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Old 02-16-2014, 09:17 PM   #1
Tweakedlogic OP
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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
obsidian16825
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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
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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, 08:11 AM   #4
indr
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Ask him to register on ADVR. As he starts making posts, asking questions, etc, it'll give people here a better understanding of this knowledge and skill level, and he can be linked to articles/posts/tutorials on an as needed bases.

Also, you can find most bike manuals in PDF form if you search hard enough. There are tricks like searching for filetype:pdf ninja250r service manual when you search in Google. It shows you only files that are PDFs (and thus more likely to be manuals) this way.

Also, direct him to YouTube as a good general resource. The more videos he goes through, the more perspective he'll get on how it all comes together. And just because he can't find a video specific to his bike type and model, doesn't mean he can't apply the knowledge from other bikes to his own projects.

Also, as mentioned, there are small online forums and communities for almost all bikes these days.

This is pretty much how our generation will learn.
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:38 AM   #5
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:53 AM   #6
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I've learned with my wallet. It sucked. Perhaps mentorship on the weekends has it rewards?
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:45 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H96669 View Post
+1 - tons of good information there.
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:49 AM   #8
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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.
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Old 02-17-2014, 01:28 PM   #9
Tweakedlogic OP
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Originally Posted by H96669 View Post
That seems perfect. I've been reading through it some.
Thanks.
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Old 02-17-2014, 03:11 PM   #10
Camarodude
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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   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H96669 View Post
Tons of info there, thanks for sharing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Camarodude View Post
Just wanted to say your a good person for taking your time to help this kid out.
+1
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   #12
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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   #13
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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   #14
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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.
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Old 02-18-2014, 07:39 AM   #15
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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.
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