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Old 05-09-2015, 01:34 PM   #1
rickypanecatyl OP
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How do you teach your kids to ride?

My 12 year old daughter has really been wanting me to teach her to ride so today I rode with her on my wife's KLX150 (an Asian version of the dirt only KLX140 - has lights/blinkers/passenger pegs) to an abandoned field.

I started with teaching her the parts of the motorcycle, safety stuff and then how to let out the clutch and get going. After she was pretty good at that I had her ride figure 8's and work on control.

The whole time though it dawned on me that while I consider myself a fairly descent rider I have no clue how to teach someone else.

So any thoughts on drills, order of things to teach etc?
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Old 05-09-2015, 04:20 PM   #2
trailer Rails
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickypanecatyl View Post
The whole time though it dawned on me that while I consider myself a fairly descent rider I have no clue how to teach someone else.
X2. I have been teaching the wife to ride and it is a struggle.


I have a trials bike and it has been great for teaching clutch control and how to stand and ride but has kinda backfired, all the wife wants to do is ride the trials bike and will not ride a dirt bike. She does ride her dual sport around town.
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Old 05-09-2015, 07:54 PM   #3
Rgconner
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Send them to a professional.
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Old 05-09-2015, 08:29 PM   #4
tkent02
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Wife gets lessons, all the gear, nice bike, proper tires, etc, etc.. Lots of practice.

Kids are easy, there's a bike, there's some trails, "Don't poke your eye out!"
They figure it out quickly enough.
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Old 05-09-2015, 09:01 PM   #5
Red Knight
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go for it..

If you ride, and have ridden for any length of time, you know more than you think...You have the right idea. Teach her the basics, critique her gently while she is practicing. Lots of time in the field away from STUFF, and other people. She will do fine.
FWIW I began instruction for my wife and both my kids.. Son and Daughter..I think professional training is a great idea, but there is no reason you cannot give them a great foundation, and assist in there practice sessions. Many good drills, and Ideas are provided by professional riders all over this forum. No reason you cant get them riding safely.. Then if you decide to further there skills-- enroll in a class with her. Keep it light, keep it fun..
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Old 05-09-2015, 09:32 PM   #6
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I taught my son at 5yo to ride. Taught him how to stop first. Roll him down a hill without it even running and I would have him brake.
I then have them find controls w/o looking for them.
Last I talk about what I call your "Lifeline ". Know what to do in a panic, pull the clutch in etc.
I had a neighbor put his son on a bike w/o instruction. He rode it into the only obstacle in a field and broke his leg because he paniced and rev'd it to the moon. Probably won't ever ride again.
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Old 05-09-2015, 09:36 PM   #7
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Professional training is mandatory here, but I gave my sister (ten years younger) her first lesson when she was 16.
First I told her about the risks of riding, showed her some examples what can happen and how gear can protect her. When she decided to ride, she first got full gear. She knows very well that I'm going around town completely without gear from time to time (on friday with the quad to the gas station, yesterday with the VFR to buy some mother's day flowers - both with helmet to avoid the cops but barefoot) but can make a well educated own choice that way.

Of course I explained the basics of using the clutch and since this first lesson was on a VFR 800 RC46/2 I repeated several times that if she was unsure about anything or anything goes wrong: Pull the clutch! And of course we watched youtube videos of guys wheeliing their bikes away under them at the first try.
We went to an empty parking lot on a Sunday morning and she did some wide circles and eights feathering the clutch, not having to use the throttle at all, getting accustomed to the weight. After all in all one or two hours (including explanations and breakes) she was exhausted, that's an as simple as important note, exhaustion is the enemy of every training, no matter if physical or psychic exhaustion, you won't learn anything at that point and you don't even have to feel or show signs of exhaustion for this to happen.

Turned out she had a bit of a problem the first time in riding school with the small 125ccm bike because it had not enough power to just feather the clutch without using the throttle. ^^
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Old 05-10-2015, 03:57 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickypanecatyl View Post

The whole time though it dawned on me that while I consider myself a fairly descent rider I have no clue how to teach someone else.
Quote:
Originally Posted by trailer Rails View Post
X2. I have been teaching the wife to ride and it is a struggle.
I was swimming with the kids today in the condo pool and watching a professional swim coach give lessons. I know him - I'm a better/faster swimming but the same idea hit me again as I was stealing ideas from him; he knows where to start teaching people who don't know how to swim how to swim and when I try to think about it I keep changing my mind where the most logical place to start is.

On the flip side I'm not a very good guitar player but I play, enjoy it and have several friends who are amazing. In that arena I am good at teaching what I know... though not very good overall!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rgconner View Post
Send them to a professional.
I had no idea they had professionals! I did just find Ned Suisse's CD though and watched 1/2 of it with her. He does a great job of explaining riding skills.... though I did think it was a bit fast. I.e. we spent about 30 minutes watching 8 minutes of video as I paused, rewound and explained stuff. We could probably spend 6 hours practicing those 8 minutes and that would be a good thing.

It was kind of fun to watch as it made me feel I wasn't doing that bad of a job explaining it as he tackles some of the same issues. When doing figure 8's Ned talked about counter balancing. I hadn't heard that phrase before but I wast trying to explain the concept to my daughter I used boats. We have a zodiac and a canoe and she knows what it's like to jump overboard in the middle of the ocean in each... and how its pretty tough to climb back in a canoe alone (so skinny it rolls over as you try to climb it) vs the zodiac which 5 guys can all stand on the same outer pontoon without flipping it. I told her the bike is like a canoe but with your body you want to turn it into a zodiac/catamaran. Foot out on the inside of the corner, body leaning off the other side.
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Old 05-10-2015, 04:02 AM   #9
rickypanecatyl OP
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Thanks guys for all the ideas! These are great!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tkent02 View Post
Kids are easy, there's a bike, there's some trails, "Don't poke your eye out!"
They figure it out quickly enough.
You're right - I needed that reminder! Make sure there wearing all the safety gear, in a place with no other vehicles or cliffs and realize they don't need me to micromanage every step!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Knight View Post
If you ride, and have ridden for any length of time, you know more than you think...You have the right idea. Teach her the basics, critique her gently while she is practicing. Lots of time in the field away from STUFF, and other people. She will do fine.
Then if you decide to further there skills-- enroll in a class with her. Keep it light, keep it fun..
:

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChillCo View Post
I taught my son at 5yo to ride. Taught him how to stop first. Roll him down a hill without it even running and I would have him brake.
I then have them find controls w/o looking for them.
Last I talk about what I call your "Lifeline ". Know what to do in a panic, pull the clutch in etc.
All good ideas! :)
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Old 05-10-2015, 04:10 AM   #10
trailer Rails
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rgconner View Post
Send them to a professional.
Yea, the wife had professional training on beginner street riding. What I am struggling with now is more advanced skills like lofting the front wheel, sliding the rear wheel, etc...
I need to find some more advanced training.
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Old 05-10-2015, 12:35 PM   #11
hippiebrian
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Whatever you do, give them better instructions than I got.

"One down, three up. kid. Go for it!"
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Old 05-10-2015, 01:18 PM   #12
Rgconner
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Originally Posted by trailer Rails View Post
Yea, the wife had professional training on beginner street riding. What I am struggling with now is more advanced skills like lofting the front wheel, sliding the rear wheel, etc...
I need to find some more advanced training.
It exists. Safety, sport bike, track, touring, off road.

All out there. Google is your friend to find what you need.

I would never try to teach someone to MC ride myself, I learned the wrong way: off road riding as a kid, cycling in races/big groups, etc.

Which means very little of it was consciously learned, and therefore hard to pass on.
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Old 05-10-2015, 01:51 PM   #13
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Assess what gear you think they should use, boots, knees, gloves, elbos. Sit them on the bike and talk them though the controls. Warm the bike up and keep it started for them when you try riding.

First teach them how to feel the clutch, no gas, have them feel the motor load and pull the clutch back in. Then have them use the clutch and move the bike about an inch and pull it back in. Next tell them to pad along with their feet a small way and pull the clutch back in. Padding along with your feet is the best skill to have on a dirt bike.

Teach them how to use the throttle and clutch together, padding along a few feet each time, just starting and stopping. teach them to roll the throttle closed when they pull in the clutch and how to keep the throttle closed when they use the front brake.
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Old 05-10-2015, 02:08 PM   #14
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try not to draw any blood the first time out, (make sure they are all covered up,) and quit before there is a crash, lots of little sessions.

The size of the bike is really important, make sure they flat foot easily with a little bend in their knees. A little too small is better than a little too big. Don't know about the 140, the crf100 and crf80 are good for about 12 year old beginners.
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Old 05-10-2015, 02:51 PM   #15
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Anyone I'd agree to teach would have to be a competent bicycle rider to begin with. Combining teaching 2 wheel vehicle dynamics with mechanical operation at the same time can be catastrophic.
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