After lots of looking and poking around and selling my DR to finance this and other farkling projects, our (I say "our", but it's really my 5 year old's bike) 16" 36V Oset finally arrived. Kevin Templeton at Carson Motorsports/KTM in Carson City, NV gave me a great deal on a new 2011 bike. My little dude (and I) are psyched.
This is the Strider of motorcycles... total game changer I think. Incidentally I had no idea that Osets even existed until the KTM rally this fall here in Bend. I had the opportunity to talk to Jimmy Lewis and was bemoaning the lack of good bikes for my little dude. Jimmy recommended Oset!
The ability to jump on and ride around the yard and/or neighborhood while actually learning useful bike handling skills and not pissing anybody off is just priceless. It's an even bigger advantage here in Oregon where kids can't ride on public lands until they're 7 years old.
Maybe the Oset is what will finally allow America to turn out some Grahame Jarvis' of our own
I just hope I didn't make a mistake getting the 36V bike instead of the 24... this thing rips...
Oset in the box... very simple assembly. Essentially just the handlebars and front wheel.
Waiting for the first 12 hour charge (they say 12 hrs for the first three charges...) was painful.
Later that night I tested the factory speed setting and turned the potentiometer up about 1/2 turn. The bike almost ripped out of my hands and launched across the garage. Lesson learned... 1/2 turn is a LOT.
First ride was this morning... outdoor temp about 24 degrees F. He sat on the bike and we talked and worked through some throttle and brake movements. Kicked up the kick stand, turned it on, etc. Talked about how to start out and that I had the speed turned way down. Oset recommends that noobs paddle along and work through some drills before standing up, etc. All good info... I think.... My guy is about 5.5 years old and is a pretty good rider after starting on a Strider at about 20 months. At any rate he fired it up in the yard, stood up, and then immediately rode it off the curb and headed down the street with me jogging along. Very cool!
2nd ride was over lunch. Turned up the speed a bit and he got pretty comfortable with the bike. Some more lessons learned about turning off the key before trying to get off the bike...
Curb "jump" video. He's getting better at keeping the front wheel up.
With all that said, I can't find any established community support for this thing. Oset has a Facebook page
with some traction and of course the UK
web portals (of which the US one is new and extremely buggy). There are some good threads here and elsewhere, but no "go to" location that I can find. (If there is one, please let me know and I'll shut up.) I'd love to develop that here, as I've seen some great Oset posts with custom fork and shock fitting
, etc (nicely done triplewhipper!).
Issues/Questions I'd like to address on our Oset are:
- Variable chain tension - Oset says to adjust them "taut". Unfortunately ours is both *TIGHT* and *LOOSE*. This would seem to indicate that the rear sprocket is possibly not concentric with the hub. Any ideas?
- The Dreaded Dead Zone - As Oset will tell you, when the speed is turned down on the 36V bike there's quite a dead zone in the throttle that makes starts and slow speed a bit tricky, especially for kids. I've seen mention of aftermarket motor controllers and DIY throttle stops. The bike can be a handful for my little guy. Any new info here is appreciated.
- SLA Battery Charging - These three initial (and every 10 charges thereafter) 12 hour charges have me curious. The 36V bike appears to have (3x) 12V/10 AHr batts in series and a 1.8 A charger. 12 hours seems like a punishingly long charge. Is it really necessary to equalize the crap out of these things three times right out of the box?
- Suspension - Eventually I'll probably try to address suspension. The bike seems pretty unbalanced out of the box, with a very soft front fork and a very stiff (at least to a 5 year old) rear end. What kind of sag are you guys seeing with the typical little 5 - 6 year old kid?
- Tire Pressure - What are you guys running? The 30 - 40 PSI Oset recommends seems high?
My ultimate goal (still haven't gotten the wife on board) would be to become an Oset dealer here in Bend and try to get some activities going for the little guys and girls. I know this is an uphill battle in the states, but our sport will eventually die or be legislated away (and then die) if we don't get the little ones involved.
That's it for now! Now I just need to find a Trials bike of my own...