I'm in the same situation, novice... My ride is a KDX220/1997. The bike is in good conditions. Yesterday I went with friends to a cross trail. I had terrible time to control the bike due to the hard boots. I decided, before get in trouble to go to easy tracks to get used with that boots. I'm still having problems with that, now I'm riding everyday in a empty land beside my house so I can get used and soften the boots. DO you guys have advices regarding to controling the bike with those hard boots? Appreciate you help.