local race In 2003 and I wore my neon 1980’s riding gear to the race as a joke.  Long story short: I paid $75 for AMA license, signed up for vet class, borrowed a pair of boots and rode his CRF 450 which was a beast on a track I showed up too late to practice on. I holeshot, quickly got tired and passed, stayed seated over a big table top jump because I was exhausted after 2 of 5 lap race. Landed on front wheel, broke both sides of handlebar, a right radial bone, lacerated my liver and my collarbone SCJ Ligiments tore and popped out of place in ambulance on the way to hospital. After 2 days in hospital my THEN wife sent her dad the 50 miles to pick me up. If anything should go awry in your adventure I hope your fiancé picks you up. (Did I say long story short? Sorry) have fun, David

Kyle
Moderator

Oh, the saying about age and treachery beating youth and exuberance holds true to motorcycle racing as well!

A friend of mine fields a Yamaha IT465 in AHRMA races as a relative novice, and he often spends more of the race battling the bike than the competition.
Aquay_Mizmo
Intermediate Driver

It sounds do-able to me for everything except the trials. I couldn't do trials on a purpose built trials bike. I would switch out that discipline with a hill climb or a drag race.
brb
Advanced Driver

You will have a sore butt, but the fun should be worth the discomfort. Given the XR's history, I'd recommend a fresh engine. You'll have plenty on your plate without the added aggravation of mechanical problems brought on by a badly abused power plant. A lightly used engine at a reasonable price should not be too hard to find.
cyclemikey
Intermediate Driver

Oh my, I can't imagine how this happened.

Kyle always seemed like such a sensible boy.....
GeeKay
Pit Crew

As an old motocrosser and mountain biker ( a few Iceman’s under my belt) conditioning your body will make the experience better, guaranteed. Exhaustion, fatigue generally breeds lack of concentration and mistakes.
Do some sprints, hiit training, endurance rides ( mountain biking?), some squats and forearm workouts ( for grip and avoiding arm pump) and of course some practice rides and you’ll be just fine. Concentration and the amount of time standing on the pegs are woefully underestimated in my opinion from most amateurs. Good luck! Great read by the way.