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What Bike for a 16 year old


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#41 madmike2

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 05:39 PM

Suggestion:
Make copies of all the posts made by those who've endured tragedy and let your son read them
Not in an attempt to frighten him (denial is NOT the sole property of adult males) but to help him understand that bad things can and do happen.....and that we all care to see him be the safest and best rider he can be.
It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.


#42 SQUEAL

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 06:09 AM

I first want to thank you all for all the great posts. My wife and I both ride. We have been riding together on our own bikes for 18 years now. When both our children were finally physically big enough we started them riding with us. My daughter at 11 is now the same size as me! They both love to ride even though they are both very young. I have been starting to think about this very eventuality with my daughter. You have given me a lot of food for thought. I was firmly in the Dual-sport KLR camp, but now I am ambivalent. Maybe it is best to ride dirt and wait a few years for maturity. It is getting more ridiculous out there every day and I live in a really remote area. I see distracted drivers all the time. Lets not forget wildlife either shall we? That is really scary. My father highsided in a dog collision a few years back and nearly was killed. The dog came out of a hedgerow driveway at mach 2 and took my dad's forks out. He was in full ATGATT and still broke a lot of bones. It really gives a parent a lot of thought.
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#43 SacramentoMike

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 10:27 AM

I'm glad to see you didn't jump into anything. Riding a motorcycle is not easy--just so damn many things to go wrong, beyond what can go wrong on the road whatever you're driving. Take the normal hazards and just start adding: gravel, wet painted lines and arrows, oil slicks, rocks and debris that a car driver would barely feel, tar snakes, being invisible to everybody else on the road. Then multiply the danger factor by maybe twenty. How many car drivers feel the need to wear a helmet and leathers?

Now take an inexperienced kid who doesn't even understand all the risks and hazards of normal driving--how easily and suddenly everything can go south on him, no matter what. Last week my son turned 17. Tuesday he dropped his wallet onto the floorboard of my truck at a stop light. Bent down to retrieve it and his foot slipped onto the gas. Not too much harm done, but it's probably not something you'd be likely to do, is it? After driving for a few years? The kid screwed up, a real rookie mistake. But the stakes go way up on a bike. I'd say learn your lessons about the rules and hazards of the road in a nice safe car.
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#44 Road_Runner

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 09:05 PM

Try this for some possibilities:
http://www.chuckhawk...motorcycles.htm

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#45 Pilot2Wheels

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 06:44 PM

My son is now 16 for a little over a week.

I have decided to go the non street route for now. I am picking up a KLX 250S for my son, and a KLR 650 for me on Saturday. We will ride on forest roads and trails in the Ocala National forest and around the state of Florida. No paved street roads for the first year. Once he is 17, we will revisit the street riding. This will give him a year in the cage to figure out the street deal.

We will load the KLX in my truck, and he can haul it up to the forest. I can follow him on the KLR. Any advice on riding in the Ocala National Forest would be appreciated. I stopped by the ranger station in Umatilla on Monday and got some great info.

Now I could use some help on how to load and transport a Kawasaki KLX 250S in my 2005 Tacoma. That is another thread though. I'll do some searching for a topic that is probably been talked about in detail already.

This may not be the answer, but it's a decision I can live with for now. Dad's about to have some fun with his son. That's cool. :)

Wayne
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#46 Glamisking

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 09:32 PM

Dad's about to have some fun with his son. That's cool. :)

Mission accomplished. I love those memories with my Dad riding in the dirt and now we share them on the street. Enjoy!

#47 Fred W

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 04:28 AM

+1 on a good decision. How can having some fun with your son on weekends be a bad thing?


But... (you knew this was coming) plowing around offroad on a KLR 650 is going to get old in a hurry. You might be looking for a second KLX to trailer along with your son's before too long. Light is right when it comes to the dirty stuff. ;)

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#48 HotRodZilla

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 07:26 AM

Put some Dunlap D606s on that KLR and a set of progressive springs up front. Get off-road pegs from eBay, and the character of the bike will change. A LOT.

I think you're doing good. He'll learn how to handle the bike, and learn the hazards of the road from inside a cage where its much safer. Besides, it has been my experience that people who ride dirt are better street riders.

You guys will have a blast!

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#49 Pilot2Wheels

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 06:06 PM

Put some Dunlap D606s on that KLR and a set of progressive springs up front. Get off-road pegs from eBay, and the character of the bike will change. A LOT.

I think you're doing good. He'll learn how to handle the bike, and learn the hazards of the road from inside a cage where its much safer. Besides, it has been my experience that people who ride dirt are better street riders.

You guys will have a blast!


I was so close to getting two KLX 250s bikes, but mom wants to ride with us some. Very cool, and two up on a KLX may be a bit much. So I went with the KLR. Of course, trail riding will be solo. Dirt roads is where she will join us. I have a lot to learn myself, so both of us will start off slow and easy, and learn together. I'm not a dirt expert by any means, so this will be a fun adventure. I'm blessed to be able to get these two bikes to begin with, and keep the FJR. My son can't wait for Saturday. Either can I. :yahoo:

Wayne
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1993 Yamaha Vmax
1984 Honda Nighthawk CB650
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#50 yamafitter

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 02:59 AM


Put some Dunlap D606s on that KLR and a set of progressive springs up front. Get off-road pegs from eBay, and the character of the bike will change. A LOT.

I think you're doing good. He'll learn how to handle the bike, and learn the hazards of the road from inside a cage where its much safer. Besides, it has been my experience that people who ride dirt are better street riders.

You guys will have a blast!


I was so close to getting two KLX 250s bikes, but mom wants to ride with us some. Very cool, and two up on a KLX may be a bit much. So I went with the KLR. Of course, trail riding will be solo. Dirt roads is where she will join us. I have a lot to learn myself, so both of us will start off slow and easy, and learn together. I'm not a dirt expert by any means, so this will be a fun adventure. I'm blessed to be able to get these two bikes to begin with, and keep the FJR. My son can't wait for Saturday. Either can I. :yahoo:

Wayne

Florida = Sand and sand riding is a little different. Some tips I would like to offer is to stand up and shift your weight back. You need to keep the front end light so that it planes across the top of the sand and does not plow through the sand. Momentum is your friend in the sand since you need a little bit of speed to stay on top of the loose stuff. Here is a little video to show you what I'm talking about ...



Now that you own a couple of thumpers the website ThumperTalk is a good on-line resource for both parts and tips.
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#51 HotRodZilla

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 10:53 AM

Florida = Sand and sand riding is a little different. Some tips I would like to offer is to stand up and shift your weight back. You need to keep the front end light so that it planes across the top of the sand and does not plow through the sand. Momentum is your friend in the sand since you need a little bit of speed to stay on top of the loose stuff. Here is a little video to show you what I'm talking about ...

Now that you own a couple of thumpers the website ThumperTalk is a good on-line resource for both parts and tips.


Man...I have been the guy ripping the throttle in that video and coasting through. I have also been the guy duck-walking my bike throught the sand, pissed off because I wussed out. And...I have dropped dirt bikes in stuff like more often than any other terrain.

I think dirt bike riding is very counter-intuitive. Your mind knows you need to pin the throttle and lean back in order to ride through and make life easy, but your body wants to slow down so that when you eat shit it doesn't hurt so much. Either way, it's a learning experience and you'll learn a lot. Just remember to stand and learn to let the front float a little. If you noticed in that video, the guys sitting down had the hardest time. You'll also notice that the guys that dropped their bikes did zero damage to them. Which is always good.

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#52 yamafitter

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 02:16 PM

Man...I have been the guy ripping the throttle in that video and coasting through.

You will need to provide photographic proof to have anyone around here to believe that. <_<

I have also been the guy duck-walking my bike throught the sand, pissed off because I wussed out.

Now this is something all of us can believe. ;)

And...I have dropped dirt bikes in stuff like that more often than any other terrain.

My personal nemesis is muddy ruts. For some reason I always manage to get the front wheel in a different rut than the rear wheel with less than ideal results. Posted Image
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#53 Fred W

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 02:26 PM

I'm tracking the "WR250X/R Mega Thread" over on ADV (for obvious reasons), and someone posted this picture:

Posted Image


Posted Image
Aside from the bike looking far too clean to be completely credible, does that not look like the complete shit? (that means good!) That is actually a WR250X (the supermoto version) with the 17" wheels shod in some jumbo MT21 knobbies. I'm sure there is a downside to having the wider tire up front like that, but I sure can't think of one. That huge front meat has got to help float you over the softer stuff better.

Being as I have the same bike, but mine has had the skinnier "R" wheels installed (21 front, 18" rear) I'll never get a beefy front tire like that in the 21" range. Might want to start looking for a set of 17" wheels for my new baby.

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#54 yamafitter

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 02:44 PM

Being as I have the same bike, but mine has had the skinnier "R" wheels installed (21 front, 18" rear) I'll never get a beefy front tire like that in the 21" range. Might want to start looking for a set of 17" wheels for my new baby.

If you are going to use the bike for mostly off-road there is no way I would want a 17" front wheel. You gain far more stability in gravel & dirt with a 21" wheel. I also believe you will find that the 17" wheel shown is far heavier than a normal 21" knobby setup that will also add to the poor off-road handling. The other plus in favour of the 21" wheel is the greater selection of tires available making it more likely to find a match for the type of terrain you are going to be riding.

I was disappointed that the new Yamaha Super Tenere came with a 19" front wheel for the above reasons. I think you will find that the big KTM Adventure bikes are all running the 21" rubber from the factory.
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#55 Fred W

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 02:58 PM


Being as I have the same bike, but mine has had the skinnier "R" wheels installed (21 front, 18" rear) I'll never get a beefy front tire like that in the 21" range. Might want to start looking for a set of 17" wheels for my new baby.

If you are going to use the bike for mostly off-road there is no way I would want a 17" front wheel. You gain far more stability in gravel & dirt with a 21" wheel. I also believe you will find that the 17" wheel shown is far heavier than a normal 21" knobby setup that will also add to the poor off-road handling. The other plus in favour of the 21" wheel is the greater selection of tires available making it more likely to find a match for the type of terrain you are going to be riding.

I was disappointed that the new Yamaha Super Tenere came with a 19" front wheel for the above reasons. I think you will find that the big KTM Adventure bikes are all running the 21" rubber from the factory.


Well, yeah, I understand the advantage of a larger circumference front wheel when it comes to getting over obstacles in the trail (logs, baby heads, etc.) but the Tenare's problem is more related to it's massive girth than its front wheel diameter. And the circumference difference between a 21" wheel w/ a 3" tire and a 17" wheel with that big meat isn't as much as you might think. Plus, I'm thinking about floatation over sandy or muddy paths...

Besides, my goals are still purely dual sport at this point. I have no intention of trying to make a pure dirt bike out of it. I'd have definitely selected something else in that case.

Like maybe a WR450F? ;)

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#56 Fred W

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 03:15 PM

Here's another one from Cheese land:

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#57 Pepperell

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 03:24 PM

Fred, are those bikes not using skid plates? Seems like an odd omission.

Carl
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#58 yamafitter

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 04:11 PM

... but the Tenare's problem is more related to it's massive girth than its front wheel diameter.

The bike is a pig which is another reason I don't like it. The 19" tire just adds to the problems in my view for gravel road riding.

And the circumference difference between a 21" wheel w/ a 3" tire and a 17" wheel with that big meat isn't as much as you might think. Plus, I'm thinking about floatation over sandy or muddy paths...

Correct but the additional weight difference of the 17" wheel for the same circumference is significant and is a highly negative influence on the off-road & gravel handling. Add on to this the additional sidewall flex just adds to the handling woes.
It is correct that you will gain floatation with one of those 17" big meat wheels but at the expense of higher speed stability in my view. The other issue with those 'Big Meat" wheels with their wider footprint will more likely catch the ruts in the sand and mud sending you off your intended line.

These are my opinions based on years of dirt biking & dual sporting. If you don't like them I have others. :P
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#59 HotRodZilla

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 05:09 PM

Yup...21" wheels all the way for dirt bikes. A 17" is small enough that the sand and gravel grab it and twist it. Then the rider is on his ass.

I knew a guy who rode a Super Moto bike on forest road rides with us. He ran a knobbie in the rear and a road tire up front. Said the smooth tire kept the front from grabbing too much in soft stuff, but he had to deal with loss of traction everywhere else. I wouldn't have done it.

I'd rather go down the river with seven studs than with a hundred shitheads"
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#60 Pilot2Wheels

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 06:43 PM

Yamafitter,

Thanks for the link and video. I haven't even picked up the bikes yet, and I've learned something. Very cool.

A buddy of mine told me I would want a bike like the Yamaha TW200 for Florida Sand, but for some reason, just couldn't accept that. Besides, all of Florida is not sand, and I don't plan on just staying home. I want to hit the Smokey Mountains, Utah, shoot, Alaska if I ever get my way. I have some big dreams!!

Thanks again for the video and link.

Wayne
2007 FJR 1300A
2012 Kawasaki KLX 250S & 2011 Kawasaki KLR 650
1993 Yamaha Vmax
1984 Honda Nighthawk CB650
1976 Honda CB550Four