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What Bike for a 16 year old


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#61 Bugnatr

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 08:17 PM

Smart move Dad, the dirt is the best place to learn to ride. Another tip for your gen 1 KLR is to replace the stock muffler with a FMF Q or other brand. You will drop a bunch of weight and also the low end snap is greatly improved.

I had great times riding with my sons, here we are at Black Rock Desert.

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#62 yamafitter

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 03:34 AM

... 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!!

You are correct that all of Florida is not sand since the rest is swamp and pavement. I have not dirt biked in the Rockies yet but I have done some adventure riding in Alaska following the pipeline from Prudhome Bay south before catching the Glenn Highway to Anchorage. The scenery is truly fantastic.
I have friends that ship their bikes out to Nevada every summer for some desert riding and one of these years I'm going to join them. When I go out to NAFO this year I have a friend in Vernon BC that has a couple of KTM's and I may stop in and go for a little ride up into the mountain trails.
Keep dreaming big. I've ridden in New Zealand and Iceland and have South Africa plus spectating at the Isle of Mann TT Races on my Bucket List.
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#63 Fred W

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 03:55 AM

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


Yeah, it is. But luckily there are plenty of aftermarket ones available for not much coin. Besides, when the OEM puts a skid plate on it's usually some cheesy plastic thing. When you buy aftermarket you choose the armor. ;)



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.



All good points. It just looks like it should work so well.
I suppose that it has all been tried (many times) before and there is a really good reason that all real dirt machines come with 21" front wheels.
Maybe what I should be looking for is a 21"er for the Man-strom (it has a 19 up front).

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#64 Pilot2Wheels

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 06:03 PM

Life is good. :)

The weather has been great since Saturday, and we have put about 60 miles on the bikes. 60 doesn't seem like much, but it has all been in our neighborhood. :o

It has been fun to watch him progress on handling the bike. I have a rule that he must stop behind the stop bar at each stop sign putting his left foot down, then slowly proceed until he can see both ways if the view is blocked. He must use his blinker, and once he clears the turn, if he forgets to turn it off within five seconds, he owes me a dollar. He can earn the dollar back with five good stops and blinker off within the five seconds. He isn't forgetting his blinker anymore. :D

We took the truck up to the Ocala Naronal Forest Sunday to pre explore some of the roads, and gave us a big boost once we got there. He can't wait to ride them. Even my wife is excited about going. Very cool.

Thanks again for all the responses to this topic, and some great advice.

Again, Life is good.

Wayne

By the way, I bought another Scala G4 for his Shoei RF1100 helmet, and it was worth the investment. Being able to talk/coach him while riding is a great asset. Fun too.
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#65 UberKul

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 08:23 PM

Now we need some pictures because these are moments you hold on to. :yahoo:

That and the bikes may not be this pretty much longer. ;)

BTW, IMS now make a bigger gas tank for the 09 and up Kawi 250's
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#66 Pilot2Wheels

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 05:33 PM

First ride in the Forest today, and what a blast. We went after school, and Mom went with us. Good thing it's daylight savings time.

The sand was definitely an issue, and something to learn. I showed my son the video of how to attack sand, and we both laughed. Easier to watch than do. Of course, I had a passenger, so that makes it a bit tough.

Can't wait to do it again, and learn how to ride in dirt. We are staying on the numbered roads for now. The trails will be a little later. Maybe much later. What's cool, is that since our bikes are street legal, we can ride where the four wheelers can't. We are doing the major roads now, and will go on the .XX roads in the near future.

I think my wife liked it the most! Go figure!!

Good times. :)

I'll be getting some pictures and try to post them soon.

Thanks again y'all for speaking up and providing great advice. It is truly appreciated.

Wayne
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#67 slimsailor00

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 05:34 PM

1st bike: 1984 Suzuki GS550E (age 14)
2nd bike: 2001 Suzuki SV650 (age 21)
3rd bike: 2008 FJR1300 (age 31)
So when it's time for the kids to ride I've got an SV650 well maintained and waiting for them!

I knew a guy in high school that had a new ninja 250 while my friends and I were all riding around on 500 cc+. His bike looked cooler than our used bigger bikes, but he hated it after a year and quit riding it, whereas all of my friends and myself all still ride.

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#68 Fred W

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 03:22 AM

Good times. :)



I love a story with a happy ending!! :yahoo:

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#69 Pilot2Wheels

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 05:38 PM

Finally trying to figure out how to add pictures. Here goes...

One of "Big Bear" & "Lil Cub" the day we picked them up from the dealer.
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A few farkles on Big Bear
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One of Lil Cub at home in the driveway
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One of our excursions in the forest. One of the few paved roads. Getting tired of sugar sand.
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Wayne
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#70 yamafitter

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 06:25 PM

One of our excursions in the forest. One of the few paved roads. Getting tired of sugar sand.

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Wayne

Two things about riding in the sand.
  • The tires you are using are not ideal. If you are going to be doing some trail work but still need a DOT approved tire think about something like a Dunlop 606. You need a more aggressive tread to track in the sand.
  • When in the loose sand. Stand up, shift your weight back and keep the power on. The idea is to get the front wheel to plane across the sand. If you have too much weight on the front wheel the end result is that you auger in. By the sound of things you have already discovered the auger part.
Here is a video of 'the Beach' from the Mid-Summer Dream Trailride that demonstrates what I am talking about ...




Good Luck and keep having fun.


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#71 oldryder

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 08:36 AM

Read all this with great interest as I went thru a similar exercise 4 years ago.

One important thing I think is missing from all the discussion is the value of track instruction for street riding.

Most riders can't ride their bike any where near the limits of the bikes potential which sacrifices a lot of potential safety.

Based on advice I got on this forum I scheduled my daughter and I for 2 "advanced riding instruction" classes conducted on a small road course at a local tech college. The classes were so much fun (and we learned so much) we did 5 more that summer plus 2 track days at a big track (Brainerd International Raceway.

At the end of that summer my daughter was a more technically proficient rider than I was for 35 years and I am a far far better rider.

I hope neither one of us ever has to use track derived skills on the street to avoid a crash but if we do I'll be damn glad we took the time to learn those skills.

One final note: Once you've had the fun of railing around racetrack corners with unobstructed sight lines and no worries about sand, gravel, grass cuttings, cows, stalled cars, or any other obstacle the attraction of agressive street riding fades considerably.

#72 russperry

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 10:16 AM

When my son turned 18, he bought himself a 1990s vintage Yamaha XJ600. We found it through friends on the Forum and I rode it back home for him from Ohio.

He uses it as a commuter bike, taking it to high school, amazing his friends. He now commutes to a local junior college, and to work. He and I have taken a road trip or two...but not as many as I wish. His studies and finances have to be in order for him to do those trips, and sadly for me, sometimes his house isn't always in order. So he learns lessons. But he still does look forward to trips with dad...we're looking forward to some this coming spring and summer.

His bike is used, and old 600, works good. Has some rashes it didn't have when he bought it. He still loves it.


Mark - we did the same for my son last year, and the results sound similar.....

We bought a 2001 YZF600R with some road rash and some typical young male-type mods - tiny little LED turn signals, bright blue anodized bar ends (to cover up some rash I'd bet), etc...

He uses it to commute to school and things have been OK - at least until I took him on a ride on Mines Road last weekend. Though I was trailing at a long distance to avoid pushing him, he ended up off the shoulder and in a ditch. Since the bike was already "used", the new matching scratches on the right side didn't really get anyone upset and we could just get a useful learning experience out of it without any extra emotional or financial baggage.

For the OP - I suggest a used bike regardless of what model you decide on.

Looks like I'm way out of date here - congrats on the new dirt bikes!!

Edited by russperry, 26 April 2012 - 10:19 AM.

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#73 Pilot2Wheels

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 05:24 PM

Two things about riding in the sand.

  • The tires you are using are not ideal. If you are going to be doing some trail work but still need a DOT approved tire think about something like a Dunlop 606. You need a more aggressive tread to track in the sand.
  • When in the loose sand. Stand up, shift your weight back and keep the power on. The idea is to get the front wheel to plane across the sand. If you have too much weight on the front wheel the end result is that you auger in. By the sound of things you have already discovered the auger part.
Here is a video of 'the Beach' from the Mid-Summer Dream Trailride that demonstrates what I am talking about ...




Good Luck and keep having fun.


My problem is simple. I'm not riding solo. The girl in the photo is my wife, and she is my passenger. Standing on the pegs and going fast just ain't happening. :o

I'm marking the roads that aren't that bad, and learning as I go. We are still having fun, just like when it rains the day or two before to pack things down.

Wayne
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#74 AuburnFJR

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 07:15 PM


I put my son on motorcycles (dirt bikes) early in life, and he took to it very well. Eventually he needed transportaion to school (community collage) and we found a nice Yamaha WR250 to purchase, (I financed it) things were going well, he got his operator lic, insurance, took the driving course. Things were going good for him, Until he was hit by a left turner who didn't see him. The call we got from the scene by a witness was horrific at best! We could hear him screaming in pain, that was until he passed out due to loss of blood. He almost died that day and was in the trama unit for 14days. You guessed it, IT WAS ALL MY FAULT for getting him started on bikes. We almost divorced over it, that and the stress of taking care of a young adult, as if he were a baby, feeding, bathing and toileting him were very difficult for us. He was non-weight bearing for 9 months. He made it and is actually riding motorcycles again, but not with my help, I just couldn't go through that again. Don't know if this helps or hurts, but it's what happened to me when I did what your about to do. Good Luck. I would do it again he were just starting out, I love motorcycles and so does he!


Thank you for the reply.

I am taking all of this in, and have decided to be very patient. Although I feel anxious to get him on the road with me since I only have him daily for the next 2 years, I need to caution my wants vs his safety. I surely want to have him around for a long time, not just the next two years.

Keep the replies coming. Great learning tool.

Wayne


I just stumbled onto this thread.



Several had said get the dirt bike (or dual sport) first for both. I agree with that too. With a dual sport you can take off all the street stuff so it doesn't get broke and put it back on when it is time to ride on the street. The main reason, is he learns the motorcycle controls so they become second nature. You also learn what to do when traction is compromised or something is coming at you on the trail at speed. It is a safer environment to learn how to ride.

I started all of my kids very young on the dirt as I did when I was a kid. THe oldest is 20 and I still won't let her ride on the street. She can out ride most guys I know. It has more to do with the fear of the other driver who doesn't see her than anything else. I know some day she will choose to ride, but I am not ready to let her.


My fear is the thing that NMRoadRunner went through. When she is living on her own and chooses to do so, then I really don't have a say. I do know that I have given very good oppertunities to develop the skills to control a motorcycle.


One other thing that riding in teh dirt does for kids, is it makes them better car drivers. IT makes them watch for things that most other drivers don't see or pay attention to. I used to teach the MSF basic rider course and I would recommend he take the MSF course each year for at least 3 or 4 years just to remind him about the skills needed for the street.

get out and ride! IBA #54706

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#75 AuburnFJR

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 07:28 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


Now that I finally got to teh end of the thread. Good decision!.


You will find if you get a DOT approved knobby, I think that Michelin maks the only one that is a full knobby and DOT approved it will help a lot with loos sand and dirt. It is a compromise for the street. Here is a good one by michelin. Tire they are relativley inexpensive and will give better perfomance in the dirt and sand. It will defineitly help with building dirt bike skills. I run the michelin S12 front and rear on my gasgas, but it is not DOT approved. But they don't care about that here in Washington. Yes my gasgas (2 stroke 300) has a license plate on it. But that is more for the forest service roads between trails so they don't ticket you.


Enjoy the dual sports. The other good thing about the dirt, he can go as fast as he can and not worry about getting a ticket. :)

get out and ride! IBA #54706

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#76 Pilot2Wheels

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 01:23 PM

AuburnFJR,

Thanks for the link to the tire. I'll look into that.

So far, he only has about 350 miles on the bike, most on dirt forest roads, a few very rough dual track sand traps, a few single track dirt stuff that wasn't too bad, a little more paved forest roads, but mostly dirt mixed with some sugar sand forest roads. He has fallen twice, both times at walking speed in sugar sand in a curve on the small trails. The only thing he hurt, was his pride.

I have learned a lot riding on those roads. One thing for sure, is that I don't like sugar sand. Especially since I have my wife as a passenger on my KLR. If it rains the day or two before, it makes for much nicer riding.

We plan on taking the bikes up to North Carolina, Tennessee, Smoky Mtn area in June. It has been fun, and my wife is the one who likes this the most. Shocked me, and totally awesome. I'm having fun with my family. :yahoo:

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

#77 AuburnFJR

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 05:36 PM

AuburnFJR,

Thanks for the link to the tire. I'll look into that.

So far, he only has about 350 miles on the bike, most on dirt forest roads, a few very rough dual track sand traps, a few single track dirt stuff that wasn't too bad, a little more paved forest roads, but mostly dirt mixed with some sugar sand forest roads. He has fallen twice, both times at walking speed in sugar sand in a curve on the small trails. The only thing he hurt, was his pride.

I have learned a lot riding on those roads. One thing for sure, is that I don't like sugar sand. Especially since I have my wife as a passenger on my KLR. If it rains the day or two before, it makes for much nicer riding.

We plan on taking the bikes up to North Carolina, Tennessee, Smoky Mtn area in June. It has been fun, and my wife is the one who likes this the most. Shocked me, and totally awesome. I'm having fun with my family. :yahoo:

Wayne


If your wife gets into riding herself, the Honda CRF 150 is a great bike, electric start, disc brake in front. The tires that come with it suck, you will wont to get the michelin knobby for it. My wife and daughters all ride them. They are between 5' and 5'-2" tall and don't have any trouble picking it up when they fall. The only thing I have done to them is put pro taper bars and bark busters on them, a BBR pipe, and the michelin tires. It is not srteet legal, but they don't need to be for them. There might be a similar dual sport without getting too heavy for her.

get out and ride! IBA #54706

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