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Old 02-16-2014, 09:17 PM   #1
Tweakedlogic OP
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Memphis TN
Oddometer: 31
I gotta help this kid learn how to care for bikes

First of all, given the choices of sub boards, this seemed like the best choice.

I traded a running, ridable rt180 for a broken but complete XR650L to this 15 year old kid. Now he keeps blowing up my phone with questions. He's 150 rual miles away so i can't really take him under my wing and teach him. I don't know what his home life is like or anything, but I know he doesn't have a proper place to work, and no knowledge base, and no money to service the 4 well abused/broken bikes he had in his yard. I know that eventually he will learn on his own. He seems to have a knack with tools, or at least an over confidence. But how many bikes will he torture and murder in the mean time?

So I would like a small collection of well written web sites so he can learn basic maintenance and riding skills. I don't want to overwhelm him, but get him started with knowledge. I'm looking for places made to teach the hacks and noobs. Specifically geared for dirt bikes and 2 strokes.

If you know of a good site or two on the top of your head I'd like to pass them on please. I don't know the Google search terms to not get millions of hits.
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Old 02-17-2014, 07:43 AM   #2
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What bikes does he have? There may be specific sites for those makes and models, as well as service manuals he can get.
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:10 AM   #3
Tweakedlogic OP
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Memphis TN
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He has my old RT180, a DR200, some Chinese bike called Pioneer, and his dad said he had another 90cc taken apart on the back porch.

I forwarded him a couple links about riding in the dirt already because I'm worried he's gonna kill himself. He mentioned that he never uses the rear brake. I told him to start and he would be a better rider.

He's texting me with basic questions though, like if it's (the RT) like a normal 2 stroke since he doesn't have to premix the gas, and bleeding brakes and such.

I think he needs to learn basic maintenance and riding skills. None of his bikes I saw had properly lubed and adjusted drive chains for instance. I told my wife that I'm certain I sent the old RT to suffer a violent and painfull death.
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:38 AM   #4
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Location: Hiding off Hwy 6, B.C.
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Have tools, will travel!
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:53 AM   #5
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I've learned with my wallet. It sucked. Perhaps mentorship on the weekends has it rewards?
"Only a rider knows how much a fellow rider suffers in the winter." - Rob1313

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Old 02-17-2014, 09:45 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by H96669 View Post
+1 - tons of good information there.
current bikes
07 gasgas xc300-94 duc 900ss-86 morini camel (2)-84 IT200-83 IT175-78 guzzi lm1-77 pursang 250-76 morini 3 1/2 strada-76 frankentaco pursang 200-74 frankentaco pursang 200-74 morini 3 1/2 sport-74 mz ts250/0-74 puch 175 (3)-73 can-am 175tnt-71 guzzi frankeneldo-71 ossa Stiletto-70 frankentaco sherpa s(2)-66 morini corsarino(2)-63 morini corsaro + many more
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:49 AM   #7
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Sounds like me growing up.

All I can say is that the kid has to take the time to soak up all the information out there and keep at it. I'm still learning all of this stuff!

My Dad just bought me the bikes, but didn't help me "fix" them. I was on my own. It would be nice to have someone to help him, but that's not always the case. Having a lot of money is the easy way out, just buy new stuff. But not all kids are "rich". I was middle class.
Originally posted by burgerking So?
Holland is about the most expensive country in Europe when it comes to bikes and fuel..Stop whining and go riding It's just money and you only live once...
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Old 02-17-2014, 01:28 PM   #8
Tweakedlogic OP
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Memphis TN
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Originally Posted by H96669 View Post
That seems perfect. I've been reading through it some.
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Old 02-17-2014, 03:11 PM   #9
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Just wanted to say your a good person for taking your time to help this kid out.
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Old 02-17-2014, 03:18 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by H96669 View Post
Tons of info there, thanks for sharing.

Originally Posted by Camarodude View Post
Just wanted to say your a good person for taking your time to help this kid out.
I know a lot of people that get a "not my problem" attitude. Good on you for taking the time to help the guy out, and potentially save a few bikes from being scrapped too.
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:31 AM   #11
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I suspect that having a non-parental adult to talk to is much more important than turning him into a great mechanic in the shortest time possible.

Give him the time that you can, point him to resources but realize that the big contribution is your time - not the information.

I started hanging with a dyslexic, troubled 15 year old many years ago at his mother's request because he liked working on stuff that I also did. She claims I'm responsible for him graduating high school and staying out of trouble.

He's now a responsible 33 year old married father working hard to support them no matter what happens in the job market.

What mattered for him wasn't the stuff we fixed but the conversations we had about everything else.

If the bikes are destroyed along the way - it's just stuff.
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:50 AM   #12
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Location: Ankeny Iowa
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I probably was that 15 year old ADD dyslexic, kid at one time.
Finding motorcycles was like opening the door to something I truly wanted to learn about.
School was just a pain in the ass, who needed to learn that Columbus was lucky enough to discover his own front pockets.
I had some non-parental mentors that challenged me and helped me.
I will be forever grateful, most are gone now.
There is actually a fair amount of knowledge wrapped up in our sport.
You will both benefit! Thanks for taking the time.
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Old 02-18-2014, 07:02 AM   #13
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Joined: Nov 2010
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It seems its easier to call you than to use google. Does he not know how to use the internet?

Next time he calls and asks a question, ask him - "what did you find when you googled it?".

The more you answer his questions, the more he will keep asking.
Check out Don's Adventure Rides
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Old 02-18-2014, 07:39 AM   #14
U'mmmm yeaah!!
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The kid should start with one simple bike and have the maintenance manual for it. He'll have pride in it and will be able to enjoy it.

Multiple problems with multiple bike and he'll never see anything come to fruitition, and likely be a little overwhelmed and frustrated without having the funds and tools to care for them.

good luck...

Also, I suggest he keep one bike and sell everything else to fund tools, parts etc for said bike. He should be learning these basic life skills from his father.

Don't sweat the petty things; Pet the sweaty things !!!

Maggot12 screwed with this post 02-18-2014 at 07:42 AM Reason: addition
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Old 02-18-2014, 01:32 PM   #15
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Location: Westside WA
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Nice nobel idea you got but w/o knowing the kid you'll have to decide is he just into MC's cause they're cool and expecting every one else to work on it or fix it? Or is there a real interest and willingness to make a commitment to learn?. At 15 he doesn't even have a license and related expense so not out driving around so he's got plenty of time to learn the basics. Sounds like right now he's just having fun taking things apart he has no clue about and then yelling for help at assembly time. I also agree with an above reply. A 15 year old kid with no clue doesn't need 4 broken bikes he can't maintain. Sell everything but the one he really likes/wants, use the money for tools and a factory shop manual. It's a start. Gawd forbid but he may even have to get a job to support his interests. Life's cruel that way. If his interest is real he'll figure out a way. If not well he'll figure that out too. If you're not ready to adopt and support him you'll just have let him fly on his own.
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