Friday, March 12, 2010

I met Sean from SD BMW Motorcycles at Corral Canyon this morning. I was looking forward to breaking my "mud" duck and it was drizzling hard but not really raining. That would change.

So we unloaded the bikes, my '96 XR400R and Sean's 2010 BMW G450X.

Old school and new school:

Then Sean realized he, um, forgot something so he had to head back. I decided to ride a loop while I was waiting for Sean to come back. Did Trail One to Trail Two. I had never ridden in the mud and just could NOT get the hang of it. I felt totally lost and out of control. I've also had a problem with my wrists and hands recently and by the time I got to the campground I could hardly hold the bars so I took the road back and loaded the XR into the truck.

It was wet and muddy out there:

Sean rolled up right then so we had a quick chat. Now Sean's from Ohio (right?) and loves to ride in mud. So he said to me, "Are you keeping your elbows up? Let your chest and shoulders do the work. Are you just letting the bike move below you? Just ride it like it's deep sand." He convinced me so we unloaded the XR again and went off.

We mistakenly ended up on Trail 8 (I think) in a big granite garden when was really techinical, especially in the rain. It was tough, for me, and we got to a point where we had to turn around. After that, we played on Trail 1 and rode it back to four corners.

Sean did a couple awesome wheelies which I couldn't get the damn picture:

Then we switched bikes and I led us through Trail 1 and the plan was to go over to Trail 2. Except I screwed up and we ended up in yet another granite garden. Eventually we made it back to Trail 2 and slipped and slid our way around.

The review: I only got to ride it in the mud BUT, the G450X is an awesome bike! It is soooooo easy to ride. The thing that most amazed me was how well it handled, it was literally a "point and shoot." The ergos were pretty good too, although my big Yeti ass would like some bar risers and wider pegs. I cannot emphasize enough how well behaved and easy this bike is to ride. I'm still relatively inexperienced in the dirt and a bike that gives me confidence is the ticket. I've ridden KTM 530's, 300s, CRF450x, etc. This bike is far and away the easiest to ride and most FUN bike I've ever ridden.

The only complaint I have was that it didn't have a ton of low end grunt. It got the job done but when your last two bikes have been an XR650R and an XR400R you develop a style of riding that uses low revs and grunt. I had to adapt my riding style to it but it's a testament to the G450X that I was able to do so as easily as I did.

So here's the end result of the day:

As we were getting ready to head home it started snowing!!! Big huge soft flakes. I forced the flash on the camera to catch the flakes for ya:

So a big huge thank you to Sean for teaching me how to ride in mud and letting me play with the G450X.

A great day!!
-Scott Barber

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